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Destination Guide to the Scottish Highlands

The North of Scotland and the Scottish Highlands are a vast and untouched wilderness, home to dramatic and breathtakingly beautiful natural scenery.

Covering a vast but sparsely populated area, the North of Scotland, much of which is considered the Scottish Highlands, reaches from just north of Edinburgh and Glasgow to the most northerly point on the British mainland at John O Groats and is a region characterized by a dramatic natural geography.

Providing some the UK’s most visually spectacular landscapes, the Highlands are home to towering mountain ranges and shimmering lochs set in deep valleys from the dizzy heights of Britain’s highest mountain peak at Ben Nevis to the Great Glen and the depths of the world-famous Loch Ness. And in between you’ll find eerie desolate moors, craggy rock formations, gushing crystal clear rivers and glorious heather swept hillsides all waiting to be discovered and inviting you to snap some unforgettable pictures.

The wild, untouched countryside offers invigoratingly fresh air and an unrivalled tranquillity ideal for those seeking a peaceful retreat. Each landscape provides the natural habitats for wildlife to thrive from fresh water fish such as the famous Scottish salmon in the rivers to dolphins, whales and seals off the coastlines. The thick woodlands of the Grampian Highlands are teaming with red squirrels, wild deer can be spotted on the moorlands and the bird-life thrives from coastal sea-birds to stunning birds of prey.

The Highlands are home of a rich Scottish Heritage and are dotted with ancient castle ruins, tumbledown former settlements and impressive baronial manors. Waiting to be discovered here are Scottish icons such as Eilean Donan Castle and Urquhart Castle, the Glenfinnan Viaduct and the Queen’s favourite retreat at Balmoral. The area played host to much of Scotland’s tempestuous history, once the stomping ground of Scottish heroes such as Rob Roy and Bonnie Prince Charlie, sites are still marked of the infamous clan battles and massacres such as those at Glen Coe and Culloden Moor. These northern areas of Scotland also make the ideal place to enjoy a wee dram of finest malt whisky with a number of world-famous distilleries found throughout the Highlands including Oban and Glenfiddich.

Whilst they are sparsely populated, the centres of population in the Highlands are certainly worth visiting in their own right as well as ideal bases for touring. Fort William is the outdoors capital of Scotland and an ideal spot from whence to enjoy outdoor pursuits. Aberdeen, the Granite City, is a proud maritime city and now prospers from the North Sea Oil industry. Oban, also known as the Gateway to the Isles, is the picturesque town and sea port on the beautiful west coast whilst Inverness, known as Capital of the Highlands, straddles the river Ness and is home to its own castle, museum and gallery. And not to be missed is the quaint Victorian town of Pitlochry in the heart of the region.

Captivating scenery, spell-binding wildlife, an abundance of national icons and rich national history make the Highlands an integral part of your Scotland experience.

Relevant Tours

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Coach Tours of Scotland

Scottish Castles Coach Tour - Enjoy this leisurely trip of Scotland which focuses on the spectacular history, culture and scenery of the Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye. Discover a host of iconic and lesser known Scottish castles, the seats of royalty and ancient clans, cruise on misty lochs and visit a remote Highland farm. The leisurely pace offers stays of a minimum of two nights in each location.

Tours of Scotland Inverness

A Scottish Rail Tour – Traverse the rails of central Scotland and the Eastern Highlands on this train trip to experience the heart of Scotland.  This rail journey takes you from the bright lights of Edinburgh through the historic highland towns of Stirling, Inverness, Aberdeen and the lesser-known gem of Pitlochry. You’ll enjoy Scenic rail journeys through the Cairngorm Mountains and over the Grampian Highlands whilst selected day-tours from Inverness and Aberdeen will enable you to experience the mysteries of Loch Ness and Royal Deeside.

Scotland Toura - Scottish Dancing

A Scotland Coach Tour - Experience the Scottish Highlands and the heart of Scotland on this eight day journey through this small but characterful country. From the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow to the remote Isle of Skye, Loch Ness, the Cairngorms and central Scotland, you'll see ancient clan seats, baronial manors, remote castles, royal palaces, ancient battlefields, malt distilleries and the spiritual home of golf.

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Scotland Tours - Ben Nevis

A Comprehensive Scotland Tour – This elegant escorted coach tour of Scotland goes beyond the nation’s tartan façade to explore over 8,000 years of history and a rich cultural heritage. Venturing to the farthest Northern reaches of the Scottish Highlands, the natural drama, wilderness and variety of  geological features of this region never fail to impress. From the Northern Highlands we’ll cross to the remote Isles of Orkney and Skye, a feast for the senses. The Country Roads of Scotland Tour is well-paced and offers two-night stays in both Edinburgh and Thurso.

