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North East Scotland

National Parks

Our most recommended North East Scotland National Parks

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

1. 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

2. 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.

Stirling Castle, Loch Lomond & Whisky Tour from Edinburgh

3. Stirling Castle, Loch Lomond & Whisky Tour from Edinburgh

As you drive north from Edinburgh on this 9-hour excursion you’ll marvel at the engineering miracle of the Forth Railway Bridge. Then, as you travel through Stirlingshire, your guide will bring to life the turbulent times of William Wallace, dramatized in the film Braveheart, and explain his link to the area you're passing through. Your first stop is the city of Stirling, where you'll have ample time to visit the stunning castle (admission not included) or enjoy a walk along the atmospheric, ancient streets that surround it. You'll then have the opportunity to visit one of Scotland's best known distilleries, where you’ll learn how they make their whisky and get a dram of their Highland Single Malt Whisky (optional extra). The tour route takes you past Loch Lubnaig and then through the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, home of the Highland rogue Rob Roy. Stopping at some of the best view points, you’ll be able to take in the view from the An Ceann Mor platform at Inveruglus and then walk the shore of Scotland’s biggest loch at Luss.

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

4. 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: Glencoe and Highlands Bus and Walking Tour

5. From Glasgow: Glencoe and Highlands Bus and Walking Tour

Embark on a true Scottish adventure on a bus and walking tour of the Highlands, Glencoe, Loch Lomond, and more from Glasgow. Learn about the region's rich history from your local guide and get a true essence of what Scotland's nature, history, and people are about. Travel from Glasgow in the comfort of your bus to reach Loch Lomond's calm shores and the Trossachs National Park. See panoramic views over Loch Lomond as you pass through the Highland Boundary Fault Line. This is where you officially enter the Scottish Highlands and gain a sense of what the rugged, mountainous landscape is really like. At the northern section of Loch Lomond, stop to see cascading waterfalls. After a good Scottish downpour, these falls really come to life and create a roaring noise that clashes off every rock and fills every part of the glen with a thunderous sound. Continue to Glencoe to see lush Caledonian Pine forests, a reminder of the ancient landscape which used to cover the majority of the Scottish mainland. Stretch your legs on a short hike along Scotland's premier walking route, the West Highland Way, as you make your way towards a small lochan (small lake). As you enter Glencoe, marvel at the grandeur of Buachaille Etive Mor, the iconic pyramid shaped mountain that forms the backdrop of the glen. The MacDonald’s of Glencoe, who were known as notorious cattle thieves, used the mountain to guide themselves back into Glencoe after a successful night raiding cattle from their neighbor’s lands. Experience the rugged and dramatic land of Glencoe. This alluring landscape captures the imagination of almost anyone who travels through it, and you’ve likely seen it before, as the beauty of Glencoe and the surrounding area has featured in many movies and TV shows. While in Glencoe, hear how the MacDonald Clan from these parts where made an example of by government soldiers in something called The Glencoe Massacre, proof that there’s also a dark side to Scotland’s turbulent history. After lunch, travel to multi-level waterfalls, which come to life after a little rainfall, found after a short walk through some woodland. Here, keep your eyes peeled for the endangered and rare red squirrels. From the roar of the waterfalls to the tranquil setting of Rannoch Moor, this area is one of the last remaining true wilderness locations left in Europe with vast peat bogs, calm lochs, and flat moorland for miles in all direction. A stunning contrast to the mountainous landscape nearby. Finally, travel south towards the lowlands, stopping for one final scenic break at Loch Lomond before heading back to Glasgow.

From Glasgow: Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Tour

6. From Glasgow: Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Tour

Embark on a Scottish experience on a bus and walking tour of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Walk through spectacular and verdant nature along the banks of the loch and marvel at the purple heather dotted on the hills of the National Park. Listen as your guide tells stories about Scotland's rich past. Leave Glasgow and travel west over the River Clyde in the comfort of your bus. See views towards the Clyde Estuary, where fresh water and saltwater meet and where the Vikings moored their boats over 1,300 years ago so they could ransack the area and take valuables and slaves back to their homelands. On a clear day, get the chance to see Dumbarton Castle in the distance, a site with connections to William Wallace, King Robert the Bruce, and Mary Queen of Scots. Then, enter the Trossachs National Park, stopping on the eastern banks of Loch Lomond. Here, stretch your legs on a short hike along the water’s edge towards a striking viewpoint with magnificent panoramic views of the southern section of Loch Lomond. See unrivalled scenery such as deep glens, long finger-like Lochs, ancient Caledonian Pine forests, and cascading waterfalls. Continue on to a quaint wee town within the National Park to hear why it claims to be the fairy capital of the United Kingdom. As you continue deeper into the National Park, notice how the dramatic landscape constantly changes from craggy peaks to rolling hills. During your lunch stop with the Scottish Highlands as your backdrop, meet and even feed iconic, and hairy, Highland cows. After lunch, enjoy another short hike in the Trossachs, this time following in the footsteps of Rob Roy MacGregor, one of Scotland’s most infamous or famous sons, depending on what you believe. Then, sit back and rest your legs on a scenic drive through Glen Dochart, taking in the impressive landscapes while keeping an eye out for some of Scotland’s rich variety of wildlife, such as the red deer, the endangered red squirrel, or golden eagles. Finally, stop at the historic village of Luss for some of the most beautiful views of Loch Lomond before heading back to Glasgow.

