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Full-Day Trip to Loch Ness and the Scottish Highlands with Lunch from Edinburgh

Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Likely to Sell Out

From $70.31

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 12 hours (approx.)
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


This full-day Scottish Highlands tour takes you on a scenic drive from Edinburgh to the fabled Loch Ness. The journey travels by coach across Rannoch Moor to Glen Coe and through the Great Glen to Fort Augustus, where you’re treated to a locally made picnic lunch. Take an optional boat ride on the legendary loch in search of ‘Nessie’ before the return trip over the Drumochter Pass and through the forests and rivers of Highland Perthshire, with views of the UNESCO-listed Forth Bridge.
  • Soak up the unspoiled scenery of the Great Glen and Rannoch Moor with your expert guide
  • Admire spectacular views of the Caledonian Canal, Perthshire, Glen Coe, and the Forth Bridge
  • Take an optional boat cruise on Loch Ness to catch a glimpse of the legendary monster Nessie
  • Enjoy a locally produced sandwich picnic lunch in the quaint village of Fort Augustus

Why Travelers Choose This Tour

This tour takes in the highlights of the Highlands and includes a picnic lunch with Scottish shortbread.

What's Included

  • Local Scottish English Speaking Guide
  • Picnic lunch - freshly made & locally sourced valued at £4.50. Drink not included.
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Food and drinks, unless specified
  • Optional boat cruise on Loch Ness (from £16.50 for an adult) - can be purchased at check-in.

Meeting And Pickup

Meeting point

  • Edinburgh
    26 Elder St, Edinburgh EH1 3DX, UK

    Stances 15 and 16 Edinburgh Bus Station 26 Elder Street, EH1 3DX Bus station also accessible via entrance on Multrees Walk.

Start time

08:00 AM

End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

What To Expect

Tour the Scottish Highlands and enjoy an optional Loch Ness boat tour during this day trip, led by a knowledgeable guide who provides insightful commentary throughout the journey.

Start the excursion aboard your coach in central Edinburgh and travel north along the ramparts of Stirling Castle. Pass the Trossachs, cross Rannoch Moor and stop at Glen Coe—site of a legendary 17th-century massacre—before continuing on through the Great Glen via Fort William.

Arriving at the Highland village of Fort Augustus, situated on the banks of Loch Ness, you can opt for a leisurely walk or simply relax by the Caledonian Canal with your provided picnic lunch. Enjoy your choice of locally made sandwiches and shortbread washed down with bottled mineral water.

If you’d like, spend your free time aboard boat cruise on the loch (own expense). Go in search of the Loch Ness Monster named Nessie, a mythical creature said to inhabit these waters. The custom-built boat is equipped with underwater imaging technology, providing a fascinating view of the underwater terrain.

Afterward, re-board the coach for the return drive, passing Loch Laggan and motoring over Drumochter Pass, which connects the northern and southern Scottish Highlands. Your guide points out Perthshire and the lush forested landscapes of Big Tree Country. View the cantilever Forth Bridge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, before your day trip concludes in Edinburgh in the evening.

Stirling Castle (Pass By)


30 minutesAdmission Ticket Free


15 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Ben Nevis (Pass By)

Loch Ness Region

1 hour 30 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Cairngorms National Park (Pass By)


30 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Forth Bridge (Pass By)

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Minimum age is 5 years
  • Near public transportation
  • It is recommended to book transport to the departure point in advance. Please also allow extra time to get to the departure point for check-in. We advise you arrive at least 15 minutes before the tour departure to allow time to check-in for the tour. Unfortunately, we are unable to hold back the tour for late arrivals.
  • Not recommended for travellers with mobility difficulties
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 57 travelers

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

about cancellations.

