Skye and the Scottish Highlands
from Edinburgh and Glasgow
In three days we'll show you the highlights of Scotland - Glen Coe, Eilean Donan Castle, Skye, The Cuillin Hills, Loch Ness, Inverness, Culloden Moor and much, much more.
In order to maximise your sightseeing opportunities we offer two, slightly different, itineraries, depending on which day you travel.
Blue Route: departs on Saturdays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
Red Route : departs on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays
Edinburgh/Glasgow - Glen Coe - Isle of Skye
Our journey starts with a real highpoint as we drive the entire length of the "bonnie, bonnie banks" of Loch Lomond. Along the way we cross from the Lowlands and into the Highlands.
As our coach climbs the "Black Mount" there are wonderful views of Loch Tulla below. Soon we are amidst the remote beauty of Rannoch Moor. This unspoilt landscape extends over 50 square miles and is one of the great wildernesses of Europe!
Glen Coe is quite simply awesome! We will make a photo stop in Scotland's most famous glen. No matter the weather you are sure to be inspired by this very special place. After crossing the Ballachullish Bridge we travel along the banks of Loch Linnhe to reach Fort William. On the outskirts of the town we should be able to enjoy wonderful views of Ben Nevis, Britain's tallest mountain.
Our journey takes us into the Great Glen, which was formed many millions of years ago. The result of this activity has left us with an impressive landscape of lochs and mountains. We'll travel along the banks of Loch's Lochy and Oich to reach the village of Invergarry. As we drive through this small community watch out for the "Well of the Seven Heads", a monument with a very bloody tale to tell!
Now we are heading across Scotland and heading for the west coast. Glen Shielis home to the "Five Sisters", a range of five mountains of which 4 are over 3,000 feet high. Soon picturesque Eilean Donan Castle* will come into view. This is, without doubt, one of Scotland's most iconic sights. The castle stands on a little island situated at the confluence of Loch's Alsh and Duich. We'll have time to discover the castle for ourselves during our stop here (Red Route will visit on day three).
Finally we travel "over the sea to Skye" by the modern road bridge and make for our accommodation.
Overnight: Kyleakin (Blue Route)/Portree (Red Route)
Exploring the Magical Isle of Skye
After breakfast we board our coach for a wonderful day of exploration. Our itinerary includes time in the picturesque town of Portree, the island's largest community. The name of the town means the "King's Port" following a visit by King James V in 1540. Today the pretty painted houses which surround the harbour give Portree an old fashioned appeal.
The towering Cuillin Hills give Skye its breathtaking beauty. Considered by many to be amongst the finest hills in Britain the Cuillins present a vista that is simply unforgettable.
The next part of our excursion is to the famed Trotternish
Peninsula. From Portree we travel northwards to the little port of Uig from where ferries sail to the Outer
Herbrides. At little Kilmuir there is a monument to Flora MacDonald who,
famously, assisted Bonnie Prince Charlie escape from the troops that were
hunting him by sailing him "over the sea to Skye" disguised as her
We'll stop to explore The Quiraing, a dramatic terrain formed by a massive landslide. Here you can walk through a landscape that dates from Jurassic times and as you do see if you can identify the rock formations whose descriptions are the "Needle", "Table" and "Prison". A short drive brings us to Kilt Rock, so named because the basalt columns of this rock fall to resemble the pleats of a kilt - it's well worth the effort to snap an "I was there" photograph!
Blue Route: After sightseeing on Skye we will make our way back to the mainland and travel through scenic Glen Shiel, to reach our home for tonight by the shores of mysterious Loch Ness.
Red Route:We will continue sightseeing on the Isle of Skye after which we will return to our accommodation in Portree.
Overnight: Drumnadrochit (Blue Route)/Portree (Red Route)
Monsters and Queens
Red Route: From Portree we make our way through the spectacular scenery of the Isle of Skye towards the little villages and gentle scenery of the southern part of the island. Soon we are crossing the Skye Bridge heading for the mainland once more.
Soon we will stop so you will have the chance to visit iconic Eilean Donan Castle*. There has been a castle here for many hundred of years King Alexander II built a fort here in the 13th Century as protection against the Vikings! The castle, which was blown up in 1719 by an English man o'war, is fully restored and is waiting for you to discover its colourful history.
We travel through Glen Morriston to reach the mysterious waters of Loch Ness. There's a stop in Fort Augustus so you can undertake some monster-spotting of your own if Nessie co-operates, of course!
Blue Route: After breakfast we spend time
discovering Scotland's most famous lake.Why not visit the nearby Loch
Ness 2000 Exhibition*or to enjoy a cruise on the loch* to
discover Urquhart Castle? The castle sits overlooking the deepest part of Loch
Ness, so it's a popular place with "Nessie" spotters!
We follow the banks of the loch to Inverness, the Capital of the Highlands. On the outskirts of this fast growing city lies notorious Culloden Moor*. It was here in 1746 that Bonnie Prince Charlie's dreams of capturing the Crown for the Stuart dynasty came to a bloody end. His Jacobite army was routed by the Government troops under the command of the Duke of Cumberland. The aftermath was particularly brutal such that it changed life in the Highlands forever.
Both Routes: Soon
we pass remote Dalwhinnie then make our descent of the Drumochter
Pass, which has linked the Highlands
to the Lowlands since the earliest of times.
We'll stop in the Victorian tourist town of Pitlochry, which sits on the banks of the River Tummel. Queen Victoria stayed at nearby Blair Castle and enjoyed visiting Pitlochry very much. Her favourable comments ensured a steady flow of visitors who came to this charming town to see what pleased the Queen so much. Today Pitlochry retains much of its period atmosphere, as we will discover!
The last part of our time together will take us towards the "fair city of Perth" then make our way to journey's end in Edinburgh or Glasgow.
Blue Route: The coach will travel to Glasgow first and then onwards to Edinburgh.
Red Route: The coach will travel directly to Edinburgh. If you are travelling to Glasgow you will be dropped at Edinburgh Waverley Station from where you can catch the express train to Glasgow. The journey takes around 55 minutes and the cost of the ticket is included in the tour fare.
* Admission fees extra