Tours of Scotland – two castles and a distillery

Tours of Scotland – two castles and a distillery

Looking for things to do in Edinburgh ? How about taking a tour from Edinburgh of two amazing castles and a whisky distillery ?

Two ancient Scottish castles and a distillery feature in this tour –

  •  Stirling Castle
  • Doune Castle
  • Deanston Highland Malt Distillery
  • Callander
  • Balquhidder Church

Doune Castle featured in Monty Python and the Holy Grail , Game of Thrones and the Outlander TV series.

Stirling Castle is one of Scotland’s most impressive castles due to its imposing position and amazing architecture.

Deanston Distillery makes award-winning Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky. The Standard Tour finishes off with a tasting of Deanston 12 year old whisky .

Toll free number 1-866-233-2644

Phone 07305-294773 for bookings or contact us  online . Shore excursions – all of our tours are available as shore excursions from the Edinburgh ports South Queensferry, Newhaven and Rosyth .

11 Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle is one of Scotland’s most impressive castles due to its imposing position and impressive architecture. Visitors to the castle can enjoy stunning 360 degree views of the Forth Valley and the Wallace Monument . Your ticket into the castle includes a dedicated castle guide (tours leave in the castle at regular times and are provided directly by the castle).

Stirling castle tours

From Stirling Castle’s ramparts, visitors can take in views of the Forth Valley and Ben Lomond , as well as two of Scotland’s most important battle sites – Stirling Bridge (1297) and Bannockburn (1314). The castle is at the head of Stirling’s historic old town.Like Edinburgh Castle , Stirling sits on a volcanic rock dominating the city skyline .

stirling castle tours

Stirling Castle is not only one of Scotland’s grandest and most imposing castles, it was also a real favourite with Scotland’s kings and queens. And their investment in it demonstrated just how much they loved to use it, as well as their desire to ensure it both impressed all who visited it, and represented a statement of their power and wealth. James IV created the Great Hall, the largest medieval banqueting hall ever built in Scotland, and James V’s Royal Palace, with its lavishly decorated Renaissance façades, was a masterpiece of the period.

Major conservation work has been carried out at Stirling Castle over many years to preserve the attraction as a major national and international monument. The refurbishment of the Great Hall was completed a couple of years ago . A particular feature of the Great Hall is stained glass windows featuring clan crests . A number of banquets and concerts are held in the Hall throughout the year .

Phone 07305-294773 for bookings or contact us  online .

Duration: 1 hour

12.20 Doune Castle

Doune has appeared several times on screen and was widely used in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It also represented the castle Winterfell in Game of Thrones.

Your guide will give details of the history of the castle , information about the Game of Thrones filming plus all the other films made at Doune Castle including Monty Python and the Holy Grail .

Behind the scenes access

Visitors to the castle can get details about Game of Thrones filming in the Great Hall and courtyard of the castle .

Insider access

Take the audio tour of the castle narrated by Monty Python’s Terry Jones and Outlander’s Jamie Fraser ( Sam Heughan ) .

Game of Thrones t-shirts

Originally dating to the 13th Century, Doune Castle near Stirling plays Castle Leoch, home to Colum MacKenzie and his clan in Outlander TV series .

It also features in the 20th century episode when Claire and Frank Randall visit the castle on a day trip.

Once a Royal residence, Doune Castle was rebuilt by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany in the late 14th Century.

 

Phone 07305-294773 for bookings or contact us  online .

Duration: 45 minutes

1.20 Callander , 

the old gateway to the Highlands and explore the streets, this is also a great place to pick up a snack or lunch.

Duration: 30 minutes

2.30  Balquhidder Church Ruins, 

the old church remains of Balquhidder and the resting place of one of Scotlands greatest folk legends, the outlaw Rob Roy MacGregor. 

