Tours

colin-and-neil21 (2)

Having a dram with TV host and Honorary STGA President Neil Oliver

Excursion Scotland can provide any kind of tour you desire, in English, French, Portuguese or Spanish. Each tour is tailored to meet clients’ specific interests and requirements.

Below are some examples of popular tour itineraries which have worked well in the past, including half day, full day, 3 day and one week tours.

We strongly recommend that you arrange your own travel, medical and cancellation insurance before leaving home.

Half Day Walking Tour of Edinburgh

Starting at your hotel lobby or another central location, let’s take a walk around Edinburgh, the historic capital city of Scotland. We’ll discover the highlights and hidden gems of “the inspiring capital”, which can include:

  • Princes Street Gardens
  • The ‘New Town’
  • The Scott Monument
  • Closes of the Royal Mile in the Old Town
  • The Writer’s Museum
  • Edinburgh Castle
  • The Grassmarket
  • Greyfriars Bobby
  • Places that inspired Harry Potter author JK Rowling
  • St Giles Cathedral
  • The Mercat Cross
  • John Knox House
  • Canongate Kirk
  • The Palace of Holyrood House

Half Day Walking Tour of Glasgow

Starting from your hotel lobby in Glasgow or at Queen Street Station if you are arriving by train from Edinburgh we will take to the streets of Scotland’s largest city to experience the charm of “the Dear Green Place”. Visits and stops on the tour can include:

  • George Square
  • The City Chambers (Glasgow’s Town Hall).
  • The Merchant City
  • Tollbooth Steeple
  • The Oldest House in Glasgow (built 1472)
  • Glasgow Cathedral
  • Strathclyde University
  • “The Golden Z” (Sauchiehall Street, Buchanan Street and Argyle Street)
  • Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Willow Tearooms
  • Glasgow School of Art

A full day tour of Glasgow could continue over the West End of the city where we can visit attractions such as Glasgow University (Scotland’s second oldest, 1451), the world-renowned Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, the Botanic Gardens and the fashionable bar and restaurant area of Ashton Lane and Byres Road.

A half day is generally regarded to be 4 hours. If it is a morning half day it will usually be 9:00 to 13:00 and an afternoon will be 14:00 to 18:00 but these times are always flexible and can be discussed.

Full day tour example: Loch Lomond, the Trossachs and Stirling Castle

Our day begins in either Glasgow or Edinburgh and within 1 hour from Glasgow, or 1 hour and 30 minutes from Edinburgh, we will be by the banks of Loch Lomond*. We’ll take the time here to ponder the majesty of Great Britain’s largest body of fresh water by surface area and learn why the loch is an important boundary in the geographical make-up of Scotland and about its place in Scottish folklore and song. On this day tour we have the option of taking a loch cruise, either on Loch Lomond or later on in the day at Loch Katrine. Leaving Loch Lomond behind we will travel towards the village or Aberfoyle for a short stop at this town which sits on the Highland Boundary Faultline and is known as the Gateway to the Trossachs. Avoiding the crowds and tourist trap cafes Colin will recommend a traditional pub, café or restaurant off the beaten path for lunch. From Aberfoyle we will travel over the Duke’s Pass,  one of the most scenic drives in this part of the country, admiring the native flaura and fauna. We’ll stop to admire the view from the summit of the Duke’s Pass before continuing on towards Loch Katrine*. For over 200 years this loch has inspired writers, poets and artists with it stunning natural beauty, one the most famous being the Scottish author Sir Walter Scott who began writing his epic poem the Lady of the Lake when on holiday with his wife and daughter by the shores of Loch Katrine in 1809. To admire Loch Katrine we can take the loch cruise upon the steamship Sir Walter Scott, or just stroll along the flat footpath by the lochside. After Loch Katrine we make our way towards the historic town of Stirling. Our day will end with a visit to Stirling Castle where we will wander in the footsteps of Mary Queen of Scots and other member of the Stuart royal dynasty before maybe our return to Glasgow or Edinburgh in time for tea.

