Day Trips from Edinburgh to Holy Island of Lindisfarne

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Our most recommended Edinburgh Day Trips From

Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe & the Scottish Highlands Tour

1. Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe & the Scottish Highlands Tour

Head for the Highlands, whether in search of the Loch Ness Monster or just a scenic day trip from Edinburgh. After pickup, relax on your group’s bus and listen to the guide’s entertaining commentary. Visit Kilmahog for an introduction to the famous Highland Cows and a cup of coffee. Discover what a ‘hairy coo’ really is. Next, travel up the road to Glencoe and enjoy a 10-minute photo stop in front of the unforgettable Highland views. Have lunch in Fort William, 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. Then be whisked to Loch Ness itself. Customize your experience at Loch Ness with personal touches. Visit the majestic Urquhart Castle, and hop on a boat in search of ‘Nessie’, as the locals call it. Or simply hang out on the pier and grab a coffee with gorgeous views. On the way home, make a short snack stop in Pitlochry, a beautiful village in the heart of the country, before returning to Edinburgh.

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From Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe, Highlands & Ben Nevis

2. From Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe, Highlands & Ben Nevis

Depart Edinburgh on an air-conditioned luxury coach (max 34 seats). Pass Stirling Castle and hear your tour guide tell tales of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce and the bloody battles fought out on these lands. First, arrive at Callander town, nestled at the foot of the Trossachs. Next, drive through Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Your Scottish guide will tell you about Rob Roy MacGregor, the infamous Highlander. Follow in the footsteps of James Bond ("Skyfall") and Harry Potter ("Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban") as you travel to the stunning Highland valley of Glencoe. Hear the eerie story of the Clan MacDonald massacre of 1692. Travel through Fort William, home to Ben Nevis, which at 4,409 feet is the highest mountain of the British Isles. Arrive on the south bank of Loch Ness in the charming village of Fort Augustus, where lots of cafes, shops, and restaurants offer a relaxing lunch. Stroll along the banks of the Caledonian Canal, then experience Loch Ness on an optional 1-hour boat cruise. Try to catch a glimpse of "Nessie," the legendary Loch Ness Monster. Admire the impressive Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge with views of the Nevis Range. Enter the Cairngorms National Park and discover "Monarch of the Glen" country. Drive along Loch Laggan before the roads climb above the Grampian Mountains. Travel over the Pass of Drumochter, linking the northern and southern Central Highlands. Experience the majesty of a mountain pass created by glacial activity during successive Ice Ages. Finally, stop briefly in the beautiful Victorian town of Pitlochry before heading back to Edinburgh city center, arriving at approximately 8:30 PM.

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From Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe, & the Highlands Day Tour

3. From Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe, & the Highlands Day Tour

Immerse yourself in the history of Scotland on this day tour that takes you to all of the most important sites in Scotland. Visit the Highlands, Cairngorms National Park, Loch Ness and more. Your day begins on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, where a coach will pick you up for your day of adventure. As you head towards the Highlands, you will see the amazing Forth Bridges. Then try some delicious home baking in the beautiful Highland town of Pitlochry. From there, continue on through the Cairngorms National Park, where you will enjoy stunning scenery amidst the unique wilderness of the National Park. Take a break at Loch Ness, which is famous all over the world for its beauty and mystery. From here, you will have the chance to take a 'monster spotting' cruise and visit Urquhart Castle (optional extra ticket) and look for the famous monster for yourself. Next, visit Glen Coe, a broodingly beautiful spot that is steeped in history. As you stand at the mouth of the glen, you'll feel the past come to life as your guide tells you about the terrible massacre of the Clan. On your way home, you pass by the beautiful city of Stirling, where you can see its stunning castle and learn more about the exploits of William Wallace that were dramatized in the film Braveheart.

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From Edinburgh: Loch Ness & Highlands Full-Day Trip

4. From Edinburgh: Loch Ness & Highlands Full-Day Trip

Explore the beauty of Scotland’s Highlands on a 12-hour scenic driving tour by comfortable coach. See historic sights and unforgettable landscapes on this guided day trip from Edinburgh. Following a hotel pick-up in central Edinburgh, you will head towards Stirling, catching views of the Castle and Wallace Monument. Continue towards Callander, and stop for morning coffee, and the chance to meet “Hamish the Hairy Coo.” Head northwards over Rannoch Moor, and reach the dark, brooding Pass of Glencoe. Stop to learn the story of the massacre of 1692, before crossing Loch Leven. Stop for lunch in Fort William, then follow the Caledonian Canal up the Great Glen to Loch Ness. Here, you have the option to cruise on the Loch for approximately 1 hour, or relax in the tranquil village on its banks. After Loch Ness you will head South East and take in magnificent views of Loch Laggan. Marvel at the magnificent Blair Castle, home of the Dukes of Atholl for over 700 years, before moving onto Pitlochry, a delightful Victorian resort town. Then, head south through Fife, and cross the Forth next to the amazing Forth Bridge, before arriving back in Edinburgh.

