VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION – All group tours depart from Bus Stand ZE, Waterloo Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3BQ (opposite Howie’s Restaurant).
Please check in with your driver guide at Bus Stand ZE, Waterloo Place 15 minutes before departure
Prices & Booking Terms
- Luggage allowance of up to 15 kg (33 lbs)
- Free cancellation/rebooking up to 8 days before departure
- Transport in a luxury Mercedes Wee Red Bus
- Fully guided services of a Heart of Scotland tour leader
- Entry fees to attractions
- Meals and refreshments
- Accommodation (see below)
- Average group size of around 12
- Culloden Battlefield and Clava standing stone circles
- Loch Ness and Inverness
- Achmelvich beach
- Unique Highland landscape of Assynt
- Eilean Donan Castle
- Isle of Skye full day tour
- Lots of photo stops on the magical Isle of Skye
- Glenfinnan Viaduct
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
According to TripAdvisor travelers as of November 2023
Tour price does not include the cost of accommodation. Accommodation is pre-booked by Heart of Scotland Tours (or by yourself) and you pay card or cash at checkout. Some Bed and Breakfasts (B&Bs) only accept cash. Choose from:
- Hostel – £25 to £35 per person, per night
- B&B single or single occupancy of a double room – £60 to £120 per person, per night
- B&B en suite double or twin – £120 to £190 per room, per night (2 sharing)
- B&B en suite triple or quad – £160 to £240 per room, per night (3 or 4 sharing)
- Hotel – £160 to £240+ per room, per night (2 sharing)
Your accommodation options explained in more detail.
This classic 5-day tour showcases the best of the Scottish Highlands and Islands. From dazzling white beaches to the dramatic mountain landscapes of Skye and Assynt, our Grand Tour will live with you forever. As part of a small tour group in the Wee Red Bus you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy world-famous sights like Loch Ness and Eilean Donan Castle as well as some hidden gems that many tourists never see.
Our 5 day adventure begins by crossing the famous Forth Bridge, travelling past the Fair City of Perth before our first stop at the picturesque Victorian Highland village of Pitlochry.
Surrounded by a stunning Perthshire landscape of mountains, woodland and water there is an optional visit to the Blair Athol distillery for a tour and tasting – a must for all Scotch lovers! Non whisky drinkers can enjoy the bustling High St or stretch their legs beside the River Tummel.
We continue north through the Cairngorms National Park with sweeping views across the Spey Valley and the Central Highlands.
By mid afternoon we arrive at one of Scotland’s most evocative and scared prehistoric sites, the 4000 year old stone circles and burial cairns at Clava Cairns.
Our final stop is 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. Our base for two nights is the Highland capital, Inverness.
A trip to Assynt and the Coigach peninsula will live with you forever as an area of outstanding natural beauty encompassing hundreds of lochs, beautiful coastline, and native woodlands all set against the stunning backdrop of some remarkable mountains.
'Our trip to stunning Assynt will live with you forever'
This dramatic Highland landscape has inspired many from all over the world. We stop at the pretty fishing village of Ullapool for coffee, before continuing north-west to the unique landscape of Assynt and the Inverpolly Nature Reserve.
Famous mountains such as Suilven and Stac Pollaidh are never far from view. There can be few more scenic roads in the country than that from Badnagyle to Lochinver, where we pause for lunch. It’s then onto stunning Achmelvich beach to enjoy the wild coastline and beautiful sands.
Our drive continues to the ruins of 15th century Ardvreck Castle on the shores of Loch Assynt before we finish this fabulous day at the dramatic Corrieshalloch Gorge.
We say goodbye to Inverness and head to the Isle of Skye via the magic of Loch Ness and the rugged splendour of the Western Highlands.
First stop is the world’s most famous lake, best known for sightings of Nessie, the legendary Loch Ness monster!
There’s an option to take a 1 hour boat trip with views of Urquhart Castle or alternatively spend time at the loch-side village of Drumnadrochit for souvenir shopping and/or a visit to the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition.
We continue to the southern end of the loch for lunch in the picturesque village of Fort Augustus.
Dramatic scenery unfolds as we drive west, stopping for photos at the famous viewpoint over Loch Garry and the wilderness of Knoydart beyond. We continue past the Five Sisters of Kintail – a high mountain ridge rising steeply from Glen Shiel – towards world-famous Eilean Donan Castle.
Perhaps the most iconic image of Highland Scotland the castle has been used as the backdrop for countless well-known movies. It is perfectly situated on a small island, surrounded by water and fabulous scenery – a ‘must-see’ Scottish landmark.
From here it’s only a short drive to the Skye Bridge and onwards to Sligachan for a stunning view of the Cuillin Mountains. Our final stop of the day is the island capital of Portree where we will stay for two nights.
Today is spent touring the Isle of Skye, a flexible itinerary at the discretion of your driver / guide * (see below).
We enjoy a half-day scenic drive along the dramatic Trotternish Ridge with its spectacular cliffs and rock formations. Stops can include Lealt Waterfall, Kilt Rock sea cliffs, the Old Man of Storr rock pinnacle and a walk at the Quiraing mountain pass. Another popular stop is the Fairy Glen, a delightful miniature Highland landscape and legendary home of the ‘wee people’!
'We spend a full day exploring the spectacular and dramatic Isle of Skye in the Wee Red Bus'
The second half of the day explores the stunning southern part of the island which includes well-known sights and some hidden gems we’ve discovered over the years.
Nestled under the Cuillin mountains is beautiful Glen Brittle. Rugged scenery surrounds us and there are several fantastic options for this section of the tour, including a short walk in the iconic mountain landscape to the famous Fairy Pools.
Another popular excursion is the drive to Neist Point lighthouse for spectacular views to the Western Isles.
The 13th century home of the famous Clan McLeod, Dunvegan Castle offers guided tours, a useful wet-weather option because of Skye’s famously changeable weather. It’s not called the ‘Misty Isle’ for nothing!
* Please note depending on weather and traffic conditions the itinerary is flexible to maximise our time on Skye.
Our day begins with a scenic drive across Skye to the ferry terminal at Armadale for the 30 minute sea crossing to Mallaig (subject to availability).
With spectacular views to the Small Isles and Cuillin Mountains, the iconic black and red Caledonian Macbrayne ferry takes us back to mainland Scotland with wildlife spotting opportunities en route including seals, sea birds and the occasional whale, dolphin or otter.
On arrival in Mallaig we follow the beautiful ‘Road to the Isles’ to Glenfinnan Viaduct 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.
'Glenfinnan Viaduct features in several Harry Potter movies'
As we drive to Fort William for lunch we stop for a photo of Britain’s highest mountain Ben Nevis at Neptune’s Staircase. This series of locks on the Caledonian Canal raises the water level 20 metres and was designed by the famous Scottish engineer Thomas Telford.
Mountains and lochs provide a dramatic backdrop as we continue 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.
Our Grand Tour concludes with a photo stop at 13th century Doune Castle. Protecting the gateway to the Highlands the medieval 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.