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Armadale Castle & Gardens

Armadale Castle & Gardens: Our most recommended tours and activities

Isle of Skye and Outer Hebrides 6-Day Tour from Edinburgh

1. Isle of Skye and Outer Hebrides 6-Day Tour from Edinburgh

Day 1: Edinburgh to Inverness. Depart Edinburgh at 8:30 AM and head north towards Bannockburn, which is the site of the famous battle won by outlaw king Robert the Bruce. Learn about William Wallace as you pass Stirling Castle. Catch a glimpse of Doune Castle, which appears in Monty Python & the Holy Grail, Outlander, and Game of Thrones. Soak up the atmospheric scenery in Glencoe. Look out for Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest mountain, on your journey toward Loch Ness. Learn about the legend of the ‘Nessie’ the Loch Ness monster then continue onto Inverness. Arrive around 5:30 PM and spend free time enjoying a walk along the River Ness or to Inverness Castle for views of the city. Then you can wander around the various bars and restaurants.  Day 2: Inverness to Stornoway. Begin your day with fresh air and stunning scenery at Black Water Falls. Continue north along a beautiful stretch of road then take to the water on the ferry from Ullapool to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis. Keep an eye out for dolphins along the way. Explore the remote and rugged Atlantic coastline of Lewis. Visit the Butt of Lewis, the most northerly point on the island, to see the isolated lighthouse and dramatic force of the sea against the cliffs. Return to the main town of Stornoway for the night. Day 3: Stornoway. Prepare for an exciting day touring the cultural attractions on the Isle of Lewis. First, go back to the Neolithic period as you visit the mysterious 5000-year old Callanish Standing Stones. Then fast-forward to the Iron Age at the broch of Dun Carloway. Experience 17th century island life at the Gearrannan Blackhouse Village and unwind with a wee dram of whisky at Abhainn Dearg, which is the most westerly distillery in Scotland. Spend free time back in Stornoway. You can wander around the pretty harbour and go in search of fresh seafood in the local restaurants.  Day 4: Stornoway to Portree. Depart Stornoway and drive south towards the idyllic Isle of Harris. Marvel at the flawless white sand beaches with turquoise sea and a backdrop of mountains on West Harris. Board the ferry and go over the sea to the Isle of Skye, where you will spend the afternoon exploring the Trotternish peninsula. Soak up the enchanting scenery and learn about the island’s myths and legends. Arrive at your final stop, Portree, in time to enjoy dinner in one of the town’s restaurants. Day 5: Portree. Enjoy a magical day of island exploration on the Isle of Skye. Hear about the island’s resident fairies on a stop at one of the famous Fairy Bridges. Visit the enchanted waters of the Sligachan River, with views of the old bridge and the breathtaking Cuillin mountains. Drive over the Skye bridge to the iconic and absolutely beautiful Eilean Donan Castle. This castle was used in the filming of Highlander and James Bond, The World is Not Enough. Spend free time back in Portree visiting the shops, restaurants, and picturesque harbour with its colourful facades. Day 6: Portree to Edinburgh. Explore more of the beautiful Isle of Skye before taking the ferry to the west coast fishing village of Mallaig on the west coast. Experience one of the most spectacular railway journeys in the world and travel over the Glenfinnan Viaduct on the Jacobite Steam Train, made famous by Harry Potter. Take the scenic route back to the city, through the Cairngorms National Park. Arrive into Edinburgh around 8:30 PM. 