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From Edinburgh: Hogwarts Express and Scottish Highlands Tour

5. From Edinburgh: Hogwarts Express and Scottish Highlands Tour

Learn about Scotland’s connections to Harry Potter on a tour of the Highlands. Depart the city and journey north, passing the magnificent Forth Bridge, the Kingdom of Fife, and Perth. Admire the Glenfinnan Viaduct on a stunning drive up the West Coast. Next you’ll travel across its iconic arches from Mallaig on the Jacobite Steam Train, also known as the Hogwarts Express. After experiencing one of the world’s most beautiful railway lines, head to Glencoe. See the dramatic landscapes used as the backdrop for some much-loved scenes in the Harry Potter films. Continue through the vast wilderness of Rannoch Moor, listening to tales from Scotland’s past. Jump back on the coach to return to Edinburgh, arriving back at the city in the late evening.

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Loch Lomond, Stirling Castle & Kelpies Tour from Edinburgh

6. Loch Lomond, Stirling Castle & Kelpies Tour from Edinburgh

Spend a day experiencing the natural beauty of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park from Edinburgh. Enjoy a memorable visit to Stirling Castle, explore the pretty villages of Aberfoyle and Loch Lomond Shores, and set off on a spectacular cruise across Loch Lomond. Departing Edinburgh, head to the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, one of the prettiest and largest lochs in the whole of Scotland. Here you can enjoy an hour-long cruise taking in spectacular views of the loch’s many islands and the surrounding mountains. Alternatively, take a 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.  Enter The Trossachs National Park and experience its abundance of lochs, mountains, and forests. Continue on, past medieval Doune Castle, to the pretty town of Aberfoyle, situated on the banks of the River Teith in Stirlingshire, where you stop to enjoy some lunch.  Travel north-west for your last stop of the day at magnificent Stirling Castle, one of Scotland’s most historically significant castles, sitting high on volcanic rock and offering wonderful views of the surrounding landscape. Visit the castle and learn of the exploits of key historical figures including William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, and Mary Queen of Scots. Travel back to Edinburgh at the end of your tour.

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From Edinburgh: Outlander Adventure Day Tour

7. From Edinburgh: Outlander Adventure Day Tour

After leaving Edinburgh at 9:15 AM you will travel back in time as your driver guides you over the Queensferry Crossing to Culross. This virtually-unchanged 16th century village overlooks the sea and poses as the fictional town of Cranesmuir. You have time to visit Claire’s herb garden, explore the palace, or wander the ancient streets while you imagine what life must have been like 400 years ago. You will journey past Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument to Doune Castle, or as it’s called in Outlander, Castle Leoch. This formidable building gives you an insight into the living conditions of a Scottish earl in the 14th century. You can also listen to an excellent audio guide about how this castle was used as a filming location for Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Your next stop is Linlithgow Palace. Here you have time to enjoy beautiful views to the Forth bridges, have a picnic by the loch, and explore the ruins of Mary Queen of Scots’ birthplace. If you’re feeling brave, you can visit the spot where that gruesome Outlander scene took place. You then travel the short distance to Blackness Castle. It’s an impressive castle that’s known as the ‘ship that never sailed’ because it resembles a giant stone boat. You have time to walk along the ramparts and explore the fictional headquarters of Jack Randall. Midhope Castle is your next highlight. Unfortunately, visitors are unable to go inside the castle, but Jamie’s lovely Lallybroch home is still an essential photo opportunity for any fan of the show. Before heading back to Edinburgh, you will have a final stop in the colorful harbor area of South Queensferry, and will return to Edinburgh by approximately 5:45 PM.

