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4.5 star rating: Recommended 15 Reviews

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  • Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Duration:  5 days (approx.)
Explore the Highlands beauty of Scotland's west coast and the Isle of Skye on a 5-day excursion from Edinburgh. This in-depth tour of Scotland’s classic Highland locations includes Glencoe, mysterious Loch Ness, Ben Nevis, a journey aboard one of the world's most famous steam trains (seen in the Harry Potter movies), the Hogwarts Express, the haunting Culloden Battlefield, Inverness, world- famous Eilean Donan Castle and the magical Isle of Skye.


  • 5-day Highlands and Isle of Skye trip from Edinburgh
  • Scenic drive through Stirling and the wild Rannoch Moors
  • See the legendary scenery including the Old Man of Storr and the Cuillin Mountains
  • Ride the famous Hogwarts Express (as seen in the Harry Potter films)
  • Choice of B&B or hotel accommodation

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What You Can Expect

5-Day Isle of Skye, Loch Ness and the Jacobite Steam Train from Edinburgh

Isle of Skye, Scotland

You can choose to stay in hotel accommodation throughout the tour for traditional style accommodation, or you may prefer to opt for cosy guesthouse accommodation for that more personal, local experience.

See 'Itinerary' below for full details of your 5-day Isle of Skye, Loch Ness and the Scottish West Coast Tour.

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Day 1:
Leaving Edinburgh we head north to the ancient capital of Stirling and the site of the Battle of Stirling Bridge. Here there are stunning views towards the impressive Castle and towering Wallace Monument. Next stop is Doune with an optional visit to its Castle, famously featured in the movie ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’. Get a picture with Hamish the Hairy Coo as we enter the Trossachs, where the Highlands begin. Our journey takes us through wild Rannoch Moor and into brooding Glencoe, site of the massacre of 1692. We head through some beautiful scenery, past the Isles of the Dead and onto Oban, a stunning west coast fishing port.

Day 2:
After driving along the west coast, we take the steam train from Fort William to Mallaig (voted by Wanderlust Magazine as the 'Top Rail Journey in the World’), crossing the Glenfinnan viaduct made famous in the Harry Potter films. This trip will pass Glenfinnan, where Bonne Prince Charlie raised his standard at the start of the failed Jacobite campaign. We take the ferry across the sea to the Isle of Skye full of awe-inspiring mountains, myths and legends. Here, we have the chance to explore the Clan Donald centre and gardens before driving north through stunning scenery to the island’s capital, Portree.

Day 3:
The start of the day is spent exploring Skye. Highlights include the mysterious Quiraing, Kilt Rock and some of Skye's extraordinary geological scenery. Returning to the mainland, we cross the Skye Bridge and visit the most photographed castle in Scotland, the famous stronghold Eilean Donan Castle (used in the film "Highlander”). We wind our way into along the Great Glen to infamous Loch Ness, home of Nessie before docking at Inverness, our home for the night.

Day 4:
Spend the morning at famous Loch Ness looking for the monster, and taking a Loch Ness boat cruise which includes a visit to the ruins of Urquhart Castle. Onward bound we head into the north-west Highlands to enjoy stunning views of Loch Broom from the small coastal village of Ullapool, before returning to Inverness for the evening.

Day 5:
We explore the atmospheric Culloden Battlefield, scene of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s defeat and the end of Jacobite Rebellion. After travelling through the Cairngorms National Park, we make a visit to Aviemore, a village set within the National Park that offers stunning views of the Cairngorms Mountains. Heading south into Pitlochry, you will have the opportunity to visit a local Whisky Distillery (own expense), before finally returning to Edinburgh.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2013

I had an absolutely lovely time on this trip. The weather was cooperating (only rained for about 5 minutes), we had a great driver, Keith, and the scenery was absolutely FANTASTIC. On Skye, I sat awestruck and teary-eyed most of the time, it was just so beautiful. We had booked the B and B accommodation and all of them were great. Close to the town centre, great hosts and spacious rooms.

There was a good mix of activities on this tour - castles, gardens, scenery, whiskey and the like. Keith talked a lot about Scottish history as we were driving along, but not too much. He also mixed it up with some great Scottish music - not just bagpipes. For me, time was never quite enough on any of the places where we stopped - I would have liked more time to both soak up the information, listen to audio guides and take (lots of!) pictures. At the same time I wouldn't have liked to miss any of the places we stopped at to have more time somewhere else, so it all comes out okay in the end. And I guess that just means that I have to come back later...=)

I highly recommend this tour!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2013

The highlight of our trip to Scotalnd. Highly recommended!! Our guide was young, energetic and very knowledgable. He went out of his way to make sure we saw the sights and even took a few detours for us. The small coach was nice as we could get to places the big buses couldn't and our group was like a family when we were done. He made sure he know all our names, where we came from and what we expected from the tour.

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Tour code: 5211SKYE5D


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