Highland Discovery - 4 day tour
4 day / 3 night tour
From central London speed northwards to Edinburgh in just under 4.5 hours. On arrival discover more of Scotland’s Capital City on a hop-on, hop-off bus tour. From your base in Edinburgh enjoy a full day excursion to Loch Ness and the beautiful Scottish Highlands. Bid farewell to Edinburgh and tour through the picturesque Western Highlands ending in Glasgow. Enjoy discovering lively Glasgow on a hop-on, hop off tour before joining an express train back to London.
Price range: £555 - £800
High Speed Train - travel between London and Scotland in just under 4.5 hours
Edinburgh - jump on the hop-on, hop-off tour to see Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse and much, much more
The Highlands - discover the natural beauty of Rannoch Moor, Glen Coe and the Cairngorm National Park
Western Highlands - enjoy panoramic views of lochs, mountains and castles
Glasgow - explore the stunning architecture of the city centre then visit World-class museums and art galleries
Movie locations - Rob Roy, Downton Abbey and World War Z
Hotel accommodation included
Full Tour Itinerary
Day 1 -
Welcome aboard! You’ll travel northwards to Edinburgh along the route of the famed Flying Scotsman. This fascinating journey will take you through the Viking City of York and the University City of Durham. Enjoy the panoramic views as you slip from England into Scotland at Berwick-upon-Tweed then speed towards Edinburgh. You’ll arrive in Edinburgh by late morning and after checking into your hotel the city of Edinburgh is waiting to be discovered.
Discover Edinburgh from a different perspective aboard your open-top double deck bus. This tour allows you to hop-on and off to visit many of the city’s attractions including Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the famous Royal Mile.
Visit our Scotland Travel Tips page for helpful planning information on your visit to Edinburgh.
Day 2 - Loch Ness and the Highlands Excursion
There’s a wonderful journey into the northern Highlands of Scotland today. From Edinburgh we cross the Forth Road Bridge and tour through the ancient Kingdom of Fife. Our first stop will be in the pleasant town of Pitlochry which boasts a wide range of shops and eateries.
Next we make our way through the Pass of Drumochter and enter the beautiful Cairngorm National Park where the mountains soar skywards and there are wonderful loch-side vistas to savour.
After a panoramic tour of Inverness we reach Loch Ness, probably Scotland’s most famous lake. Why not explore the mighty ruins of Urquhart Castle and take a monster spotting cruise on the loch. Alternatively you can spend time in the pleasant village of Drumnadrochit. Either way keep a close watch, just in case, as our tour continues along the banks of the loch towards Fort Augustus.
From Fort William, which is overshadowed by Ben Nevis Britain’s highest peak, it’s into eerie Glen Coe. We will hear the sad story of the infamous massacre in 1692 while marvelling at the outstanding beauty of this special place. Soon we cross from the Highlands into the Lowlands and join the motorway for the last part of our tour back to Edinburgh..
Day 3 - Edinburgh - Oban - Glasgow
We leave Edinburgh behind and travel across Scotland to Glasgow and the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park beyond. There is a stop in the pleasant town of Luss to enjoy the views of the "bonnie, bonnie” banks. Loch Lomond is Britain's largest lake and is dotted with 38 islands. We will drive the entire 23 mile length of the loch and as we do we’ll cross into the Highlands once more. Today we are going to explore the picturesque Western Highlands and so we turn westwards from the village of Tyndrum for Loch Awe and the Pass of Brander.
Oban is a popular fishing and ferry port which is located on a sheltered bay. We’ll make a stop here so you can discover this bustling town. For stunning views over the bay to the islands of the Inner Hebrides make the climb up to McCaig’s Tower, a Victorian Folly. It’s well worth the effort!
We will make a photo-stop at ruined Kilchurn Castle before making the short drive to Inveraray, which nestles on the banks of Loch Fyne. The Duke of Argyll rebuilt this community in 1776 so he could surround his newly built castle with landscape gardens. Inveraray Castle is immaculately preserved and makes a fascinating visit (April to October).
During our descent of the "Rest and be Thankful” mountain pass we'll see the original road, built by General Wade, winding its way up the through the glen. Soon we reach the Argyll Forest Park where icy streams cascade down through wooded glens. Shortly we will return to the gentle shores of Loch Lomond once more and then to Glasgow, where you will spend the night.