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Scotland Tours - Isle of Skye

A Scottish Isles Driving Tour – Take the road to the isles along Scotland’s stunning West Coast to explore the beautiful inner Hebridean islands of Skye and Mull.  On these secluded Scottish islands, you’ll enjoy spectacular natural beauty - pass dramatic mountain ranges, see sparkling lochs and experience an abundance of wildlife on land and in the coastal waters. Skye and Mull are also peppered with unique archaeological features and intriguing historic sites just waiting to be explored.

  New for 2021  
Scottish Islands Tour

A Scottish Islands Driving Tour - Escape to an enchanting wilderness as you explore the frontiers of the Scottish nation and her remote outer islands.  Experience the raw natural beauty of Glencoe, Scotland’s West Coast and the isles of Skye, Lewis and Harris on our Hebridean Highlights tour. The tranquillity of the Western Isles provides visitors with a peaceful retreat from modern life to a back-drop of dramatic natural landscapes. On your journey you’ll see sparkling lochs, barren moorlands, deserted golden beaches, fascinating historic sites and wildlife in abundance.

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Britain Tours - Lake District

A Small Group Tour of England and Scotland – From the southernmost tip of the Cornish Peninsular to the remote wilderness of the Isle of Skye, Britain Coast to Mountain takes you on an epic small-group journey through the diverse cultures and landscapes of England and Scotland. Discover the quaint fishing towns of Cornwall, the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, the rustic dales of Yorkshire and the barren moorlands of the Scottish Highlands. Along the way we’ll visit the heritage cities of Bath, York, Chester and Edinburgh and experience regional food, drink and hospitality. Britain Coast to Mountain is the perfect immerse yourself in culture and panoramas of England and Scotland.

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Scotland Rail Tours Glenfinnan

Scotland Rail Tour – Experience some of Britain’s most spectacular and scenic rail journeys as you explore Scotland and the Scottish Highlands by train.  Your epic Scottish rail trip will take you from the vibrant cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow to Scotland’s scenic West Coast, through the dramatic Scottish Highlands and over the sea to the remote Isle of Skye. A hand-picked selection of small-group day tours will allow you to discover the remote landscapes and sites of the Highlands and Skye which cannot be reached by rail alone.

  New for 2021  
Scotland Tours - Isle of Skye

A small group tour of Britain – Beauty of Britain is an epic journey exploring the history, heritage and natural landscapes of England and Scotland. We’ll pass from the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, through the rustic landscapes Yorkshire and the Lake District to the barren wilderness of the Scottish Highlands. Our journey is punctuated with visits to Britain’s heritage cities such as Bath, Oxford, York and Edinburgh and we’ll enjoy a host of local experiences including countryside steam train rides, ancient castle visits, traditional afternoon tea, loch cruises and a whisky distillery tour. The true beauty of Britain is waiting to be discovered.

Scotlands Tours - Isle of Skye

A Scottish small group tour – Enjoy this comprehensive tour of Scotland, a captivating land of contrasts which is both aesthetically beautiful and historically fascinating. From Edinburgh to the remote islands of Skye and Mull, enjoy dramatic coastlines, towering mountains, shimmering lochs and heather covered highlands all richly peppered with castles, abbeys and ancient sites which tell the tale of Scotland’s intriguing and often turbulent history.

Scotland Tours Loch Awe

A Highlands Coach Tour -  Enjoy a journey through majestic Highland scenery and explore Scotland's remote islands on this comprehensive tour of Scotland. Experience the tranquillity of the Isle of Skye, the undiscovered wilderness of the Isle of Bute, the dramatic landscapes of the Northern Highlands and the ancient pre-history of the Isle of Orkney, not to mention the beautiful city of Edinburgh.

Scotland Tours - Inverness

A succinct Scotland Driving Tour – Our Simply Scotland itinerary offers you a great introduction to this enchanting nation. In the course of just a few days you’ll experience the rugged landscapes of Glencoe, and the Scottish Highlands and the magical capital city of Edinburgh.  Highlights along the way include historic Stirling, Loch Lomond, the West coast and Scotland’s most famous body of water - Loch Ness.

  New for 2021  
Tours of Scotland - Glenfinnan Viaduct

A small group tour of Britain – Discover what makes Britain Great on this small group journey through the diverse cultures and landscapes of England, Scotland and Wales. This comprehensive itinerary takes you from the peaceful coasts and mountains of Wales, through rustic landscapes of rural England and north in to remote wilderness of the Scottish Highlands. We’ll see iconic landmarks and hidden gems, visit Britain’s quaint villages and heritage cities and enjoy a host of local experiences from steam train rides through the English countryside to whisky tasting in the Highlands.  In the company of your local guides, the Great British Journey is the ultimate way to explore Britain.

