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North East Scotland

Culture & History

Our most recommended North East Scotland Culture & History

Loch Lomond: Island Discovery 2-Hour Cruise

1. Loch Lomond: Island Discovery 2-Hour Cruise

Discover the legends and secrets of the islands of Loch Lomond on this cruise from Alexandria. Learn the history and the legends of Loch Lomond and the surrounding areas, while enjoying some of Scotland's most spectacular scenery. Hop aboard the spacious and comfortable boat that Balloch Village Ferry Landing. Have plenty of space for indoor and outdoor viewing with opened and closed deck space, and full bar facilities where you can purchase a drink. Begin you circular cruise which passes the world-famous Loch Lomond Golf Club. Explore the middle island of Loch Lomond, sail through an area known to locals as "The Narrows", and continue onwards to the village of Luss. Listen to cruise commentary by famed historian and archaeologist Neil Oliver, best known from BBC's "Coast" and "A History of Scotland." Return to your starting point at the end of your journey.

Loch Lomond: Evening Cruise

2. Loch Lomond: Evening Cruise

There is perhaps no sight more spectacular than the sun setting on Loch Lomond and this cruise affords you the opportunity to experience it for yourself. Hop aboard for this magical way to end any day.  Depart from Balloch village and set sail beyond the stately homes of historic Scottish industrialists, all within view of Ben Lomond, Scotland's most southerly Munro. From there, continue towards the world-famous Ross Dhu House and Loch Lomond Golf course, past Inchmurrin Island, the largest inland island in Great Britain and home to the ruins of the 12th-century Lennox Castle. Learn the history and the legend of Loch Lomond and the surrounding areas, while enjoying some of Scotland's most spectacular scenery. Enjoy cruise commentary by famed historian and archaeologist Neil Oliver, best known from BBC's "Coast" and "A History of Scotland." The luxurious and smooth passenger boats offer excellent viewing, opened and closed deck space and full bar facilities.  

From Glasgow: Oban, Glencoe, Highland Lochs & Castles Tour

3. From Glasgow: Oban, Glencoe, Highland Lochs & Castles Tour

Explore the stunning lochs and castles of the Western Highlands on this small-group tour from Glasgow. You'll see the superb ruins of Kilchurn on Loch Awe, the bustling west coast harbor town of Oban, and the dramatic beauty of Glencoe. Depart Glasgow at 8:30 AM and travel through gorgeous Glen Fruin, driving parallel with Loch Long. You'll then cross the Highland boundary, where the scenery changes quickly and dramatically–the flat plains of the Lowlands give way to shimmering lochs, rugged mountain tops and forest-filled glens. Continue your drive over the Rest and Be Thankful mountain pass before traveling through the Arrochar Alps. You'll then arrive at the picturesque harbor town of Inveraray on the shores of Loch Fyne. From here you will drive along the shore of Scotland’s longest loch, Loch Awe, where you'll stop to take photos of Kilchurn Castle, a magnificent ruin right in the middle of Loch Awe and the former home of the Campbells of Breadalbane. You will then continue to the harbor town of Oban, gateway to the Isles, where you will eat lunch. After lunch you'll travel north along the coast around Appin, passing imposing Castle Stalker, and into Scotland's most famous valley, Glencoe. This is Scotland's largest loch and it takes its name from the mountain Ben Lomond. The last stop of the day will be in Luss, an 18th-century conservation village with old workers' cottages, built for the laborers of the estate.

From Glasgow: Loch Lomond, Trossachs & Stirling Castle Tour

4. From Glasgow: Loch Lomond, Trossachs & Stirling Castle Tour

Embark on a guided bus tour of Loch Lomond, the Trossachs, and Stirling Castle from Glasgow. Take in the views of the lush Scottish countryside and learn about William Wallace and Rob Roy from your driver. After leaving Glasgow, stop at the ‘bonnie banks’ of Loch Lomond, one of the prettiest and largest lochs in the whole of Scotland. Take a cruise, enjoying spectacular views of the loch’s many islands and the surrounding mountains. Alternatively, take a stroll through the picturesque loch-side conservation village of Luss, with its quaint houses, cafes, and stunning views across the loch’s western shoreline. Eat lunch in the village of Aberfoyle, nestled in the heart of Trossachs National Park. Continue through the Trossachs, Scotland’s first national park, known as ‘the Highlands in miniature’ for its abundance of lochs, mountains, and forests, and homeland of the legendary outlaw, Rob Roy MacGregor. Your final stop is Stirling Castle, which sits high on volcanic rock and offers wonderful views of the surrounding landscape. Have time to visit the castle and learn of the exploits of key historic figures including William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, and Mary Queen of Scots. After your visit to Stirling Castle, make your way back to Glasgow.

