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Inveraray Castle

Inveraray Castle: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Glasgow: Oban, Glencoe, Highland Lochs & Castles Tour

1. From Glasgow: Oban, Glencoe, Highland Lochs & Castles Tour

Explore the stunning lochs and castles of the Western Highlands on this small-group tour from Glasgow. You'll see the superb ruins of Kilchurn on Loch Awe, the bustling west coast harbor town of Oban, and the dramatic beauty of Glencoe. Depart Glasgow at 8:30 AM and travel through gorgeous Glen Fruin, driving parallel with Loch Long. You'll then cross the Highland boundary, where the scenery changes quickly and dramatically–the flat plains of the Lowlands give way to shimmering lochs, rugged mountain tops and forest-filled glens. Continue your drive over the Rest and Be Thankful mountain pass before traveling through the Arrochar Alps. You'll then arrive at the picturesque harbor town of Inveraray on the shores of Loch Fyne. From here you will drive along the shore of Scotland’s longest loch, Loch Awe, where you'll stop to take photos of Kilchurn Castle, a magnificent ruin right in the middle of Loch Awe and the former home of the Campbells of Breadalbane. You will then continue to the harbor town of Oban, gateway to the Isles, where you will eat lunch. After lunch you'll travel north along the coast around Appin, passing imposing Castle Stalker, and into Scotland's most famous valley, Glencoe. This is Scotland's largest loch and it takes its name from the mountain Ben Lomond. The last stop of the day will be in Luss, an 18th-century conservation village with old workers' cottages, built for the laborers of the estate.

From Glasgow: Oban, Glencoe & West Highland Castles Day Tour

2. From Glasgow: Oban, Glencoe & West Highland Castles Day Tour

On this tour, you will experience the shimmering lochs, scenic mountain views, and romantic and historic castles of the western highlands. From Glasgow cross the Firth of Clyde, passing Dumbarton's famous and imposing rock fortress. The first stop is the pretty conservation village of Luss, on the 'Bonny, Bonny Banks' of Loch Lomond. Here you can walk along the shore or stay to admire the village. Pass several dramatic castles and lochs as the tour climb into the Highlands. Make a stop for lunch at the fishing town of Oban. Journey on a southern route that takes you past the spectacular Kilchurn Castle, majestically situated on Loch Awe. Our final stop is Inveraray, the historic seat of the Duke of Argyll, where you can choose to either visit Inveraray Castle (April-October only) or explore the town’s Georgian houses and wide streets. Return to Glasgow via the Rest and Be Thankful pass.

From Edinburgh: West Highland Lochs & Castles Full-Day Trip

3. From Edinburgh: West Highland Lochs & Castles Full-Day Trip

Explore the Scottish Highlands on this bus day trip from Edinburgh. Take in classic sights like Stirling, Doune, and Inveraray castle. Admire natural landscapes like Loch Lubnaig, Glen Ogle, and the Arrochar Alps. Hop aboard the spacious and airconditioned bus in Edinburgh and travel west, passing in the imposing show of Stirling Castle which rests high on its volcanic rock. Visit to Doune Castle which was featured in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail". Drive into the Highlands, past the lovely Loch Lubnaig, and up through impressive Glen Ogle. Stopping nearby at a place where you can purchase lunch with views of the surrounding natural scenery. After lunch, drive further into the Highlands, stopping to view one of the most photographed castles in Scotland, Kilchurn Castle. Marvel at this relic which juts into Loch Awe and is stunningly framed by mountain peaks. Venture to Inveraray, a quaint town built in the mid-18th century, on the shore of Loch Fyne. Have free time to explore the town and pick up some Highland souvenirs, or pay an optional visit to Inveraray Castle (closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays), the historic home of the Duke of Argyll. Begin your homeward journey, driving over the Arrochar Alps, an attractive range of mountains, with a brief pause near the top of the "Rest and Be Thankful Pass. Reach Loch Lomond, and visit the charming village of Luss before returning to Edinburgh.

