Looking for a taste of Scotland? Head to Edinburgh, the Athens of the North, and find all of the must see attractions on the map. Expedia is here to help you plan your itinerary. Whether you are popping in for business or pleasure, be sure to include Edinburgh activities and Edinburgh excursions to make this a trip you will never forget. There are so many things to do in Edinburgh that you will be hard pressed to fit everything on the list, so let Expedia.com help you to make the best choices for tourist and local spots.…
Things to do in Edinburgh
Embark on a comfortable coach in Edinburgh and head southward, crossing the Scottish border into England. Along the way, take in stunning views of Scotland’s lush green countryside before you arrive at The Hirsel—a typical rural residence—where you can dive into some delicious homemade treats and wander the grounds.
Continue your journey to The Holy Island of Lindisfarne, where an ebbing tide provides momentary access to its 16th century castle. Take a leisurely stroll to uncover the island’s medieval religious heritage and enjoy unobstructed views of the dark grey North Sea.
Leave Lindisfarne and head to the imposing ramparts of Alnwick Castle. Home to the Duke of Northumberland, Alnwick is the second largest castle in the British Isles. Delve into its history as you explore the majestic gardens. For fans of Downtown Abbey and Harry Potter, you may recognize shooting locations from these famous shows. Read More close
Begin your day at Mercat Cross, where important civic announcements and punishments were doled out on the breaking wheel and where hangings and beheadings occurred. Follow your guide, passing monuments and landmarks that have seen more than their fair share of shady events and gruesome trials as you relive the trauma and terror of the disreputable, 17th-century Edinburgh mob.
Leave the light of the day and make your way down to the allegedly haunted Blair Street underground vaults. These caverns once housed shops and taverns, and then are rumored to have been used as storage space for the bodies of the the victims of serial killers Burke and Hare, who sold cadavers to anatomists. Read More close
Embark on your comfortable coach and head to your first stop—Doune, home to a 14th-century castle and one of the filming locations for the TV series Game of Thrones. You can take an audio tour, explore the medieval grounds, and learn about the history of the castle and its residents.
Back on your journey, drive through the scenic Scottish Highlands, passing by shimmering lochs and verdant mountains. Make a photo stop at Kilchurn Castle, settled on the banks of Loch Awe, before arriving at one of Scotland's most picturesque towns.
At Inverary, enjoy a tour of the township and let your guide explain the history and heritage of the Duke of Argyll's ancestral home, and then take some free time to have lunch and explore at your own leisure. See Inverary Castle, visit the museum at the Georgian Inveraray Jail, or simply take a leisurely stroll.
As you head over the highlands, enjoy views of Loch Fyne and break for another fascinating photo opportunity at the top of the Rest & Be Thankful Pass. Your final stop is at the village of Luss, perched on the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, before returning back to Edinburgh via Stirling for views of its iconic castle. Read More close
Categories: Tours & Sightseeing
Hold onto your helmets and get ready to whiz around Edinburgh in one of its coolest modes of transport. Your trike gives you the thrill of a motorcycle while someone else does the driving, allowing you to admire Scotland’s beautiful scenery.
Tour the city center and the charming old town; pass the vibrant Grassmarket, full of coffee shops, restaurants, and boutiques. Continue toward the breathtaking area around Arthur’s Seat, which was famously described as "a hill for magnitude, a mountain in virtue of its bold design" by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Ride past Holyroodhouse Palace—the Queen’s official residence in Scotland—and treat your taste buds to traditional shortbread and a sip of whisky. Your adventure ends with the opportunity to take plenty of photographs of your tour, making this a memorable trip. Read More close
Luxury dessert boudoirs, award-winning truffle shops, and fancy chocolate and cupcake boutiques are scattered through the city center—any sweet tooth fanatic is spoiled for choice. Become a chocolate aficionado as you hear intriguing stories and details about the history and culture of chocolate making and consumption from your expert guide.
Dive into an exquisite experience as you taste the perfect truffle, luxurious chocolate, Scotland’s finest fudge, quirky sweets, and more. Your route includes such highly regarded and award-winning shops as Patisserie Valerie, Hotel Chocolat, Coco’s Chocolate, and Fudge Kitchen—truly a chocoholic's fantasy come true. Read More close
Let your taste buds go wild as you roam between the dessert masters that dot the picturesque roads of the Royal Mile. Uncover a new treat at each location, from intricately decorated cupcakes and delicate handmade goodies, to traditional shortbreads, Scotland’s favorite biscuit. Indulge in crunchy meringues and tour a family-run bakery to sample confections fresh out of the oven, made with locally sourced ingredients.
Along the way, hear intriguing stories about the history and culture of the local baking industry from your expert guide. Wrap up your toothsome tour with a visit to the charming collection of sweets at Lickety Splits and a quick stop at the Paris-inspired flavors found at Mademoiselle Macaron. Read More close
Bundle up and head to the Royal Mile to meet your local guide for a spooky night peering into Edinburgh's dark past. The city—amicable and charming by day—has a murky side, marred by witch burning, grave robbing, body snatching, and mysterious murders.
Your guide leads the way down slim, winding alleyways and hidden streets as you uncover the shadowy secrets of the Royal Mile. Pass by ransacked tombs, funeral furnaces, and mass graves dating back thousands of years as you listen to chilling yet true stories of Scotland's scandal-ridden history.
