Scottish Highlands
Neighborhood Tours

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Our most recommended Scottish Highlands Neighborhood Tours

From John O'Groats: Orkney Islands Day Trip

1. From John O'Groats: Orkney Islands Day Trip

Start the tour by boarding the ferry at John O'Groats. Take the 40-minute ferry crossing, keeping a lookout for marine wildlife including puffins and orcas on the way. When you arrive on Orkney, board a luxury coach which will be waiting for you to begin your tour of the island. As you set off, enjoy the commentary from a local guide. First, see the Churchill Barriers built during the First World War. Stop in Kirkwall which is Orkney's capital city and discover St Magnus Cathedral, shops, the museum, and the scenic harbor.  Continue along the northern coast of Scapa Flow and admire the beautiful views of the Hoy hills. Then, arrive in Stromness, one of Britain's most picturesque towns. Stroll through the winding street, visit the museum, and find plenty of places to eat lunch.  Next, set off for the neolithic village of Skara Brae, established in around 2,500 BC and which has been hidden under sand dunes, perfectly preserved for thousands of years. Follow the route onwards along a narrow tongue of land between the lochs of Harray and Stenness, making a stop at the mystical Ring of Brodgar and the Standing Stones of Stenness. Finally, board the return ferry, and make a stop at the Italian Chapel which is beautifully decorated inside 2 Nissen huts. Return to John O'Groats with incredible memories of your excursion.

Portree: Best of Isle of Skye Full-Day Tour

2. Portree: Best of Isle of Skye Full-Day Tour

You will start on your journey with a drive to the Fairy Pools in the shadow of the Cuillin Mountains. The pools are located in one of the most dramatic landscapes on Skye. The fairies regularly bathe here, in the crystal clear green pools of the River Brittle. Weather permitting, you can swim in the pools of the river, one of the UK’s best wild swimming spots. Have fun diving under natural arches and waterfalls, but please do not spy on the fairies, as they can easily take offence. You then move on to Talisker distillery based in Carbost, one of the three whisky distilleries on the Isle of Skye. The whisky is a single malt Scotch, with a very distinctive peaty-smoky taste. You can then go through the visitor center (not on the tour) and if available sample one of the fine whiskys produced here. You now have a choice of either going to Neist Point or being dropped off at Dunvegan Castle, and we will pick you up on the way back from Neist Point. You will travel to the far west of the island to the dramatic Neist Point. This is the best place on the island to spot whales, dolphins and sharks. Here we transport you to the edge of the world, with its beautiful scenery, awesome skies and endless ocean. Take advantage of the opportunity to stop at the magnificent Fairy Glen, the most important meeting place of the fairies on Skye. Wander between countless conical mounds, known in the Highlands as Fairy Knowes, and put your ears to the grass to listen for the fairies at work inside. Bend down to search for elves in the glen's miniature forests. Follow the twisted path to the top of the fairy castle or walk the faun’s maze and have a wish granted! Then enjoy the drive up the Trotternish ridge and marvel at the magnificent views of the Quiraing, a landscape used in many sci-fi films, known for its wonderful rock formations and stunning coastal views. Part of the largest landslip in Europe, this is a place like no other. Finally, arrive at Kilt Rock and the Dinosaur Museum. Then, continue on to the charming Old Man of Storr, a stunning 200 foot tall stone pillar, which has detached itself from the highest point of the ridge, creating a magic landscape of twisted rocks, looming shadows, and swirling mists. Old Man of Storr has featured in many movies including Prometheus, the 2012 sci-fi film directed by Ridley Scott. Come and see for yourself why Skye has been voted by National Geographic as the fourth greatest island visitor experience in the whole world.

