West Highlands, Lochs & Castles
1 day tour

  • Loch Awe trees
  • Loch Awe mountains
  • Tours of the West Highlands Scotland
  • Inveraray Castle & Duke of Argyll
  • Kilchurn Castle at Loch Awe
  • Doune Castle

Capture the spirit of the Western Highlands and explore Scotland’s most atmospheric lochs and castles.

Tour map

Highlights

Lochs
Mountains
Castles
Film Locations
National Parks

Places you explore


Inveraray - Visit this 18th century town and discover an ancient jail and a gorgeous castle.

Doune Castle - One of the best preserved Medieval castles in Scotland. It also featured in ‘Monty Python’s Holy Grail’, ‘Outlander’, and 'The Outlaw King'.

Loch Awe - The longest loch in Scotland has close connections to the MacArthur, Campbell, Stewart, and MacGregor clans.

Rest and Be Thankful pass - Let the beauty sink in at this stunning location that was a popular rest spot for soldiers.

Conservation village of Luss - This idyllic village on the shores of Loch Lomond will make you want to pack your bags and move in.

Loch Lomond National Park - Admire the views and take postcard-perfect photos to share with your friends and family.


Your journey


When you visit a country, you often don't want modern buildings, fancy restaurants, and WiFi points.

You simply want to step inside a nature documentary, relive a history show, and explore the sights that inspired the postcards.

Well, if that’s you, then you’re in luck. Because this tour is exactly that.

It takes you on a journey through Scotland's classic misty castles, sparkling lochs, wee coastal villages, and heather-clad mountains.

It’s a one day tour that lets you discover Scotland’s iconic sights, while also showing you some of the country’s best kept secrets.


Tour Details

Starts
Check-in closes at 08.00 (tour departs at 08:15) - Rabbie's Cafe Bar, Waterloo Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3EG
Finishes (approx.)
18:30
Luggage
You’re restricted to 14kg (31lbs) of luggage per person. This should be one piece of luggage similar to an airline carry-on bag (approximately 55cm x 45cm x 25cm / 22in x 17in x 10in) and a small bag for onboard personal items.
Discounts

Students, seniors over 60, and children between 5 and 15 (unfortunately, we don't carry children under 5 years old)

Important information
  • Pack your waterproof clothing and walking shoes
Tour inclusions
  • Transport in a 16 seat Mercedes mini-coach
  • Air conditioning as standard
  • The stories and services of an English-speaking driver-guide
Tour exclusions
  • Entry fees to visitor attractions

Itinerary

Leaving Edinburgh, you travel west, past Stirling castle to your first stop at Doune Castle.

This castle was built over 600 years ago and is still in great condition. You’ll have time to visit the castle. And if you’re a fan of 'Monty Python and The Holy Grail', 'The Outlaw King', or the ‘Outlander’ series, you can learn about how the castle was used as a filming set.

You then continue through Callander and cross the Highland Boundary Fault Line leaving behind the rolling farmland for the wild mountains and forests of the Highlands.

You make a short stop at Loch Lubnaig and continue over the Braes of Balquhidder.

From Balquhidder, the tour winds its way through the tough knot of mountains known as Breadalbane (meaning the 'high country of Scotland').

Before lunch, you have a photo stop to admire Kilchurn Castle, a magnificent ruin situated on the edge of Loch Awe and former home of the Campbells of Breadalbane.

You continue along the banks of Loch Awe through Campbell country to the picturesque town of Inveraray on the shores of Loch Fyne.

Here you can admire the 18th-century castle (open to visitors April until October), take time to explore the town, or head to the Old Jail.

Leaving Inveraray, you take a drive up through the steep-sided mountains known as the Arrochar Alps to the great viewpoint at 'Rest and Be Thankful'.

You then skirt around Loch Long and down to the "Bonnie, Bonnie Banks" of Loch Lomond. You make a short stop at the conservation village of Luss, where you can wander around taking in its quaint houses and stunning views across the loch.

From here, you make your way back to Edinburgh, with a short photo stop underneath Stirling Castle.


* Note: This tour is running in reverse during the summer months until the end of September.


Customer Reviews

Breathtaking tour with an amazing guide!

