A fantastic 5 day tour - this comprehensive tour of the Scottish Highlands is the probably the best way to explore the stunning scenery and amazing history of Scotland. In just 5 days you'll get real insight into the nature, history and scenic beauty of Scotland. Runs every Monday from April to October. From Edinburgh & Glasgow. Includes Jacobite Steam Train journey
Day One - Edinburgh - Inveraray - Oban
Departing from Edinburgh we travel westwards across Scotland to reach Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city. Soon we enter the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, a natural wonder that is just waiting to be discovered. The "bonnie, bonnie banks" of Loch Lomond is a real highlight. This is Britain's largest lake and one of Scotland's loveliest. It has 30 islands, including one inhabited by a colony of wallabies!
The Argyll Forest Park is famed for it’s ancient trees, tranquil lochs and mountains. Look out for Ben Arthur, affectionately known as "The Cobbler” - it’s one of Scotland’s most popular climbs.
Soon our coach starts our ascent of the "Rest and be Thankful” mountain pass. You’ll soon realise why this road has such an unusual name when you look down on General Wade's original road that winds its way through Glen Croe all the way to the summit!
The 3rd Duke of Argyll built the "new" town of Inveraray at the head of Loch Fyne. The town sits in the shadow of his castle and, as we will discover, this pleasant town retains much of its 18th Century charm.
Rest & Be Thankful
From Lochgilphead we enter Kilmartin Glen. This mysterious Glen has one of the most concentrated areas of prehistoric sites in Scotland including a linear cemetery – a line of burial cairns that stretch for over 2 miles. Nearby is Dunadd, a hill fort that dates from the Iron Age. Dunadd was the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Dalriada so this part of Argyll has played an important part in the creation of modern Scotland!
Soon we arrive in the bustling, beautiful port of Oban, our stop for tonight. Oban is the gateway to the isles so why not take a pre-dinner stroll and admire the views over the busy harbour.
Day Two - Oban - Glen Coe - Skye
We bid farewell to Oban and make our way to the Connel Bridge. As we cross Loch Etive look out for the Falls of Lora below.
Glen Coe is arguably Scotland's most famous Glen partly because of it's awe-inspiring beauty and, more sinisterly, because of the infamous massacre that took place here in 1692. The sad tale will be told as we make a short diversion to explore this special place for ourselves.
Fort William's glorious setting on the banks of Loch Linnhe has made it a popular tourist destination since the arrival of the steamships in the mid-1900's. The town sits in the shadow of Ben Nevis, which, at 4,406 feet, is the tallest mountain in the UK. If the weather is kind to us we should hopefully get a good view of "The Ben" as we leave the town.
Jacobite Steam TRain
We now jump about the Jacobite Highlanders Steam Train for our journey to Mallaig and the sea crossing to Skye. Fans of Harry Potter will know the train from the films and it is also an exciting way to see this landscape before you reach the coast at Mallaig. On arrival in Skye, you wil transfer to your accommodation for the next two nights.
Overnight: Kyleakin, Isle of Skye
Day Three - Touring the Magical Isle
SKye Trotternish Peninsula
After breakfast we board our coach for a wonderful day of exploration. From the little villages and gentle scenery of the southern part of the island the views will change dramatically as the Cuillin Hills come into sight. Considered by many to be amongst the finest hills in Britain the Cuillins present a vista that is simply unforgettable.
We will try to explore as much of the island as possible but there is simply so much to see. We focus on the natural wonders taking in the Cuillins if the weather is right and of course the Trotternish Peninsula, home to more natural and unusual wonders per square mile than anywhere on earth - the Old Man of Storr, the Quirang and Kilt Rock falls.
Day Four - Eilean Donan- Inverewe– Loch Ness
We bid farewell to the Isle of Skye and return to the mainland. Our first stop is Eilean Donan Castle on Loch Shiel which is Scotland's most photographed castle and hero of many movies. After our visit, we head North and way from the crowds to take in the North Western wilderness as we head towards the unexpected Inverewe Gardens at Poolewe which are home to many sub-tropical species thanks to the warm currents of the Gulf Stream. Wildlife thrives in this part of Scotland so as we drive through this striking scenery keep a watch out for local residents such as red deer, golden eagles and pine martins. A relaxing drive brings a late afternoon arrival in Fort Augustus, which sits on the banks of Loch Ness.
Overnight: Fort Augustus
Day Five - Loch Ness - Culloden Moor - Edinburgh
After a hearty breakfast we head off to explore mysterious Loch Ness. After a drive along the banks of this famous loch why not mount a "Nessie" spotting cruise* of your own or enjoy wonderful views of the lake from the battlements of mighty Urquhart Castle?
A short drive will take us to Inverness, the Capital of the Highlands, and then on to desolate Culloden Moor * which was the site of the last battle ever fought on British soil. The Jacobite troops of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the British Army under the command of the Duke of Cumberland clashed here in a bloody battle. The Jacobites were routed and in the aftermath Highland life changed forever. We'll make a stop so that you can discover more about the battle and its dramatic consequences.
The Cairngorm National Park is an area of stunning natural beauty, as we will discover. As we journey through the Spey Valley the Cairngorm Mountains, which rise to over 4000 feet, provide a striking backdrop.
