A Journey Through North West Scotland with the Royal Society of Medicine

23 Jun - 1 Jul 2022
  • Cultural Tours

About the tour

Take in the sweeping history and breathtaking landscapes of Scotland's north and west, from Edinburgh to Inverness and down along the spectacular North Coast 500 road to Gairloch and Skye. This short tour encompasses Scotland at its most dramatic and historic. You will also stay in some distinctive hotels, including some magnificent settings.

Sample local whisky, learn about the Enlightenment and medical history of Edinburgh, visit the mighty Forth Railway Bridge - a marvel of Victorian engineering - and travel via the spectacular Cairngorms, Loch Ness and the haunting battleground at Culloden. Visit Loch Ewe and learn about its naval history and the Arctic convoys and see the magnificent gardens at Inverewe. Meet the Lady Laird and tour the beautiful gardens at Attadale House. Visit Eilean Donan Castle before crossing to Skye, with a visit to Talisker Distillery, and take some beautiful walks. Return to Edinburgh via one of the most spectacular rail journeys in the world, across the Glenfinnan Viaduct to Fort William, before travelling back to Edinburgh via the breathtakingly beautiful landscapes of Glencoe, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs.

This compilation shows Scotland's top 100 breathtaking highlights, several of which we visit on this tour (you can watch with with the somewhat frenetic music off, if you prefer a more tranquil viewing experience).

COVID-19 Safety:

Jon Baines Tours have been issued the Visit Britain "Good to Go" Industry standard, demonstrating that we have shown compliance with government and industry COVID-19 guidelines, have a Risk Assessment in place and ensure social distancing on tour, including using a phone app when providing tour commentaries.

We will continue to adapt our itineraries and travel protocols to comply with all current health advice relating to COVID-19.

Your tour leader

Picture of JBT tour leader, Lorna Johnson

Lorna Johnson

Lorna Johnson worked as a professional musician for over 40 years and is a member of the Royal Society of Musicians. As a violinist with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra for most of her career, she travelled the world playing concerts in Europe, North and South America, Turkey, India, China, South Korea and Japan.

Since qualifying as a hill-walking guide in 1997 and as a Blue Badge Guide in 2000, Lorna has led numerous tours throughout Scotland and in England. She has an extensive knowledge and passion for Scotland which she loves to share.

Lorna has met the Visit Britain “Good to Go” industry standard and will have a risk assessment in place.

Need more information?

  • Tel: (Toll Free) 1-8777-398-764
  • Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm
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Itinerary at a glance

  • Day 1 Edinburgh (Thurs, 23 June) Arrive Edinburgh and transfer to the Ten Hill Place Hotel, which is owned by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and in the Surgeons Quarter.Take a tour of the superb Scotch Whisky Experience, which immerses you in the whisky making process, including sampling a dram, before dinner with whisky pairings for starter and dessert.
  • Day 2: Edinburgh (Fri, 24 June) By special arrangement we will have a guided walking tour of Old Town Edinburgh and the historic buildings of the University of Edinburgh with historian Sheila Szatkowski, author of Enlightenment Edinburgh. The tour will explore sites associated with philosophers David Hume and Adam Smith, along with medics and scientists such as Joseph Black, Joseph Lister and Sophia Jex Blake. Take an escorted tour with Michael Crumplin, Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, and a college guide to Surgeons Hall, home to the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, the Wohl Pathology Museum, the History of Surgery Museum and the Dental Collection. The Surgeon’s Hall Museums were opened to the public in 1832, making them one of the oldest museums in Scotland.
  • Day 3: Edinburgh / Inverness  (Sat, 25 June) Drive to Inverness. Visit the Forth Railway Bridge and learn of the building of this great bridge and the Tay Bridge disaster. Continue to Inverness via the Cairngorms, Loch Ness and haunting Culloden Moor, site of the tragic Battle of Culloden of 1746, with expert battlefield guide, Ian Deveney. Overnight and dinner at the Glen Mhor Hotel.
  • Day 4: Inverness / Gairloch (Sun, 26 June) Drive to see Loch Ness. Take a scenic drive via the Victorian Spa Resort of Strathpeffer and the Corrieshalloch Gorge for a short walk. Continue to the great house and wonderful botanic gardens at Inverewe. At the same latitude as Moscow and Hudson Bay, Inverewe benefits from the effects of the Gulf Stream, which enabled a lush paradise of unusual plants from across the globe to be established by a father and daughter amidst a barren wilderness on the Atlantic coast, more than 150 years ago. Continue to Gairloch through magnificent scenery and check into the beautiful Myrtle Bank Hotel. Enjoy dinner at its acclaimed restaurant overlooking the sea in the summer evening light.
  • Day 5: Gairloch (Mon, 27 June) Travel to Loch Ewe and learn of its important naval history and the Arctic convoys. It was of great strategic importance in World War II because it is north-facing (and therefore protected from westerly winds), plus being less exposed to air attack than the base at Scapa Flow. Meet with a member of the Russian Arctic Convoy Project and learn of its history. Afternoon at leisure with options including a visit to the recent award winning Gairloch Museum or walks along the coast or a boat trip.
  • Day 6: Gairloch / Skye (Tues, 28 June) Meet with the Lady Laird of Attadale House, Joanna McPherson, one of a new breed of lady landowners challenging tradition in Scotland, and take a specialist guided tour of the gardens at Attadale House. Visit Eilean Donan Castle in its spectacular loch-side setting. Cross the Kyle of Lochalsh to Skye and transfer to the Eilean Iarmain Hotel overlooking the Sound of Sleat and the distant hills of Knoydart.
  • Day 7: Skye (Wed, 29 June) Explore the breathtaking island of Skye, including beautiful walks. Visit the Apothecaries Tower, a wonderful tower folly with panoramic views of Portree and the harbour, and Talisker Distillery for a tour with a dram.
  • Day 8: Edinburgh (Thurs, 30 June) Drive to Armadale and take the ferry to Mallaig.* Take one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world across the Glenfinnan Viaduct to Fort William (luggage goes by bus). Drive via Glencoe, Loch Lomond, across the Trossachs National Park and onto Edinburgh. Enjoy a farewell dinner in the evening.
  • Day 9: Edinburgh (Fri, 1 July) Depart Edinburgh or take the optional Edinburgh extension (see below).

* Pending confirmation of ferry timetable

Edinburgh extension:

  • Day 9: Edinburgh (Fri, 1 July) Depart by coach for panoramic tour of the city, passing by the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence of the monarch in Scotland, Holyrood Park, the Scottish Parliament and the medieval Royal Mile. Continuing through the 18th century Georgian streets of the New Town, the panoramic tour ends at Edinburgh Castle. Dating back to the 11th century, the castle is home to Scotland’s crown jewels and the famous Stone of Destiny. After an orientation tour there will be time to explore the castle and its museums before departing for the National Museum of Scotland for lunch. In the afternoon visit the National Museum of Scotland with its diverse collections.
  • Day 10: Edinburgh (Sat, 2 July) Depart Edinburgh.

Tour cost

£2,368 per person sharing

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Current travel guidelines

Jon Baines Tours' current travel guidelines.

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