Duration:  30 minutes

3.45  Deanston Distillery

In 1974 Deanston produced the very first bottle of Deanston Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

The standard tour at Deanston costs £9 per person ( not included on tour price )

Each tour warmly welcomes you into the heart of the distillery, where Deanston makes award-winning Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky. Here you will see a traditional open top mash tun, gleaming copper stills and a must-see vaulted maturation Warehouse 2B. Join the experienced tour guides on a journey through time, taking you back to the past as a cotton mill and through the evolution of Deanston Distillery . The Standard Tour finishes off with a tasting of Deanston 12 year old whisky .

Guided tour of the distillery Includes a tasting of Deanston 12 year old , £5 voucher towards the purchase of any bottle of Deanston 70cl single malt whisky in the distillery shop Duration: 50 minutes

Every drop of Highland Single Malt is a marriage of the finest local ingredients and the skill of the craft to create the wonderful, fresh, honeyed sweetness that Deanston is known for. The Distillery has a commitment to using a traditional, hand crafted approach to our whisky embodies the honesty of our community. Our adherence to traditional methods combined with the skills and experience of our distillery team makes Deanston the unique single malt it is today.

Phone 07305-294773 for bookings or contact us  online .

Duration: 1 hour 

Private Tour –  price £300 for groups of up to 4 people.

Shore excursions – all of our tours are available as shore excursions from the Edinburgh ports South Queensferry, Newhaven and Rosyth . Private tours Edinburgh phone 0131-549-9785

Seven unique experiences you can only have in Scotland

As far as underrated holiday destinations go, Scotland is on the list. It’s known around the world for its whisky, tartan and bagpipes but often overlooked by British travellers who opt for the sun-kissed sands of Spain or otherworldly scenery of Iceland.

Thankfully, we’re here to show you just how wonderful this UK beauty spot really is by bringing you the amazing things and unique experiences you can only have in Scotland…

1. Take a tour of the Outlander film locations

Unique Outlander tour

– see Lallybroch , ancestral home of Jamie Fraser ( Midhope Castle)

– hear Jamie Fraser guide you around Castle Leoch ( Doune Castle )

Outlander has been filmed exclusively in Scotland and there are a growing number of film locations. Number one on the list has got to be Lallybroch ( Midhope Castle ) , ancestral home of Jamie Fraser .  Design your own Outlander tour – phone 0131 549 9785 for more details or contact us online . Take the Jamie Fraser Outlander tour to visit Lallybroch, Fort William and Wentworth Prison  . Tours are run daily and prices start at just £150 per tour .

2. Take a tour of the Highlands

The scenery of the Highlands is amazing and a must see for any visitor to Scotland . Our Highlands tour features a visit to Glencoe, Buachaille Etive Mor, Black Mount and Rannoch Moor. This private tour of the Highlands features a drive through the beautiful scenery of Loch Lomond National park , passing Loch Lubhair and Loch Lubnaig and going through Crianlarich and Tyndrum .Phone 0131 549 9785 for more details or contact us online . Tours are run daily and prices start at just £250 per tour .

Scotland tours , Eilean Donan Castle, the Highlands , Scotland ,
Scotland tours , Eilean Donan Castle, the Highlands , Scotland , The castle sits on an island in the middle of three lochs

3. Ride the Glenfinnan Viaduct like Harry Potter

Florida and Hertfordshire have the fancy studio tours and rides but Scotland has the real-life Hogwarts Express in the form of the Jacobite Steam Train, one of the greatest railway journeys in the world. 

The train, which you can experience during a four-day tour this summer, runs from Fort William to Mallaig, crossing the 21-arched Glenfinnan Viaduct and running through rugged mountains and past stunning lochs.

4. Land on the beach at Barra

The world’s only scheduled beach landing is located right here on this Outer Hebrides island, where you’ll get to tick an incredible flight landing off your bucket list. You’ll land between tides on the beautifully white, sandy beach Traigh Mhor, a runway like no other.

When a take-off or landing isn’t expected, you can stroll this unique airport runway to admire Barra’s Caribbean-esque sands – but be sure to check that the airport sock isn’t flying as this is when public access isn’t permitted.