Traveler Photos

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Featured review
Tom is great guide. The best part of the experience was his stories. I would defintly recommend as soon as Tom is the guide


1,458 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 1,458 reviews
Great stories
Manuela_P, May 2023
Tom is great guide. The best part of the experience was his stories. I would defintly recommend as soon as Tom is the guide
1 traveler found this review helpful
Beautiful ride up north
Rebecca_G, May 2023
The trip was fun. Our tour guide, Cara, was great! She made the trip a lot of fun and had some great stories. The scenery was beautiful and the boat ride on Loch Ness was great! Thank you!
Highlands days trip
Sarabjot_S, May 2023
Great trip to be a part of - it’s a bit of driver to get there but u go thru lots of amazing landscapes which makes it worth it - special thanks to our driver/ guide Connor , very friendly n Great guy - thanks Connor for the memories
Nice day all round...
Maxine_R, May 2023
Connor was an excellent guide and driver. He provided lots if interesting history with humour and great story telling. He kept us on track and on schedule. He's a great ambassador for the company and for Scotland.
Lovely day exploring the highlands!
Peggy_L, May 2023
Lovely day exploring the highlands! Our tour guide Tom was great and the views were amazing. Good idea to bring some snacks for the ride. Highly recommend!
Wonderful trip to highlands with amazing views
Harish_V, May 2023
Highlands and loch ness trip with Viator is wonderful. The guide/driver(Connor) is amazing in creating enthusiasm in travellers by telling the stories behind each place and revealed many untold stories. Trip was very good overall with travel, views & in between photo stops.
A day out from Edinburgh.
Linda_S, May 2023
A long but perfect day! Sun shone but quite chilly! 578kms travelled. The most amazing scenery and stops along the way. All in comfort and with a commentary and history lesson from Steve our driver. Absolutely totally recommend this tour we booked with Viator. 10/10
First Time in Scotland
Kate_B, May 2023
As our first time in Scotland with limited time, this was a fantastic tour with lots to see. Yes you are on the bus for long periods but it’s what you expect travelling upwards of 200 miles. The stops were frequent enough for us and the tour guide was just right - chatting enough to learn historical facts but not too much when it’s a long day. Thanks for a great day, Greg!! The coach was a little cramped but driving was great and music was fun!
Highlands fun
Cherie_C, Apr 2023
This tour was jam packed with stories and history and fun! There were great stops and definitely worth the price .
Amazing experience!
Karen_M, Apr 2023
This was a fantastic tour day! Our guide, Tom, was great - perfect blend of historical stories and insights, but also local music and down time on the bus. We got to take amazing photo opportunities; my favorite part was getting to feed a highland cow while listening to a bagpiper play!
Amazing Highland Highlights
Madison_W, Apr 2023
It was such a great trip! It does go for 12 hours so make sure you bring snacks! Steve was a wonderful tour guide who filled us in with some amazing facts and Histories. I loved his Scottish playlist ! The places were beautiful and we were lucky to have some Scottish sun! All in all it was a fabulous trip!
Jeffrey_B, Apr 2023
Amazing guide/driver…Louise is awesome…super inclusive and personal, full of knowledge and those jokes!…the day trip, though long, had adequate comfort stops and great opportunities to experience the Scottish Highlands…
Cramped bus
Andrew, Apr 2023
Our guide Louise was fantastic! Made the trip allot better. But I felt like we spent the entire day just on the bus. 10 minutes here and there. Then at Loch Ness, had 15 minutes before the boat tour and 15 minutes after. Not allot of time in my opinion. The bus was also extremely cramped, had almost no leg room. By the end of the day my right knee was feeling sore from being shoved in the corner. But the guide was great and the history was fascinating! Even bought a book about Queen Mary I believe since the story the guide told was so interesting. I guess I just wish there was more time to explore and less time on the bus.
Well done tour
RebeccaStiles_C, Apr 2023
Went above expectations for a truly memorable experience. Be prepared for a full day with plenty of stops, sites, and fun history facts.
Its awesome to see the...
Sheila_F, Mar 2023
Its awesome to see the highlands and the tour guide “Connor” is very informative and funny too so the trip wasnt boring at all.
1 traveler found this review helpful