There are fine views of Blair Castle, the seat of the Dukes of Atholl – the only man allowed to have their own private army, The Atholl Highlanders. Wild mountain vistas surround us as we descend the Drumochter Pass, the main route into the highlands since the earliest of times. We’ll make a stop in the pretty town of Pitlochry a gloriously colourful and vibrant Victorian town surrounded by the most resplendent mountain scenery in Europe. Its fame as a holiday resort dates from the 1860s and was a popular destination with Queen Victoria. We’ll spend time here so you soak up the atmosphere of this picturesque little town.
The final part of our journey together takes us through the heart of Highland Perthshire. As we travel southwards past the twin villages of Dunkeld and Birnam you will discover why this part of Scotland is called "Big Tree Country”! From Perth we join the highway for the short journey to Edinburgh.
* Admission fees apply
Phenomenal Experience of the Highlands
We just came back from a 5 day tour of the Scottish Highlands with our driver Andrew. There were 29 of us on the trip, but Andrew made it seem as though it was a private tour. He was very informative on a wide array of topics related to history and had an intimate knowledge of each of the sites and villages we visited. His story telling made it easy to experience the historic battles in the Scottish struggle for independence.
The highlands are beautiful, very remote, and packed with historic sites and significance. The accommodations were rustic, but comfortable. Food was very good every where we went. The people were all very friendly and inviting.
The Jacobite Express train ride is an old steam engine that runs from Fort William to Mallaig, You will recognize the train and the journey from the Harry Potter films as the Hogwarts Express. Eilean Donan Castle, Urquhart Castle, and Sterling Castle are not to be missed. We also stopped at the Culloden museum which is the site of the final battle that ended the Jacobite Uprising. This was a very moving and special experience.
The five days was packed with several stops interspersed with beautiful drives through the country side with some brief stops for pictures, We had a great time and heartily recommend the tour and Andrew.
Fabulous 5 Day Tour of the Highlands
This tour was a wonderful way to experience the Highlands, including 2 nights on Skye. We absolutely loved it, and the tour does a great job of packing lots of sightseeing in and covering lots of scenery. We were given ample time at major sites to photograph and enjoy, as well as to eat in the villages and get a bit of shopping done. Additionally, the tour was greatly enhanced by our guide Andrew who is a history buff and will regale the participants with personal anecdotes as well as providing a phenomenal amount of history appropriate to whichever place the bus is passing by. This tour provides a truly excellent overview of the Highlands and is an excellent value. I heartily recommend it.
This is a 5 day excursion with Andrew, who is a wonderful tour guide. He is an amazing driver and tells such engaging stories about Scottish history and folklore. We all had such fun and highly recommend it to anyone wishing to see the beautiful sights in the Scottish highlands.
Trip of a Lifetime!
We took the five day Highlands tour. I will admit to being hesitant about a bus tour before we started, but our guide Andrew quickly won me over. The trip was absolutely amazing. Andrew made every moment in the coach engaging with his wit, knowledge, and humor. He knew just went to make us laugh, and when to leave us all be.
The trip was exquisitely managed, allowing time for photo stops, bathroom breaks, and engaging history. We arrived early at many of the more traditional tourist attractions and knew how to beat the crowds. We saw beautiful vistas across the Highlands and Islands, stayed in beautiful B&B's and made great friends.
I would highly recommend the trip and Andrew in particular to anyone interested in the Highlands.
Best Tour Yet
My husband and I just completed the 5 day Highlands (and Islands) tour with the incomparable Andrew. It exceeded every expectation I had. Not only did we get to visit historic landmarks (Glen Coe, Culloden, Urquart & Eilean Donan & Stirling castles, Bannockburn, Flora MacDonald's grave), we took in the breathtaking views on the Isle of Skye, the Great Glen, countless lochs, and spent the night and ate lunch in many quaint and idyllic towns (Portree, Oban, Fort Augustus, Pitlochry simply to name a few.)
This, by necessity, requires hours of traveling in the bus that went in the blink of an eye thanks to Andrew's engaging, entertaining, and enlightening storytelling. From history to mythology to modern day information Andrew made every bit educational and conversational. His wit, compassion, and personable attitude led to an exceptional week.
The B&B accommodations were excellent with wonderful breakfasts and comfortable rooms. A few times the bathroom/shower amenities were small, but that is to be expected in Europe. Overall I would highly recommend this company, this tour, and Andrew in particular to anyone who is interested in exploring the highlands and islands of Scotland.
Amazing five Day Tour
My mother and I went on the 5 Day Highland Experience Tour with our guide Andrew and it was truly amazing. If you can try and get Andrew as you guide, he was so knowledgeable, friendly, and prompt. He truly made the trip amazing. The tour is so worth the money and the places we stayed along the way we're great! If you want to get the most out of a few days in Scotland this is the only way to do it! Also if you go in peak season there will be more then 15 people on your tour but that is ok, the more the merrier! My only recommendation is that you do not bring more luggage than is allowed. You can store excess luggage at their offices. More luggage than the allowed amount will slow pick up and drop times.