Road to the Isles - 5 day tour
Road to the Isles
5 day/4 night tour
In just 5 days, you'll get the chance to explore pre-historic sites at Kilmartin Glen, discover the natural beauty of the Western Highlands and have an in-depth tour of the beautiful Isle of Skye. Take a monster-spotting cruise on Loch Ness to see the romantic ruins of Urquhart Castle. This comprehensive tour of the Scottish Highlands perfectly balances exploration, travel and hospitality.
Oban - experience the incredible seafood in this lively fishing port
Isle of Skye - explore the lunar landscape of the Trotternish Peninsula to see Kilt Rock and the Old Man of Storr
Culloden Moor - discover the story behind Bonnie Prince Charlie and the last battle fought in Britain
Loch Ness - enjoy a “Monster” cruise and see to impressive Urquhart Castle
Jacobite Steam Train - many departures include a one-way journey aboard the real Hogwarts Express!
Movie locations - Snow White and the Huntsman, Stardust and Harry Potter
Guest house accommodation included
Full Tour Itinerary
Day 1 - Edinburgh/Glasgow - Inveraray - Oban
Departing Edinburgh and Glasgow, travel into the natural beauty of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.
Loch Lomond is Britain's largest lake and one of Scotland's loveliest. We'll make a stop in the pretty village of Luss so you can take a stroll along the "bonnie, bonnie banks".
The Argyll Forest Park is famed for its ancient trees, tranquil lochs and mountains. Look out for Ben Arthur, affectionately known as "The Cobbler" - a popular climb with hikers.
Soon our coach starts our ascent of the "Rest and be Thankful" mountain pass. You'll quickly realise why this road has such an unusual name when you look down on General Wade's original road that winds its way through Glen Croe below!
The 3rd Duke of Argyll built Inveraray at the head of Loch Fyne in the 1740s. This Georgian-style town sits in the shadow of Inveraray Castle, and, as we will discover, it retains much of its 18th Century charm.
From Lochgilphead we enter Kilmartin Glen. This mysterious glen has one of the most concentrated areas of prehistoric sites in Scotland, including a linear cemetery – a line of burial cairns stretching over 2 miles.
Nearby is Dunadd, a hill fort that dates from the Iron Age. It was one of the ancient capitals of the Dalriada, which developed into the Celtic Kingdom of Scotland.
Soon we arrive in the bustling, beautiful port of Oban, our stop for tonight. This Victorian seaside town is famed for its quality seafood.
Day 2 - Oban - Glen Coe - Isle of Skye
We bid farewell to Oban and head for the Connel Bridge. As we cross, look out for the tumbling waters of the Falls of Lora below.
Glen Coe is arguably Scotland's most famous glen partly because of its awe-inspiring beauty and, more sinisterly, the location of the infamous massacre of 1692. The sad tale will be told as we make a short diversion to explore this special place for ourselves.
Fort William's glorious setting on the banks of Loch Linnhe has made it a popular tourist destination since the arrival of the steamships in the mid-1800s. The town sits in the shadow of Ben Nevis, which, at 1,345 m (4,412 feet), is the tallest mountain in the UK.
At Fort William, selected departures* will join the famous Jacobite Steam Train for a memorable journey along the scenic West Highland Line. Travel experts call this one of the most impressive rail trips in the World.
One of the journey's many highlights is crossing the Glenfinnan Viaduct, just like the Hogwarts Express in the famous Harry Potter movies.
When the train reaches Mallaig, there will be some free time before boarding a ferry to sail "over the sea to Skye", our home for the next two nights.
* Departures from 6 May to 26 September 2024
All other departures will include a cruise on Loch Ness and a visit to Urquhart Castle instead. The journey between Mallaig and Fort William will be undertaken by road.
Overnight: Isle of Skye (2 nights)
Day 3 - Isle of Skye Excursion
We have an entire day to explore the magical Isle of Skye.
As we start our scenic tour, the Cuillin Hills come into sight. These towering peaks are considered by many to be amongst the finest hills in Britain.
There will be a stop at Sligachan, where the Black and Red Cuillins almost come together. It makes for a simply unforgettable vista.
Set round its natural harbour, the picturesque town of Portree is the largest community on the Isle of Skye and is our next stop. The town's name means the "King's Port" following a visit by King James V in 1540.
Today the pretty painted houses surrounding the harbour give Portree an old-fashioned appeal. There will be time to explore the town and browse the eclectic shops surrounding Somerled Square.
