3-Day Isle of Skye, Inverness & Highlands
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This tour departs Edinburgh on MONDAYS (returns Wednesday) and FRIDAYS (returns Sunday), between the summer months of May and October, and on FRIDAYS (returns Sunday) in the winter months between November and April.
Your 3-day Isle of Skye, Inverness and the Highlands Tour, lead by your expert Local Hairy Coo Tour Guide! You will visit all of the must see highlights of Scotland, including the Isle of Skye, Loch Ness, Glencoe, Outlander and Harry Potter film locations, Eilean Donan Castle, Culloden Battlefield, 2 x National Parks, a Scotch Whisky-Distillery, and many more! During your unforgettable tour, you will spend two nights in the Capital of Highlands, beautiful Inverness. This tour allows you to experience more of Scotland in just 3 days, than other tours can show you over 5!
***Choose from Backpacker/Youth Hostel, Guesthouse / Bed & Breakfast, or Hotel Accommodation in Inverness, and we will pre-book your accommodation for you. You’ll pay for your accommodation on arrival. If you’d prefer, book your own accommodation in Inverness and meet up with the tour each morning. Accommodation price ranges at the foot of this page.* **
Tour Route Map:
Highlights of your 3-Day Isle of Skye, Inverness & the Highlands Tour:
- Visit the beautiful Isle of Skye. See the Cuillin Mountains, visit Portree, the stunning Trotternish and The Quiraing
- View Harry Potter’s ‘Hogwart’s Express’ (The Jacobite Steam Train) crossing the magnificent Glenfinnan Viaduct (Bridge)
- Appreciate the majesty of Loch Ness, Glencoe & The Highlands, and visit Scotland’s 2 National Parks
- Visit Dalwhinnie Scotch-Whisky distillery, see Eilean Donan Castle and spend 2 nights in Inverness, the Capital of the Highlands
- See film locations used in James Bond, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter & Outlander (Doune Castle, Glencoe, Culloden Battlefield & Clava Cairns)
scroll down further for full tour itinerary
Adults (18+): From £149
Full-Time Students (16+): From £129
Children (7 – 15 years): From £129
This tour departs Edinburgh on MONDAYS (returns Wednesday) and FRIDAYS (returns Sunday), between the months of May and October, and on FRIDAYS (returns Sunday) in the winter months between November and April, from the ‘Deacon’s House Cafe, Lawnmarket, Royal Mile, Edinburgh @ 8.30am, and returns on Day 3 at around 6.00pm.
“An unforgettable experience!” said Christina G. “I’ve learnt so many interesting things. I’ve seen breathtaking landscapes. And I laughed so much!! An experience I will never forget.”
8.30AM – Departing Edinburgh, we travel up the Forth Valley towards the historic city of Stirling, where you’ll catch a glimpse of Stirling Castle and The Wallace Monument (weather permitting!). Be inspired by tales from your guide of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. We make our way North, before arriving at Doune Castle.
This 14th Century Castle has been a setting on Outlander (Castle Leoch), Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Game of Thrones. If you venture inside, you’ll see one of the best-preserved medieval Great Halls in Scotland.
Continuing north, into the ‘Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park‘, it’s time to meet a few of the locals, by meeting some of our famous Scottish Highland Cows (Hairy Coos)!!!! Native to Scotland, these magnificent yak-like creatures love to pose for your photos!
Enjoy your first taste of the Highlands as we drive along the banks of picturesque Loch Lubnaig and further in the to rugged Highlands. Admire the scenery as your tour guide explains the remarkable tribal ‘Clan’ history of the Highlands, and you hear about the most famous Highlander of them all, ‘Rob Rob MacGregor’.
Follow in the footsteps of James Bond (Skyfall) and Harry Potter (Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban), as you discover the beautiful and haunting ‘Glencoe’, the most magnificent and famous valley in Scotland. The spectacular scenery will stay with you forever. Your guide will recount the tale of the infamous ‘Massacre of Glencoe’ that took place here in 1692, a tragic story of murder and intrigue, politics and tribal-hatred. Here you’ll go for a short nature walk, take some photos, and soak up the eerie atmosphere.
