A Cruise, Castles & A Wee Dram In Royal Deeside!

Aberdeenshire boasts more castles per acre than anywhere else in the UK and our new Suggested Itinerary takes in two of the best, along with the Royal Balmoral Estate, Lochnagar Distillery and a cruise with Aberdeen’s dolphins! Read on to find out more.
Day 1 Arrival in Aberdeen
On arrival at the fabulous Mercure Ardoe House Hotel we will enjoy a welcome tea or coffee whilst our bags are taken to our room.

Day 2 Drum & Crathes Castle 27 mile round trip
This morning, we begin by driving to the Medieval Drum Castle, one of the three oldest tower houses surviving in Scotland. Whilst the High Hall still stands tall as an example of medieval architecture, the original house largely dates from the Jacobean and Victorian periods. We then rejoin our coach and head through the beautiful countryside to Banchory, where we can enjoy free time before visiting Crathes Castle. Turrets, gargoyles and the ancient Horn of Leys are just a few of the fascinating features of this beautiful home and the gardens are a delight at any time of year.

Day 3 Royal Lochnagar Distillery & Balmoral Estate 106 mile round trip
After breakfast this morning, we will travel through the magnificent scenery of Royal Deeside to the Royal Lochnagar Distillery where we can enjoy a guided tour to discover how Scotch Whisky is made. After a tasting of the award-winning Royal Lochnagar 12 Year Old Single Highland Malt, we travel to the neighbouring Balmoral Estate. Purchased by Queen Victoria in 1848, the Estate has been the Scottish home of the British Royal Family ever since. Compromising over 50,000 acres of heather clad hills and ancient Caledonian woodland, it should come as little surprise that, in her journals, Queen Victoria described Balmoral as ‘my dear paradise in the Highlands’. We can perhaps choose to enjoy lunch on the estate before exploring the castle, exhibitions and gardens.

Day 4 Aberdeen & Dolphin Adventure Cruise 10 mile round trip
This morning, we make the short journey to Aberdeen where we will have free time to explore The Granite City, Scotland’s third largest city. We can explore the impressive turreted Town House in Union Street, the castellated Citadel at The Castlegate and the striking gothic Marischal College, the world’s second largest granite structure, which are all fine examples of Aberdeen’s most famous export. We can visit Aberdeen’s three key attractions: Provost Skene’s House, Aberdeen Art Gallery and the Aberdeen Maritime Museum (all free entry) or alternatively we can explore the famous shopping ‘Granite Mile’, the gateway to over 800 shops, from the latest fashions to traditional Scottish crafts. In the afternoon, we will enjoy a Dolphin Adventure Cruise. Our adventure begins at the Dolphin Education Centre for an audio visual presentation about Aberdeen’s dolphins followed by a 1 hour fascinating harbour cruise to see Aberdeen’s “urban dolphins” in their natural habitat. We will have the chance to see bottlenose dolphins, white beaked dolphins, risso dolphins, minke whales and basking sharks. Cruising along Aberdeen’s port, one of the busiest and most impressive ports, allows you to view Aberdeen’s skyline from a different perspective and to witness and experience close up views of a busy working harbour.

Day 5 Departure
After breakfast we depart our hotel and begin our journey home.

Mercure Ardoe House Hotel

AAAA Collection Hotel Stunning Hotel Setting Stunning Views
This stunning hotel is housed within a 19th century mansion and set within 30 acres of peaceful countryside, approximately 3 miles from the centre of Aberdeen. All 119 spacious bedrooms are stylishly decorated with quality furnishings. The public areas contain many original period features including a stunning original staircase. Soapie’s lounge bar provides a warm, open fire and relaxed surroundings while Lairds Bar provides an opportunity to enjoy an impressive selection of malt whiskies in traditional Scottish surroundings. The restaurant provides a grand and opulent setting and the Drawing Room, with its grand fireplace and rich wood panelling, is the perfect place to relax whilst admiring the beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. Leisure facilities include an indoor swimming pool, sauna, spa bath, steam room and gym. • Lift • Bar • Restaurant • Tea/coffee in room • Leisure facilities • Coach parking is on site & free of charge

Mercure Ardoe House

4 Nights Half Board
April - October 2018
Twin from £265pp
Double for Sole Use Supplement from £107

• Porterage
• Welcome tea/coffee on arrival
• Choice of menu
• Tea/coffee after dinner
Call to tailor this tour 01732 879191
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Prices starting from...

£265 for 5 days

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Features of this tour