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Award Winning Small Group Tours

West Highland Lochs & Castles Day Tour

~ Kilchurn Castle
~ Inveraray
~ Doune Castle*
~ Loch Awe
~ Rest and Be Thankful pass
~ Conservation village of Luss
~ Loch Lomond National Park

A fantastic day out in the heart of the scenic Western Highlands taking in the superb ruins of Kilchurn Castle, stunningly situated at the head of Loch Awe and the historic 18th century town of Inveraray, home to the Duke of Argyll.

If you love old ruined castles, tales of old clan rivalries, west coast lochs, baronial mansions and brilliant mountain scenery then you'll find this tour difficult to beat.

*This tour visits Doune Castle, used as a film location for the "Outlander" series - based on the books by Diana Gabaldon.

Please phone us if the date you want to travel is unavailable to book online.

Departs: 08.30       Returns: 18.30 approx
Adult Prices:  £41 - £48
Discount Prices:  £38 - £45
Departing: Every day (All year)

Accessibility >>>

Details & Itinerary Customer Reviews Traveller Photos Full Itinerary (English)

Capture the spirit of the Western Highlands and explore some of its most atmospheric Lochs and Castles.

You travel past Stirling stopping at the medieval stronghold  of Doune Castle, set of Monty Python’s “Holy Grail” and the "Outlander" series. From here you continue north into the stunning Scottish Highlands and on to Kilchurn Castle, magnificently situated at the head of Loch Awe and surrounded by towering mountains.

Next stop is the whitewashed 18th century town of Inveraray, home of the Duke of Argyll and his magnificent Baronial style castle (open April to October). You continue over the spectacular “Rest and be Thankful” pass to Loch Lomond, stopping at the conservation village of Luss, set on its “bonny, bonny banks”. From here you return to Edinburgh, stopping briefly below the impressive Stirling Castle.

Departure Point
Rabbie's Café, Waterloo Place, Edinburgh. Click here to see map.

Return to Waterloo Place

Transportation by top of the range Mercedes minicoach for a more personal experience with a maximum of 16 passengers on tour. 
We believe a small group tour with a maximum of 16 passengers really does make a big difference to your trip. It allows us to give you a more personal service and remain the only 5 Star operator to offer this personal guarantee. Touring with a maximum of 16 passengers you get more for your money, more personal attention, more time with the locals, more time off the bus, more time on the back-roads and just more of an authentic, friendly experience. The smaller groups allow you to meet people from all over the world and make friends for life. 
Air Conditioning as standard. 
Services of a professional Rabbie's driver/guide 

Lunch and refreshments.
Entrance fees to all Visitor Attractions

Discount Price 
Students, Seniors over 60 and Children between 5 and 16 (we regret we do not carry children under 5 years old)

Important Information  

Because we believe in time off the bus and give you opportunities to take nature walks we recommend you bring suitable clothing and footwear for your tour. Scotland can be a wet place!! Unless otherwise notified passengers are restricted to one medium sized suitcase/bag (maximum 15 kilos) and one carry-on bag per person.

Details & Itinerary Customer Reviews Traveller Photos Full Itinerary (English)
Lights of the Loch Lomond
Posted by HAROLD O. VILLEGAS-HERNANDEZ on 11/02/2015

Thanks a lot for this wonderful trip. Our guide Alan Oliver has a profound history knowledge and he is great story teller and an excellent tour guide. We enjoyed a lot during trip. Songs were also so lovely . We would like to come back to Scotland to have a much longer trip to Highlands. Rabbies you are the best!
Posted by zeynep ertan on 19/08/2014

We greatly enjoyed our tour. Nicola, our guide, was awesome. She went the extra mile with information, assistance, music, games, and candy. The scenery was breath-taking and we learned a lot. We were able to identify and interact with the plant Heather which was the impetus for our trip. We highly recommend this tour and guide.
Posted by Bruce & Heather on 18/08/2014

Had an absolutely fabulous day on this tour on Tuesday Jul 1st. Weather couldn't have been any better and the guide; Euan; was simply brilliant. His amazing knowledge of Scottish history - and other countries history as well, his humour and wit, his friendliness - this combined with the lovely places visited made this a truly memorable tour. I never thought I could say that I had a tan after a day out in Scotland - but I did! If I go back to Scotland - and hopefully I will - I will book a new tour with Rabbie's.
Posted by Ninsig on 10/07/2014

Hi Guys Just a quick thanks to Rabbies and John the Driver who was very helpful to me and made my day extra special for me, and I look forward to my next tour. SEE YOU SOON Warm Regards Sandy
Posted by Sandy Graham on 23/06/2014

