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Epic Scotland

Edinburgh – Highlands – Skye – Castles – Lakes – Falcons – Hiking – Whisky – Afternoon Tea – Jacobite Train – Witches (Halloween) – Unicorns

A road trip through Scotland’s most stunning landscapes and natural wonders coupled with beautiful castles and immersive experiences.

Highlights: Medieval Castle Accommodation | Castle tours | Whisky Distillery Visit | Whisky Pairing Dinner | Edinburgh Castle | Roslyn Chapel | Isle of Skye | Witches and Legends | Lake Boat Tours | Afternoon Tea | Gourmet Meals | Sheep Farm | Female Businesses | Highlands Landscapes | Jacobite Train Over Glenfinnan Viaduct | Hiking | Fairy Pools | Fairy Glenn | Old Man of Storr

Activity level: Moderate, expect to walk 10,000-15,000 steps a day on uneven surfaces and cobblestoned streets and to hike for 1-3 hours per day on a slope in Skye

Single room upgrades in Skye | 14 spots | Photographer onboard

 

Trip Overview

  • 6th to 14th July, 2024 – SOLD OUT
  • 28th September to 6th October, 2024 (Halloween) – 1 SPOT LEFT

Naomi, our local guide

Payment plan

£ 4,995 pp sharing

Max. 14 guests

See inclusions

Book now


Itinerary highlights

Every day will be amazing!

  • Day 1: Arrival and welcome dinner
  • Day 2: Edinburgh food + history + women tour and Roslyn Chapel
  • Day 3: Falconry, Afternoon tea and Whisky tasting dinner
  • Day 4: Kelpies, Stirling Castle and Glenturret Distillery
  • Day 5: Jacobite train over Glenfinnan viaduct, ferry over to Skye, and sheep
  • Day 6: Old Man of Storr, Portree and Fairy Glen
  • Day 7: Fairy Pools and Eilean Donan Castle
  • Day 8: Inveraray Castle, Loch Lomond, Naughty Sheep and Farewell dinner
  • Day 9: Departure

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 : Arrive in Edinburgh

We will start the trip at our castle accommodation with a special welcome drink with canapes at the castle lounge followed by dinner in the dungeons.

During your welcome briefing, you will get to know your travel mates for the week and learn more about the medieval castle we stay at during our time in Edinburgh.

Overnight at Dalhousie Castle 4*

Dalhousie Castle is a classic 12th century castle located outside Edinburgh that will be our home away from the city.

The castle has been perfectly preserved and never served as a defense fortification but was rather designed as a family home.

Each of the rooms are of different sizes, uniquely charming and distinctly decorated, as they were adapted from the castle structure.

They all feature thick velvet curtains, antique furniture, windows facing all four corners of the property and authentic thick carpets.

A stay at Dalhousie will give us an idea of what life in a Scottish castle was like, complete with narrow alleyways, staircases, hidden corridors and high ceilings. This will be an immersive historic castle experience, this is not a modern castle built specifically to be a hotel.

Inclusions: Welcome dinner with wine. Guests need to make their way to the hotel from the airport. Pick up can be organized via the hotel.

 


Day 2 : Edinburgh, Roslyn Chapel and Falconry Demo

Welcome to Edinburgh!

Today is a full day in the city through the eyes of local foods, female owned businesses, and the history the cultural capital of Scotland is known for.

Our local guide Naomi will take us on a half day exploration of passages, alleys and streets as we discover the city and region history.

We will tie it will up with stops at cool food and drink places and visits to small stores owned by women.

Stories, legends and fairy tales will all be weaved through the explanations. We will take refuge from the rain that so often graces the city to try local drinks and foods and chat with female business owners.

You will have free time to visit Edinburgh Castle at the end of the tour before we return to the hotel via Roslyn Chapel.

Roslyn Chapel is a 15th century chapel outside of Edinburgh that we will visit on a guided tour and which has become famous for appearing in Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.

This small but mighty private chapel is intricately decorated leaving no empty space on walls, floors, pillars or ceiling.

After the visit, we will get back to the castle for an evening at leisure. Choose from the bistro or room service, or return to the dungeons.

Overnight at Dalhousie Castle.

Inclusions: Breakfast at the hotel, guided tour of Edinburgh, tickets to Edinburgh Castle, food tour and visit to female owned businesses, Rosslyn Chapel guided tour.


