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Edinburgh Outdoor activities

Our most recommended Edinburgh Outdoor activities

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 the bus and listen to the guide’s entertaining commentary. Visit Kilmahog for an introduction to the famous Highland Cows (depending on the time of year) and a cup of coffee. Next, travel up the road to Glencoe and enjoy a 10-minute photo stop in front of the unforgettable Highland views. Have 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. Then be whisked to Loch Ness itself. Customize your experience at Loch Ness. Choose to 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.

From Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glenoce & The Highlands Day Tour

2. From Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glenoce & The Highlands Day Tour

Following pickup from central Edinburgh, you will head towards Stirling, catching views of the Castle and Wallace Monument as you venture to the Highlands. Visit Callander, and stop for morning coffee in this bustling town described as the gateway to the highlands. Head northwards over Rannoch Moor until you reach the dark, brooding Pass of Glencoe. Stop for lunch and free time nearby the Fort William area, then follow the Caledonian Canal up the Great Glen to Loch Ness. Here, you have some free time with the option to cruise on the Loch, or if you don't want to take the cruise you can relax in one of the bars or restaurants in the tranquil village or on the pier.  After Loch Ness you will head South East and take in magnificent views of Loch Laggan. On the way home, enjoy a refreshment stop in 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.

From Edinburgh: Magical Highlands Tour with Hogwarts Express

3. From Edinburgh: Magical Highlands Tour with Hogwarts Express

Get first-hand experiences at some of the sets in the Harry Potter film series with your guide. Travel through Scotland on a bus to these locations, and conclude your tour with a visit to Glenfinnan Visitor Center. Pass some of the key film locations from all 8 Harry Potter movies as you lose yourself in the wilderness of Rannoch Moor. Discover the volcanic glen from "The Prisoner of Azkaban" en route to Fort William, where you will board the Hogwarts Express steam train. Cross the Victorian-era Glenfinnan Viaduct and get views of Loch Shiel from the "Chamber of Secrets." See the site of the Triwizard Tournament from "The Goblet of Fire" and continue to the fishing village of Mallaig to get some time for lunch.  You will board the coach from Mallaig where we will have a stop at the Glenfinnan Visitor Center for an excellent chance to photograph the steam train returning across the viaduct before you return to Edinburgh.

Edinburgh: Haunted Underground Vaults and Graveyard Tour

4. Edinburgh: Haunted Underground Vaults and Graveyard Tour

Join a guided walking tour to Greyfriars Graveyard and learn about one of Edinburgh's most famous canine residents and hear stories about notorious criminals. See Gothic mausoleums and learn about notable burials as you explore the grim history of the cemetery. Continue with a visit to the nearby Edinburgh Vaults, located in the arches of South Bridge. Hear about regular paranormal occurrences and how some of the characters from history have never really left. Discover the former home of the destitute, witches and a hellfire club, and hear how the haunted vault is now possessed by something truly evil.

Edinburgh: Late-Night Underground Vaults Terror Tour

5. Edinburgh: Late-Night Underground Vaults Terror Tour

Join this late-night guided walking tour in English of Edinburgh to discover the city’s darkest and most frightening experience. Hear ghost stories of the city told above and below the ground of the Royal Mile. Walk through the famous wynds and closes of the Royal Mile, learning about the horrific living conditions of the population that once lived in these underground rooms. Listen to stories from your guide about murderers who roamed the streets and snatched bodies to sell to medical schools at the time. Then, hear stories of the scratching hauntress who leaves marks on her victims. Witness torture exhibits and learn how these devices were used in times gone by. Finally, go to the home of “The Watcher” ghost, and see the infamous stone circle vault, still decorated with pentagrams and spiritual symbols.