From Inverness: Isle of Skye Scenery Tour with Fairy Pools

3. From Inverness: Isle of Skye Scenery Tour with Fairy Pools

Depart from a central meeting point in Inverness, where you will meet your guide and board the mini-bus. First, stop at Eilean Donan Castle and take plenty of photos as you admire the majestic beauty of this iconic sight in its wonderful coastal location. Upon arrival in Portree, make your way to the harbor viewpoint where you can see the pretty pastel-colored houses. Enjoy a short stop here, where you can also purchase a light lunch. Next, stop at a loch-side viewpoint, and discover the unique rock formation of the Old Man of Storr. See the 50-meter high pinnacle that juts out from the Trotternish Ridge and is recognizable from blockbuster films including Ronin 47, Snow White & The Huntsman, Prometheus, and The BFG. Continue to Kilt Rock, an exposed sea cliff that resembles the traditional Highland kilt. Be amazed by the imposing waterfall that cascades 60ft (180m) into the Sound of Raasay below. Visit the Quiraing landslip on the eastern face of Meall na Suiramach. On a clear day, see the Outer Hebrides and the Scottish mainland, framed by pinnacles, cliffs, and great buttresses. Enjoy some time for a short hike at this scenic location. Continue to the Fairy Pools, a series of crystal clear waterfalls and pools surrounded by the stunning backdrop of the Cuillin Mountain. Finally, stop for some photos of Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness. Admire the sight of the castle on a distinctive peninsula jutting out onto the mysterious Loch Ness, before heading back to Inverness.

From Inverness: Skye & Eilean Donan Castle Small-Group Tour

4. From Inverness: Skye & Eilean Donan Castle Small-Group Tour

Travel in style in a Mercedes minicoach and hear about Scotland's turbulent past from your knowledgeable guide. Marvel at the views of the mountains of Wester Ross on the drive to Eilean Donan Castle. Visit the castle before traveling over the bridge to Skye. Head through the mountainous heart of the island before arriving in the harbor town of Portree for lunch. After lunch the drive takes you around the Trotternish Peninsula. The guide will point out landmarks, including the Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock and Quiraing. Make your way back through majestic Glen Shiel, along the shores of Loch Clunie. The final part of the trip takes you along the banks of mighty Loch Ness.

From Edinburgh: Outlander, Palaces and Jacobites Tour

5. From Edinburgh: Outlander, Palaces and Jacobites Tour

Depart Edinburgh and journey northwest to Midhope Castle (April 1 to September 24), site of Lallybroch Castle in the time travel TV series "Outlander." Next, stop in the Royal Burgh of Linlithgow and enjoy a photo stop at Linlithgow Palace (Wentworth Prison in "Outlander"), originally a royal retreat between Edinburgh and Stirling Castle. Continue to the 14th-century country pile of Callandar House, where ties to Rome's northern frontier in Europe at the Antonine Wall have been traced. Following in the footsteps of Claire and Jamie, visit Falkland, Outlander's Inverness. Many of the streets here were used as filming locations in Outlander, including when Claire sees Jamie's ghost. Move on to the Royal Burgh of Culross to discover a tiny village nestled on the coast of Fife. Arguably the best example of a 17th-century Scottish village, the gardens at Culross were featured in "Outlander" as Claire's herb garden, as was the mercat cross (market cross) from Cranesmuir Village. Saunter along the cobblestone streets and see the quaint Biscuit Café before stopping for photos at Tuilyies Standing Stones (time permitting). End the day at South Queensferry for beautiful views over the Forth and photos of the Forth Rail Bridges.

From Edinburgh: Speyside Whisky Trail 3-Day Small Group Tour

6. From Edinburgh: Speyside Whisky Trail 3-Day Small Group Tour

A warm welcome awaits you in Speyside, home to more than half of Scotland's malt whiskey distilleries. You’ll have a chance to sample the whiskey and enjoy the magnificent scenery of Cairngorm, Speyside and Royal Deeside. Day 1: Head north through the Kingdom of Fife to Lindores Abbey Distillery. This modern Scottish distillery is built on the site of the first-ever recorded distillery in the country. After lunch in Pitlochry, sample the delights of Scotland's highest distillery at Dalwhinnie, near the source of the River Spey. Once you’ve warmed with this dram of “the gentle spirit”, continue through the Cairngorms National Park before reaching Grantown on Spey - your base for 2 nights. Day 2: Enjoy a whole day exploring Scotland’s most famous whiskey region. After a scenic drive towards the coast, make your first stop of the day at Glen Moray distillery, where you can try whisky matured in a wide selection of casks. Travel back up the Spey River to Craigellachie for a visit to the Speyside Cooperage*, where you see another aspect of the whiskey-making process. After lunch in nearby Aberlour, visit Cardhu Distillery, which is the first distillery pioneered by a woman, Helen Cumming. Today, Cardhu is the most important whisky in Johnnie Walker Black Label. From here, travel back to Grantown on Spey. *Speyside Cooperage is only visited on Monday and Wednesday departures. Day 3: In the morning visit Scotland's highest distillery at Dalwhinnie, set in splendid mountain scenery at the heart of the Cairngorm National Park.  Then, enjoy the majesty of Royal Deeside. Pass by Balmoral Castle, and stop in the village of Braemar in the heart of the National Park. From here, the route south passes over Scotland’s highest mountain pass, through Perthshire, and back to Edinburgh.