3. Meet Highland cows

These icons of Scotland are cute, photogenic and very hairy. Highland cows, or coos, are often seen lazing and grazing all over the country. 

You’ll spot them in picturesque locations like the Cairngorms National Park, Stirling Castle or during a rail trip through the Highlands. On our Highlands tour we stop outside Callendar to see a couple of huge Highland cows.

4. Spot marine life on the UK’s first whale trail

Scotland’s newly launched Hebridean Whale Trail is a must for wildlife fans, with its 30 unique sites across the west coast where you can look out across the sea and watch for whales and dolphins.

The wildlife spotting trail includes lighthouses in the Isle of Lewis, Isle of Scalpay and the mainland, as well as beaches in the Highlands, the Isle of Harris and Ullapool.

5. Take off from the water with the UK’s only seaplane airline

Now this is one way to see Scotland! Seaplanes might be common in the Maldives but you don’t have to venture to the Indian Ocean to experience one for yourself, as there’s a seaplane airline operating in Loch Lomond.

Loch Lomond Seaplanes will pick you up from the shores of the loch for a tour of the breathtaking national park as you take in the famous mountains, glens and lochs.

Tours of Scotland – Seven unique experiences you can only have in Scotland .  Phone 0131 549 9785 for more details or contact us online . Tours are run daily and prices start at just £150 per tour .

Private tours Edinburgh phone 0131-549-9785

Sam Heughan shares about his early years before Outlander

Sam Heughan ( Jamie Fraser ) shares about his early years before Outlander

“When I was a child I was lucky to get taken to a lot of live shows by my parents, then I moved to Edinburgh as a young teenager. They had a free ticket scheme for previews at the Lyceum Theatre and we would regularly attend. It was a great insight into the acting world as sometimes things would go wrong and you’d see “behind the curtain” many a time – it made me realise there was a whole world of people working behind the scenes and all the hard work that goes into a single production.”

Jamie Fraser Outlander tours

Sam had a few jobs before his acting career took off –   “I applied to go to university to study film and English. I knew I was interested but didn’t know how to get into the industry. After taking two years out I finally applied for drama school. During that time (and in fact more as a “jobbing actor” I’ve done a whole variety of things: Bar/cafe work, an usher at the theatre, reception work, worked at Harrods, delivered sandwiches by bicycle in winter, temp at NHS and most proudly I served whisky at a sushi bar. ”

Private tours Edinburgh – unique tours of Scotland 7 days a week – phone 0131-549-9785

Mary Queen of Scots film day tour

Mary Queen of Scots film day tours

Our tour features a visit to the key places in the life of Mary Queen of Scots including Linlithgow Palace and Stirling Castle plus a visit to Blackness Castle, one of the locations used in the film . The new Mary Queen of Scots film features Oscar Nominee Saoirse Ronan performs the role of the ambitious Mary, whose attempts to reclaim the throne of Scotland incurs the wrath of the maniacal virgin queen, Elizabeth I, played by Margot Robbie.

Linlithgow Palace

Linlithgow Palace is where Mary was born in 1542.

Linlithgow Palace tours

Next to the Palace is the medieval St Michael’s Parish Church where Mary was baptised . A new bronze statue of Mary has been erected next to the church .

Linlithgow Palace featured as Wentworth Prison in Outlander.
This royal pleasure palace and birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots

Stirling Castle is where Mary was brought to be crowned as an infant.

This was her home until she was 5 years old. The castle features the Royal Palace , rose gardens and Royal Apartments. In the castle Mary saw the baptism of her son, James VI . Sadly this is also the place where she sees him for the last time.

