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Perhaps it's something about the ambience of old castles, the sound of the wind over lonely moors or the mystery lurking round dark woods – but there's no denying that parts of Scotland certainly have a special atmosphere. Local legends tell of fairy-folk or mysterious monsters haunting lochs, or unexplained sightings high on the Scottish hills. Best not to take it all too seriously!
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Tel: +44 (0)1592 752990
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Visit Rosslyn Chapel, just south of Edinburgh, then explore Scotland's capital. There are many legends associated with Edinburgh, especially the Old Town. For example, Major Weir was a warlock who lived near the Grassmarket. He used to send his walking stick out on errands! Take an organised 'ghost tour' of the Old Town, or visit Mary King's Close, where hauntings, apparently, still happen. Edinburgh Castle is also the setting for many ghostly tales. Overnight Edinburgh
Follow signs for Perth, and then onto Glamis Castle, sometimes described as the most haunted castle in Scotland. Continue north for the White and Brown Caterthuns, lonely, ruinous hill-forts north of the main road. The White Caterthun has a magic stone, by the north rampart. Touch it by moonlight and you will come into money! Edzell Castle is also nearby, haunted by a White Lady. Continue over the Cairn o Mount road for Royal Deeside. Overnight Aberdeenshire/Royal Deeside
Make your way west up the valley of the River Dee. Ben Macdui lies in the Cairngorms to the west and is associated with the Grey Man of Ben Macdui. A giant figure, witnessed by many around the summit, walks in the mist and snow. Take the road to Tomintoul for Grantown-on-Spey. Overnight Grantown-on-Spey.
Continue northwards via Dava Moor. The castle on the island in Lochindorb was historically associated with the warlike Comyn or Cumming family, and in particular the notorious 14th century freebooter, the Wolf of Badenoch. Follow signs for Inverness to reach Culloden, setting for the last battle fought in Britain, when the government army defeated the Jacobite forces under Bonnie Prince Charlie. Overnight Inverness.
From Inverness go north through the Black Isle. Head for Fortrose, where there is a memorial to the Brahan Seer, one of the most famous seers in Scotland. (He foretold, for example, the coming of the railways to the Highlands.) Unhappily, he came to a gruesome end here: burned in a tar barrel for making an indiscreet prediction! Continue to Cromarty, associated with a mermaid legend. Overnight Inverness.
Go south for Loch Ness, where the exhibitions at Drumnadrochit let you explore the Loch Ness phenomenon. Go west at Invermoriston, continuing to Skye via the Skye Bridge at Kyle of Lochalsh. Follow signs for Portree. The main road near Sligachan has in the past been haunted by a phantom motor car – a 1934 Austin! – which approaches from behind, overtakes, then disappears! Overnight Skye.
From Portree, circle west for Dunvegan Castle, ancient seat of the Clan MacLeod, associated with the legend of the Fairy Flag of Dunvegan. Overnight Skye.
Leave the island by the Armadale to Mallaig ferry. From Mallaig, a short way south brings you to Loch Morar, also associated with a Loch Ness-type phenomenon of unexplained sightings. Continue to Fort William. Discover the heritage of Fort William and Lochaber at the town's West Highland Museum, said to have its own ghost – a former curator who can be heard typing! Overnight Fort William.
Go south and west for Glencoe then continue via Crianlarich and Lochearnhead for Callander and the Rob Roy and Trossachs Visitor Centre. Rob Roy was a real-life Highlander but attracted many local tales and legends to him. Overnight Callander.
Explore 'Rob Roy Country' by heading west via Loch Katrine and Aberfoyle. The Rev. Robert Kirk, the local minister there, was an authority on fairies and often conversed with them. He was found dead on the nearby Doon Hill one night in 1692. Afterwards, he appeared in ethereal form, looking for help in escaping from the fairy world. It is said he has now been turned into the tall pine which grows on the hilltop. (A waymarked walk guides you to the top.) Turn east for Stirling Castle, with easy motorway connections nearby for your overnight stay in Edinburgh or Glasgow.
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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