West Highlands Lochs & Castles Tour from Edinburgh

4. West Highlands Lochs & Castles Tour from Edinburgh

Enjoy a small group tour of Scotland’s Western Highlands, and explore some of its most atmospheric lochs and castles. Traveling in a comfortable 16-seat Mercedes minibus, you will depart Edinburgh and head west past Stirling Castle. The first stop will be Doune Castle, built for Robert Stewart, the Duke of Albany, over 600 years ago. You might recognize it from the famous comedy film, Monty Python and The Holy Grail. Continue to Callander, where you will pause for a coffee, before leaving the rolling farms for the wild mountains and forests of the Highlands. Visit Loch Luibnaig, and continue over the Braes of Balquhidder, final resting place of Highland outlaw Rob Roy MacGregor. Made famous by Sir Walter Scott, Rob Roy was a sort-of Highland Robin Hood, who stole from the rich, but never quite got round to giving it to the poor! From Balquhidder, the tour winds its way through the tough knot of mountains known as Breadalbane. Stop for lunch in a small West Highland village. Continue past Kilchurn Castle in the middle of Loch Awe, and on through Campbell country to the picturesque town of Inveraray on the shores of Loch Fyne. Visit the 18th-Century castle, home of the Duke of Argyll, chief of the Campbell clan. Depart Inveraray, and drive up through the steep mountains of the Arrochar Alps, to the great viewpoint at “Rest and Be Thankful,” given its name by the weary soldiers who had just finished building the military road up through Glen Croe. Skirt Loch Long, and drive down to the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, Scotland's largest loch. Stop at the conservation village of Luss, to admire its quaint houses and stunning views across the loch, and then make your way back to Edinburgh, with a short stop underneath Stirling Castle.

From Glasgow: Scotland Sightseeing Tour Shore Excursion

5. From Glasgow: Scotland Sightseeing Tour Shore Excursion

Meet your guide at the meeting point at the port of Greenock (Glasgow) and depart by bus over the Clyde River and onto the southern tip of the Scottish Highlands. Enjoy narration enhanced by Scottish music and movie sound bites setting the scene for the sights you are about to see. Your first stop is at An Ceann Mor with a vantage point overlooking Loch Lomond. This recent creation fits into the landscape due to its wooden composition and offers spectacular views of Scotland's most picturesque loch. As you travel onwards, make a brief stop at The Green Welly Stop for refreshments and a little souvenir hunting. Your next stop is at Kilchurn Castle, a ruin that was originally built on an island on Loch Awe in the 15th century. A short walk across a causeway gives you access to this magnificent former home of Sir Colin Campbell that has lain in ruin over the centuries. Spend time exploring the fantastic ruins and taking photographs before heading to your next destination. Arrive at Inveraray and visit the family seat of the Duke of Argyll where you can wander the halls and visit the castle armoury. While in Inveraray, take the opportunity to sample Scottish cuisine at one of the town's delicious eateries. With your appetite sated, head to a stunning viewpoint overlooking a magnificent Scottish glen at the Rest and be Thankful mountain pass where you can capture a picture-perfect image of Scotland. The final destination before heading back to your ship is at the small village of Luss. Take time for last-minute souvenir shopping and some light refreshments as you wander around this lovely little village. Visit the church built by Sir James Colquhoun of the Clan Colquhoun where you’ll find some early medieval graves and evidence of Viking presence in the area.

