Every corner of Scotland is beautiful and we are of course biased in saying that Edinburgh is the jewel in the Scottish crown, but there are plenty of gorgeous places to be explored outside of the capital. The best and most convenient way to see all that Scotland has to offer is a guided bus tour. Sit back, relax and let your knowledgeable driver whisk you away to historical monuments, national parks and spots of natural beauty and maybe even a bit of Loch Ness monster hunting. But with so many different tours going to all these amazing places, which one should you take? Fret not, we’re here to help! Here are our top tips for the best day tours from Edinburgh by Highland Explorer Tours.
Image credit: Highland Explorer Tours and Fountain Court Apartments
Loch Ness Explorer
If there was an intensive course to Scotland, this would be it. Taking you past all the prettiest spots and bucket-list-worthy highlights, this 12-hour tour will leave you with a lot of beautiful memories and impressions. It takes you to the quaint town of Callander, self-proclaimed gateway to the Highlands, and then up to Glen Coe, which will take your breath away with its natural beauty. Whether with snow-covered mountain tops in winter or with purple freckles of heather in summer, it is stunning in any season. After Glen Coe, you will head to Loch Ness, where you have the opportunity to hop on the boat cruise for a bit of monster hunting on the great lake. And even if you don’t spot Nessie, the guides on the boat make this a very enjoyable little cruise with loads of science-y info and fun facts about Loch Ness. Alternatively, you can go and explore the hamlet of Fort Augustus with its cute shops and the impressive locks of the Caledonian Canal. On your way back to Edinburgh, you will then be able to admire the Cairngorms, another national park, and stop for a little while in Pitlochry on the border of the Highlands. All in all, a great day out!
Loch Lomond, Stirling Castle & The Kelpies
You don’t have to venture that far out of Edinburgh to find great scenery. Some of Scotland’s highlights are right on the doorstep of the Scottish capital. This fabulous tour takes you to the ‘bonnie’ banks of Loch Lomond, where you can spend some time admiring the beautiful lake and the surrounding Trossachs National Park. In the afternoon you’ll get the chance to spend some time in the former Scottish capital of Stirling and even pay a wee visit to awe-inspiring Stirling Castle. Looking a bit like Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle is of high historic significance and even saw the coronation of Mary Queen of Scots. The city itself is great for a day out with many small authentic shops and independent eateries. The last stop of the tour, the Kelpies which are the world’s largest horse sculpture, will provide a marvellous finish to a busy day.
Whisky & Waterfalls
When visiting Caledonia, one should take the chance to witness the production of the country’s most sought-after export – whisky. And why not see some of Scotland’s most beautiful scenery at the same time? The tour starts at 8.45am and you’ll first be able to get comfortable on the bus for a little while listening to your insightful guide telling you a little bit about Edinburgh and our country. For the first break of the day, admire the Wallace Monument, an impressive tower commemorating Scottish hero William Wallace and home to his very own sword. However, the most important part of the day will be the next stop, The Famous Grouse Experience, where you will find out about how the ‘water of life’ is made as well as its history. After lunch, the trip continues with a guided woodland walk to the Black Linn waterfall and then finishes with a little visit to the quaint village of Dunkeld. You’ll be back in Edinburgh at 5.30pm – just in time for another wee dram in one of Edinburgh’s cosy pubs.
© Fountain Court Apartments
From £138 per person, visit Edinburgh and explore Scotland on a 1 day tour with our Scenic Scotland Package. For 2 or 4 people, it includes 2 nights in one of our central serviced apartments, a taste of Scotland hamper of the most scrumptious national food and drink and a late 2pm check-out on the day of departure, for that little bit of extra time exploring. Book now.