Learn about the murder of the lover of Mary, Queen of Scots, consider the tactics of the West Port Murderers, and ponder the mystery of the eerie doll coffins discovered in the rocks at Arthur's Seat before your nighttime adventure concludes. Read More close
Begin your tour at Mercat Cross—a spot where important civic declarations were made and harsh penalties were given, including the breaking wheel, hangings, and beheadings. Hear stories of the trauma and terror that the victims of the 17th-century Edinburgh gang were subject to, learn about the evil plots that led to treason and torture, and discover the secrets of witchcraft in the city.
Continue to Blair Street’s underground vaults that are supposedly haunted. Find out for yourself as you descend down the spooky arches and into the dark corners where the dead victims of Burke and Hare were stored.
The spirits of the deceased await you at Canongate Graveyard. Feel your hairs raise as you stroll through the burial sites of some of Scotland’s most evil and unlawful, and listen to spine-chilling tales of body snatching and real-life cannibalism and vampires. Read More close
After convenient hotel pickup, the first stop of your tour is at Deanston Distillery, where you can enjoy a coffee and learn about the range of local whisky range. Continue to Doune, home to a 14th-century castle and a filming location for Game of Thrones and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Explore the medieval grounds and take an audio tour to learn about the history of the castle and its residents.
For lunch, stop at the delightful township of Dunblane, with an idyllic location at the edge of the Scottish Highlands. Enjoy free time tomeander the quaint streets, visit the Dunblane Cathedral, and browse the shops before heading to your next destination.
Admire the view of the Wallace Monument before you arrive at Culross, a charming royal burgh where distinctive historical buildings let you step back in time to the 16th century. Visit Culross Town House, pass by the early Culross Palace, and sightsee at your own leisure to see ancient structures that the National Trust are trying to preserve.
Your tour comes to an end as you drive back to Edinburgh via the spectacular Forth Road Bridge. Once over the bridge, you have one final stop for photographs of the famous bridges over the Firth of Forth.
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Categories: Tours & Sightseeing
After meeting your guide and fellow travelers, you stroll along the Upper End of the Royal Mile and head up to Edinburgh Castle, a legendary landmark that has played a significant role in Scotland's history.
Perched on an extinct volcano and overlooking the Old Town, the citadel was the site of battles, royal residences, and army headquarters. Now it is a tranquil place that showcases Edinburgh's heritage—and boats some of the most amazing views of the city.
Follow your guide through the castle's grounds and gain an in-depth insight into the city's striking past and rich history. Visit captivating attractions including the Great Hall, the Crown Jewels, the Stone of Scone, Mons Meg, and the haunting Prison of Wars.
Listen as your guide narrates intriguing stories to learn about the love affairs of former kings and queens, accounts of fierce Iron Age warriors, the agendas of Scottish soldiers and prisoners in the 1600s.
Time permitting, you can enjoy free time to explore the stately grounds further at your own leisure. Read More close
A representative waits for you at King's Cross Station, checks you in, and escorts you to your reserved seats on the train. Peruse your welcome packet, filled with all the details and information you need, as you enjoy a relaxing journey through the heart of England and across the border into Scotland.
Arrive before midday, just in time to tour the city in an open-top bus. This is a great way to get your bearings and spot the places you want to explore further. Walk to Waverley Bridge and head to the breathtaking Edinburgh Castle, which dominates the skyline from atop its rocky terrace. Take some time to explore the castle, seeing the Royal Apartments and Scottish Crown Jewels.
Grab lunch in one of the many top restaurants or cafés; then discover more of the city's popular attractions, including the splendid Royal Mile, the Queen's Scottish residence at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and the famous Greyfriars Bobby monument.
Head back to the train station in time to catch the 5:30 PM train for a nighttime return to London. Read More close
Walk through the castle that housed royalty for years, and discover the stories of its battles and sieges, a source of inspiration for generations.
Dating back to the 11th century BC, Edinburgh Castle houses the Honors (Crown Jewels) of Scotland, the Stone of Destiny, the famous 15th-century gun Mons Meg, the 1 o'Clock Gun, and the National War Museum of Scotland.
Visit St. Margaret’s Chapel—a beautifully decorated and tranquil place of worship constructed in the 12th century. As you stroll inside, absorb the scene of the notable battles that Edinburgh Castle has witnessed, such as the War of Independence, fought between the Scots and the English in the 14th century. Read More close
The infamous Edinburgh mob of the 17th century enjoyed a darker form of entertainment. Follow your guide through blood-stained monuments and listen as gruesome, true stories are narrated. At the Mercat Cross—where important civic announcements and punishments alike were given—more ghoulish tales are shared.
Get a glimpse into life, death, and grisly medieval entertainment before making your way down to the supposedly haunted Blair Street underground vaults. The underground vaults, a series of chambers originally built for storage and workshop purposes, offers the ultimate ghost tales.
Learn about their true usage as working taverns, illicit-good trading places, and gory medical experiments. Read More close
Leaving from Edinburgh, head north toward the Highlands on a comfortable coach. Ride over the red steel supports of the Fourth Railway Bridge and make a quick stop in Pitlochry to savor a tasty homemade treat from local bakers.
