With its famous castle towering majestically over bustling Princes Street, cobbled streets lined with quaint independent shops and cosy pubs with vast whisky ranges, Edinburgh is the perfect winter destination.
Enjoy stunning lochside scenery in the Scottish Lakeland, one of Scotland’s most idyllic and unspoilt areas, with the largest expanse of freshwater in Britain and the backdrop of the mountains looming beyond, dusted with snow.
Stay in a range of castle hotels – each one unique in its architecture, decor and fascinating history. Enjoy the warm hospitality of each one, relax by an open fire with a book or a whisky in the evening and sleep safely guarded from the winter chill by walls that have stood the test of time.
Located near Inverness, Loch Ness is shrouded in mystery. There are various boat trips and cruises available for those wishing to go in search of ‘Nessie’, the Loch Ness Monster.
Situated at the edge of the Great Glen, Inverness is known as the Capital of the Highlands. Nearby you will find Culloden Battlefield, site of the last battle of the Jacobite Rising, and the Clava Cairns prehistoric site.
Perthshire is home to historic castles such as Blair Castle and Scone Palace, the picturesque Victorian town of Pitlochry, and the world-renowned whisky distillery Blair Atholl. Explore the area while enjoying a magical backdrop of frosty pine forests and snow-speckled hills.
Discover the highlights of Scotland on this self-drive tour while staying in a wonderful selection of cosy castle hotels. This itinerary is perfect for a magical romantic honeymoon or a special occasion. Experience history with a touch of luxury and relaxation, as you journey through a winter landscape of majestic castles and spectacular scenery.
Explore many scenic, historical and cultural attractions on your journey through the Scottish countryside, and enjoy a unique stay in a variety of castle hotels, each as welcoming and luxurious as the next. This tour begins on the banks of the River Esk, a stone’s throw away from Edinburgh. Explore Scotland’s majestic capital city and at the end of the day, escape the crowds and relax in the luxury of a 13th-century fortress.
Your journey continues along the stunning coastline of Argyll and the magnificent Scottish Highlands. Enjoy atmospheric views over Loch Fyne from your west coast castle hotel, and indulge in some of the freshest seafood in the country.
Travel along the West Coast to the foot of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Britain, and along the scenic Great Glen. On route to Inverness, you will pass the picturesque Urquhart Castle and brooding Loch Ness. Stay in a magnificent Highland castle just outside of the Capital of the Highlands, with romantic turrets and ancient battlements.
Journey back south through the snow-capped peaks of the Cairngorms National Park, towards the delightful town of Pitlochry in the heart of Highland Perthshire. Treat yourself in a luxury castle hotel, nestled in the forest with breathtaking views of Loch Faskally. Experience some of the country’s finest mountain and loch-side scenery as you travel back to Edinburgh.
This is our suggested itinerary for our Winter in a Scottish Castle Hotel self-drive tour. We design each itinerary around your interests, so think of this as a starting point which can be tailored into something completely unique to you.
We love the opportunity to use our first-hand knowledge and experience to design and deliver the perfect, bespoke holiday experience for you.
Arrive in Edinburgh, Scotland’s majestic capital city. Edinburgh is a great place to wander, with its narrow alleys, flights of stairs and hidden courtyards. For a breathtaking panorama, take a hike up Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano which looms over the city.
You’ll spend two nights in a cosy 17th-century castle hotel in tranquil countryside on the outskirts of the city. This is a wonderful base to explore Edinburgh and a destination in its own right, with a relaxing spa and fine-dining.
Overnight – Edinburgh area
Get your bearings with a City Sightseeing bus tour, and visit majestic Edinburgh Castle. Sample a dram at the Scotch Whisky Experience and take a walk through Princes Street Gardens to enjoy the fine views of the castle high above.
Visit the Royal Yacht Britannia, the former floating home of Her Majesty The Queen, or hike up to the top of Arthur’s Seat – an extinct volcano which looms over the city – for breathtaking panoramic views. Explore the Georgian grandeur of the New Town, or learn about Scotland’s turbulent and fascinating history at the award-winning National Museum of Scotland.
Overnight – Edinburgh area
Travel to the beautiful banks of Loch Lomond and enjoy a wonderfully scenic journey to the stunning west coast of Scotland. On the way, stop for lunch at a famous Oyster Bar and visit 18th century Inveraray Castle, the home of the Duke of Argyll and Chief of the Campbell Clan.
Enjoy two unforgettable nights in an elegant castle which stands high on the Kintyre Peninsula overlooking the sea, close to one of the most attractive fishing villages in Scotland.
Overnight – The West Coast
Kintyre offers a glimpse of a gentler corner of Scotland. Spend the day discovering stunning beaches, charming shore-side villages and a land rich in history. A short ferry ride takes you across to the Cowal Peninsula, a mouth-watering introduction to the West Highlands.
Overnight – The West Coast
Your tour continues along the west coast of Scotland. Explore Kilmartin Glen, the cradle of ancient Scotland and the popular holiday town of Oban. Pass impregnable Castle Stalker and take a short detour to Glencoe, Scotland’s most famous and atmospheric glen, with its wide expanses and snow-dusted mountains. You will continue north along the Great Glen and by the shores of brooding Loch Ness to the Capital of the Highlands.
Your destination in the Highlands is a spectacular castle with romantic turrets and ancient battlements. Fully restored and furnished in Jacobean elegance, the bedrooms are named after the clans who fought and died for Bonnie Prince Charlie at the Battle of Culloden and are decorated wonderfully in their individual clan tartans.
Overnight – Inverness area
Today you may choose to explore the mysterious waters of nearby Loch Ness, or experience the weight of history at Culloden Battlefield.
You are close to Speyside and the Malt Whisky Trail, where you could visit one of the many excellent distilleries in the area and enjoy a warming dram or two.
Overnight – Inverness area
Travel from the Highlands to the Lowlands with a drive through the heart of our country, into beautiful Highland Perthshire. En-route, enjoy views of the Cairngorms National Park and scenic Blair Castle, and explore Dalwhinnie Distillery.
The final night of your holiday will be spent in a luxury 5* castle hotel, nestled within breathtaking scenery in Highland Perthshire. Lovingly restored, it draws inspiration from its historic past whilst adding a contemporary twist to tradition.
Overnight – Pitlochry area
After breakfast, it’s less than a two-hour drive back to Edinburgh, where your unforgettable winter castle-hopping adventure will come to an end.
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We know that after a busy day of sightseeing an exceptional place to stay makes all the difference. That’s why all of the accommodation we select is hand-picked using our first-hand knowledge of the best places to stay.
Our discerning team has a wealth of experience, and we extensively research and regularly review all of the accommodation we select for our clients.
From award-winning luxury hotels to historic buildings full of character, Scotland’s castle hotels offer exceptional accommodation and outstanding service.
These are truly magical places and amongst the best Scotland has to offer. The perfect choice when you would like somewhere really special which can be a treat for the night or for your entire holiday.
Our packages include car rental and comprehensive insurance for the duration of your holiday. Absolute Escapes has an excellent relationship with a number of car hire operators and we are able to offer quality vehicles and great value for money.
If you plan to bring your own vehicle, we are also able to offer this itinerary without a rental car.