Whisky & Castles
2 day tour

  • Blair Castle
  • Cairngorms National Park
  • Whisky and castle tour from Edinburgh
  • The Cardhu Distillery
  • The Hermitage

A two day escape exploring the majesty of the Cairngorms, Deeside, Speyside and Highland Perthshire.

Tour map

Highlights

Distilleries
Castles
Mountains
National Parks
Forests
Walks

Places you explore

 

Cairngorms National Park - Gaze in awe at Scotland’s most beautifully rounded peaks.

Blair Castle* - Gardens, antlers, and gory battles: delve into Scottish history at this famous castle.

Cardhu Distillery  Founded by smugglers 200 years ago, this distillery boasts a spirited history and a delicious whisky.

Dalwhinnie Distillery  Try not to get too light-headed as you sample whisky at Scotland’s highest distillery.

The Hermitage - Walk over mossy paths and under a dark green canopy in a gorgeous forest.

 

Your journey

 

Everybody knows Scotland’s whiskies and castles go together like peanut butter and jelly. What’s less known is how much more you discover when you sample this famous duo yourself on our two-day tour.

You become an expert in Speyside whisky as you savour smuggler-founded whiskies and visit the highest working distillery in Scotland. You rejuvenate your senses with forest walks, mountain views, and regional cuisine. And you relive 750 years of political scandals, fashion styles, and gory battles within the walls of an ancient castle.

So, pair the fruity flavors of whisky with a prestigious castle on our two-day adventure through the Highlands.

 

Tour Details

Starts
Check-in closes at 08:45 (tour departs at 09:00) - Edinburgh Bus Station Pick Up, Gate J and Gate K, Edinburgh Bus Station, St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, EH1 3DQ
* From 1st April 2023 this tour departs from Edinburgh Bus Station Pick Up, Gate J and Gate K, Edinburgh Bus Station, St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, EH1 3DQ
Finishes (approx.)
18:00 - Edinburgh Bus Station Drop Off, Gate J and Gate K, Edinburgh Bus Station, St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, EH1 3DQ
*From 1st April 2023, this tour returns to Edinburgh Bus Station
Luggage
You're restricted to 14kg (31lbs) of luggage per person. This should be one piece of luggage similar to an airline carry-on bag (approximately 55cm x 45cm x 25cm / 22in x 17in x 10in) and a small bag for onboard personal items.
Discounts

Students, seniors over 60, and children between 5 and 15 (unfortunately, we don't carry children under 5 years old)

Important information
  • Pack your waterproof clothing and walking shoes
  • Access to distillery production areas may not be possible
  • Some distilleries offer tutored tastings instead of tours
  • Distilleries may be substituted
  • Attraction tickets may need to be purchased in advance. More information is provided in your booking confirmation e-mail
Tour inclusions
  • Transport in a 16 seat Mercedes mini-coach
  • Air conditioning as standard
  • The stories and services of an English-speaking driver guide
Tour exclusions
  • Entry fees to visitor attractions
  • Tour accommodation

Itinerary

Day1

  • Cast your eyes over the pine trees and rolling hills of Perthshire and the Cairngorms National Park
  • Sample a delectable Speyside whisky at a traditional distillery

You leave Edinburgh behind and head north over the iconic Queensferry Crossing.  

Fertile farming lands roll into pine valleys as you journey from the Kingdom of Fife into Highland Perthshire.

You stop in Blairgowrie to stretch your legs, admire a typical Highland town, and prepare your palette for whisky.

Your journey north takes you to a stunning view of Glenshee and the Cairngorms National Park. Lunch will be in one of your guide’s preferred Highland towns.

You then travel to the Cardhu Distillery. This historic whisky maker boasts the quintessential flavours of the Speyside region.

With a belly full of whisky and a head full of history, you spend your evening in the Grantown-on-Spey area.

 

Day 2

  • Take in views and drink up whisky at Scotland’s highest working distillery
  • Step into Scottish history at Blair Castle*

This morning, you enjoy views of the Cairngorms as we travel to Scotland’s highest working distillery, Dalwhinnie Distillery. Their whisky is nicknamed ‘the gentle spirit’ due to its soft flavours.

After warming yourself up with whisky, you journey to Blair Castle. Here, you can learn about Mary Queen of Scots, discover a ballroom adorned with 175 antlers, and roam the 9-acre Georgian garden. Here is also where you take your lunch.

You head further south to the Hermitage. This classic forest walk offers sublime views of Douglas Fir trees, salmon-loving rivers, and thunderous waterfalls.

You arrive in Edinburgh early in the evening.

 

*You visit Blair Castle between April and October and you go to Stirling Castle between November and March. 

** Please note, for tours departing from 1st April 2023 whisky distilleries may change

Accommodation

 

Where does this tour stay overnight?

Your tour stays one night in Grantown-on-Spey.

 

How does the accommodation work?

Your tour excludes accommodation; but when you book, you can ask us to reserve local accommodation for you, or you can choose to reserve your own accommodation in the overnight locations.

 

I want Rabbie’s to book my accommodation, what happens now?

Once you've booked your tour, we'll reserve all your accommodation, and your driver will drop you off with your hosts. You’ll pay your accommodation directly. Most don’t accept credit cards, so be prepared to pay cash.

 

What if I want to change my accommodation booking with Rabbie’s?

Plans can change, so we let you alter your accommodation choices for free within the first 48 hours of booking. After this time, amendments aren't guaranteed and carry a surcharge. Please contact rooms@rabbies.com if you have any questions.