Scotland: West Highlands, Mull and Iona 4-Day Tour

6. Scotland: West Highlands, Mull and Iona 4-Day Tour

Immerse yourself in the scenic splendor and ancient history of Scotland’s West Highlands, and the Hebridean islands of Mull and Iona on a relaxed small group sightseeing tour. The 4-day adventure is by comfortable climate controlled Mercedes minibus for a more intimate and personal experience. Drive across the mountain pass of the Rest and Be Thankful, discover the scene of the infamous Clan MacDonald massacre, marvel at the baronial Inveraray Castle, meander through the mountains of Morven, and much more. Day 1: Depart Edinburgh and travel north past Stirling Castle to the bustling town of Callander. From here, continue through Queen Elizabeth Forest Park and the bristling Trossachs, before reaching the remote expanse of Rannoch Moor, one of the largest wilderness areas left in Europe. A short drive north brings you to Glencoe, scene of the infamous massacre of Clan MacDonald in 1692. Take a short ferry ride across Loch Linnhe to explore the impressive mountains of Morven. At Lochaline, take another ferry to the Hebridean island of Mull. A short drive brings you to Tobermory, the island’s capital and location for your 3-night stay. Tobermory, meaning “Well of Mary,” is one of the prettiest harbor towns in Scotland with its brightly painted houses overlooking the sea. Day 2: This is a leisurely day, with a drive to the more remote areas of the island. Visit the pretty settlement of Dervaig, with its own festival theater, and Kilmore Church, with its round steeple. From here, venture to the wild thrashing sandy shores of Calgary Bay. If you are lucky you might see the sea eagles that live in the area. An early afternoon return to Tobermory will provide the chance to soak up the atmosphere of the pretty town, with a chance to peruse the small shops, and the local Tobermory Whisky Distillery. Day 3: Bask in the glory of Mull, as you head south to Fionnphort to take a passenger ferry to the small Island of Iona. Iona is an island of quiet charm, lapped by glorious turquoise waters. Located in the cradle of Celtic Christianity with the arrival of St. Columba in 563 AD, enjoy plenty of time to explore the Abbey and its museum of Celtic heritage. Visit the magnificent Celtic crosses and headstones, or enjoy a stroll along the quiet sandy beaches. In the afternoon there will be the chance to catch a small boat to the Island of Staffa, where nature enthusiasts can look for the abundant marine life. With its basalt columns of 5 and 6-sided hexagonal stepping stones, Staffa and Fingal’s Cave are an amazing tribute to the effects of nature and are known locally as “Nature’s Cathedral.” After a great day outdoors, return to Tobermory for the night. Day 4: Depart Tobermory and head south to Craignure, the main ferry terminal for the short crossing to Oban. Continue west to the whitewashed 18-century town of Inveraray on the shores of Loch Fyne. Marvel at Inveraray Castle’s mix of Scots Baronial and Neo Gothic architecture, featured in an episode of the TV miniseries “Downtown Abbey.” Next, go to the National Park of Loch Lomond and climb more than 800 feet to the “Rest and Be Thankful” mountain pass before hugging the shores of Loch Long and Loch Lomond. Continue towards Stirling, with opportunities for impressive photos of the castle, before your early evening drop off in Edinburgh.

From Glasgow: Oban, Lochs & Inveraray Day Tour

7. From Glasgow: Oban, Lochs & Inveraray Day Tour

Depart Glasgow and travel to Loch Lomond (the largest expanse of fresh water in the country) where you will stop off at the conservation village of Luss for coffee and sightseeing. Then head deep into the Highlands, passing through breathtaking scenery (including views along Loch Awe, the longest loch in Scotland). The countryside here is rich with history and you will pass the haunting Kilchurn Castle (historically a stronghold of the Campbell Clan) and the Pass of Brander (where Robert the Bruce had a notable victory). By lunchtime, you'll have reached Oban where you will have time to explore this Victorian seaside town, climb up to McCaig's Tower, take in the views to the isles of Mull and Kerrera and try some of the freshest seafood you've ever tasted. On the way back to Glasgow, you'll visit the seat of the Campbell Clan at Inveraray, where you'll stop to enjoy ice-cream, homemade sweets, cakes and coffee and drink in the beauty of Loch Fyne.

