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Scottish Highlands

Walking tours

Our most recommended Scottish Highlands Sightseeing Walking Tours

From John O'Groats: Orkney Islands Day Trip

1. From John O'Groats: Orkney Islands Day Trip

Start the tour by boarding the ferry at John O'Groats. Depart 8.45am. Take the 40-minute ferry crossing, keeping a lookout for marine wildlife including puffins and orcas on the way. When you arrive on Orkney, board a luxury coach which will be waiting for you to begin your tour of the island. As you set off, enjoy the commentary from a local guide. First, see the Churchill Barriers built during the First World War. Stop in Kirkwall which is Orkney's capital city and discover St Magnus Cathedral, shops, the museum, and the scenic harbor.  Continue along the northern coast of Scapa Flow and admire the beautiful views of the Hoy hills. Then, arrive in Stromness, one of Britain's most picturesque towns. Stroll through the winding street, visit the museum, and find plenty of places to eat lunch.  Next, set off for the neolithic village of Skara Brae, established in around 2,500 BC and which has been hidden under sand dunes, perfectly preserved for thousands of years. Follow the route onwards along a narrow tongue of land between the lochs of Harray and Stenness, making a stop at the mystical Ring of Brodgar and the Standing Stones of Stenness. Finally, board the return ferry, and make a stop at the Italian Chapel which is beautifully decorated inside 2 Nissen huts. Return to John O'Groats 6.15pm with incredible memories of your excursion.

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.

Edinburgh: Glenfinnan, Mallaig & Glencoe Adventure

3. Edinburgh: Glenfinnan, Mallaig & Glencoe Adventure

Depart Edinburgh and travel northwest, stopping for a coffee and refreshments at a small highland village. Traveling onwards, reach Glencoe, known to many as the location for the Massacre of the MacDonald clan in 1692. Take photos of this beautiful area whilst you learn about its turbulent past. After Glencoe, travel further north to Fort William. Stop for refreshments and perhaps a bite to eat before journeying down the Road to the Isles. Learn about the history of the area as you approach Mallaig, where you will spend time enjoying lunch and its sea views. From Mallaig, travel eastwards to the main attraction, Glenfinnan. Arrive right on time to see the Jacobite Steam Train (also known as the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter Films) cross the bridge. Not only will you enjoy this iconic view, but the site is also known as the setting for many Harry Potter scenes, including Loch Shiel. From Glenfinnan, travel southwards, stopping for refreshments at the small village of Pitlochry before returning to Edinburgh, where your tour ends.

Stirling: Gin Distillery Tour with Tasting

4. Stirling: Gin Distillery Tour with Tasting

Join a guided tour of Stirling Distillery, home to Stirling Gin, and discover the history of the trendy spirit and the scientific process behind distilling gin. Learn how to make a perfectly crafted Gin & Tonic for you to then taste the iconic drink.  On arrival, you will be served a bespoke welcome cocktail. Start the guided tour with learning from your passionate guide about the history of gin, from its medical uses to today's Scottish gin craze. Walk through the still room to see the copper Portuguese stills as your guide explains the science behind gin distilling. Your guide will then continue the tour by showing you how the bottling, waxing and labelling system works. Once the tour has come to an end you will be shown to the unique tasting tables where you will learn how to create the perfect Gin and Tonic. If option selected, you will also be given two stunning gin liqueurs (Raspberry gin liqueur and Bramble & Mint gin liqueur) and a Battle Strength Gin accompanied by a selection of hand-crafted chocolates especially made to suit the gin. You will then have the opportunity to sit, chat and enjoy your selection of drinks.

