Scottish Highlands
Safaris & Wildlife Activities

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Our most recommended Scottish Highlands Safaris & Wildlife Activities

Wildlife Cruise from John O'Groats

1. Wildlife Cruise from John O'Groats

Experience the wild and windy Scottish coastline. Listen to informative commentary from your guide throughout the cruise and enrich your knowledge of Scotland’s natural history. Cruise through the Pentland Firth past Duncansby Head lighthouse passing close to the sheer 200-feet high cliffs teeming with sea birds followed by a close-up view of the famous Stacks of Duncansby. Cross the inner sound of the Pentland Firth for a view of the uninhabited island of Stroma and the colonies of Atlantic Grey Seals. See the various cliffs and birds of Stroma. The types of birdlife seen will depend on the nesting season. For example Puffins will be seen in large numbers in June and July but in much smaller numbers in August. If you are lucky, catch a view of some whales.

Loch Lomond, Stirling Castle, & Kelpies Tour from Edinburgh

2. Loch Lomond, Stirling Castle, & Kelpies Tour from Edinburgh

Leave Edinburgh and head west to the ‘Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond’ where you'll take time at Balmaha to admire views of Ben Lomond. You'll get the chance to go on a woodland walk to get some great views of the Loch. The afternoon is spent exploring Stirling. Discover impressive 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, and it was central to William Wallace’s and Robert the Bruce's fight in the Wars of Independence. Alternatively, explore historic Stirling, geographically one of the most significant towns in Scottish history. On your return to Edinburgh you'll have the chance to visit and marvel at the stunning Kelpies, the world's largest equine sculptures dedicated to the horse powered heritage of Central Scotland, designed by Andy Scott. Finally, return to Edinburgh by early evening.

Fort William: Loch Linnhe Cruise with Hot Drink

3. Fort William: Loch Linnhe Cruise with Hot Drink

Embark on a boat tour of Loch Linnhe. Pass picturesque villages, seal, islands and a Caledonian forest. Hear live commentary from the skipper. Get a free hot drink voucher and a pizza coupon. Depart from Fort William's town pier and head towards the top of Loch Linnhe. See the charming village of Corpach which has Scotland's most instagrammed shipwreck. Marvel at islands teeming with birdlife. Sail over the entrance to the Caledonian canal. Admire traditional black houses, stunning glens, an ancient Caledonian forest, and salmon and mussel farms. Keep your eyes peeled for eagles, otters, and porpoises. Have the chance to purchase refreshments and from the crew. Get close to Black Rock for the chance to see seals and seal pups. Head back to Fort William. Receive a voucher for a hot drink and a buy-one-get-one free pizza deal at a local bar.

Outer Hebrides & Isle of Skye: 6-Day Guided Tour

4. Outer Hebrides & Isle of Skye: 6-Day Guided Tour

Head to the Outer Hebrides and the Isle of Skye on a 6-day excursion to experience pre-historic sites, remote sandy beaches, stunning seascapes, dramatic landscapes, and picturesque villages. Travel in comfort with a small group, enjoying personalized attention and accommodation in guesthouses and B&Bs. Detailed Itinerary Day 1 Travel north into the Scottish highlands, stopping at the historic village of Dunkeld for a short walk through the forest to some waterfalls. Continue north through the Grampian Mountains to the Spey Valley, where you’ll have lunch. In the afternoon you’ll see world-famous Loch Ness and stop in Inverness. Visit the impressive waterfalls at Corrieshalloch Gorge before arriving in the fishing port of Ullapool for your overnight stay. Day 2 Catch the morning ferry for a 2-hour sail along Loch Broom, past the Summer Isles and then out across the Minch to Stornoway, the main town on Lewis and the capital of the Outer Hebrides. Keep an eye out for dolphins, whales, and seabirds during the crossing. In the afternoon you’ll explore the north-west coast from Arnol, through traditional crofting townships to the Port of Ness and the very northern tip of the island. Overnight in Stornoway. Day 3 Spend the day exploring some of the prehistoric remains on the island and visit its finest beaches. The fascinating circular stone fort, or Broch, at Carloway will be your first stop, followed by more traditional crofting communities such as Gearrannan and Shawbost. Then it’s on to Callanish with its mysterious ancient stone circle. In the afternoon you’ll head to the remote district of Uig with its fine sandy beaches at Bhaltos, and dramatic sea cliffs and rugged hills. Overnight in Stornoway. Day 4 Travel south from the wild moorlands of Lewis to the more mountainous Harris, which is almost, but not quite, an island on its own. Famous for the locally produced cloth, Harris Tweed, it is also home to the highest mountains in the Outer Hebrides and the stunning white sands of Luskentyre. After a morning of exploring South Harris you’ll stop for lunch in the small port of Tarbet. Catch the late afternoon ferry to Skye and continue on to the picturesque village of Plockton for your overnight stay. Day 5 This is your day to explore the Isle of Skye. There are many possibilities depending on the weather and your driver/guide will decide on the best day out for the group. You might head west to Dunvegan Castle, the 13th-century home of the Clan Macleod, to the emerald green valley of Glendale, or to the dramatic sea-cliffs and lonely lighthouse at Neist Point. In the afternoon the tour may concentrate on the south of the island. Spend time at Elgol to admire the seascapes and views of the Cuillin, or Talisker and its beautiful bay or Glenbrittle and its famed waterfalls. Overnight in Plockton. Day 6 The return journey to Edinburgh has many highlights, including the Eilean Donan Castle, Fort William, and the dramatic scenery and dark history of Glencoe. The last stop of the day will be in Killin, beside the Falls of Dochart, before arriving in Edinburgh.

