Edinburgh, Skye and the Highlands - 4 day tour
Edinburgh, Skye and the Highlands
4 day / 3 night
Speed northwards to Edinburgh by express train. On arrival explore the city on a hop-on, hop-off tour. Next day travel to the Highlands by luxury coach to see Rannoch Moor, Glen Coe and Loch Ness. From Inverness enjoy a full day excursion to the magical Isle of Skye. See the towering Cuillin Mountains, relax in colourful Portree and visit iconic Eilean Donan Castle. Return to London by train through the Grampian Mountains.
Price Range: £555 - £775
Express Train - travel between London and Scotland in comfort with reserved seating
Edinburgh - explore by hop-on, hop-off tour to see Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace
Loch Ness - visit impressive Urquhart Castle and enjoy a monster-spotting cruise
Inverness - enjoy a relaxing two night stay in the Capital of the Highlands
Isle of Skye - tour the magical isle to see the soaring peaks of the Cuillin Mountains and the bustling fishing port of Portree
Movie locations - Cloud Atlas, Under the Skin and Highlander
Hotel accommodation included
Full Tour Itinerary
Day 1 -
All aboard! Join your express train for the swift journey to Scotland. Along the way the train will travel through the historic communities of York, Durham and Newcastle which sits on the famous River Tyne. After Berwick-upon-Tweed we cross the Border and enter Scotland. There are wonderful sea views to enjoy as we make our way along the cliff tops towards Edinburgh. On arrival in Edinburgh it is a short walk to your hotel for tonight.
This afternoon explore Edinburgh by open-top bus. This absorbing tour will first take you into the Georgian splendour of the New Town with it’s wide streets and grand squares. You’ll see majestic Edinburgh Castle which stands guard over the city and has done since the earliest of times. Next you’ll discover the hidden secrets of the medieval Old Town where murder and mystery were the canvas on which the history of this historic city was painted. A joint highlight will be the views of the Scottish Parliament building and then Palace of Holyroodhouse, The Queen’s official residence in Scotland.
Visit our Scotland Travel Tips page for helpful planning advice on your trip to Scotland.
Day 2 - Edinburgh - Glen Coe - Inverness
We head into the Highlands today as we make our way from Edinburgh to Inverness. The journey starts with fantastic views of Stirling Castle which sits atop a volcanic core. Soon we’ve crossed from the Lowlands into the Highlands and almost instantly the scenery around us changes into a panorama of lochs and mountains.
Enjoy stunning views when we stop in spectacular Glen Coe. Hear the sad story of the massacre of the resident MacDonald Clan by Campbell troops in 1692 which has given this scenic valley the epithet of "The Glen of Weeping”. Soon we’re in Fort William, Scotland’s outdoor sport centre, where we will see the towering peak of Ben Nevis before following the Caledonian Canal through the impressive Great Glen.
We’ll drive the entire length of mysterious Loch Ness, so keep a careful watch just in case! There is a stop at Urquhart Castle where you can visit this picturesque ruin which overlooks the deepest part of the loch. Here you can also enjoy a short cruise on the loch before making the short journey to Inverness.
Overnight: PentaHotel, Inverness (or similar) (2 nights)
Day 3 - Isle of Skye and Eilean Donan Castle Excursion
There’s an exciting day in prospect as we head for the lovely Island of Skye. Our first stop is in the little village of Achnasheen which is surrounded by spectacular scenery. Next there is a scenic drive through Glen Carron to enjoy. Along the way we’ll stop to admire the panoramic views over Loch Carron.
Soon we are crossing "over the sea to Skye”. This famous island is known for its wild and beautiful landscapes of deep lochs and jagged mountains. This is a land that has had a harsh history, with Norse invasions, fierce clan battles and the tragic Highland Clearances of the 19th Century. The stories that you will hear will be even more stirring as you drive through this dramatic scenery! As we follow the coast you'll hear the most famous tale of all about Bonnie Prince Charlie and Flora MacDonald, who escaped "Over the sea to Skye"..
