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Tours in Scotland

We will be traveling in Scotland in July, 2015. We are traveling by train with stops in Glasgow, Inverness and Edinburgh. I am looking for day tours originating in these places. Any suggestions or recommendations are appreciated.

Posted by
5669 posts

Many people swear by Rabbies tours. But there are lots of other tours to take. Glasgow and Edinburgh are both easily walkable cities. So it's easy to tour them on your own. You can customize your visit to your interests. There are a lot of day trips you can take from these cities.

Edinburgh--St. Andrews, Stirling, the Borders, the Trossachs...Check with the Tourist office.

Glasgow--Loch Lomond, the Trossachs, possibly Aran, Ayreshire and the birthplace of Robert Burns.

Inverness--Loch Ness, Speyside, Skye, Culloden, Applecross, and some even do trips to Orkney...

For all of these try the Tourist Information Office.


Posted by
72 posts

I recommend the previously mentioned Rabbies Trail Burner Tours. I've been on four of them so far. Three of them were day tours, two from Edinburgh and one from Glasgow. I don't think they have any from Inverness unless they are new in the last four years. I think their prices are reasonable, the buses are comfortable and the guides are outstanding. They have many tours to pick from.

Posted by
3428 posts

There are LOTS of excellent day trips from Inverness. We've used several different companies and prefer ones with small buses or vans and less than 15/16 people when possible. Do a search "day tours from " and you'll find plenty of examples. We usually just waited and booked at the Inverness Tourist Info office (one of THE BEST I've ever seen). I know there are cruises on the forth, as well as on Loch Ness, trips to Elien Donnan Castle sometimes all the way to Isle of Skye, and even a LONG day trip to Orkney that we enjoyed. There are excellent distilleries nearby, too. You'll have a hard time narrowing it down, I bet.

Posted by
16 posts

Thank you for your suggestions.

Does anyone have experience with Heart of Scotland tours? I have been looking at The Best of Scotland in a Day and wondered if anyone has taken it.

Posted by
1014 posts

While in Glasgow, try the Willow Tea Room. Not quite "High Tea" but it is interesting and fun. I had my first bit of Hagis there. As said before, there are numerous things to do and see. We were staying in Thurso, Scotland and did the Orkney tour. It was great. One of the better tours we did. There are so many good places to go in Inverness, Glasgow and Edinburgh, you might want to get a guide to Scotland and kinda narrow down what you want to see. The Glasgow market is an interesting walk through, for example, if you are there that day.

Posted by
312 posts

Hi Mary Lou,

I toured with Heart of Scotland from Edinburgh to Hadrian's Wall, but it was back in '08. I also took my first Rabbie's trip that year. I've had opportunity to take other trips with Rabbie's since then, so I am confident in recommending it. I've not had another trip with Heart of Scotland since, but it was definitely on par with Rabbie's in '08 and I had a great trip/good driver. I just can't offer newer info. Hopefully someone else can, or check on Trip Advisor for newer reviews.

Whether Heart of Scotland, Rabbie's, or Timberbush, or other mini-bus companies, I think it is important to consider distance. I remember some folk grumbling on the Hadrian's Wall trip about not too many stops, but we went a long way from Edinburgh - about 100 miles each way - compared to the 77 miles to Blair Castle on the Best of Scotland in a Day tour.

Itineraries from the different companies may be similar, but you can also find differences, so you pick the one that what you specifically want to see. I really wanted to see Hadrian's Wall, so I didn't care how long it took to get there and back. Using a tour company allowed me to not stick to public transport schedules, someone else was driving :-) and the drivers tell good stories.


Posted by
177 posts

I can highly recommend Heart of Scotland tours! I did the Hadrian's Wall/Rosalyn's Chapel tour in '07 and it was a highlight of my two weeks in Europe. Since my husband and I are back working in the UK this month, with our 22 year old daughter in tow for a few weeks, I had to take them up to Edinburgh for another tour on the Wee Red Bus. It was outstanding!

I was interested in the Best of Scotland tour, but it was all sold out, so we did the 9 hour bus tour to Stirling Castle, Loch Lomand and Glengoyne distillery. Did not dissapoint! Nine hours sounds like a lot of time on a bus, but we were off it almost as much as we were on it. (I'd agree that there were far fewer stops on the Hadrian's Wall trip. Also, our B&B did not recommend the Loch Ness tour for the same reason. Too much driving!)

I love that the bus only seats 16 people, both guides were unuusally entertaining with their history and stories. And these are interspersered with Scottish music to contemplate the scenic views. I'd take another one in a heart beat. This is such a great way for pretty much anyone to get farther afield out of Edinburgh without a car...great for families and people with mobility issues as well.