Delve further into the rugged wilderness as you reach Cairngorm National Park and soak up the views of dramatic, craggy cliffs and boggy, moss-covered hillsides. From the park, head to Fort Augustus and the banks of the infamous Loch Ness. Enjoy a break for lunch or opt to board a ferry boat for a closer look at the mysterious waters that are purported to hide the mythical aquatic creature. Just up the road, enter the stunning beauty of Glen Coe’s steep, green hillsides. As you take in the sights, listen to your guide tell stories of the valley’s bloody history and the 17th century massacre of the MacDonald clan.
On your return to Edinburgh, see the medieval city of Stirling with its towering fairy-tale castle. Finish your tour with a solemn reflection at the William William Walace Monument as your guide offers insightful commentary about the exploits of this adventurous legend who provided the inspiration for the film Braveheart. Read More close
Opened in 1998, this hotspot houses rare pieces of authentic music memorabilia—from Mexican sombreros worn by Elvis Presley in his movie “Fun in Acapulco" to a blue and white tuxedo worn by The Rolling Stones during their 1976 tour, autographed by Mick Jagger. Sit back and soak up George Street's iconic monuments, such as the statue of King George IV.
Take home your very own Hard Rock merchandise from the Rock Shop and enjoy selections from the Gold Menu. Your Hard Rock dining experience includes an entree (salad), your choice of 1 main course (Hard Rock burger, cheeseburger, chicken sandwich, barbecue chicken, veggie burger, chicken and cheese burger, or chicken Caesar salad), ice cream, and a beverage (soft drink, coffee, or tea).
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Immerse yourself in the world of Harry Potter and see the city's attractions from a wizard's point of view. As you wander through the city’s Old Town, visit the Elephant House café where JK Rowling first started writing the novels, encouraged by impressive views of the grand Edinburgh Castle.
Stroll through Greyfriars Kirkyard cemetary to find the gravestone that gave J.K. Rowling the idea for Tom Riddle’s name. On Victoria Street, find the charming edifices that served as the basis for filming Diagon Alley’s intriguing shops. Imagine Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s favorite stores coming to life, including Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, Ollivanders wand shop, and Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour.
With each step, go deeper into the world of Harry Potter, reliving your favorite moments and seeing the architecture and landmarks responsible for inspiring famed characters, like Professor McGonagall, and dramatic backdrops, like Hogwarts Castle. Read More close
After meeting your knowledgeable guide and fellow thrill seekers, it’s time to delve deep into the capital’s horrific past. Stroll through the Old Town as you uncover some of Edinburgh’s most sinister and unsettling secrets. Hear stories of treason and torture, public hangings and beheadings, and the victims of vicious murderer s Burke and Hare. With no children on this tour, your guide doesn't hold back on the gory details.
Beneath the Royal Mile and stretching for the 19 arches of South Bridge lie Edinburgh's eerie underground vaults. Venture down inside vaults that were concealed throughout the 19th century and feel a chill run up your spin as you're welcomed by complete silence and shifting shadows. Flickering candles provide the only light as you wander through narrow passageways and listen to tales about the horror stories these caverns have seen. Read More close
Set off in your comfortable coach and head northwards from Edinburgh, passing by the historic city of Stirling and on to Glen Coe. Here, you can take photos of the ancient volcanic basin as you learn about the dreadful 17th-century massacre of the MacDonald clan.
Your scenic journey continues along the bonnie banks of Loch Linnhe to the town of Fort William, past Ben Nevis—Britain's highest peak—and on up the Great Glen. With glimmering lakes and towering mountains, deep gorges, and dramatic glens, this part of the tour is where you can witness some of Scotland's most beautiful landscapes.
At the top of the Great Glen, your first sight of Loch Ness welcomes you. Drive along the full length of the lake, stopping at Urquhart Castle for an unforgettable photo opportunity, and then continue to the world-famous Loch Ness Center to uncover its stunning beauty and mystery.
The northernmost point of your journey is Inverness, the capital of the Highlands. Navigate through this charming city and the verdant Spey Valley, absorbing the spectacular scenery along the way. As the day's shadows lengthen, you can sit back and enjoy the homeward leg of your journey, which takes you past the majestic peaks of the Cairngorms back to Edinburgh.
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Your day begins with a drive over the Forth Road Bridge into Fife. See Loch Leven Castle, where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned. Then continue through Perth, the medieval capital, and cross the Highland Boundary Fault line; see the dramatic changes from the soft fields of the Lowlands to the steep hills of the Highlands.
Your first stop is at Dunkeld, a town set on the banks of the River Tay. Take time to explore the surroundings, including its 13th-century cathedral. Then, off to The Hermitage for a walk through the woodlands and a visit to Black Linn Falls—be sure to look out for salmon leaping upstream.
Continue to Pitlochry for a lunch break. Explore the Victorian town and stroll along Loch Faskally before a scenic drive through Perthshire. Stop at Queen’s View, where, on clear days, a panorama of lake and mountain stretches as far as Glen Coe.
Then travel by Castle Menzies to a whisky distillery where you can uncover the secret of Scotland's national drink. Next, it’s on to Killin, a small town on the edge of River Dochart. Your tour ends with an amiable drive back to Edinburgh; see views of Stirling Castle and Linlithgow Palace along the way.
