A land of steep mountains, beautiful glens and mysterious lochs
Loch Ness Shore Experience
Tour Only Price from £140
Tour with Accommodation Price from £165
A beautiful riverside stroll
Visit the historic battlefield
Spot Nessie from the shore
The Harry Potter Hogwarts Express
Wonderful scenery and fascinating history
Check-in Closes 15 mins prior to departure at pick-up point
Leaving Edinburgh behind on this magical, historic 2-day tour, we'll head north to the Forth Railway Bridge. Snap a photo of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, a memory to treasure and symbol of Scotland. Opened in 1890, the Forth Railway Bridge is a true Scottish icon recognised all over the world for being the first major steel structure, a key milestone in the development in modern railway engineering. To this day, this fantastic piece of history still holds the record for being the world's longest cantilever bridge.
As we head over the Firth of Forth, we'll be making our way to the small highland village of Dunkeld, perfectly perched on the banks of the River Tay, the longest river in Scotland and seventh-longest in the United Kingdom. Enjoy your time in Dunkeld by taking a riverside walk to see the Dunkeld bridge, the largest Scottish bridge built by Thomas Telford or visit the magical Dunkeld Cathedral. Part ruin, part parish church, this cathedral takes pride of place in this well-preserved historic town, also home to the resting place of the notorious 'Wolf of Badenoch', the third surviving son of King of Robert II of Scotland. Make sure to explore the town to see the brightly coloured 'little houses', a sight which cannot be missed.
Leaving this historic highland town behind, we'll head further north to the 'geographical centre of Scotland' and of the gateways to the Highlands, Pitlochry, for a quick stop and bite to eat. Perched on the edge of the River Tummel, Pitlochry is home to one of the smallest distilleries in Scotland, Edradour. Leaving this beautiful town, we'll once again head north on our journey, taking us through the breathtaking Drumochter Pass. Skirting the stunning peaks of the Cairngorm National Park, you'll pass the home of 5 of the UK's highest mountains.
Passing Aviemore, we'll drive via the Clava Cairns, a 500-year-old temple and ancient cemetery. This ancient burial ground features in the well-known Outlander books, the iconic scene when Claire falls through time to the 1700's. From here we'll continue on to Culloden*, last stand of the Jacobites against the government forces. Explore the battlefield and walk in the footsteps of the hundreds of clansmen who gave their lives for the Jacobite cause or immerse yourself in the interactive history found inside of the Culloden Visitor Centre*. Leaving this harrowing battlefield behind, we'll finally be heading to Fort Augustus, a peaceful little village on the banks of Loch Ness, our overnight stop for this tour.
Overnight: Fort Augustus
Enjoy a hearty breakfast before a short journey to finally jump aboard the Jacobite Steam Train! Known for being one of the world's greatest train journeys, this train ride will take you past Britain's highest mountain, deepest loch, shortest river and most westerly station. You may know it as the Hogwarts Express! You'll cross the viaduct featured in the Harry Potter films and pass the Glenfinnan Monument where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his standard at the beginning of the 1745 Jacobite rising before arriving into Mallaig, the end of the famous West Highland Railway. Sit back, relax, enjoy the ride and don't forget to take in those unmissable views of the highlands.
Get ready to depart as the train arrives into Mallaig, a stunning west coast fishing town, for lunch. Mallaig, 'Mel Vik' in old Norse, means sand dune bay, the perfect description for this vibrant port, the end to the 'Road to the Isles'. Spend some time learning about Mallaig's fascinating historical past at the Mallaig Heritage Centre, or sample some of the freshest seafood Scotland has to offer. After a delicious lunch, hope back about the vintage steam engine for the journey back to Fort William, where your driver-guide will be waiting to whisk you off to the breathtaking Glen Coe.
Heading south, you'll enjoy a drive through Glen Coe, Scotland's most famous and scenic glen, where the MacDonalds were betrayed. This awe-inspiring glen was carved out centuries ago by glaciers and volcanic explosions, to create the stunning mountains we know and love. This beautiful glen may seem a little familiar due to its starring role in one of the Harry Potter films. Our journey through Glen Coe takes us to Rannoch Moor, a beauty not to be missed, so stunning it was the perfect place to film a scene in James Bond's Skyfall. At 50 square miles of peat bog and marsh, it's one of Scotlands last great Wildernesses. From here our last leg of the journey home begins, with a driver through Stirlingshire passing by the likes of Stirling Castle and the Kelpies, before arriving back into Edinburgh.
This was an amazing time put together by Highland Experience Tours. It was informative, entertaining, and left you with an amazing appreciation for Scotland. Our tour guide, Steven B., did a fantastic job demonstrating not only a deep knowledge about Scottish history, but also injecting some wicked sense of humor that kept all of us laughing and enjoying our time. I highly recommend doing a tour with him... you will not regret it. In looking at our photos from this trip, it is incredible how much we packed in two days.... a cruise in Loch Ness, visiting castles and out of the way waterfalls, spending time in Fort Augustus, the trip on the Jacobite Express, and taking on the breathtaking beauty of Glencoe. Not too mention feeding some friendly animals along the way. Thank you Highland Experience and Steven B. for not only showing us Scotland, but leaving us wanting to come back again and again.
(833jorged – Trip Advisor – October 2019)
Loch Ness Shore Experience