Loch Ness and Whisky Full-Day Tour from Inverness

5. Loch Ness and Whisky Full-Day Tour from Inverness

Take a journey through the highlands on a full-day excursion that begins when you cross the Moray Firth from Inverness. Travel to the scenic Black Isle and then on to the beautiful estuary of the Cromarty Firth. The estuary is one of the largest areas of unspoiled mudflats in the U.K. and an important staging post for waders and wildfowl as they migrate south. Step back in time in the sleepy fishing village of Cromarty. See the quaint cottages, crow-stepped houses, and grand sandstone mansions. This attractive town was once the major port for the north of Scotland and it has retained its character to this day, thanks to careful conservation work. From Cromarty you’ll travel through spectacular scenery to Rosemarkie and Fortrose. These picturesque villages are separated by Chanonry Point, which juts out into the Moray Firth. The Firth is home to a community of some 130 bottlenose dolphins and Chanonry Point is a popular vantage point for spotting these amazing mammals. Continue on the drive to the Muir of Ord where, if you wish, you can visit Glen Ord Malt Whisky Distillery for a behind-the-scenes tour followed by a tasting of the end product. (This is optional and the price of admission is not included in the tour package.) The final visit of the day is to the little village of Drumnadrochit, which lies close to the banks of mysterious Loch Ness. Learn about the loch and its famous resident at the fascinating Official Loch Ness Exhibition Center. As you return to Inverness along the banks of the loch keep a careful watch, just in case the monster makes an appearance!

Northwest Highlands: Private Tour with Hike

6. Northwest Highlands: Private Tour with Hike

If you like wide-open spaces, lonely glens to hike up, and dramatic mountian scenery, this tour has it all. After getting picked up, your guide will explain the course of the day and make any adjustments that you may require. Leaving Inverness and heading northwest over the Black Isle, you will be entertained with stories and legends of the area before stopping off at the beautiful, old Silver Bridge. Follow the Black Water river to the huge Aultguish Dam and onto Wester Ross. At Corrieshalloch Gorge, you’ll take a 30-minute walk and learn about the traces left from the ice age that formed the landscape. Take in the breathtaking views of this spectacular ravine. The fishing village Ullapool is the next stop, where you can take time to wander the streets and have a light refreshment. Then you’ll venture into one of the last wildernesses in Europe. Stop and take in the peculiar yet stunning Stac Pollaidh, Suilven, and An Tealach mountains. After traveling through some of the oldest mountains in the world, you’ll stop at the tiny fishing village of Lochinver for lunch. Depending on the weather, your lunch will be served in the restaurant or on a sandy beach under the shadow of Ardvreck Castle before you head into a lonely glen for your main 2-hour hike of the day: the Bone Caves of Inchnadamph. From here continue on through Sutherland and onto the east coast of Ross and Cromarty where the landscape changes again to flatter and greener farmland. Journey through the beautiful Strath Okyel and onto the Kyle of Sutherland, where a spectacular view awaits. From there you’ll return to Inverness, taking in the old navy port of Invergordon and a curious monument on top of Fyrish Hill.

From Inverness: Wester Ross Small-Group Day Tour

7. From Inverness: Wester Ross Small-Group Day Tour

Start the day with a visit to the spectacular Rogie Falls. Get up close to these impressive waterfalls on a suspension bridge across the beautiful Black Water river and maybe even spot wild salmon leaping upstream.  Then travel on to the charming villages of Kinlochewe, which sits in a magnificent valley at the head of pretty Loch Maree, and Gairloch. Take in the awe-inspiring scenery of Wester Ross from the shores of Loch Gairloch,  or pay a visit to one of the area's several stunning sandy beaches, such as the brilliantly-named Big Sand. Afterward, pay a visit to the village of Poolewe and take a stroll through the village's main street, full of quaint white rendered buildings and home to the beautiful, and surprisingly modern, St Maelrubha’s Church, before heading to the small and tranquil fishing village of Aultbea. Finish your tour with a visit to Ullapool, a picturesque fishing town nestled on the shores of Lochbroom, and situated in one of the least spoilt natural environments in the UK. Take advantage of the town's ideal location by exploring the surrounding countryside and the Highlands, with Stornoway and Lewis in the Outer Hebrides just a short ferry ride away, before heading back to Inverness. 