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Set out from Edinburgh, over to the Forth Road Bridge, and head through the picturesque countryside of Fife and Perthshire. The verdant lanes take you to the banks of the River Tay, the city of Perth, and The Hermitage, home to the 18th-century Ossian’s Hall of Mirrors.
Then arrive at the small, preserved town of Dunkeld. Stop for a lunch break and a stroll around the Atholl Memorial Fountain, built in memory of the 6th Duke of Atholl. Take some time to explore the surrounding shops and cafés.
After lunch, your tour continues through the lush landscapes of the Highlands to The Glenturret Distillery, home of the Famous Grouse—the best-selling whisky in Scotland. While here at one of Scotland’s oldest distilleries, join an optional Flight of the Grouse, an interactive tour of Scotland that leads up to a traditional distillery tour and a chance to taste the malty, biscuit blends of the famed scotch straight from the cask.
End your tour with a scenic drive through Gleneagles, home to the world-famous golf course and host to the 2014 Ryder Cup, back to Edinburgh. Admire views of Stirling Castle and the mighty Wallace Monument along the way. Read More close
Gain time with fast-track entry to Edinburgh Castle, which towers over the city from its "Great Rock," and Stirling Castle, a great symbol of Scottish independence. Take part in day events, relive history, and discover the people and stories behind these extraordinary palaces. Immerse yourself in tales of power struggle, battles, and marriages. There is plenty to do and see for everyone in the family.
Whether you're interested in history, ancestry, or archaeology, the Historic Scotland Explorer Pass sites cater to all curiosities.
Some of the top included attractions:
- Edinburgh Castle & Stirling Castle (with Skip-the-Line access)
- Urquhart Castle
- Dryburgh Abbey
- Fort George
- Caerlaverock Castle
- Skara Brae prehistoric village and its chambered tomb, Maeshowe
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Be prepared to step into a sinister world. Beneath Edinburgh’s South Bridge exists a somber and mysterious place, where traders of illicit-goods operated, gory medical experiments took place, and the poorest people lived and worked. Listen to your guide’s detailed narration of the vault’s existence, its inhabitants, and the origins of the Scottish "midden" (rubbish pile or compost heap).
Learn the fascinating historical facts of Edinburgh’s past as you wander and dig into the underground vaults of Blair Street. Read More close
Stroll through the winding and narrow cobblestone streets of Edinburgh's Old Town. At its center is The Royal Mile, Edinburgh's oldest and most historic street, which connects the majestic Edinburgh Castle with the grand Palace of Holyroodhouse—the official residence of Her Majesty The Queen in Scotland.
Hop off in New Town at Charlotte Square, a designated UNESCO World Heritage site, with its lush lawns and a towering statue of Prince Albert as the centerpiece. Admire the exquisite Georgian architecture on proud display in the well-preserved, elegant buildings surrounding all 4 sides of this popular square.
Explore the well-loved National Museum of Scotland to learn about the diverse natural world, science, and the Scottish history dating back to the first century AD. Then spend time relaxing in the nearby oasis of Princes Street Greens and marvel at Scott Monument, a 200-foot (61-m) Victorian Gothic spire dedicated to Sir Walter Scott—one of Scotland's most famous poets.
Route stops include:
- St Andrew Square Northside
- Lothian Road
- Johnston Terrace
- Chambers Street
- John Knox House
- Dynamic Earth
- Queen Marys Bath House, Abbeyhill
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Your tour begins as you head for your first stop at Loch Lomond. Along the way, pass by the River Clyde running through Glasgow, and hear stories of how this city, once an industrial giant, is again flourishing. Arrive at Loch Lomond and embark on a boat cruise. Sit back, relax, and absorb the surrounding splendor of the Highland Boundary Fault.
Next is a lunch break at Aberfoyle. This village, known as the gateway to the Trossachs, is located in the heart of Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. With an abundance of lakes and mountains, this area is often recognized as the Highlands in miniature and is also the homeland of legendary outlaw, Rob Roy MacGregor.
Board your luxury coach and drive past the 14th-century Doune Castle—a place of pilgrimage for Monty Python fans—before arriving at historic Stirling. Spend some leisure time at the town’s large fortress and take in views of the world-famous Wallace Monument across the Forth Valley.
Complete your tour with a relaxing drive back to Edinburgh. Cruise by the Bannockburn, a charming village, and Linlithgow Palace, birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots. Read More close
After cruising through Glasgow on a comfortable coach, arrive at Loch Lomond, the biggest expanse of water in the country and a fitting place to start your grand journey. Nestled along its banks is the quaint village of Luss, a perfect place to stretch your legs and meander among the delightful stone houses.
Head deeper into the Highlands and travel by the shores of the longest loch in Scotland, the aptly named Loch Awe. Hear from your guide about the area’s formidable past. With tales of the brave Campbell Clan and the warrior-king Robert the Bruce, it’s easy to see why residents are so proud of their heritage.
Take some free time to wander around the seaside village of Oban over lunch. Drop in at a café for a delicious plate of fresh seafood or stroll through streets full of Victorian architecture. For the energetic, a climb to McCaig's Tower is well worth the effort and offers stunning looks at the Atlantic coastline.
