Scots have holidayed on the west coast for generations, escaping to magical landscapes, deserted Caribbean-like beaches, a gentler pace of life, and melt-in-your-mouth local produce. Film makers have followed suit and you might spot some familiar looking locations along the way.
Scenes of such outstanding natural beauty come with a fascinating, and often darker, past. With your guide, learn a little about the history of this area as we travel – how such a peaceful and apparently remote landscape was once home to warring clans and their predecessors over hundreds of years, their own stories of the past so central to the Scotland of the present. Communities have evolved over time and you will have a chance to meet those who call this place home today. Who knows, by the time your tour comes to an end, you might never be able to leave!
With the opportunity to extend your tour south to the beautiful Isle of Mull and spiritual Iona, along with a fair smattering of castles, folklore and wildlife along the way, you will truly discover the best of Scotland on this trip.
Your own experienced driver-guide with vehicle for the duration of your trip
Ferry fares (vehicle and passengers)
Walking tours where listed (including historical, cultural, town & hill walks)
All accommodation – we will discuss this with you and provide recommendations, but it is your responsibility to book all accommodation yourselves before the tour can be confirmed.
All food & drink unless specifically specified as an inclusion.
Admission fees to suggested attractions – these can be included within pricing on request, but we usually keep them out in case you change your mind and just want to put your feet up.
Optional adventure activities where arranged through our trusted, brilliant and fun local suppliers. Again, we can include these within pricing on request, but we usually keep them out unless we specifically have to confirm your participation with the adventure providers a certain number of days, weeks or months in advance (they are so brilliant that they can often get booked up early!)
Departing from our iconic capital city, Edinburgh, we travel west through the hills of the Trossachs, with an option to visit the town of Stirling where so many key moments in Scotland’s turbulent history were played out. After walking in the footsteps of Robert the Bruce and William “Braveheart” Wallace, we continue on through the village of Doune, itself home to a castle you might recognise – otherwise known as Castle Leoch (in Outlander) or indeed most of the fantastical castles en route to Monty Python’s Holy Grail.
OvernightLoch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park
Today we continue our journey west, driving through spectacular Glencoe. With an atmospheric moorland narrowing to a dramatic mountain pass, have your cameras at the ready for scenery that will take your breath away. Discover Glencoe’s infamous, bloody history before embracing the magic that draws so many people back here again and again, from hikers to location scouts, from James Bond to Harry Potter.
Continuing along the coast, we take a short hop across the water before passing Glenfinnan and its famous rail viaduct, so familiar to millions of Harry Potter fans across the world. Glenfinnan also features prominently in the story of Bonnie Prince Charlie, and we will learn a little more about this on a short hike up to a spectacular viewpoint above Loch Shiel. Leaving the film fans behind, we end our day in the remote, beautiful land of Ardnamurchan.
With a day (or two!) in Ardnamurchan, it is time to relax and discover all that this beautiful peninsula has to offer. Perhaps you will walk across the sands to ruined Castle Tioram before continuing a little along the pretty coastal path; or maybe you’d like to enjoy a spot of sea or fly fishing. Wildlife spotting opportunities abound, with otters, seals and sea birds, not to mention the iconic red deer, living side by side with the locals. For the more intrepid explorer, pedal or paddle your way to some of the most stunning beaches in the country. Fresh seafood will always be on the menu, and of course we can always drop in on the local distillery.
Or you could just put your feet up and relax!
Leaving Ardnamurchan behind, we cross over onto the wonderful island of Mull, arriving by ferry into the pretty port of Tobermory with its colourful waterfront. Enjoy some traditional fish and chips on the harbour, or perhaps a delicious local ice cream as we take our time to explore the town. There is also an option to join a wildlife tour where you might even spot a rare Golden Eagle.
We end the day with a visit to the spiritual island of Iona, the foundation of Christianity in Scotland and final resting place to many Scottish Kings. The Statutes of Iona also turned the tide of history in the 17th Century and your guide will explain a little more about this on your tour. You will have the time and space to explore the island at your own pace before we return to Mull for the night.
OvernightIsle of Mull
This morning we have the option to return to Iona, or to visit the incredible island of Staffa, home to thousands of puffins as well as the basalt columns of Fingal’s Cave, inspiration for Mendelssohn’s fabulous orchestral overture, “The Hebrides”. You may still be humming the tune as we leave Mull and return to the mainland late this afternoon!
The beautifully conserved village of Inveraray, on the shore of Loch Fyne, is home to Clan Campbell. Inveraray Castle, still home to the Clan Chief, featured in the filming of the BBC’s Downton Abbey series, and we will have the opportunity to view its fine interiors and peaceful gardens this morning before starting our journey back to Glasgow. As always we have many delicious lunch options, perhaps in the original Loch Fyne Oyster Bar, or in one of the welcoming cafes in the pretty village of Luss on the shore of Loch Lomond.
Our tour ends this evening in the city of Glasgow, with its famous artistic and industrial heritage. Why not spend an extra day or two here to explore before you return home? You will have fallen in love with Scotland’s west coast – you may never want to leave!
Why not extend your trip with an extra day (or two!) in Ardnamurchan or Mull, allowing yourself the time to truly appreciate all that this stunning area has to offer.