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Cairngorms National Park and Edinburgh Extension

Nature Hikes and Exploring the Enchanting Capital of Scotland

Overview

Cap your adventure in Scotland with our post-trip extension to Cairngorms National Park and Edinburgh, Scotland's traditional capital that's rich in history and culture. Overnights are at the Bruntsfield Hotel, a quiet and comfortable hotel close to Edinburgh’s city center, or upgrade to the Balmoral Hotel, located on Princes Street with views of Edinburgh Castle.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1
South to Edinburgh via Cairngorms National Park

After breakfast, head to Cairngorms National Park, the largest in Britain, to enjoy an easy hike in ancient forests and glens, or a more demanding one to soaring yet accessible peaks. At the end of the day, we reach Edinburgh, a phenomenally spirited city that’s home of the Edinburgh International Festival and its little sister, the Fringe Festival, which take place every August and September (if you’re thinking of traveling at this time, be sure to book your trip well in advance, as accommodations get snapped up early). Overnight at the Bruntsfield Hotel, or upgrade to the Balmoral Hotel, within view of Edinburgh Castle. This evening, dine at one of Edinburgh’s fine restaurants. Among the acknowledged “top ten”—Ship on the Shore (wonderful steamed Shetland mussels), The Honours, a classic brasserie piloted by Michelin-starred chef Martin Wishart, and, just in case you’ve had your fill of seafood, The Grain Store, with its fine venison, beef, and lamb dishes…BL

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Day 2
Exploring Edinburgh

The first stop on our morning walking tour is Edinburgh Castle. Set high on a craggy ridge in a strategic position, it dominates the city and has been a defensive site since the Iron Age. We then walk down the Royal Mile, exploring side alleys and lanes, before arriving at the new Scottish Parliament building. You can save that tour for tomorrow—we’re going to finish this day on a high by hiking up the mini-mountain of Arthur’s Seat, which rises above the Parliament. This is a wonderful place from where to survey the city and reflect on the trip. Your guide departs this evening. Overnight at your hotel…B

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Day 3
Free Time in Edinburgh

Today is a free day to explore the city on your own, perhaps enjoying the many fine museums or finding the perfect souvenir. Overnight at your hotel…B

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Day 4
Travel to Glasgow and Depart

Transfer south to Glasgow Airport (1.5 hours) for departure on homeward-bound flights. Depending on flight times, you may be able to enjoy some free time in Edinburgh before your transfer. (Note: You can also fly out of Edinburgh.)…B

Details

Length: 4 days
Cost From: $1895  
Arrive: Glasgow, Scotland
Depart: Glasgow, Scotland
Lodging: 3 nights hotels
Meals: All breakfasts included (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Cultural Adventures, Walking, Hiking / Trekking
Trip Level:

Easy hiking, walking tours, and cultural explorations