On your return to the city, make one final stop at Inveraray. Get a cup of tea or something sweet from one of the local shops and enjoy it while you gaze at the picturesque Loch Frye. Read More close
Categories: Tours & Sightseeing
11 hours 30 minutes
Begin your tour with a scenic drive toward the Highlands. Pass by Stirling, where you can catch views of a castle and the towering Wallace Monument. Travel past Callander town and climb over the moody Rannoch Moor before arriving at your first stop, the haunting Glen Coe. Capture the verdant mountains and deep valleys that stand against the skies and hear stories of the 1692 massacre.
Crossing Loch Leven, you reach Fort William, the 2nd largest town in the Highlands. Enjoy lunch surrounded by the grand landscapes before traveling along the waters of Caledonian Canal to Fort Augustus. Admire the stunning views down Loch Ness and the Great Glen Way or embark on a cruise along Loch Ness; don’t forget to look out for Nessie, the mythical creature reputed to live in the deep waters.
Traveling the entire length of Loch Ness, you pass by Loch Laggan—the set for the famous TV series “Monarch of the Glen”. Descend through Atholl Forest and see the iconic Blair Castle as you reach Pitlochry. Explore this charming Victorian town before heading back to Edinburgh through the Kingdom of Fife and along the fantastic Forth Bridge. Read More close
Begin with a scenic drive by the imposing ramparts of Stirling Castle and through the Trossachs—Rob Roy country. After crossing the wilderness of Rannoch Moor, stop briefly at Glencoe—the site of a notorious massacre in 1692. Then journey through Fort William passing Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain, and into the Great Glen—a series of glens running 62 miles (100 km).
Once you arrive at Fort Augustus on the banks of Loch Ness, savor a picnic lunch with mineral water, fresh sandwiches, and shortbread—a taste of Scotland. You also have a chance to explore and walk through the charming Highland village, relax by the Caledonian Canal, or take a cruise on the loch. Don't forget to look for Nessie, the mythical creature reputed to live in the deep waters.
Your return journey takes you past the shimmering Loch Laggan before you ascend over the rugged and isolated Drumochter Pass and into Perthshire—a lush land of forests, rivers, and mountains. Get a glimpse of the spectacular Forth bridges before arriving in Edinburgh. Read More close
The history of the palace is remarkable; the palatial baroque structure stands as a landmark to the country’s rich and turbulent history. The palace is best known for its former royal residents, the most famous being Mary, Queen of Scots, who witnessed the brutal killing of her secretary Rizzio by her jealous husband, Lord Darnley.
Visit the Augustinian abbey, built in 1128, admire the lavishly decorated state apartments, and wander around the sumptuous gardens. Your useful audio guide gives you detailed information throughout your visit and explains the role of the palace as an official residence of the Queen. Read More close
Your photographer captures portrait- and documentary-style moments that reflect your personal style and uses creative and professional talents to make you and your group look truly amazing.
Photo sessions are held in some of the city's most picturesque neighborhoods. Some of the most popular itineraries include Edinburgh Castle, the medieval streets of Old Town, or among the beautiful flowers in the Royal Botanic Garden. You can also feel free to choose other locations that suit your style and personality. You receive your beautifully retouched images in a shareable gallery within a week of your experience. Read More close
Categories: Tours & Sightseeing
Cocktails, pints, and shooters keep you entertained until the morning's early hours, regardless of which route the tour takes. Visit underground clubs and trendy cocktail bars and have your dancing shoes ready for hitting the dance floor at some of the best clubs in town. Hear music ranging from techno and house to R&B and reggaetón.
Party like a rock star while enjoying boozy games that bring you closer to your fellow bar hoppers. Everyone is enjoying the same safe experience: having a great time well into the early hours. Read More close
Escape the city as you cross the Forth Bridge out of Edinburgh and head to Dunfermline, the former royal capital. Once you arrive, stop to visit Dunfermline Abbey, marvel at the Scots-Norman monastic designs, and see the tomb of Robert the Bruce, the hero who led Scotland during its wars of independence against England.
Continue to the striking city of Stirling, where you have time to explore as you wish. Pay a visit to Stirling Castle, which rules the city's skyline, and admire the view of the Wallace Monument across the Forth Valley. Next, drive through the historic site of the Battle of Bannockburn listening to stories of the celebrated Scottish victory.
At the village of Roslin, you have more free time to uncover some of Scotland's marvels. Take a stroll through the wooded glen and absorb the area's natural beauty before a visit to the ornate Rosslyn Chapel, famous for its appearance in The Da Vinci Code. This enigmatic building is known for its cryptic carvings and enchanting fables about Freemasonry, the Knights Templar, and the Holy Grail.
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Your tour starts at the Mercat Cross, which marks the center of the town, where locals once gathered to trade, hear civil announcements, or watch public punishments. Wander through the bustling Royal Mile and discover how it received its name. Marvel at the sight of Scotland's original Parliament Hall and other iconic buildings—all while learning about the important role this succession of streets played in the development of the Scottish nation.
Follow your guide through narrow alleys and courtyards of Old Edinburgh. Get an insight into the city’s tragedies and triumphs, and discover the inspiration behind Robert L. Stevenson’s novel “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” as you soak up the city’s history.