You’ll follow the beautiful ‘Road to the Isles‘ to watch as the Hogwarts’ Express (Jacobite Steam Train) crossing the magnificent Glenfinnan Viaduct. Historically this stunning viewpoint also marks the spot where Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) landed in Scotland and raised his standard prior to the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion. Go to the top of the monument for the best views of the Glen, as your guide entertains you with the dramatic story of how this event changed the course of European history.
We travel north to the Southern banks of Loch Ness, in the charming village of Fort Augustus. Get your cameras ready to get some pictures of the infamous ‘Nessie’ Monster! We drive the full length of Loch Ness, stopping to take in the views of Urquhart Castle, then we arrive in Inverness, the Capital of the Scottish Highlands, where your guide will drop you at your accommodation where you’ll stay for 2 nights.
The evening is your own to explore the city. Meet up with your fellow travellers and enjoy a meal in a local restaurant or traditional Highland pub. Inverness has a huge variety of establishments to choose from, whether you’d like to try our national dish of Haggis, Neeps & Tatties, washed down with a wee dram of Scotch Whisky or a Local Beer. After dinner, head to the world famous Hootenanny’s bar which has traditional Scottish musicians playing every night.
If local beer and whisky aren’t your scene, you can enjoy an evening stroll along the banks of the famous River Ness, where you’ll find Inverness Castle, and Inverness Cathedral.
The magical Isle of Skye! Today is all about exploring this breathtaking landscape, known once by the Vikings as the ‘Winged Isle’ or by Scots, romantically, as ‘The Misty Isle’, it was voted 4th best island in the world to visit by National Geographic Magazine! We believe the Isle of Skye is THE BEST island in the World, and we’re sure you’ll agree on this tour.
After breakfast at your accommodation, you’ll depart Inverness. The tour will cross the Kessock Bridge and begin our journey to Skye, via The Black Isle. Travelling through some of the most remote communities of mainland Britain, you will marvel at the spectacular scenery of Achnasheen and Loch Carron.
We stop for photographs of the famous Skye Bridge. Opened in 1995, this bridge has a remarkable history. With views of Skye’s Cuillin Mountain range in the distance, it’s a beautiful backdrop.
The Sligachan River flows majestically from the Black Cuillin Mountains, a truly magical location for your guide to introduce you to the local folklore of the island’s Faeries and Giants!
Enjoy lunch in the picturesque harbour town of Portree, the largest town on Skye. It has interesting pubs, restaurants and bakeries for you to try Fish and Chips (and other local foods) to give you enough energy for an afternoon exploring the rest of the island.
We explore the dramatic Trotternish Peninsula, with iconic rock formations which have made this area the perfect backdrop for recent movies such as B.F.G, Prometheus and Stardust. Highlights this afternoon may include the Old Man of Storr, Trotternish Waterfalls, Kilt Rock, The Quiraing and Uig.
Having explored Skye, we head back towards the mainland, arriving at Eilean Donan Castle, which is thought to be the most beautiful castle in Scotland! Built upon a rocky island at the head of three Sea Lochs (similar to Fjords), you will be struck by the romance of this iconic Scottish landmark and the beautiful mountains and lakes that surrounds it. Grab that ‘money-shot’ photograph before we return to Inverness at the end of Day 2 approx. 8pm.
***If you prefer, you have the option of a ‘free day’ in Inverness on day 2, where you can explore the city further, take a boat cruise on Loch Ness, visit attractions or do some souvenir shopping. Just let your Tour Guide know if you’d prefer to explore Inverness alone on Day 2***
You depart Inverness to begin your journey south, and on this day you’ll see waterfalls, visit the site of one of the most important battles in Scotland’s history, neolithic standing-stones, visit an authentic Scotch Whisky-Distillery, and journey through the stunning Cairngorms’ National Park.
