Things To Include In Scotland

In this section, you will find a suggestive list for things to Include in Scotland on a Brack Tours tour package. 

We hope you become inspired by the types of accommodation and attractions that we have listed for you on this page. 

Also if you have any ideas or if something isn’t included on this list don’t worry as everything is only suggestive. We will plan and cater the package specifically to your requirements while taking into consideration the interests/desires of your group.

Accommodation...

*Click on the below sections to view different accommodations we have used for past Scotland tour packages*

The Scottish Highlands, wild and rugged, have a timeless romantic quality. At their very heart, where the River Tummel flows to the Tay, sits the historic town of Pitlochry. The Atholl Palace Hotel, the epitome of Scottish Baronial splendour, stands overlooking wooded parkland grounds and the town to the surrounding hills. Originally opened as the Athole Hydropathic in 1878, the hotel retains many traditional features, with bedroom facilities and standards which often exceed expectations and complement spacious, relaxing public areas. The Atholl Palace is now so much more than a hotel – it is a destination for day visitors as well as guests. You can easily spend a day exploring the gardens, discovering our museum and enjoying a bar lunch or afternoon tea in the lounge, not to mention being pampered in the Spa.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

Apex Hotels is a family-owned collection of ten hotels in London, Bath, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee – some of the UK’s most popular cities. Each contemporary hotel has an individual character just like the different members of any family. But whichever Apex you choose to stay at, you’ll experience an authentic, warm welcome tailored for you.

Each Apex Hotel is centrally-located in the heart of the city. Stylish, spacious contemporary bedrooms, restaurants and bars, and impressive event spaces and spa facilities make our hotels the perfect base for your business, leisure or family-friendly stays.

The present house was built in the 1720s, to the design of William Adam, for George Dalrymple, youngest son of the Earl of Stair. It was then acquired by the Douglas family in 1760 and the Estate on which the house stands is still owned today by a direct descendant of the family, the 22nd Earl of Morton.

In more recent times, Dalmahoy first opened as a Country Club in 1976, with 10 bedrooms. It has since been developed extensively in close collaboration with historic building advisors and effortlessly blends the traditions of a baronial manor house with contemporary amenities. There are now 215 rooms & suites, state of the art meeting facilities, two restaurants & bars, a luxurious leisure club with indoor swimming pool, two 18-Hole golf courses and much more – all set amidst 1,000 acres of beautiful parkland near Edinburgh.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

A little luxury in the heart of Scotland. Stay at DoubleTree by Hilton Dunblane Hydro, set in ten acres of private landscaped grounds in the beautiful Perthshire countryside.

Set in a stunning location with breathtaking views, this elegant Victorian-style hotel is under 45 minutes’ drive from Glasgow and Edinburgh and just a stone’s throw from historic Stirling. Indulge in signature dishes designed by our Michelin star-winning chef at The Kailyard by Nick Nairn restaurant. Relax over after-dinner cocktails or a nightcap in one of the bars/lounges. Recharge with a full Scottish breakfast and enjoy a refreshing swim in the LivingWell Health Club.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Silver

A much-loved icon in the city, the hotel has undergone a £20 million refurbishment transforming it into one of Glasgow’s most stylish, conference, training, wedding, banqueting and short break destinations and once again takes its place as Glasgow’s leading four-star hotel.

Whether you’re looking for an inspirational conference, meeting or training venue, a spectacular banqueting suite for your next event, planning a fabulous wedding, looking to indulge in a glass of bubbles in Champagne Central, or simply enjoy a relaxing break, The Grand Central Hotel is the first choice 4 star hotel in Glasgow.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Silver

Blending perfectly into the historic surroundings of the Royal Mile, Hilton Edinburgh Carlton is an iconic element of the city. The building dates back to 1900s and is part of the impressive North Bridge which links Edinburgh’s Old and New town together, giving you easy access to countless shopping, dining and entertainment. Once one of Edinburgh’s top department stores, the building was fully refurbished in 2016 to bring the décor back to its stylish best.

Good to know

  • City centre location, close to main shopping streets and attractions
  • 211 rooms and suites, all with complimentary WiFi access
  • 7 event rooms including a ballroom with city views for 300 guests
  • Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Restaurant and a lounge area
  • Executive Lounge with complimentary breakfast and refreshments
  • Modern fitness room

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Awaiting Grading

For the very best in comfort, style and first-rate facilities, Jurys Inn is the perfect choice. Located in the most vibrant towns and cities across the UK, Ireland and the Czech Republic, these hotels are each hand-picked for their prime position close to the country’s top attractions, amenities and transport hubs.

Whether you’re visiting friends, celebrating a birthday or taking a business trip, our unique hotels are near the best cultural sites, shopping districts and business centres in the UK, Ireland and the Czech Republic. So no matter how long you’re staying, your trip away will be unbeatable.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Bronze – Gold (Scotland & Ireland)

The Kingsmills Hotel is a fabulous four-star luxury hotel in Inverness. Set in the beautiful Scottish Highlands, offering a variety of extremely luxurious rooms, impeccable dining options and good old-fashioned Scottish hospitality to all their guests.

Inverness has long been considered the historic capital of the Scottish Highlands. It is a city steeped in history, charm and tradition. Beneath a wide arc of beautiful sky, the Scottish Highlands encompass snow-capped mountains, rolling hills, secluded valleys and rugged expanses of coastline. For centuries the area has been home to thriving businesses, isolated fortresses and award-winning whisky distilleries. With so much to see and do in and around Inverness, filling your days in this hauntingly beautiful part of the British Isles couldn’t be easier.

The Lovat stands on the site of Kilwhimen Barracks, one of four built in 1718.  The west curtain wall of the old fort, 34 metres long by 4 metres high in some places, still stands in the hotel grounds and the monument is of national importance as the remains of one of the four Hanoverian forts built to pacify the highlanders after the 1715 and 1719 Jacobite uprisings.

The Lovat is the only 4 star, 3 rosette hotel in Loch Ness. This award-winning eco-conscious hotel is a beautiful Victorian building located in the loch-side village of Fort Augustus, in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. We offer excellent accommodation and unforgettable Loch Ness views.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

North West Castle offers all of its visitors and guests a comfortable, luxurious and convenient three-star town centre hotel accommodation experience in Stranraer, Dumfries and Galloway in the South West of Scotland.  A family owned and run hotel for more than fifty years, ‘The Castle’ itself, was formerly the home of Sir John Ross, who was once a famous Arctic explorer, who was instrumental in the discovery of the ice-bound trading route which is now known around the world as the ‘North West Passage’.

North West Castle is seen as an excellent base for exploring the beautiful local area of South West Dumfries and Galloway and the hotel itself offers an impressive 72 en-suite bedrooms, along with stunning dining experiences of ‘The Regency’ dining room, The Alpine Restaurant and Grill, leisure facilities including swimming pool, sauna, spa bath, gym and its very own indoor curling rink which hosts a multitude of world-renowned Curling events throughout the year.

AND SO MUCH MORE....

*We use a variety of properties found throughout Scotland and we hand-pick accommodations based on your needs*

Attractions & Sightseeing...

*Click on the below sections to learn more about different attractions we have used for past Scotland tour packages*

For almost 400 years Arbroath Abbey was one of the grandest monasteries in Scotland. Founded in 1178 by King William I, ‘the Lion’, in memory of the martyr Thomas Becket, the abbey is famous in history for its association with the Declaration of Arbroath, in which Scotland’s nobles swore their independence from England.

The visitor centre tells the story of the abbey and a new display relates how the Stone of Destiny came to the abbey in 1951. New interpretation panels also explore potential links between the Declaration of Arbroath and the American Declaration of Independence.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

Prepare for battle! 700 years after the Battle of Bannockburn, the new Battle of Bannockburn experience puts you right at the heart of the action.

Harnessing state-of-the-art 3D technology, visitors can experience medieval combat like never before to learn about this crucial event in Scottish history.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Silver

Incorporated within Ben Nevis Distillery is The Legend of the Dew of Ben Nevis Visitor Centre, built into an old warehouse dating from 1862 and former bottling hall, which still retains some of its original features. You will encounter the mythical giant Hector McDram who will reveal the Legend of the Dew of Ben Nevis in a specially commissioned audio visual presentation.After your experience with Hector, a conducted tour of the production areas by a trained guide concludes with a complementary ‘tasting’.

