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.
Edinburgh/Glasgow - Glen Coe - Fort Augustus
journey starts with the short drive to Stirling, the gateway to the Highlands.
We’ll enjoy wonderful views of Stirling Castle from the highway before making
our way towards Callander and the beauty of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs
National Park. 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 Ballachulish 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!
At moody Loch Ness you’ll have the chance to enjoy a monster-spotting cruise* and experience wonderful views of Urquhart Castle. Later we make our way to Fort Augustus, our home for tonight, which is situated on the banks of this most enigmatic loch.
Overnight: Fort Augustus
Fort Augustus - Eilean Donan Castle - Isle of Skye
After breakfast we start the day by travelling across Scotland and heading for the west
coast. Glen Shiel is home to the
"Five Sisters", a range of five mountains of which 4 are over 3,000
feet high. Soon picturesque Eilean Donan
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
Soon we travel "over the sea to Skye" by the modern road bridge. 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 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 as we shall discover.
The next part of
our excursion is to the famed Trotternish
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!
Overnight: Kyleakin, Isle of Skye
Isle of Skye - Culloden Moor - Edinburgh/Glasgow
We bid farewell to Skye and cross back to the mainland. As we travel through rugged Glen Moriston look out for the cairn to the memory of Roderick MacKenzie who, in 1746, allowed himself to be captured by the redcoats who were searching for Bonnie Prince Charlie. His sacrifice allowed the real Prince to evade capture and escape pursuit! In the pretty village of Invermoriston there’s time to make the short walk to view the Thomas Telford bridge, built in 1813, which crosses the spectacular River Moriston falls
Bustling Inverness, is known as 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.
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 either Edinburgh or Glasgow.
* Admission fees extra
Please note that the Saturday departure of this tour will operate in the reverse order.
Wanting to travel on a Tuesday, Thursday or Sunday?
Our Isle of Skye Explorer 3 day/2 night tour offers a similar itinerary. Click here for details.