Edinburgh: Isle of Skye, Highlands & Jacobite Steam Train

2. Edinburgh: Isle of Skye, Highlands & Jacobite Steam Train

Our Skye High tour is the perfect way for travelers short on time to see most of Scotland. In just three days, go hunting for the Loch Ness Monster, see ruined castles and stunning lochs, and listen to Celtic myths in a proper Highland pub. Leaving Edinburgh at 8:00 AM, take in views of the spectacular Forth Bridges and journey north to Macbeth County. Visit the quaint village of Dunkeld with its historic cathedral sitting on the banks of the River Tay. Drive further into the Highlands and enter the Great Glen. Stop at Fort Augustus on the banks of Loch Ness and search for a glimpse of the legendary beast. Our journey to the Isle of Skye passes one of the most photographed castles in Scotland – Eilean Donan. Our home for the night is the small village of Portree on the Isle of Skye. (Overnight: Portree) Today we explore the Isle of Skye, also known as the ‘Misty Isle’: a bucket-list destinations thanks to its heart-stopping scenery. This wee island is packed with ruined castles, breathtaking views, and faerie stories. Home to the legendary MacLeod and MacDonald Clans, hear Celtic myths and Viking legends from the past millennia. Explore the windswept landscape, coastline, and mountain ranges. In the afternoon, explore Dunvegan Castle, the ancestral home of the Chiefs of Clan MacLeod before returning to Portree. Summer itinerary, April to mid-October. Our first stop of the day is the beautiful Armadale Castle, Gardens, and Museum of the Isles before taking the ferry to the west coast fishing village of Mallaig. Have the option to be a wizard for the day and board the Jacobite Steam Train aka “Hogwarts Express” to Fort William, one of the most spectacular railway journeys in the world and a must for all Harry Potter fans. The train crosses the Glenfinnan Viaduct where a monument to Bonnie Prince Charlie’s campaign now stands. We head south through the dramatic scenery of Glencoe, wild Rannoch Moor then the heart of Rob Roy country before arriving back in Edinburgh at approximately 8:30 PM.

From Edinburgh: Isle of Skye & The Highlands 3-Day Tour

3. From Edinburgh: Isle of Skye & The Highlands 3-Day Tour

Our Skye High tour is the perfect way for travelers short on time to see most of Scotland. In just three days, go hunting for the Loch Ness Monster, see ruined castles and stunning lochs, and listen to Celtic myths in a proper Highland pub. Leaving Edinburgh at 8:00 AM, take in views of the spectacular Forth Bridges and journey north to Macbeth County. Visit the quaint village of Dunkeld with its historic cathedral sitting on the banks of the River Tay. Drive further into the Highlands and enter the Great Glen. Stop at Fort Augustus on the banks of Loch Ness and search for a glimpse of the legendary beast. Our journey to the Isle of Skye passes one of the most photographed castles in Scotland – Eilean Donan. Our home for the night is the small village of Portree on the Isle of Skye. (Overnight: Portree) Today we explore the Isle of Skye, also known as the ‘Misty Isle’: a bucket-list destinations thanks to its heart-stopping scenery. This wee island is packed with ruined castles, breathtaking views, and faerie stories. Home to the legendary MacLeod and MacDonald Clans, hear Celtic myths and Viking legends from the past millennia. Explore the windswept landscape, coastline, and mountain ranges. In the afternoon, explore Dunvegan Castle, the ancestral home of the Chiefs of Clan MacLeod before returning to Portree. Summer itinerary, April to mid-October. Our first stop of the day is the beautiful Armadale Castle, Gardens, and Museum of the Isles before taking the ferry to the west coast fishing village of Mallaig. Have the option to be a wizard for the day and board the Jacobite Steam Train aka “Hogwarts Express” to Fort William, one of the most spectacular railway journeys in the world and a must for all Harry Potter fans. The train crosses the Glenfinnan Viaduct where a monument to Bonnie Prince Charlie’s campaign now stands. We head south through the dramatic scenery of Glencoe, wild Rannoch Moor then the heart of Rob Roy country before arriving back in Edinburgh at approximately 8:30 PM.