Loch Ness, Inverness and Highlands 2-Day Tour from Edinburgh

5. Loch Ness, Inverness and Highlands 2-Day Tour from Edinburgh

Get back to nature in the Scottish Highlands and go for gentle walks. Spend the night in the city of Inverness and avail of a flexible itinerary on day 2. Day 1: Depart Edinburgh and head west to Glasgow before visiting the pretty village of Luss on the banks of Loch Lomond. Descend into Rannoch Moor and pass the Black Mount and Glencoe at the site of the 1692 massacre of the MacDonald Clan. Go for a leisurely walk to soak up the atmosphere. Head north towards Fort William and get stunning views of Ben Nevis before traveling around Loch Ness after lunch. Pass historic Urquhart Castle before arriving in Inverness, where you will spend the night. Day 2: Choose to visit the Culloden Battlefield, where Bonnie Prince Charlie was defeated by the Duke of Cumberland. Glimpse the ancient stones of Clava Cairns and taste the whisky at Dalwhinnie Distillery. Go to the old military garrison of Ruthven Barracks. Return via the Hermitage and stop for a gentle forest walk in idyllic woodlands (summer only) before crossing the Forth Bridge to arrive back in Edinburgh.

From Inverness: Glen Affric, Culloden and Clava Cairns Tour

6. From Inverness: Glen Affric, Culloden and Clava Cairns Tour

Leave Inverness in the morning and begin your full-day tour with a trip to the ancient burial site of Clava Cairns. This Bronze-Age graveyard has survived 4 millennia and is a great spot to take photos.  Afterward, you’ll head to Culloden, one of the most important sites in Scottish history. It was here that a 60-year series of uprisings finally ended in a tumultuous battle in 1745.  Explore the visitor center and pay tribute to those who lost their lives at the last ever battle fought on British soil. Continue to Glen Affric and stop to walk among the indigenous Caledonian pine trees. Enjoy views over Loch Affric and the mountains beyond, with your expert guide taking you to the best waterfalls and photo spots.  Afterward, explore the historic ruins of Beauly Priory, a monastery dating back to the 13th century. To cap things off, you’ll head to the shores of Loch Ness, before ending up back in the center of Inverness in the early evening.

From Edinburgh: Isle of Skye & Highlands 3-Day Guided Tour

7. From Edinburgh: Isle of Skye & Highlands 3-Day Guided Tour

Tour the Scottish Highlands and explore the Isle of Skye on a 3-day guided tour from Edinburgh. You’ll see castles, craggy mountains, picturesque towns, and maybe even a monster on this excursion. Stay overnight in a bed and breakfast accommodation. Day 1: A Spectacular Route North Depart Edinburgh and travel north through the Trossachs National Park. Visit a lovely village and take in views of the UK’s largest expanse of freshwater, Loch Lomond. Continue across the brooding expanse of Rannoch Moor, and through Glen Coe. Learn the brutal story of the MacDonald Clan massacre and take in the weeping waterfalls that inhabit this incredible glen. The highland town of Fort William marks the end of Scotland’s oldest and most popular long-distance walks, The West Highland Way. Stay overnight in Inverness. Day 2: A Full Day on Skye You'll have the full day to explore the Isle of Skye. Highlights include the craggy Cuillin Mountains, the dramatic hills of the Quiraing, and the stunning Trotternish Peninsula.  You might see seals out in the waves as you walk along the coast, or a stag standing on a hillside. Visit the capital of Skye, Portree for lunch. Return to Inverness for your overnight stay. Day 3: Monster Spotting on Loch Ness Drive along the banks of Loch Ness where you can take a boat tour to Urquhart Castle or do a bit of monster hunting from the shore. As you head back to Edinburgh, your route will take you through Inverness, the Cairngorms, and Pitlochry. At the Culloden battlefield, the site of the defeat of the Jacobites, there is the option of taking a tour. Continue on through the stunning Cairngorm Mountains and stop to explore the picturesque town of Pitlochry.

