Late summer gardens
Scotland’s Finest Castles and Private Gardens
Sunday 6th – Saturday 12th September 2020 (6 nights)
This spectacular tour explores the very best castles and gardens in Scotland, as well as following some of its most scenic driving routes through the Scottish borders and highlands. Expect majestic castles, beautiful planting schemes, private gardens, the vibrancy of Edinburgh and the luxury of Scotland’s hottest new hotels.
- Exclusive visits to the private gardens at Kinross House, Fairnielaw House, Broadwoodside and Whitburgh House
- Central Edinburgh stay with panoramic tour of Edinburgh and visit to Edinburgh Castle.
- Stunning scenic drives through the Scottish Borders and Highlands
- A day in the Cairngorms National Park with Distillery visit
- Private dinner at Kincardine Castle with the owners
- Garden tour of Crathes Castle garden
- Pre-opening visit to Drummond Castle
- Private lunch at the Lutyen’s designed Greywalls, with garden tour after
- Visit to Scone Palace where Scottish Kings were crowned
Photo credits – VisitScotland – Drummond Castle, Edinburgh, Braemar, Crathes Castle. Jupiter Artland – Allan Pollock Morris; Whitburgh House – Claire Takacs; Kinross House – Ray Cox Photography; Other images kindly supplied by Kincardine Castle or copyright Sisley Garden Tours.
Our tour starts in the early afternoon at our base for the first three nights of the tour, the new 4-star Market Street Hotel, Edinburgh, in the heart of the city and close to Waverley Station. From here we’ll take a panoramic coach tour of Edinburgh, seeing all the city highlights, and then visit Edinburgh Castle. We have dinner in one of Edinburgh’s stylish restaurants (included).
Monday 7th September
Our first stop today is Whitburgh House which has one of the best contemporary gardens in the UK. This stunning one-acre walled garden will be at its peak in early September with bold colours and innovative design.
We then visit Jupiter Artland. This private collection of sculptures is situated in a 100 acre parkland surrounding a Jacobean manor house. The 35 site-specific works include pieces by Andy Goldsworth, Ian Hamilton Finlay and Charles Jencks. We will have lunch here (independent). We return to Edinburgh where your evening is at leisure to explore the many cafes and restaurants on our hotel’s doorstep.
Tuesday 8th September
This morning we make a private visit to Broadwoodside – one of Scotland’s finest contemporary gardens planted around a farmstead, rescued from dereliction. We meet the owner of this splendid garden that displays excellent structure, imaginative use of objects and eye-catching planting. Next we go to Fairnielaw – a 2.5 acre garden set on a rocky ridge. The garden is on several levels and is a mixture of both formal and wild areas with beautiful views towards the hills.
We proceed onto Greywalls for lunch (included). This impressive Edwardian house was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1901. The 6 acre formal gardens are attributed to Gertrude Jekyll and are today beautifully maintained. We will enjoy a guided tour of the gardens with the head gardener after lunch. Now a luxury hotel, Greywalls overlooks Muirfield Golf Course with stunning views over the Firth of Forth. We return to Edinburgh mid-afternoon with the rest of the day to explore the Scottish capital. Your evening is at leisure.
Wednesday 9th September
After checking out of our hotel, we head north across the Firth of Forth to Kinross House. The impressive formal gardens have been restored in the last 10 years back to their original design of 1685. Contemporary planting compliments the formal layout and the gardens have stunning views over Loch Leven.
Afterwards we visit Scone Palace, once the capital of the Picts and since, it has been the seat of parliaments and the crowning place of the Kings of Scots, including Macbeth and Robert The Bruce. The Palace houses an outstanding collection of antiques, paintings and rare artefacts and the grounds include the tiny Chapel and a replica of the Stone of Scone.
We have lunch (included) in the Old Kitchen before exploring the castle and grounds. In the late afternoon we check into the Fife Arms. This award-winning hotel has been imaginatively restored. The hotel is located in the historic Scottish village of Braemar amidst the majestic landscape of the Cairngorms National Park and offers a truly authentic and luxurious experience. We have dinner in the hotel (included).