After your tour around our distillery why not relax with a refreshment or if you are hungry, try some of our delicious home cooking in our coffee shop and restaurant. It will be an unforgetable treat.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Silver

Discover Blair Castle, the ancient seat of the Dukes and Earls of Atholl and home to Europe’s last remaining private army, the Atholl Highlanders

Blair Castle is nestled in the dramatic landscape of Highland Perthshire and is set at the heart of Atholl Estates, a 145,000 acre estate. More than 30 rooms are on display, full of Scottish cultural history, architectural design, period furnishings, family portraits, landscape paintings and a colourful military past. Highlights include the Victorian Ballroom which is decorated with 175 pairs of antlers, the Entrance Hall which features weapons used at the Battle of Culloden, the classic Georgian styling of the Picture Staircase and the granduer of the Drawing Room and State Dining Room.

The story told here will take you from a visit by Mary Queen of Scots to the Civil War and from the Jacobite cause to the disaster of Culloden following Bonnie Prince Charlie’s own stay in the castle. You’ll hear how the lucky inheritance of a smuggler-infested island helped turn the castle into a comfortable home and how a visit from Queen Victoria led to the creation of Europe’s only surviving private army, the Atholl Highlanders.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

Re-modelled Museum galleries bring the history of the game to life. Our shop will now stock Official Open merchandise year round, alongside a selection of gifts for golfers and non-golfers alike. Visit the new Café for the best views and scones in town!

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Silver

With its moat, twin towered gatehouse and imposing battlements, Caerlaverock Castle is the epitome of the medieval stronghold.The castle’s turbulent history owes much to its proximity to England which brought it into border conflicts.Visitors can enjoy a siege warfare exhibition, a children’s play area and a nature trail. The shop and cafe are open throughout the year (the cafe has restricted hours in winter).

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

Visit the powerfully moving site of the final Jacobite Rising – the last and most harrowing pitched battle to be fought on British soil. Explore the interactive visitor centre, view fascinating artefacts from both sides of the confrontation, and experience the battle in our immersive surround cinema.

The dramatic and evocative ruined cliff top fortress of Dunnottar Castle was the home of the Earls Marischal, once one of the most powerful families in the land. William Wallace, Mary Queen of Scots, the Marquis of Montrose and the future King Charles II have graced the Castle with their presence. Most famously though, it was at Dunnottar Castle that a small garrison held out against the might of Cromwell’s army for eight months and saved the Scottish Crown Jewels, the ‘Honours of Scotland’, from destruction. Visit Dunnottar Castle for an unforgettable experience and discover the importance of Dunnottar – an impregnable fortress that holds many rich secrets of Scotland’s colourful past.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

A mighty fortress, the defender of the nation and a world-famous visitor attraction –Edinburgh Castle has dominated the skyline for centuries.

The castle’s powerful stone walls have endured many sieges and its sumptuous apartments were an important residence of Scottish kings and queens. Today it is home to Scotland’s crown jewels, three military museums, the National War Memorial, the Prisons of War exhibition and much more besides.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

Enjoy some peace among the magnificent ruins of this sacred place, which dates to the 1200s. Admire the glorious west front, the sumptuous decorations and the atmospheric chapter house. There are spectacular views from the towers. New for 2016 – the cathedral’s carved stones form a new exhibition in the cathedral towers.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

The Falkirk Wheel is one of Scotland’s leading visitor attractions and the world’s only rotating boat lift. On site, activities include a boat trip through the Wheel, gift shop, café, audio handset tours, basin walking trail, sculpture trail, children’s play park and picnic tables.The Wheel acts as a gateway to Scotland’s 220km canal network which is a unique industrial heritage asset and an important wildlife habitat. It was designed to solve the problem of the linking the Forth & Clyde and Union Canals, once connected via a set of 11 locks. The sustainable design of the Wheel ensures minimal water use and each rotation only requires the equivalent electricity of boiling 6 household kettles. All waste generated on site, both from visitors and staff, is segregated and reused or recycled where possible.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

The most complete medieval cathedral on the Scottish mainland is still a working church with an active congregation. From its magnificent nave and choir to the atmospheric crypt of St Mungo, who was supposedly buried here in AD 614, Glasgow Cathedral is full of intriguing features.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

Nestling into the landscape at the foot of the glen is the award-winning eco-friendly Visitor Centre. Including exhibition, viewing platform, cafe, shop and ranger information point. The Ranger service has a varied events programme with guided walks, Landrover safaris and childrens events.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

Steeped in history, Glenkinchie Distillery is the home of ‘The Edinburgh Malt’. Nestled among the rolling farmlands of East Lothian, just 30 minutes from Edinburgh, Glenkinchie is one of the few remaining Lowland Distilleries in production and perfectly located for a visit.

Your visit begins in our unique exhibition on the original Malting Floors, home to the renowned model distillery. You will then be met by your guide and led through the distillery production area, learning how we make our ‘water of life’. To finish your tour, you are welcomed into our bar for a dram or two.

Visiting us from Edinburgh has never been easier – we operate a luxury shuttle service from the City Centre direct to the distillery where you can enjoy your tour and tasting before your journey back.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Bronze

Here at the Highland Folk Museum we give our visitors a flavour of how Highland people lived and worked from the 1700s up until the 1960s! We do this by displaying over 30 historical buildings and furnishing them appropriate to their time period.  Some have been built from scratch on site and some have been moved here from other locations.

Our site is a mile long with our 1700s Township (featuring 6 houses) at one end through to our 1930s working croft at the other.We have an cafe, gift shop and a fantastic children’s playground. We are located at Newtonmore in the Scottish Highlands amidst some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

Take a scenic boat trip across Scotland’s only lake to this peaceful, wooded island sanctuary with a medieval priory at its heart. Founded around 1238, the priory was home to Augustinian canons for more than 300 years. It was visited by Robert the Bruce and Mary Queen of Scots.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

This royal pleasure palace was the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots. You can see the elaborate, restored fountain in action every Sunday in July and August. The high towers look down over the palace’s grounds – the Peel – and Linlithgow Loch, an important refuge for wildlife.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

With thousands of colourful annual bedding plants making up the elaborate re-creations of parterre designs from the 17th century , Pitmedden is a great source of inspiration for keen gardeners. Fountains, topiary, sundials, 184 varieties of apple and fascinating herb garden add to the sense of discovery around the walled garden.The adjoining Museum of Farming Life brings the agricultural past to life. Woodland walks and wildlife garden.
Garden, museum, shop, tearoom and picnic area open 1st of May to 30th of September. Woodland walks open all year round.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

Robert Burns is Scotland’s National Bard and his poetry and songs are known and loved the world over. But who was he and what made him tick? The best place to get close to Burns and his genius is his birthplace in the beautiful village of Alloway. Our flagship museum starts a journey that weaves through the village, taking you from historical buildings to landmarks known to Burns.

Whether you’re a die-hard Burnsian or brand new to the bard, a day immersing yourself here will open your eyes and ears to an enduring hero of Scotland’s literary heritage.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

Founded in 1446, as the Collegiate Church of St Matthew, Rosslyn Chapel today attracts visitors from far and wide, drawn by its unique and mysterious carvings and the beauty of its setting. Today, there are countless theories, myths and legends associated with the Chapel, many of which are impossible to prove or disprove conclusively. Rosslyn has survived turbulent times and has recently been undergoing an extensive programme of conservation to ensure its long-term future. A new state-of-the-art visitor centre tells the Chapel’s story – from its 15th-century origins, through the Reformation, to the Da Vinci Code – and has an attractive coffee shop and gift shop.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

Established in 1670, over 70 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds and 10 glasshouses display plants from all over the world. There are also exhibitions and events for all the family and cafes, a restaurant and shop open all year round.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

The Royal Yacht Britannia was launched from Clydebank on 16 April, 1953. For over 44 years she served the Royal Family, travelling over one million miles to become one of the most famous ships in the world. To Her Majesty The Queen, Britannia proved to be the perfect Royal residence for glittering state visits, official receptions, Royal honeymoons and relaxing family holidays. Now berthed in Edinburgh, you can visit Britannia, Scotland’s Best Visitor Attraction (VisitScotland) and follow in the footsteps of Royalty to discover the heart and soul of this most special of Royal residences.