From Edinburgh: Loch Ness and Highlands Tour in Spanish

7. From Edinburgh: Loch Ness and Highlands Tour in Spanish

Depart from Edinburgh city center and head towards the Scottish Highlands. Pass by Stirling and catch a view of the incredible Stirling Castle. Travel to Trossachs National Park and stop in Callander, where you can enjoy a drink and a light snack. Continue up to Glen Coe and take as many photos as you want. Journey past the village of Fort William and arrive at Fort Augustus. Explore the area and view Loch Ness. Make the most of free time to grab lunch, cruise on the waters of the loch, relax in the village or walk alongside Loch Ness and the Caledonian Canal.  Stop at the Commando Memorial and listen to stories from the Second World War. See Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in the United Kingdom. Visit Loch Laggan and Dalwhinnie distillery before you cross the Grampian Mountains. Finish your tour at the town of Pitlochry and relax with a drink in one of its pubs.

From Edinburgh: Islay and The Whisky Coast 4-Day Tour

8. From Edinburgh: Islay and The Whisky Coast 4-Day Tour

Explore Islay and become a whisky expert on this unique 4-day tour. Sit back and enjoy the action-packed itinerary as you are driven in style in a luxury minicoach. And learn about the long history and traditions of this special Island. Discover everything Islay has to offer, from stunning sandy beaches to fascinating wildlife and a vibrant local culture. And try the famous Islay whiskies, renowned for their strong peaty flavors and nurtured by the salty sea air. Day 1 On day 1 you’ll travel through Loch Lomond National Park, with visits to Inveraray, Loch Fyne and the Kingdom of Dalriada. Here you can see the Kilmartin standing stones and community museum before catching the ferry to Islay for 3 nights in Bowmore. Day 2 Day 2 gives you the flexibility to visit the lovely sandy bays of Islay’s west coast, Saligo Bay, Kilchoman Distillery, Machair Bay, the tiny harbor village of Portnahaven, Bruichladdich Distillery, Ardnahoe Distillery, and the Islay Museum. Day 3 On day 3 you’ll explore the south side of Islay followed by a tour, tasting and lunch with local produce at Ardbeg. Other options include the ruins of Kildalton church or a visit to the community craft producers at Islay House Square and the woodlands along the River Sorn. Day 4 On day 4 you’ll take the ferry back to Argyll and the ancient Kingdom of Dalriada. Lunch will be at Kilmartin, home to 350 pre-historic monuments and stone circles, with some free time in Oban before returning to Edinburgh via Glasgow.

Isle of Mull and Iona 3-Day Small-Group Tour from Glasgow

9. Isle of Mull and Iona 3-Day Small-Group Tour from Glasgow

On your first day, saunter around Loch Lomond in the pretty village of Luss. Find the perfect spot to drink a coffee and sing the ‘Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond.’ Journey with your driver through the unforgettable landscapes of Glencoe before a lunch stop at the traditional Clachaig Inn. Hop on a 10-minute ferry to a mountainous peninsula and travel to the port of Lochaline. Board another ferry and make your way to the east coast of Mull. Admire the abundant wild nature in Aros Park, a beautiful area boasting waterfalls and forest footpaths. In the early evening, arrive in Tobermory with time to wander where you will spend the night. The next morning travel past epic mountains to the south of Mull. Take a ferry to two of the most mysterious and dramatic locations in the region, Iona Abbey and Fingal’s Cave. After satisfying your adventurous spirit, head north back to Tobermory where you can perhaps try the seafood before your second overnight stay. On the third day, travel south to Craignure and catch a ferry back to the mainland. When you arrive in Oban, taste the fantastic local seafood and wander around this Victorian harbor town. Venture to Kilmartin Glen, an archaeologist’s dream. Discover around 800 ancient monuments, including burial chambers, rock carvings, standing stones, castles and more within this area. Enjoy learning about the significance of these monuments from your driver-guide. Make a final overnight stop in Inverary, a gorgeous little town which boasts an impressive view over Loch Fyne. Return to Glasgow the following morning.