From Edinburgh: 3-Day Isle of Skye, Highlands & Loch Ness

5. From Edinburgh: 3-Day Isle of Skye, Highlands & Loch Ness

Embark on a 3-day guided trip to the Scottish Highlands from Edinburgh. See the Glencoe Valley and the Eilean Donan Castle. Admire the rolling pastures of the Isle of Skye and visit lake Loch Ness. Day 1 From Edinburgh, you will head west where your first stop will be at the picturesque conservation village of Luss, on the ‘Bonny, Bonny’ banks of Loch Lomond. Traveling north via Tyndrum you will pass over the atmospheric Rannoch Moor before enjoying time to walk and admire the dramatic Glencoe valley, site of the 1692 massacre of the MacDonald Clan. After lunch in the Fort William area, your tour will pause for photos at Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, then stop to admire Glen Garry and the stunning Five Sisters of Kintail mountain range. Your first day ends in the charming village of Portree, on the Isle of Skye. Day 2 After breakfast, your will depart Portree for a full day’s touring - options include Dunvegan Castle, a trip to Uig, and a visit to Flora MacDonald’s grave and the unique Black Houses, ancient dwellings of the Scottish Highlanders. Other options include viewing Duntulum Castle, enjoying breathtaking views of Kilt Rock, or perhaps a bracing walk at the Lealt Falls. The day will end with the opportunity to admire the Old Man of Storr, before returning to Portree. Day 3 You will commence your final day of the tour via the much-admired Eilean Donan Castle, the backdrop for the movie, ‘Highlander’; (interior closed in winter) then move on to the pretty lochside village of Fort Augustus for lunch and views of Loch Ness. The tour continues south over Laggan and the Grampian mountains with the last stop, for refreshments, in the Victorian resort town of Pitlochry, before returning to Edinburgh, where the tour will end.

Glasgow: Glenfinnan, Mallaig and Glencoe Adventure Tour

6. Glasgow: Glenfinnan, Mallaig and Glencoe Adventure Tour

Enjoy a day tour exploring the Port of Mallaig, Glencoe, Loch Lomond, and reach Glenfinnan Viaduct right on time to see the Jacobite Steam Train (also known as the Harry Potter Hogwarts Express) crossing the tall bridge. Depart Glasgow and travel north, stopping for a coffee and refreshments at a small highland village. Traveling onwards, reach Glencoe, known to many as the location for the Massacre of the MacDonald clan in 1692. Take photos of this beautiful area whilst you learn about its turbulent past. After Glencoe, travel further north to Fort William. Stop for refreshments and perhaps a bite to eat before journeying down the Road to the Isles. Learn about the history of the area as you approach Mallaig, where you will spend time enjoying lunch and its sea views. From Mallaig, travel eastwards to the main attraction, Glenfinnan. Arrive to see the Jacobite Steam Train (also known as the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter Films) cross the bridge. Enjoy the iconic view, known as the setting for many Harry Potter scenes, including Loch Shiel. From Glenfinnan, travel southwards, stopping for refreshments before reaching Luss for Loch Lomond. Spend time here to enjoy the beautiful lochside views before returning to Glasgow.

From Glasgow: 3-Day Isle of Skye, Highlands & Loch Ness Tour

7. From Glasgow: 3-Day Isle of Skye, Highlands & Loch Ness Tour

Day One: Visit the village of Luss on the banks of Loch Lomond, within a national park. Admire Rannoch Moor before walking through Glen Coe valley. Pause for photos after lunch by Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis. End your first day by relaxing in the charming village of Portree, on the Isle of Skye.  Day Two: Enjoy breakfast in Portree, before deciding how you will spend your day. Choose between a tour of Dunvegan Castle, Duntulm Castle or a visit to Uig and the traditional blackhouses. End your day by viewing The Storr, before returning to Portree. Day Three: Experience a tour of Eilean Donan Castle. Visit the pretty loch-side village of Fort Augustus for lunch and views of Loch Ness. Continue your journey to the Victorian resort town of Pitlochry, before driving back to Edinburgh where you will be dropped off outside Edinburgh Waverley Train Station. Passengers that began the tour in Glasgow will be provided with a free train ticket to return to Glasgow.

