Bus trips to the Scottish Highlands from Edinburgh

  • Edinburgh Guide
  • 16 February 2011
Trips to the Scottish Highlands from Edinburgh

There’s only one reason to head out of town, and that’s to explore the best of the rest of Scotland

There’s only one reason to head out of town, and that’s to explore the best of the rest of Scotland

Edinburgh has culture, history, shops and sustenance, but there’s a whole country beyond to be explored and it would be a shame to limit a visit to Scotland to the capital alone. If you visit just one other part of the country, make it the Highlands – the scenery is simply awesome, with its mountains, glens, castles and, ahem, monster. You can take the high road on your own if you’re happy to make your own travel and accommodation plans, or you could join up with an organised tour that will do the hard work for you. That way, all you have to do is sit back and admire the views.

Rabbie’s Trail Burners is an award-winning specialist tour company based in the capital. It offers a variety of trips, from one day at Glencoe to a five-day tour of the Outer Hebrides. The people at Rabbie’s believe that smaller is better and limit their tours to a maximum of 16 people, ensuring that visitors get the most out of their experienced and knowledgeable tour guides.

Haggis UK Tours is Scotland’s longest-running backpacker adventure bus company and has been operating since 1993. It invites the traveller to ‘stay in a haunted castle, try a dram of malt whisky by a peat fire, listen to Gaelic-speaking locals in tiny island communities or chill out on the sandy beaches of the Western Isles’. Its excursions are designed to suit those on a budget and range from one to five-day tours, with accommodation mainly in hostels.

Its most popular one-day tours include the Loch Ness Hunter, which takes in Stirling Castle, the Trossachs (Rob Roy country), Rannoch Moor, Glencoe, Fort William, Ben Nevis and Loch Ness. Alternatively, the Highlander offers the chance to sample malt whisky, visit a castle and take a walk in the Highlands

Like Rabbie’s and Haggis, the Backpacker Tour Company offers a vast choice of tours and short breaks from Edinburgh, most of them taking in the Highlands. Lasting from one to nine days, these include accommodation in hostels and take in various combinations of Loch Ness and a possible sighting of Nessie (but more likely some ‘hairy coos’), Glencoe, the Great Glen, Ben Nevis, Culloden Battlefield, Aviemore and Pitlochry, Stirling and Braveheart country, the Atlantic coast with its picturesque villages such as Plockton (famous for the TV series Hamish Macbeth), Skye, the Hermitage Forest and on to the Hebrides.

If time is limited, a one-day tour showing the best of Loch Ness, Glen Coe and the Highlands will make you glad you went, and whet your appetite (and possibly wet your clothing – the weather can be variable) for a return visit.

The Backpacker Tour Company

Haggis UK Tours
0131 557 9393 www.haggisadventures.com

Rabbie’s Trail Burners
0131 226 3133, www.rabbies.com

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