Just had to write and tell the staff at rabbie`s what a great time we had on May 21/14 with Eric-our tour guide. He was so full of knowledge about everything. I learned so many things about Scotland I don`t think I would have learned otherwise. I only wished we had planned more than 1 tour with you. But next we will know better. Thanks so much for a memorable trip to Scotland.
Posted by Kelly Fresh on 08/06/2014

The entire day was unforgettable, the places beautiful and every thing was well planned. Joe as so kind to everybody, had incredible knowledge about the places we visited and was an outstanding feature of a wonderful day.
Posted by norma on 25/05/2014

We loved the tour. The driver was wonderful and full of knowledge about Scotland and it's history. The amount of time at each destination was perfect and the sights were spectacular. The tour was above and beyond our expectations.
Posted by Cynthia on 23/05/2014

The most enjoyable part of the tour was Roland. I've been on a lot of guided tours where the guide basically points to things. I learned an awful lot about Edinburgh and Scottish history from Roland and you could tell the passion and pride he has. He was entertaining, engaging and answered even the silliest questions we had.
Posted by David on 13/05/2014

The stories Tony told were all very interesting an nice. Also the music he choosed was good. The view and the stops were really really fantastic!
Posted by Linda on 10/05/2014

Jane made the tour come alive for us. She has amazing knowledge and talked about what we were going to be seeing so that we would gain an understanding of it and appreciate it to the fullest. We loved the scenery, of course and gaining the understanding of the history of Scotland.
Posted by Robyn on 20/02/2014

We loved our guide Jane really friendly and full of great stories
Posted by Perry on 20/02/2014

Kilchurn Castle was really interesting and photogenic and for me the most enjoyable part. It was amazing to be able to go in when it was closed to the public. Doune and Inverary Castles were great too.
Posted by Caroline on 08/02/2014

Peter (Pete) was incredibly knowledgeable and happy to go into great detail about every facet of the trip. He is am amazing tour guide. Kudos!
Posted by Phillip on 06/02/2014

I am an artist living in Canada, and we were so lucky to have a great tour guide like Bruce {a Scottish History major} to take us up into the highlands. My goal was to come back with enough great photography to be able to work from in my studio. We got up to see Kilchurn Castle, and what was so incredible about this was the walk up to the castle. Having Bruce with us to detail the history really made this part of the journey come to life. It was fantastic. I am hoping to be able to upload one of my prints from this series of seven titled, "Finding Kilchurn."
Posted by SHIRLEY MACKENZIE on 25/01/2014

I've been on this tour twice over the past few years. I absolutely love Rabbie's tours because it's hassle free, great music, knowledgeable guide. Also, Rabbie's day tours and longer tours can be broken down to be about the same price as renting a car for the day without worrying about paying for gas... and its just stress free. LOVE LOVE LOVE this tour group :)
Posted by Megan on 08/01/2014

Many thanks to Graham (guide cum driver) for showing us the classic Loch Lomond, Oban, Highlands...The autumn colours really brings out the beauty of those places. We also made new friends - Gerry and Peggy from Canada. Graham, we enjoyed your tour and you had been an excellent guide for first time visitors like us. Your Loch Lomond and Skye Boat songs kept singing in my head!
Posted by Peter Yee on 07/12/2013

A big thank you also to MAV who allowed us to visit the west part of the highlands and some of the innumerable castles in Scotland!! The tour inside the Kilchurn Castle was extraordinary!!!!!! See you in Rome!!!!
Posted by Roberta on 02/12/2013

Guide Pete, engaged and knowledgable in Scottish history, provided us with factual and humouristic stories, created a pleasant atmosphere in the bus, took us to wonderful sceneries through sun, mist, and heavy rainfalls, as well as to sights, not included in the programme, to compensate for those lost due to weather conditions. A wonderful tour. Thanks a lot to you, Pete, from Kristian and Anja
Posted by Anja on 27/07/2013

It was a wonderfull day! Emily was an incredible story teller about scottish heroes.
Posted by valeix on 26/07/2013

We took the West Higlands Lochs and Castles Tour on July 23rd with Duncan as our fantastic guide. The Tour itself was spectacular with visits to Doune and Kilchurn castles, but what really made the tour was Duncan's amazing knowledge of Scottish history, which was served with a good portion of humor flavoured with various Scots expressions. So thank you so much for a memorable tour and special thanks to Duncan for making us laugh, listen and enlighted.
Posted by Thyssen on 24/07/2013

