Published on March 9, 2014
Fàilte Welcome We’d like to introduce one of our Heartlands tours of the stunning west coast of the Scottish Highlands. This is the home of the Clan Donald, once known as The Lords of the Isles, from Somerled onwards. Tours are adaptable, according to the parties taking part and expected events. So if you have a whole family or other group, we can focus on your particular interest in Clan Donald; one of Scotland’s most famous and alluring clans. You will find more information about how the tour operates on the last page. There are some important details there, which we hope will make your choice that much easier, and raise your expectation to that of any Clan Donald kinfolks. Fraoch Eilean! Click icons for information
Arrival, Glasgow, and Welcome! Day 1 At a glance Arrival You arrive in Glasgow according to your own schedule. We can arrange flights and transfers for you Accommodation Glasgow Millenium Hotel Dinner Piper’s Tryst at the National College of Piping on McPhater Street in Glasgow’s Cowcaddens Click icons for information Glasgow Millenium Hotel is right next to Queen St. station. Overlooking George Square. you are right in the city centre; the Merchant City, stuffed with pubs, clubs, and eateries; and numerous galleries within very easy reach. The Piper’s Tryst Restaurant is attached to the National Piping Centre. Along with an exhibition of piping history, the restaurant has a great reputation for excellent food. An intimate restaurant, it’s great for a relaxed evening with friends, and dare we say, some good malt.
King Robert, Bannockburn, Stirling Castle, and Glencoe Day 2 Robert the Bruce statue at At a glance Departure Bannockburn 10:00 Bannockburn Heritage Centre which has just been completely rebuilt and upgraded 11:00 We visit the 1314 site of the battle of Bannockburn in which Clan Donald played such an important part with King Robert the Bruce. Stirling Castle Lunch 12:15 Explore 13:15 – 15:00 The Castle and nearby Argyll’s Lodgings; Church of the Holy Rood; the Old Town Jail Travel Glencoe Hotel Glencoe Museum 15:00 Glencoe Hotel Stirling Castle one of Scotland’s two most important castles. The Queen’s Palace and Banqueting Hall have now both been fully renovated to a brilliant standard of story telling. Glencoe Museum just a few 20:00 17:00 18:30 A private tour of the museum in this most historic little corner of Scotland moments from your hotel. It houses many artefacts and tells the story of the infamous massacre of the MacIans of Glencoe Dinner Loch Leven from Glencoe Click icons for information
Fort William, A Steam Train Trip, Mallaig, Arisaig, & Borrodale Day 3 Crannog At a glance Departure Fort William 10:00 in Fort William serves fabulous seafood from its lochside restaurant 10.45 The local garrison town West Highland Museum 11:00 Lunch 12:15 rich, and tasty Jacobite and local history Crannog seafood restaurant Free time 13:15 Clans talk, local archives, shopping, looking at the Ben? Steam to Mallaig Crannog’s Seafood fresh, The West Highland Railway voted as top train journey in the world three times is also the setting for the Harry Potter Express. Shown on Glenfinnan’s spectacular viaduct. 14:20 Voted top railway journey in the world three years running – stunning! Harry Potter??!! Mallaig 16:30 Live harbour / Heritage Ctr Borrodale House 18:30 First house Bonnie Prince Charlie entered upon landing Borrodale Beach place of landing and departing for Bonnie Prince Charlie Borrodale Beach Landing and leaving point Dinner Arisaig House Click icons for information 20:00 The Appin Gun? one of four in the UK said to be the gun used to kill the Red Fox at Appin. It is kept in the West Highland Museum
Knoydart, Loch Morar, Morar Mac Donalds, and a secret war Day 4 Seascape en route to At a glance Departure Knoydart Ferry Knoydart - Loch Nevis, Rum, Skye 10:00 Scotos 10:30 20 mins seascape splendour Inverie, Scotus, and Kilchoan 11:00 Local historian walk and talk following the time, content, and abilities of individuals Lunch St. Cumins & Loch Morar Eilean Bàn, seminaries, monsters, deep loch, short river 12:30 Old Forge, the remotest pub on mainland UK Mallaig Ferry & Blessed Morar 14:00 14:45 Arisaig House 3 nights accommodation with history! Morar RC church, Prince Charlie’s priest’s vestments, seminaries, manhunts, monsters, Europe’s deepest loch and shortest river Soldier’s Tour 16:00 WW2 Special Ops sites, inc Morar MacDonalds’ homes Cèilidh 19:15 Some music before dinner The Old Forge most remote pub on the UK mainland Czech memorial (above right) a token of thanks from old Click icons for information soldiers for the training they received around Arisaig
