North East Scotland
Culture & History

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Our most recommended North East Scotland Culture & History

Loch Lomond: Island Discovery 2-Hour Cruise

1. Loch Lomond: Island Discovery 2-Hour Cruise

Discover the legends and secrets of the islands of Loch Lomond, known as “the jewels in her crown.” Learn the history and the legend of Loch Lomond and the surrounding areas, while enjoying some of Scotland's most spectacular scenery. This leisurely 2-hour circular cruise passes the world-famous Loch Lomond Golf Club and explores the middle island of Loch Lomond, sailing through an area known to locals as "The Narrows", and continues onwards to the village of Luss.   Enjoy cruise commentary by famed historian and archaeologist Neil Oliver, best known from BBC's "Coast" and "A History of Scotland." The luxurious and smooth passenger boats offer excellent viewing, opened and closed deck space, and full bar facilities.  

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From Edinburgh: West Highland Lochs & Castles Full-Day Trip

2. From Edinburgh: West Highland Lochs & Castles Full-Day Trip

From Edinburgh, travel west, passing the historic and imposing Stirling Castle, high on its volcanic rock, and on to a visit at the magnificent Doune Castle (which featured in the cult movie "Monty Python and the Holy Grail"). From there, drive into the Highlands, past the lovely Loch Lubnaig and up through impressive Glen Ogle, stopping nearby for lunch and beautiful views of the surrounding scenery. After lunch, drive further into the Highlands, stopping to view one of the most photographed castles in Scotland, Kilchurn Castle, jutting into beautiful Loch Awe and stunningly framed by the surrounding mountains. Then it’s on to Inveraray, a quaint small town built in the mid-18th century, on the shore of Loch Fyne. Explore the town and pick up some Highland souvenirs, or pay an optional visit to Inveraray Castle (April to October only), the historic home of the Duke of Argyll, chief of the Clan Campbell, which is set in large beautiful gardens overlooking Loch Fyne. Now start your homeward journey, driving over the Arrochar Alps, an attractive range of mountains, with a brief pause near the top of the "Rest and Be Thankful Pass." A little later, reach enchanting Loch Lomond, where you'll stop at the pretty lochside village of Luss before returning to Edinburgh. *Inveraray Castle open Apr-Oct, alternatives offered Nov-March

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Stirling Castle, Loch Lomond & Whisky Tour from Edinburgh

3. Stirling Castle, Loch Lomond & Whisky Tour from Edinburgh

As you drive north from Edinburgh on this 9-hour excursion you’ll marvel at the engineering miracle of the Forth Railway Bridge. Then, as you travel through Stirlingshire, your guide will bring to life the turbulent times of William Wallace, dramatized in the film Braveheart, and explain his link to the area you're passing through. Your first stop is the city of Stirling, where you'll have ample time to visit the stunning castle (admission not included) or enjoy a walk along the atmospheric, ancient streets that surround it. You'll then have the opportunity to visit one of Scotland's best known distilleries, where you’ll learn how they make their whisky and get a dram of their Highland Single Malt Whisky (optional extra). The tour route takes you past Loch Lubnaig and then through the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, home of the Highland rogue Rob Roy. Stopping at some of the best view points, you’ll be able to take in the view from the An Ceann Mor platform at Inveruglus and then walk the shore of Scotland’s biggest loch at Luss.

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From Glasgow: Oban, Glencoe, Highland Lochs & Castles Tour

4. From Glasgow: Oban, Glencoe, Highland Lochs & Castles Tour

Explore the stunning lochs and castles of the Western Highlands on this small group tour from Glasgow. You'll see the superb ruins of Kilchurn on Loch Awe, the bustling west coast harbor town of Oban, and the dramatic beauty of Glencoe. Depart Glasgow at 8:30 AM and travel through gorgeous Glen Fruin, driving parallel with Loch Long. You'll then cross the Highland boundary, where the scenery changes quickly and dramatically–the flat plains of the Lowlands give way to shimmering lochs, rugged mountain tops and forest-filled glens. Continue your drive over the Rest and Be Thankful mountain pass before traveling through the Arrochar Alps. You'll then arrive at the picturesque harbor town of Inveraray on the shores of Loch Fyne. From here you will drive along the shore of Scotland’s longest loch, Loch Awe, where you'll stop to take photos of Kilchurn Castle, a magnificent ruin right in the middle of Loch Awe and the former home of the Campbells of Breadalbane. You will then continue to the harbor town of Oban, gateway to the Isles, where you will eat lunch. After lunch you'll travel north along the coast around Appin, passing imposing Castle Stalker, and into Scotland's most famous valley, Glencoe. This is Scotland's largest loch and it takes its name from the mountain Ben Lomond. The last stop of the day will be in Luss, an 18th-century conservation village with old workers' cottages, built for the laborers of the estate.

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From Glasgow: Loch Lomond, Trossachs & Stirling Castle Tour

5. From Glasgow: Loch Lomond, Trossachs & Stirling Castle Tour

After leaving Glasgow, stop at the ‘bonnie banks’ of Loch Lomond, one of the prettiest and largest lochs in the whole of Scotland. Take a one-hour cruise, enjoying spectacular views of the loch’s many islands and the surrounding mountains. Alternatively, take a stroll through the picturesque loch-side conservation village of Luss, with its quaint houses, cafes and stunning views across the loch’s western shoreline. Eat lunch in the small village of Aberfoyle, nestled in the heart of the beautiful Trossachs National Park. After lunch, continue through the Trossachs, Scotland’s first national park, known as ‘the Highlands in miniature’ for its abundance of lochs, mountains, and forests. It is also known as the homeland of legendary outlaw, Rob Roy MacGregor. The final stop is the magnificent Stirling Castle, which sits high on volcanic rock and offers wonderful views of the surrounding landscape. You will have time to visit the castle and learn of the exploits of key historic figures including William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, and Mary Queen of Scots. With plenty of interesting things to see and do, the Stirling Castle experience is well worth a visit. You then make your way back to Glasgow. Please note: the Loch Lomond cruise is only available in winter for groups of 6 and over. If this number is not met, an alternative stop will be offered.