Later we will tour the famed Trotternish Peninsula, where our first stop will be at the Skye Museum of Island Life. Here we step back 100 years to visit some traditional thatched cottages to learn how islanders lived in times gone by.
When we visit The Quiraing, there's a chance to take a walk through a landscape that dates from Jurassic times! See if you can identify the rock formations that are known as 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 - we will stop so you can snap an "I was there" photograph!
Next, we come to The Old Man of Storr, a towering obelisk 49m (160 ft) tall. It's an iconic image that will almost certainly appear on your social media feed.
Dun Beag is a well-preserved broch dating from the Iron Age with a commanding position overlooking Loch Bracadale. This type of round stone tower is unique to Scotland and is thought to have been built as a small fort over 2,000 years ago.
After time to explore this ancient monument, we'll make our way back to our accommodation
Day 4 - Isle of Skye - Eilean Donan Castle - Inverness
We bid farewell to the Isle of Skye and return to the mainland.
It's a short drive to our first stop at beautiful Eilean Donan Castle. The castle has, quite literally, a picture-postcard setting standing on a little island at the confluence of Loch's Alsh and Duich. We'll have time to visit this romantic fortress to discover its fascinating history.
Experience stunning scenery as we tour through Glen Shiel, where the towering peaks of the mountain range known as the "Five Sisters of Kintail" make an impressive sight.
From Invermoriston, drive along the banks of mysterious Loch Ness to reach the delightful village of Drumnadrochit. You can choose to relax here and maybe visit the famous Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition, which tells the story of Loch Ness and its famous inhabitant.
If you would like to increase your chances of spotting Nessie, why not take a short cruise on the loch to see the impressive ruins of Urquhart Castle?
Later, we head to the vibrant Highland capital of Inverness, our home for tonight.
Day 5 - Inverness - Culloden Moor - Edinburgh/Glasgow
A short drive will take us to desolate Culloden Moor, the site of the last battle ever fought on British soil. The Jacobite troops of Bonnie Prince Charlie met the British Army here in a bloody battle.
The Jacobites were routed, and Highland life changed forever in the aftermath. You can discover more about the battle and its dramatic consequences during our visit.
Close by sits Clava Cairns, an extensive group of standing stones and burial cairns. It's said that this Bronze Age site inspired Outlander author Diana Gabaldon to create the fictional stone circle, Craigh na Dun.
The Cairngorms National Park is an area of stunning natural beauty, as we will discover. As we journey through the Spey Valley, the Cairngorm Mountains, which rise to over 4000 feet, provide a striking backdrop.
Wild mountain vistas surround us as we descend the Drumochter Pass, the main route into the highlands since the earliest of times.
We'll stop in the pretty town of Pitlochry, a busy Victorian holiday resort in the heart of Highland Perthshire. We'll spend time here, so you soak up the atmosphere of this picturesque little town.
If you want, you can visit the local Malt Whisky Distillery, where you can enjoy an informative tour and have a tutored tasting of the end product. Slàinte!
The final part of our journey takes us through the Kingdom of Fife, then across the River Forth to reach Edinburgh.
If the starting point of your tour was Glasgow, the coach will stop at Edinburgh Waverley Station. You'll board an express train for the 50-minute journey back to Glasgow. The ticket price is included in the cost of the tour fare.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I expect on this Signature Multi-Day Tour
For the discerning traveller a Signature Multi-day Tour offers amazing value for money, comfortable accommodation, well-paced sightseeing and luxury travel.
All of this combines to create the definitive Scottish experience.
Each tour is hosted by a professional driver/guide, who has been chosen for their extensive knowledge as well as their driving skills. And being locals you are sure to get that extra insight too.
If you should have any problems during your stay, they’ll go out of their way to help.
You will want to see as much as possible, but you don’t want to be rushed. Our tours are carefully planned to strike the right balance, and as well as comfortable mini/midicoach travel many feature memorable railway or ferry journeys.
Having somewhere pleasant to stay after an exciting day of discovery is an important part of your holiday experience. Comfortable guest house accommodation with en-suite bathrooms, tv and other amenities is included in the price of all tours.
On many tours you can choose to upgrade to hotel accommodation, at extra cost, if you wish.
A tasty Scottish breakfast is included each morning of your stay.
Can you tell me more about the optional extras on this tour?