From Glasgow: Loch Lomond and Whisky Full-Day Tour

7. From Glasgow: Loch Lomond and Whisky Full-Day Tour

Meet your guide in Glasgow and travel the short distance towards Loch Lomond, one of the largest lochs in Scotland. Stop on the southern shore of the loch, where you can choose to join a 1-hour boat cruise and enjoy views of the surrounding mountains and castles. Those who wish to remain on dry land can admire the stunning landscape from the shore. The next stop is in the picturesque conservation village of Luss. Walk around the center and take photos of quaint cottages, or stroll along a little beach on the bank of Loch Lomond and admire the view of Ben Lomond. There will be plenty of time for you to enjoy lunch here. After a day filled with mountain air, lochs, and forests, travel back to Glasgow’s Clydeside Whisky Distillery. Located in the famous Queen’s Dock, this state-of-the-art distillery brings the production of single malt back to the city. Take a tour and see how this whiskey is distilled from grain to glass. If you’re not a whiskey fan, your guide can drop you off at Buchanan Bus Station earlier, so you can explore the city’s vibrant bars and music venues.

Balloch: Guided Tour to Glencoe & the Highlands

8. Balloch: Guided Tour to Glencoe & the Highlands

You’ll be starting your Glencoe and Scottish Highlands day tour from Balloch at the very bottom of the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond. You’re adventure begins by travelling north along the western shore of Loch Lomond, taking in amazing views looking out over Loch Lomond and hearing some of the local tales about the Loch’s history, including how the Vikings visited and colonised here over 1000 years ago. As you travel further north, you’ll eventually reach the Scottish Highlands, here, you’ll notice a drastic change in the landscape as you discover many of Scotland's mountains, glens and streams. You’ll see some ancient Caledonian Pine forests, a reminder of the habitat that once covered the majority of Scotland. Not long after this, we’ll get you out for a lovely short walk along a section of the West Highland Way, where you’ll hear tales about the Battle of Dail Righ, where its rumoured King Robert the Bruce was ambushed. On the walk, you’ll see the small lochan where it’s believed that King Robert threw his sword, to lighten the load as he tried to escape. You’ll continue north towards Glencoe where at the very head of the Glen, like a rugged old soldier guarding his post, you’ll lay eyes upon “The Buachaille”. You’ll now find yourself in one of the most eye wateringly beautiful locations in the whole of Scotland, surrounded by this ancient mountain landscape, you’ll be able to feel the history and the sense of overwhelming awe that makes filmmakers the world over wish to film here, showcasing Glencoe in many famous movies and T.V shows such as Outlander, Harry Potter, Braveheart, Highlander, Rob Roy, Monty Python and most recently in Netflix’s Outlaw King. After lunch, you’re next highland location is to visit some beautiful waterfalls, you’ll get out for another short hike in the rugged landscape where there’s also a chance to see some secretive Red Squirrels, as an endangered species, and very rare to find, our location gives us a good chance to spot them as we walk through the forestry. From the roar of waterfalls, you’ll now enjoy the tranquil scenic surroundings of Rannoch Moor, this ancient land may be one of the last remaining true wilderness spots left in Europe and contrasts the fabulous mountainous scenery all around it with it’s deep peat bogs and heather moorland stretching for miles around. Around this area we’ll be staying alert as this is quite often a very good location for spotting Red Deer, Scotland’s largest land mammal, cameras at the ready as we try to track them down. From here you’ll travel south back towards Loch Lomond for one final stop to enjoy the delights of Scotland’s largest freshwater Loch and get in some more breath-taking scenery before arriving back to Balloch to end your wonderful day tour exploring Glencoe and the Scottish Highlands. This Glencoe and Scottish Highlands Day Tour may be explored in reverse

