Ride the scenic Scottish rail routes through the heart of the nation to the stunning Highlands and back again taking in some of Scotland's most visited heritage towns and cities along the way. The Heart of Scotland tour takes you from the Grampian Highlands and the Cairngorm National Park to Stirling, Inverness and the beautiful capital of Edinburgh.View this tour
Our city guide to Stirling
Known as “the Key to the Kingdom”, the beautiful city of Stirling lies at the heart of Scotland both figuratively and literally. With an enchanting Castle to rival Edinburgh it was once the Royal seat of Scotland and has played a pivotal role in the nation’s turbulent history.
Located north of Edinburgh, Stirling nestles amongst the hillsides of central Scotland with the scenic Trossachs National Park and Loch Lomond to the West and the dramatic mountains of the Highlands to the north. Today the town’s location is appreciated for its picturesque setting but once its central position with routes to the corners of the nation made Stirling a strategic stronghold and the backdrop for many events in the tempestuous Scottish history.
Stirling sits in the shadow of the stunning Stirling Castle, a fortified hill-top stronghold perched high over the city and flanked on one side by a dramatic rock face. Its appearance naturally draws comparisons with Edinburgh Castle and indeed, throughout the middle ages Stirling was the Royal seat and centre for Scottish Crown and Power. As a result the surrounding hills and fields were the setting for many of Scotland’s renowned battles in the nation’s historic plight for independence from England. Most notable are the Battle of Stirling Bridge which was depicted in the 1995 movie Braveheart and the Battle of Bannockburn when Robert the Bruce and his men achieved a significant Scottish Victory over a seemingly superior English army. A new visitor centre at Bannockburn is due to open in the anniversary year of 2014.
Stirling town itself is a charming centre; running down from the Castle esplanade the Old Town is a maze of cobbled lanes contained within some of the best preserved town walls and defences in Scotland. This area houses a number of intriguing sites and visitor attractions including the medieval Church of Holy Rude, the Victorian Old Town Jail and the renaissance mansion of Argyll’s Lodging. On the outskirts of town and towering upon yet another rocky crag is the stunning Wallace Monument. Dedicated to the memory of Scottish hero, Braveheart William Wallace, this 220 foot tower is situated on the site of the Battle of Stirling Bridge. At the foot of the hill upon which it stands there is a statue carved in the likeness of Mel Gibson (!) but the tower itself houses a number of more genuine exhibits including Wallace’s actual sword and if you can face the climb to the top, the monument offers magnificent views over Stirling and the surrounding countryside.
Stirling is a charming town that has played a significant role in Scottish history and should not be missed on any tour of Scotland..
A driving tour of England and Scotland - indulge in a unique trip taking in two of Britain’s most unique nations. Your self-drive vacation will take you through the rural landscapes of England and Scotland before returning your vehicle in Edinburgh and returning to London by rail. The trip will take in the beautiful landscapes of the Cotswolds, Yorkshire, Lake District and Scottish Highlands not to mention a host of elegant cities including York, Glasgow, Edinburgh and London.View this tour
Enjoy this Scottish Highlands escorted tour for a leisurely trip of Scotland which focusses on the spectacular history, culture and scenery of the Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye. Discover a host of iconic and lesser known Scottish castles, the seats of royalty and ancient clans, cruise on misty lochs and take a stunning highland rail journey. The leisurely pace offers stays of a minimum of two nights in each location.View this tour
The British Journey tour is a Britain driving tour that takes you on an expedition from the capital of Scotland to the capital of England touching upon Wales and enjoying a wealth of cultural highlights along the way. Explore Scotland’s “Highlands in miniature” and the historic city of Edinburgh before passing south through the inspiring landscapes of the Lake District, Cotswolds and Wye Valley to glorious historic cities including Chester, Cardiff, Stratford upon Avon and Bath. Your trip ends in the thriving metropolis of London.View this tour
One of our best Scotland Driving Tours – Scotland Explorer offers a comprehensive itinerary taking you on a journey to the corners of this beautiful nation; see Scotland from the bustling cultural and historic cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh to the expansive wilderness of the Scottish Highlands. From the rugged beauty of the West coast and Isle of Skye to the cultural sites of the East Coast and Aberdeenshire. Along the way see sparkling lochs, towering mountain ranges, ancient castle ruins, and whisky distilleries – a truly Scottish experience.View this tour
Travelling by train explore central Scotland and three of her iconic cities; uncover stark contrasts as you uncover the dynamic urban centre of Glasgow and the historic charm of Stirling not to mention the nation’s famous capital in Edinburgh.View this tour
A Driving Tour to Skye – Our Skye and the Highlands tour does what it says on the tin offering an itinerary which takes you away from the bustling cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow to the remote wilderness of the Scottish Highlands. Experience the enigmatic scenery of Glencoe Valley, Scotland’s West Coast and the majestic isle of Skye. Then onwards along the Great Glen to the capital of the Highlands itself! Along the way you’ll see sparkling lochs and ancient castles, the perfect Highland escape.View this tour
A Scottish Islands Driving Tour - Escape to an enchanting wilderness as you explore the frontiers of the Scottish nation and her remote outer islands. Experience the raw natural beauty of Glencoe, Scotland’s West Coast and the isles of Skye, Lewis and Harris on our Hebridean Highlights tour. The tranquillity of the Western Isles provides visitors with a peaceful retreat from modern life to a back-drop of dramatic natural landscapes. On your journey you’ll see sparkling lochs, barren moorlands, deserted golden beaches, fascinating historic sites and wildlife in abundance.View this tour
Experience some of Britain's most spectacular and scenic rail journeys as you explore Scotland and the Highlands by train. Cross the Glenfinnan viaduct on the famous West Highland way and visit famous destinations including the Isle of Skye, Inverness and the capital city of Edinburgh.View this tour
A Scottish Castle Driving Tour - Experience Scottish hospitality at its traditional best on this exclusive tour staying in sumptuous and historic castle and manor-house hotels. This itinerary takes you from historic Stirling and Edinburgh to the remote Mull of Kintyre and the dramatic West Coast to the Isle of Skye and Scottish Highlands. Along the way you’ll experience the very best of both Scotland’s landscapes and heritage. Enjoy included admission to dozens of historic attractions by day and the utmost of comfort and character at your accommodation each night.View this tour
A Britain Castle Tour - Indulge in the history and heritage of England, Scotland and Wales by day and see its character reflected in your unique and distinguished accommodation each night on this deluxe tour of Britain. With your overnight accommodation in quality castle or manor house hotels, your tour will take you through the elegant cities of York, Bath, Oxford and Edinburgh as well as the natural beauty of the Cotswolds, the Yorkshire Moors, the Scottish Lowlands and the mountains of Snowdonia.View this tour
Enjoy this comprehensive tour of Scotland, a captivating land of contrasts which is both aesthetically beautiful and historically fascinating. From Edinburgh to the remote islands of Skye and Mull, enjoy dramatic coastlines, towering mountains, shimmering lochs and heather covered highlands all richly peppered with castles, abbeys and ancient sites which tell the tale of Scotland's intriguing and often turbulent history.View this tour
A succinct Scotland Driving Tour – Our Simply Scotland itinerary offers you a great introduction to this enchanting nation. In the course of just a few days you’ll experience the rugged landscapes of Glencoe, and the Scottish Highlands and the magical capital city of Edinburgh. Highlights along the way include historic Stirling, Loch Lomond, the West coast and Scotland’s most famous body of water - Loch Ness.View this tour