Diana Posted on 29/08/2019

I can’t recommend this tour enough! The entire experience really was magical. We felt taken care of from the moment we checked in (they have such a lovely cafe where you meet in the morning- complete with a portrait of Jamie from Outlander!). We found ourselves incredibly lucky to be paired with Graham T. as our tour guide. He provided a wealth of information all day and not only made the stories engaging on his own, but also highlighted the trip with a curated soundtrack to emphasize some of the stories told and the feelings we felt as we took in the views. As a music lover, this intensified the experience in such a visceral way. I specifically am a huge fan of the song Caledonia, so hearing this on the bus as I gazed out the window at beautiful majestic mountains gave me a once in a lifetime experience in the highlands. As far as the stops, we briefly stopped outside Sterling Castle (and heard some fascinating stories about its place in history). The first main stop though was Luss (on Loch Lomond). My only wish was that we had more time there since it is a beautiful tiny little historic village and the loch is so lovely (if you want more time here, perhaps plan a trip on your own after the tour to explore more). Then we went to Inverary Castle, a gorgeous place that is still the residence of the duke of Argyll. The gardens there are especially lovely! My favorite part of the tour was Kilchurn Castle. This is more of a castle ruin, but the walk to and from the castle can’t be beat (it’s about 10 minutes down this path that offers you expansive views and a few cows and sheep that are close by as well). It started raining at this point (it’s Scotland in the Highlands, of course it was going to rain), but this actually enhanced the experience. You really felt transported back in time and at one with nature. Another highlight from earlier in the trip is a brief stop at the “Rest and Be Thankful” pass. This is another gorgeous view of the highland mountains and is a breathtaking experience. The last stop is Castle Doune (famous for portraying castles in Outlander, Game of Thrones, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail). I did the audio tour and got to learn some great information that way as I explored the grounds at my own pace. The gift shop here is especially fun! Be aware that there are admission fees to Inveraray Castle and Castle Doune (but you get a group rate for being with the tour). You don’t get to spend a ton of time at each stop (that’s the nature of these day tours unfortunately since there’s so much to see), but I felt happy with my experiences at each stop and also loved that they use small buses, which means you’re always with a small group, making for a more personalized experience. Overall Graham gave us a truly magical experience that we won’t forget. He went above and beyond telling us about Scottish history, what whiskies to try, and answering all the questions we had. Even as we drove in and out of Edinburgh, he pointed out some interesting landmarks and gave us little bits of trivia. I highly recommend not only the tour itself, but going on the tour with Graham T (it’s like having Dougal Mackenzie as your personal highlands tour guide!). We literally left the tour and immediately wanted to go back on another one! I definitely can’t wait to try out some of Rabbie’s other tours next time I’m in Scotland!

Great tour, amazing guide

Maureen Kamide Posted on 28/08/2019

I brought a group of 16 people to Edinburgh and we went on the West Highlands and Lochs tour. The sites are beautiful, the highlands are breathtaking. Our driver/guide, Ewan B. was brillant. We gained so much information about Scottish history that day! Our trip was 12 hours long but Ewan B. was so entertaining and such pleasure that the day went by very quickly. He was amazing!!

5 Stars!! Highly recommend!

Kessie Posted on 29/06/2019

5 stars easily for this! This was valuable meaningful experience (that I would highly recommend!) in large part because of the tour guide, William Drummond. This was my first day trip and I will likely only book with Rabbie’s from this point. It is very well organized and worth the money. The tour was efficient and covered a lot of ground for a day trip!! We had as much autonomy as we could at each stop and each stop was important. Will be booking another. And thank you, William, for your story-telling Scottish music!! 127988917607917602917619917603917620917631

Great tour with Fiona

Vickie Kristensen Posted on 01/06/2019

We had a great trip today with Fiona. She is really good at her job and knowledgeable of the area and Scottish history. We highly recommend the tour and especially her as a guide.

Highland Lochs and Castles

Ryan Kerr Posted on 16/05/2019

Our tour guide Graham was fantastic. He was very amiable and informative, and his taste in music is perfect! Had a great time and would sincerely recommend to anyone!

lovely enjoyable day

Lauren Posted on 03/12/2018

Had a wonderful 1 day tour experience to the West Highlands with Andy D. He was a great tour guide, quite funny (loved the humor around Scottish men in kilts and my looking for a husband hah!), and the weather turned out to be not too bad. It would have been lovely if Inverary Castle was open in December as it looks gorgeous from the outside, but alas...