Your guide shows you the fields of Culloden Moor/Battlefield, and you’ll hear the story of this infamous battle, which in 1746 was the last battle to be fought on British soil. This marked the end of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s hopes of becoming King. This battle changed Scotland, Britain and Europe forever. Walking on the site where many thousands of Highlanders died, One of the most sombre sites in the country, for many Scots, this is where “…the old Scotland died”.
Its then a short journey to Clava Cairns, where Diana Gabaldon found inspiration for ‘Craig Na Dun’ in the Outlander series. These fascinating Bronze-Age Standing-Stones, and burial chambers, are thought to be over 4,000 years’ old! Walk between the stones, and hear from your guide about who built this intriguing place, and why.
You’ll then experience Highland life in the 18th century, and visit authentic Highland blackhouses, at the ‘Highland Folk Museum’ (free entry) in Newtonmore (April-October only). You’ll see the homes people lived in 300 years ago, the clothes they wore, and how they went about their daily lives. The folk museum also has an on-site cafe where you can have lunch during our 90-minute visit. Also used as a filming-location for Outlander, this place give you a unique insight to the lives and struggles of the Highland people.**
You’ll then travel south to the Dalwhinnie Whisky-Distillery. Set almost 1,200ft above sea-level, this picturesque distillery in beautiful surroundings produces one of the Classic Single-Malt Whiskies of Scotland. You’ll have a 45-minute tour around this working distillery, followed by a short whisky-tasting experience.
Our final stop on our 3-day adventure is in the Highland village of Dunkeld, which sits on the longest river in Scotland, the River Tay. You’ll take a short walk to the town’s beautiful Dunkeld Cathedral. This cathedral, with a history stretching back over 1,200 years provides a final chance for photographs, before we depart for Edinburgh, arriving back in the city-centre around 6.00pm.
***Choose from Backpacker/Youth Hostel, Guesthouse / Bed & Breakfast, or Hotel Accommodation in Inverness, and we will pre-book your accommodation for you. You’ll pay for your accommodation on arrival. If you’d prefer, book your own accommodation in Inverness and meet up with the tour each morning. More info at the foot of this page. ***
** The ‘Highland Folk Museum’ closes between October 27th 2017 and the beginning of April 2018. During these months you will have lunch in the town of Aviemore and make a short visit to the historic Ruthven Barracks before continuing to Dalwhinnie Whisky Distillery.
“Me and my husband enjoyed our tour with The Hairy Coo. Donald knows everything there is to know about the scenery, the history and the people involved…We learned a lot about the history of Schotland and he even throws in a personal story every now and then. We loved his sarcastic humor and would recommend this tour company to annyone.”
– Lenie777, Amsterdam
“Paddy our tour guide made the tour with his hilarious story telling. Thanks Hairy Coo tours for such a wonderful experience!!”
– Rebekah S.
“We absolutely loved the tour (…despite the weather!). The tour was on time; our guide, Alistair, was considerate and fun and full of stories plus experiences to share with anyone who cared to ask. We all had a decent amount of time at every attraction, plus explanation on the places before hand.”
– Khanh Nguyen
99.97% of our guests would recommend us to a friend.
Why not book now and see for yourself? Want to see what it’s like on a tour with us? Watch our wee tour video below for a flavour of our tours and hear from some of our guests on their experience/s:
We’re so confident you’ll LOVE this tour, that if you don’t, or if you are unhappy with any part of it, just let us know, and you’ll be given a full refund. No questions asked.
You can also cancel all of our tours beforehand. All we need from you is 7 days notice in writing for this 3-day Tour (so we can notify the accommodation providers in Inverness). You have nothing to lose. Our ‘Easy-To-Cancel’ policy means that if your plans change, no problem, email us your booking details at least 7 days before the tour departs, and we’ll cancel your booking and refund your money. So you can book now, guarantee your place for your preferred date, and cancel later if need be.