Inverness: Moray Coast, Puffins and Speyside Whisky Tour

8. Inverness: Moray Coast, Puffins and Speyside Whisky Tour

Explore the beauty of the Scottish highlands on this guided tour. Take the opportunity to explore local villages, visit a whisky distillery, see the adorable Puffin, and more, on this unforgettable tour experience. Depart Inverness and head straight for the historic village of Findhorn for a walk along the gorgeous beach. Trail the coast to Portknockie, where Bow Fiddle Rock, a dramatic sea arch, sits just off the shore.  Afterward, continue the village-hop to picture-perfect Cullen, home of the famous soup, Cullen Skink. Explore, eat lunch, and get excited about the next stop.  Take a walk at Troup Head Nature Reserve and look out for puffins and sea birds; you might even be lucky enough to spot marine life. Then, journey inland on the Malt Whisky Trail to learn all about single malt production at a Speyside whisky distillery, and judge for yourself whether experience is the best teacher. Make one final stop at the oldest stone bridge in the Highlands, in the small village of Carrbridge, before returning to Inverness in the evening.

Balloch: Guided Tour to Glencoe & the Highlands

9. Balloch: Guided Tour to Glencoe & the Highlands

You’ll be starting your Glencoe and Scottish Highlands day tour from Balloch at the very bottom of the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond. You’re adventure begins by travelling north along the western shore of Loch Lomond, taking in amazing views looking out over Loch Lomond and hearing some of the local tales about the Loch’s history, including how the Vikings visited and colonised here over 1000 years ago. As you travel further north, you’ll eventually reach the Scottish Highlands, here, you’ll notice a drastic change in the landscape as you discover many of Scotland's mountains, glens and streams. You’ll see some ancient Caledonian Pine forests, a reminder of the habitat that once covered the majority of Scotland. Not long after this, we’ll get you out for a lovely short walk along a section of the West Highland Way, where you’ll hear tales about the Battle of Dail Righ, where its rumoured King Robert the Bruce was ambushed. On the walk, you’ll see the small lochan where it’s believed that King Robert threw his sword, to lighten the load as he tried to escape. You’ll continue north towards Glencoe where at the very head of the Glen, like a rugged old soldier guarding his post, you’ll lay eyes upon “The Buachaille”. You’ll now find yourself in one of the most eye wateringly beautiful locations in the whole of Scotland, surrounded by this ancient mountain landscape, you’ll be able to feel the history and the sense of overwhelming awe that makes filmmakers the world over wish to film here, showcasing Glencoe in many famous movies and T.V shows such as Outlander, Harry Potter, Braveheart, Highlander, Rob Roy, Monty Python and most recently in Netflix’s Outlaw King. After lunch, you’re next highland location is to visit some beautiful waterfalls, you’ll get out for another short hike in the rugged landscape where there’s also a chance to see some secretive Red Squirrels, as an endangered species, and very rare to find, our location gives us a good chance to spot them as we walk through the forestry. From the roar of waterfalls, you’ll now enjoy the tranquil scenic surroundings of Rannoch Moor, this ancient land may be one of the last remaining true wilderness spots left in Europe and contrasts the fabulous mountainous scenery all around it with it’s deep peat bogs and heather moorland stretching for miles around. Around this area we’ll be staying alert as this is quite often a very good location for spotting Red Deer, Scotland’s largest land mammal, cameras at the ready as we try to track them down. From here you’ll travel south back towards Loch Lomond for one final stop to enjoy the delights of Scotland’s largest freshwater Loch and get in some more breath-taking scenery before arriving back to Balloch to end your wonderful day tour exploring Glencoe and the Scottish Highlands. This Glencoe and Scottish Highlands Day Tour may be explored in reverse

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What people are saying about Scottish Highlands

Jamie was a spectacular guide for our private tour of northern Scotland! Being of Scottish heritage, I especially enjoyed to stories of the Burns festival and the stories of camaraderie of Scots sporting events. Our tour was truly unique with a spectacular hike to the bone caves during the afternoon. It wouldn’t have been complete without getting rained on. We were lucky to have sun also! Jamie was well informed and knew some great history and stories. He left a lot up to us, and I chose this tour because it seemed like it would very different from the popular ones, and off the beaten path. Both were true and just what we wanted because we love the outdoors, especially being able to be isolated; safely of course! There is no tour like this one, because you get to go just with your own group, in our case just as a couple, and to places that are not on the usual tours! Cheers! Victor Forsyth

We had an amazing day- got to see and experience most of the national park. Our guide Derek was lovely and very knowledgeable about all sorts of things and I really enjoyed learning more about Scottish history!

It was good the only disappointing bit was you could hardly hear the guy due to the amount of your children when sat inside so we missed parts of the history given

Great experience- would recommend I am not a great sailor but the boat felt safe and conditions were good. Got to see 2 Golden eagles so that was special.

It was really good the captain was very informative and knowledgeable