1. From Aberdeen: Loch Ness, Inverness and the Highlands Tour
Make an early start in Aberdeen and head north to just outside Inverness for your first stop at Cawdor Castle. Dating from the late 14th century, the castle was built as a private fortress by the Thanes of Cawdor and consists of an ancient medieval tower around the legendary holly tree. Visit the extraordinary castle itself and explore the three gardens. Next, make a quick outside stop at the site of the last major battle on British soil, Culloden Moor, the resting place of 1,500 Jacobite and 50 government soldiers who fought and died here in 1746. For lunch, a visit to Inverness, the Gateway to the Highlands, and enjoy some free time to explore. Wander through the city, peruse the shops and the best-used book store, and stroll along the river taking in the views of Inverness Castle. Next, on to Loch Ness where you have a photo opportunity of the Loch and have time to dip a toe in the water. On the journey back to Aberdeen, a stop at Carrbridge the location of the packhorse bridge, one of Scotland's oldest bridges. Travel along the Snow Roads Route through the East Cairngorms and stop at some of the viewpoints along the way.