You’ll receive a truly warm welcome at the Visitor Centre in Ocean Terminal, as well as a complimentary audio handset tour, covering Britannia’s five main decks. Britannia is also fully accessible with lifts and ramps throughout. The wonderful Royal Deck Tea Room serves freshly prepared home-made produce with stunning views across the Firth of Forth, and our NAAFI has some incredible fudge available to purchase!

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

Take a barrel ride as you actually become part of the whisky making process.

Experience for yourself the varying aromas of our regional whiskies and whether you like fruity, sweet or smoky flavours our experts will help you select your perfect dram.

Enter the vault containing the world’s largest collection of Scotch Whiskies and enjoy a special tutored nosing and tasting of your dram.

Conclude your visit exploring Scotland’s whisky history from the very beginnings of a cottage industry through to the global success of today.

Whisky Bar over 450 Single Malts, Blends, Scotch Whisky Liqueurs and Cocktails.

Something for everyone.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

Discover 1,000 years of drama, experience a glimpse of medieval life and enjoy stunning panoramic views over Loch Ness from the ruins of the greatest castle in the Highlands.

Climb the Grant Tower that watches over the iconic loch, peer into a miserable prison cell, said to have held the legendary Gaelic bard Domhnall Donn, and imagine the splendid banquets staged in the great hall.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold 

At first glance, the Tenement House appears to be an ordinary middle-class tenement from the late 19th century, standing in Garnethill. However, when you step inside, the faithfully restored four rooms appear as if frozen in time and provide a rare glimpse into life in Glasgow in the early 20th century.

Shorthand typist Miss Agnes Toward lived here from 1911 until 1965, and preserved her furniture and possessions with love and care. She held on to all sorts of things that most people would have thrown away, and this extensive personal archive has become a valuable time capsule for visitors today. The Tenement House also reveals what it meant to be an ‘independent woman’ at that time.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Silver

Ascend Tantallon’s towers for spectacular views of the Bass Rock and to watch gannets plunge into the North Sea. Then descend into the depths of a particularly grim pit prison.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Silver

There’s more than ever to see and do at Stirling Castle. The Royal Palace, which was the childhood home of Mary Queen of Scots, has been returned to its Renaissance

magnificence. Visitors will be met by costumed characters in the roles of royalty, bodyguards and servants who give insights into the Stewart royal court. The Castle Exhibition focuses on the fascinating archaeology discovered during the palace refurbishment and younger visitors can get hands on with history in the Palace Vaults, where they can try on period costume and play medieval instruments. Visitors can explore the Great Hall, Chapel Royal, Kitchens and Regimental Museum.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

For centuries, the residence of Scotland’s most powerful churchmen. Some of its remarkable secrets are hewn into the rock beneath its battlements. You can explore a unique underground mine and countermine, dug during the brutal siege of 1546 – 7.For centuries, the residence of Scotland’s most powerful churchmen. Some of its remarkable secrets are hewn into the rock beneath its battlements. You can explore a unique underground mine and countermine, dug during the brutal siege of 1546 –1547.

The magnificent medieval ruins stand on a site used for Christian worship since the 8th century, when the relics of St Andrew were reputedly brought here. The cathedral dominated the religious establishment until the Protestant Reformation in 1560. Climb St Rule’s Tower for a glorious view over the town.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

AND SO MUCH MORE....

Scotland's Famous Filming Locations

Films & Tv

Scotland may have produced its fair share of top Hollywood actors, but the country itself is a magnet for the silver screen too! With jaw-dropping scenery, Scotland provides the perfect backdrop for the camera with its rugged landscape and ethereal geological features which have everyone in awe on the other side of the screen.

With this in mind, it is no wonder Scotland has added its own ambience to a wide variety of films, from the Da Vinci Code’s mysterious Rosslyn Chapel to the breathtaking Highland scenery found in BraveheartHarry Potter and Skyfall.

Braveheart which won 5 oscars is the story of William Wallace, Scotland’s most well-known hero, played by Mel Gibson. The sweeping, mountainous landscapes couldn’t be faked and really are the wild, rocky Highlands of Scotland, around Loch Leven and Glen Coe, filming in the some of the same areas as Highlander.

The village of ‘Lanark’, where the young William Wallace grows up, and falls in love with Murron (Catherine McCormack), was constructed in the Glen Nevis Valley at the foot of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain peak in Britain. Although the set was dismantled after filming and the area returned to its former state, the Braveheart Car Park, constructed to service the location, has been retained.

The filming site is up the glen, past the car park, and below the road’s highest point. The design of the village houses was based on those of St Kilda, a tiny island off the Scottish coast, inhabited until the late 18th century, but now a tourist attraction.

As Wallace’s legend grows after the killing of Mornay (Alun Armstrong), his trek along the spectacular mountain path filmed on the Mamores, a group of ten mountains linked by a narrow ridge, stretching between Loch Leven itself and Glen Nevis. If you fancy yourself as a fit hillwalker, you should be able to walk the ten peaks in a day. Access to the ridges is gained either from the south at Kinlochleven, or from the north in Glen Nevis.

The interior of Mornay’s castle is another Scots location, filmed in Edinburgh Council ChamberHigh Street, Edinburgh.

Aside from beautiful women and ingenious gadgets, stunning locations are a key ingredient in James Bond films and Sam Mendes’ Skyfall (2012) is the fourth film to feature Scotland’s jaw-dropping landscapes.

Starring Daniel Craig as 007, Skyfall sees the secret agent returning to his Scottish roots, with the main part of the action taking place at Bond’s family home, Skyfall Lodge, which is located in awe-inspiring Glen Coe.

James Bond’s Scottish Heritage

It’s no accident that Bond’s family estate is located in Glen Coe.  Ian Fleming, James Bond’s creator, was reportedly so impressed by Sean Connery’s portrayal of his most famous character in Dr No (1962) that he gave Bond some Scottish heritage.

In the novel You Only Live Twice Fleming reveals that, as a boy, 007 attended Fettes College – a private school in Edinburgh – whilst the iconic setting for Bond’s family estate in Skyfall comes directly from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) – the film in which Bond reveals that his father is originally from Glencoe.

Honourable mentions 

Gare Loch – The Spy Who Loved Me

Eilean Donan Castle – The World Is Not Enough 

Loch Cracginish – From Russia With Love 

The Real King Macbeth

Not Just a Figment Of Shakesphere’s Imagination

Shakespeare’s Macbeth is one of the most iconic characters ever created. But few people realise that Macbeth was also a real man, a king of 11th century Scotland who led a life filled with as much murder, treachery and drama as the tragic hero of Shakespeare’s play.

Macbeth is one of the greatest dramatic works in the English language. But the play departs heavily from its historical source which tells a very different story to Shakespeare’s.

The Man Behind The Myth

Shakespeare depicts Macbeth as noble warrior brought low by his manipulative and ambitious wife who goads him into committing regicide, setting off a bloody chain of events which leads to their downfall.

In reality, Macbeth had a royal lineage dating back to Malcolm I. His father was Findláech (Findlay), Mormaer of Moray, and his mother a daughter of Kenneth II. He therefore had a legitimate claim to the kingship which he won, not by murdering an elderly King Duncan in his bed, but on the battlefield. And Duncan, far from being an old man, was in fact ages with Macbeth.

A Long and Prosperous Reign

Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s shortest works. In the play Macbeth’s reign is brief, bloody and disastrous – perhaps no longer than 10 weeks – during the course of which he orchestrates the murder of his closest ally and confidant Banquo, as well as the innocent family of his rival MacDuff.

The real Macbeth’s reign lasted for 17 years, a remarkable feat that is a testament to his strength and competence as a leader. As for Banquo and MacDuff? There is no historical evidence for either of them.