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From Edinburgh: St Andrews & Fife's Fishing Villages

8. From Edinburgh: St Andrews & Fife's Fishing Villages

Your full-day excursion into the Kingdom of Fife departs in the morning from Edinburgh, heading north via the Forth Road Bridge. Enjoy sweeping view across the Forth Rail Bridge, one of Scotland's greatest man-made landmarks, at 1.5 miles in length. After crossing the bridge you’ve entered the Kingdom of Fife. Its easternmost stretch of coastline is home to a string of picturesque villages, each having a distinctive character and charm. The tour stops in the traditional fishing village of Anstruther, where you’ll see the old cobbled streets and the network of alleyways and wynds. Enjoy a walk along the seafront to the harbor. From Anstruther you’ll travel north to the medieval town of St. Andrews, where you’ll see its huge Norman cathedral, known to be the largest in Scotland. St. Andrews is probably best known around the world as the home of golf. The Old Course, as it’s known to golfers, was founded in 1754. St. Andrews is also home to the oldest University in Scotland, dating back 6 centuries. You’ll have plenty of time to explore this ancient and interesting town. A pleasant drive through the rolling countryside of central Fife, dotted with small villages and farms, takes you to Falkland. Falkland Palace dominates this old village, and was one of the main residences of the Stewarts, an important royal family in Scottish history. Falkland is known to be one of Scotland’s most beautiful villages, featuring an array of old cottages and narrow winding streets. Take some time to wander around the village or stop at one of its traditional pubs or tearooms.

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Loch Lomond, Kelpies, and Stirling Castle Small-Group Tour

9. Loch Lomond, Kelpies, and Stirling Castle Small-Group Tour

Leave Edinburgh and travel through the historic grace of Linlithgowshire. Your guide will help you spot Linlithgow palace, the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots. On the way to Loch Lomond you stop at the Kelpies Monument. These two horses’ heads stand as a testament to the horse power that drove the industrial development of Central Scotland. From here you head to the shores of Loch Lomond, which is Scotland’s largest loch and is protected as Scotland’s first National Park. This is the perfect place to enjoy a walk along the ‘bonny banks’ and take in fantastic views of the mountains. This tranquil area was once the home of Scotland’s famous highland folk hero, Rob Roy MacGregor. By spending time on the trails by the loch you’ll be walking in the footsteps of one of Scotland’s greatest legends. You then head into the Trossachs or ‘The Highlands in Miniature’, where the Lowlands meet the Highlands. Steep mountains, shimmering lochs, and thick forests: this area is stunning. You stop for lunch in the heart of the National Park then continue to the city of Stirling where you can visit one of Scotland’s most magnificent castles. You can choose to take in the views from inside and understand why this castle was so instrumental in Scottish history. From here our short journey back to Edinburgh passes the Kelpies once again before arriving back in the capital.

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Highland Lochs, Glens, and Whisky Tour from Edinburgh

10. Highland Lochs, Glens, and Whisky Tour from Edinburgh

Enjoy a full-day tour of the Scottish Heartlands departing Edinburgh and traveling in small groups for a more intimate experience. You will take a scenic drive through Perthshire, looking at the lochs and glens of the Highlands. Cross the Forth Road Bridge, passing one of Scotland's great engineering wonders, and continue into the Kingdom of Fife. Pass Loch Leven Castle, where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned. You will also pass Perth, before crossing the Highland Boundary Fault line. Surrounded by beautiful scenery, on the banks of the River Tay, visit the cathedral town of Dunkeld and the Hermitage, to take a fantastic woodland walk up to the Black Linn Falls. Stop at the Victorian resort town of Pitlochry, and visit the great shops and restaurants, or take a stroll down towards Loch Faskally. See the unmistakable peak of Schiehallion, and beyond to the mountains of Glencoe. Continue alongside Loch Tummel, and head past the spectacular 16th-Century Castle Menzies towards the town of Aberfeldy and Dewars Whisky Distillery. After enjoying a dram of the "water of life", the tour returns to the lowlands and back to Edinburgh at approximately 6:30 PM.

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What people are saying about Edinburgh

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 8,269 reviews

Our tour guide John, from the hairy coo company, was not only incredibly knowledgable and passionate about Scotland but also hilarious; a great sense of humour! The sites were breathtaking, despite the clouds. We highly recommend!

This was a beautiful tour! Eric was a wonderful and knowledgeable tour guide. Stirling Castle was closed, and Eric did an awesome job at showing us beautiful locations that made our time fruitful. Definitely recommend!

Gary did a great job guiding us on our tour. He was very informative and gave us a good amount of time to explore the different places. I hope everyone gets Gary as a tour guide.

If you have limited times to explore scotland, get this tour. The view was magnificent and really blow my mind.

Best tourguide/bus driver Stewart. You are a legend. Walking/driving encyclopedia. -kristle & ernest (PH)