• Loch Ness, Glencoe & Highlands Day Tour

    Loch Ness, Glencoe & Highlands Day Tour

    Perfect Introduction to Scottish Highlands - The best of Scotland in a day!

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About Sholto

sholto250Sholto is our tour expert and has information on something like 30 different tours around Scotland. If you don't want to browse around the site, try giving him a call for some advice.

(BTW: Sholto is ancient Scottish/Gaelic name that means the "sower of seeds" or propagator - people often ask)

Loch Ness, Glencoe & Highlands Day Tour dep Edinburgh (RT)

This very popular Loch Ness tour runs daily throughout the year - guaranteed! A great minicoach tour in a small group with plenty of stops for photos and tea breaks. You'll spend 2 hours in the Loch Ness area, and your driver/guide will ensure you enjoy your tour, and you'll learn so much of the history of Loch Ness and the Highlands of Scotland.

Tour Highlights

Highlights:  Rannoch Moor ~ Glencoe ~ Great Glen ~ Fort Augustus  ~ Boat Cruise on Loch Ness (optional) ~ Grampian mountains ~ Highland Perthshire

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This tour operates on: Every Day

Depart Edinburgh 8.00am and travel northwest past Linlithgow Palace, birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots, and Stirling Castle. Stirling castle was once known as the 'Key to Scotland', with its imposing position in the centre of the country.

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Wallace Monument

To the north is the 220ft high tower of the National Wallace Monument commemorating Scotland's great hero William Wallace, played by Mel Gibson in the Oscar-winning movie Braveheart.

You pass close to the scene of Wallace's greatest triumph, the battle of Stirling Bridge, where he defeated the English army in 1297. To the south is Bannockburn where, in 1314, the great Scottish warrior-king Robert the Bruce defeated the English army of Edward II, restoring independence for Scotland. A little further on you will make a short stop for coffee at Callander, the 'frontier town' on the edge of the Highlands. Crossing the Highland boundary fault line the scenery changes quickly and dramatically, the flat fertile plains of the lowlands giving way to shimmering lochs, rugged mountain tops and forest-filled glens. It's easy to forget that this was once thought of as a dangerous frontier, fought over by the fiercely territorial Highland clans such as the MacGregors, and made famous by highland folk hero, Rob Roy MacGregor.

Rannoch Moor Image
Rannoch Moor

Travelling north through Breadalbane (meaning the 'High Country of Scotland'), you climb towards the wild desolation of Rannoch Moor. At an altitude of over 1000ft, covered by heather and peat-bogs and dotted with dozens of lochs, it's an unique landscape. This contrasts with the spectacular mountain scenery as you pass the majestic peak of Buachaille Etive Mor (meaning 'the great shepherd of Etive') and down into Scotland's most famous valley, Glencoe.

View of Glencoe

Stunningly beautiful, with its dramatic cliff faces and steep slopes, Glencoe is infamous as the site of the Glencoe massacre in 1692. Following orders from King William, Scottish soldiers under the leadership of Captain Robert Campbell slaughtered 38 men, women and children of the Macdonald clan. This was especially shocking as the soldiers had been living with the people of Glencoe for 2 weeks and killed them in their own homes. No-one was ever punished for this crime, as the King himself had signed the order, but because it was murder under trust, the Highlands would never be the same again. Beyond Glencoe you will enter the Great Glen, a deep glacial valley following a geological fault line.

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View of Ben Nevis

Passing through the town of Fort William you drive under Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis before arriving at Fort Augustus on the southern shore of Loch Ness.

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Urquhart Castle beside Loch Ness

At 23 miles long and over 700ft deep it's the largest loch by volume in Scotland and contains more water than every lake in England and Wales combined! The loch is best known for the legendary sightings of the Loch Ness Monster ("Nessie") and you can take the opportunity of a boat cruise* on the loch to go in search of the monster, or simply to enjoy the beautiful scenery. Fort Augustus is a pretty little town in its own right, the Caledonian Canal which links the lochs of the Great Glen dominates the town and makes a great place to relax and watch the boats sail by. You will stop here for nearly 2 hours to give you time for lunch and take in the scenery around Scotland's most famous loch.

From Loch Ness you head south through the mountains of the Cairngorms National Park. Your route takes us alongside Loch Laggan (the setting for the BBC series 'Monarch of the Glen'), over the Drumochter Pass (1500ft above sea level) and past 13th century Blair Castle, ancestral home of the Duke of Atholl.

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Blair Castle

We continue south through the forests of Highland Perthshire making a short refreshment stop on the way and then on past Perth itself. Perth was the medieval capital of Scotland, where for hundreds of years Scottish monarchs were crowned at nearby Scone Palace. South of Perth you drive past Loch Leven, where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned by her Protestant nobles, before escaping to England where she was eventually executed by her cousin Elizabeth I. Then it is over the famous Forth Bridge before returning to Edinburgh.

Important Information 
Because we believe in time off the bus and give you opportunities to take nature walks we recommend you bring suitable clothing and footwear for your tour. Scotland can be a wet place!!


Transportation in top of the range 16 seat Mercedes minicoach for a more personal experience.
Forced air ventilation as standard.
Services of a professional  driver/guide
Your chance to see 'Nessie'!
Unless otherwise notified passengers are restricted to one medium sized suitcase/bag (maximum 15 kilos) and one carry-on bag per person.


Lunch and refreshments. 
Loch Ness boat cruise.
* Loch Ness boat cruise available from Easter to December. 
**The boat trip on Loch Ness may not always be available on busy weekends and bank holidays.

The Little Details

  • Minimum Age: Age 5+
  • Min Age: 5 years
  • Tour Vehicle Type: Mini Coach
  • Months of Operation: All Year
  • Duration of Tour: Full Day
  • Departure Point: Edinburgh
  • Departure Point: Rabbies Cafe, 6 Waterloo Place, Edinburgh EH1 3EG
  • Departure Time: 08:00 Please check-in 15 minutes early
  • Expected return Time: Approx 20:00
  • Duration of Tour: Full Day

Rates & Dates

Adult Prices:  £45 - £52
Discount Prices:  £42 - £49
Departing: Every day (All year)

Discount Prices apply to Students, Seniors over 60 and Children between 5 and 16. Regrettably, chidren under 5 are not accepted on any tour.

This tour runs daily throughout the year - guaranteed!

Booking Notes

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Some Places We Will Visit

  • Callander

    The small Trossachs town of Callander lies right on the main tourist trail from Stirling through to the west Highlands. The town became famous during the 'Scottish Enlightenment' of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries with the gleaming reports given by poets Sir William Wordsworth and Sir Walter Scott and developments came to a full swing with Queen Victoria choosing to visit Callander and with the arrival of the train line in the 1860s.

  • Fort Augustus

    At the more scenic southern end of Loch Ness stands the village of Fort Augustus, originally set up as a garrison after the Jacobite rebellion of 1715, and headquarters of General Wade's campaign to pacify the Highlands. Today Fort Augustus is a busy little place; full of monster-hunting tourists and boats using the flight of five locks to enter or leave Loch Ness on their journey along the Caledonian Canal.

  • Pitlochry

    Small Highland tour that is a frequent stopping place for coaches travelling along the A9. Somewhat a one road town of shops and cafes.

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