Isle of Arran Adventure: 3-Day Small Group Tour from Glasgow

9. Isle of Arran Adventure: 3-Day Small Group Tour from Glasgow

Marvel at the wild and windswept scenery of Scotland’s west coast on a relaxed 3-day sightseeing tour, traveling by small minibus for a more intimate and personalized experience. You will spend the night on the Island of Arran, one of Scotland’s largest and most beautiful off-shore landscapes. Discover Neolithic standing stones, ruined castles, artisan craft shops, and microbreweries. Cross the famous Rest and Be Thankful mountain pass, learn about Scotland’s national poet Robert Burns at his birthplace, and enjoy country walks in Culzean Country Park. Day 1: Depart Glasgow at 10.00 and travel south west, where you can visit Whitelee Wind Farm, Europe’s largest wind farm generating enough energy to power 180,000 homes. Travel into Ayrshire to visit Culzean Castle, associated with the Kennedy family since the 14th century. Enjoy its dramatic cliff top setting, fine furniture, and beautiful architecture by the famous architect Robert Adam. Enjoy the walks in Culzean Country Park (entrance fee), with nearly 600 acres of stunning countryside and paths through majestic woodlands and secluded ponds. There is a café for lunch, or you may wish to have a picnic in the castle grounds. After lunch, head into the heart of Burns Country and learn about Scotland’s national poet. Continue to his birthplace in Alloway and discover many of the places mentioned in his poems and songs. Stop at the redeveloped visitor center to find out more about this remarkable man. Continue to Ardrossan to catch the ferry to the Isle of Arran. Arrive in Brodick, the largest village on the island, with stunning views of the imposing Goatfell, Arran’s highest peak. You will be dropped off at your accommodation in Brodick for the night. Day 2: Known as “Scotland in Miniature,” Arran is alive with wildlife, rugged countryside, beaches, pubs, restaurants, and cottage industries. There are many options for your day, depending on the weather and the groups interest. Your driver will arrange the best day for you. Explore the mountainous north, including Goatfell, believed to mean “Mountain of Wind.” Go to the village of Corrie and neighbouring Sannox to find some of the nicest beaches on the island. Discover the ruins of Lochranza Castle, and visit Arran Distillery, one of the last remaining independent distilleries in Scotland. See some of the stone circles and standing stones of the Neolithic and early Bronze Age. Travel south through the harbor villages of Blackwaterfoot, Sliddery, and Kildonan, stopping at the Arran Cheese Shop to taste local cheeses, or the family-owned Arran Aromatics to purchase bath products made only from natural ingredients. Marvel at Brodick Castle, and sample the beers of Arran Brewery, a microbrewery located in the shadow of the imposing red sandstone castle. Day 3: Today, return to the mainland via the small ferry that runs between Lochranza and Claonaig. The 30-minute crossing takes you to the lush green landscape of the Kintyre Penninsula, where you will travel the coastal road to the charming fishing village of Tarbert on the narrowest strip of land between the 2 bodies of water. In the past, ships would dock in one loch before their loads were carried across the peninsula to the other loch, where they were reloaded and shipped onwards, thus avoiding the dangerous Mull of Kintyre. Follow Loch Fyne to the whitewashed village of Inveraray, with some free time to explore and have lunch. Continue over the mountain pass “The Rest and Be Thankful.” From here, it’s a short drive to Luss and the Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond, before returning to Glasgow.

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Other Sightseeing Options in North East Scotland

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What people are saying about North East Scotland

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 495 reviews

Just a fantastic tour seeing the best of Scottish Highlands and Loch Lomond. Stevie was a great, knowledgebable tour guide. It is a long tour, nearly 10 hours. Also, the van is nice but the seats are kind of tight, not ideal for any plus-sized guests. The best van seats are on the back row or beside the driver. Highly, Highly recommend this tour! Also it is a great value for the price too.

This is the best tour we have ever been on and we have been traveling Europe for quite a few months. Cameron set the standard for tours. I would listen to audiobooks with him telling the stories. The experience was captivating and the size of the group was perfect and enjoyable.

I took my grandson on this trip and we both loved it. It was so well organised and everything ran smoothly from start to finish This was all down to Ben who was out guide and driver. He knew his stuff and passed it onto us. The mini bus was really comfortable and spacious.

Great trip! Grant was our tour guide and he was funny, knowledgeable, and kind. Beautiful views. Made me love Scotland and want to come back so my wife could see it too!

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