Loch Leven

Loch Leven recalls one of the more sombre periods in Mary’s life. Loch Leven Castle is where Mary was imprisoned for nearly a year, suffered a miscarriage and was forced to abdicate in favour of her son James. She eventually escaped with the help of George Douglas but went on to suffer defeat at The Battle of Langside, and on to imprisonment in England. The tour visits Loch Leven to see the location of Loch Leven Castle on an island . A trip to the castle is not included .

falkland palace

Falkland Palace, the favourite retreat of the Stewarts. Mary is thought to have enjoyed some of her happiest days here, enjoying hunting and hawking and playing tennis on the world’s oldest tennis court. On a more haunting note, it is here that her father James V was said to utter the prophecy of The Stewart Dynasty “It cam’ wi’ a lass and it’ll gang wi’ a lass” and you can also see a copy of her death mask.

Blackness Castle

Blackness Castle was used as a location in number of scenes in the film. The castle tower features in a few scenes .

 

Nine key dates in the life of Mary Queen of Scots

  1. Born 8 December 1542 in Linlithgow Palace.
  2. Crowned Queen of Scots in the Chapel Royal, Stirling Castle, aged just nine months.
  3. Smuggled to France aged five, where she lived until she was 18.
  4. Gave birth to her only child in Edinburgh Castle. He would rise to become James VI of Scotland and I of England.
  5. Some believe she arranged to have her second husband, Lord Darnley, assassinated.
  6. Married for a third time to Lord Bothwell – some believe he abducted her against her will.
  7. Imprisoned for almost a year in Lochleven Castle in Kinross before managing to escape.
  8. Last hours in Scotland were spent in Dundrennan Abbey in Dumfries & Galloway before journeying to England to seek protection from her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I.
  9. Confined in England for 18 years before Elizabeth sanctioned her death warrant and she was beheaded. She died 8 February 1587 in Fotheringhay Castle.

The new Mary Queen of Scots film features Oscar Nominee Saoirse Ronan performs the role of the ambitious Mary, whose attempts to reclaim the throne of Scotland incurs the wrath of the maniacal virgin queen, Elizabeth I, played by Margot Robbie. Former Dr Who David Tennant also features in the film as John Knox . Much of the filming for the £180 million project has taken place in Edinburgh, 20 miles from the queen’s birthplace in Linlithgow, with scenes also shot in Glencoe, Blackness Castle , Oxford and Derbyshire. The film also features a digital recreation of Linlithgow Palace ,  birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots.

Mary Queen of Scots film day tours . Tour price £250 . Phone 07305-294773 or book online .

 

Jamie feels the Outlander effect

OUTLANDER star Sam Heughan has been making it big since he shot to fame in the hit sci-fi drama.

The Scots heartthrob’s fortune has soared thanks to the global success of the show. Visit Lallybroch , Jamie Fraser’s home , on our Outlander tours . Phone 07305-294773 for details .

midhope castle, Outlander tours
Lallybroch is Jamie Fraser’s ancestral home

The ‘Outlander’ effect has been credited with boosting Scotland’s economy as the number of visitors to historic sites topped five million for the first time in 2017 with fans flocking to see filming locations for the show.

And it seems its popularity has also boosted Heughan’s bank balance after his company posted an impressive set of results.


E


Accounts filed for his firm Cairn Mor Creative show it had total shareholder funds of £1.3 million .

 

blackness castle, outlander tours
Blackness Castle is Fort William in Outlander

Heughan, 38, set up the company, which is based in Surrey, in April, 2015, after he finished filming the first season of Outlander.

The Scots star plays Highlander Jamie Fraser in the hit show – which is currently airing its fourth season.Last month, fans celebrated the show’s 50th episode as the stars thanked fans for their support.



 

 

 

 

 

 

Visit Lallybroch , Jamie Fraser’s home , on our Outlander tours . Phone 07305-294773 for details .

 

We previously told how Sam sent support to she headed to the Golden Globes last week.

And Sam celebrated with as it won big at the RadioTimes Readers Awards in December.

Outlander star Sam Heughan reveals he DID audition for James Bond before Daniel Craig landed the role