To join the delightful Glamis, Pitlochry and Blair Atholl Tour from Edinburgh, make your way to the alley known as Old Fishmarket Close (190 High Street), Edinburgh EH11RW. To get there by car follow the signs to the Old Town and Cathedral. The nearest stops for the Lothian Buses are at South Bridge, George IV Bridge, and Princes Street.
During the tour you will be accompanied by a Spanish and English speaking driver cum guide. After leaving Edinburgh your first stop is at majestic Glamis Castle, seat of an ancient and noble Scottish family.
Glamis Castle has been the home of the Lyon family since the 14th century, though the present building dates largely from the 17th century. The Castle was the childhood home of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, who married King George VI, and was later known as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. Her second daughter, Princess Margaret, was born there.
Glamis is one of Scotland’s most impressive castles and is the legendary setting for Shakepeare’s “Macbeth”. It also has more than its fair share of legends and ghost stories. Admire the soaring turrets and battlements while your guide tells you tales of murders, curses and spooky occurrences at this vast baronial fortress.
Your journey takes you through beautiful scenery to the town of Pitlochry in the heart of Scotland. You will see one of the town's best-loved attractions – the Pitlochry Dam and Fish Ladder. Here salmon negotiate the specially constructed ladder allowing them to bypass Pitlochry Dam into the man-made Loch Faskally.
The town has been a popular tourist destination for well over 150 years, counting Queen Victoria amongst its earlier visitors.
You will stop for lunch in Pitlochry (payable direct). For a small highland town there is an incredible range of restaurants, cafes and eateries to discover, offering a great choice from the simple fish and chips to top of the range menus that compare favourably to those you will find in many larger towns or cities.
The beautifully restored Victorian buildings of Atholl Road offer a wide range of restaurants and specialist gift shops.
From Pitlochry you travel to Blair Castle, the ancient seat of the Dukes and Earls of Atholl. The Castle is one of Scotland’s finest stately homes and was the last castle in the British Isles to be besieged, an event that took place in 1746. The Duke of Atholl is the only person in the United Kingdom allowed to raise a private army. This army, known as the Atholl Highlanders, conducts largely social and ceremonial activities, and primarily consists of workers on the extensive Atholl Estates.
The oldest part of Blair Castle, known as Comyn's (or Cumming's) Tower, is claimed (perhaps wrongly) to date from the 13th century. The majority of the Castle is 16th century in date, though much altered.
The collections of furniture, paintings, historical relics, weapons, embroidery, china, Highland artefacts and hunting trophies in the Castle are among the finest in Scotland. Thirty-two rooms are open to the public, more than in any comparable stately home.
The Castle sits in extensive grounds, which the Dukes of Atholl have altered and added to over centuries. Famous features include Diana's Grove and the Hercules Garden, both laid out in the first half of the 18th century. The Dukes of Atholl were enthusiastic tree planters, and Diana's Grove contains some of the tallest trees in Great Britain.
You will also visit the castle cemetery and a ruined church and enjoy photographing the shaggy Highland cows on the estate.
At the end of the tour you will be driven back to Edinburgh and will be dropped off at the starting point.