Experience Scotland Through The Eyes Of Merida With “Brave” Tour Packages

When I first saw the trailers for Disney Pixar’s new princess film – Brave – I was excited. Finally, a princess that I could personally relate to! With wild, untamed red hair, this Scottish princess is already finding her way into the hearts of kids everywhere and her movie hasn’t even hit the theaters yet!

Did you know that the “Brave” production team took two research trips to Scotland before making this film? While the modern-day country does not reflect the ancient time period seen in the film, team members visited landmark locations and attended select events to get a flavor for the current culture, and observe how much of Scotland’s ancient history and tradition is still present.

Several castles served as reference for the DunBroch family castle, most notably Eilean Donan Castle in the Highlands and Dunnottar Castle, located just south of Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire.

Dunnottar, a ruined medieval fortress believed to be from the 15th or 16th centuries, sparked a pivotal change of plans for the filmmakers. They intended to set the film’s family castle on a loch up in the Highlands, but inspired by Donnottar’s dramatic location, decided to move it to an outpost of the sea.

To celebrate the opening of the film, Scotland Tourism is introducing Brave-themed travel packages to showcase the history, culture, traditions and countryside that inspired Brave’s creators. For example, small group tour operator, Rabbie’s Trail Burners, is launching a “Scottish Castle Experience” tour.

The Scottish Castle Experience is a four-day castles, legends and history tour that takes you on a unique Scotland journey…From Edinburgh to the east coast, along the castle trail of the Royal Deeside and into the Highlands. From here you will visit Scotland’s highest Whisky Distillery and back into the Kingdom of Fife finishing the tour with a boat trip on Loch Leven, following the footsteps of Mary Queen of Scots. Stay like a lord or lady in Ardoe House Hotel near Aberdeen for two nights, and one night at Mansfield Castle Hotel north of Inverness, where a farewell banquet dinner is included in the package.

Rates start at $825 per adult (based on double occupancy), and $650 per child (ages 5-16). Price includes hotel accommodations with daily breakfast, special tours and entry fees, plus the castle banquet. Rate based on 1 child sharing a room with parents or 2 children in a twin room. This tour departs on two dates: June 22, 2012 and September 14, 2012.