Things to do in
North East Scotland

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Our most recommended things to do in North East Scotland

Loch Lomond: Island Discovery 2-Hour Cruise

Loch Lomond: Island Discovery 2-Hour Cruise

Discover the legends and secrets of the islands of Loch Lomond on this cruise from Alexandria. Learn the history and the legends of Loch Lomond and the surrounding areas, while enjoying some of Scotland's most spectacular scenery. Hop aboard the spacious and comfortable boat that Balloch Village Ferry Landing. Have plenty of space for indoor and outdoor viewing with opened and closed deck space, and full bar facilities where you can purchase a drink. Begin you circular cruise which passes the world-famous Loch Lomond Golf Club. Explore the middle island of Loch Lomond, sail through an area known to locals as "The Narrows", and continue onwards to the village of Luss. Listen to cruise commentary by famed historian and archaeologist Neil Oliver, best known from BBC's "Coast" and "A History of Scotland." Return to your starting point at the end of your journey.

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

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

Departing from Glasgow you travel northwest along the shores of Loch Lomond. Here you will cross the Highland Boundary Fault Line where the scenery changes quickly and dramatically - the flat fertile plains of the Lowlands giving way to shimmering lochs, rugged mountain tops, and forest-filled glens. It's easy to forget that this was once thought of as a dangerous frontier fought over by the fiercely territorial Highland clans such as the MacGregors, made famous by highland folk hero, Rob Roy MacGregor. You will then take a leisurely drive over the at 'Rest and Be Thankful' mountain pass. It was given its name in 1753 by the weary soldiers who had just finished building the old military road up through Glen Croe (not to be confused with Glencoe which you will visit later in the day). From here you will travel through the steep-sided mountains, known as the Arrochar Alps, to the picturesque harbour town of Inveraray on the shores of Loch Fyne, home of the Duke of Argyll, chief of the Campbell clan. The town is a classic 18th-century planned village with its straight wide streets and dignified Georgian houses, designed by Robert Adam, famous for his architecture in Edinburgh’s New Town. From here you will drive along the shore of Scotland’s longest loch, Loch Awe, where you stop to take your photos of Kilchurn Castle, a magnificent ruin situated in the middle of Loch Awe and former home of the Campbells of Breadalbane. You will then continue to the harbour town of Oban, gateway to the Isles, for lunch of your choice. After lunch you will then travel north along the west coast around Appin, passing the impregnable Castle Stalker, and into Scotland's most famous valley, Glencoe. Stunningly beautiful, with its dramatic cliff faces and steep slopes, Glencoe is infamous as the site of the Glencoe massacre in 1692. Following orders from King William, Scottish soldiers under the leadership of Captain Robert Campbell slaughtered 38 men, women and children of the Macdonald clan. This was especially shocking as the soldiers had been living with the people of Glencoe for two weeks and killed them in their own homes. Nobody was ever punished for this crime, as the King himself had signed the order, but the Highlands would never be the same again. Travelling south, as you pass the majestic peak of Buachaille Etive Mor (meaning 'the great shepherd of Etive'), you descend towards the wild desolation of Rannoch Moor. At an altitude of over 1000ft, covered by heather and peat-bogs and dotted with dozens of lochs, it's a unique landscape. From here you will then travel through Glen Falloch, and then drive south towards Loch Lomond. This is Scotland's largest loch and it takes its name from the mountain Ben Lomond on the eastern shore. From here you return to Glasgow.

Glasgow: Loch Ness, Glencoe and Highlands Tour with Cruise

Glasgow: Loch Ness, Glencoe and Highlands Tour with Cruise

You depart Glasgow and travel towards the Highlands along the “bonnie, bonnie” banks of Loch Lomond. This is Scotland's largest loch and it takes its name from the mountain, Ben Lomond, on the eastern shore. You cross the ancient natural fault line that runs across Scotland and venture into the majestic Highlands where the scenery changes dramatically. The flat plains of the Lowlands transform into shimmering lochs, rugged mountains, and forest-filled glens. The alluring beauty makes it easy to forget this was once a battleground of the fiercely territorial Highland clans. Travelling north through Breadalbane (meaning the 'High Country of Scotland'), you climb towards Rannoch Moor. This 1000ft plain is covered by heather, peat bogs, and dozens of lochs. You’ll love how it contrasts with the spectacular mountain scenery of Buachaille Etive Mor (meaning 'the great shepherd of Etive'). You then head down to Scotland's most famous valley, Glencoe, where you’ll be mesmerised by the beautiful cliff faces and steep slopes. After Glencoe, you enter a deep glacial valley, known as the Great Glen. Passing through the town of Fort William you travel under Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis, before arriving at Fort Augustus on the shore of Loch Ness. Fort Augustus boasts the Caledonian Canal, which is a great spot to relax and watch the boats sail by. You stop here for one hour to give you time for lunch. After your lunch, you get the opportunity to take a five-star Cruise Loch Ness boat cruise from Fort Augustus*. Taking to the waters is the best chance you'll get to spot the monster and admire the beauty of this mysterious loch. You leave the scenic village and begin your journey back towards Glagsow, but not to worry, there are many lovely stops along the way for photos and views, including the quiant town of Pitlochry. You continue south through the forests of Perthshire before finally reaching Glasgow in the evening. *The Loch Ness boat cruise is weather dependent and may be cancelled without notice.

