Scotland in Style: Birds & History: Apr 23—May 02, 2019

A Birds, Nature & Culture Tour

Register NowTour Details

Price: $3,745
Departs: Inverness
Tour Limit: 14
Operations Manager: Margaret Anderson
Download Itinerary: PDF (1.2 MB)

Route Map


Tour Leaders


Andrew Whittaker

Andrew Whittaker, a senior member of the VENT staff, has led VENT tours since 1993 throughou...


Phil Jones

Phil Jones grew up in Surrey and now lives in East Sussex, England. He began birding in the ...

More Information

Register for this Tour

Register for this tour by phone (800/328-VENT or 512/328-5221), or by downloading a tour registration form. Signed and completed forms can be faxed, mailed, or scanned and emailed to the VENT office.

Red Grouse (Willow Ptarmigan) male

Red Grouse (Willow Ptarmigan) male— Photo: Andrew Whittaker


A one-center tour based in a pleasant hotel offering good accommodations and excellent food in picturesque and historic Grantown-On-Spey, within Cairngorms National Park, close to many of the prime birding sites. Great birding for Scottish specialties, plus wildlife and optional cultural and historical visits.

We have designed a very special tour offering a week of birding and historical visits in the heart of the bonny Highlands of Scotland, based in the well-located picturesque town of Grantown-on-Spey. A varied and flexible daily program will make this tour appealing to birders with non-birding partners or family.

The stunning Highlands scenery is the most dramatic in the British Isles: high snow-capped peaks; extensive wild moorlands; ancient Caledonian Pine Forest; a stunning coastline of cliffs and inlets; vast prehistoric peat bogs; and fast-flowing crystal-clear rivers. We will target localized and rare specialties such as Eurasian Capercaillie, Black Grouse, Rock and Willow ptarmigan (the British subspecies known as Red Grouse), the endemic Scottish Crossbill, Ring Ouzel, Crested Tit, Horned and Little grebes, Arctic and Red-throated loons, and raptors such as Red Kite, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, and Golden and White-tailed eagles (rare). Most of these breed only within the British Isles exclusively in this wild region of Scotland, and we have good chances of seeing them all.

Atlantic Puffin

Atlantic Puffin— Photo: Andrew Whittaker

There will, of course, be many more widespread species of interest to birders new to European birding: Great Spotted Woodpecker; Tawny Owl; Eurasian Woodcock; Great, Blue, Coal, and Long-tailed tits; Goldcrest; Eurasian Treecreeper; White-throated Dipper; Red-legged Partridge; Eurasian Jackdaw; Hooded Crow; Eurasian Siskin; Eurasian Greenfinch; Chaffinch; Eurasian Bullfinch; Yellowhammer; Linnet; Eurasian Stonechat; Pink-footed Goose; and Common Shelduck. Further opportunities exist at exciting coastal sites for migrants, shorebirds, and seabirds such as Atlantic Puffin, European Shag, Razorbill, Northern Fulmar, and Great Skua.

We will be central to many fine castles and sites of historical significance such as Cawdor Castle—started in the thirteenth century, mentioned in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and still lived in now; gaunt, ruined, medieval Urquhart Castle on the shores of Loch Ness; Culloden Battlefield, site of the defeat of the Jacobite Scottish Highlanders against the English monarchy in 1745; and a guided tour of one of Scotland’s finest whiskey distilleries to sample a wee dram.

Easy day excursions covering a wonderful array of classic Scottish Highland scenery of glens, lochs, mountain, moorland, Caledonian forest, spectacular granite cliffs, sea coast, and historic sites.