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 opportunities to extend your tour north, through the infamous Isle of Skye, with a fair smattering of castles, Jacobites, 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!
Today we follow the Road to the Isles, described as one of the most beautiful driving routes in the world. With white sandy beaches and views out to the mystical islands of the Inner Hebrides, it is not hard to see why. We will take our time to explore, perhaps taking a walk along the sands at Arisaig, or a hike along the shore of Loch Morar. We also have the option to take a boat trip out to one of the Small Isles or to the secluded Knoydart Peninsula, spotting wildlife and understanding a little more about the ins and outs of recent Scottish community land ownership along the way.
Finally this evening we will cross over to the Isle of Skye, our home for the next couple of days.
OvernightIsle of Skye
Skye has been immortalised in film and folklore, and for good reason. Scotland “in miniature” it really has it all. With options for short or long hikes in the dramatic Cuillin Mountains or along its rugged coastline, boat or sea kayaking trips, and of course gardens, castles and distilleries to visit, the only difficult part of your trip will be deciding what to do first.
So why not extend your tour by a day to make the most of it?
There are many local galleries to explore on the island, as well as cafes selling delicious home-baked goods and restaurants specialising in local fare. The people of Skye know how to make you feel welcome!
OvernightIsle of Skye
Waving a fond farewell to Skye, we cross back over onto the mainland with our first stop at the immediately recognisable Eilean Donan Castle. Things were not always as they now appear though – discover more as we take our time to explore!
Stopping for lunch in pretty Fort Augustus there will be time for a little souvenir shopping – or perhaps you’d prefer simply to sit by the Caledonian Canal, a spectator to the many pleasure boats as they make their way through the locks. Driving north along Loch Ness, keep your eyes peeled for a glimpse of its celebrity monster. At almost 1,500 years old, she’s doing pretty well for her age.
And so finally it is time to reflect upon your own good Scottish health this evening as we arrive into Inverness, the end of your tour!
Why not extend your trip with an extra day (or two!) in Ardnamurchan or Skye, allowing yourself the time to truly appreciate all that this stunning area has to offer.