An enjoyable day!

Owen Debbie Tate Posted on 19/11/2018

Gavin was the best tour guide! He encouraged our group to mingle and shared personal stories of his life in Scotland. He made us feel very welcome in his country.

An enjoyable day in the Highlands!

Owen Debbie Tate Posted on 19/11/2018

Gavin was the best tour guide! He encouraged our group to mingle and shared personal stories of his life in Scotland. He made us feel very welcome in his country.

West highlands

James lanns Posted on 10/05/2018

It was a lot of fun. Our tour guide Shannon was funny and knew quite a bit about the history of the highlands.

Grrrrreat Day with Arrrrrrrrrron rrrrrrroling our rrrrrrrs

Jen Destours Posted on 02/05/2018

Excellent day with Arron as our guide. Really couldnt ask for more except some sunshine and if hed found a Bay City Roller to add to our group, that would have been outstanding. Beautiful country and hope to come back soon.

FAQs

Do you offer hotel pickups in the departure cities?

The UK and Ireland's historic city centres are full of narrow streets and winding roads. So, to speed up your departure, we only pick up from our central meeting points. What's more is leaving the city using the most direct route also reduces the carbon footprint of our tours.

Is there parking close to the departure point?

We don't recommend bringing your car into the centre of our departure cities. It can be hard to find parking, and there are excellent public transportation services.

When should I get to the departure point?

Arrive 15 minutes before your departure time. Due to waiting restrictions, we can't wait for you if you're late.

What happens if I'm late or miss the tour?

If you're late for your tour, our cancellation policy applies.

What are your cancellation policies?

We have a cancellation period of three days for our one day tours, and 21 days for longer tours. If cancelled outside this period, we'll give you a full refund minus a 10% admin charge. If you cancel inside this period, refunds are at our discretion. Click here to view full terms and conditions.

What is a guaranteed departure?

It's simple: you book, you go. This means we'll never cancel your tour because of a minimum numbers policy.

Can I pre-book a specific seat?

Due to logistical reasons, we're unable to let you pre-book a seat on the bus. But our comfortable 16-seat mini-coaches have huge windows. So, you'll always get a good view.

Are there toilets on the bus?

Unfortunately, we have no on-board toilet facilities, but you'll have regular comfort breaks.

How do you cater for people with accessibility needs?

We aim to accommodate everyone. To read more information on how we do this, click here to go to our accessibility guide.

Do you take children on your tours?

We regret we don't carry children under the age of five on our scheduled tours.

You can ask us about the tours we recommend for younger children. And if your child is less than 1.35m tall, you should let us know, so we can provide them with a suitable booster seat.

How much time do I get off the bus?

We want you to enjoy Britain and Ireland. And we believe the best way to do this is to get you off the mini-coach and out exploring. So, we give you plenty of time to take photos, go walking, and explore ancient ruins.

Why do you exclude visitor attractions?

We exclude visitor attractions in your tour price because it lets you travel your way. It means you can pamper yourself with a luxury lunch or skip an attraction whenever you feel like it.

Do we need to bring our own lunch?

You don't need to. We stop in small towns, villages, and rural eateries where you can choose whatever meal pleases both your taste buds and your budget.

Should I tip the driver-guide?

Let's be honest, our driver-guides would never refuse a cheeky bonus. But it's up to you, and the amount is entirely at your discretion.

What about travel insurance?

We advise you take out travel insurance.

What is ABTOT?

You're protected by ABTOT when you chose to let us reserve your accommodation on a multi-day tour. This means you can claim back anything you've paid us if we become bankrupt. Read our terms and conditions for more information.

I have more questions, who can help me?

If you have any more questions, call us on +44(0)131 226 3133, email tours@rabbies.com , or check out our full FAQs .

4 reasons to choose Rabbie's

Travel the local way on small group tours of 16 people or fewer

You'll have a guaranteed experience, or your money back

Guaranteed departures: you book, you go

Our eco-friendly tours support local communities



BTA_2017.png Green Tourism Award Scottish Thistle Awards Winner 2015/2016 TC_2018_WHITE_LL_R-112x105.png queens-award.png Scottish Tourist Board 5 Stars
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