Enjoy our popular 2 day escape to the Highlands. Travelling through spectacular scenery, this tour is the perfect way to see Scotland. The itinerary includes stops at Doune Castle, Glen Coe, Glenfinnan Viaduct (April - October only) and Loch Ness. Overnight is in the Highland capital of Inverness followed by visits to Culloden battlefield, prehistoric standing stones, Pitlochry (optional whisky distillery tour) and a riverside walk at Dunkeld. For fans of Outlander and Harry Potter, this tour includes stops at several featured locations.
Leaving Edinburgh we pass Stirling Castle and the National Wallace Monument prior to our first stop at 13th century Doune Castle. Protecting the gateway to the Highlands and with spectacular views from the medieval tower the castle has recently been seen as Castle Leoch in Outlander, Winterfell in Game of Thrones but is probably most famous for featuring in the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
As we continue north the mountains and lochs provide a dramatic backdrop for our journey to Glen Coe, perhaps the most famous of all Scotland’s glens. This narrow valley is where the bloody massacre of the MacDonalds took place in 1692. You may even recognise this part of the Highlands, used as a backdrop for many movies including Skyfall.
After lunch we visit the Glenfinnan Viaduct (Apr-Oct only) which famously features in several Harry Potter movies as the Hogwarts Express train crosses the bridge.
Historically this stunning viewpoint also marks the spot where Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) landed on mainland Scotland and raised his standard prior to the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion.
We stop for a photo of Britain’s highest mountain (Ben Nevis) before continuing along the Great Glen to the world's most mysterious lake, Loch Ness.
There will be an opportunity for photos and souvenir shopping in the charming village of Fort Augustus.
We continue along the full length of Loch Ness for a photo of Urquhart Castle...eyes peeled for monsters!
The Highland capital, Inverness
Our overnight stay is in the northernmost city of the UK and pretty capital of the Highlands, Inverness. There are numerous pubs, cafés and restaurants for evening entertainment.
After being collected from your accommodation it's only a short drive to Culloden Moor where the Jacobites were finally defeated by government soldiers in 1746, the last battle to be fought on British soil. You will have time to walk on the battlefield and learn more about this tragic event that killed 700 Highland clansmen in three minutes.
The Wee Red Bus at Ruthven Barracks
From there we visit one of Scotland's most evocative and sacred prehistoric sites, the nearby 4000 year old stone circles and burial mounds at Clava Cairns. As we drive south through the Cairngorms National Park you'll hear about the flora and fauna of this wonderful wilderness which was officially protected in 2003 and is the largest national park in the British Isles. After lunch in one of the charming villages inside the national park we arrive at the lively Highland town of Pitlochry with an elegant main street packed with shops and restaurants.
During our break here there is an option to visit the Blair Athol Distillery (adults £4.50, sorry no children under 8) where you can take a guided tour of the distillery and of course sample the 'water of life' for yourself. Alternatives include a short walk to the famous hydro electric dam and salmon ladder or Black Spout waterfall. Our final stop is a gentle riverside walk through Big Tree Country at Dunkeld, a beautiful way to finish the tour all seasons of the year.
Hermitage woodland and waterfall walk
As we return to Edinburgh we cross the River Forth and there's 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.