Edinburgh: Loch Ness & Scottish Highlands Tour with Lunch

8. Edinburgh: Loch Ness & Scottish Highlands Tour with Lunch

Embark on a full-day guided trip to Loch Ness from Edinburgh and tour the Scottish Highlands. See the UK's highest mountain, Ben Nevis, keep an eye out for Nessie on a boat cruise and enjoy a picnic lunch. Head north from Edinburgh and pass the imposing ramparts of Stirling Castle. Skirt the Trossachs Rob Roy country, and cross the wilds of Rannoch Moor before stopping at dramatic Glencoe; the scene of the infamous 1692 massacre.  Your journey takes you through Fort William. Pass Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain, before entering the Great Glen. Arrive at the pretty Highland village of Fort Augustus on the banks of Loch Ness, and enjoy a lovely picnic with freshly made sandwiches, shortbread, and chips. If you fancy something more substantial, your guide will happily recommend some great local cafes.  Take an optional boat cruise on the loch, go for a scenic hike, or just relax by the Caledonian Canal. If you choose to sail along the waters of Loch Ness, it really is an unforgettable experience. Your boat is equipped with the latest hi-tech color, sonar, and underwater imaging system, giving you a fascinating view of the underwater terrain and life. You might even see Nessie! You can also relax with a coffee or beer in the onboard bar. Having seen the best of the Scottish Highlands, it's time to head back to Edinburgh via shimmering Loch Laggan and the wild and lonely Drumochter Pass. Head south and enter Perthshire, a land of forests, rivers, and mountains. See the spectacular Forth Bridge before arriving back in Edinburgh at around 20:00.

Inverness: Guided Walking Tour

9. Inverness: Guided Walking Tour

Embark on a family-friendly leisurely stroll as you explore the history and modern culture of Inverness. Learn about how the city has grown from its humble beginnings into officially the happiest city in Scotland. Beginning at the tourist information centre, your guide will take you through the tales of the town as you discover the city. See key sights including Inverness Castle and Cathedral, the River Ness, Old High Church, Balnain House, and many more hidden gems.

Isle of Skye & The Highlands: 3-Day Guided Tour from Glasgow

10. Isle of Skye & The Highlands: 3-Day Guided Tour from Glasgow

Escape the bustle of daily life and get back to nature on a 3-day tour of the Scottish Highlands and Isle of Skye, with bed and breakfast accommodations in Inverness. Hear of clan massacres, visit monuments associated with Scotland’s struggle against the English, and see location sites of the blockbuster movie “Highlander.” Day 1: Departing Glasgow take a spectacular route north through Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. We will stop at a pretty village perched on the banks of Loch Lomond. Further north, we'll cross the brooding expanse of Rannoch Moor, and travel on through Glen Coe. Here, you'll learn of clan massacres as you stand amongst the eerie but beautiful glen. Overnight stay in Inverness. Day 2: We'll depart Inverness to set off on our day excursion to the Isle of Skye. We will stop for photographs at Loch Ness and Eilean Donan Castle before crossing the bridge to Skye. On the island we'll explore the craggy Cuillin Mountains, dramatic hills of the Quiraing and beautiful Trotternish Peninsula. Look for seals, peeking out of the waves as you walk along the coast, or spot stags silhouetted on hillsides. We will stop for lunch in the capital of the island, Portree. Day 3: Follow the banks of Loch Ness where you can take a boat tour to Urquhart Castle or do a bit of monster hunting from the shore. The route back to Glasgow takes you past the battlefield of Culloden, site of the defeat of the Jacobite forces. You will also drive through the Cairngorm Mountains, home of Britain’s highest mountain, and see the picturesque Victorian town of Pitlochry. Please note: Glasgow passengers may return to Edinburgh where they are issued with train tickets to Glasgow.

Frequently asked questions about Scottish Highlands Sightseeing walking tours

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Other Sightseeing Options in Scottish Highlands

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What people are saying about Scottish Highlands

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 34 reviews

It was an amazing tour of the Highlands, Mallaig and seeing the Harry Potter Train made the tour more exciting. The bus left on time ( so be there before on time before anything else) . The tour guide named Santa Paul was awesome, he is funny at the same time he makes sure we were all entertained for the whole time. There were No dull moments. Actually I learned most of the History of Scotland because of him Our Driver Adam knows what he's craft, I felt safe —very professional.

It was a bit long journey 13hrs but to totally worth it. Really enjoyed the story telling of our guide of the various events in history related to the locations we passed through. The tour was very well organised and we completed the tour on time without missing any item on the itinerary

It was a lot of fun, our tour guide made sure that we arrived at the main attraction on time and had a lot to tell about Scotland during the bus ride. Really a successful tour! I would book again anytime :)

Brendan (our driver) and the Loch Ness tour was amazing. Lots of great commentary that had us all laughing. He was very knowledgeable and definitely entertaining.

Well organized and on time. Great tour guide. Weather cooperated.