The End

Like his fictional counterpart, Macbeth met a violent death. But as ever, the climax of the play deviates considerably from historical record. Shakespeare has Macbeth slain by MacDuff at a battle near Dunsinane in the wake of an invasion of Alba lead by Earl Siward of Northumbria.

While Earl Siward did lead an invasion of Alba, it was in partnership with Malcolm Canmore, son of Duncan. Defeated in battle but not vanquished, Macbeth continued to rule for a further three years before dying upon Malcolm’s sword.

If you have found yourself caught in the mystical and spell-binding Outlander saga and wish to be swept away to Claire and Jamie’s world, come and experience the land that inspired the writer Diana Gabaldon and the TV series producers. From ancient and mysterious standing stones to dramatic castles, magnificent stately homes and breathtaking landscapes, visit Scotland and embark on an inspiring journey.

Outlander Book Locations

Inverness, Where The Adventure Unfolds…

Roam the streets of Inverness where Claire’s adventure begins while on her second honeymoon with Frank. If you too have roots in the Highlands like Frank does, head to the Highland Archive Centre and uncover your family’s Scottish history. Or venture beyond Inverness in search of the mysterious Craigh na Dun, which swept Claire back in time; the nearby Clava Cairns are said to have provided an inspiration for this site. Visit it and experience the mystical atmosphere for yourself.

Loch Ness & Urquhart Castle

Enjoy a day trip to Loch Ness and keep an eye out for the legendary and elusive Loch Ness Monster, referred to as the water horse in the novel, as you cruise on the calm waters. The magnificent ruins of Urquhart Castle, perched on a rocky peninsula, on the very edge of the loch, are the perfect spot for a picnic. Why not extend your stay in the area and take in the nearby village of Beauly? It’s associated with Clan Fraser of Lovat from whom Jamie descends. Here, you can also visit the tranquil ruins of Beauly Priory where Claire meets Maisri the seer.

The Romantic Great Glen Way

The journey along the Caledonian Canal and Great Glen Way towards Fort William is a romantic one, offering a magical mix of native Caledonian pine forests, glistening lochs and enchanting moorlands. Enjoy it on foot or from horseback, as the newly-wed Claire and Jamie did after their wedding, and admire scenic landscapes and great wildlife along the way. You will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the mountains, which get even more dramatic as you approach Fort William, the ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’.

Glenfinnan Monument

The monument marks the spot where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his standard, starting the 1745 Jacobite Rising. Set amidst typically superb Highland scenery at the head of Loch Shiel, near Fort William, the Glenfinnan Monument is a tribute to the Jacobite clansmen who fought and died in the cause of Prince Charles Edward Stuart. Atop the 18m high column is a lone kilted Highlander who surveys the land where the Highland way of life was soon to be extinguished. At its visitor centre, learn about and be stirred by this tumultuous chapter in Scotland’s history.

Culloden Battlefield

It’s here that Claire and Jamie said their tearful goodbyes. Visit this eerie but atmospheric site where many clans, including the Frasers and MacKenzies, fought in the 1745 Jacobite Rising alongside Bonnie Prince Charlie. You can learn more about the events leading up to, during, and after the Battle of Culloden at the award-winning Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre with the exciting interactive exhibition, immersive film and battlefield tour. As you tour the site, ponder for a moment and pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the last battle ever fought on British soil.

Edinburgh’s Famous Royal Mile and The Old Town

Scotland’s capital city is the setting for a number of scenes in the books. Wander the atmospheric cobbled streets and narrow wynds of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh’s Old Town, where Claire and Jamie reunite after 20 years. Packed full of history, the Canongate and Holyrood sections of the Royal Mile are two of the Old Town’s most fascinating areas. They form part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the buildings here have remained largely unchanged for centuries.

Palace of Holyroodhouse

No Outlander experience would be complete without a visit to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence of HM The Queen in Scotland, and where Claire and Jamie beseeched the Prince to abandon his hopeless cause. The palace is situated at the end of the Royal Mile, and is closely associated with Scotland’s turbulent past, including Bonnie Prince Charlie, who held court here during his attempt to reclaim the throne for his father. Other royal figures include Mary Queen of Scots, who lived here, as well as successive kings and queens who have made the palace the premier royal residence in Scotland.

*Information and location knowledge provided by Visit Scotland*

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – for several weeks in 2003 filming took place adjacent to the Clachaig Inn in Glen Coe. Hagrid Hut was built overlooking the Torren Lochan.

The Bridge that carries the Hogwarts Express – Also known as the Glenfinnan Viaduct near Fort William.

Rob Roy – this blockbuster which starred Liam Neeson and Jessica Lang was also filmed in 1995 at locations such as Glen Nevis, Glen Coe, Loch Morar, Loch Leven, Rannoch Moor, Castle Tioram and Cia-Aig Falls near Loch Askaig.

Highlander – (1986) was a run of three movie sequels plus a television series. Highlander has scenes shot at various locations in Scotland including Eilean Donan Castle, Glen Coe, Glen Nevis, Loch Shiel, Torridon and Skye. It stars Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery, Clancy Brown, and Roxanne Hart. The storyline is based around Connor Macleod, played by Christopher Lambert. Born in the Highlands of Scotland in 1518, Connor Macleod is immortal. When he is wounded in battle but does not die, he is banished from his village. He meets another like himself, Ramirez, who teaches him swordsmanship–the only way to kill another immortal is to take his head–and the ways of the immortals. Modern-day New York is the location of “The Gathering,” where Connor and the few remaining immortals must battle to the last for “The Prize.”

Bonnie Prince Charlie is a 1948 British historical film depicting the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion and the role of Bonnie Prince Charlie within it. It was directed by Anthony Kimmins and starred David Niven, Jack Hawkins and Margaret Leighton. The main filing locations were Eilean Donan Castle, Glen Coe, Glenfinnan, Skye.

Kidnapped – The 1960 Walt Disney version of Kidnapped has scenes filmed at Seil Island, Glen Nevis, Glen Coe and other locations in Scotland. It was directed by Robert Stevenson and starred Peter Finch, James MacArthur, Bernard Lee, Peter O’Toole, Finlay Currie, Duncan Macrae, John Laurie, Andrew Cruickshank.

The Master of Ballantrae – based on the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson and starring Errol Flynn, The Master of Ballantrae has scenes filmed at Eilean Donan Castle and Glen Coe and also has re-cycled footage from the movie Bonnie Prince Charlie made 5 years previously. Directed by William Keighley and starring Errol Flynn, Roger Livesey, Anthony Steel, Beatrice Campbell, Yvonne Furneaux, Felix Aylmer, Mervyn Johns.

The 39 Steps – all 3 versions of The 39 Steps have had filming done in Scotland but Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 movie of The 39 Steps, although mainly filmed in the studio, has scenes shot in Glen Coe and Rannoch Moor. This version starred Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll, Lucie Mannheim, Godfrey Tearle, Peggy Ashcroft, John Laurie, Frank Cellier, Wylie Watson.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail – despite telling the very English story of King Arthur and his Knights, Monty Python and the Holy Grail was almost entirely filmed in Scotland. The movie has scenes filmed at Glen Coe, Perthshire, Rannoch Moor and a variety of castles across Scotland. Directed by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones and starred Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Neil Innes, Connie Booth, Carol Cleveland.

The Da Vinci Code – The final scenes in the Da Vinci Code where Tom Hanks wants to find the Holy Grail was shot in Rosslyn Chapel near Edinburgh. With more than 100 carvings and scenes depicted in stone, the exquisite masonry of Rosslyn Chapel has to be seen to be believed. Look out for angels playing bagpipes, people dancing with death and the famous apprentice pillar – the story goes that the apprentice mason who carved this exquisite pillar was killed shortly afterwards by his jealous boss.

*Click the below buttons to learn more about the Macbeth & Outlander filming locations*

Scotland's 5 Whisky Regions...

The Land of Whisky

*Click on the below buttons to learn more about the different Whisky Regions found in Scotland*

Whatever your query, we are looking forward to hearing from you!

