Balmoral Estate

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Wild Scotland: Royal Estates and Conservation

Scotland

PRESERVING THE WILDERNESS

One of the last corners of genuine wilderness in Europe, a journey through the Scottish Highlands feels like travelling through an otherworldly landscape. Designed in collaboration with Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London where the the journey begins, it includes unforgettable access to to private castles and unique experiences on the world-famous Balmoral Royal Estate, which is at the forefront of the country’s inspiring commitment to conservation.

Curated alongside Lord Eddy Downpatrick, explorer, travel journalist and member of the Royal Family, this experience spotlights the scale of this nation’s progressive approach to environmental projects, and explores Scotland's place in royal history.

Road in Scottish Highlands

Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park
DAY 1 - ARRIVE AT MANDARIN ORIENTAL HYDE PARK, LONDON

Perched between Royal Parkland and the prestigious neighbourhood of Knightsbridge in the heart of London, it is arguably the best-located 5-star hotel in the city.

Upon arrival, explore the expansive Spa or reservations can be made at the renowned Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, holder of 2 Michelin Stars.

Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park
DAY 2 - FROM LONDON TO SCOTLAND

Spend the day at leisure to explore London or the expansive Spa and Wellness Centre at Mandarin Oriental which also includes a Pedi:Mani:Cure Studio by Bastien Gonzalez.

In the evening, a private transfer arrives at London Euston Station, where a Double En-suite private cabin awaits on the Calendonian Sleeper train to Edinburgh, including breakfast the following morning.

Scone Palace, Scotland
DAY 3 - ON THE RIVERBANKS OF SCONE PALACE

A private transfer from Edinburgh station arrives at Scone Palace – the ancient crowning place of Scottish kings, and family home to the Earls of Mansfield for the last 400 years. Stand on the spot where Macbeth, Robert the Bruce and other Scottish Kings were crowned, and if you like, elevate your experience with a private lunch with the current custodians, Lord and Lady Mansfield.

Enjoy a private tour of the palace grounds and lunch, before perfecting your fly-casting technique on the estate, fishing for salmon on the River Tay with an expert ghillie.

Come late afternoon, depart for The Cairngorms to settle into your hotel or highland retreat, and spend the rest of the evening at leisure. The Luminaire recommends The Fife Arms, now owned by the Hauser and Wirth gallery, a unique stay, turning heads for its innovative but traditional hospitality.

Balmoral Estate, Scotland
DAY 4 - CONSERVATION AT THE CASTLE


Balmoral was the late Queen Elizabeth’s private haven, where she would visit every summer to escape and spend time with her family. The estate will feel like yours for the day to roam, experiencing unforgettable access to Balmoral in the company of one of the King’s Conservation Managers, learning to forage responsibly as you explore the 50,000-acre estate. How is the Scottish home of the Royal Family joining environmental efforts and committing to a more sustainable future?

A truly unforgettable experience unfolds over lunch - a field-to-table meal is prepared in the forest, served under the shelter of one of the picnic huts often enjoyed by the late monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.

The Luminaire can organise dinner at the Fife Arms, now known for its open-fire cooking, with hero dishes including Scottish sea bass with smoked potato dauphine, locally smoked haddock and Oscietra caviar.

Tomatin Distillery
DAY 5 - TASTINGS ALONGSIDE A MASTER DISTILLER

Continue north with your private driver to Inverness and the working Tomatin Distillery, which dates back to 1897. Tomatin is not on the tourist trail – so expect an authentic and real experience as you are welcomed by Master Distiller Graham Eunson for a private tour that takes in its giant copper stills, operating around the clock. The visit culminates with an exclusive tasting of rare and valuable fine whiskies. Expect to leave with a bottle, courtesy of Graham.

The journey ends with a private transfer to the travel hub of Inverness or the option to extend the journey on to Alladale Wilderness Reserve.

FROM £7,250 PER PERSON

For five days, based on two people sharing.

INCLUSIONS
  • 1 night at the 5-star Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London with breakfast.

  • 2 nights at the renowned 5* Hauser and Wirth hotel, The Fife Arms, with breakfast.

  • Unforgettable access to Balmoral Estate with one of the King’s Conservation Managers, followed by a field-to-table lunch at Queen Elizabeth II’s former retreat - a picnic cottage.

  • Explore the ancient crowning place of Scottish kings with a private tour of Scone Palace and Estate, followed by a lunch.

  • An expert ghillie leads a private salmon fishing experience on the banks of the River Tay, in the grounds of Scone Palace, home to the Earls of Mansfield.

  • An exclusive tasting of rare and valuable fine whiskies with the Master Distiller at the Tomatin Distillery, with a private tour.

  • Private transfer to London Euston Station.

  • Overnight Caledonian Sleeper Train to Edinburgh (private en-suite cabin with breakfast).

  • Private transfers in Scotland, as mentioned.

  • Meals as mentioned.

WHEN TO TRAVEL
EXCLUSIONS

THE EXPERT

LORD EDDY DOWNPATRICK

Explorer and member of the Royal Family, eldest grandson of HRH The Duke of Kent, cousin of Her Late Majesty. The Luminaire has worked with Eddy to design this journey through Scotland, calling upon years of experience as an explorer and travel entrepreneur, and his deep knowledge of some of the country's most inspiring conservation efforts, Royal Estates and nature reserves.

ENHANCE YOUR EXPERIENCE

In an off-road Defender, accompanied by a Ranger, explore Mar Lodge Estate, the largest National Nature Reserve in Britain. Trace rare and endangered wildlife, including Golden Eagles.

Understand rewilding efforts and the evolution of sustainable farming at the South Clunes Estate, with a private tour, followed by lunch overlooking a loch and the Estate's beaver colony.

An exclusive private tour of Holyrood Palace with a curator of the Royal Collection Trust, exploring its association with Scotland’s historic figures such as Mary, Queen of Scots.

Alladale Wilderness Reserve is a 23,000-acre private estate in the Caledonian Forest of the Scottish Highlands. A fully-catered week on the estate includes participating in one of its many conversation projects, including wildcat rehabilitation, red squirrel reintroduction, and riverbank and peatland restoration.

An exclusive private tour of Castle Leod with the Earl of Cromartie, Clan Chief of Mackenzie, and an expert on Jacobite history.

A private aircraft to the Scottish Hebrides for an exclusive tasting of rare Islay whiskies.

EXCLUSIVE COLLABORATION

A PIONEERING PARTNERSHIP

The Luminaire designs and operates luxury travel experiences for Mandarin Oriental guests and Fans that are rooted in culture and curiosity, with additional products launching each month in close collaboration with Mandarin Oriental hotels around the world.

From a private masterclass with one of the world’s finest watchmaking ateliers in Switzerland, to an immersive trip to the private site where Van Gogh painted his last canvas just outside Paris, each experience has been designed by experts in their field – art historians, conservationists, sommeliers. Discover exciting new ways to explore each Mandarin Oriental destination and enjoy the signature service for which each hotel is renowned.

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