Edinburgh, Isle of the Skye and The Highlands - 5 day tour
Edinburgh, Skye and the Highlands
5 day / 4 night
Speed northwards to Edinburgh by express train. On arrival, explore the ancient Old Town and visit Edinburgh Castle. Next day board a luxury midi-coach for a three-day tour to experience the best of the Highlands. See Rannoch Moor, Glen Coe and Loch Ness. Enjoy a two night stay on the magical Isle of Skye where you'll see the towering Cuillin Mountains, relax in colourful Portree and visit iconic Eilean Donan Castle. On return to Edinburgh discover more of the city before returning to London by train.
Price Range: £695 - £1,010
Express Train - travel between London and Edinburgh in comfort with reserved seating
Edinburgh - explore by hop-on, hop-off tour and visit Edinburgh Castle
Isle of Skye – enjoy a two-night stay on the magical isle and see the soaring peaks of the Cuillin Mountains and the bustling fishing port of Portree
Loch Ness - visit impressive Urquhart Castle and enjoy a monster-spotting cruise
Culloden Battlefield - discover the famous battlefield site that features in the hit Outlander TV series
Movie locations - Cloud Atlas, Under the Skin and Highlander
Hotel and Guest House accommodation included
Full Tour Itinerary
Day 1 - London – Edinburgh – Edinburgh Castle
Take your seats, sit back and relax as your train glides out of Kings Cross Station in central London bound for Edinburgh. The journey will take around 4 hours 30 minutes, and along the way, you'll make stops in the Viking city of York, Newcastle on the River Tyne and historic Berwick upon Tweed. Once across the Border enjoy panoramic cliff-top views as the train speeds towards Edinburgh.
On arrival in Edinburgh, it is a short walk to your hotel in the heart of the city centre.
This afternoon, take a stroll along the famous Royal Mile to see the many historic buildings that sit on this famous street. The highlight will be a visit to mighty Edinburgh Castle, which has stood guard over the city for centuries. During your visit see the Scottish Crown Jewels, known as the "Honours of Scotland"; the exquisite Royal Palace and St Margaret's chapel, the oldest building in Edinburgh. The views over the city from the castle battlements are simply breathtaking.
Tonight, why not a visit to one of Edinburgh's historic pubs for a wee taste of whisky?
Visit our Scotland Travel Tips page for helpful planning advice on your trip to Scotland.
Overnight: ibis Edinburgh Centre South Bridge, Edinburgh (or similar)
Day 2 - Edinburgh – Eilean Donan Castle – Isle of Skye
Join your guide and fellow passengers for your Scottish Highlands adventure. We leave Edinburgh and make our way westwards to Glasgow, Scotland's largest city.
With a song in our heart, we travel along the "bonnie, bonnie banks" of Loch Lomond before making the dramatic ascent of the "Black Mount" Pass to reach the Great Moor of Rannoch. This desolate wilderness extends for some 50 miles and is sprinkled with little lochans, wild rivers and rocky crags.
We take time to enjoy the haunting beauty of Glen Coe, probably Scotland's most famous glen. It was here in 1692 that 40 of the resident MacDonald clan were murdered by Government troops.
Fort William is next. "The Fort", as it's known locally, makes the most of its stunning location on the banks of Loch Linnhe and is a popular spot with outdoor sports enthusiasts. On the outskirts, we'll pause to take in the view of Ben Nevis, Britain's tallest mountain.
As we travel through remote Glen Shiel look-out for the towering mountain range known as "The Five Sisters of Kintail.
Eilean Donan Castle is one of Scotland's best-known icons. It has appeared as the backdrop to many popular movies and is one of the most unmistakeably Scottish of scenes. The castle stands on an islet in Loch Duich connected by a little bridge to the shore.
Soon we are crossing the bridge, "Over the sea to Skye" and our home for the next two nights.
Overnight: Guest House, Isle of Skye (2 nights)
Day 3 - Exploring the Isle of Skye
The magical island of Skye offers a charm and beauty all of its own. Our full-day tour of the island starts with a coastal drive to Broadford. The landscape becomes more rugged as the impressive Cuillin Hills come into view, greeting us with some of the most beautiful scenery in Scotland.
We take time out to visit ancient Dun Beag Broch, a stone tower that dates from the Iron Age. It has a stunning location overlooking Loch Bracadale and the Cuillin Hills. Portree, the main town on Skye, sits attractively around a natural harbour. You'll have time to discover Portree's many craft shops or breathe in the sea air on a stroll around the harbour.
The magnificent rock scenery and breathtaking views of the extraordinary Trotternish Peninsula make it a must-see on our tour. We'll explore the Quiraing, an area of weird and mysterious rock formations, including the best-known one, Kilt Rock, which resembles the pleats of Scotland's famous garment.
Day 4 - Isle of Skye - Culloden Moor – Edinburgh
We leave island life behind and return to the mainland.
Our first highlight is Loch Ness, where you'll have the chance to learn more about the area's most famous 'resident' on a cruise across the deep and dark waters to visit majestic Urquhart Castle.