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West Highlands Lochs & Castles Tour from Edinburgh

6. 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.

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

7. From Glasgow: 3-Day Isle of Skye, Highlands & Loch Ness Tour

Day One: Visit the village of Luss on the banks of Loch Lomond, within a national park. Admire Rannoch Moor before walking through Glen Coe valley. Pause for photos after lunch by Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis. End your first day by relaxing in the charming village of Portree, on the Isle of Skye.  Day Two: Enjoy breakfast in Portree, before deciding how you will spend your day. Choose between a tour of Dunvegan Castle, Duntulm Castle or a visit to Uig and the traditional blackhouses. End your day by viewing The Storr, before returning to Portree. Day Three: Experience a tour of Eilean Donan Castle. Visit the pretty loch-side village of Fort Augustus for lunch and views of Loch Ness. Continue your journey to the Victorian resort town of Pitlochry, before driving back to Edinburgh where you will be dropped off outside Edinburgh Waverley Train Station. Passengers that began the tour in Glasgow will be provided with a free train ticket to return to Glasgow.

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Glasgow: Highlights of Scotland Tour

8. Glasgow: Highlights of Scotland Tour

Departing from Buchanan Bus Station in Glasgow, you’ll follow the western shores of Loch Lomond and enter the Highlands. The first stop of the day is a photo stop at "Rest and be Thankful" - a viewpoint overlooking the valley. Then it’s onwards to the town of Inveraray, on the banks of Loch Fyne. Here you can explore the town or pay entry to Inveraray Castle. From Inveraray, you’ll continue north to Loch Awe, another beautiful Highland loch. On the banks of the loch sits the ruins of Kilchurn Castle. There’s a perfect viewpoint for you to admire the panoramic views here. At lunchtime you will reach the coastal town of Oban. Known as the seafood capital of Scotland, there are lots of places to enjoy some delicious food. For the more adventurous there’s the walk up to McCaig’s tower, a stone folly with spectacular views over towards the Isle of Mull and beyond. After lunch you can visit a viewpoint overlooking Castle Stalker. It’s a unique castle which sits on a tidal islet in Loch Laich. Next up: Glencoe. A dramatic valley with an equally dramatic past, there are stories to be told here as you surround yourself with mountains and spot deer. The final stop of the day is the Drovers Inn. At over 300 years old, many famous Scots have rested there including Rob Roy McGregor. Here you can enjoy an evening refreshment before returning to Glasgow.

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From Glasgow: Loch Lomond and Whisky Full-Day Tour

9. From Glasgow: Loch Lomond and Whisky Full-Day Tour

Meet your guide in Glasgow and travel the short distance towards Loch Lomond, one of the largest lochs in Scotland. Stop on the southern shore of the loch, where you can choose to join a 1-hour boat cruise and enjoy views of the surrounding mountains and castles. Those who wish to remain on dry land can admire the stunning landscape from the shore. The next stop is in the picturesque conservation village of Luss. Walk around the center and take photos of quaint cottages, or stroll along a little beach on the bank of Loch Lomond and admire the view of Ben Lomond. There will be plenty of time for you to enjoy lunch here. After a day filled with mountain air, lochs, and forests, travel back to Glasgow’s Clydeside Whisky Distillery. Located in the famous Queen’s Dock, this state-of-the-art distillery brings the production of single malt back to the city. Take a tour and see how this whiskey is distilled from grain to glass. If you’re not a whiskey fan, your guide can drop you off at Buchanan Bus Station earlier, so you can explore the city’s vibrant bars and music venues.

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From Edinburgh: Discovering Malt Whisky Distillery Day Tour

10. From Edinburgh: Discovering Malt Whisky Distillery Day Tour

Departing Edinburgh at 9:30 AM, your tour takes you west past Stirling to Glengoyne distillery. Here you will be introduced to the simple but magical process of turning barley, water, and yeast into whisky. From here, you take a scenic drive to the shores of Loch Lomond for a tasty pub lunch and the chance to sample some local beer. After lunch it is recommended to take a short walk to the viewpoint overlooking the loch before heading towards the second distillery of the day. Deanston Distillery is a converted cotton mill on the banks of the River Teith has many interesting features and produces some unique whisky flavours. After a relaxed afternoon visit here you return to Edinburgh with the stories and flavors of single malt whisky fresh in your mind. You will return to Edinburgh at approximately 6:15 PM.

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Other Sightseeing Options in North East Scotland

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What people are saying about North East Scotland

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 1,218 reviews

I had a really great time with a fun small group of people. John was a really fun guide and made sure we could see as much as possible even though the sun set very early in the day. Everything was beautiful and I can’t wait to get to spend some more time in the highlands.

Cameron was one of the most insightful travel guides we've met. He is extremely knowledgeable about the regions covered under the tour. He is also very helpful, friendly and humorous. Would highly recommend this tour!

Well organised trip with efficient, friendly staff. Interesting guide (voiceover) during the two hour excursion. Simple bar available downstairs serving basic drinks and snacks.

Amazing sceneries, with a kind, friendly and cool driver. Unforgottable and amazing tour, day, experience. Hope that I can do it again soon. thanks

Wonderful one day trip. For someone without a car I absolutely recommend Rabbis