Engaging tour with...
Nigel_L, Mar 2023
Engaging tour with excellent guides who have an impressive grasp of Scottish history and Gaelic culture
Not at its best with rain and fog....but still pleasant
Francesca_G, Mar 2023
Nice tour even though we were extremely unlucky with the weather. I expected nicer sceneries but my feedback is spoiled by the rain that was with us the whole day. However the driver/guide was great and could cheer up our "somehow sad" moods.
1 traveler found this review helpful
Jess_A, Mar 2023
Louise and Paul were AMAZING guides! So nice and knowledgeable, looked after us like we were their own kids haha Was a very comfortable and informative trip. Just the lunch was a little meh (expect to get a lunch haha)
1 traveler found this review helpful
Experience of a life time
SherryAnn_L, Mar 2023
The small towns and their buildings really fascinates me. The guide Mr Euan was quite, patient, knowledgeable and was able to tell each story in a way that was captivating, clear and precise in a fun way. Kudos to Euan
1 traveler found this review helpful
Scottish Highlands are amazing but some small improvements would go along way
Lachlan_B, Mar 2023
Scottish highlands are stunning. E prepared for lots of driving and few stops, but likely best way to see as much of the highlands as possible. Guide didn’t like silence so felt the need to talk or play loud music the whole time. I appreciate hearing about the country but stories way too long and detailed. Would have appreciated being able to just watch the scenery in peace
1 traveler found this review helpful
Easy way to explore a little of Scotland
Joann_N, Mar 2023
The ride on Loch Ness was a great way to get out in the water and listen to the tales of the Loch and Nessi. I would have liked more of a chance to see highland cows but other than that it was good.
1 traveler found this review helpful
Fall in love with the Scottish highlands
Stamatia_M, Mar 2023
I loved this tour and our guide was very friendly and knowledgeable. The bus was comfortable and the time at each location was sufficient to stop and look around. There is some gorgeous scenery to see here so get your cameras ready. It was a great day trip with so much to see and learn about Scotland and its history. I absolutely fell in love with the Highlands and can't wait to go back.
1 traveler found this review helpful
a fantastic tour
Brooke_K, Feb 2023
an incredible day. tom was a fantastic tour guide, incredibly friendly and informative. a a fantastic tour for those that have never been to the highlands or for those that have been before.
1 traveler found this review helpful
Great sights in the Highlands
Fergal_C, Feb 2023
Amazing scenery and fantastic and informative guide. Glenvoe was a highlight Lunch a little underwhelming!
Riding solo? Doesn't matter they got you covered :D
Manikanth_S, Jan 2023
Amazing first experience with them. Had a lovely journey with marvelous commentry about the places we see go around. Worth every penny. Hope to see them back again soon
1 traveler found this review helpful
Beautiful Scotland
Loreta_J, Jan 2023
Our driver Tom shared interesting stories along the way which made our trip more enjoyable. It's really worth to see the Hilands in winter.
1 traveler found this review helpful
Svetlana_F, Jan 2023
It was so nice especially since it snowed and the bus ride was very marvelous and comfy. Tom was our tour guide and he did very good and explained everything well.
1 traveler found this review helpful
A truly magical experience
Daniel_S, Dec 2022
The tour was so wonderful. Louise (our guide) was friendly, funny & attentive. As a solo traveller, she ensured to check in regularly & gave some fantastic recommendations. Its a jam packed day with breathtaking views & the cruise is absolutely worth doing.
Response from Host, Dec 2022
Hello Daniel, glad you had such a great tour with Louise and hope you got a glimpse of Nessie on the cruise.
1 traveler found this review helpful
Breath taking
gillsteads57, Dec 2022
The brilliant Driver/guide he was soo knowledgeable and funny worth every penny going with this company
Response from Host, Dec 2022
Thanks for your review and hopefully see on another tour soon. Greg
1 traveler found this review helpful
Everything was so...
Alecia_R, Dec 2022
Everything was so beautiful!! The drive was so caring and made sure our safety was first. Beautiful site to visit!! The bus itself was very nice and comfortable but charging port suck
Response from Host, Dec 2022
Glad to hear you enjoyed the tour. Greg
1 traveler found this review helpful


Product code: 5211LOCHNESS

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