*Email info@bracktours.com with any enquiries and a member of our travel team will be in touch*

Things To Include In Scotland

In this section, you will find a suggestive list for things to Include in Scotland on a Brack Tours tour package. 

We hope you become inspired by the types of accommodation and attractions that we have listed for you on this page. 

Also if you have any ideas or if something isn’t included on this list don’t worry as everything is only suggestive. We will plan and cater the package specifically to your requirements while taking into consideration the interests/desires of your group.

Accommodation...

*Click on the below sections to view different accommodations we have used for past Scotland tour packages*

The Scottish Highlands, wild and rugged, have a timeless romantic quality. At their very heart, where the River Tummel flows to the Tay, sits the historic town of Pitlochry. The Atholl Palace Hotel, the epitome of Scottish Baronial splendour, stands overlooking wooded parkland grounds and the town to the surrounding hills. Originally opened as the Athole Hydropathic in 1878, the hotel retains many traditional features, with bedroom facilities and standards which often exceed expectations and complement spacious, relaxing public areas. The Atholl Palace is now so much more than a hotel – it is a destination for day visitors as well as guests. You can easily spend a day exploring the gardens, discovering our museum and enjoying a bar lunch or afternoon tea in the lounge, not to mention being pampered in the Spa.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

Apex Hotels is a family-owned collection of ten hotels in London, Bath, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee – some of the UK’s most popular cities. Each contemporary hotel has an individual character just like the different members of any family. But whichever Apex you choose to stay at, you’ll experience an authentic, warm welcome tailored for you.

Each Apex Hotel is centrally-located in the heart of the city. Stylish, spacious contemporary bedrooms, restaurants and bars, and impressive event spaces and spa facilities make our hotels the perfect base for your business, leisure or family-friendly stays.

The present house was built in the 1720s, to the design of William Adam, for George Dalrymple, youngest son of the Earl of Stair. It was then acquired by the Douglas family in 1760 and the Estate on which the house stands is still owned today by a direct descendant of the family, the 22nd Earl of Morton.

In more recent times, Dalmahoy first opened as a Country Club in 1976, with 10 bedrooms. It has since been developed extensively in close collaboration with historic building advisors and effortlessly blends the traditions of a baronial manor house with contemporary amenities. There are now 215 rooms & suites, state of the art meeting facilities, two restaurants & bars, a luxurious leisure club with indoor swimming pool, two 18-Hole golf courses and much more – all set amidst 1,000 acres of beautiful parkland near Edinburgh.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

A little luxury in the heart of Scotland. Stay at DoubleTree by Hilton Dunblane Hydro, set in ten acres of private landscaped grounds in the beautiful Perthshire countryside.

Set in a stunning location with breathtaking views, this elegant Victorian-style hotel is under 45 minutes’ drive from Glasgow and Edinburgh and just a stone’s throw from historic Stirling. Indulge in signature dishes designed by our Michelin star-winning chef at The Kailyard by Nick Nairn restaurant. Relax over after-dinner cocktails or a nightcap in one of the bars/lounges. Recharge with a full Scottish breakfast and enjoy a refreshing swim in the LivingWell Health Club.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Silver

A much-loved icon in the city, the hotel has undergone a £20 million refurbishment transforming it into one of Glasgow’s most stylish, conference, training, wedding, banqueting and short break destinations and once again takes its place as Glasgow’s leading four-star hotel.

Whether you’re looking for an inspirational conference, meeting or training venue, a spectacular banqueting suite for your next event, planning a fabulous wedding, looking to indulge in a glass of bubbles in Champagne Central, or simply enjoy a relaxing break, The Grand Central Hotel is the first choice 4 star hotel in Glasgow.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Silver

Blending perfectly into the historic surroundings of the Royal Mile, Hilton Edinburgh Carlton is an iconic element of the city. The building dates back to 1900s and is part of the impressive North Bridge which links Edinburgh’s Old and New town together, giving you easy access to countless shopping, dining and entertainment. Once one of Edinburgh’s top department stores, the building was fully refurbished in 2016 to bring the décor back to its stylish best.

Good to know

  • City centre location, close to main shopping streets and attractions
  • 211 rooms and suites, all with complimentary WiFi access
  • 7 event rooms including a ballroom with city views for 300 guests
  • Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Restaurant and a lounge area
  • Executive Lounge with complimentary breakfast and refreshments
  • Modern fitness room

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Awaiting Grading

For the very best in comfort, style and first-rate facilities, Jurys Inn is the perfect choice. Located in the most vibrant towns and cities across the UK, Ireland and the Czech Republic, these hotels are each hand-picked for their prime position close to the country’s top attractions, amenities and transport hubs.

Whether you’re visiting friends, celebrating a birthday or taking a business trip, our unique hotels are near the best cultural sites, shopping districts and business centres in the UK, Ireland and the Czech Republic. So no matter how long you’re staying, your trip away will be unbeatable.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Bronze – Gold (Scotland & Ireland)

The Kingsmills Hotel is a fabulous four-star luxury hotel in Inverness. Set in the beautiful Scottish Highlands, offering a variety of extremely luxurious rooms, impeccable dining options and good old-fashioned Scottish hospitality to all their guests.

Inverness has long been considered the historic capital of the Scottish Highlands. It is a city steeped in history, charm and tradition. Beneath a wide arc of beautiful sky, the Scottish Highlands encompass snow-capped mountains, rolling hills, secluded valleys and rugged expanses of coastline. For centuries the area has been home to thriving businesses, isolated fortresses and award-winning whisky distilleries. With so much to see and do in and around Inverness, filling your days in this hauntingly beautiful part of the British Isles couldn’t be easier.

The Lovat stands on the site of Kilwhimen Barracks, one of four built in 1718.  The west curtain wall of the old fort, 34 metres long by 4 metres high in some places, still stands in the hotel grounds and the monument is of national importance as the remains of one of the four Hanoverian forts built to pacify the highlanders after the 1715 and 1719 Jacobite uprisings.

The Lovat is the only 4 star, 3 rosette hotel in Loch Ness. This award-winning eco-conscious hotel is a beautiful Victorian building located in the loch-side village of Fort Augustus, in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. We offer excellent accommodation and unforgettable Loch Ness views.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

North West Castle offers all of its visitors and guests a comfortable, luxurious and convenient three-star town centre hotel accommodation experience in Stranraer, Dumfries and Galloway in the South West of Scotland.  A family owned and run hotel for more than fifty years, ‘The Castle’ itself, was formerly the home of Sir John Ross, who was once a famous Arctic explorer, who was instrumental in the discovery of the ice-bound trading route which is now known around the world as the ‘North West Passage’.

North West Castle is seen as an excellent base for exploring the beautiful local area of South West Dumfries and Galloway and the hotel itself offers an impressive 72 en-suite bedrooms, along with stunning dining experiences of ‘The Regency’ dining room, The Alpine Restaurant and Grill, leisure facilities including swimming pool, sauna, spa bath, gym and its very own indoor curling rink which hosts a multitude of world-renowned Curling events throughout the year.

AND SO MUCH MORE....

*We use a variety of properties found throughout Scotland and we hand-pick accommodations based on your needs*

Attractions & Sightseeing...

*Click on the below sections to learn more about different attractions we have used for past Scotland tour packages*

For almost 400 years Arbroath Abbey was one of the grandest monasteries in Scotland. Founded in 1178 by King William I, ‘the Lion’, in memory of the martyr Thomas Becket, the abbey is famous in history for its association with the Declaration of Arbroath, in which Scotland’s nobles swore their independence from England.

The visitor centre tells the story of the abbey and a new display relates how the Stone of Destiny came to the abbey in 1951. New interpretation panels also explore potential links between the Declaration of Arbroath and the American Declaration of Independence.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

Prepare for battle! 700 years after the Battle of Bannockburn, the new Battle of Bannockburn experience puts you right at the heart of the action.