 

I booked my own accommodation is there anything I need to do?

You’ll need to contact us with your accommodation details. Please only reserve accommodation within the overnight towns that your tour stops in. Your driver will drop you off at your chosen accommodation as long as it’s relatively central.

 

What if I cancel my tour at short notice?

You may be liable for the cost of your first nights’ accommodation for each separate accommodation booked. If you cancel less than three days before departure, you may be liable for all your accommodation costs.

 

What are the accommodation types?

We try to reserve accommodation that’s no more than a 20-minute walk from the town centre. We regularly check our accommodation suppliers to ensure they reach a certain standard. The prices below are for guidance only.

 

The prices below are for guidance only and are based on 2022 rates. We’re working with suppliers to bring you the most up to date pricing for tours departing in 2023.

 

B&B (Bed and Breakfast) Standard

The toilet and showering facilities are shared with at least one other room in the house, and the price includes breakfast. The cost is £35 - £50 per person per night based on shared accommodation. A single standard room is £40 - £70 per night.

B&B En suite

The showering and toilet facilities are private, and breakfast is included in the price. The cost is £45 - £65 per person per night. A single en suite is £75 - £90 per night.

Hotels

Hotels have a bar or restaurant and provide evening meals. Breakfast is included in the price. The cost is £75 - £90 per person per night based on shared accommodation. A single is £90 - £150 per night.

Hostels

Please note, we're unable to book hostels for this tour at the moment. You may still be able to book hostel accommodation yourself if you choose to the option to book your own accommodation for your tour.

A hostel consists of dormitory rooms with 4 to 16 bunk beds. The bathroom facilities are a short distance from the dorm room. Kitchen facilities are equipped so you can make your own meals. The cost based on dorm beds is £19 - £30 per person per night.

Please note that SYHA hostels only offer same gender dorms. Some independent hostels will offer mixed rooms (males and females together)

I have more questions, who can help me?

If you have any more questions, you can read our FAQs, call us on +44(0)131 226 3133, or email rooms@rabbies.com.

 

FAQs

Do you offer hotel pickups in the departure cities?

The UK and Ireland's historic city centres are full of narrow streets and winding roads. So, to speed up your departure, we only pick up from our central meeting points. What's more is leaving the city using the most direct route also reduces the carbon footprint of our tours.

Is there parking close to the departure point?

We don't recommend bringing your car into the centre of our departure cities. It can be hard to find parking, and there are excellent public transportation services.

When should I get to the departure point?

Arrive 15 minutes before your departure time. Due to waiting restrictions, we can't wait for you if you're late.

What happens if I'm late or miss the tour?

If you're late for your tour, our cancellation policy applies.

What are your cancellation policies?

We have a cancellation period of 48 hours for our one day tours, 15 days for two to nine day tours, and 21 days for 10+ day tours. If cancelled outside this period, we'll give you a full refund minus a 10% admin charge. If you cancel inside this period, refunds are at our discretion. Click here to view full terms and conditions.

Can Itineraries change?

Your tour will always follow the itinerary as closely as possible. While there are ongoing coronavirus restrictions throughout the UK and Ireland, itineraries are more likely to change than usual as opening hours and capacities at many visitor attractions are reduced and subject to change. Your driver-guide will keep you up to up to date on the road, and we'll try to get in touch about any large changes prior to your departure.

Can I pre-book a specific seat?

Due to logistical reasons, we're unable to let you pre-book a seat on the bus. But our comfortable 16-seat mini-coaches have huge windows. So, you'll always get a good view.

Are there toilets on the bus?

Unfortunately, we have no on-board toilet facilities, but you'll have regular comfort breaks.

How do you cater for people with accessibility needs?

We aim to accommodate everyone. To read more information on how we do this, click here to go to our accessibility guide.

Do you take children on your tours?

We regret we don't carry children under the age of five on our scheduled tours.

You can ask us about the tours we recommend for younger children. And if your child is less than 1.35m tall, you should let us know, so we can provide them with a suitable booster seat.

How much time do I get off the bus?

We want you to enjoy Britain and Ireland. And we believe the best way to do this is to get you off the mini-coach and out exploring. So, we give you plenty of time to take photos, go walking, and explore ancient ruins.

Why do you exclude visitor attractions?

We exclude visitor attractions in your tour price because it lets you travel your way. It means you can pamper yourself with a luxury lunch or skip an attraction whenever you feel like it.

Do we need to bring our own lunch?

You don't need to. We stop in small towns, villages, and rural eateries where you can choose whatever meal pleases both your taste buds and your budget.

Should I tip the driver-guide?

Let's be honest, our driver-guides would never refuse a cheeky bonus. But it's up to you, and the amount is entirely at your discretion.

What about travel insurance?

We advise you take out travel insurance.

What is ABTOT?

You're protected by ABTOT when you chose to let us reserve your accommodation on a multi-day tour. This means you can claim back anything you've paid us if we become bankrupt. Read our terms and conditions for more information.

I have more questions, who can help me?

If you have any more questions, call us on +44(0)131 226 3133, email tours@rabbies.com , or check out our full FAQs .

4 reasons to choose Rabbie's

Travel the local way on small group tours of 16 people or fewer

You'll have a guaranteed experience, or your money back

Guaranteed departures: We’ll never cancel your tour because of minimum numbers

Our eco-friendly tours support local communities


Customer reviews



Green Tourism Award Scottish Thistle Awards Winner 2015/2016 Scottish Tourist Board 5 Stars
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