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Which one day Rabbie's tour from Edinburgh?

I am hoping someone has been on the Rabbie's Tour (one day) from Edinburgh. I am finding it hard to choose between two highly rated tours. Reviews are all good, we like the idea of the smaller van. We are not driving ourselves. I know this is not a lot of info. The West Highland (#1) tour goes further west and that may be the appeal for us. But the Loch Lomonds (#2) sounds like it is full of history.

  1. "The West highlands Lochs and Castles" -- which includes Inveraray, Doune Castle, Loch Awe, Rest and Be Thankful pass, Conservation village of Luss, Loch Lomond National Park.

OR

2." Loch Lomonds National Park/Kelpies/ Stirling castle"
Stirling Castle*, The Trossachs, Rob Roy country, Loch Lomond, The Kelpies

THANK YOU for your input.

Posted by
2771 posts

I just took two rabbie’s tours this past May. 1) Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands and 2) West Highlands, Lochs, and castles.

I much preferred the loch ness tour. Not so much for the loch ness boat ride but the scenery was much better. The west highlands tour was just too many lochs for me.

Both tours had great guides. Here is some more info. that I wrote in my trip report about the tours:

Even though it was a long day on the bus (12 hours!!), I preferred the Loch Ness tour, as it got out more into the Highlands and thus was more scenic. But, I could have done without the boat ride. The Lochs tour was just too many lochs for me. Probably why they call it the lochs tour. 😊

Some general notes on the Rabbies tours. They are very well organized. When you get to the bus station, there are 2 people at gates J and K I think it was to check you in. They’ll tell you the name of your driver, who gets there about 15 minutes before the tour starts. They will announce when your driver arrives, and you check in with him/her and get on the bus/van. There is a row of single seats and a row of 2 seats on the bus. I’d try to be one of the first on the bus so you can seats near the front. This will make things easier when getting off and on at all the stops. Free bathrooms at the bus station.

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/trip-reports/solo-in-the-uk-my-york-and-edinburgh-trip-report

Let me know if you have additional questions. I’ll by happy to try and answer them.

Posted by
6710 posts

I can’t speak for the tours, but of the places they go, I’d go with the second tour. I enjoyed Doune castle (8 miles from Stirling castle), but it doesn’t compare to Stirling Castle. The Kelpies were impressive sculptures.

Posted by
6405 posts

The two are quite different scenically and both worthwhile. Why not do both?

If I had to choose it'd be Tour 1 but it's an invidious choice

Posted by
1521 posts

I realize you didn't mention this tour and I don't know if it's still offered but in December 2019 we took a Rabbie's Tour of West Highland, Lochs, and Castles. It included Doune Castle and Kelpies. We were a three generation family of seven. All ages enjoyed the tour. We visited Stirling Castle independently as it was easy to get to by train.

Posted by
6803 posts

I'd probably pick the one with Stirling Castle - I loved that place. And it would be fun to see the Kelpies. But that's me. I think that no matter which one you pick, it will be a good tour. Rabbies has an excellent reputation and you really can't go wrong with either of those, imo.

but then again, Inveraray Castle is supposed to be pretty wonderful. And Doune Castle as well. So maybe number 1. :) Sorry, I'm no help at all!

Posted by
2616 posts

I also had a hard time deciding between these tours but ultimately chose #1--I'll be taking it 9/18 and will report on it after my trip.

Posted by
4230 posts

We did 2 Rabbies tours but neither of those. I'd pick #1 though because I would have been very disappointed with not having had a full day at Stirling Castle. We spent 6 hours there on a day trip via train.

Posted by
1961 posts

This may sound a bit trite - but toss a coin to decide. If you are disappointed by the way it falls, then make the other choice. It always surprises me how this can help clarify a decision!