Select your travel style--whether it's our signature expeditions, our active outdoors adventures, or our lower-priced journeys. Or choose how you want to travel: by train or small ship, on an expedition geared for photographers or for families, and more.
Our newest small-group trips, provided in partnership with G Adventures, blend fun, hands-on exploration with meaningful cultural encounters, as well as more free time and choices, all for an unbeatable value. See All »
Improve your photography skills with the guidance of a National Geographic photographer— whether you’re traveling through Japan or heading out on shoots during an intensive weekend workshop in New York City. See All »
Home of the great warrior William
Wallace, as well as the fictional
school Hogwarts of Harry Potter
fame, Scotland intrigues with legend
and myth, mystical landscapes, and
enchanting castles. Visit present-day
Highlander villages, and follow
park rangers through the glens and
gorges of three beautiful parks from
Ben Nevis to Loch Ness.
Paddle a canoe past prehistoric houses
on Loch Tay and sail on Loch Ness,
hearing tales about the legendary
monster that is said to inhabit its
Board the steam train featured in the
Harry Potter movies for a spectacular
ride from Fort William to Mallaig.
Explore three protected areas with
park rangers, spotting birds, handfeeding
red deer, and hiking through
the stunning gorge at Glen Nevis.
Cruise past a medieval castle on the
shores of mystical Loch Ness and kayak
with seals in Arisaig Bay.
Itinerary - 8 Days
Day 1 — Edinburgh, Scotland/Pitlochry
Welcome to Scotland! Arrive in
Edinburgh and travel as a group to the town of
Pitlochry, on the edge of the Scottish
Highlands. Discover Scotland’s wild
side on a visit to the Wild Space visitor
centre, run by the John Muir Trust, an
organization dedicated to preserving
Scotland’s natural treasures. Get to
know Scotland’s flora and fauna and
find out what’s being done to protect
them. Learn about the John Muir Award,
which families will attempt to earn
through a variety of activities during
our trip. Check into our castle hotel
this afternoon and meet up for a fun
Atholl Palace Hotel (L, D)
Day 2 — Highland Perthshire
Our first John Muir Award activity brings
us to Loch of the Lowes, a pristine lake
that harbors a wide variety of woodland
creatures and aquatic life. A ranger from
the Scottish Wildlife Trust joins us here
for hands-on conservation activities,
as well as walks through the forest
and along the shore. This afternoon,
meet our pen pals and their families
back in Pitlochry for a fun afternoon
of Highland games, including a haggis
toss, a welly (gum boot) hurl, tug-o-war,
and races. Try a few steps of Scottish
dancing and learn to blow a tune on a
Atholl Palace Hotel (B, L, D)
Day 3 — Loch Tay/Blair Atholl
Travel west to Loch Tay, a long, narrow
lake that counts among the largest in
Scotland. Hop into a canoe to explore
the loch’s sloping shores and its
crannogs and islands. Then head to the
award-winning Scottish Crannog Centre
to learn more about life in the Highlands
some 2,500 years ago, and try your
hand at millennia-old woodworking
techniques. After lunch, a storyteller joins us back at
our hotel to recount intriguing tales of
Scottish history and mythology. Adults
can opt to tour a local whisky distillery.
Atholl Palace Hotel (B, L,)
Day 4 — Newtonmore/Fort William
As we make our way to Fort William
today, stop in Newtonmore for a visit to
the acclaimed Highland Folk Museum—
a living history museum and Green
Tourism award winner. Here, we’ll dig
deeper into the ancient culture of the
Highlands. Continue to Fort William,
nestled below Ben Nevis, the highest
mountain in the United Kingdom. If
you wish, set off on foot along the
The Moorings Hotel (B, L)
Day 5 — Fort William/Mallaig
Board the Hogwarts Express steam train
this morning! The train, actually named
the Jacobite, was featured in the Harry
Potter films and is part of the West
Coast Railways system. Its historic
route, celebrated as one of the most
spectacular in the world, brings us past
lakes and over an age-old viaduct on
the way from Fort William to Mallaig.
Enjoy lunch in the village,
where views of the sea can include some
of the isles of the Inner Hebrides. This
afternoon, go kayaking with seals in
Arisaig Bay or head to nearby Glenfinnan
to trace the dramatic events of Bonnie
Prince Charlie’s Jacobite rebellion.
The Moorings Hotel (B, L, D)
Day 6 — Ben Nevis Estate/Loch Ness
Set out on a morning hike from Glen
Nevis to Steall Falls, passing through a
beautiful gorge. Meet with a John Muir
Trust ranger to participate in restoring
and maintaining the parklands of Ben
Nevis Estate. Then glide across stunning Loch Ness on a cruise and delve into the lore
surrounding its mysterious monster.
Kingsmills Hotel (B, L, D)
Day 7 — Cawdor Castle/Cairngorms National Park
This morning, discover Cawdor Castle which dates from the 14th Century. Learn why it was built around a legendary holly tree and explore its beautiful gardens. After lunch at the castle, travel to Cairngorms National Park and meet with a park ranger for our final John Muir Award activity, learning the importance of the red deer population
in the park. Encounter some of these
creatures, the largest wild land mammals
in the United Kingdom, and with our
ranger’s guidance, feed them by hand.
Back in Inverness tonight, celebrate
our Scottish adventure—and our
conservation work—at a farewell dinner.
Kingsmills Hotel (B, L, D)
Day 8 — Edinburgh/U.S.
Drive back to Edinburgh this morning,
stopping at sites along the way. Transfer
to the airport for your flight home or
extend your stay in Scotland. (B)
Plan a private spring break trip for your family with our travel specialists.
Please call 1-888-966-8687 to get started.
Children (ages 7-17)
Prices are per person, double occupancy. For a
single room, add $600.
International airfare to/from Edinburgh is not included in the expedition
About this Expedition
We tap into National Geographic’s vast network to design unique travel experiences for the whole family, filled with hands-on activities and memorable moments. A special aspect of this expedition is the Kid-to-Kid Connection, where kids will meet their pen pals and their families in
Pitlochry and celebrate Scottish culture
through Highland games specially
arranged for kids, including a haggis
toss, a welly (gum boot) hurl, tug-o-war,
and races. Top off the experience
with bagpipe music and Scottish dancing!
John Muir Award
On this trip, young explorers will have an opportunity to earn the John Muir Award. Established to inspire kids to care about the natural world, the award is comprised of four challenges
in the areas of discovery, exploration, conservation, and storytelling.
Our dynamic Expedition Leaders enrich each experience with their insights, knowledge, and energy, and a Young Explorer Leader joins every group to facilitate fun activities that help kids get the most out of the places we go. As we travel, we’ll also meet up with fascinating people doing meaningful work in the field.