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Things to do in

Scottish Highlands

Welcome to a nature lover’s paradise, peppered with wooded glens, rocky peaks, stunning lochs, and more.

Our most recommended things to do in Scottish Highlands

Inverness: Isle of Skye and Eilean Donan Castle Day Trip

1. Inverness: Isle of Skye and Eilean Donan Castle Day Trip

Take in some of the most dramatic and stunning landscapes Scotland has to offer on an eco-certified tour from Inverness. Discover the Isle of Skye, including its capital Portree, Kilt Rock, Lealt Falls, and the Old Man of Storr. See Loch Ness from Invermoriston, Loch Carron, and Eilean Donan Castle. Meet your guide at Inverness Bus Station, where your group will board an air-conditioned coach. Head south out of the city. Then, follow the shores of Loch Ness to Invermoriston, where you will stop for a short break. Grab a coffee, take scenic photos, and try and spot Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster. Then, continue to Eilean Donan Castle, one of Scotland's most photographed castles, set on its own island at the head of Loch Duich. You will have time to visit the castle and learn about its history if you like (admission fees apply) or just admire the picturesque castle and its scenic surroundings. Next, journey to the Isle of Skye. Stop at Portree, a small colorful town fringed by cliffs and rolling hills. Take in these beautiful surroundings while enjoying lunch and the views of the boats in the harbor. Once your appetite has been sated, move on to tour the rest of the island. Head to the Old Man of Storr, an iconic rock formation, before visiting Kilt Rock, a sea-weathered cliff with amazing coastal views. Next, take a walk at Lealt Falls to admire the beautiful waterfall and gorge. Finally, head back to Inverness via the panoramic Strome Viewpoint over Loch Carron.

Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe & the Scottish Highlands Tour

2. 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 and a cup of coffee. Discover what a ‘hairy coo’ really is. 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.

Loch Lomond: Scottish Highlands Sightseeing Cruise

3. Loch Lomond: Scottish Highlands Sightseeing Cruise

Depart from Balloch village and set sail beyond the stately homes of historic Scottish industrialists within view of Ben Lomond, Scotland's most southerly Munro. Continue towards Inchmurrin Island, the largest inland island in Great Britain and home to the ruins of the 12th century Lennox Castle. Learn the history and legend of Loch Lomond and the surrounding areas while enjoying some of Scotland's most spectacular scenery. Enjoy a cruise commentary by famed historian and archaeologist Neil Oliver, best known from BBC's "Coast" and "A History of Scotland." 

Dochgarroch: Loch Ness and Caledonian Canal 2-Hour Cruise

4. Dochgarroch: Loch Ness and Caledonian Canal 2-Hour Cruise

Spend 2 hours on a round-trip sail to Urquhart Castle from Dochgarroch Lock. Your cruise sails from Dochgarroch Loch on the Caledonian Canal and heads to the heart of the mystery, where you’ll learn the fascinating story of Loch Ness. Enjoy the views and the selection of hot and cold Scottish snacks on board. There’s also a bar if you fancy a wee dram, and for those of you who like to stay connected, there is free WiFi onboard!

Loch Lomond: Island Discovery 2-Hour Cruise

5. Loch Lomond: Island Discovery 2-Hour Cruise

Discover the legends and secrets of the islands of Loch Lomond on this cruise from Alexandria. Learn the history and the legends of Loch Lomond and the surrounding areas, while enjoying some of Scotland's most spectacular scenery. Hop aboard the spacious and comfortable boat that Balloch Village Ferry Landing. Have plenty of space for indoor and outdoor viewing with opened and closed deck space, and full bar facilities where you can purchase a drink. Begin you circular cruise which passes the world-famous Loch Lomond Golf Club. Explore the middle island of Loch Lomond, sail through an area known to locals as "The Narrows", and continue onwards to the village of Luss. Listen to cruise commentary by famed historian and archaeologist Neil Oliver, best known from BBC's "Coast" and "A History of Scotland." Return to your starting point at the end of your journey.

From John O'Groats: Orkney Islands Day Trip

6. 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.