On the outskirts of Inverness, the Capital of the Highlands, we reach Culloden Moor, where, in 1746, Bonnie Prince Charlie's Jacobite army was routed by the British army in the last battle ever fought on British soil. The battle's tragic outcome changed life in the Highlands of Scotland forever.
The Cairngorms National Park is Britain's largest and home to five of its tallest mountains. Then our coach descends the dramatic Pass of Drumochter through the sprawling Grampian Mountains.
We make a stop in Pitlochry, a delightful Victorian tourist resort in the heart of Highland Perthshire, where you can browse the many shops or take a stroll down to the River Tummel, to see the ingenious Salmon ladder.
Our journey continues southwards to Perth and the final part of our journey through ancient Fife back to Edinburgh.
Mercure Edinburgh City Princes Street Hotel, Edinburgh (or similar)
Day 5 - Edinburgh Tour - Me time - London
After breakfast, pop your bags into the hotel store and head out to explore more of Edinburgh on a city tour. Take your seats on the upper deck to get the very best views as the city's highlights glide by. During your tour discover the elegance of the Georgian New Town then hear stories of murder and mystery in the Grassmarket area.
If you have the time, hop-off to visit the Palace of Holyroodhouse, forever connected to the tragic story of Mary, Queen of Scots and still a working royal residence. Later enjoy panoramic views of Holyrood Park as the tour returns to the city centre.
The remainder of today is free for you to do your own thing. If some retail therapy is on your mind, why not head to Stockbridge to browse the many independent stores?
Later this afternoon head to Waverley Station to join your train for the return journey to London. You'll have a mid-evening arrival in central London.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I expect on this Freestyle Train Tour?
This carefully planned semi-independent tour will stretch your holiday time to the max, without making you feeling rushed. A unique combination of travel by train, comfortable accommodation and quality sightseeing will give you extra time to explore Scotland in greater detail. All the documentation you need, including your rail tickets, will be emailed to you. Just print these out and you are good to go. Any questions or if you need your documents early - just email or call us, we’re here to help. On the tour you’ll travel independently by train to and from London. We’ll make sure you have a reserved seat and we’ll send you a comprehensive itinerary, so you know what’s happening at any time during your tour, as well as helpful city guides for you to download to your smart-device. Accommodation in Edinburgh and Inverness is provided in comfortable 3-star hotels that are just a short walk from the railway station and are convenient for sightseeing and the tour departure points. A buffet breakfast is included in the cost of the tour. The sightseeing tours that are included as part of this package are led by experienced driver/guides who will provide an entertaining and informative commentary in English.
How will I find my hotel?
This Freestyle Train Tour has been very carefully planned. Your hotel has been selected not just for its comfort but also for its location close to the railway station as well as your sightseeing requirements. Concise directions on how to reach your hotel will be given in your customised tour itinerary.
What type of room should I choose?
There are different bedrooms types to choose from, here is what you can expect: Single room - one person sleeping in a single bed. Twin room - two people sleeping in two separate beds. Double room - two people sharing one large bed. Family room - three people sharing a room sleeping in one large bed (2 people) and one single bed (1 person). Please note that a family room can be a standard double room with either a sofa bed or a rollaway bed.
How and when will I get my train tickets?
All your documentation will be emailed to you approximately 7 days prior to your tour commencing . It is important that you print these documents and bring them with you on the tour as you will need to exchange the vouchers to access the various services that make up this package.
What happens if I miss my train?
The tickets that are issued as part of this package are only valid on the train service shown on the ticket and in your itinerary. If you miss the train you will need to purchase new tickets at your own expense. We recommend arriving at London and Inverness Stations at least 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time of your train so that you have time to locate the departure platform.
- 2 nights hotel accommodation
- Location: Edinburgh (2)
- 2 nights guest house accommodation with en-suite facilities
- Location: Isle of Skye (2)
- Scottish/Continental breakfast (4)
Visits, Admissions and Experiences
- Admission to Edinburgh Castle
- Hop-on, Hop-off tour of Edinburgh
- Three-day excursion to the Isle of Skye and the Scottish Highlands with a local driver/guide
- Standard class return train tickets between London to Edinburgh with seat reservations
- Customised tour itinerary & Official Edinburgh and Isle of Skye Guides
- Service charges and taxes
- Admission charges unless stated above
- Meals, snacks or items of a personal nature
- Gratuity to your driver/guide
From Kings Cross Railway Station
London N1 9AL
Check-in: 06:30 hrs
Tour Departs: 07:00 hrs
Tour Returns: 20:55 hrs
Child discount applies to children aged 3 to 15 years inclusive.
We’re sorry but children aged under 3 years cannot travel on this tour.
Photo-ID may be requested to confirm discount entitlement.
IMPORTANT: Once booked this tour cannot be changed or cancelled
The price of this tour includes hotel and guest house accommodation with en-suite bathroom.
The times shown above are for guidance only. The train times for your journey will be shown on your tickets and itinerary.
One medium sized suitcase/bag per person (maximum weight: 15 kilos)
To give you maximum flexibility, admission fees (except Edinburgh Castle) are not included in the cost of this tour.
Please see the FAQ section for more information on this tour.