From Edinburgh: Holy Island, Alnwick Castle & Northumbria

From Edinburgh: Holy Island, Alnwick Castle & Northumbria

Join a day trip from Edinburgh to the medieval kingdom of Northumbria in North-East England. Visit Lindisfarne, once the most important center of religious learning in the British Isles. Explore the market town of Alnwick and its castle where scenes from Harry Potter and Downton Abbey were filmed. Meet your guide, hop on a bus, and make your way to your first stop, Holy Island, connected to the mainland by a causeway that leads into the quaint island village of Lindisfarne. Soak in stunning views of Lindisfarne Castle dating back to 1550. Spend time wandering through the ruins of its Priory where the Lindisfarne Gospels were produced. Sample some of the world-famous Lindisfarne ‘mead’ brewed by monks on the island, and enjoy the tranquility for which the island is renowned. Continue south passing Bamburgh, the ancient capital of Northumbria, then on to the bustling market town of Alnwick, whose greatest building is the medieval Alnwick Castle. Enjoy time in the town center or visit the castle complex which was home to the Percy Family for over 700 years. If you decide to visit the castle, step into the unexpected in the Alnwick Garden with its Grand Cascade fountain and Poison Gardens. The castle grounds were also used in the TV series Downton Abbey and the Harry Potter films. In the mid-afternoon, begin the drive north to cross the River Tweed and back into Scotland at the historic border town of Coldstream. If time permits, stop at Flodden Field, the scene of the infamous battle of 1513, which ended in victory for the English and the death of James IV, King of Scots.

From Glasgow: Loch Lomond, Trossachs & Stirling Castle Tour

From Glasgow: Loch Lomond, Trossachs & Stirling Castle Tour

Embark on a guided bus tour of Loch Lomond, the Trossachs, and Stirling Castle from Glasgow. Take in the views of the lush Scottish countryside and learn about William Wallace and Rob Roy from your driver. After leaving Glasgow, stop at the ‘bonnie banks’ of Loch Lomond, one of the prettiest and largest lochs in the whole of Scotland. Take a cruise, enjoying spectacular views of the loch’s many islands and the surrounding mountains. Alternatively, take a stroll through the picturesque loch-side conservation village of Luss, with its quaint houses, cafes, and stunning views across the loch’s western shoreline. Eat lunch in the village of Aberfoyle, nestled in the heart of Trossachs National Park. Continue through the Trossachs, Scotland’s first national park, known as ‘the Highlands in miniature’ for its abundance of lochs, mountains, and forests, and homeland of the legendary outlaw, Rob Roy MacGregor. Your final stop is Stirling Castle, which sits high on volcanic rock and offers wonderful views of the surrounding landscape. Have time to visit the castle and learn of the exploits of key historic figures including William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, and Mary Queen of Scots. After your visit to Stirling Castle, make your way back to Glasgow.

From Edinburgh: Stirling Castle, Kelpies and Loch Lomond

From Edinburgh: Stirling Castle, Kelpies and Loch Lomond

On this incredible tour, we explore the beautiful Scottish Highlands seeing castles, lochs, sculptures and perhaps some ‘Hairy Coos’ along the way. Departing the historic Royal Mile on an air-conditioned bus (16-34 seats) we head towards the iconic Kelpies, where you can take a close up look at these magnificent sculptures. We make our way towards Balloch, situated to the south of Loch Lomond’s Bonnie Banks. Here you can explore and take an optional hour-long boat cruise on the loch. Departing Loch Lomond we head towards the quaint village of Aberfoyle before exploring the picturesque Duke's Pass. Passing through Callander we make our way to Stirling where you can either take a stroll around the city centre or visit the historic Stirling Castle. Heading back we stop to catch a glimpse of the famous 3 bridges that span the River Forth before returning to Edinburgh *Boat cruise and entry to Stirling Castle are paid for on the day and are not included in the price of the tour.

Glasgow: Glenfinnan, Mallaig and Glencoe Adventure Tour

Glasgow: Glenfinnan, Mallaig and Glencoe Adventure Tour

Enjoy a guided day trip from Glasgow by bus exploring the Port of Mallaig, Glencoe, Loch Lomond, and reach Glenfinnan Viaduct right on time to see the Jacobite Steam Train (also known as the Harry Potter Hogwarts Express) crossing the tall bridge. Depart Glasgow and travel north, stopping for a coffee and refreshments at a small highland village. Traveling onwards, reach Glencoe, known to many as the location for the Massacre of the MacDonald clan in 1692. Take photos of this beautiful area whilst you learn about its turbulent past. After Glencoe, travel further north to Fort William. Stop for refreshments and perhaps a bite to eat before journeying down the Road to the Isles. Learn about the history of the area as you approach Mallaig, where you will spend time enjoying lunch and its sea views. From Mallaig, travel eastwards to the main attraction, Glenfinnan. Arrive to see the Jacobite Steam Train (also known as the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter Films) cross the bridge. Enjoy the iconic view, known as the setting for many Harry Potter scenes, including Loch Shiel. From Glenfinnan, travel southwards, stopping for refreshments before reaching Luss for Loch Lomond. Spend time here to enjoy the beautiful lochside views before returning to Glasgow.