Wildlife Cruise from John O'Groats

7. Wildlife Cruise from John O'Groats

Experience the wild and windy Scottish coastline. Listen to informative commentary from your guide throughout the cruise and enrich your knowledge of Scotland’s natural history. Cruise through the Pentland Firth past Duncansby Head lighthouse passing close to the sheer 200-feet high cliffs teeming with sea birds followed by a close-up view of the famous Stacks of Duncansby. Cross the inner sound of the Pentland Firth for a view of the uninhabited island of Stroma and the colonies of Atlantic Grey Seals. See the various cliffs and birds of Stroma. The types of birdlife seen will depend on the nesting season. For example Puffins will be seen in large numbers in June and July but in much smaller numbers in August. If you are lucky, catch a view of some whales.

From Luss: Loch Lomond Sightseeing Cruise

8. From Luss: Loch Lomond Sightseeing Cruise

Enjoy a cruise on Loch Lomond aboard a sightseeing boat. Take in views of Ben Lomond, sail between the middle islands, and learn about Scotland's rich history and culture. Depart the historic village of Luss on circular cruise. Be treated to magnificent views of Ben Lomond and the middle islands. Sail past the Highland Boundary Fault line that separates the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland. Learn about the history, legends and wildlife in and around Loch Lomond, known as the Queen of Scottish Lochs. Listen to onboard commentary as you relax with a hot drink or refreshment from the bar. Stay comfortable throughout your journey with both indoor and outdoor seating available.

Fort William: Seal Spotting Loch Linnhe Cruise

9. Fort William: Seal Spotting Loch Linnhe Cruise

Embark on a boat tour of Loch Linnhe. Pass picturesque villages, seal, islands and a Caledonian forest. Hear live commentary from the skipper. Depart from Fort William's town pier and head towards the top of Loch Linnhe. See the charming village of Corpach which has Scotland's most instagrammed shipwreck. Marvel at islands teeming with birdlife. Sail over the entrance to the Caledonian canal. Admire traditional black houses, stunning glens, an ancient Caledonian forest, and salmon and mussel farms. Keep your eyes peeled for eagles, otters, and porpoises. Have the chance to purchase refreshments and from the crew. Get close to Black Rock for the chance to see seals and seal pups. Head back to Fort William.

From Inverness: Loch Ness Cruise and Urquhart Castle

10. From Inverness: Loch Ness Cruise and Urquhart Castle

Cruise on Loch Ness and visit Urquhart Castle on this coach and boat tour that transports you directly from Inverness city center to the legendary Loch Ness. You’ll learn everything there is to know about the stirring past of these famous shores as you relax on a guided coach tour. After departing from Inverness by coach, you will drive to Loch Ness. Once you arrive, hop on board a boat to cruise across the Loch’s world-famous waters. Keep an eye on the sonars for a blip that could be Nessie. There is a fully stocked bar on board and a selection of Scottish snacks. Coffee, tea, and hot chocolate are also served, should you require a little warming up. Once you are back on shore, explore the historic ruins of the once-mighty stronghold of Urquhart Castle. After you have seen the castle, relax on the coach as you make the return drive to Inverness city center.

Other Sightseeing Options in Scottish Highlands

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What people are saying about Scottish Highlands

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 19,355 reviews

Fantastic trip we had on July 13th. Thank you Paul H for being the best guide ever with interesting stories along the way. Such a memorable and adventurous tour, a must-do when visiting Edinburgh, to get the full Scottish experience in a short amount of time. 12 hours have never gone by so fast, and the bus was also super comfortable. We did the castle visit and the Loch Ness boat cruise, would highly recommend!

The trip was very well organized with no stress or hurry - there was enough time to enjoy the views, grab a few snacks and even do some small shopping. Our guide Marita was very knowledgeable and humorous and provided us with lots of tips, interesting facts and stories, peppered with her wit. You could see she enjoyed what she was doing, and spread her positive energy to all of us.

Though weather did not cooperate, the captain the his assistant were very passionate to give us a wonderful experience such as let us to experience navigating the boat and loads of info about the lake and those that surround it. Thank you. - 1 August 2022 (7pm)

Everything very well planned and organized. Magnificent, impressive landscapes! A wonderful experience. Absolutely to recommend!

Extremely enjoyable round trip to Urquhart castle.Spectacular scenary.Good commentary with interesting historical facts.