From Edinburgh: 8-Day Skye, Orkney & North Coast 500 Tour

4. From Edinburgh: 8-Day Skye, Orkney & North Coast 500 Tour

DAY1: Edinburgh-Inverness Our first stop of the day is Dunkeld in the heart of Perthshire. Then we make our way to the Highland Folk Museum, Britain's first open-aired museum. Next, we stop at one of the most somber locations in Scotland, Culloden Battlefield, setting for the final Jacobite Uprising of 1746. Visit one of the inspirations behind Outlander - the Clava Cairns - known for being a bronze age burial ground. Arrive in Inverness in the evening for an overnight stay. DAY2: Inverness-Orkney The incredibly beautiful Dunrobin Castle traces its origins back to the 13th century, recognised as one of Britain's oldest inhabited houses. Experience the rugged charm of Scotland’s very own “route 66”. We head to Orkney by ferry for our last leg of the day. Upon arrival your guide drives you to Kirkwall, where you settle in for the night. DAY3: Orkney The breathtaking Italian Chapel was built during WWII using two Nissen huts. The Ring of Brodgar is a vast and mysterious archaeological gem, and the most iconic site in the Heart of Neolithic Orkney. Visit Skara Brae, an incredibly well-preserved neolithic village consisting of 10 houses. Next, we visit Stromness, the second largest settlement in Orkney. We spend the afternoon exploring Orkney. DAY4: Orkney-Ullapool We hop on a ferry back to the mainland. We continue our journey along the North Coast 500. Smoo Cave is one of the top natural attractions on the North Coast 500 and epic example of Scottish geology. We make a stop in Durness to visit Sango Sands beach. Marvel at the scenery and mild-blowing geology of the North-West Highlands with a walk through Knockan Crag Nature Reserve. DAY5: Ullapool-Portree Our first stop of the day is at Corrieshalloch Gorge. Next we stop at the most photographed castle in Scotland, Eilean Donan which has links to both clans MacKenzie and MacRae. We arrive in Skye for lunch, visiting Portree and the Old Man of Storr. Next we stop to admire Kilt Rock. Marvel at the breathtaking Mealt Waterfall. DAY6: Portree-Oban We arrive in Mallaig to board the Jacobite Steam Train. The West Highland Line between Mallaig and Ft. William is famous for its beautiful scenery and dreamy sands of the west coast. Glencoe is dominated by majestic mountains which completely contrast the vast and flat expanse of its neighbouring Rannoch Moor. Your guide will take you through Glencoe’s sad history; you will feel like you have been transported through time. DAY7: Oban-Oban Today is your free day to explore the charming fishing village of Oban! DAY8: Oban-Edinburgh We visit St. Conan’s Kirk sits at the heart of Dalmally’s local community. Kilchurn Castle was built in the mid-1400s by Sir Colin Campbell, the 1st Lord of Glenorchy, and sits dramatically on a rocky peninsula. We make a stop at the impressive Falls of Dochart which run through Killin. Our final stop is in Falkirk to see the Kelpies; a fantastic equine landmark. Our tour concludes in Edinburgh after an unforgettable 8 days.

From Edinburgh: 6-Day Isle of Skye and Hebridean Hopper Tour

5. From Edinburgh: 6-Day Isle of Skye and Hebridean Hopper Tour

Day 1: Edinburgh to Inverness We travel north stopping to visit the Kelpies, a stunning spectacle of modern engineering. Kelpies are mythological beasts in Scottish folklore, and this fantastic landmark is the largest of its kind in the world. We arrive in Glencoe, dominated by majestic mountains which contrast the flat expanse of its neighbouring Rannoch Moor. Your guide will take you through Glencoe’s sad history. We stop in Fort Augustus to visit the legendary Loch Ness for a photo break. Overnight Inverness Day 2: Inverness to Stornoway We visit Corrieshalloch Gorge, one of the most impressive gorges in the UK. We drive to Ullapool to catch our ferry and depart the mainland. Enjoy a leisurely drive from Stornoway to Harris, the southernmost and most mountainous part of the Lewis and Harris islands. We visit one of Scotland’s beautiful beaches. With the clearest water and the whitest sand, you will feel as if you are on a tropical island. Marvel at the impressive St. Clement's Church. Spend the rest of the day exploring the idyllic Isle of Harris and the sprawling Golden Road. Overnight Stornoway Day 3: Stornoway to Stornoway Visit one of the inspirations behind Outlander - the Callanish standing stones. Then fast-forward to the Iron Age at the broch of Dun Carloway. Experience island life at the Gearrannan Blackhouse Village. These houses were lived in until as recently as the 1970s and represent 17th century island life on Scotland’s rugged Atlantic Coast. We explore the remote coastline and visit the Butt of Lewis – the most northerly point on the island – to see the isolated lighthouse and dramatic force of the sea against the cliffs. Overnight Stornoway Day 4: Stornorway to Portree We start the day with some free time to shop for Harris’ most famous export, Tweed. We stop at the Isle of Harris distillery to unwind with a wee dram. We travel "over the sea to Skye"! Visit the Isle of Skye Brewery to sample some of Skye's signature beers. Spend the afternoon exploring the Trotternish peninsula learning about Skye’s myths and legends. Overnight Portree Day 5: Portree to Portree We spend the day exploring Skye, visiting iconic locations such as Kilt Rock, the Old Man of Storr and the Quiraing. Next we stop at the most photographed castle in Scotland, Eilean Donan. Overnight Portree Day 6: Portree to Edinburgh Start the day by exploring Armadale Castle, once home to Clan MacDonald. We board the ferry from Armadale and arrive in Mallaig, a charming fishing village. Treat yourself to some fish and chips before an optional ride on the Jacobite Steam Train. The West Highland Line between Mallaig and Fort William is famous for its wildly beautiful scenery and dreamy sands of the west coast. You’ll quickly understand why it’s been voted the most scenic rail journey in the world. We make a final comfort stop in the southern Highland village of Pitlochry before concluding our tour in Edinburgh at approx. 5:30pm.

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What people are saying about Armadale Castle & Gardens

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 40 reviews

This trip met, and even exceeded, our expectations. We're usually not big fans of organized bus trips. However, when faced with limited time, this option made perfect sense. This tour gives you a perfect feel for the beauty and history of Scotland from the Highlands to the Outer Hebrides. Highland Explorer Tours does a phenomenal job in creating a wonderful experience. Our tour guide (Caitlyn Burnett) was truly exceptional. She deftly drove our mini bus while narrating our trip with a lovely mix of rich history and funny anecdotes. She is professional and courteous, and has a youthful exuberance with a wicked sense of humor. Of course, one must realize even one unruly or rude fellow passenger can ruin a trip. We were lucky to be among a group of likeminded and laid-back souls. We can heartily recommend this tour.

Amazing scenery and very knowledgeable driver/guide. Seafood was also top notch. Our tour bus guide/driver did the most amazing job of driving us, picking up ferry and train tickets and making sure we were booked in easily to all accommodation and any event we had booked. I would love to go back and would certainly request the same driver as Rich was very knowledgeable about the area and the historical events. Dont drive be driven and then use your energy to sight see. Way to go from booking and talking with the office staff to enjoying the route from start to finish.

We had a really nice trip in a small group of 7 participants, which was great! We got to see so many beautiful places, Jo P. knew so much about all the places we visited and passed by in the bus. It was the perfect mix of doing things together and time for ourself to explore the nature. Jo asked us to write down some songs we would like to hear on our last day in the bus - loved that :) (But music was nice anyway on our journey)

Great tour to take if you want to really explore the Highlands. Thomas was an excellent guide as well - humorous and personable. Glencoe and the Isle of Skye were just beautiful. Unfortunately due to the time in season and dates, some of the activities were cancelled (distillery tour, museums, etc). Regardless, the tour is fun if you want to meet new people and get some great photos of the landscape!

Fantastic experience! A must see in Scotland. Our knowledgeable tour guide Charlie went above and beyond to make sure the whole bus enjoyed the tour and seen as much