Inverness
Off the beaten track

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Our most recommended Inverness Off the beaten track

From Inverness: Complete Loch Ness 1-Day Experience

1. From Inverness: Complete Loch Ness 1-Day Experience

Depart Inverness and journey to the deep freshwater lake of Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands, where, on arrival, you will head to the Clansman Hotel for an optional boat trip across the water. Cruise around the loch for stunning views of the surrounding scenery, and get the chance to see Urquhart Castle from a different perspective. Look for the legendary Loch Ness Monster to work up an appetite, and then enjoy a delicious lunch at a nearby restaurant. Venture on with a gentle drive to Invermoriston, where you can go on a scenic stroll that showcases flowing rivers, an ancient summerhouse and the ruins of a picturesque stone bridge. Continue to the wee village of Fort Augustus, nestled between Loch Ness and the 60-mile Caledonian Canal. Journet back towards Inverness, stopping for short walks and coffee breaks at the scenic villages of Foyers and Dores before your estimated arrival in Inverness at 5:00 PM.

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From Inverness: Skye & Eilean Donan Castle Small-Group Tour

2. From Inverness: Skye & Eilean Donan Castle Small-Group Tour

Travel in style in a Mercedes minicoach and hear about Scotland's turbulent past from your knowledgeable guide. Marvel at the views of the mountains of Wester Ross on the drive to Eilean Donan Castle. Visit the castle before traveling over the bridge to Skye. Head through the mountainous heart of the island before arriving in the harbor town of Portree for lunch. After lunch the drive takes you around the Trotternish Peninsula. The guide will point out landmarks, including the Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock and Quiraing. Make your way back through majestic Glen Shiel, along the shores of Loch Clunie. The final part of the trip takes you along the banks of mighty Loch Ness.

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From Inverness: Glen Affric, Culloden and Clava Cairns Tour

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

Leaving Inverness in the morning, this full-day tour begins with a trip to the ancient burial site of Clava Cairns. This Bronze-Age graveyard has survived four millennia, and is a great spot to take atmospheric photos. The location was perhaps the inspiration for the Craigh na Dun time portal in the Outlander books. Afterwards, 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. Afterwards, 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.

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Lewis, Harris, and Outer Hebrides Tour from Inverness

4. Lewis, Harris, and Outer Hebrides Tour from Inverness

Day one: Depart early from Inverness and head north-west to Ullapool to catch the ferry. This stunning sea-trip takes you along Loch Broom, past the Summer Isles, and out to Stornoway, which is the capital of the Outer Hebrides. But don’t let the waves rock you to sleep because if you keep a look out you might spot a dolphin or a whale. Once you have arrived on Lewis, your first stop is the ancient past. Travel to the North West of the island to visit the blackhouse at Arnol. Dive into this traditional abode and discover how the Highland crofting families lived their day-to-day lives. After this, go through more crofting communities and venture to the northernmost tip of the island, the Butt of Lewis. The lighthouse here boasts epic views of waves crashing against sea cliffs. Head back to Stornoway for your overnight stay.  Day two: Head south to Harris, where the first thing that you notice are the mountains. As you weave through the towering marvels, your guide will tell you about the traditions and tales from this part of Scotland. After you have had your fill of unspoilt beaches and landscapes, make stop in one of the very few towns, the small port of Leverburgh, for lunch. Now it is time for one of the great Hebridean highlights, Luskentyre beach. On a good day, the sea turns turquoise and the sands look pristine white. After enjoying all these natural wonders, it is time to head back to Stornoway and perhaps try the famous black pudding for dinner.  Day three: On your last day, delve back to the ancient past. Venture to the far west of Lewis to the parish of Uig, an area of outstanding natural beauty. More than 800 years ago, the Vikings lived here and left behind an icon of Scotland, the Lewis Chessmen. Then, visit the anticipated Callanish standing stones. These 5,000-year-old megaliths are said to be petrified giants who would not convert to Christianity. You may not believe this myth but you will still find this site to be magnificent. After lunch in Stornoway, cross back to the mainland and return to Inverness in the evening.