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This tour departs the bus stop at the ‘Deacons House Cafe’, 304 Lawnmarket, Royal Mile, Edinburgh @ 8.30am on Day 1. We ask guests to arrive at LEAST 10 minutes before departure in order that we can load up your luggage/travel bags onto our bus. A map of the departure point is below:
ACCOMMODATION ON YOUR TOUR
Your accommodation in Inverness is not included, but you can choose your accommodation preferences from the below at the time of booking, and the company will book it on your behalf. You’ll pay for your accommodation on arrival.
- Backpackers/Youth Hostel: Dorm Bed (for 1 person, £20 to £28 per bed per night – dependent on season)
- Bed & Breakfast/Guesthouse: Double/Twin Room (for 2 people, £80-£180 per room per night)
- Bed & Breakfast/Guesthouse: Single Room (for 1 person, £45 to £90 per room per night)
- Bed & Breakfast/Guesthouse: 1 Family Room (For 4, 2 Adults + up to 2 Children, £150-250 per room per night)
- Hotel: Double/Twin-Room (For 2 people, £150-£300 per room per night)
Please note that your first choice of accommodation may not be available. In this case, you will be contacted by a member of our Reservations team to discuss your options.
We are more than happy for you to book your own accommodation in Inverness. It’s your holiday after all and we want you to be comfortable. Many people prefer to do this so they can check out online reviews in advance and find somewhere that suits their needs. Simply select “I WANT TO BOOK MY OWN ACCOMMODATION” during the booking process. All we ask is that you email us at your earliest opportunity to advise the name of your accommodation so we have this on record.
If you choose to book your own accommodation, your Driver/Guide will drop you off and pick you up each day from the designated meeting point, located at the Bus Stop/Stand in front of: ‘Aspendos Mediterranean Restaurant’, 26 Queensgate, Inverness, IV1 1DJ. On the morning of Day 2, please arrive at the meeting point no later than 7:50am. Your Driver/Guide will advise the meeting time on the morning of Day 3 as this is variable.
PLEASE NOTE: If, during the booking process, you select that you wish the Hairy Coo team to book your accommodation during the 3-Day tour. We always strive to book the best accommodation, within your price range, that is available in Inverness on the dates of your tour. Accommodation within the Scottish Highlands is limited, and Hotels in Inverness (and elsewhere in the Highlands) may differ in standard to those which you are used to in Edinburgh, London or abroad, however they are very nice and centrally located. They will also offer such services as an on-site bar and restaurant. Bed & Breakfasts/Guesthouses are traditionally large family homes, with extra bedrooms which are let out to guests. Some have en-suites, but this cannot be guaranteed. Bed & Breakfasts/Guesthouses booked through ourselves will be within 1.5 miles of the city centre. Mixed Hostel dorm beds – if you select a hostel dorm bed through ourselves, we will book you into a city centre hostel. Dorm sizes will average 8 beds.
We expect everyone to bring one larger piece of luggage (a suitcase or backpack) which we will put in the hold of the bus during transit. This can weigh up to 15kgs. (We understand dimensions vary). Of course, you are also welcome to bring a small ‘carry on’ backpack/handbag which you can take on to the bus with you and keep in the storage shelves during transit.
- Doune Castle entry (£6 adults, £3.60 children), Eilean Donan Castle entry (£7.50), and Whisky Distillery Tour (£8 for over-18s, £5 for under-18s (no tasting)) are optional, and not included in the tour rate. At Culloden Battlefield, you can explore the battle site for free, however you may wish to go into the National Trust for Scotland Visitor Centre for an exclusively discounted rate of £8.50.
- Please note that the Jacobite Steam Train only operates on our tours departing on or between 24th April – 27th October 2017, and 4th – 29th December 2017. And then for 2018, from late April onwards (subject to exact timetable being released). Please note that outwith these departure dates, although the tour will visit Glenfinnan Viaduct, it will not be possible to view the Jacobite Steam Train crossing the bridge.
- Full Terms and Conditions are available at point of booking.
- Please note that due to the limitations of our insurance, we cannot carry children under 7 years’ old on any of our tours.