Harnessing state-of-the-art 3D technology, visitors can experience medieval combat like never before to learn about this crucial event in Scottish history.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Silver

Incorporated within Ben Nevis Distillery is The Legend of the Dew of Ben Nevis Visitor Centre, built into an old warehouse dating from 1862 and former bottling hall, which still retains some of its original features. You will encounter the mythical giant Hector McDram who will reveal the Legend of the Dew of Ben Nevis in a specially commissioned audio visual presentation.After your experience with Hector, a conducted tour of the production areas by a trained guide concludes with a complementary ‘tasting’.

After your tour around our distillery why not relax with a refreshment or if you are hungry, try some of our delicious home cooking in our coffee shop and restaurant. It will be an unforgetable treat.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Silver

Discover Blair Castle, the ancient seat of the Dukes and Earls of Atholl and home to Europe’s last remaining private army, the Atholl Highlanders

Blair Castle is nestled in the dramatic landscape of Highland Perthshire and is set at the heart of Atholl Estates, a 145,000 acre estate. More than 30 rooms are on display, full of Scottish cultural history, architectural design, period furnishings, family portraits, landscape paintings and a colourful military past. Highlights include the Victorian Ballroom which is decorated with 175 pairs of antlers, the Entrance Hall which features weapons used at the Battle of Culloden, the classic Georgian styling of the Picture Staircase and the granduer of the Drawing Room and State Dining Room.

The story told here will take you from a visit by Mary Queen of Scots to the Civil War and from the Jacobite cause to the disaster of Culloden following Bonnie Prince Charlie’s own stay in the castle. You’ll hear how the lucky inheritance of a smuggler-infested island helped turn the castle into a comfortable home and how a visit from Queen Victoria led to the creation of Europe’s only surviving private army, the Atholl Highlanders.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

Re-modelled Museum galleries bring the history of the game to life. Our shop will now stock Official Open merchandise year round, alongside a selection of gifts for golfers and non-golfers alike. Visit the new Café for the best views and scones in town!

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Silver

With its moat, twin towered gatehouse and imposing battlements, Caerlaverock Castle is the epitome of the medieval stronghold.The castle’s turbulent history owes much to its proximity to England which brought it into border conflicts.Visitors can enjoy a siege warfare exhibition, a children’s play area and a nature trail. The shop and cafe are open throughout the year (the cafe has restricted hours in winter).

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

Visit the powerfully moving site of the final Jacobite Rising – the last and most harrowing pitched battle to be fought on British soil. Explore the interactive visitor centre, view fascinating artefacts from both sides of the confrontation, and experience the battle in our immersive surround cinema.

The dramatic and evocative ruined cliff top fortress of Dunnottar Castle was the home of the Earls Marischal, once one of the most powerful families in the land. William Wallace, Mary Queen of Scots, the Marquis of Montrose and the future King Charles II have graced the Castle with their presence. Most famously though, it was at Dunnottar Castle that a small garrison held out against the might of Cromwell’s army for eight months and saved the Scottish Crown Jewels, the ‘Honours of Scotland’, from destruction. Visit Dunnottar Castle for an unforgettable experience and discover the importance of Dunnottar – an impregnable fortress that holds many rich secrets of Scotland’s colourful past.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

A mighty fortress, the defender of the nation and a world-famous visitor attraction –Edinburgh Castle has dominated the skyline for centuries.

The castle’s powerful stone walls have endured many sieges and its sumptuous apartments were an important residence of Scottish kings and queens. Today it is home to Scotland’s crown jewels, three military museums, the National War Memorial, the Prisons of War exhibition and much more besides.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

Enjoy some peace among the magnificent ruins of this sacred place, which dates to the 1200s. Admire the glorious west front, the sumptuous decorations and the atmospheric chapter house. There are spectacular views from the towers. New for 2016 – the cathedral’s carved stones form a new exhibition in the cathedral towers.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

The Falkirk Wheel is one of Scotland’s leading visitor attractions and the world’s only rotating boat lift. On site, activities include a boat trip through the Wheel, gift shop, café, audio handset tours, basin walking trail, sculpture trail, children’s play park and picnic tables.The Wheel acts as a gateway to Scotland’s 220km canal network which is a unique industrial heritage asset and an important wildlife habitat. It was designed to solve the problem of the linking the Forth & Clyde and Union Canals, once connected via a set of 11 locks. The sustainable design of the Wheel ensures minimal water use and each rotation only requires the equivalent electricity of boiling 6 household kettles. All waste generated on site, both from visitors and staff, is segregated and reused or recycled where possible.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

The most complete medieval cathedral on the Scottish mainland is still a working church with an active congregation. From its magnificent nave and choir to the atmospheric crypt of St Mungo, who was supposedly buried here in AD 614, Glasgow Cathedral is full of intriguing features.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

Nestling into the landscape at the foot of the glen is the award-winning eco-friendly Visitor Centre. Including exhibition, viewing platform, cafe, shop and ranger information point. The Ranger service has a varied events programme with guided walks, Landrover safaris and childrens events.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

Steeped in history, Glenkinchie Distillery is the home of ‘The Edinburgh Malt’. Nestled among the rolling farmlands of East Lothian, just 30 minutes from Edinburgh, Glenkinchie is one of the few remaining Lowland Distilleries in production and perfectly located for a visit.

Your visit begins in our unique exhibition on the original Malting Floors, home to the renowned model distillery. You will then be met by your guide and led through the distillery production area, learning how we make our ‘water of life’. To finish your tour, you are welcomed into our bar for a dram or two.

Visiting us from Edinburgh has never been easier – we operate a luxury shuttle service from the City Centre direct to the distillery where you can enjoy your tour and tasting before your journey back.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Bronze

Here at the Highland Folk Museum we give our visitors a flavour of how Highland people lived and worked from the 1700s up until the 1960s! We do this by displaying over 30 historical buildings and furnishing them appropriate to their time period.  Some have been built from scratch on site and some have been moved here from other locations.

Our site is a mile long with our 1700s Township (featuring 6 houses) at one end through to our 1930s working croft at the other.We have an cafe, gift shop and a fantastic children’s playground. We are located at Newtonmore in the Scottish Highlands amidst some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

Take a scenic boat trip across Scotland’s only lake to this peaceful, wooded island sanctuary with a medieval priory at its heart. Founded around 1238, the priory was home to Augustinian canons for more than 300 years. It was visited by Robert the Bruce and Mary Queen of Scots.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

This royal pleasure palace was the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots. You can see the elaborate, restored fountain in action every Sunday in July and August. The high towers look down over the palace’s grounds – the Peel – and Linlithgow Loch, an important refuge for wildlife.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

With thousands of colourful annual bedding plants making up the elaborate re-creations of parterre designs from the 17th century , Pitmedden is a great source of inspiration for keen gardeners. Fountains, topiary, sundials, 184 varieties of apple and fascinating herb garden add to the sense of discovery around the walled garden.The adjoining Museum of Farming Life brings the agricultural past to life. Woodland walks and wildlife garden.
Garden, museum, shop, tearoom and picnic area open 1st of May to 30th of September. Woodland walks open all year round.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

Robert Burns is Scotland’s National Bard and his poetry and songs are known and loved the world over. But who was he and what made him tick? The best place to get close to Burns and his genius is his birthplace in the beautiful village of Alloway. Our flagship museum starts a journey that weaves through the village, taking you from historical buildings to landmarks known to Burns.

Whether you’re a die-hard Burnsian or brand new to the bard, a day immersing yourself here will open your eyes and ears to an enduring hero of Scotland’s literary heritage.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

Founded in 1446, as the Collegiate Church of St Matthew, Rosslyn Chapel today attracts visitors from far and wide, drawn by its unique and mysterious carvings and the beauty of its setting. Today, there are countless theories, myths and legends associated with the Chapel, many of which are impossible to prove or disprove conclusively. Rosslyn has survived turbulent times and has recently been undergoing an extensive programme of conservation to ensure its long-term future. A new state-of-the-art visitor centre tells the Chapel’s story – from its 15th-century origins, through the Reformation, to the Da Vinci Code – and has an attractive coffee shop and gift shop.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

Established in 1670, over 70 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds and 10 glasshouses display plants from all over the world. There are also exhibitions and events for all the family and cafes, a restaurant and shop open all year round.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

The Royal Yacht Britannia was launched from Clydebank on 16 April, 1953. For over 44 years she served the Royal Family, travelling over one million miles to become one of the most famous ships in the world. To Her Majesty The Queen, Britannia proved to be the perfect Royal residence for glittering state visits, official receptions, Royal honeymoons and relaxing family holidays. Now berthed in Edinburgh, you can visit Britannia, Scotland’s Best Visitor Attraction (VisitScotland) and follow in the footsteps of Royalty to discover the heart and soul of this most special of Royal residences.

