Add dates
North East Scotland

Small group

Our most recommended North East Scotland Small group

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: Discovering Malt Whisky Distillery Day Tour

2. From Edinburgh: Discovering Malt Whisky Distillery Day Tour

Departing Edinburgh at 9:30 AM, your tour takes you west past Stirling to Glengoyne distillery. Here you will be introduced to the simple but magical process of turning barley, water, and yeast into whisky. From here, you take a scenic drive to the shores of Loch Lomond for a tasty pub lunch and the chance to sample some local beer. After lunch it is recommended to take a short walk to the viewpoint overlooking the loch before heading towards the second distillery of the day. Deanston Distillery is a converted cotton mill on the banks of the River Teith has many interesting features and produces some unique whisky flavours. After a relaxed afternoon visit here you return to Edinburgh with the stories and flavors of single malt whisky fresh in your mind. You will return to Edinburgh at approximately 6:15 PM.

West Highlands Lochs & Castles Tour from Edinburgh

3. West Highlands Lochs & Castles Tour from Edinburgh

Enjoy a small group tour of Scotland’s Western Highlands, and explore some of its most atmospheric lochs and castles. Traveling in a comfortable 16-seat Mercedes minibus, you will depart Edinburgh and head west past Stirling Castle. The first stop will be Doune Castle, built for Robert Stewart, the Duke of Albany, over 600 years ago. You might recognize it from the famous comedy film, Monty Python and The Holy Grail. Continue to Callander, where you will pause for a coffee, before leaving the rolling farms for the wild mountains and forests of the Highlands. Visit Loch Luibnaig, and continue over the Braes of Balquhidder, final resting place of Highland outlaw Rob Roy MacGregor. Made famous by Sir Walter Scott, Rob Roy was a sort-of Highland Robin Hood, who stole from the rich, but never quite got round to giving it to the poor! From Balquhidder, the tour winds its way through the tough knot of mountains known as Breadalbane. Stop for lunch in a small West Highland village. Continue past Kilchurn Castle in the middle of Loch Awe, and on through Campbell country to the picturesque town of Inveraray on the shores of Loch Fyne. Visit the 18th-Century castle, home of the Duke of Argyll, chief of the Campbell clan. Depart Inveraray, and drive up through the steep mountains of the Arrochar Alps, to the great viewpoint at “Rest and Be Thankful,” given its name by the weary soldiers who had just finished building the military road up through Glen Croe. Skirt Loch Long, and drive down to the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, Scotland's largest loch. Stop at the conservation village of Luss, to admire its quaint houses and stunning views across the loch, and then make your way back to Edinburgh, with a short stop underneath Stirling Castle.

From Glasgow: Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Tour

4. 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: 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 Whisky Full-Day Tour

6. 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.

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

7. 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.

Frequently asked questions about North East Scotland Small group

What are other things to do than Small group that are worth visiting in North East Scotland?

The other unmissable things to do in North East Scotland are:

Which North East Scotland Small group are taking additional COVID-19 precautions?

Other Sightseeing Options in North East Scotland

Want to discover all there is to do in North East Scotland? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about North East Scotland

Great tour and the perfect way to explore all the great things Scotland has to offer besides Loch Ness! We specifically booked this trip as we were travelling to Edinburgh and already had a day trip to Loch Ness & co. Ashely was an amazing guide (and driver) and shared a lot of insightful info, historical facts & Scottish myths, the places were breathtaking and all in all the trip was well thought out. Depending on where you are from, it can be rather pricey but taking it as a bucket-list experience, it is totally worth it.

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!