'Queen's View & Pitlochry
The Queen’s View in Highland Perthshire overlooks Loch Tummel and is surrounded by Tay Forest Park. It is a stunning view point, and one of the most photographed areas of Scotland. Queen Victoria remarked it was named after her when she visited in 1866, but it could also be named after the wife of Robert the Bruce, 550 years earlier! The visitor centre at Queen’s View has a café and information about the area.
Pitlochry sits below Ben Vrackie, the ‘speckled mountain’ and River Tummel runs alongside. The surrounding hills and woodlands are wonderful walking country. The town is a famous holiday resort, and has rich Victorian heritage, as it became popular after Queen Victoria visited. The name comes from the Gaelic ‘Pit Cloich Aire’ meaning ‘place of the Sentinel Stone’ and was once a Pictish settlement. Two Sentinel Stones survive today, one in the grounds of Tigh na Cloich and the other in the gardens at Northlands.
See a bit of Royal Deeside on a drive through the Cairngorms. We’ll stop for a view of Balmoral Castle, the historical royal summer residence of Queen Elizabeth II, which was also a favourite of Queen Victoria’s, and Crathie Kirk (Church) in Crathie, a regular place of worship for the Royal Family when they are at Balmoral.
We carry on to Ballater, which sits in the heart of Royal Deeside, and visitors to the picturesque Victorian village can enjoy the cosy cafés, excellent shopping and array of Victorian buildings.
After Ballater we drive along to Braemar. It is home to Braemar Castle and hosts its own Highland Games every year. The lovely village is surrounded by mountains and ancient pine forests and is a great place to spot an elusive red squirrel!
Inverness & Loch Ness Cruise (around an hour)
We have to say, we’ve got a lot of love for Inverness. A compact, cosmopolitan city with a lot of heart, and all the wonders of the Highlands on its doorstep - that’s a pretty fine combination, don’t you think? Discover its flourishing culinary scene, explore the Victorian Market or Eastgate Shopping Centre for a bit of retail therapy, catch one of the many events at Eden Court and other venues, or take your time to admire art exhibitions in the city’s gallery spaces. Just taking a wander through the handsome city centre is pretty enjoyable too; appreciate Inverness Castle and St Andrew’s Cathedral, then stroll along the banks of the River Ness, crossing the suspension bridge for some peace and relaxation on the Ness Islands. Fabulous! Loch Ness is beautiful and shrouded in mystery, all thanks to a mythical creature that circles the deep waters occasionally raising her head above the water for a picture. It goes without saying that Nessie is our favourite monster, but the place where she lives is even more fascinating. Come and find out more on this lovely cruise around Loch Ness.