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Old streets, ruined castles, empty moors and dark and silent lochs – no wonder the mind can play strange tricks sometimes, as you may find while exploring some of Scotland's more atmospheric settings. The imagination of the Celts long ago populated this landscape with all kinds of other-worldly beings, from fairies to full-scale monsters. Take this tour to discover places where tales are still told which defy explanation!
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Tel: +44 (0)1592 752990
Fax: +44 (0)1592 331680
Toll Free: 1-888 678 1567 USA/Canada
Start your spooky encounter in Edinburgh in The Real Mary King's Close. Your tour guide will show you where some of the apparitions have appeared in this atmospheric old setting. Then head north via the Forth Bridge and Dundee, for Montrose. At the north end of the town, the old aerodrome was the scene of a fatal accident involving a pilot who fell out of a plane (without a parachute), precipitating the first of several ghost stories involving airmen here. Visit the heritage museum in one of the original buildings for more information. Overnight Montrose area.
Continue north along the coast for Aberdeen and 'Castle Country'. A signposted castle trail will point you to some of its finest castles, including Fyvie Castle. Part fortress, part stately home, it is also the setting for a number of hauntings, including a phantom trumpeter. From Fyvie, take rural roads cross-country north-east to reach Fraserburgh, home of the unique Museum of Scottish Lighthouses. Adjacent is the 16th century Wine Tower, from where, according to local legend, the lovestruck daughter of the local laird jumped to her death. However, it is the piper she fell in love with who is said to play below the tower – but only on dark and stormy nights! Overnight Aberdeen.
Head west along the coast of the Moray Firth, turning west of Banff for Speyside via Keith and Grantown-on-Spey. This leads on to the edge of the Cairngorms by Aviemore. Visit Ben Macdui, second highest mountain in Scotland, and the haunt of the tall and fearful Grey Man of Ben Macdui. Overnight Aviemore.
Take the A9 north via Inverness for Tain, then go west for Carbisdale Castle, thought to be Scotland's most haunted Youth Hostel – a very spooky place! Overnight North of Scotland.
Return to the A9, continuing north for Scrabster, ferry port for Orkney. Skaill House, by Skara Brae, on the main island is a handsome 17th century mansion house with notable ghostly goings-on. Overnight on Orkney with the option of staying an extra night to explore the island.
Return to Scrabster and head west, turning south at Durness, enjoying the wild landscapes. Look for signs for Kinlochbervie, taking the road beyond to park near Sheigra. Walk to Sandwood Bay, 8 miles (13km), which some say is haunted but is certainly one of the most enchanted and beautiful stretches of coast on the north-west seaboard. Rejoin the main road, continuing south and over the handsome Kylesku Bridge. You will pass the ruin of Ardvreck Castle on the shores of wild Loch Assynt. This old fortress is also haunted. Overnight Ullapool area.
Leave Ullapool and travel round the coast past Little Loch Broom and Gruinard Bay. At Laide, look for a sign for Mellon Udrigle. Follow this sign and a few minutes drive brings you to a small loch (left). In the mid-19th century, local people began to see a dark shape like an upturned boat rise out of the loch on several occasions. Their landlord tried to drain the loch – but after two years gave up! By coincidence, the stretch of water was called Loch na Beiste (loch of the monster) – a name it had been given long before the sightings and still carries today. overnight West coast
There are many other tales of strange events along this west coast and even another monster or two! If you return to Inverness, take the road down the Great Glen watching out for the Loch Ness Monster as you pass, then go west from Fort William. On the way to Mallaig you will pass dark and mysterious Loch Morar, where in the 1960s a very curious large creature in the loch is said to have bumped into an angler's boat! Overnight Stirling area.
Included in this package:
All hotels will be 3 star or above.
Best of Scotland Holidays offer a variety of tours including Tours of Scotland, Ireland, England and Wales, Whisky Trails, Honeymoon Packages, Castle and Garden Tours, Island Hoping, Walking Holidays and much more - something to suit everyone!
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3 nights' hotel accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis; Chauffeur Drive car; Admission to Whisky Distilleries to include tastings; VAT at 20%.
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This tour features:
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