The main stop of the day will be in the colourful fishing port of Portree which sits around a pretty harbour. Later we’ll have wonderful views of the Cuillin Mountains, considered by many to be the finest in Britain!
We return to the mainland and Iconic Eilean Donan Castle is next. This picturesque castle stands on a little island at the confluence of Lochs Duich and Alsh. There is a stop here so you can enjoy the views and take a tour of the castle. Soon we are heading through Glen Shiel, a spectacular valley with mountains over 3,000 feet soaring skywards on both sides of the road. The final part of our journey takes us to Invermoriston then along the banks of Loch Ness to Inverness.
Day 4 - Inverness - Edinburgh - London
It’s an early start as we transfer to Inverness Railway Station to catch the famed "Highland Chieftain” train to London. This "iron road” will take you through the Cairngorm National Park before climbing to reach Slochd Summit. As the train leaves Aviemore lookout for the high peaks of the Cairngorm Mountains in the distance.
Soon we’ll reach the Druimuachdar Pass, the highest summit in the British rail network before descending towards the gentle scenery of Perthshire. Look out for white-washed Blair Castle, the home of the Duke of Atholl. From Perth the train continues to Gleneagles, built to serve the nearby 5-star hotel, then to Stirling with its famous castle and the towering Wallace Monument and Edinburgh.
From Edinburgh, the train will follow the same route as your northbound journey. Your tour will terminate at London (Kings Cross) Station around 15:54 hrs.
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.
What are the optional extras on this tour and how much do they cost?
Admission fees are not included in the cost of the tour so to complement your itinerary you can choose to participate in these exciting options:
Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness Cruise
Visit hauntingly beautiful Urquhart Castle, once one of Scotland’s largest castles. The castle boasts a commanding presence overlooking the loch. After time to explore the castle and admire the views take to the water for a cruise on Loch Ness. Please note that for operational reasons it’s not possible to visit Urquhart Castle only.
The cost of the ticket is £19 per adult and £15 per child.
Eilean Donan Castle
The link above will give you more information on this attraction 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. Please note that not all attractions take payment by credit/debit card so it is recommended that you carry sufficient cash should you plan to make a visit.
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.
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.
- 3 nights hotel accommodation
- Location: Edinburgh (1) and Inverness (2)
- Scottish/Continental breakfast (3)
Visits, Admissions and Experiences
- Hop-on, Hop-off tour of Edinburgh
- Full day tour to Loch Ness and the Scottish Highlands
- Full day excursion to Eilean Donan Castle and the Isle of Skye with a local driver/guide
- Standard class train tickets from London to Edinburgh and Inverness to London with seat reservations
- Customised tour itinerary & Official Edinburgh and Inverness Guides
- Service charges and taxes
- Admission charges
- 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: 15:54 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 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.
In order to give you maximum flexibility admission fees are not included in the cost of this tour.
Please see the FAQ section for more information on this tour.
Blogs and Guides - discover insider tips and ideas
Customer Reviews Overall Rating:
Rating:28 Sep 2019
This was an excellent tour! Scotland is beautiful!Nancy from Pelham, US
Rating:13 Sep 2019
We enjoyed this tour very much but we got the wrong impression that there would also be time for a bit of hiking, instead we spent a lot of time on coaches and trains (enjoying the views, ofc) but still too far actually from "touching" them. This tour is great for those who want to get an idea of the lovely places in the Highlands but it's just a glimpse of all the hiking and delightful scenery one could enjoy if only they had more time to wander.Sinziana from Bucharest, RO
Rating:09 Apr 2018
Hotels were basic but did the job. They were well located and that was a big plus. The only issue we faced is we had 3 pieces of luggage with us, and dragging them around was a bit of a hassle as we had to make our own way between stations and hotels. That said, instructions provided were very clear. The tour to Isle of Skye was good but the drive was long. Train ride from Inverness to London felt really long - I would recommend breaking it up with a stop in Edinburgh for a night.Samia from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates