2. Loch Ness, Glencoe & Whisky
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Tour Route Map:
Highlights of our Loch Ness, Glencoe & Whisky Day Tour:
- An optional boat cruise on Loch Ness. Will you spot Nessie?!
- The incredible natural beauty of Glencoe and the Highlands
- An optional whisky-tasting tour at a traditional Whisky Distillery
- Take beautiful nature walks and see Highland wildlife
- Fort Augustus, sitting on the southern shores of Loch Ness
- 5*-rated, experienced Scottish guides
- Tour Departs Edinburgh @ 8:00am, Returns 8:00-8:30pm
scroll down further for full tour itinerary
Adults (18+): £45
Full-Time Students (16+): £39
Children (7 – 15 years): £37
This tour runs every day/7 days a week in summer (between May and October), and 4 days a week during the winter season (November to April, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays & Sundays)
Is your preferred date FULL? Please CLICK HERE to view our other tours which might have availability.
“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.”
You’ll leave Edinburgh at 08:00am, and as you pass the fortress that is Stirling Castle, and approach the banks of the River Teith, you understand what Christina meant:
09:00am Deanston Whisky-Distillery
Ours is the only tour of Loch Ness which takes in a Whisky-Distillery visit, in the village of Deanston. Your guide introduces you to the 10 craftsmen who made this single malt. If whisky’s not your thing, skip the tour, and enjoy breakfast, or a coffee, at the distillery cafe, ‘The Coffee Bothy’.
“Would you like to try some some of our single-malt?” you’re asked, after being shown around.
It’s still only 10am, but what the heck? You’re on holiday.
And this refreshing Scotch is 12-years aged, drawn from the River Teith’s crystal-clear waters. It’s too good to miss. Enjoy this wee dram as you anticipate the day ahead. Your guide points out our route on the map.
“That’s where we’re going next. Slàinte mhath!” (pronounced ‘Slancha vah’, Scots’ Gaelic for “Cheers/Good Health!”)
10:30am: Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park
The Hairy Coo bus weaves through hills, mountains and Glens.
“These remote places were once inhabited by Highland Clans,” your guide tells you along the way. “Not to mention Scotland’s most famous outlaw, Rob Roy Macgregor, AKA ‘The Scottish Robin Hood.’”
Relax and hear bloodthirsty stories of betrayal and revenge. As difficult as it is to believe, all these remarkable stories are true. If we spot some of our famous ‘Hairy/Highland Coos’, we might stop for a ‘selfie’.
You arrive at Glencoe – setting for the 2012 movie Skyfall. And of 2004’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
Also the scene of one of Scotland’s most shocking massacres. As you gaze at the haunting hills, you notice the Glen is eerily silent.
Something terrible happened here, in the 17th century. Your guide will recount one of the worst acts of betrayal you’ve ever heard. You can almost feel the sorrow in the mountains of the ‘weeping vallley’.
12:30pm: Fort William and Ben Nevis
By 12:30, you’re passing the spectacular Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in the British Isles. The ‘Nevis Range’ towers over the winding road as you continue your journey to Loch Ness.
“Soon, we’ll be stopping at Fort Augustus,” says your guide. It’s a charming little village on the banks of our most famous Loch.
1:30pm: Loch Ness and Fort Augustus
Desperate for a glimpse of Nessie? St. Columba, an Irish monk, was one of the first people to record a sighting of the Loch’s infamous monster, back in the 6th century. And if you can’t trust a saint, who can you trust?! ;-p
1,500 years’ worth of recorded sightings of “The Water Horse” have made Loch Ness the most famous body of fresh water in the world. Why not see if you can spot ‘Nessie’ up close by taking the optional boat cruise from Fort Augustus? The sonar system onboard scans all 755-feet of the murky-depths, constantly searching for her presence, so you can relax and enjoy the views.
Alternatively, you can enjoy a spot of lunch in one of the many cafes, pubs and restaurants in Fort Augustus, take in the views of Loch Ness, and take a leisurely stroll along the gorgeous Caledonian Canal, which dates back to 1803.
You have around 2 hours to enjoy this enchanting village before heading to the Cairngorms’ National Park.
On route, we’ll stop at the Commando Memorial. In 1942, this setting became the training ground for Britain’s Special Forces. Harsh, unforgiving, and breathtakingly beautiful. A statue of our heroes overlooks the Nevis range.
Bring a camera. This is undoubtedly one of my favourite photo-spots in all of Scotland.
4.15pm: Cairngorms National Park and Pattack Falls
This is one of Europe’s last remaining wildernesses.
We’re not sticking to the main roads either.
Your driver takes you along the banks of Loch Laggan as we head for Pattack Falls. When we get there, we stop and appreciate the beautiful wee waterfall. See how the foamy, yellow’ish water tumbles through the rocky gorge? The colour comes from the ‘peat’/turf, which gives our whiskies the distinctive ‘smokey/peaty’ flavour they’re known for the world over. That’s why Scotch is considered the best. Mother nature does the work for us.
Watch the river disappear into the mysterious forest below. If you’re here in springtime, pick some berries and enjoy a free snack!
5.00pm: Pass of Drumochter
Back on the road, you journey even further into the wilderness. The Pass of Drumochter marks the boundary between the Northern and Southern Highlands. Dry and barren in the summer. Frozen and snowcapped, tundra-like, in winter. This harsh mountain pass has been used since pre-historic times.
The RAF (Royal Air Force) use it for low-level flying now.
Keep your eyes open for a passing Tornado fighter-jet. You cannot appreciate the power of these aircraft until one passes just fifty feet over your head. Exhilarating. Startling. (A little terrifying, too.)
Our Highland adventure ends in the quiet, quaint village of Pitlochy, Perthshire.
Did you know Queen Victoria was one of Pitlochy’s earliest visitors? She was so taken by its beauty, this has been a popular tourist attraction ever since.
In the forests around Highland Perthshire, you can see red squirrels. Roe deer, red deer and soaring buzzards, too. If you’re feeling lucky, you might even spot pine martens, golden eagles and osprey.
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At 8.00pm, you arrive back in Edinburgh, guaranteed to feel the same as these happy visitors…
“Me and my husband enjoyed our day in the Hairy Coo bus. 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 to annyone.”
– Lenie777, Amsterdam
“My first day in Edinburgh and can’t encourage you enough to get on a tour to explore the lowlands to the highlands. Whiskey tour and tasting at 10am was a bit naughty but educational, carried onto Loch Ness for a beautiful ferry cruise.. It’s a long tour 8am-8pm but Paddy our tour guide makes it fly buy with his hilarious story telling. Thanks Hairy Coo tours for that experience!!”
– Rebekah S.
“We absolutely loved the tour, despite the rainy weather running thru almost the whole day. 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 day tours and hear from some of our guests on their experience/s:
If you are unhappy with any part of this Highland adventure, you’re given a full refund. No questions asked.
You can cancel all our tours without penalty. All we need from you is 3 days’/72 hours notice in writing. 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 72 hours’/3 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.
Better book now though. Places fill fast for this trip.
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Choose Your Departure Point:
Our ‘Ness Bus’ departs Edinburgh at 8.00 am. You can choose from 4 different city-centre departure points. You don’t need to tell us which one you plan on joining the tour, simply choose the one most convenient for your accommodation, be at the right place, at the right time, and jump on! No need for e-tickets, just give your name to our Driver-Guide, they’ll have your name on our guest list. They’ll be expecting you.
Please arrive at the departure point nearest your accommodation at least 5 minutes before the designated time. You DO NOT need to confirm your choice ahead of the tour.
A map showing all departure points and times is shown below, click on the coloured pins to show the exact times and locations:
As we want to jam-pack the tour with lots of great sights, the bus will depart at the designated times and CANNOT wait or return for guests.
We promise you will LOVE your tour with us. If for any reason you are not 100% satisfied with the tour or your experience with us, you can have your money back!
We’re handing the power back to you, the customer, and this guarantees the highest quality of tour possible. We believe that any payment should be in direct proportion to the quality of the tour, and the level of customer service that has been provided.
Don’t believe what tour companies tell you, listen to their customers!
Our high ranking on ‘Tripadvisor’ is as a result of our high tour standards, and our absolute dedication to delighting every single one of our guests. No other company can match our dedication to excellence, our tour company is owned, and operated, by experienced Scottish Tour-Guides.
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- Please note that due to restrictions of daylight hours during the winter months, the Pattack Falls stop will only be available from March through to October.
- The Loch Ness Boat Cruise (£13 per adult/student, and £9 per child (under-16s), and Whisky Distillery Tour (£8 for over-18s, £5 for under-18s (no tasting)) are optional, and not included in the tour rate.
- 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.