From Edinburgh: 3-Day Isle of Skye, Highlands & Loch Ness

6. From Edinburgh: 3-Day Isle of Skye, Highlands & Loch Ness

Embark on a 3-day guided trip to the Scottish Highlands from Edinburgh. See the Glencoe Valley and the Eilean Donan Castle. Admire the rolling pastures of the Isle of Skye and visit lake Loch Ness. Day 1 From Edinburgh, you will head west where your first stop will be at the picturesque conservation village of Luss, on the ‘Bonny, Bonny’ banks of Loch Lomond. Traveling north via Tyndrum you will pass over the atmospheric Rannoch Moor before enjoying time to walk and admire the dramatic Glencoe valley, site of the 1692 massacre of the MacDonald Clan. After lunch in the Fort William area, your tour will pause for photos at Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, then stop to admire Glen Garry and the stunning Five Sisters of Kintail mountain range. Your first day ends in the charming village of Portree, on the Isle of Skye. Day 2 After breakfast, your will depart Portree for a full day’s touring - options include Dunvegan Castle, a trip to Uig, and a visit to Flora MacDonald’s grave and the unique Black Houses, ancient dwellings of the Scottish Highlanders. Other options include viewing Duntulum Castle, enjoying breathtaking views of Kilt Rock, or perhaps a bracing walk at the Lealt Falls. The day will end with the opportunity to admire the Old Man of Storr, before returning to Portree. Day 3 You will commence your final day of the tour via the much-admired Eilean Donan Castle, the backdrop for the movie, ‘Highlander’; (interior closed in winter) then move on to the pretty lochside village of Fort Augustus for lunch and views of Loch Ness. The tour continues south over Laggan and the Grampian mountains with the last stop, for refreshments, in the Victorian resort town of Pitlochry, before returning to Edinburgh, where the tour will end.

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

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

Depart Edinburgh on an air-conditioned luxury coach (max 57 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.

From Edinburgh: 3-Day Isle of Skye and The Highlands Tour

8. From Edinburgh: 3-Day Isle of Skye and The Highlands Tour

Embark on a 3-day guided tour of the Scottish Highlands and visit highlights, including Loch Ness and the Isle of Skye. Learn the history of this lush region from your guide and spend two nights in Inverness. Day 1: Departing Edinburgh, we will take our first short drive heading north and stop at the mysterious Kelpies. Scotland’s largest piece of outdoor art depicting mythical creatures of Scotland’s folklore that your driver will tell you all about. We’ll then continue on our journey and pass Stirling Castle. Be inspired by tales from your guide of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. Continuing north, into the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, admire the scenery as your tour guide explains the remarkable tribal clan history of the Highlands. Discover beautiful Glencoe, the most famous valley in Scotland, and hear of its tragic history. Admire the spectacular Glenfinnan Viaduct then head north and arrive on the southern banks of Loch Ness to get photos of the infamous monster Nessie! Stop for photos of Urquhart Castle before arriving in Inverness, the Capital of the Highlands, where you'll stay for 2 nights, choosing from a local guesthouse, hostel, or hotel. Day 2: After breakfast, depart Inverness and drive across the Kessock Bridge to the Black Isle and marvel at the spectacular scenery of Achnasheen and Loch Carron. Arriving on the Isle of Skye, venture north to explore the highlights of the island, including; the Cuillin Mountains, Trotternish Peninsula, Portree, the Old Man Storr, Kilt Rock and the famous Quiraing. In late afternoon, stop for photographs of the most beautiful castle in Scotland, "Eilean Donan Castle." Backdrop to many famous films, such as 'Highlander' and 'Made of Honor', this castle is another must-see iconic landmark! A scenic drive through stunning Glen Shiel follows, returning to Inverness to stay your final night. In the evening, visit a local Highland Pub to drink some Scotch whisky or beer and eat some traditional Scottish food, whilst listening to some local musicians perform. Day 3: Visit Culloden Battlefield, site of the last Jacobite Rising, then 'Clava Cairns', incredible 4,000-year-old, Bronze-Age standing stones. Travelling south, stop at the Highland Folk Museum. Here you'll experience highland life in the 17th century. See the buildings, the clothes and weapons, and how people lived 300 years ago. Then, drive through the dramatic Cairngorm National Park. You will have the chance to experience a Scotch Whiskey tasting before you visit the historic village of Dunkeld on the banks of the mighty River Tay. Your journey back to Edinburgh takes you across the famous Forth Bridges. The expected arrival time back in Edinburgh is around 6:30 PM.

Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe, and Scottish Highlands Tour

9. Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe, and Scottish Highlands Tour

Head north from Edinburgh and pass the imposing ramparts of Stirling Castle. Skirt the Trossachs (Rob Roy country) before crossing the wilds of Rannoch Moor and moving on to dramatic Glencoe, the site of the massacre of the McDonald clan in 1692.  The tour takes you past Fort William and Britain's highest mountain, the mighty Ben Nevis, before following the Great Glen and stopping in the village of Fort Augustus by the shores of mysterious Loch Ness. You then have the option to take a boat trip on mysterious Loch Ness and hunt for Nessie, explore the shores of the loch, or simply relax and enjoy your free locally produced picnic lunch.  A typical lunch includes a bottle of Scottish mineral water, a choice of freshly made sandwiches, and shortbread. Your return journey passes south along Loch Laggan stopping at one of the quaint Highland villages along the way.  After one last look at the spectacular Forth Bridges, arrive back in the capital at around 8:00 PM. Loch Ness Cruise option: A cruise on Loch Ness is an unforgettable experience, where you might just catch a glimpse of Nessie. Locally owned custom-built boats are used, designed with sonar and underwater imaging systems, giving you a fascinating view of the terrain and life underwater.  Enjoy the views with a coffee or beer from the onboard bar.  Purchase your cruise ticket from our office on the day of the tour. Tickets cost £16.50* and allow you to board the boat immediately on arrival in the village without having to queue. The Loch Ness Cruise is subject to availability during winter months. *Prices may vary slightly when purchased during the tour

Edinburgh: Isle of Skye & Jacobite Train 3-Day Highland Tour

10. Edinburgh: Isle of Skye & Jacobite Train 3-Day Highland Tour

Explore the Highlands of Scotland and the magical Isle of Skye on a 3-day sightseeing tour. Discover an area of outstanding natural beauty, full of Viking history and ancient myths and legends. Take a journey packed with Scotland's most iconic sights and scenery. Then ride on one of the great train journeys of the world on the charming Jacobite Steam Train. Day 1:Depart Edinburgh and drive past stunning views of the Forth Bridge to enter the Highlands through Perthshire. Admire a land of ancient forests, rivers, and mountains. Visit the quaint village of Dunkeld, with its historic cathedral on the banks of the River Tay. Continue north into the Highlands before you enter the Great Glen. At Fort Augustus, explore the shores of Loch Ness. Cross to the famous Isle of Skye, passing Eilean Donan Castle en route. Marvel at Scotland’s most famous icons. Your home for the night is Portree, capital of the “Winged Isle.” Day 2:Today you will spend a full day exploring the dramatic Isle of Skye, with its amazing scenery and fantastic myths and legends. Hear tales of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s escape against the backdrop of the jagged Cuillin Mountains. Highlights include the spectacular cliffs of Quiraing, the mysterious rock formation of Old Man of Storr, the cascading waterfalls of Kilt Rock, and imposing Dunvegan Castle. Spend overnight on the Isle of Skye. Day 3:Explore the south of the island, known as the “Garden of Skye,” before taking the ferry to the west coast fishing village of Mallaig. Here you will have the option to board the Jacobite Steam Train to Fort William, one of the most spectacular railway journeys in the world. Cross the Glenfinnan viaduct and see a monument to Bonnie Prince Charlie’s campaign. Head south through the dramatic scenery of Glencoe and Rannoch Moor, before riding through the heart of Rob Roy country to arrive back in Edinburgh in the early evening.

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What people are saying about Edinburgh

It was my best excursion ever! Full of emotions, laugh’s, great explanation about every single detail, PAUL SANTA made it epic, this guy know the job like nobody else! Epic amazing !!! Amazing Scotland, and Amazing guide wich made everything perfect ..! I will be back and book again but, only with Paul SantA!!!

Andrew was a great guide, we enjoyed the whole tour, we had previously been on the vaults tour so we were quite happy that the information was still in depth, we even got a few more details than the last tour! Really chuffed with the energy of the guide and tour, would definitely recommend and rebook

Unique experience with great stops in the Highlands! Our guide John kept telling exciting stories about Scotland and the Highlands during the trip. It was great fun and a lot of fun - would definitely recommend!

We had Colin on our tour who was amazing! He was so enthusiastic and his story tellling was amazing! Definitely looking forward to booking his 5 day tour! Amazing tour and the views were so beautiful!

Excellent, original tour which was our highlight of Scotland. Andy was great and made our trip so memorable. New year's day was even special this year with this trip