The tour fare includes transportation by luxury mini or midicoach and the services of a professional driver/guide. Admission to the attractions featured on this tour is optional so you can choose to visit or not depending on your interests. The tour itinerary will allow time for you to enjoy visits to:
The links above will give you more information on these attractions as well as current prices. On some tours discounted prices are available to tour passengers - your driver/guide will provide more information if this applies. Not all attractions accept payment by credit or debit card so you should carry sufficient cash should you be planning a visit.
Will there be stops for meals and are they included in the price of the tour?
Meals are not included in the tour price, but we will make stops where you can get refreshments and something to eat.
If you wish, you can bring a packed lunch or pick up lunch items at a previous stop.
Vegetarian food is widely available in Scotland.
What is the journey on the Jacobite Steam Train like?
Described as one of the great railway journeys of the world this memorable trip will take you past a list of impressive extremes.
Starting near the highest mountain in Britain, Ben Nevis, it visits Britain’s most westerly mainland railway station, Arisaig; passes close by the deepest freshwater loch in Britain, Loch Morar and the shortest river in Britain, River Morar, finally arriving next to the deepest seawater loch in Europe, Loch Nevis!
The train will cross the 21-arched Glenfinnan viaduct (a location made famous in the Harry Potter films) which overlooks Loch Shiel and the Jacobite monument. The train may pause on the viaduct, time permitting, to allow you to take in the magnificent view.
Standard class tickets are included in the cost of the tour. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to upgrade these tickets to First Class.
What sort of clothing should I bring with me?
We recommend bringing comfortable waterproof shoes and layered clothing that you can remove or add as conditions change.
If your tour involves travel by ferry or cruise boat you might want to bring a light jacket if you plan to sit out on deck.
- 4 nights guest house accommodation
- Location: Oban (1); Isle of Skye (2) and Inverness (1)
- Scottish/Continental breakfast (4)
Visits, Admissions and Experiences
- One-way journey on the Jacobite Steam Train or cruise on Loch Ness with a visit to Urquhart Castle
- Transportation by luxury air-conditioned mini/midicoach
- Live commentary in English
- Services of an experienced driver/guide
- Service charges and taxes
- Admission charges
- Meals, snacks or items of a personal nature
- Gratuity to your driver/guide
Royal College Building Bus Stop
204 George Street
Glasgow, G1 1XW
Check-in: 09:30 hrs
Tour Departs: 09:45 hrs
Tour Returns: 20:00 hrs
From 1 Parliament Square
Royal Mile/High Street
Edinburgh EH1 1RE
Check-in: 08:15 hrs
Tour Departs: 08:30 hrs
Tour Returns: 19:00 hrs
Concession discount applies to adults aged 60 years and above; students and children aged 3 to 15 years inclusive.
We’re really sorry but children aged under 3 years cannot travel on this tour.
Photo-ID may be requested to confirm discount entitlement.
The price of this tour includes guest house accommodation with en-suite bathroom.
One medium sized suitcase/bag per person (maximum weight: 15 kilos)
Jacobite Steam Train
Tour departures from 6 May to 26 September 2024 include a one-way journey on the Jacobite Steam Train.
In order to give you maximum flexibility admission fees are not included in the cost of this tour.
This tour departs from Edinburgh and Glasgow. You can choose to return to either city at no extra charge! Please make your selection during the booking process.
Please see the FAQ section for more information on this tour.
Blogs and Guides - discover insider tips and ideas
Customer Reviews Overall Rating:
Rating:(5 /5) 16 Nov 2023
We really enjoyed our Road to the Isles tour in September 2023. Brodie, our tour guide, totally made the trip, with his excellent humour, great knowledge and fantastic skills at driving the bus. We are typically not much of a bus tour kind of traveller but with our in-laws in tow, we figured it might be a good option to visit the Isle of Skye and the rest of Scotland, and we were very glad we did. We travelled with 4 adults and two kids, 6 & 8. The accommodation was more than fine. I was surprised at how narrow and windy the roads are in Scotland so was very glad I had deferred to Brodie's obvious skills. The sites we visited were fantastic, particularly the Isle of Skye. I got some amazing photographs, great experiences, and would definitely recommend this trip.Hamish from Mayfield East, AU
Rating:(5 /5) 18 Oct 2023
Chris is an excellent guide. Accommodations were good and as expected. I had a good time.Christopher from West Hempstead, US
Rating:(5 /5) 16 Sep 2023
Loved this tour! Chris was informative and entertaining. So much to see and learnSandra from Whitebridge, AU