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Urquhart Castle Loch Ness

Staycation Day tours from Edinburgh Blog

Edinburgh is a UNESCO World Heritage city that has a rich and colourful history. It attracts visitors from all over the world who come to discover the city’s extraordinary heritage. Another benefit of staying in the Scottish Capital is that it is a great hub to explore more of Scotland by taking some day tours from Edinburgh.

Our travel experts have composed a list of their top-ten 1 day bus tours from Edinburgh to help you plan your perfect Scotland tour.

Loch Ness Day Tour

Loch Ness seen from Fort Augustus

Without a doubt, one of the best day tours from Edinburgh is to Loch Ness and the Scottish Highlands. It’s the perfect “Scotland in a day” experience that showcases some of Scotland’s most famous sights.

Choose the Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands 1 day tour to spend a wonderful day touring through the beautiful scenery that the Highlands is famed for.

See the remote beauty of Rannoch Moor, then stop to admire the beauty of Glen Coe.

After viewing Ben Nevis, Britain’s tallest mountain, stop at Loch Ness, where there is the chance to go for a monster-spotting cruise!    

Loch Ness Glencoe Highlands and Whisky Tour

Why not upgrade your Loch Ness day tour to include a visit to a malt whisky distillery? The Loch Ness, The Highlands and Whisky tour features a stop at Deanston Distillery, where you can take a “behind the scenes” tour and enjoy a tutored tasting of a fine malt whisky.

Whisky Distillery Tour Edinburgh

Whisky aficionados flock to Edinburgh to sample the many historic bars serving a wide range of malt whiskies. There are so many that you’ll be spoilt for choice. Thankfully, Forever Edinburgh, the city’s official tourism website, has produced a helpful list of the Top 10 Whisky Bars in Edinburgh.

The Stills at Dewars Aberfeldy Distillery

Visiting a whisky distillery

There are no whisky distilleries open to the public in Edinburgh so, if you want to experience the unique sights and smells of a working distillery, the best option is to take a tour.

The Essential Whisky Experience combines the picturesque scenery of Highland Perthshire with a visit to Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery, where you can enjoy a tour and tasting.

Later, after a scenic drive along the banks of Loch Lubnaig, learn how an 18th Century cotton mill was converted to create the Deanston Distillery.

Highland One-Day Tour from Edinburgh

A hairy Highland Coo

The scenery of Scotland’s western highlands has to be seen to be believed. Towering mountains, picturesque villages and fjord-like sea lochs are just some of the many attractions to be discovered.

If you’re lucky, you might even see some of our famous caramel-coloured “Hairy Coos” too!

If you want to explore this scenic area and hopefully meet some of the locals, our recommendation is the West Highland, Lochs, Mountains and Castles tour

Loch Lomond and Stirling day tour from Edinburgh

Ben Lomond seen across the water of Loch Lomond

The Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park is an area of outstanding natural beauty. As well as the “bonnie, bonnie banks” of Loch Lomond, the park also contains the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park and The Trossachs, a picturesque region of lochs and mountains known as the “Highlands in Miniature”.

Stirling Castle

To compliment your time amongst the scenic splendour of the National Park, visit magnificent Stirling Castle.

This mightly fortress was a favoured residence of the Scottish Kings and Queens, who built a sumptuous palace within its walls.

To get a real taste of Scotland, choose the Stirling Castle, Loch Lomond and Trossachs tour.

Whisky and Water

To make your scenic day tour extra special, why not end your excursion with a visit to Glengoyne Malt Whisky Distillery. Learn how whisky is made by dedicated distillers using traditional methods. Top off your visit by enjoying a tutored tasting of a fine malt.

Check out the Stirling Castle, Loch Lomond and Whisky Tour from Edinburgh for details.

Harry Potter Day Tour Edinburgh

During your time in Edinburgh, don’t forget to visit The Elephant House, said to be the birthplace of Harry Potter. You can see the location that inspired Diagon Alley and Greyfriars Kirkyard, where JK Rowling gathered the names for many of her characters. 

Jacobite Steam Train on the West Highland Line

Scotland has been used as a filming backdrop in the Harry Potter movies. Harry Potter fans can journey through this magical landscape to take a trip on the real Hogwarts Express, the Jacobite Steam Train.

Just like in the movies, as the train chuffed its way to Hogwarts School, you’ll cross the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct.

The 1 day Jacobite Steam Train Tour from Edinburgh also visits Glen Coe, a filming location in the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban movie.

Outlander Filming Locations

Fans of Outlander can visit many of the locations used to film the hit TV series and see the countryside that inspired Diana Gabaldon to create her novels.

On an Outlander day tour from Edinburgh, visit Doune Castle (Castle Leoch), Blackness Castle (Jack Randall’s Headquarters), Linlithgow Palace (Wentworth Prison) and Culross (Cranesmuir Village)     

St Andrews and the Kingdom of Fife

Ancient Dunfermline Abbey

Just across the Firth of Forth from Edinburgh lies the ancient Kingdom of Fife. This region is famed for its Royal heritage, coastal communities and, of course, the game of golf.

The historic town of Dunfermline was once Scotland’s Capital and its beautiful abbey the resting place of King Robert the Bruce.

Dunfermline is also the birthplace of the industrialist and philantropist Andrew Carnegie.

Explore this ancient site and tour Rosslyn Chapel from Edinburgh on the popular In Quest of the Holy Grail Tour. 

St Andrews and the East Neuk

The East Neuk is the location of several picturesque fishing villages where fisherman’s cottages and merchant’s houses crowd around bustling harbours. Discover their story at the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther.

Swilcan Bridge at the Old Course in St Andrews

Famed as the home of golf St Andrews has had more influence on the game than anywhere else on Earth. See the famous Old Course, the scene of many a nail-biting championship game, and the R&A, founded in 1754. 

There is much more to St Andrews than golf, of course. Discover more in our blog.

Day tours from Edinburgh to St Andrews operate regularly. Our team suggests St Andrews and the Kingdom of Fife Tour as the best way to explore the region and this fascinating town.  

Discover the best of Scotland with Scottish Tours

Our convenient programme of day tours from Edinburgh will let you discover these amazing places for yourself.

We plan unforgettable trips and make sure you won’t miss a thing.

Browse our Scotland Tours and book online today