Emily is just terrific. Her knowledge of Scotland and the surrounding area we visited was excellent. I enjoyed being with her so much. She is patient, friendly, interested and a top-notch guide.
Posted by Harriet on 19/07/2013

Thanks for the FANTASTIC day... unforgettable scenery and company. Would book again with George in a heartbeat!
Posted by Irene M on 09/07/2013

I was travelling alone on this tour and the driver/guide spent time with me when walking into attractions etc.
Posted by Steve on 06/07/2013

The tour guide was the most enjoyable part of the tour. From the moment we boarded the minicoach, Shelby ensured the group was relaxed and entertained. Furthermore, I felt that Shelby put a lot of thought into her music selection, advising us throughout of her choices and helping to tell a story of Scotland and our heritage.
Posted by Ross on 26/06/2013

Just had a tour with Rabbie's to the West Highlands and it was an amazing experience. Pete was our guide and had a great knowledge he shared along with some great music along the way. I highly recommend both Rabbie's and Pete to anyone thinking of a tour in Scotland.
Posted by Kirsten on 24/06/2013

The background info that Mav provided for both the destinations and the areas visited was very good. Both historical and humorous, I was travelling with my Father and we both thoroughly enjoyed our day.
Posted by Linda on 18/06/2013

Graham (not Grimm) was our guide for the day. He made the trip by his extensive knowledge of Scottish history. Saw some amazing sights and learned so much our heads were full. Listened to some great Scottish music, everything we were hoping for and more!!! The bus was perfect for going along the narrow roads, and fewer people makes for a more personal experience. When I told Graham my maiden name was Colquhoun, he told us a few great stories, unexpected. A totally enjoyable day. Thanks again Graham!
Posted by Lynda Baker/Dean Mitchell on 28/05/2013

Thoroughly enjoyed this day and tour. John was a great guide, very informative and interesting.
Posted by DORCAS on 22/05/2013

Just wanted to express the pleasure I had on my one day tour to the west highland lochs. Many thanks to Jamie who told such interesting bits and pieces of Scottish history. Really enjoyed this tour and the one I was on in January (to loch ness, driver was Emilie, great but late thanks as well to her) as Rabbies, although they cannot change the weather, make the absolut best of tours I've ever attended. ;-)))
Posted by Rahel on 15/05/2013

Details & Itinerary Customer Reviews Traveller Photos Full Itinerary (English)
Details & Itinerary Customer Reviews Traveller Photos Full Itinerary (English)

Depart Edinburgh at 08.30 and travel west, past Stirling castle to your first stop at Doune Castle. This area of Scotland has certainly seen its fair share of fighting and warfare. Stirling castle was once known as the 'Key to Scotland', and it was here that William Wallace (immortalised by Mel Gibson in the film Braveheart) defeated the English army in 1297. After William Wallace's death it was Robert the Bruce who continued the fight for independence and you will pass the site of his most famous victory in 1314 at the Battle of Bannockburn.

Then you arrive at the fantastic medieval stronghold of Doune castle. Built for Robert Stewart, the Duke of Albany, over 600 years ago the castle is still in great condition and you will have time for a short visit and photos. You might even have seen the castle before, it was made famous by the film 'Monty Python and The Holy Grail' and more recently the "Outlander" series based on the books by Diana Gabaldon, with many scenes filmed here.

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 will make a short stop at Loch Luibnaig before you 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, he stole from the rich, but never quite got round to giving it to the poor!

From Balquhidder the tour winds its way through the tough knot of mountains known as Breadalbane (meaning the 'high country of Scotland'). Following a break for lunch we stop to visit Kilchurn Castle, a magnificent ruin situated in the middle of Loch Awe and former home of the Campbells of Breadalbane. You will 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 visit the 18th-century castle and home of the Duke of Argyll, chief of the Campbell clan. The town was built at the same time as the castle and has the air of a classic 18th-century planned village with its straight wide streets and dignified Georgian houses. You can take time to explore the town and maybe call at the Old Jail or the maritime museum, the Arctic Penguin.

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'. It was given its name in 1753 by the weary soldiers who had just finished building the old military road up through Glen Croe. From here you skirt around Loch Long and down to 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 make a short stop at the conservation village of Luss, with 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.

Return time - approx 18.30

Photography Credits: Visit Britain, Visit Scotland, Britainonview, Mike Hasted, Luke Sheppard, Ingrid Rasmussen, Pawel Libera, Tony Pleavin, Craig Easton, David Angel, Martin Brent, Bob Berry, Paul Watts