Tioram, Loch Shiel, Glenaladale Mac Donalds, &Glenfinnan Day 5 Jacobite Monument Glenfinnan At a glance Departure Moidart Bound 10:00 Alasdair Mac Mhaighstir Alasdair in a pretty 10:00 A drive-by guide to important places, landmarks, and events Loch nan Uamh, Ardnish, Loch Ailort, Glenuig & Kinlochmoidart Shiel Folks 10:45 An important area and loch for Mac Donalds over centuries Castle Tioram 13:00 Loch Shiel Hotel, or Dalilea Shiel Cruise Boathouse jetty on Loch Eilt 11:00 The Clan Ranald stronghold Lunch bonkers artistic impression! MV Sìleas Loch Shiel pleasure cruiser Polnish Church Ardnish / Loch Ailort 14:15 A glorious loch cruise - nature, wildlife, and the Glenaladales! Glenfinnan 16:10 Iconic for the Jacobite rising, now too for the Harry Potter Express. You will have a chance to ascend the monument and visit the NTS. Loch Ailort & Loch Eilt16:30 Home and more fascinating histories and places on this delightful little fresh water loch Dinner After some time to relax Click icons for information 20:00 Castle Tioram ancient stronghold of Clan Ranald, built by Amy Mac Ruari
Armadale, Skye, Glen Shiel, Cluanie, and Glen Garry Day 6 Rock of the Raven a memorial statue to the previous Chief of MacDonell of Glengarry At a glance Departure 09:30 Over the sea… 10:30 Ferry from Mallaig to Armadale on Skye. What a vista! Clan Donald 10:30 Centre, Armadale, Skye The fabulous Castle gardens, a stunning view onto Knoydart and Arisaig, and the award winning Museum of the Isles. Terrific! Clan Donald Ctr Armadale, Skye. Beautiful grounds and an award winning Museum of the Isles Lunch @ Kinloch 13:00 Kinloch Lodge, former home of the High Chief and his wife, Lady Claire. Some of the best food to be found in Scotland. Travel 14:30 Bus trip, seeing: Broadford; Skye Bridge; Eilean Donan Castle; Loch The Five Sisters of Kintail Duich; Five Sisters of Kintail; Glen Glengarry Castle Shiel; Cluanie, Loch Garry sacked after Culloden by Tea 16:30 Butcher Cumberland, and Tea at Glengarry Castle Hotel, later abandoned then time to settle and relax Local history 18:30 from Glengarry Historical Society Dinner Glengarry Castle Hotel Click icons for information 20:00 Kinloch Lodge renowned for the excellence of its food Glengarry Castle Hotel your accommodation base for two nights. The Castle looks over Loch Oich and is close to the original Invergarry Castle
Free Day with Easy Options Day 7 Urquhart Castle is one of those icons At a glance of Scotland which simply endures. Sitting its promontory iy has a majestic view of the loch in all directions. Tomorrow is a longish day, so today is much more about relaxation and slow! Fort Augustus is a dainty little village marking the last Caledonian Canal lock set before the final flight at Inverness. Option 1 Easy Day 09:30 with Culloden An early run to Culloden. On the way: Loch Ness, Fort Augustus, Urquhart Castle (Nessie?!). If the all agree, some time in Inverness. Option 2 Easy Day 11:00 With Clan Donald Genealogy is important to kinsfolk. We A good Clan Donald historian will be on hand to discuss the history of the clan. Give us some prior warning, and perhaps we can tell your story a bit better too. Option 3 Easy Day 15:00 with Genealogy A good DNA specialist explains. Early notice to us will help get your profile delivered and explained on the day. Dinner Glengarry Castle Hotel Click icons for information 19:30 can team you up with a good company. With the right time frame, they can give you your family history while on the trip. Culloden needs no introduction. Just east of Inverness, it has a marvellous exhibition and interpretation space alongside the preserved ruggedness of the historic moor where such an awful set of events passed.