From Edinburgh: 3-Day Isle of Skye, Highlands & Loch Ness

From Edinburgh: 3-Day Isle of Skye, Highlands & Loch Ness

Embark on a 3-day guided trip to the Scottish Highlands from Edinburgh. See the Glencoe Valley and the Eilean Donan Castle. Admire the rolling pastures of the Isle of Skye and visit lake Loch Ness. Day 1 From Edinburgh, you will head west where your first stop will be at the picturesque conservation village of Luss, on the ‘Bonny, Bonny’ banks of Loch Lomond. Traveling north via Tyndrum you will pass over the atmospheric Rannoch Moor before enjoying time to walk and admire the dramatic Glencoe valley, site of the 1692 massacre of the MacDonald Clan. After lunch in the Fort William area, your tour will pause for photos at Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, then stop to admire Glen Garry and the stunning Five Sisters of Kintail mountain range. Your first day ends in the charming village of Portree, on the Isle of Skye. Day 2 After breakfast, your will depart Portree for a full day’s touring - options include Dunvegan Castle, a trip to Uig, and a visit to Flora MacDonald’s grave and the unique Black Houses, ancient dwellings of the Scottish Highlanders. Other options include viewing Duntulum Castle, enjoying breathtaking views of Kilt Rock, or perhaps a bracing walk at the Lealt Falls. The day will end with the opportunity to admire the Old Man of Storr, before returning to Portree. Day 3 You will commence your final day of the tour via the much-admired Eilean Donan Castle, the backdrop for the movie, ‘Highlander’; (interior closed in winter) then move on to the pretty lochside village of Fort Augustus for lunch and views of Loch Ness. The tour continues south over Laggan and the Grampian mountains with the last stop, for refreshments, in the Victorian resort town of Pitlochry, before returning to Edinburgh, where the tour will end.

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

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.

Loch Lomond, Stirling Castle, & Kelpies Tour from Edinburgh

Loch Lomond, Stirling Castle, & Kelpies Tour from Edinburgh

Take in views of the shimmering shores of Loch Lomond and the imposing towers of Stirling Castle on this full-day tour of the breathtaking Scottish Highlands from Edinburgh. Travel aboard a spacious and climate-controlled bus.  Leave Edinburgh and head to the Kelpies, the world's largest equine sculptures dedicated to the horse powered heritage of Central Scotland, designed by Andy Scott. Continue west to the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond. Stop at Balmaha to admire sweeping views of Ben Lomond. Have the chance to go on a woodland walk to get some great views of the Loch. Relax on the drive to Stirling Castle, one of Scotland’s most important structures both historically and architecturally. Many have been crowned at Stirling Castle, including Mary Queen of Scots. Purchase tickets to the castle and see a site that was central to William Wallace’s and Robert the Bruce's fight in the Wars of Independence. Alternatively, explore the city of Stirling, which is geographically one of the most significant towns in Scottish history. Return to Edinburgh in the early evening, arriving at around 5:30 PM.

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What people are saying about North East Scotland

Overall rating

4.7
(3,881 reviews)

I absolutely loved the entire tour with Timberbush! It was my second trip with this company and I was blown away by the countless memories made during these 3 days, which I know will stay with me for weeks to come. Our tour guide Neil was fantastic, taking such great care of all of us and his knowledge of beautiful Scotland was truly impressive. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone looking for exciting experiences and activities in small groups. I never thought it would be possible to see so much of Scotland in such a short time. Don't miss out on this adventure of a lifetime!

Euan was our tour guide and he made the trip! Super knowledgeable and informative, with fun stories the entire way. He was also flexible with accommodating the group while keeping us (mostly) on time. The itinerary is great and Skye is absolutely beautiful. Well worth the 1 day to get there and 1 day to get back. The stops along the way are also engaging and full of history. With a little luck you'll hopefully get at least a day of good weather!

You want a great tour? Look no further. All you have to do is ask for IAN. He is your tour guide, an entertainer, photographer, comedian, driver .. he’s your buddy! We couldn’t have asked for a better tour guide. Honestly. Thank you so much for such a great day!!

Fantastic excursion! David, the driver/tour guide did a great job, we spent the whole day at wonderful places. We had enough time to spend at each stops and sites. Do not miss this tour if you are in Scotland!

Our tour guide Marc was nice and friendly. We had an awesome visit.