North East Scotland
Culture & History

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Popular Culture & History in North East Scotland

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.

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

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

3. 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.

Loch Lomond: Evening Cruise

4. 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: Loch Lomond, Trossachs & Stirling Castle Tour

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

6. 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.

Glasgow: Glenfinnan, Mallaig and Glencoe Adventure Tour

7. 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: 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.

From Edinburgh: West Highland Lochs & Castles Full-Day Trip

9. From Edinburgh: West Highland Lochs & Castles Full-Day Trip

Explore the Scottish Highlands on this bus day trip from Edinburgh. Take in classic sights like Stirling, Doune, and Inveraray castle. Admire natural landscapes like Loch Lubnaig, Glen Ogle, and the Arrochar Alps. Hop aboard the spacious and airconditioned bus in Edinburgh and travel west, passing in the imposing show of Stirling Castle which rests high on its volcanic rock. Visit to Doune Castle which was featured in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail". Drive into the Highlands, past the lovely Loch Lubnaig, and up through impressive Glen Ogle. Stopping nearby at a place where you can purchase lunch with views of the surrounding natural scenery. After lunch, drive further into the Highlands, stopping to view one of the most photographed castles in Scotland, Kilchurn Castle. Marvel at this relic which juts into Loch Awe and is stunningly framed by mountain peaks. Venture to Inveraray, a quaint town built in the mid-18th century, on the shore of Loch Fyne. Have free time to explore the town and pick up some Highland souvenirs, or pay an optional visit to Inveraray Castle (closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays), the historic home of the Duke of Argyll. Begin your homeward journey, driving over the Arrochar Alps, an attractive range of mountains, with a brief pause near the top of the "Rest and Be Thankful Pass. Reach Loch Lomond, and visit the charming village of Luss before returning to Edinburgh.

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

Ronnie was a great guide. Lots of tidbits of information and did not talk too much. Time allocated at each stop was just right. Great b&b arranged by company. Comfortable bus and great charge stations were available. Only unfortunate piece was we originally booked for three, one person injured a few days before and could not attend, and we could not get a partial refund for her ticket.

The trip exceeded our expectations. The places were just amazingly beautiful but having Martin’s as our guide took it to a higher level. He was great, fun and witty, knew the history of the places, adding a beautiful Scottish soundtrack to the ride. The stay at Portree was good, The Caledonian hotel was simple, yet had what all we needed. Thank you Martin!

We had a wonderful time! Our guide Graham was lovely and very knowledgeable.. very thoughtful in every aspect, even the playlist throughout the day! Great day! Definitely recommend!!

It was a fantastic tour. Beautiful landscape, lakes, cute animals, lovely guide.

Beautiful Scenery. Full 2hr trip. Boat was clean and tidy. Staff very friendly