You’ll receive a truly warm welcome at the Visitor Centre in Ocean Terminal, as well as a complimentary audio handset tour, covering Britannia’s five main decks. Britannia is also fully accessible with lifts and ramps throughout. The wonderful Royal Deck Tea Room serves freshly prepared home-made produce with stunning views across the Firth of Forth, and our NAAFI has some incredible fudge available to purchase!

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

Take a barrel ride as you actually become part of the whisky making process.

Experience for yourself the varying aromas of our regional whiskies and whether you like fruity, sweet or smoky flavours our experts will help you select your perfect dram.

Enter the vault containing the world’s largest collection of Scotch Whiskies and enjoy a special tutored nosing and tasting of your dram.

Conclude your visit exploring Scotland’s whisky history from the very beginnings of a cottage industry through to the global success of today.

Whisky Bar over 450 Single Malts, Blends, Scotch Whisky Liqueurs and Cocktails.

Something for everyone.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

Discover 1,000 years of drama, experience a glimpse of medieval life and enjoy stunning panoramic views over Loch Ness from the ruins of the greatest castle in the Highlands.

Climb the Grant Tower that watches over the iconic loch, peer into a miserable prison cell, said to have held the legendary Gaelic bard Domhnall Donn, and imagine the splendid banquets staged in the great hall.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold 

At first glance, the Tenement House appears to be an ordinary middle-class tenement from the late 19th century, standing in Garnethill. However, when you step inside, the faithfully restored four rooms appear as if frozen in time and provide a rare glimpse into life in Glasgow in the early 20th century.

Shorthand typist Miss Agnes Toward lived here from 1911 until 1965, and preserved her furniture and possessions with love and care. She held on to all sorts of things that most people would have thrown away, and this extensive personal archive has become a valuable time capsule for visitors today. The Tenement House also reveals what it meant to be an ‘independent woman’ at that time.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Silver

Ascend Tantallon’s towers for spectacular views of the Bass Rock and to watch gannets plunge into the North Sea. Then descend into the depths of a particularly grim pit prison.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Silver

There’s more than ever to see and do at Stirling Castle. The Royal Palace, which was the childhood home of Mary Queen of Scots, has been returned to its Renaissance

magnificence. Visitors will be met by costumed characters in the roles of royalty, bodyguards and servants who give insights into the Stewart royal court. The Castle Exhibition focuses on the fascinating archaeology discovered during the palace refurbishment and younger visitors can get hands on with history in the Palace Vaults, where they can try on period costume and play medieval instruments. Visitors can explore the Great Hall, Chapel Royal, Kitchens and Regimental Museum.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

For centuries, the residence of Scotland’s most powerful churchmen. Some of its remarkable secrets are hewn into the rock beneath its battlements. You can explore a unique underground mine and countermine, dug during the brutal siege of 1546 – 7.For centuries, the residence of Scotland’s most powerful churchmen. Some of its remarkable secrets are hewn into the rock beneath its battlements. You can explore a unique underground mine and countermine, dug during the brutal siege of 1546 –1547.

The magnificent medieval ruins stand on a site used for Christian worship since the 8th century, when the relics of St Andrew were reputedly brought here. The cathedral dominated the religious establishment until the Protestant Reformation in 1560. Climb St Rule’s Tower for a glorious view over the town.

Green Tourism Accredited Level: Gold

AND SO MUCH MORE....

Scotland's Famous Filming Locations

Films & Tv

Scotland may have produced its fair share of top Hollywood actors, but the country itself is a magnet for the silver screen too! With jaw-dropping scenery, Scotland provides the perfect backdrop for the camera with its rugged landscape and ethereal geological features which have everyone in awe on the other side of the screen.

With this in mind, it is no wonder Scotland has added its own ambience to a wide variety of films, from the Da Vinci Code’s mysterious Rosslyn Chapel to the breathtaking Highland scenery found in BraveheartHarry Potter and Skyfall.

Braveheart which won 5 oscars is the story of William Wallace, Scotland’s most well-known hero, played by Mel Gibson. The sweeping, mountainous landscapes couldn’t be faked and really are the wild, rocky Highlands of Scotland, around Loch Leven and Glen Coe, filming in the some of the same areas as Highlander.

The village of ‘Lanark’, where the young William Wallace grows up, and falls in love with Murron (Catherine McCormack), was constructed in the Glen Nevis Valley at the foot of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain peak in Britain. Although the set was dismantled after filming and the area returned to its former state, the Braveheart Car Park, constructed to service the location, has been retained.

The filming site is up the glen, past the car park, and below the road’s highest point. The design of the village houses was based on those of St Kilda, a tiny island off the Scottish coast, inhabited until the late 18th century, but now a tourist attraction.

As Wallace’s legend grows after the killing of Mornay (Alun Armstrong), his trek along the spectacular mountain path filmed on the Mamores, a group of ten mountains linked by a narrow ridge, stretching between Loch Leven itself and Glen Nevis. If you fancy yourself as a fit hillwalker, you should be able to walk the ten peaks in a day. Access to the ridges is gained either from the south at Kinlochleven, or from the north in Glen Nevis.

The interior of Mornay’s castle is another Scots location, filmed in Edinburgh Council ChamberHigh Street, Edinburgh.

Aside from beautiful women and ingenious gadgets, stunning locations are a key ingredient in James Bond films and Sam Mendes’ Skyfall (2012) is the fourth film to feature Scotland’s jaw-dropping landscapes.

Starring Daniel Craig as 007, Skyfall sees the secret agent returning to his Scottish roots, with the main part of the action taking place at Bond’s family home, Skyfall Lodge, which is located in awe-inspiring Glen Coe.

James Bond’s Scottish Heritage

It’s no accident that Bond’s family estate is located in Glen Coe.  Ian Fleming, James Bond’s creator, was reportedly so impressed by Sean Connery’s portrayal of his most famous character in Dr No (1962) that he gave Bond some Scottish heritage.

In the novel You Only Live Twice Fleming reveals that, as a boy, 007 attended Fettes College – a private school in Edinburgh – whilst the iconic setting for Bond’s family estate in Skyfall comes directly from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) – the film in which Bond reveals that his father is originally from Glencoe.

Honourable mentions 

Gare Loch – The Spy Who Loved Me

Eilean Donan Castle – The World Is Not Enough 

Loch Cracginish – From Russia With Love 

The Real King Macbeth

Not Just a Figment Of Shakesphere’s Imagination

Shakespeare’s Macbeth is one of the most iconic characters ever created. But few people realise that Macbeth was also a real man, a king of 11th century Scotland who led a life filled with as much murder, treachery and drama as the tragic hero of Shakespeare’s play.

Macbeth is one of the greatest dramatic works in the English language. But the play departs heavily from its historical source which tells a very different story to Shakespeare’s.

The Man Behind The Myth

Shakespeare depicts Macbeth as noble warrior brought low by his manipulative and ambitious wife who goads him into committing regicide, setting off a bloody chain of events which leads to their downfall.

In reality, Macbeth had a royal lineage dating back to Malcolm I. His father was Findláech (Findlay), Mormaer of Moray, and his mother a daughter of Kenneth II. He therefore had a legitimate claim to the kingship which he won, not by murdering an elderly King Duncan in his bed, but on the battlefield. And Duncan, far from being an old man, was in fact ages with Macbeth.

A Long and Prosperous Reign

Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s shortest works. In the play Macbeth’s reign is brief, bloody and disastrous – perhaps no longer than 10 weeks – during the course of which he orchestrates the murder of his closest ally and confidant Banquo, as well as the innocent family of his rival MacDuff.

