Visit Scotland's most iconic attractions
This is a complete week’s holiday over eight days, seven nights in the Ben Doran Hotel and six great days out.
The Ben Doran Platinum 8 Day Break is designed to give you a comprehensive tour of the best parts of Scotland and the most iconic attractions. When you go home you will be able to rhyme off the finest sights with total authority! Oban, Mull, Loch Ness, Glen Coe, Rannoch Moor, Mount Stuart House, Loch Lomond, the Trossachs, The Kelpies, The Royal Yacht, Edinburgh, the Famous Grouse Distillery – and all in a week!!
The holiday is complemented by the superb standards of the Ben Doran Hotel and the lovely, quiet village of Tyndrum. The Green Welly Stop is always worth a visit for a wee shopping trip or a taste of their famous home baking.
Your hotel is our most modern, built by myself in 1992 and fully updated since. Twin bedrooms are 6m x 4m (270 sq/ft). Public areas are on the top floor, serviced by three lifts. Views are magnificent all round and the hotel location is in the midst of your touring area. A superb hotel in every way with extensive grounds, several ponds and a stream running past. In an idyllic spot, and run by a superb manager with a close knit team of fully trained and welcoming staff.
The local village of Tyndrum also has a pub, an excellent restaurant and a shop for all the holiday souvenirs you can imagine (whisky!!?). Tyndrum has two stations (upper & lower), and is on the main bus routes from Glasgow and Edinburgh. Tyndrum’s main claim to fame is undoubtedly the Cononish Gold Mine which was found over 10 years ago and seems to be getting closer to production after getting planning permission last year. There is gold in all the rivers and fossikers are regularly seen (and chased away!!) panning in the pools. www.connonishgoldmine.
On the historical front, Tyndrum was the site of a considerable lead mining industry in the 18th and 19th Century and in the late 1290s, one King Robert Bruce nearly lost his life when ambushed at the King’s Field just east of the village (Dalrigh). His kilt brooch is still in McDougal hands!! The lead miners dug to within 10 ft of the gold seam but never found it – sometimes your luck is just not in!!
Your Tour includes:
- Three star, VisitScotland Quality Assured Hotel
- Dinner, bed & breakfast, daily
- Entertainment every night
- Red carpet welcome
- Return coach travel from your pick-up to Scotland
- Luxury air conditioned supercoaches
Oban & Cruise to Mull
The first excursion takes us down to Glen Orchy and Loch Awe with views of Kilchurn Castle and then on westwards by the ‘Hollow Mountain’, Ben Cruachan’s hydro scheme and the banks of the river Awe. We then descend down to Loch Etive, passing through Taynuilt village and on to Connel and the spectacular Falls of Lora, before passing the Dunstaffnage marina and castle. On arrival in Oban, disembark on the pier and all board the ferry to Mull. The passage out of the harbour takes us across Loch Linnhe, passing Lismore Lighthouse and Duart Castle and on to the Sound of Mull. Exhilarating scenery all the way. You will be passing the home areas of a population of sea eagles, so keep your eyes peeled. Once past Duart Castle we arrive at Craignure and after discharging the local traffic, the ferry returns us to Oban. The catering is excellent on board and the views from the prom deck are outstanding. Watch out for dolphins, whales and don’t forget those sea eagles!
On returning to Oban there is plenty of time for shopping and generally enjoying the town. We return you to the Ben Doran in plenty of time for dinner after another superb day out.
“This tour visits the very essence of our glorious West Highlands and its superb rugged glens and coastal waters.”
Loch Ness, Glen Coe & Rannoch Moor (Optional)
You leave after breakfast and proceed north across to Auch Glen, with glorious elevated views of the Glen itself, plus Ben Doran and Black Mount, with the West Highland Railway Line clinging to the steep hillside of Ben Odhar on its way to Fort William and Mallaig.
We press on to Bridge of Orchy and Black Mount and cross Rannoch Moor before arriving at atmospheric Glen Coe. Once through Glen Coe we are at the side of Loch Leven and cross Ballachulish Bridge where we see the old slate workings and get wonderful views of the surrounding mountains and the Dragons Tooth golf course. Some of the most dramatic views in the UK.
