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Aberdeenshire Activities

Our most recommended Aberdeenshire Activities

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

1. 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

2. 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.

From Edinburgh: 2-Day Highlands Tour with Hogwarts Express

3. From Edinburgh: 2-Day Highlands Tour with Hogwarts Express

This 2-day guided tour takes you from Edinburgh to the gateway of the Highlands at Fort William, and on a world-famous steam train ride that passes Loch Ness, Ben Nevis, and other natural wonders of Scotland. Stay overnight in Fort Augustus at a B&B. Itinerary Day 1 Travel past the Forth Railway Bridge, then take a woodland walk in the Highlands at Dunkeld. Continue through the breathtaking Drumochter Pass, skirt the stunning peaks of the Cairngorm National Park, and visit Culloden, the last stand of the Jacobites against government forces. The first day ends in Fort Augustus, a quaint highland town. Overnight at a B&B in Fort Augustus.   Day 2 Take a steam train journey back in time. The Jacobite steam train route has been rated as one of the world's great train journeys. Travel past Britain's highest mountain, deepest loch, shortest river, and westernmost train station. Cross the viaduct featured in the Harry Potter movies and pass the Glenfinnan Monument, where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his standard at the beginning of the 1745 Jacobite rising. Have lunch in the west coast town of Mallaig, where you can taste the best of Scottish seafood. Head back to Edinburgh via Glen Coe. Visit Glen Coe, where the MacDonalds were betrayed, and then experience the beauty of Rannoch Moor and Stirlingshire en route.

From Aberdeen: Balmoral Castle and Royal Deeside Tour

4. From Aberdeen: Balmoral Castle and Royal Deeside Tour

Join our small group tour and experience the beauty of the royal deeside with it's connections to the monarchy and stunning scenery. The first stop on this tour will be at Balmoral where you will walk in the footsteps of generations of royals who have called this castle home. Balmoral castle was the late Queen Elizabeth's private country retreat and a beloved home. King Charles, who has his own private home on the estate, has a great affection for the castle and grounds. When visiting we highly recommend the audio tour where you will hear stories from people who lived and worked at Balmoral as they guide you around the estate. Scotland is iconic for its beautiful rugged mountains, hills of heather and cool clear rivers running through the countryside. On this short scenic drive we detour through the fringes of the highland moors and heath lands of the east Cairngorm national park. Ballater will be next on your tour and is is a picturesque Victorian village. This planned agricultural town dates back over two hundred years and is set around a central village green and the impressive Glenmuick Kirk which held its first service in 1800. A stroll around the town reveals an interesting range of many specialty shops and good selection of restaurants and cafes to enjoy some of the local food & drink. As we start to make our way back to Aberdeen we will visit the iconic Cambus O'May suspension bridge, a very popular outdoor destination for visitors walking in the area. A walk up to the Tomnaverie recumbent stone circle, is a breathtaking experience. A characteristic feature of this type of circle is a large stone on its side, flanked by two upright stones, usually on the south or south-west arc of the circle. The stone circle surrounds a burial cairn dating to about 4,500 years ago. Finally a visit the Queen's view just outside Tarland. The view gained its name from Queen Victoria who quickly fell in love with the view of the lower valley of the Dee which includes a view of the peak of Lochnagar. The view is particularly loved for its unspoiled beauty which has not changed greatly for hundreds of years making it even more remarkable, and a view which is iconic of Aberdeenshire.

From Glasgow: 2-Day Loch Ness, Inverness and Highlands Tour

5. From Glasgow: 2-Day Loch Ness, Inverness and Highlands Tour

Enjoy a glorious 2-day sightseeing tour of Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands, with comfortable bed and breakfast accommodation. Your guide will show you all the stunning historical sights such as the towering mountain of Ben Nevis, the site of the Glencoe Massacre, Glenfinnan Viaduct, and Glen Coe. Day 1 Leaving Glasgow behind, the journey north takes you to the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park and the quaint village of Luss on the western banks of Loch Lomond, best known as a haven for wildlife and stunning flowers, so keep your eyes peeled. You can wander the shore, walk past pretty cottages and do a bit of shopping here if you like. As you travel further into the Highlands, visit Glen Coe, one of the most beautiful valleys in the world. Feel the past come to life as your guide tells you about the massacre of the MacDonald clan. Then depart Glen Coe towards the Great Glen, another one of Scotland's majestic valleys which stretches 62 miles from Inverness all the way to Fort William. Fort William, the second largest town in the Highlands, lies in the shadow of Ben Nevis, Britain's tallest mountain. Your driver-guide will decide the best spot for lunch depending on your group, weather, and local events. The journey will continue west to Glenfinnan, made famous by the 'Harry Potter' films, which features the iconic Viaduct. In the summer months, you may catch a glimpse of the magical Jacobite Steam Train crossing the Viaduct. Glenfinnan is also home to the impressive Glenfinnan Monument. Surrounded by spectacular Highland scenery at the head of Loch Shiel, the monument is a striking tribute to those who fought in the Jacobite Risings. Overnight: Near Loch Ness Day 2 Explore Loch Ness, Britain's largest body of water by volume. The size and depth of the loch make it a perfect hiding place for Nessie, the famous monster. Why not take a boat tour from Urquhart Castle, a ruined castle perched on the edge of Loch Ness, or monster hunt from the shore? Then drive through Inverness, the capital of the Highlands, to visit Culloden, the last stand of the Jacobites against the British government forces. A visit to the battlefield is a poignant experience; walk the earth where the battle took place and see the headstones that mark the graves of hundreds of clansmen who gave their lives for the Jacobite cause. Travel south and enjoy the stunning scenery as you pass through the unique wilderness of the Cairngorms, Scotland's largest National Park. Its mountain range has five of the UK's highest mountains within its limits. Before returning to Edinburgh, make one last stop at a beautiful Highland town chosen by your driver-guide. You may be provided with train tickets for returns to Glasgow.

