10. 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.