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4-Day Outlander Trail From Edinburgh

5. 4-Day Outlander Trail From Edinburgh

Leave Edinburgh and begin following the trail of the best-known film locations featured in the Outlander TV Series. Your first stop is the charming village of Culross. You continue to the small town of Falkland to relive the first scenes of the show, where Falkland substitutes for 1940s Inverness. In the early afternoon you stop at the Newtonmore Highland Folk Museum, which houses replicas of 18th century turf-roofed Highland crofts. These were used as a setting in the first episode of the show. You then pass Aviemore, where you may recognise the stunning hilly and wooded area of Tulloch Ghru. You arrive in Inverness later that afternoon, which will be your base for the next two nights.  Day 2 starts by visiting Culloden, which plays an important role in Scottish history and the Outlander books. It’s at the Culloden Battlefield where Claire and Jamie said their tearful goodbyes, before Jamie joined the Jacobite army to fight for the Stuarts. You have the opportunity to explore the visitor center and site, and pay tribute to those who lost their lives at the last battle fought on British soil. You then take a short drive to the ancient standing stones at Clava Cairns. After lunch, head continue to Castle Leod, “home of the Clan MacKenzie”, where you can enjoy a relaxing walk. The castle resembles the way that Diana Gabaldon described Castle Leoch, though she had never heard of this building prior to writing Outlander. A short drive takes you to Beauly, the site of Beauly Priory and the tomb of Lord Lovat in the heart of Clan Fraser lands. Beauly priory is a beautiful 13th-century ruin and where the Lovat Frasers are buried in Diana Gabaldon’s book. In the afternoon, you can sample ‘The Water of Life’ with a whisky distillery tour and tasting. Afterwards, return to Inverness with time to explore the town and enjoy the city for another evening. Day 3 starts with a visit to the majestic Glen Affric. Lochs, mountains and pine forests: this is one of Scotland’s most glorious glens. You then continue along the entire length of Loch Ness and through the Great Glen before heading to Glenfinnan. It stands framed by typically spectacular Highland scenery and bedside a section of the Jacobite Steam Train railway line famously used as the Hogwarts Express in Harry Potter. Your overnight stop is in Fort William underneath the shadow of Britain’s tallest mountain, Ben Nevis. Day 4 begins with a magnificent drive through Glencoe, across the rugged Trossachs area onto Doune Castle. The castle is an extensive ruin that represents Castle Leoch in the TV program. Later, you have a photo stop at Blackness Castle on the banks of the Firth of Forth. This was used as the set for Fort William in the show and appears in many other movies because of its beautiful setting and thickly fortified walls. After your medieval adventure, you'll return to Edinburgh in the early evening.

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From Inverness: 3-Day Orkney Explorer

6. From Inverness: 3-Day Orkney Explorer

Day 1: Explore Orkney’s ancient capital, Kirkwall After an early start leaving Inverness at 08:00, travel north through the Black Isle, past the imposing Dunrobin Castle, before crossing the Pentland Firth to the Orkney Isles. Stay in Kirkwall, the modern day capital of Orkney for 2 nights. Here, you can visit Kirkwall's magnificent Viking cathedral and its historic winding streets. Day 2: Follow in the footsteps of the Vikings as you travel through Orkney Today is your chance to explore the modern and ancient wonders of this fantastic island; a land of contrasts, where fertile green pastures are fringed by shores of golden sands washed by waters of the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean. Highlights include a visit to Skara Brae, the mystical prehistoric stone circle at Brodgar, the standing stones of Stenness and Maeshowe, where in the 12th-century the Vikings left one of the largest collections of Norse runic inscriptions. Day 3: Travel through the history soaked regions of Caithness and Sutherland Have your last chance to grab some gifts for friends and family, and visit the local cathedral in Kirkwall. And after a ferry back to the mainland, travel through the history soaked regions of Caithness and Sutherland. Find out about the highland clearances, a world-changing period in Scotland’s dark history, and get a glimpse of some of Scotland’s most remote fishing villages. The tour will arrive back in Inverness early evening at approximitely 19:00.

