Scottish Day Tours

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Scottish Day Tours

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Loch Lomond, The Trossachs and Doune Castle

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TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Views of Glasgow’s Landmarks
  • Loch Lomond
  • Aberfoyle & The Trossachs
  • Doune Castle

Journey from Edinburgh up into the beautiful Trossachs National Park with its rolling hills and stunning views. After passing through Glasgow and crossing the River Clyde you will arrive in the enchanting village of Balloch. We join Sweeney’s Cruise Co. for an hour long cruise on the legendary Loch Lomond. While you sail, a commentary by renowned historian Neil Oliver will guide you through the history of the land and those who have shaped the landscape over the centuries. Alternately, there is also plenty to explore in Balloch with nearby Loch Lomond Shores home to shops, cafés and the Sea Life Loch Lomond Sanctuary, where there is a huge collection of exciting species to discover.

Continuing north, it is just a short journey to the traditional highland town of Aberfoyle. A community that has a strong connection to the land and the fairies that live in the trees around. Stopping at the Scottish Wool Centre, there are a variety of places to get lunch, and an opportunity to browse the local shops. Be sure not to miss the sheep dog display to see the art of sheep herding in action in a surprising way.

Next we take you to marvel at the splendour of the medieval castle of Doune. Built in the 13th century as the home of the Duke of Albany.

Take the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Kings and Heroes both real and fictional. The castle has been used in film and television for many productions such as Game of Thrones, Outlander, Outlaw King and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Explore the ancient architecture and learn how people lived over 700 years ago.

The journey home takes us past some of Scotland’s most important historical sites including The National William Wallace Monument and Stirling Castle.

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Loch Ness and the Highland Experience

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TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Callander
  • Glencoe
  • Caledonian Canal
  • Pitlochry

Our journey into the Scottish Highlands will take in both of Scotland’s spectacular National Parks, the Trossachs & the Cairngorms.
As we twist our way along mountain roads, your guide will tell you about the significant events that have shaped the land and the people that have lived there for centuries, from the Picts of the Iron Age to the Highlanders who fought clan battles on these very hillsides.

Our furthest destination is Fort Augustus, where we can see the impressive Caledonian canal and its series of locks, another great Scottish engineering feat. From here we’ll be able to look out over the most famous stretch of water in Scotland; Loch Ness.

We take to the water on one of Cruise Loch Ness’ very modern boats. With a dedicated sonar system you can search for the legendary monster yourself, there is also a live guide to help you. However, if you’d rather just take in the view, you can relax up on deck as we cruise along.

Upon returning to land there will be time for lunch in one of Fort Augustus’ many eateries before we continue our journey through the mountains. There will be the chance to pause to photograph the majestic and dramatic scenery of Glencoe; the extinct super volcano that helped create the landscape of Scotland.

Along the way we will pay visit to two of Scotland’s most famous Highland gateway towns:

Pitlochry was one of Queen Victoria’s favourite holiday destinations with its pretty tea rooms and local shops, we hope it will become one of your favourites too.

Straddling the boundary between the Highlands and Lowlands the beautiful town of Callander is one of the few places where you can see the Highland Boundary Fault, which created the mountains and valleys that the North of Scotland is renowned for.

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St Andrews, Dundee and a Taste of Fife

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TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Forth Bridges
  • Dundee V&A
  • St. Andrews
  • Kingsbarns Distillery

We start our journey by crossing the Firth of Forth over the Queensferry Crossing and up through the Kingdom of Fife. Passing important historical sites such as Loch Leven, where Mary Queen of Scots spent many of her last days imprisoned on one of the Islands. Before long we will arrive in Dundee.

Dundee’s main attraction is the newly opened V&A Design Museum on the waterfront. The impressive building is a design marvel in itself and the exhibits inside are sure to capture your imagination.

Next to the Museum is a piece of floating history. The RRS Discovery was the ship that took Scott of the Antarctic on the historic 1901 expedition to explore the largely untouched continent. Climb on board and learn about the many adventures of the ship and its crew.

Onwards to St. Andrews, the home of golf. Fans of the game will have the opportunity to visit the historic Old Course, explore the Golfing museum and shop in the many emporiums. But, there’s much more to St. Andrews than golf, there is the Castle, Cathedral and University to discover. There will also be time to sample some of the foodie delights St. Andrews has to offer.

Make sure you grab a bite to eat before we arrive at our next destination Kingsbarns Distillery. One of Scotland’s newest distilleries they have two tours to choose from. Either take the whisky tour and learn about Scotland’s national spirit or take the gin tour to discover Scotland’s fastest rising spirit. Each tour comes with a tasting and a discount in the shop.