From Glasgow: Standing Stones, Castles & Highlands Tour

8. From Glasgow: Standing Stones, Castles & Highlands Tour

Take in the beauty of the Scottish Highlands on a guided day trip to locations steeped in fascinating folklore. Admire the stunning views of the landscape as you visit some historic locations which are deeply linked to Scottish history and heritage. Start your tour from Glasgow and take in the wonderful views looking out over the River Clyde and west towards the Clyde Estuary, where fresh water and saltwater meet. On a clear day, you may even be able to see where the Vikings moored their longboats over 1300 years ago. Pass through Trossachs National Park and all its scenic splendor. From Scotland’s first National Park, travel west towards Argyll for a visit to Inveraray Castle. Admire the collection of antique weaponry, used against the Jacobite soldiers and other historic artifacts. After your first historic Castle visit, travel along the shores of Loch Fyne, the longest saltwater Loch in Scotland. Keep a watchful eye on the water as there’s a good chance you will see some seals and other marine wildlife. Next, stop at Kilmartin Glen, where there are over 350 ancient monuments spread across the valley, making this one of the most historically important locations in the whole of Scotland. Explore a large finding of cup and ring marks, dating from thousands of years back. Continue towards the historical standing stones, stone circles, and burial cairns located within the area. Discover these mysterious ancient formations, believed to be over 5000 years old. Afterward, travel to Kilchurn Castle. Explore the abandoned 15th-century castle located at the head of Loch Awe, which was once home to the large and powerful Campbell Clan of Glenorchy. Leave Kilchurn and make your way further into the Highlands towards the mountainous Trossachs region. Stop along the banks of Loch Lomond to enjoy some of the magnificent Highland scenery, before returning to Glasgow.

From Balloch: Epic Highlands Day Trip & Standing Stones

9. From Balloch: Epic Highlands Day Trip & Standing Stones

Experience the magic of the standing stones and castles of the Highlands on a true Scottish day trip from Balloch. Drive through Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park and walk in Inveraray Castle. Spot seals in Loch Fyne and see standing stones over 5,000 years old. Meet your friendly guide and group at the visitor's center and get ready for your adventure into the heart of Scotland. Relax on a beautiful drive along the western shore of Loch Lomond, stopping at viewing points to admire the serene scenery of the Trossachs National Park. Travel onwards towards Argyll and enter the Gothic Inveraray Castle, learning about the Wars of Scottish Independence and seeing rifles used against the Jacobite soldiers. Roam around the castle's 16-acres of wonderful gardens and soak in the aroma of flowers in the air. Leave the castle and keep an eye out for swimming seals as you travel along the shoreline of Loch Fyne, one of the deepest Scottish sea lochs. Get out of the car for a walk to view the largest finding of cup and ring marked rocks in the country. Thought to be ancient prehistoric art, try to unravel the mystery behind the creation of these patterns and learn about Dunadd Fort, the birthplace of Scotland. Pretend you're Claire from Outlander as you discover a collection of monolithic standing stones, stone circles, and burial cairns believed to be over 5,000 years old. You won't find anything as special as this in Scotland. Take time to explore the picturesque ruins of Kilchurn Castle next, a former fortress on the banks of Loch Awe. Watch for signs of thunderous clouds in the sky, as rumor has it that this historic castle was destroyed by lightning. Escape into the grounds for a short walk around the old stone walls. Depart from Kilchurn and venture further into the Highlands towards the mountainous Trossachs region of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Finish your unforgettable day trip by enjoying the most magnificent landscapes on the banks of Loch Lomond.

Other Sightseeing Options in Inveraray Castle

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What people are saying about Inveraray Castle

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 935 reviews

Amazing day! Amazing sights! Amazing history lessons! This perfectly timed tour allowed us to see so much so quickly with our knowledgable, capable and chill guide Fraser. Highly recommend! We saw castles, cows, ruins, lochs, bridges, waterfalls and amazing views that took our breath away! We learned about the history of Scottish wars, clans, kilts, music, forestry, castles, kings and queens. This was a long day but worth every second.

Just a fantastic tour seeing the best of Scottish Highlands and Loch Lomond. Stevie was a great, knowledgebable tour guide. It is a long tour, nearly 10 hours. Also, the van is nice but the seats are kind of tight, not ideal for any plus-sized guests. The best van seats are on the back row or beside the driver. Highly, Highly recommend this tour! Also it is a great value for the price too.

This is the best tour we have ever been on and we have been traveling Europe for quite a few months. Cameron set the standard for tours. I would listen to audiobooks with him telling the stories. The experience was captivating and the size of the group was perfect and enjoyable.

Amazing. Besides the stunning visuals and places that we went to, the guide was the cherry on top as he kept as entertained with the story of land and other topics. Very friendly and funny. Will definitely go again to different locations.

If you only have a short time to experience the Highlands this tour is the way to go. Excellent sights and a wonderfully informative tour led by Robert!