|Departs Friday 08.30 - Returns Monday 19.00
| SUMMER: 25th March 2013 to 31st October 2013
|All tours depart from Bus Stand ZE, Waterloo Place, Edinburgh. MAP.
2013 departure dates: Last Friday of every month plus Fri 3rd May, Fri 24th May and Fri 23rd August.
|£169.00 per person. Discount rate £159.00 (students, over 60's and children 5-12). Accommodation is NOT included in this price - see note below. Read Full Terms of Service for this tour.
Important Tour and Accommodation Information.
This tour is operated by our partner organisation Real Scottish Journeys in their own vehicle (see photo to right). Tour price does not include accommodation. Choose from hostel (£14 to £20 per person per night), B&B (£35 to £45 per person per night) or hotel (£50+ per person per night). Accommodation is pre-booked in your name and you pay on departure. Some accommodation will only accept cash and it is always a good idea to have cash when travelling in rural Scotland. Named accommodation is not possible at the time of booking. If booking by phone please tell us what type of accommodation you prefer.
Your accommodation options explained.
- Glen Coe
- Ferry to Skye
- Isle of Skye day tour
- Eilean Donan Castle
- Fort Augustus
- Loch Ness
- Culloden Battlefield
- Blair Athol Distillery
- Queen's View
- Hermitage woodland walk
Highlights include: Glen Coe, the Glenfinnan viaduct (Harry Potter bridge), ferry to Isle of Skye, woodland walks, Eilean Donan Castle, Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle, Inverness, Culloden battlefield, Cairngorms National Park, Ruthven Barracks, 4000 year old stone circles and many gentle walks. This tour also includes the option of visiting a whisky distillery.
Day 1 - Friday
Leaving Edinburgh we pass Stirling Castle, the National Wallace Monument and Doune Castle before our first stop in the Trossachs. Time for coffee and some photos of a living legend, Hamish the 'Hairy Coo'!
As we continue north the mountains and lochs provide a dramatic backdrop for our journey to Glen Coe, perhaps the most famous dramatic of all Scotland’s glens. This narrow valley is where the bloody massacre of the MacDonalds took place in 1692. On a lighter note you may recognise this part of the Highlands which was used in the movie 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban'.
Glenfinnan and Loch Shiel
After lunch the 'Harry Potter' theme continues as we visit the most famous bridge in Scotland. The Glenfinnan Viaduct features in 'Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 'as the 'Hogwarts Express' train crossed the bridge.
It also stars in two subsequent Harry Potter films, 'The Prisoner of Azkaban' and 'The Goblet of Fire'. We continue along the famous Road to the Isles to Mallaig. We then take the ferry over the sea to Skye (£5 per person supplement), and drive to Portree, the island capital, our base for two nights.
Day 2 - Saturday
A whole day touring the Isle of Skye. Our day begins with a scenic drive alongside the dramatic Trotternish Ridge and includes stops at Lealt Waterfall and Kilt Rock. After a walk at the Quiraing, amongst the unique and unusual rock architecture, we drive to Uig for a short coffee break.
After coffee we explore the magic of the Fairy Glen, a delightful miniature Highland landscape and legendary home of the 'wee people'! We endeavour to eat lunch somewhere typically Scottish; our favourite stops being Jann's Cakes or the Red Roof Cafe.
Isle of Skye
After lunch we drive to the most westerly point on Skye and walk to Neist Point lighthouse (spectacular views to the Western Isles) and see some of the most dramatic sea cliffs in Scotland, sea birds and maybe even marine wildlife. We return to Portree, the island's capital, early evening.
Day 3 - Sunday
Crossing the Skye Bridge and returning to the mainland we begin a spectacular journey towards Inverness. Our first stop is Eilean Donan Castle, perhaps the most iconic image of Highland Scotland and used as the backdrop for countless famous movies. It is perfectly situated on a tiny island, surrounded by water and awesome scenery. A 'must-see' Scottish castle!
We drive past the Five Sisters of Kintail - a high mountain ridge rising steeply from Glen Shiel to a maximum height of 3,501 feet. The five distinctly pointed summits are a well known landmark.
Loch Ness boat trip
Next stop is famous Loch Ness - Scotland’s legendary lake - best known for the alleged sightings of a monster.
We have lunch in Fort Augustus at the southerly tip of Loch Ness after which you will have the opportunity to walk by the shores of the loch or along the canal and lock system, built by Thomas Telford in the early 1800s.
There will also be time for an optional boat trip on the Royal Scot or the fast 'Ness Express' at extra cost (discounts available).
After Nessie spotting and photo stops at Urquhart Castle we drive to Inverness. You will be staying close to the city centre; many of the pubs and restaurants offer live traditional music and great value meals. Our favourites include Hootananny Inverness.
Day 4 – Monday
After being collected from your accommodation we visit 4000 year old stone circles and burial mounds. It's then onto Culloden Moor where the Jacobites were finally defeated by government soldiers in 1746. As we drive south into the Cairngorms National Park you'll learn some more about this wonderful wilderness.
Next it's onto Ruthven Barracks, once the dangerous domain of Alexander Stewart 'The Wolf of Badenoch', now a haunting reminder of the doomed Jacobite rebellion led by Bonnie Prince Charlie. We explore this 18th century historic fortress (free) and admire the fabulous views from the hilltop.
Hermitage woodland and waterfall walk
Lunch is in Pitlochry, a lively Highland town with an elegant main street packed with shops and resturants. During our break here there is an option to visit the Blair Athol Distillery (adults £4, sorry no children under 8).
After lunch our scenic drive takes us to Queen’s View for the much-admired view towards Schiehallion and the distant peaks of Glen Coe.
Our final stop is a gentle walk through Big Tree Country to the famous waterfall and salmon leap at The Hermitage. As we return to Edinburgh we cross the River Forth and you'll have a photo opportunity of the Forth Rail Bridge. It amazed the world when it was completed in 1890 and has become an enduring symbol of Scotland’s engineering heritage.