Opt to explore the city's history further, with a guided visit to the iconic Edinburgh Castle. Venture up to the Castle Rock and enjoy panoramic views of the city below. Meander through its expansive grounds, as you hear intriguing stories of it's battles, royal residents, and prisoners of war. Read More close
Your tour begins with a scenic drive toward the border. Along the way, stop at Kelso—a thriving market town located in the heart of the Scottish Borders. Here you have the chance to explore the ruins of Kelso Abbey, which fell into disuse during centuries of battles between Scotland and England.
Cross the border into England and make your way to your next stop, at Alnwick Castle. One of the greatest castles of Northumberland, portions of Alnwick have stood since the 11th century. Having played roles over time in Scottish conflicts and even the War of Roses, the fortress-like castle and its expansive gardens are instantly recognizable to fans of the Harry Potter films as the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Enjoy a leisurely 3 hours to explore Alnwick Castle. Step inside the battlements to admire the artwork in the State Rooms, or wander through the tranquil Alnwick Garden, an expanse of formal landscaping around a fountain that also includes a poison garden—filled with plants like opium poppies—and a tree house complex. From there, continue along the ruggedly beautiful Northumberland Coast, passing the beaches, castles and ancient Border towns of East Lothian on your way back to Edinburgh.
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Set out from Edinburgh, pass over to the Forth Road Bridge, and head past the striking city of Stirling. Drive by the Campsie Fells and enjoy passing views of verdant, mountainous landscapes as your hear stories about Scottish heritage from your knowledgeable guide.
Your first stop is at Glengoyne Distillery, which has been producing Highland single malt whisky matured in the Lowlands since 1833. Set in a scenic location below the rugged hills of Dumgoyne, this is the perfect place to embark on a guided tour to learn about distilling and sample Scotland’s favorite spirit straight from the cask.
Journey through Trossach National Park and arrive on the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond—the largest freshwater expanse in Scotland. Enjoy some free time here to try the national dish of haggis at a local pub if you’d like, sample some local ales, or take a stroll along the lakefront.
At Deanston Distillery—one of the most sustainable in the country— participate in a guided tour. Discover the building’s former life as a cotton mill and learn about the water-powered, eco-friendly distilling processes. Enjoy the opportunity to savor the naturally developed flavors of the Deanston range. Read More close
Categories: Tours & Sightseeing
8 hours 30 minutes
Travel along the Roman Dere Street—the ancient main road into Scotland—to the border town of Jedburgh. Enjoy free time to roam its narrow streets, visit the ruins of the Augustinian Abbey, and learn about how the landmark was a great symbol of power during the 12th century. Your next stop is at Carter Bar, a beautiful, high-altitude border crossing between Scotland and England that has been the site of battles between Celts and Saxons and Brits and Scots throughout history.
Continue through the rolling moorlands and forested hills of Northumberland National Park on your way to Hadrian’s Wall. Stop at Steel Rigg to walk along the remains of the fortification, and imagine what life was like for the Roman soldiers stationed in this remote corner of the empire.
After a brief lunch break, make your way to Birdoswald, 1 of the wall's best-preserved Roman forts. Spend some time exploring the multi-layered evidence of this site's long and storied past, including Roman ovens and granaries, Dark Age buildings, a medieval tower house, and 16th-century home. Your return ride through the Southern Uplands and Scottish Borders to Edinburgh includes a stop in the Victorian-era spa town of Moffat. Read More close
Categories: Tours & Sightseeing
10 hours 30 minutes
Begin your tour with a scenic journey as you head northwestwards through the historic area of Linlithgowshire—home to Linlithgow Palace, birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots. Continue along the Forth Valley before arriving at Stirling. Here you’ll see the iconic Castle and Wallace Monument, which honors the country’s great hero, William Wallace. Let the magnificent structure dominate your view as you ascend the mighty rock where it executes itself upon the surrounding land. Once at the top, admire the panoramic views of landscapes below.
Next, head to the the point where the Lowlands meet the Highlands, Trossachs—often referred to as The Highlands in Miniature. Entering this picturesque area feels like going into a complete different country. Admire the glistening lochs, rugged mountain tops, and forest-filled glens before lunch at one of the local villages.
Along the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland’s first national park, enjoy a stroll along the ‘bonny banks’ and head up to a viewpoint for a stunning view of the loch and the Ben Lomond mountain. Spend time on the loch’s trails and follow the footsteps of the famous highland folk hero, Rob Roy MacGregor, while learning about the history and heritage of the area before returning to Edinburgh. Read More close
Depart Edinburgh and drive toward the Highlands, passing Linlithgow Palace—birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots—and the hilltop domain of Stirling Castle. Gaze at the turreted monument to William Wallace, the Scot celebrated in the film Braveheart.
Learn about the battles that raged across this vast terrain during centuries past, and stop for coffee in riverside Callander before crossing the Highland Boundary Fault Line. Watch flat plains fade away and gleaming lakes, forested valleys, and rugged mountains take their place. Ride over the peat bog-blanketed expanse of Rannoch Moor to Glen Coe, where you learn about the 1692 massacre that took place here and how it changed the Highlands forever.