The journey back to Edinburgh will take us down the coast of Fife looking out towards the Lothians, passing through some of the pretty fishing villages that line the Firth of Forth.

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Glencoe, Inveraray and Luss

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TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Luss
  • Inveraray
  • Glencoe

The journey to the Highlands starts with a trip west passing through the vibrant city of Glasgow and across the River Clyde, before turning north towards the Trossachs National Park. On the way, the scenery around you will begin to evolve from the gentle inclines and fields of the Lowlands in to the rugged beauty of the Highlands.

Following the banks of the largest loch in Scotland, Loch Lomond, we will arrive at our first stop in Luss. With its petite sandstone cottages, neatly kept and tucked away from the passing traffic - taking a stroll through the village is like taking a trip back in time. Once we’ve explored and picked up refreshments we head onward into the hills.

There are plenty more lochs and sights to be seen as we wind our way up to our next destination on the banks of Loch Fyne; Inveraray. This distinctive town was established at the tail end of the 18th century by the 3rd Duke of Argyle, who’s family still live in the ancestral home. There is much to do in the town including a visit to Inveraray jail for a thoroughly entertaining look at crime and punishment in Scottish society. Or visit the Dukes home, Inveraray Castle, with its jaw dropping halls and beautiful gardens it can easily enthral you for hours.

We then continue north towards Glencoe. As the miles roll by the scenery continues to grow more stunning and surprising. The roads twist and turn through the mountains which were formed millions of years ago by massive volcanic activity and devastating ice ages, leaving geological marvels. As we go, there will be plenty of opportunities to stop for photos.

Stopping at the newly re-built Glencoe Visitor Centre you can learn more about the various features we will pass and the fascinating history of the area, it’s a story 420 million years in the making.

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Rosslyn Chapel and the Scottish Borders

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TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Rosslyn Chapel
  • Melrose Town
  • Melrose Abbey
  • Floors Castle

Our journey south out of the city brings us quickly to our first destination, the historic chapel of Rosslyn. Dating back to the 15th century the Chapel has seen a huge surge in interest in the last decade after it featured in the Dan Brown book The Da Vinci Code.

Discover the history of the Knights Templar, see the ornate carvings and stained glass, explore the crypt and if you must; search for the Holy Grail. Whilst you are there remember to introduce yourself to William, the Chapel cat, or go for a walk around the charming countryside nearby.

Continuing south will take us through the beautifully rolling countryside of the Lowlands. The land is largely empty of people so it’s easy to lose yourself in the gently sloping hills. Before you know it we have arrived in the picturesque town of Melrose.

The town itself is very small but there is much to investigate, from the ruined Abbey dating back to the 12th century, which is resting place of King Robert the Bruce’s heart, to the public Harmony Gardens and the many local shops of the town centre. The main street boasts cafes, bakeries and delis where you can pick up some delicious homemade fare.

From here we follow the salmon filled River Tweed through the market town of Kelso and onward to the largest inhabited castle in Scotland; Floors Castle. Home to the Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe this castle is not quite what you might imagine, more of a stately home with spectacular walled gardens. A tour of the private quarters allows you access to parts of the castle still used by the family.

On the way home we pass through more pastoral countryside, as well some historic villages and towns on our way back to Edinburgh. Approaching the capital we will be treated to fantastic views out over the Firth of Forth and north over to the Kingdom of Fife.

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A Snapshot of Scotland

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TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Linlithgow Palace
  • The Helix: Home of The Kelpies
  • Stirling Castle
  • The National Wallace Monument

Starting later in the day, the tour takes a short journey to the beautiful town of Linlithgow, where you can visit the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots; Linlithgow Palace. A beautiful and ancient ruin that has been lovingly preserved by Historic Scotland to give you the opportunity to explore the finest architecture, step into the bedroom of Kings and Queens admiring the view over the Loch and out to the dramatic Forth Bridges.

Take the opportunity to marvel at the ornate stained glass of St Michael’s Parish Church or explore the town itself with its variety of fascinating craft shops, cafes and other unique features.

Our next stop sees us take in one of Scotland’s most loved works of art; The Kelpies. Two giant sculptures of Clydesdale horses heads celebrating the age old connection between horses and our history. Standing at 30 metres tall these impressive monuments also hide a mystical secret deeply tied into Scottish legend.

Another short trip north finds us passing through the important area of Bannockburn and onto Stirling Castle; the powerhouse of Scotland for many centuries and home to the Stewart Dynasty. This fortress dates back to the 16th century but, on the inside is an ornate and luxurious palace filled with tapestries, artwork & furnishings. There is a real sense of living history to experience from these walls.

The journey back to Edinburgh will allow you to take in the rolling countryside of Scotland in comfort.

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