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Speyside Whisky & Moray Firth Tour from Inverness

7. Speyside Whisky & Moray Firth Tour from Inverness

Depart Inverness at 9:15 AM and head to the first distillery of the day. At Glen Moray Distillery, opt to join a tour and discover the different areas of whisky production and sample the golden-hued spirit itself. Next, move on to Elgin, where you can eat lunch, explore the ruins of a cathedral and look for whiskey gifts at a world-famous whiskey shop. After lunch, head off to Strathisla Distillery, the spiritual home of the world-famous Chivas Regal. Since 1786, this distillery has been producing Scotland's national beverage. You may take an extensive tour including a tasting of their delicious whiskies. On your final leg of the journey to Inverness, have a photo stop at Speyside Cooperage, one of the largest concentrations of whiskey casks. Finally, return to Inverness at approximately 6:45 PM.

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Scotland: Orkney and Northern Coast 5-Day Tour

8. Scotland: Orkney and Northern Coast 5-Day Tour

Drive to the top of Scotland on a scenic 5-day tour, and learn the history of the Highlands at sites such as the battlefield of the Macdonald clan massacre, and Stirling Castle. Spend the day on the Orkney Isles, and travel the northenmost coast of mainland Scotland. The tour is by luxury 16-seat Mercedes minibus for a more intimate experience, while bed and breakfast accommodation is provided in Inverness, the lovely town of Kirkwall, and the whitewashed fishing village of Ullapool at the mouth of Loch Broom. Day 1: Depart Edinburgh, heading west towards Stirling. Pass Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument, and continue to Doune Castle, used for location shoots in Monty Python’s “Holy Grail.” Stop in the small town of Callander for refreshments. Then, marvel at the splendor of Loch Luibnaig, Loch Earn, Glen Ogle, and Glen Dochart on a scenic drive over the wild and remote Rannoch Moor. The views of the extinct volcano will take your breath away, and were also the scene of the infamous Clan Macdonald massacre of 1692. Continue north up the Great Glen to mysterious Loch Ness, with plenty of time to try and spot “Nessie” the Loch Ness Monster. The evening will be spent in Inverness, with free time to explore the “Capital of the Highlands.” Day 2: Depart Inverness early to cross over the Black Isle and past Andrew Carnegie’s Skibo Castle. From here, drive the northeast coastline, traveling into some of Scotland’s most dramatic scenery. Enjoy the views of some of Europe’s oldest landscapes, and the chance to spot wildlife such as golden eagle and red deer. Close to Scotland’s most northerly mainland village, John O’ Groats, board the ferry to cross the Pentland Firth to the Orkney archipelago. It is a short drive on arrival to the famous Italian Chapel, where you will stop for a quick visit before continuing to the Viking stronghold of Kirkwall, your home for the next 2 nights. Look inside Kirkwall’s magnificent Viking cathedral, and wander the winding streets of the historic town center. Day 3: Explore the ancient island of Orkney, and discover a land of contrasts, where fertile green pastures are fringed by shores of golden sands, and washed by the waters of the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean. Highlights include a visit to Skara Brae, the mystical prehistoric stone circle at Brodgar, the standing stones of Stenness, and Maeshowe, where Vikings left one of the largest collections of Norse runic inscriptions in the 12th century. Day 4: It’s time to leave Orkney and sail the Viking waters back to the mainland. From here, travel across the very top of Scotland, driving past the stunning Ben Loyal and Ben Hope mountains, following the rocky cliffs and stunning golden sand beaches of the northern coastline. Go to the far northwest of the Highlands, and admire the grandeur of the wild Assynt mountains. Stop to view the 15th-century ruins of Ardvreck Castle. Continue to Ullapool at the mouth of Loch Broom, a beautiful whitewashed fishing village where you will spend your last night. Day 5: Your morning includes visits to Corrieshalloch Gorge, and the ancient Clava Cairns, as well as exploring the more recent bloody history of the Culloden battlefield. Return south through the magnificent Cairngorm National Park, driving past the ancient Caledonian pine forests of Highland Perthshire, before your drop off in Edinburgh.