Ardgour, Morvern, Mull, and Iona Day 8 At a glance Departure 09:00 Invergarry 09:00 This is a fairly long stint. Leaving the hotel, we pass the Well of the Seven Heads, Loch Lochy, the Cameron lands, Keppoch lands, Spean, Fort William to Corran Ferry. A short boat across to Ardgour, then to Loch Sunart and down into Morvern to Lochaline. Lochaline 12:00 A pretty short ferry again. Lunch 12:30 Craignure Hotel. This will also be an opportunity to drop luggage. The Corran Ferry to Ardgour Well of the Seven Heads In 1663, two sons of MacDonell were killed in a quarrel with an uncle and his six sons, who were executed in revenge by 60 men who cut off their heads, washed them in this spring, and took them to the Chief in Invergarry The Island of Iona is Scotland’s spiritual heart with a long history of religious activity. Many Clan Donald chiefs are buried here, including Angus Òg. Mull is the only way to get to Iona without making a long trip by boat from the mainland. Fionnphort 14:15 From Fionnphort to Iona by pedestrian ferry. Iona 15:00 Duart Castle is the Between 1-1.5 hours Fionnphort 16:15 Text Dinner Isle of Mull Hotel Click icons for information 19:30 ancient stronghold of the MacLeans, an ally and neighbour clan to Clan Donald
Duart Castle, Oban, Loch Etive, Loch Awe, and Stirling Day 9 Duart Castle A quick morning visit before catching the ferry to Oban At a glance Departure 10:00 Duart Castle 10:15 Home of the MacLeans, a good ally clan to Clan Donald, it would be a pity to miss it! Loch Lubnaig a jewel of the Lomond & Trossachs National Park, between Strathyre and Callander Loch Etive A real, striking enigma, very tide dependent, so far inland Ferry to Oban 13:00 This is a short run, just about three quarters of an hour with some glorious views of the town on the way in. Oban 13:45 Oban is a pretty little town, but not an essential part of the tour. If the group wishes it can visit, or Oban, an important west just crack on for an early finish, coast market town, gives and time to relax in Stirling. access to many of the south Stirling 17:00 Highland Hotel, a former school, which was attended by one of the few Scottish Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom. Dinner The Loch Awe Viaduct When the banks are too steep … ! western islands, including Mull and the Uists. 19:30 Highland Hotel The Stirling Observatory still a working part of the old school Stirling Highland Hotel accommodation which is now the hotel. Click icons for information for two nights
Free Day with Big City Options Day 10 Kelvingrove At a glance Art Gallery & Museum Stirling is a great transport hub and we recommend getting to main cities by train.The station is about 5 minutes walk. Ask us about what’s on offer, but here’s some highlights: Option 1 - Stirling --:-Castle, Argyll’s Lodging, Church of the Holy Rood, Cowan’s Museum, Smith Art Gallery, Wallace Monument, Cambuskenneth Abbey, Bannockburn Wallace Monument Stirling Verdant Works Jute Mill Dundee Scottish Parliament Mace Edinburgh Option 2 - Glasgow 35 mins Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, The People’s Palace, The Gallery of Modern Art, Transport Museum, Shipbuilding, Science Museum, Barras, Cathedral Quarter, galleries, City Hall, Italian Centre, & great food World’s Oldest Football Option 3 - Dundee 50 mins Verdant Works jute mill, The Tay Bridge, Scott’s ship Discovery, frigate Unicorn, Broughty Ferry Museum, Mills Observatory, shopping Option 4 - Edinburgh 60 mins Castle, Parliament, Holyrood Palace, Royal Mile, many galleries, the New Town, Camera Obscura, Whisky Centre, endless tartan! Option 5 - Trossachs 10:00 A bus based tour around Stirling’s hinterland and the National Park Farewell Dinner 19:30 Hermann’s Restaurant, Stirling Click icons for information Stirling Smith Art Gallery Gallery of Modern Art Glasgow Scott’s ship Discovery Dundee
General Information The Trip notes and considerations Tour Content Travel Flights & Transfers Accommodation Food and Drink Access Issues Pricing Genealogy Alterations Facebook Heading Tour Content The tour is totally adaptable to you if it is a single group taking part. If you prefer to have a longer or shorter trip, or see some different locations, please just let us know. Mixed groups tours will be much less able to vary. However, there are always some options on a tour that can be omitted in favour of something else, if the group agrees. Travel, Flights & Transfers No allowance has been made in the costing shown. Flight or other travel costs to get to the start of the tour will be additional. We can organise flights and transfers for you, should you wish. It is often more effective to arrange group bookings for better rates. Accommodation can be varied if you wish to go for a higher or lower cost option. Providers shown are not guaranteed until your booking has been made, and is according to availability at that time. Food and Drink All breakfasts and dinners are included in the package price. However, beverages are not. Lunches are not included so that you may adapt to your own particular needs. Access Issues Clan Donald places are very … ‘natural’! Much of the tour is in the area known as The Rough Bounds. If you have mobility problems, please let us know. Accommodation and transport will always be sought to suit, but adapting to some locations is less easy, and you may need to decide whether you want to take part in a particular activity or not. Some walks are quite long and on unmade tracks or parkland. Pricing Due to the adaptability of the tour, the prices shown can only be considered indicative for the tour content shown, Prices have been given in pounds Sterling as the local currency, and you should use current exchange rates to calculate approximate costs. Prices will be quoted in your local currency when the trip has been agreed. Genealogy No allowance has been made for the genealogy component. We will introduce you to one (or more if you prefer) providers, and any arrangements will be between you. We will have no part. Alterations Clearly nobody wants to be altering agreed schedules. However, from time to time it may be necessary to adapt to local or personal conditions. We advise that you take out insurance to cover such eventualities. Deposits and planned payments will be non-refundable. In the case of our need to alter all costs will be refundable Facebook If you are happy to, we will set up a secret Facebook group which will allow you to upload photographs and videos for your friends and family to share in your experiences. Click icons for information