Pass beneath Ben Nevis—Britain's highest peak—and arrive in Fort Augustus on the shores of Loch Ness. Enjoy a few hours of free time to delve into the mysterious tales behind the lake's monstrous resident or grab a bite to eat in town. Continue through mountainous Cairngorms National Park along Loch Laggan and past the 13th-century Blair Castle. In the Perthshire Highlands, see Scotland's medieval capital and Loch Leven before crossing over the magnificent Forth Bridge on your return trip to Edinburgh. Read More close
Your morning starts with a drive down to the Scottish Borders. Stop at the Scott’s View lookout point to take in far-reaching vistas over the verdant valley of the River Tweed and the 3 peaks of Eildon Hill. This was a favorite viewpoint of writer Sir Walter Scott—make sure to photograph one of the most famous views in Scotland before making your way to the Victorian stone tower of the Wallace Monument.
Continue to the tiny town of Melrose, home to the magnificent ruins of the Melrose Abbey. Dating back to 1136, this former Cistercian monastery is 1 of 4 Border abbeys founded by King David and the burial place of Robert the Bruce's heart. See if you can spot the comical gargoyle of a bagpipe-playing pig hidden amid the graceful architecture before enjoying lunch and continuing on to Roslin.
In Roslin—the battle site of the First War of Scottish Independence—visit the enigmatic, ornately carved Rosslyn Chapel. This mysterious and beautiful building is known for its cryptic carvings, and captivating legends about Freemasonry, the Knights Templar, and the Holy Grail, and the chapel features in Dan Brown's best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code. Admire the exceptional architecture before returning to Edinburgh.
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Embark on your luxury coach and head to South Queensferry. Along the way, meet the iconic bridges of Scotland: see the historic Forth rail bridge as you cross into the Kingdom of Fife on the nearby Forth Road Bridge.
As you enjoy your scenic drive past Fife's coastline and picturesque villages, hear about the history of this area before stopping at the traditional fishing village of Anstruther. Wander its web of alleyways and old cobbled streets, or stroll along the seafront to the harbor.
Continue to the medieval city of St. Andrews, named after Saint Andrew the Apostle. The city is a place of Christian pilgrimage, home to the oldest university in Scotland, and renowned for its remarkable golf course. Tour the city at your leisure—visit the St. Andrews beach, see historic buildings such as Holy Trinity Parish Church or St. Andrews Cathedral, play golf, or indulge in some retail therapy.
Drive through small villages and patchwork of farms of central Fife to Falkland. Spend free time to explore its winding streets, come across delightful cottages, and see the iconic Falkland Palace—a former residence of the old Scottish royal family—before heading back to Edinburgh.
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Head out from Edinburgh in your luxury coach, passing by the historic Forth Bridge as you cross into the Kingdom of Fife. Your first stop is at the seaside resort of St Andrews, home to one of the world's most prestigious golf clubs as well as Scotland's oldest university. Named after Saint Andrew the Apostle and a medieval Christian pilgrimage site, the city is now popular for its beach, historic buildings, and golf resorts.
Next, you have the chance to visit a whisky distillery. Opt to embark on a guided tour to learn about the process of creating Scotland's favorite spirit, grab lunch at the café, or take a stroll in the surrounding woodlands. With some free time in the ancient royal burgh of Falkland, you can wander charming streets, browse local cafes and boutiques, or visit the iconic Falkland Palace—a former residence of the Scottish royal family.
In the corners of this enchanting county is the East Neuk, a collection of scenic little fishing villages. Admire the natural harbors along the coastline and explore the rich heritage of sea-fishing in the area before you return to Edinburgh. Read More close
Embark on your luxury coach and head toward South Queensferry. Along the way, meet the iconic bridges of Scotland. Make a brief stop to view the Forth Rail Bridge before crossing the much younger Forth Road Bridge to Dunfermline.
Upon arrival, visit Dunfermline Abbey, one of the country’s most important cultural sites. Admire the Scoto-Norman monastic architecture and see the tomb of King Robert the Bruce. Then continue to Fife, a compact county with cheerful fishing villages, glorious beaches, and tranquil countryside. Meander through this region and—why not—stop at the 2008 and 2009 Fish and Chip Shop of the Year for lunch.
Your tour then takes you to a former royal burgh on the east coast. St. Andrews, named after Saint Andrew the Apostle, is a place of pilgrimage and home to Prince William's university of choice. At your leisure, visit St. Andrews beach, see holy buildings such as Holy Trinity or St. Andrew’s Cathedral, play golf, or indulge in some retail therapy. Read More close
Leaving from Edinburgh, head north into the Highlands on a comfortable coach. Ride over the Fourth Railway Bridge to the historic city of Stirling. Here you have the chance to spend some leisure time exploring the town’s imposing fortress—Stirling Castle—where you can take in views of the proud tower of the National Wallace Monument across the Forth Valley.
Journey through Trossach National Park—Scotland’s first—and admire the wealth of lakes, mountains, and forests that fill the homeland of fabled outlaw Rob Roy MacGregor. Upon arrival on the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond—the largest freshwater expanse in Scotland—enjoy some free time to tour on your own. Try the national dish of haggis at a local pub for lunch, take a stroll along the lakefront, or find a lookout point for stunning views of the loch and mountain of Ben Lomond.
Make a stop at Glengoyne Distillery, which has been producing Highland single malt whisky matured in the Lowlands since 1833. If Scotch whisky strikes your fancy, you can choose to embark on a guided tour to uncover the secrets and sample Scotland’s favorite spirit straight from the cask, or opt to stroll around the tranquil grounds before your return ride to Edinburgh. Read More close
Your tour begins with a scenic drive to the border. Along the way, stop at Melrose—a charming village town located in the heart of the Scottish Borders. Here you have the chance to explore the ruins of Melrose Abbey, where the heart of King Robert the Bruce is buried.
Continue your tour across the border into England, gaining insight into centuries of Scottish and English conflicts as you hear stories from your knowledgeable guide. Your next stop is at Alnwick Castle—one of the greatest castles of Northumberland. Enjoy some free time to explore at your leisure. Enter the Castle and uncover the history within its medieval walls, venture into the State Rooms to admire the grand interiors, or stroll through the expansive gardens—instantly recognizable to Harry Potter fans as the Hogwarts School.
Your homeward journey takes you along Scotland’s picturesque east coast. Sit back and relax as you enjoy passing views of pristine beaches, dramatic cliffs, and delightful fishing villages before arriving back to Edinburgh. Read More close
Categories: Tours & Sightseeing
This journey through 1,000 years of Scotland’s ominous past is guided by a full cast of actors. From show to show, laugh and scream as you encounter gripping storytelling, exciting rides, and thrilling special effects.
Come face-to-face with sinister characters as you pass through the Caves of Galloway and the fearsome torture chambers. Terror, torture, mutilation, and mass murder are recreated in all their grisly and gruesome detail.
Watch out for the witch-hunters, grave-robbers, murderers, and cannibals that lurk in the deep shadows and dark caverns. Read More close
Step back in time to the mid-18th century and bring Diana Gabaldon’s literature to life by discovering the real-life locations of the successful TV series. After meeting your fellow Outlander fans, let your guide lead the way as you explore Edinburgh’s Old Town. Pass iconic landmarks such as Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse that hold stories of Scotland’s rich history, and visit famous Outlander filming locations along the way.
Hear the plot of how Claire, an army nurse from the 20th century, traveled back in time and embarked on an escapade of love and adventure with James Fraser. Experience the Jacobite uprisings and the aftershock through the eyes of the paired lovers, as you visit sites highlighted in the series. Your tour takes you past Canongate Kirk, where the MacKenzie clan leader last saw the couple, Tolbooth Jail, where the Fraser men of Lallybroch were held captive, and the World’s End tavern, which was made famous by the TV series. Read More close
For more than 44 years, the Royal Yacht Britannia served Britain's Royal Family. This is a lavish residence that hosted state visits and official receptions and welcomed some of the world's most influential people, including Sir Winston Churchill, Rajiv Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela. The ship also served as the setting for royal honeymoons and family holidays. After 986 state visits, the ship was decommissioned in 1997.
Your audio guide informs you about the marvels displayed on each of the 5 decks. Each corner has a rich story to tell, from the powerful engine rooms to the elegant and calm State Apartments where you can admire pieces from The Royal Collection. This self-guided visit allows you to enjoy this floating royal residence at your own pace Read More close
First, leave the city behind and drive past Stirling into the medieval town of Doune. Discover the mighty building dedicated to the Duke of Albany before continuing through Callander. Crossing the Highland Boundary Fault line, you leave the flush meadows of the Lowlands and head into the dramatic mountains.
Stop for a short break at Loch Lubnaig, also known as the "crooked loch." Then continue through Balquhidder, the resting place of Rob Roy. Travel to Kilchurn, home to a magnificent castle perched in the center of Loch Awe, and take advantage of a great photo opportunity.
Wind through Campbell country and arrive at the enchanting town of Inveraray. Set on the shore of Loch Fyne and home to both an 18th-century castle and glorious gardens, it makes an ideal setting for a leisurely lunch and exploration.
After free time, it’s back on your coach for a climb up the dense Arrochar Alps to the Rest and Be Thankful viewpoint. Admire verdant landscapes and take in the fresh Gaelic air. Then descend to the village of Luss where you can enjoy views of Loch Lomond, the largest inland waterway in Britain.
Finally it’s time to return to Edinburgh with a brief photo stop at the base of Stirling Castle. Read More close
On your comfortable coach, head to the former capital, Stirling, and ascend to the towering castle for panoramic views of the Wallace Monument and the city below. Next, your journey takes you deep into the Scottish Highlands through The Trossachs—one of Scotland's first national parks. Sit back and relax as you admire the views of the lush rolling hills that surround Loch Lomond.
Upon arrival at a local distillery, you have some free time for lunch and the opportunity to embark on a guided tour of the site. Gain insight into how uisge beatha (the water of life) is made, discover the history behind one of Scotland's most iconic exports, and have the chance to sample a tipple of whiskey, the nation's favorite drink.
Next, continue to The Hermitage—a National Trust for Scotland-protected site in the Highland Perthshire—for a short walk to see the spectacular Black Linn Falls on the River Braan. Your final stop is at the quaint village of Dunkeld, home to a stunning cathedral on the banks of River Tay, before returning to Edinburgh. Read More close