From Aberdeen: Aberdeenshire Guided Day Trip & Castle Visit

6. From Aberdeen: Aberdeenshire Guided Day Trip & Castle Visit

The Falls of Feugh Just before joining the River Dee at Banchory, the Water of Feugh tumbles over a jumble of boulders and rock steps to form an attractive set of rapids with an old stone road bridge over the top. These are the Falls of Feugh, and they’re a popular beauty spot for locals and Aberdonians alike. The falls have a reputation for being a good spot to watch salmon running upstream. The Highlands in miniature Cairn o' Mount is the name of a prehistoric round cairn in Aberdeenshire. The winding road takes us through National Forestry Woodlands to heath land and heather covered hillsides. The route passes along Clachnaben and its granite Tor which is a popular walking trail to the top of the the Cairn which offers spectacular views over the Aberdeenshire countryside. We like to call it our highlands in miniature as it offers similar landscapes and hillside views closer to Aberdeen. Discover how whisky is made Sir Alexander Ramsay, the founder of the distillery, was one of the Scottish landowners who campaigned to license Scotch Whisky distillation and in 1824 the Fettercairn distillery was opened. Fettercairn distillery lies in the heart of rich farming land which has always attracted visitors. Fettercairn distillery has a unique still which creates their iconic character along with working closely with local barley producers and using their own spring water. This visit will include a tour of the distillery as well as a tasting of two of their whiskies in their visitor centre. Explore beautiful seaside Stonehaven Stonehaven, originally a fishing village but evolved into a Victorian resort town in the 1800s. You will be taken on a short guided walking tour of the harbour area and old Stonehaven before having some free time to explore the village and enjoy lunch. Be sure to stroll the boardwalk and Stonehaven beach to see the sculptures created by artisan Jim Malcolm, who for years was dubbed the Stonehaven Banksy for the sculptures he created anonymously. Spectacular Castle Ruins Dunottar is easily one of Aberdeenshire's most iconic castles. For over 1000 years Dunnottar Castle played a crucial role in Scottish history. The Castle has played host to some of the nation's historical figures including William Wallace and Mary Queen of Scots and for its role in saving the Honours of Scotland from Oliver Cromwell's army in the 1650s. The castle ruins are extensive with many rooms and buildings to explore. Envision what life would have been like as you walk through the settlement, part military barracks and part stately home for the Earls of Marischal. ***There are a lot of steps/stairs up to the castle, so this is not suitable for people who have mobility issues. There are some wonderful photo opportunities along the coastal path and a great walk over to the war memorial on Black Hill above Stonehaven.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Aberdeenshire

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What people are saying about Aberdeenshire

Considering we chose to see Scotland in the peak of winter, we were worried that we'd miss out on a lot. But Brian Smith (our amazing Tour Guide/DJ) made it memorable! His sheer passion for storytelling and friendly easygoing nature is a credit to the Hairy Coo and I hope they appreciate how lucky they are to have him. The trip was very well planned and even with the weather being unpredictable and causing disruptions, it was well worth it and we now have a new found love for the Scottish Highlands and it's beauty!

We are very happy that we did this tour. Previously I had doubts about whether we were going to understand the guide, but he was exceptional, he spoke slowly, he was aware at all times that we were comfortable and we laughed a lot with him so that we learned a lot. I totally recommend it

John (aka the king of the north) was amazing. He made us all laugh, kept us entertained, engaged, and happy throughout the whole trip. Even though some places were shut due to weather he managed to take us to other points of interest to make up for it

I had a personalised experience which I totally loved. The tour guide was very helpful and answered my questions about the history of the places we visited. The landscape is amazing and the experience is worth it.

A great experience with Stephen as we ventured around the Highlands. Amazing recommendations and insights personalised to our questions. Would highly recommend to people interested in an intimate and lively tour.