Thursday 10th September
Today we visit two Scottish castles and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Royal Deeside. Our first stop is at Crathes Castle, know for its exceptional Arts & Crafts walled garden which started as a kitchen garden and was later developed into a flower garden.The garden is intensively planted to give colour all year round and some of the topiary yew hedges date back to 1702. The gardens contain an extensive collection of rare and interesting trees and shrubs. We will have a guided tour with the head gardener followed by time for lunch (independent) and time to explore the 16th century castle.
We continue onto the private Kincardine Castle. The castle is a late-Victorian Arts & Crafts fantasy on Scottish tower-house architecture while the superb gardens stem from the 18th century. We will meet the owner and tour the castle and gardens with him, followed by a traditional Scottish High Tea in the castle (included) before returning to the hotel.
Friday 11th September
This morning we make the most of the sumptuous facilities and activities offered by our hotel, The Fife Arms, and its glorious surroundings.
Options to choose from include: a guided foraging walk with the hotel’s in-house foraging expert; a breath-taking, two-hour walk in the Cairngorms National Park with a local walking leader; a guided art tour of the hotel’s exquisite art collection – more than 14,000 pieces including both antiques and specially commissioned artworks have been thoughtfully integrated into every room, corridor, and corner; a relaxing beauty treatment in the hotel’s spa; a stroll through the village of Braemar. (One activity per person included.)
In the late afternoon, we will make a visit to Royal Lochnagar distillery, situated on the south side of the River Dee close to Balmoral Castle. Age old traditions and craftmanship produce one of Scotland’s most exclusive whiskies. We will have a tour of the distillery and a ‘wee dram’. We return to our hotel for our final night dinner (included).
Saturday 12th September
We leave Braemar and en-route back to Edinburgh, we make a pre-opening visit to Drummond Castle. We’ll enjoy a private tour of these impressive gardens, originally laid out in 1630. This formal garden is said to be one of the finest in Europe and the largest of its type in Scotland. Lunch is included. Mid-afternoon we return to Edinburgh, making drop-offs at Edinburgh Airport and in Edinburgh city centre.
We can advise on departure planning.
Please read our Tour Joining and Departure Arrangements information sheet here .
Our hotels are 4-star and are selected for their high standards of comfort and service. All rooms are en-suite and offer free wi-fi access.
This stylish new hotel is built on the border of Edinburgh’s historic Old Town, at 6 Market Street, next to the City Art Centre. The unique hotel will has 98 modern, urban boutique styled rooms, with an exclusive top floor ‘Champagne city residence’. It offers spectacular panoramic views across the Waverley Valley. We will have Vista Rooms that overlook the city.
The Fife Arms is a Victorian coaching inn that has been imaginatively restored. The hotel is located in the historic Scottish village of Braemar amidst the majestic landscape of the Cairngorms National Park. It is owned by international art dealers Hauser & Wirth so expect an experience like no other. Absolute comfort, memorable decor, superb service and excellent food.
|Tour cost per person (sharing twin or double room)||Single Supplement (for single occupancy of a double room)|
|£3,750 (GBP)||£700 (GBP)|
PRICES INCLUDE: Exclusive accommodation at 4-star hotels with en-suite facilities based on twin/double room share; buffet breakfast daily; 4 lunches and 4 dinners; admissions to gardens; one of the optional activities on Friday 11th September; deluxe coach travel with professional driver; guided tours as described in an information pack provided at the start of the tour; services of your Sisley tour director throughout.
PRICES EXCLUDE: Airfares; passport and/or visa fees; beverages; laundry; telephone calls; lunches and dinners (except where included in the itinerary); gratuities; souvenirs and items of a personal nature.
EXCHANGE RATE INFORMATION: You can get an idea of the cost of the tour in your local currency by using a currency converter. Conversion rates are based on institutional or inter-bank daily rates. Retail conversation rates include fees and will generally differ from these rates.
We are delighted you’ve decided to join a Sisley Garden Tour. There are several ways to book:
- You can book directly through Sisley Garden Tours
- You can book through our appointed agents in the USA, Worldwide Traveler and pay in $USD
- You can ask your local travel agent to contact us and book on your behalf
- We can also offer Bespoke Tours for small groups (minimum 12). Please contact us with your requirements.
We very much look forward to welcoming you.