5 Highland Tours From Edinburgh to See the BEST of Scotland
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The Scottish Highlands boasts some of the most spectacular views in the world, as well as being home to the legendary Loch Ness monster. The best part is, if you’re looking to take in the sights of the historical city of Edinburgh, as well as taking a quick tour of the Scottish countryside, but are a bit pushed for time, you can book single-day trips from Edinburgh to the Highlands to do just that!
Today, we look at 5 fabulous highland tours from Edinburgh that you can experience in just one day.
Roaming the romantic hills of the Scottish Highlands can work up quite the appetite, so why not book a Loch Ness tour from Edinburgh that comes with lunch included to keep your energy levels up for all the exploring you’ll be doing?!
This full-day Scottish Highlands tour takes you on a scenic drive from Edinburgh to the infamous and mysterious Loch Ness, home of the elusive Nessie!
You will board a coach in Edinburgh and journey across Rannoch Moor to Glencoe, and through the Great Glen to Fort Augustus, where you’re treated to a locally-made picnic lunch. You’ll then have the chance to take an optional boat ride on the legendary loch in search of Nessie, before heading back to the city via the Drumochter Pass and through the forests and rivers of Highland Perthshire, allowing you to take in the views of the UNESCO-listed Forth Bridge.
Soak up the unspoiled scenery of the Great Glen and Rannoch Moor with your expert guide.
Admire spectacular views of the Caledonian Canal, Perthshire, Glencoe, and the Forth Bridge.
Take an optional boat cruise on Loch Ness to catch a glimpse of the legendary monster, Nessie.
Enjoy a locally produced sandwich picnic lunch in the quaint village of Fort Augustus.
Scotland has a vast and rich heritage and is brimming with fascinating history, including an invasion from the Romans, who came and saw, but could not conquer.
After centuries of raiding, plundering, and fighting the ancient north of Britannia, the Romans decided to build a wall. But this wasn’t just any old garden wall; it was an astounding achievement. The wall showcases the might of the ancient Roman Empire and illustrates how the Romans interacted with tribal Britain… and it still stands to this day, waiting for you to come and admire it.
This tour takes you to the most history-rich parts of this grand partition, where you will learn about Rome’s infamous influence on Britain, while also giving you a chance to explore the gentle rolling hills of the borders. You’ll also get to visit an ancient abbey.
Anyone fascinated by the collision of cultures and quintessential British landscapes, this tour is an absolute must.
The Borders. The gentle valleys and rolling hills are a pleasure to explore.
Jedburgh. A beautiful market town that Mary Queen of Scots famously visited.
Steel Rigg. Go for a lovely walk alongside the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Hadrian’s Wall. The wildest and most northerly frontier of the ancient Roman Empire.
Glencoe is one of the most otherworldly locations in the world, boasting misty mountains, legendary lochs, and the occasional old pub to pop into and warm the wee cockles with a nip of local whisky.
During this one-day tour from Edinburgh, you will first visit Kilmahog for an introduction to the famous Highland Cows, and warm your bones with a cup of coffee. Discover what a ‘hairy coo’ really is. Clue: they are cute as heck!
Next, you will travel up the road to the famous Glencoe, where you’ll have the opportunity to indulge in a 10-minute photo stop in front of the unforgettable Highland views. These photos will guarantee to make your friends and family green with envy!
Time for lunch in the Fort William area, where your guide can advise you on where to eat. If you're interested in the mysteries of the kilt, you can even get a ‘wee’ kilt introduction here. Once you’ve refuelled, you will then be whisked off to the one and only Loch Ness itself.
Here you have the chance to ‘customise’ your experience by either choosing to visit the majestic Urquhart Castle, and hop on a boat in search of the elusive monster lurking beneath the surface of this mystical lake, or simply hang out on the pier, grab a coffee and take in the gorgeous views.
On the way home, you’ll make a short snack stop in Pitlochry, a beautiful village in the heart of the country, before returning to Edinburgh in the evening.
Tick off the Highland’s main sites on an eco-certified full-day trip.
Explore Scottish traditions, nature, and legends with an expert local guide.
Give the tour your personal touch with customizable features.
Get to grips with everything from Nessie, kilts, and ‘hairy coos’.
Snap your own momentous memories of the Highlands’ beauty.
It’s a sin to visit the wonderful land of Scot without taking in some of the Potter culture that the country has become famous for in recent years.
This one-day tour from Edinburgh is the Potterhead’s ultimate dream. This tour will allow you to visit some of J.K. Rowling’s favourite writing spots, some of the filming locations, and of course – the Hogwarts Express train journey, AKA, the Jacobite Steam Train, that travels across the infamous Glenfinnan Viaduct, which allows you to take in some of the magical countryside enjoyed by everyone’s favourite wizard.
You will get to drink in the scenery of locations such as the Kingdom of Fife and Perth, and the iconic Forth Bridge. An absolute must for die-hard Potter fans!
A magnificent train journey on the Jacobite Steam Train (AKA, the Hogwarts Express!)
Journey through the scenic Glencoe.
Travel through the atmospheric Rannoch Moor.
Take in the sights of the stunning fishing village of Mallaig.
Last but not least, channel your inner Celtic God/Goddess with a mystical tour around Loch Lomond, Stirling Castle, and the Kelpies.
After leaving the city, you will head to the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond – one of the most stunning and largest lochs in the whole of Scotland. Here you can enjoy an hour-long cruise taking in the spectacular views of the loch’s many islands and the surrounding mountains.
However, if this doesn’t take your fancy, you can opt to stroll through the picturesque loch-side conservation village of Loch Lomond Shores, with its quaint houses, cafes, and stunning views across the loch’s western shoreline instead.
Next, you’ll visit the Trossachs National Park and experience its multiple lochs, mountains, and forests. Continue on past the medieval Doune Castle to the pretty town of Aberfoyle, situated on the banks of the River Teith in Stirlingshire, where you stop and enjoy a bite to eat.
Once you’ve chowed down on some lunch, you’ll then travel north-west for your last stop of the day: the magnificent Stirling Castle, one of Scotland’s most historically significant castles, which sits high on volcanic rock and offers incredible panoramas of the surrounding landscape.
Before heading back to Edinburgh, you can visit the castle and learn of the exploits of key historical figures, including William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, and Mary Queen of Scots.
Spend time on a scenic boat cruise along Loch Lomond, Scotland's largest loch.
Explore the historic Stirling Castle – home to many of Scotland's former Royals.
Journey through the Trossachs National Park – "the Highland's in Miniature".
Retrace the steps of the legendary outlaw Rob Roy MacGregor in the Trossachs.
Marvel at the Kelpies, the world's largest equine sculptures.
Browse Available Tour Dates
These are just some of the incredible day trips you can embark on to take in some of the most jaw-dropping locations in and around the Highlands, all while departing from and heading back to the beautiful and cultural city of Edinburgh.
Whether you opt for loch locating, mountain marauding, or Potter pursuing, you’re guaranteed to have an incredible day full of magic, breath-taking scenery, and plenty of historical knowledge to dazzle all your friends with!
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