Like Rome, it sits on seven hills and has been called the “Athens of the North” for its architectural gems and scholarly traditions—but Edinburgh is a city with a spirit all its own. With a fascinating history and vibrant contemporary culture, Edinburgh is one of Europe’s most memorable capitals. Explore the city that has been home to such luminaries as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Robert Louis Stevenson, and discover its cobbled streets, world-famous museums, and, of course, iconic Edinburgh Castle.
- It's Included:
- Accommodations: for 3 nights at the First-Class Carlton Hotel or similar
- 4 meals: 3 breakfasts, 1 dinner
- Included tour: city tour, including Edinburgh Castle; St. Andrews
- Exclusive services of a Grand Circle Program Director
- All transfers
- Now included for 2015:
- Gratuities for local guides and motorcoach drivers on your extension and all optional tours
After breakfast in your hotel, enjoy an introduction to royal Scotland. You’ll be introduced to some key sights of the British monarchy, including the Royal Yacht Britannia—upon which Prince Charles and Princess Diana embarked on their honeymoon cruise—and Edinburgh Castle, which overlooks the city from a perch atop a long-extinct volcano. A royal dwelling has been located here since the twelfth century, and the castle’s St. Margaret’s Chapel—the oldest surviving building in the city—dates to this time.
After lunch on your own, the balance of the day is free for discoveries at leisure. Dinner this evening is on your own.
Enjoy a full day at leisure. Perhaps you’ll visit Holyrood Palace. Its carefully designed additions over the centuries have made it one of the most admired buildings in the British Isles. The palace was completed in 1501 and was the site of the marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots and Lord Darnley in 1565, and of much subsequent intrigue. Less than a year later, the jealous Darnley had Mary’s private secretary murdered here in her presence.
Enjoy dinner on your own tonight or join us for an unforgettable optional evening of Scottish entertainment at the stables of Prestonfield House, set in the heart of Edinburgh. You’ll enjoy music on accordion, fiddle, and bagpipes, as well as a demonstration of Scottish dancing. Dinner is included.
After breakfast in your hotel, enjoy an included half-day tour of coastal St. Andrews. This small town of fewer than 20,000 nonetheless plays a big part in Scottish culture and home to St. Andrew’s University, Scotland’s first university and the third oldest in the English-speaking world, dating to 1413. It’s other claim to fame is less academic and more physical: St. Andrews has been nicknamed the Home of Golf, as the site of seven golf courses, including several of the world’s oldest clubs and Old Course, the most well-known golf club on Earth.
Return to Edinburgh in time for lunch on your own. Continue your discoveries at leisure for the balance of the afternoon.
This evening, toast your journey during an included dinner with wine at a local restaurant.
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before transferring to the airport for your flight home.