We then travel north, along the shores of Loch Linnhe and arrive at Fort William, before proceeding further to Fort Augustus, by Loch Lochy and Loch Oich. We have views of the famous Caledonian Canal at several locations and arrive in time for lunch at Fort Augustus. There is plenty of time to wander around the locks and also to walk up to the entrance of Loch Ness, where, if you’re lucky, you may catch a glimpse of ‘Nessie’!! A great place for ‘selfies’! We return again to the hotel across the moors and glens after a great adventure and a wonderful experience.
The Kelpies & Royal Yacht at Edinburgh
There are not many more spectacular sights than The Kelpies and The Royal Yacht – all in one day!
The Tour takes us east from the hotel, down the Glens of the National Park all the way to Stirling. The sight of Stirling Castle perched on its rock above the town is truly magnificent. You continue on the road towards Grangemouth and catch your first sight of The Kelpies towering above the Forth and Clyde Canal. The huge steel horses heads commemorate the thousands of horses which pulled the barges and ships that used the canal to transport goods across the country from the North Sea to the western seaboard. They are a wonderful memorial and a superb piece of artwork. An experience you will always remember.
Back on the coach we travel on to Edinburgh and the port of Leith where The Royal Yacht Britannia is moored. Prince Phillip’s yacht ‘Bloodhound’ was moored alongside when I last visited. There is also a fine shopping mall adjacent to the jetty, or you can take a taxi up to the famous Princes Street if you wish.
After another memorable day out, it’s back to the hotel for dinner and entertainment.
“I had to write to say thank you for our amazing holiday at the Ben Doran Hotel. This was our first experience of touring and we did not know what to expect. We enjoyed every moment of it.”
Loch Lomond & the Trossachs
This is an excellent circular tour of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. You travel down to Kilmahog and Drymen, passing through the lands once frequented by Rob Roy MacGregor, brigand extraordinaire. Rob Roy carried out his raids in the east and then looked for shelter in Argyll where the Duke looked after him (‘tis said). Accused in Parliament, the Duke suggested that he may shelter him, but you feed him’! On arrival at the south end of Loch Lomond at Alexandria, you may avail yourselves of a sail on the Loch or visit the many shops and cafes of the Lomond Shores development. There is also an Aquarium and a superb viewing point where you can see the length of the loch in all its glory. Then it’s time to return home along the spectacular loch side in time for dinner and relaxation in the entertainment lounge. Another sightseeing extravaganza.
Isle of Bute & Mount Stuart House
Another blockbuster excursion! On leaving the hotel we proceed south through Inveraray and Loch Fyne side all the way to Glendaruel and down to the ferry at Colintraive. We take the short crossing to the Island of Bute and then proceed to Mount Stuart House, the home of the Marquis of Bute, surely the most opulent, private residence in Scotland. Mount Stuart was the first home in the world to have a heated indoor swimming pool, and the first in Scotland to be purpose built with electric light, central heating, a telephone system and a Victorian passenger lift. The chapel has marbles as beautiful as any in the ancient sites of Rome and Florence.
Family artefacts connected to ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’ and the 1745 rebellion were recently discovered in the house and these will, hopefully, be on display next year. The current Marquis was famously known as Johnny Dumfries in his formula one racing days. Quite a character.
Perth & Famous Grouse Distillery
This is a shorter excursion, crossing Perthshire to Lochearnhead and then taking the loch side road to Crieff.
Just outside Crieff, you will find the superb Famous Grouse Distillery. This is sited on the Barvick Burn which provides the purest of water for the finest of whisky. You may take a tour of the distillery or enjoy the delicacies of the fine restaurant – or why not do both?! This is a very ‘Scottish’ experience and the ‘show’ is a fantastic and unique experience – a real prizewinner!!
You will also be able to visit the town of Crieff and the Stuart Crystal factory, where you may pick up a real bargain to remember a lovely day out in Scotland’s beautiful scenery.
“We have just enjoyed our first Highland Heritage Coach Tour holiday at the Ben Doran hotel. From start to finish everything was faultless. The tours were varied and well thought out. We will be booking again for next year and that says it all.”