We leave Scotland's capital at 8.30am and head past Stirling, home to Scottish legends like William Wallace and Robert the Bruce and the scene of many bloody battles in the Wars of Independence. Our route north takes us through eerie Glencoe, the Weeping Glen where you hear the tragic story of the MacDonald's massacre of 1692, before climbing up past the shadow of mighty Ben Nevis, Britain s highest mountain. Travelling along the Great Glen Fault Line we then skirt the coast and pass Eilean Donan Castle perched on the shores of Loch Duich before crossing the bridge to the stunning Isle of Skye, our home for the night. Finish the day off by getting to know your new HAGGiS Clan and sample some local ales or whisky in the pub.
The Isle of Skye has it all. Ruined castles, breathtaking views and faerie stories. You will hear all about the legendary MacLeod and MacDonald Clans, as well as the Celtic myths and Viking legends from the past millennia. This mystical island has stories to tell for a lifetime, so no wonder it's starred in some Hollywood hits. Take to foot as your Guide leads you to the best spots for the classic panoramic views you see in travel magazines. Skye packs an amazing array of stunning scenery, from dramatic mountain ranges and rugged coastlines to soaring waterfalls. You ll return to the mainland past the beautiful Eilean Donan Castle, the most photographed castle in Scotland and on to your home for the night, Morag s Lodge on the banks of Loch Ness. Here you can head to the bar and be sure to find some traditional Scottish hospitality.
We follow the entire length of Loch Ness searching for a glimpse of the legendary monster (see if you are able to entice her out) and pass Urquhart Castle dramatically poised on its shores. The journey takes us on through Inverness, the capital of the Highlands, before turning south to make our way towards the town of Dunkeld, an area steeped in history and portrayed incorrectly by Shakespear. Hear the true story of Macbeth as you pass through his lands and explore Dunkeld s Gothic Cathedral and quirky wee shops. We cross the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Forth Bridge on our return to Edinburgh in the early evening. After these epic 3 days, you ll have fallen in love with Scotland, made friends for life and be truly ready to take on Edinburgh s Hogmanay celebrations!
Today you have some free time to explore the exciting capital of Scotland. Why not start with The Royal Mile which runs from the Castle right down to the Palace of Holyrood House and the Parliament? As locals, we ll be on hand if you need some tips on where to go and what to see, our crew are more than happy to help out. You will also have the chance to join a walking tour led by your HAGGiS Guide. See the city highlights and hear the stories behind some of Edinburgh s legends. Tonight, join 35,000 people for the Torchlight Procession where torchbearers march through the city led by the famous Shetland Vikings. This is truly a spectacular sight and not to be missed. Then it s on to our legendary HAGGiS Ceilidh for a night of traditional Scottish dancing. You can bet that your feet will be sore in the morning from all the spinning on the dance floor!
We kick off with the Aussie and Kiwi New Year surrounded by loads of fellow Antipodeans, all keen to celebrate early in the morning. Party on as the celebrations continue around the globe or take some free time to explore the capital and have fun at the Winter Festival. Get ready for the main event, wrap up and don't forget to grab your Street Party ticket before heading to the best New Year celebration in the world. Four street party stages, DJ's, traditional Scottish music and dancing in the streets are on the cards. Did we mention that fireworks are set off against the backdrop of Edinburgh Castle? When the clock strikes 12, it s your chance to kiss everyone you can get your hands on, wish them Happy Hogmanay and sing 'Auld Lang Syne'.
Feeling brave? Then choose to add the Loony Dook to your tour! This is a crazy but once in a lifetime experience. Join thousands of other loonies and brave the freezing waters of the Firth of Forth in costume (fancy dress optional but very much encouraged!) If you re not feeling daring, why not fight that hangover with a climb up Arthur s Seat, it is the highest point in the centre of Edinburgh as well as being an extinct volcano. It s a bit of a hike but you will be rewarded with amazing views across the city and beyond - towards the Forth Bridges and the Highlands on a clear day. Maybe you ll even find some snow up there! The evening is free for you to check out what the many pubs of Edinburgh have to offer. The Grassmarket and Rose Street are a good starting point for another epic night!
Unfortunately, all good things have to come to an end. You will need to check out of your hostel by 10am, but before you leave be sure to breathe in the last of that fine Scottish air, appreciate the magnificent views of the city and hug your new friends goodbye before heading off on your travels. After this epic HAGGiS Hogmanay, New Year will never be the same again!
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Trip Name: Highlands & Hogmanay
Duration: 7 Days
From Price: $999
Supplier Tour ID: NY3/159613
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