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From Inverness: Scottish Highlands Small-Group Day Tour

9. From Inverness: Scottish Highlands Small-Group Day Tour

Leave Inverness and travel to the fantastic shores of magical Loch Ness. Stop for a short walk around the lake's shores, take some photos of the fantastic scenery and maybe even catch Nessie the Loch Ness Monster out for an early morning swim, before paying a visit to the magnificently situated Urquhart Castle, on the shores of Loch Ness. Then travel on to Cluanie Dam before arriving at the dramatic Glen Shiel, encircled by steep mountains, where The Battle of Glen Shiel took place on 10 June 1719. Next, head to Eilean Donan Castle which is recognized internationally as one of the most iconic images of Scotland, before traveling over the road bridge to the Isle of Skye. Visit the village of Broadford which is nestled beneath the motherly shape of Ben na Calliach (the hill of the old woman). Enjoy postcard-worthy views of the Red and Black Cuillin with Glen Sligachan between them. Afterward, make a quick stop at Talisker Distillery, the oldest working distillery on the Isle of Skye, to sample their sweet, full-bodied single malt whiskey.  Next, make your way to the Fairy Pools, the highlight of the tour, where fairies live between beautiful rock pools and waterfalls. Enjoy an optional 2.4-kilometer walk along the banks of the rock pools, towards the largest waterfall, or walk further up the path and explore some of the smaller pools which lie ahead. If your feeling adventurous, take a swim in the pools' icy, crystal-clear waters.  Finish your tour with a visit to the island's capital, the fishing village of Portree, situated on the east side of Skye overlooking a sheltered bay, before heading back to Inverness.

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

10. Loch Ness, Inverness, & Highlands 2-Day Tour from Edinburgh

See the beauty of the famous Loch Ness and stay in Inverness, the capital of the Scottish Highlands, on this 2-day small group tour. Detailed Itinerary: Day 1: Depart Edinburgh and head north across the River Forth towards the Highlands. A short stop in Dunkeld is followed by a walk along the River Tay, or perhaps at the nearby Hermitage, before you head for the holiday town of Pitlochry for lunch. There will also be the option to visit the local whisky distillery. From here the tour now takes you past Blair Castle into the Cairngorm National Park, where you will spend some time taking in the majesty of this amazing area, deep within the ancient Caledonian Pine Forests of the Rothiemurchus Estate. You then continue north and arrive at your destination of Inverness, where you will be dropped off at your accommodation. The evening is free for you to explore the capital of the Highlands. Day 2: After a leisurely breakfast you will be picked up from your accommodation in Inverness and explore the surrounding countryside en route to Loch Ness. Here you have the chance to take a boat trip along the loch with great views of Urquhart Castle, or to stay on shore and visit the impressive ruins of the castle, overlooking the loch. You will spend your lunchtime on the southern shore of the loch in the charming village of Fort Augustus. The Caledonian Canal, which links the lochs of the Great Glen, dominates the town and makes a great place to relax and watch the boats sail by. You now continue south past Ben Nevis and Fort William to Glencoe. This haunting glen was the scene of a terrible massacre in 1692, where many of the Clan Macdonald were slaughtered. The return journey continues over the wild and remote Rannoch Moor and into the countryside around Stirling, before finally reaching our starting point of Edinburgh.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Inverness

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What people are saying about Inverness

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 2 reviews

Great 1 day trip round the whole of Loch Ness. Driver/Guide very informative and friendly and his choice of music suited most which was great. Trip is a little twisty, so recommend sitting on the isle and looking forward if get motion sickness. But there are plenty of stops with not too much driving between. Scenery gorgeous.

We had a wonderful day exploring Loch Ness with the best guide ever Kevin. He was full of local knowledge and provided a wonderful day trip even though we were faced with Storm Anwen. Please thank Kevin again on our behalf. Mary and Spencer

Amazing trip - loved every minute - Kev was a great guide, lots of knowledge, super helpful and really friendly. Bus was comfortable and group just the right size, thanks Kev and Rabbies!!

Our guide, Gail, was amazing. We got to see all the amazing sites Loch Ness has to offer. DO THE BOAT TOUR!

This was a very well planned tour made for enjoyable by our driver Willie. He got the tone exactly right.