Day 3 : Falconry, Afternoon tea and Whisky tasting dinner

This morning you will have some free time to enjoy the castle, read in the library, relax or book a massage appointment at the spa.

We will meet mid morning for a falconry demo and experience on the castle grounds.

Dalhousie Falconry is a female owned family business with several birds of prey including owls, haws, buzzards, falcons, eagles, and ravens among other, several of whom have appeared in movie and TV productions such as Outlander.

Our demo will start with an introduction to the various birds followed by a demo which will show us how these animals are handled, hunt and fly. We will get to hold, or even pet, some of them, depending on your choice.

We will go to Edinburgh around lunch time for free time to find a snack and do some shopping before we meet for afternoon tea at a hand picked location.

Afternoon tea is a traditional British affair which we will enjoy fully with a tier of sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, a tier of cakes and our choice of afternoon tea.

The tea enjoyed in the afternoon is typically lighter blend to that for breakfast as it is designed to complement, rather than mask the flavor of the meal it accompanies.

After tea, you will have some more free time to explore Edinbugh on your own, find the perfect souvenir or soak it all up.

We will meet in the late afternoon for the Whisky Experience and multi-sensorial journey through the various Scottish whisky producing regions to learn how whisky is made, how it all started and how the different regions taste.

At the end of the experience we will be taken to a room that is filled with the world’s largest collection of whisky bottles some of which date back to the 19th century.

The experience will end with a whisky tasting and there will be free time to purchase from the store which holds a range of whiskys from across Scotland.

Our day will finish with a whisky tasting dinner at a female owned and led restaurant which will pair this famous drink with typical Scottish food.

The dinner menu will complete our whisky knowledge while teaching how to taste this most famous Scottish drink.

Overnight at Dalhousie Castle.

Inclusions: Breakfast at the hotel, falconry demo and experience, transportation to and from the city, afternoon tea and whisky tasting dinner.


Day 4 : Kelpies, Stirling Castle and Glenturret Distillery

We are leaving Edinburgh behind and heading to the Highlands today.

Our first stop will be at the Kelpies statues for a quick photo op and to check out these 30m horse-head sculptures depicting kelpies, a shape-shifting water creature that can appear on land as a horse.

We will continue towards Stirling Castle, one of the largest and most historically and architecturally important castles in Scotland and one that is exactly as you would imagine a fairytale medieval castle to be: on top of a hill and with expansive walls surrounding it.

The castle is on the natural border between the Lowlands and the Highlands and is a great symbol of Scottish independence.

Movies and shows such as Game of Thrones, Outlander and Elizabeth: The Golden Age were filmed at the castle. It is also the site of the famous Battle of Stirling Bridge in Braveheart.

Stirling is known because of the several Scottish Kings and Queens that have been crowned there, including Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1542.

During our visit we will also learn more about the official Scottish animal, the unicorn, which decorates tapestries and walls.

Lunch will be at the castle or en route at a casual pub or eatery.

We will continue to Glenturret Distillery for a guided tour.

Recently acquired by French glass company Lalique, Glenturret remains the oldest working distillery in Scotland opening at the end of the 18th century.

The tour will follow the whisky production from malted barley to aging and will finish with a tasting at the beautiful tasting room.

Look out for the resident cats who have their own entrance ramp to the distillery.

We will continue our road trip towards Glencoe where we will end the day with a stay at our Highlands lodge.

Overnight at Kingshouse Hotel 4*

Kingshouse Hotel is a newly renovated 4* hotel part of a family owned and run Scottish hotel chain and is perfectly located outside Glencoe on our way to Skye.

It is a popular stop for hikers going on hiking trips across Scotland and offers comfortable and spacious rooms with the best views to the streams and mountains around.

In the early morning, hikers prepare their day ahead at the Bunkhouse and pub, but we will stay at the more comfortable hotel section.

Inclusions: Breakfast at the hotel, transportation in mini bus, tickets and guided visit of the Kelpies, entry tickets and guided visit of Stirling Castle, tour of Glenturret distillery and dinner at the hotel.


Day 5 : Jacobite train over Glenfinnan viaduct, ferry over to Skye and sheep skins

Today we will arrive at Isle of Skye. But first, we will take the stunning Jacobite train, made famous by the Harry Potter movies, and ride it all the way to Mallaig over the Glenfinnan Viaduct.