  New for 2021  
Scotlands Tours - Isle of Skye

A Private Tour of Scotland - Immerse yourselves in the raw natural beauty and history of Scotland in the company of a local private driver. Your experienced chauffeur will  share their local knowledge and insight as they guide you from Scotland’s principal city Edinburgh in to the majestic scenery of the Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye. Enjoy elegant or boutique accommodations each night and inclusive sightseeing and a selection of unique local experiences by day. An exclusive tour of Scotland worthy of this very special destination.

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Scotland Tours Loch Awe

One of our best Scotland Driving Tours – Scotland Explorer offers a comprehensive itinerary taking you on a journey to the corners of this beautiful nation; see Scotland from the bustling cultural and historic cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh to the expansive wilderness of the Scottish Highlands. From the rugged beauty of the West coast and Isle of Skye to the cultural sites of the East Coast and Aberdeenshire. Along the way see sparkling lochs, towering mountain ranges, ancient castle ruins, and whisky distilleries – a truly Scottish experience.

An Escorted Scotland Tour – Enjoy a flavour of Scotland visiting the principal cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow and a night in the enchanting Scottish Highlands. Along the way you'll experience the highlights of Scottish history, heritage and natural beauty – you’ll enjoy a loch cruise, sample single malt whisky at a Highland distillery and indulge in a traditional Scottish night of food, music and dance.

Tours of Scotland

A Driving Tour to Skye – Our Skye and the Highlands tour does what it says on the tin offering an itinerary which takes you away from the bustling cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow to the remote wilderness of the Scottish Highlands. Experience the enigmatic scenery of Glencoe Valley, Scotland’s West Coast and the majestic isle of Skye. Then onwards along the Great Glen to the capital of the Highlands itself! Along the way you’ll see sparkling lochs and ancient castles, the perfect Highland escape.

  New for 2021  
Scotland Tours - Stirling Castle

A small group tour of Scotland – Secrets of Scotland takes you on an epic journey through Scotland’s dramatic landscapes. We’ll discover the history, heritage and natural beauty of this enchanting nation as we pass from historic Stirling in to the remote wilderness of the Scottish Highlands; along the way we’ll spot unique wildlife, ancient castle ruins, shimmering lochs and deep glens. With highlights including Royal Deeside, Inverness, Loch Ness, the Isle of Skye and Glencoe you’ll come away having uncovered the many secrets of Scotland.

  Improved Itinerary  
Tours of Scotland

A Scotland Car Tour – Journey from Edinburgh or Glasgow to the furthest reaches of Northern Scotland. Experience the enigmatic scenery of Glencoe Valley, Scotland’s West Coast and the majestic isle of Skye before travelling deep in to the Highlands and along the world-famous NC500 route. Along the way you’ll enjoy some of Europe’s oldest and most awe-inspiring landscapes from towering mountain passes, cascading waterfalls and craggy coastlines. Then on to the enchanting island of Orkney to explore it’s host of ancient prehistoric sites and weather-beaten landscapes. A breath-taking and unique Scotland driving tour experience.

Tour of York England

A Britain Rail Tour – Experience the cities and landscapes of two great nations on this rail journey of discovery through England and Scotland.  Travelling from vibrant London in the South to romantic Edinburgh in the North and back again your itinerary will take you through the historic cities of Oxford, Glasgow and York. Along the way you’ll experience scenic rail-rides through the rolling British countryside and enjoy hand-picked day tours to reach the rural sites and villages of the Cotswolds, the Lake District and Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park.

Coach Tours of Scotland

A Scottish Castle Driving Tour - Experience Scottish hospitality at its traditional best on this exclusive tour staying in sumptuous and historic castle and manor-house hotels. This itinerary takes you from historic Stirling and Edinburgh to the remote Mull of Kintyre and the dramatic West Coast to the Isle of Skye and Scottish Highlands. Along the way you’ll experience the very best of both Scotland’s landscapes and heritage. Enjoy included admission to dozens of historic attractions by day and the utmost of comfort and character at your accommodation each night.

Scotland Rail Tours Glenfinnan

Scottish Highlands Rail Tour – Enjoy some of the world’s most beautiful rail journeys as you tour the scenic Western Highlands and the West Coast of Scotland by train. Experience the famous West Highland Line, cross the iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct and travel over the sea to the tranquil Isle of Skye. You’ll experience the best of both worlds with overnight stays in the cultural cities of Glasgow, Inverness and Edinburgh and day trips to the remote landscapes of Glencoe, Skye’s northern peninsula and the shores of Loch Ness.

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