From Glasgow: Oban, Glencoe & West Highland Castles Day Tour

8. From Glasgow: Oban, Glencoe & West Highland Castles Day Tour

On this tour, you will experience the shimmering lochs, scenic mountain views, and romantic and historic castles of the western highlands. From Glasgow cross the Firth of Clyde, passing Dumbarton's famous and imposing rock fortress. The first stop is the pretty conservation village of Luss, on the 'Bonny, Bonny Banks' of Loch Lomond. Here you can walk along the shore or stay to admire the village. Pass several dramatic castles and lochs as the tour climb into the Highlands. Make a stop for lunch at the fishing town of Oban. Journey on a southern route that takes you past the spectacular Kilchurn Castle, majestically situated on Loch Awe. Our final stop is Inveraray, the historic seat of the Duke of Argyll, where you can choose to either visit Inveraray Castle (April-October only) or explore the town’s Georgian houses and wide streets. Return to Glasgow via the Rest and Be Thankful pass.

Rosslyn Chapel & Scottish Borders Tour from Edinburgh

9. Rosslyn Chapel & Scottish Borders Tour from Edinburgh

Discover the myths and legends surrounding the Holy Grail and Rosslyn Chapel on this small-group tour! You'll also visit the beautiful Borders village of Melrose with its historic abbey. Departing at 9:45 AM, your tour takes you south to the world-famous Scott’s View, with stunning views over the Tweed Valley and the Eildon Hills. You will also get the opportunity to visit the original Wallace Monument. From here you travel to Melrose, including the chance to explore its great Border Abbey, founded by the Cistercians in the 12th Century. The Cistercian monks had very close connections with the Knights Templar and Melrose Abbey is the burial place of Robert the Bruce's heart, brought back from the crusades in Moorish Spain. Following lunch in Melrose, you will make your way to the stunning 15th-century Rosslyn Chapel, immortalized in Dan Brown’s “Da Vinci Code”. Here, you can find out more about the myths and legends surrounding the whereabouts of the “Holy Grail”. From Melrose, you will return to Edinburgh, arriving at approximately 4:15 PM.

Loch Ness, Inverness and Highlands 2-Day Tour from Edinburgh

10. Loch Ness, Inverness and Highlands 2-Day Tour from Edinburgh

Get back to nature in the Scottish Highlands and go for gentle walks. Spend the night in the city of Inverness and avail of a flexible itinerary on day 2. Day 1: Depart Edinburgh and head west to Glasgow before visiting the pretty village of Luss on the banks of Loch Lomond. Descend into Rannoch Moor and pass the Black Mount and Glencoe at the site of the 1692 massacre of the MacDonald Clan. Go for a leisurely walk to soak up the atmosphere. Head north towards Fort William and get stunning views of Ben Nevis before traveling around Loch Ness after lunch. Pass historic Urquhart Castle before arriving in Inverness, where you will spend the night. Day 2: Choose to visit the Culloden Battlefield, where Bonnie Prince Charlie was defeated by the Duke of Cumberland. Glimpse the ancient stones of Clava Cairns and taste the whisky at Dalwhinnie Distillery. Go to the old military garrison of Ruthven Barracks. Return via the Hermitage and stop for a gentle forest walk in idyllic woodlands (summer only) before crossing the Forth Bridge to arrive back in Edinburgh.

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What people are saying about North East Scotland

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 1,218 reviews

Amazing. Besides the stunning visuals and places that we went to, the guide was the cherry on top as he kept as entertained with the story of land and other topics. Very friendly and funny. Will definitely go again to different locations.

We enjoyed the trip. The tour guide was very helpful and the information was clearly given. Enjoyed the scenery and the trip itself was refreshing and peaceful.

Our guide Andrew was wonderful. He was knowledgeable and also funny. You could tell he really had a love for Scotland.

Enjoyed the commentary on the boat and very clean inside... (toilets could be better though)..

Beautiful scenery. Uncrowded boat. Interesting commentary during the trip.