Overnight: Jury’s Inn, Glasgow (or similar)
Day 4 - Glasgow Sightseeing - Free Time - London
Glasgow is one of Europe’s most exciting cities. A city of striking architecture, heritage and culture and today you can discover the city for yourself on an open-top bus tour. This informative hop-on, hop-off tour is the ideal way to experience Scotland’s largest city.
Explore the Victorian architecture of the City Centre then head out to the leafy West End to visit the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum or the newly-built Riverside Museum. Follow the banks of the River Clyde to experience Old Glasgow including the vibrant Merchant City and ancient Glasgow Cathedral.
Take time to seek out the hidden work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Glasgow’s famous architect, whose art nouveau gems can be seen throughout the city.
Later this afternoon board your express train at Glasgow’s Central Railway Station for the journey back to 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 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. Transportation will be in comfortable air-conditioned coaches.
What options are available on this tour and what is the 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 £20 per adult and £16 per child.
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.
Tell me more about Inveraray Castle?
Romantic Inveraray Castle Gardens sits on the shores of Loch Fyne and is one of Scotland’s finest stately homes. The ruggedness of the highland scenery serves as a spectacular backdrop for the sheltered tidal Loch, beside which nestles the present Castle built between 1745 and 1790.The ancestral seat of the Dukes of Argyll, Chiefs of the Clan Campbell whose family have resided in Inveraray since the early 15th century. Visitors enter the famous Armoury Hall containing some 1300 pieces including Brown Bess muskets, Lochaber axes and 18th century Scottish broadswords. They can also view preserved swords from the Battle of Culloden. The fine State Dining Room and Tapestry Drawing Room contain magnificent French tapestries which were woven especially for the Castle, fabulous examples of Scottish, English and French furniture and countless other precious artworks. The castle’s priceless collection of china, silver and family heirlooms spans generations which are illustrated by the fascinating genealogical display in the Clan Room. Fans of Downton Abbey will recall that Inveraray had a starring role during a two-hour special where the Grantham family and staff travelled north to the home of their cousins, the Marquess and Marchioness of Flintshire in their mythical Scottish home, ‘Duneagle Castle’. Inveraray Castle is open to the public between April and October.
What meals are included?
A full Scottish breakfast is included from day 2 onwards. This hearty meal consists of fruit juice; a choice of cereal; bakery basket; cooked items such as eggs, bacon, sausage, mushrooms, tomato and, maybe, a taste of haggis! plus tea or coffee. Vegetarian and lighter Continental options are always available. Lunch and dinner are not included in the price. During the touring day there will be a stop where you can enjoy lunch in a local pub or restaurant.
Can I cancel or alter this tour?
We are sorry but once booked it is not possible to cancel or change this tour without incurring 100% cancellation charges. We strongly recommend that you have travel insurance coverage in place.
- 3 nights hotel accommodation - all rooms with private bathrooms
- Location: Edinburgh (2) and Glasgow (1)
- 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 tour to Oban and the Western Highlands
- Hop-on, Hop-off tour of Glasgow
- Standard class train tickets from London to Edinburgh and Glasgow to London with seat reservations
- Customised tour itinerary & Official Edinburgh and Glasgow Guides
- Service charges and taxes
- Admission charges unless otherwise stated in the itinerary
- Meals, snacks or items of a personal nature
From Kings Cross Railway Station
London N1 9AL
Check-in: 06:30 hrs
Tour Departs: 07:00 hrs
Tour Returns: 21:24 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.
Please see the FAQ section for more information on this tour.
Blogs and Guides - discover insider tips and ideas
Customer Reviews Overall Rating:
Rating:16 Jun 2016
Kenny, our first driver, was outstanding. His organisation of the day was excellent. The commentary and music enhanced the experience. The Hotels were clean and the rooms had everything needed. Our second driver Bruce very kindly dropped us near to our hotel in Glasgow so we didn't need to catch a taxi. This was greatly appreciated as we were travelling with elderly friends who were tired after the day tour. Thank you Highland DiscoveryValerie from London, United Kingdom
Rating:08 Jun 2015
Super wonderful tours!Katherine from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
Rating:17 Oct 2014
My husband and I enjoyed ourselves a lot in Scotland. Thanks to Scottish Tours. The tour guides were fantastic.Moh from Singapore, Singapore