Our train journey will last about 3 hours and start in Fort William, next to Britain’s tallest mountain, Ben Nevis, and ride through beautiful landscapes and along large, deep and unique lochs.

We will arrive in Mallaig where our minibus will meet us. Lunch will be casual, perhaps a fish & chips or a sandwich on the way to catch the ferry and cross over to the Isle of Skye.

The ferry crossing typically takes just over half an hour and will carry us and the minibus. Once on Skye, we will drive to Skyskins to learn more about how sheepskin rugs, clothing and shoes are made.

We will check out the store and find out how real sheepskins are made using time honoured methods of leather making – one of the oldest crafts in the world.

We will end the day at our hotel on Skye with a wonderful dinner in the glass restaurant by the loch.

Overnight at Skeaboast House Hotel 4* (2024) or Bracken Hide 4* (2025)

Skeabost Hotel is part of a local family owned chain of hotels led by the matriarch. Located outside of Portree in front of Loch Snizort and has rooms spread over two sections, the historical house and the garden lodges.

Rooms have been recently renovated with modern amenities and all have windows facing the expansive property. The dinning room steals the show with glass windows and the best views over the surrounding landscapes. Chill in the lounge, read a book or enjoy a drink at the cozy bar.

Bracken Hide is a wilderness lodge located above Portree and with show stopping views over the town and landscapes of Skye.

Cabins are set apart from each other and all feature double beds and full length windows so you can enjoy the views from your bed.

Among the facilities is an Estonian sauna and an outdoor plunge pool to complete the wellness cycle.

Inclusions: Breakfast at the hotel, Jacobite train ride, transportation in a minibus, ferry tickets, visit to Skyeskins and dinner at the hotel.

Skeaboast Hotel 4*

Bracken Hide 4*


Day 6 : Old Man of Storr, Portree and Fairy Glen

Hiking distance: 5km | Hiking time: 3 hours.

Today is the day we finally get to explore the Highlands on foot hiking to some of the most beautiful and famous sites.

We will start the morning driving to the bottom of Old Man of Storr and then getting our hiking boots ready to walk up to the top for the best views.

This is the island’s most famous and popular hike and will take us up and close with the pinnacle referred to as Old Man, the result of the island’s volcanic past.

The views from the top will be stunning and well worth the hike.

We will continue to Portree for a short walking tour followed by free time for shopping and a group lunch at a casual pub or restaurant.

Portree is the largest town and capital of the Isle of Skye and it is famous for its colorful port houses. The town is very tiny but there are a few stores that sell local artisanal items and restaurants where we can enjoy casual food.

We will meet again for our afternoon hike around Fairy Glen, in Uig.

The glen is a Quirang-like landslip in miniature and it is pretty unique and hard to describe.

The landscapes are hilly with the tops covered in grass and grazing sheep, and small ponds in between. It all appears as if it was manmade.

Even though the name indicates there are fairies in the area, there are none, the name has been given for its unusual yet mystical look.

We will return to the hotel for rest, drinks at the bar and group dinner at the hotel’s restaurant.

Overnight at Skeabost House Hotel or Bracken Hide.

Inclusions: Breakfast at the hotel, transportation for the day in minibus, guided hikes to Old Man of Storr and Fairy Glen, lunch in Portree.


Day 7 : Fairy Pools and Eilean Donan Castle

Hiking distance: 3km | Hiking time: 1.5 hours.

We will be leaving Skye behind today but not before a full day of sightseeing.

We will start the morning with a hike to the beginning of the Fairy Pools.

Like with Fairy Glen, there are no fairies here but instead, you’ll find crystal clear waters and a series of waterfalls locals take a dip into.

The pools were the site of one of the more important clan wars at the beginning of the 17th century but today are a quiet area.

The hike starts at the parking lot and goes uphill on a moderate incline on a gravel path that follows the snaking pools.

We will get back in the minibus and head towards the main island via the Skye Candle Company flagship store and bistro for a lunch break.

The Isle of Skye Candles is a local family owned business that takes inspiration from the island’s smells and colors to make beautiful home products.

We will cross over to the main island via the bridge and stop at Eilean Donan Castle for photos before continuing on to our hotel.

Eilean Donan Castle is a 13th century fortification located on its own island, where three sea lochs meet.