4-Day Outlander Trail From Edinburgh

10. 4-Day Outlander Trail From Edinburgh

Leave Edinburgh and begin following the trail of the best-known film locations featured in the Outlander TV Series. Your first stop is the charming village of Culross. You continue to the small town of Falkland to relive the first scenes of the show, where Falkland substitutes for 1940s Inverness. In the early afternoon you stop at the Newtonmore Highland Folk Museum, which houses replicas of 18th century turf-roofed Highland crofts. These were used as a setting in the first episode of the show. You then pass Aviemore, where you may recognise the stunning hilly and wooded area of Tulloch Ghru. You arrive in Inverness later that afternoon, which will be your base for the next two nights.  Day 2 starts by visiting Culloden, which plays an important role in Scottish history and the Outlander books. It’s at the Culloden Battlefield where Claire and Jamie said their tearful goodbyes, before Jamie joined the Jacobite army to fight for the Stuarts. You have the opportunity to explore the visitor center and site, and pay tribute to those who lost their lives at the last battle fought on British soil. You then take a short drive to the ancient standing stones at Clava Cairns. After lunch, head continue to Castle Leod, “home of the Clan MacKenzie”, where you can enjoy a relaxing walk. The castle resembles the way that Diana Gabaldon described Castle Leoch, though she had never heard of this building prior to writing Outlander. A short drive takes you to Beauly, the site of Beauly Priory and the tomb of Lord Lovat in the heart of Clan Fraser lands. Beauly priory is a beautiful 13th-century ruin and where the Lovat Frasers are buried in Diana Gabaldon’s book. In the afternoon, you can sample ‘The Water of Life’ with a whisky distillery tour and tasting. Afterwards, return to Inverness with time to explore the town and enjoy the city for another evening. Day 3 starts with a visit to the majestic Glen Affric. Lochs, mountains and pine forests: this is one of Scotland’s most glorious glens. You then continue along the entire length of Loch Ness and through the Great Glen before heading to Glenfinnan. It stands framed by typically spectacular Highland scenery and bedside a section of the Jacobite Steam Train railway line famously used as the Hogwarts Express in Harry Potter. Your overnight stop is in Fort William underneath the shadow of Britain’s tallest mountain, Ben Nevis. Day 4 begins with a magnificent drive through Glencoe, across the rugged Trossachs area onto Doune Castle. The castle is an extensive ruin that represents Castle Leoch in the TV program. Later, you have a photo stop at Blackness Castle on the banks of the Firth of Forth. This was used as the set for Fort William in the show and appears in many other movies because of its beautiful setting and thickly fortified walls. After your medieval adventure, you'll return to Edinburgh in the early evening.

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What people are saying about Scottish Highlands

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 40 reviews

Worth every penny! The guide was amazing and knew so much about the history of the places we were passing. We stopped and got out of the bus a lot to take pictures etc. of many wonderful places and animals we saw from the bus. The day was very well planned but also flexible to changes and this created an ideal pace for the entire day. There were enough bathroom breaks and opportunities to get food and drinks. Absolutely nothing negative to say bout the day! :)

Beyond amazing! Rob was the best driver, guide, historian and story teller! The isle of slur was breathtaking, stories of Nessie in the loch, the castles and each beautiful skyline! The hike to the fairy pools was way more then I thought and with low water no as amazing as I expect but it didn’t stop this tour from being any less incredible! 10/10 recommend!

Fantastic ! James was very informative, friendly, and polite. Great driver- cautious and on time to start & on time getting us back. Added in a lot of additional stops for not only sight seeing; but, he also seemed to know where restroom facilities & great food places on the way & back in town. Great Tour

Great tour, a lot to see in one day, sometimes you would like a little more time, but that's not the point of the tour here. You would have to book a longer tour for that.

Amazing tour, perfect if you just have one day to go to Skye. Our guide Rob was so knowledgeable and went out of his way to make our tour perfect. Thanks Rob!