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North East Scotland

Day trips

Our most recommended North East Scotland Day Trips

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: Loch Lomond, Trossachs & Stirling Castle Tour

2. 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: 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, the 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 around 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 Edinburgh: Discovering Malt Whisky Distillery Day Tour

5. From Edinburgh: Discovering Malt Whisky Distillery Day Tour

Get better acquainted with Scottish whiskey on this day trip by van from Edinburgh. Explore the distilleries of Glengoyne and Deanston and go for a drive along the shores of the famed Loch Lomond. Depart from Edinburgh in the morning aboard a climate-controlled van and relax on the drive west past Stirling castle. Arrive at Glengoyne distillery and be introduced to the simple but magical process of turning barley, water, and yeast into whisky. Unwind with a scenic drive to the shores of Loch Lomond. Stop at a pub where you can purchase a hearty lunch and some local beer. After lunch, have the option to go for a short walk to the viewpoint overlooking the loch before making your way to Deanston Distillery. Explore the interesting features of this distillery that was converted from cotton mill on the banks of the river Teith. Find out how they produce some unique whisky flavors. Return to Edinburgh with the stories and flavors of single malt whisky fresh in your mind.

Luss: Loch Lomond Paddleboard Hire

6. Luss: Loch Lomond Paddleboard Hire

Discover Scottish nature and the islands around Loch Lomond by stand up paddleboard. Enjoy an outdoor adventure, with the option to choose from a 2 or 4-hour paddleboarding experience. Look out for the plentiful local wildlife as you glide across the water.  Meet in Luss, where an experienced instructor will give you a brief introduction to stand up paddleboarding on land. Paddle out onto the loch and be immersed in the beautiful landscape. Stop at nearby islands such as Inchconnachan and explore the Narrows, considered the jewel of Loch Lomond.

Glasgow: Glenfinnan, Mallaig and Glencoe Adventure Tour

7. Glasgow: Glenfinnan, Mallaig and Glencoe Adventure Tour

Enjoy a day tour 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 Glasgow: Oban, Glencoe & West Highland Castles Day Tour

8. 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.

Rosslyn Chapel & Scottish Borders Tour from Edinburgh

9. Rosslyn Chapel & Scottish Borders Tour from Edinburgh

Discover the myths and legends surrounding the Holy Grail and Rosslyn Chapel on this small-group tour. You'll also visit the beautiful Borders village of Melrose with its historic abbey. Departing at 9:45 AM, your tour takes you south to the world-famous Scott’s View, with stunning views over the Tweed Valley and the Eildon Hills. You will also get the opportunity to visit the original Wallace Monument. From here you travel to Melrose, including the chance to explore its great Border Abbey, founded by the Cistercians in the 12th Century.  The Cistercian monks had very close connections with the Knights Templar and Melrose Abbey is the burial place of Robert the Bruce's heart, brought back from the crusades in Moorish Spain. Following lunch in Melrose, you will make your way to the stunning 15th-century Rosslyn Chapel, immortalized in Dan Brown’s “Da Vinci Code”. Here, you can find out more about the myths and legends surrounding the whereabouts of the “Holy Grail”. From Melrose, you will return to Edinburgh, arriving at approximately 4:15 PM.

Stirling Castle, Loch Lomond & Whisky Tour from Edinburgh

10. Stirling Castle, Loch Lomond & Whisky Tour from Edinburgh

As you drive north from Edinburgh on this 9-hour excursion you’ll marvel at the engineering miracle of the Forth Railway Bridge. Then, as you travel through Stirlingshire, your guide will bring to life the turbulent times of William Wallace, dramatized in the film Braveheart, and explain his link to the area you're passing through. Your first stop is the city of Stirling, where you'll have ample time to visit the stunning castle (admission not included) or enjoy a walk along the atmospheric, ancient streets that surround it. You'll then have the opportunity to visit one of Scotland's best known distilleries, where you’ll learn how they make their whisky and get a dram of their Highland Single Malt Whisky (optional extra). The tour route takes you past Loch Lubnaig and then through the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, home of the Highland rogue Rob Roy. Stopping at some of the best view points, you’ll be able to take in the view from the An Ceann Mor platform at Inveruglus and then walk the shore of Scotland’s biggest loch at Luss.

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Frequently asked questions about North East Scotland Day Trips

What are other things to do than Day Trips that are worth visiting in North East Scotland?

The other unmissable things to do in North East Scotland are:

Other Sightseeing Options in North East Scotland

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What people are saying about North East Scotland

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,283 reviews

James was amazing, and made this trip. I went solo, and everyone was so friendly and all the stops were amazing. I only wished we stayed longer in Oban, but there wasn’t enough time in the day. I would suggest this trip to anyone, you won’t regret it!

Very interesting tour with the highlight the Inveraray Castle, a fairy tale place. The guide/driver - Marty - made the whole trip a very pleasant journey with his deep knowledge about Scotland and its history.

There were 4 ladies, all seniors, from the USA on this tour. We had a great time. Grant was our tour guide and his humor and stories he shared really made the trip enjoyable. Definitely recommend this tour.

Beautiful scenery, interesting stories, and quaint towns. Glencoe was breathtaking. Our guide Jenny was great! We never drove too far without stopping to use the facilities and stretch our legs.

This route is absolutely worth to follow. Grant is very friendly, and informative along the way. Like your choice of songs as well! Thxxx