Its image is one of the most famous across Scotland and you will immediately recognise it as soon as it comes in view.

We will arrive at the hotel in the late afternoon for a group dinner.

Overnight at Kingshouse Hotel.

Inclusions: Breakfast at the hotel, transportation in our minibus, hike to Fairy Pools, stop at Eilean Donan Castle and dinner at Kinghouse Hotel.


Day 8 : Inveraray Castle, Loch Lomond, Naughty Sheep and Farewell dinner

We will start the day early driving towards Inveraray Castle, one of the prettiest you will ever see, for a visit inside and of the manicured gardens.

Inveraray Castle belongs to the The Duke & Duchess of Argyll and is one of the few castles that you can visit where furniture and decorations remain intact as this was a family home until recently.

A castle has stood on the grounds since the 1400s but the current design is from the beginning of the 18th century and reminiscent of the Loire castles in France.

The fairytale construction is surrounded by beautiful gardens which we will visit as well.

We will tour the castle inside and out before continuing towards Loch Lomond for a boat tour.

We will get to the pier at Luss and jump on our private boat for a tour of the largest lake in Scotland located at the delimitation between the lowlands and the highlands.

Loch Lomond is a picturesque and beautiful lake considered part of the Trossachs National Park and is surrounded by land belonging to several Scottish Clans.

After the cruise, we will return to Luss, a quaint stone village, and perhaps buy a snack at a cafe to entertain hungry pangs until we reach our next stop: afternoon tea with naughty sheep from a farm nearby.

We will get up and close with local sheep at a nearby farm that offers sweet treats in the company of affectionate and charming goats.

Our afternoon tea experience will be the end of our time in the Highlands, as we will make our way back to Edinburgh for one last meal.

Back at Dalhousie Castle, we will enjoy a farewell dinner at the Chapel as we remember the highlights of the week.

Inclusions: Breakfast at the hotel, entry tickets and visit of Inveraray Castle, Loch Lomond boat tour, Naughty sheep afternoon tea and farewell dinner with wine.


About Your Host, Naomi

Naomi has always been interested in travel and culture since a young age. She grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland but was given a taste of the importance of art, language, food and the history of countries by her French mother.

Naomi studied Art History and languages (French and Spanish) at Glasgow University and used this knowledge to work as a guide in several locations in Europe.

After a stint in teaching, Naomi channeled her passion for her home country by taking visitors around beautiful Scotland both in English and French. She adores making history come alive in the evocative Scottish countryside and towns, and enjoys nature, sea swims and above all, a good feed and whisky after a day out visiting castles, museums or in the great outdoors.

Naomi loves to meet new people and hear stories as much as she enjoys telling them.

Bonus: Our July 2024 trip will be accompanied by our Co-Founder Mar Pages.


Inclusions

✔️ 6 Nights in shared twin accommodation in 4* hotels and 2 in single cabins. Or upgrade to have your own room for the whole trip

✔️ All activities and entry tickets as mentioned in the itinerary

✔️ Daily Breakfast, 4 Lunches and 6 Dinners

✔️ Water during included meals. Wine at the welcome and farewell dinners

✔️ Transportation to and between activities on a minibus as listed in the itinerary

✔️ Female guide and local female hosts at every activity except for the boat tour

Exclusions

✘ Optional activities not included in the program that you book yourself

✘ Meals not listed (1 dinner, 4 lunches)

✘ Transportation from and to the airport in Edinburgh. Taxis cost 30-50 GBP

✘ Visa, if required, we can provide invitation letters

✘ Travel & Medical Insurance (Required)

✘ Spa treatments or other items of personal nature

✘ Tips for the Guide (at your discretion)

Payment Info

Prices per person in Sterling pounds start at:

£ 4,995

Payment Plan:

30% deposit to secure your spot (non refundable*)

Final balance due 90 days before departure

*The initial 30% is refundable if the minimum number of guests is not reached. By joining our trips you agree to our T&C.

The Solo Female Travelers difference – What makes us unique

All our tours follow the same values and philosophy that makes us who we are which you can find here. Our Scotland trip is mostly female powered and we support several businesses owned by women, although not all because there aren’t any suitable options for luxury hotels in Edinburgh, distilleries and boat companies on Loch Lomond.