The real Macbeth’s reign lasted for 17 years, a remarkable feat that is a testament to his strength and competence as a leader. As for Banquo and MacDuff? There is no historical evidence for either of them.

The End

Like his fictional counterpart, Macbeth met a violent death. But as ever, the climax of the play deviates considerably from historical record. Shakespeare has Macbeth slain by MacDuff at a battle near Dunsinane in the wake of an invasion of Alba lead by Earl Siward of Northumbria.

While Earl Siward did lead an invasion of Alba, it was in partnership with Malcolm Canmore, son of Duncan. Defeated in battle but not vanquished, Macbeth continued to rule for a further three years before dying upon Malcolm’s sword.

If you have found yourself caught in the mystical and spell-binding Outlander saga and wish to be swept away to Claire and Jamie’s world, come and experience the land that inspired the writer Diana Gabaldon and the TV series producers. From ancient and mysterious standing stones to dramatic castles, magnificent stately homes and breathtaking landscapes, visit Scotland and embark on an inspiring journey.

Outlander Book Locations

Inverness, Where The Adventure Unfolds…

Roam the streets of Inverness where Claire’s adventure begins while on her second honeymoon with Frank. If you too have roots in the Highlands like Frank does, head to the Highland Archive Centre and uncover your family’s Scottish history. Or venture beyond Inverness in search of the mysterious Craigh na Dun, which swept Claire back in time; the nearby Clava Cairns are said to have provided an inspiration for this site. Visit it and experience the mystical atmosphere for yourself.

Loch Ness & Urquhart Castle

Enjoy a day trip to Loch Ness and keep an eye out for the legendary and elusive Loch Ness Monster, referred to as the water horse in the novel, as you cruise on the calm waters. The magnificent ruins of Urquhart Castle, perched on a rocky peninsula, on the very edge of the loch, are the perfect spot for a picnic. Why not extend your stay in the area and take in the nearby village of Beauly? It’s associated with Clan Fraser of Lovat from whom Jamie descends. Here, you can also visit the tranquil ruins of Beauly Priory where Claire meets Maisri the seer.

The Romantic Great Glen Way

The journey along the Caledonian Canal and Great Glen Way towards Fort William is a romantic one, offering a magical mix of native Caledonian pine forests, glistening lochs and enchanting moorlands. Enjoy it on foot or from horseback, as the newly-wed Claire and Jamie did after their wedding, and admire scenic landscapes and great wildlife along the way. You will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the mountains, which get even more dramatic as you approach Fort William, the ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’.

Glenfinnan Monument

The monument marks the spot where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his standard, starting the 1745 Jacobite Rising. Set amidst typically superb Highland scenery at the head of Loch Shiel, near Fort William, the Glenfinnan Monument is a tribute to the Jacobite clansmen who fought and died in the cause of Prince Charles Edward Stuart. Atop the 18m high column is a lone kilted Highlander who surveys the land where the Highland way of life was soon to be extinguished. At its visitor centre, learn about and be stirred by this tumultuous chapter in Scotland’s history.

Culloden Battlefield

It’s here that Claire and Jamie said their tearful goodbyes. Visit this eerie but atmospheric site where many clans, including the Frasers and MacKenzies, fought in the 1745 Jacobite Rising alongside Bonnie Prince Charlie. You can learn more about the events leading up to, during, and after the Battle of Culloden at the award-winning Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre with the exciting interactive exhibition, immersive film and battlefield tour. As you tour the site, ponder for a moment and pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the last battle ever fought on British soil.

Edinburgh’s Famous Royal Mile and The Old Town

Scotland’s capital city is the setting for a number of scenes in the books. Wander the atmospheric cobbled streets and narrow wynds of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh’s Old Town, where Claire and Jamie reunite after 20 years. Packed full of history, the Canongate and Holyrood sections of the Royal Mile are two of the Old Town’s most fascinating areas. They form part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the buildings here have remained largely unchanged for centuries.

Palace of Holyroodhouse

No Outlander experience would be complete without a visit to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence of HM The Queen in Scotland, and where Claire and Jamie beseeched the Prince to abandon his hopeless cause. The palace is situated at the end of the Royal Mile, and is closely associated with Scotland’s turbulent past, including Bonnie Prince Charlie, who held court here during his attempt to reclaim the throne for his father. Other royal figures include Mary Queen of Scots, who lived here, as well as successive kings and queens who have made the palace the premier royal residence in Scotland.

*Information and location knowledge provided by Visit Scotland*

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – for several weeks in 2003 filming took place adjacent to the Clachaig Inn in Glen Coe. Hagrid Hut was built overlooking the Torren Lochan.

The Bridge that carries the Hogwarts Express – Also known as the Glenfinnan Viaduct near Fort William.

Rob Roy – this blockbuster which starred Liam Neeson and Jessica Lang was also filmed in 1995 at locations such as Glen Nevis, Glen Coe, Loch Morar, Loch Leven, Rannoch Moor, Castle Tioram and Cia-Aig Falls near Loch Askaig.

Highlander – (1986) was a run of three movie sequels plus a television series. Highlander has scenes shot at various locations in Scotland including Eilean Donan Castle, Glen Coe, Glen Nevis, Loch Shiel, Torridon and Skye. It stars Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery, Clancy Brown, and Roxanne Hart. The storyline is based around Connor Macleod, played by Christopher Lambert. Born in the Highlands of Scotland in 1518, Connor Macleod is immortal. When he is wounded in battle but does not die, he is banished from his village. He meets another like himself, Ramirez, who teaches him swordsmanship–the only way to kill another immortal is to take his head–and the ways of the immortals. Modern-day New York is the location of “The Gathering,” where Connor and the few remaining immortals must battle to the last for “The Prize.”

Bonnie Prince Charlie is a 1948 British historical film depicting the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion and the role of Bonnie Prince Charlie within it. It was directed by Anthony Kimmins and starred David Niven, Jack Hawkins and Margaret Leighton. The main filing locations were Eilean Donan Castle, Glen Coe, Glenfinnan, Skye.

Kidnapped – The 1960 Walt Disney version of Kidnapped has scenes filmed at Seil Island, Glen Nevis, Glen Coe and other locations in Scotland. It was directed by Robert Stevenson and starred Peter Finch, James MacArthur, Bernard Lee, Peter O’Toole, Finlay Currie, Duncan Macrae, John Laurie, Andrew Cruickshank.

The Master of Ballantrae – based on the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson and starring Errol Flynn, The Master of Ballantrae has scenes filmed at Eilean Donan Castle and Glen Coe and also has re-cycled footage from the movie Bonnie Prince Charlie made 5 years previously. Directed by William Keighley and starring Errol Flynn, Roger Livesey, Anthony Steel, Beatrice Campbell, Yvonne Furneaux, Felix Aylmer, Mervyn Johns.

The 39 Steps – all 3 versions of The 39 Steps have had filming done in Scotland but Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 movie of The 39 Steps, although mainly filmed in the studio, has scenes shot in Glen Coe and Rannoch Moor. This version starred Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll, Lucie Mannheim, Godfrey Tearle, Peggy Ashcroft, John Laurie, Frank Cellier, Wylie Watson.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail – despite telling the very English story of King Arthur and his Knights, Monty Python and the Holy Grail was almost entirely filmed in Scotland. The movie has scenes filmed at Glen Coe, Perthshire, Rannoch Moor and a variety of castles across Scotland. Directed by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones and starred Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Neil Innes, Connie Booth, Carol Cleveland.

The Da Vinci Code – The final scenes in the Da Vinci Code where Tom Hanks wants to find the Holy Grail was shot in Rosslyn Chapel near Edinburgh. With more than 100 carvings and scenes depicted in stone, the exquisite masonry of Rosslyn Chapel has to be seen to be believed. Look out for angels playing bagpipes, people dancing with death and the famous apprentice pillar – the story goes that the apprentice mason who carved this exquisite pillar was killed shortly afterwards by his jealous boss.

*Click the below buttons to learn more about the Macbeth & Outlander filming locations*

Scotland's 5 Whisky Regions...

The Land of Whisky

*Click on the below buttons to learn more about the different Whisky Regions found in Scotland*

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