With its rolling green hills, towering Highlands, fantastic people and intriguing history, Scotland is both as gorgeous as it is accessible.
Before visiting, we’d heard great things about Edinburg so we knew it was where we wanted to base ourselves. With that said, nobody comes to Scotland with dreams of its cities – lochs, crags and munros – the countryside’s where it’s at!
With a few potential highlights in mind, we locked in two action packed day trips around this beautiful country – one longer day headed up to the infamous Loch Ness and another to Stirling Castle.
Nessie – real or imaginary? Regardless of your stance, you’ve gotta take a look for yourself!
After years of hearing about Loch Ness and Nessie, the monster living in its depths, a visit to the loch was top of my Scottish wish-list and though it was a big day on the coach, it was absolutely worthwhile.
Though it was Loch Ness that originally drew us to this itinerary it ended up being only a small part of the day’s highlights! We admired the beauty of Glencoe, loved exploring the small town of Fort Augustus (and getting down on the best fish and chips), laughed ourselves silly on the loch cruise and fell in love with Pitlochry – one of the most photogenic towns we’ve ever visited.
After a busy day on the bus we were excited to hit the road in a more relaxed nature and this day trip ticked exactly that boxl Lots of real Scottish highlights without endless hours on a coach? Sign us up!
We started with a visit to The Kelpies – 30 meters of towering steel, crafted to create gorgeous horses – designed by Andy Scott. These statues stand in recognition of the key role that horses have played throughout Scotland and as a nod to the mythical kepie. Known for their gorgeous looks and malevolent spirit, these creatures are as beautiful as they are deadly.
The statues are fantastic and even more gorgeous at night when they’re lit up – regardless of how you get out there, it’s worth the short trip out of Edinburgh.
From there we continued onto Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park where we wandered along a quiet forrest path. The walk didn’t end up being the highlight of the trip as it wasn’t quite as long as I was expecting but was beautiful all the same.
After a great wee lunch stop we continued onto Stirling Castle which really did end up being a surprising highlight of the trip. Though we appreciate a good castle we were really taken by the beauty and history of this one in particular – I think we may have a new favourite!
Why Highland Explorer Tours?
When we first reached out we were taken by the professional manner in which the booking team replied. We were pretty unsure as to which tour(s) we wanted to attend and they were happy to give us plenty of information without once putting the pressure on – that’s exactly what we look for in a tour company.
Would we recommend touring Scotland?
We sure would!
Edinburgh is gorgeous (just look at it) but the real Scotland lies outside of the city.
Both of our tour guides were chocka-block full of knowledge and delivered their tours with a great sense of fun. The included stops were interesting and allowed us enough time to enjoy each one of them without having to race to the next destination. We also loved that there were options available to ‘upgrade’ the tours but there was no pressure to do so – a real bonus for people travelling on a budget.
Though we only had a short time in the country, we left with a newfound appreciation for not only Scotland’s natural beauty but of it’s history and the hard-case people that call this beautiful place home.
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Thank you to Highland Explorer Tours for showing us the beautiful Scottish countryside – we had a great time! As always, all thoughts are our own.