We will support several small female owned businesses both in Edinburgh as well as in the Highlands, from stores in the city, to sheep farms, restaurants and the hotel on Skye.


Book NOW

Interested in joining us in Scotland? We are keeping the group to 14 guests maximum so don’t wait up. Select your package below and click the Book button or pick a time to book a video call with us and get all your questions answered. Note: Please do not book any flights until the trip is confirmed.

Credit card payments carry a 3% surcharge. Wire transfer details are available via email: [email protected].

IMPORTANT: Due to the nature of the trip and the many traditional gastronomic experiences, we are unable to accommodate severe food allergies or vegan diets. If you are unsure, please reach out before booking.

6th to 14th July, 2024 (Photographer
onboard)
– Confirmed

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28th September to 6th October, 2024 (Halloween) – Confirmed

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Have questions? Pick a convenient time and date below to talk to us live, we’d love to meet you!


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Frequently Asked Questions

This is a trip of a lifetime and we know there are many things you’d like to know more about.

What are the COVID measures in Scotland and how will you ensure everyone is safe?


We care deeply about the wellbeing of our guests and our trip follows all local regulations. We require guests who develop a cough or cold-like symptoms to use a mask and separate themselves from the rest of the guests. COVID testing is not mandatory though it will be encouraged.

What if I cannot travel because of COVID restrictions?

Payments are not refundable if the trip goes ahead. This is why we require all guests to purchase travel insurance that covers unforeseen circumstances that would prevent them from traveling.

In the event that the trip needs to be postponed for reasons beyond our control such as a global pandemic or COVID after the the 30% deposit is due, any payments made will be put towards a similar trip in the future.

We recommend checking with an aggregator such as Travel Insurance Master to compare quotes and coverage.

Do I need a visa for the UK?

Most travelers do not need a visa for the UK. In cases where a visa is required it will be issued by the British embassy in your country of origin. We can provide documentation to process the visa. It is your responsibility to confirm your visa requirements.

What is included in the trip?

All inclusions and exclusions are detailed in the section above. This trip includes 8 breakfasts, 7 gourmet dinners and 3 lunches. Our included meals are gastronomic experiences and previous guests have told us they preferred to have 1 not included meal a day to leave space for the included gourmet meal.

Can I have a room to myself?

All costs above are considered on a sharing basis with two guests per room in twin bedding; we will pair you with another solo female traveler on the trip. If you wish to have your own room, a single supplement applies.

Can special dietary requirements be accommodated?


Because of the nature of the trip and the many foodie experiences that are shared and involve dairy, eggs or meat it is not possible for us to adapt the tour to suit veganism.

If you suffer from a severe allergy, please reach out to us to discuss before booking. We are unable to accommodate severe allergies.

I want to bring my partner to the trip

This is a female-only small group trip specifically designed for women traveling on their own. If you wish to travel with a female friend, partner, family member, etc. they are absolutely welcome, however we are not able to book male travelers on this trip.

I want to bring my daughter

How wonderful! If your daughter is above the age of 16, we will be glad to have her with us.

Will the guides be female?

Yes, this trip will be hosted by Naomi, our local Blue Badge certified Scottish guide. We have engaged the services of female guides on all the other activities.

What should I pack for this adventure?

The weather in Scotland is unpredictable but rain is guaranteed, year round. Even in the summer, temperatures are never hot and warm clothes are essential, especially in the Highlands. Bring waterproof jackets, and shoes to avoid being damp and cold. Hiking shoes are recommended for Skye.

What happens if I get sick?

The prospect of getting sick while alone in a foreign country is daunting, and this is why we require all our guests have comprehensive travel and medical insurance that includes international evacuation. Should you fall sick, we will escort you to the nearest medical facility so you can get the help you need.

What travel and medical insurance should I get?

While the cost of medical healthcare in the UK is affordable, travel and medical insurance is mandatory to come on our trips and we recommend you get the most comprehensive coverage that includes international evacuation. We recommend checking with an aggregator such as Travel Insurance Master to compare quotes and coverages.

Can I make various instalments for this trip?

Our payment plan includes 2 instalments: a 30% payment to secure your spot, and the remaining 70% payment 90 days before the trip. You can make any partial payment until the 70% is due.

Can I pay by credit card?

Yes payments can be made by credit card (additional fee of 3%) or by wire transfer.