Ghosts and Monsters
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!
Perfect Time To Go
April - October
Number Of Nights
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 (closed Monday and Tuesday) 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 Crathes Castle. It is said to be haunted by the restless spirit of the Green Lady, a ghostly apparition dressed in a green robe. It is said that she was a servant girl or a ward of the Laird who disappeared soon after having a child. In the 1800s, skeletal remains were found behind the fireplace in a room she has been spotted in. Dunnottar Castle near Stonehaven has been the scene of many dramatic chapters in Scotland’s history and is home to several ghosts. A girl dressed in a plaid dress has been seen in the brewery while a Scandinavian-looking man was spotted going into the guardroom. Overnight Aberdeen area.
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 Sutherland. A young woman is said to haunt the Seamstress’s Room in the upper floors of Dunrobin Castle, near Golspie. The story goes that in the 15th century the Earl of Sutherland imprisoned a beautiful young woman from a rival clan, with plans to marry her. She tried to escape by climbing down a rope of sheets, but fell to her death. Sounds of her crying can still be heard coming from the room to this day. Overnight North of Scotland.
Make your way to 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 of the North Coast 500. 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. Re-join 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.
Head south 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. Head onto the main A82, passing the shore of Loch Ness, watching out for the Loch Ness Monster as you pass. Overnight Fort Augustus.
There are many other tales of strange events along this west coast and even another monster or two! Continue down the Great Glen , 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:
- 9 nights hotel accommodation on a bed & breakfast basis
- Hire of a self-drive rental car
- Return ferry from Scrabster to Stromness
- VAT at 20%