*On this tour the stops at Loch Lomond and Loch Katrine could be substituted for a visit to Glengoyne whisky distillery, with a tour or the distillery and whisky tasting.

A full day tour is considered to be a maximum of 9 hours. A longer day tour may be possible upon request.

Three day tour example: Glencoe, the Isle of Skye and Loch Ness

Day 1: Depart Glasgow or Edinburgh and head north to the Highlands, destination: Isle of Skye. Stops along the way can include:

  • Loch Lomond
  • Stirling Castle
  • Glencoe
  • Fort William
  • Comando Memorial
  • Eilean Donan Castle
  • Arriving in Portree on the Isle of Skye in the early evening.

Day 2: A full day to explore the Isle of Skye. Options include:

  • Talisker Whisky Distillery for a tour and tasting
  • The Trotternish peninsula – home to some of the best natural beauty in all of Scotland (if not the world!)
  • Kilt Rock
  • The Quirraing (short / medium / long hikes possible)
  • Museum of Island Life
  • Fairy Glen
  • Dunvegan Castle
  • Seal boat trip
  • Fishing trips can be arranged upon request.
  • Spend a second night in Portree with the possibly of some evening entertainment in one of the local pubs.

Day 3: Depart Portree and return to Glasgow, Edinburgh or other onward destination. Stops on the way can on this last day can include:

  • Eilean Donan Castle
  • Loch Ness – optional boat trip
  • Fort Augustus
  • Commando Memorial
  • Loch Laggan
  • Dalwhinnie Whisky Distillery
  • Pitlochry
  • Dunkeld

One week tour example: Scotland’s Best Bits

Day 1: We begin our tour in Glasgow with a visit to the city that smiles better. Options include visits to Glasgow Cathedral, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, The Riverside Museum, Glasgow University (founded 1451), as well as a walk through the commercial heart of Glasgow to soak up the buzz of this dynamic city and find out what makes it tick. Dinner and evening entertainment in Glasgow, the Unesco City of Music.

Day 2:  Depart Glasgow and travel north and up the west banks of Loch Lomond, Britain’s largest expanse of fresh water. We will stop for a visit to the picturesque village of Luss and visit the Viking graves and admire the beautiful views from Luss pier. We continue into the heart of the Highlands, travelling through Rannoch Moor and Glencoe. Stop by the Glencoe Visitor Centre to learn more about the geology and history of this special place which was at one time the most volcanic region on earth (around 300-400 million years ago). Leaving Glencoe we travel down the shore of the sea loch, Loch Linnhe and on towards the port town of Oban where we will sleep one night.

Day 3: Visit Oban Distillery in the morning and learn how ‘the water of life’ (translation of the Gaelic term uisge beatha from where the word whisky derives) is made. Depart Oban and travel up the Great Glen towards Loch Ness. Option to visit Urquhart Castle on the banks of Loch Ness from where many a monster sighting has been reported and go for a boat cruise on the loch. Continue north in early evening to the town of Inverness, known as the Capital of the Highlands, where we will settle into our accommodation for the evening and some Highland hospitality.

Day 4: Depart Inverness and pay a first visit of the morning to Culloden Battlefield, the sight of the last land battle on British soil in 1746. Learn about this important event through the award-winning visitor centre and walk on the preserved battlefield. Learn how the aftermath of the battle had repercussions which affect Scotland and her people to this day. Leaving Culloden behind we will travel towards the region of Speyside, where around half of Scotland’s 102 single malt whisky distilleries are found. Option to visit another distillery or for something different instead drop by Speyside Cooperage to learn about the centuries old art of coopering. We continue east and check in to our accommodation this evening in Aberdeen, one of Scotland’s wealthiest cities due to the black gold of North Sea oil which lies just off shore.

Day 5: Depart Aberdeen and make a first brief stop of the day by Dunnottar Castle, perched in its dramatic location on a rocky headland surrounded by the North Sea. Travel south passing through the town of Stonehaven and on through rich agricultural land and to the city of Dundee. Another brief stop to admire the historic ship Discovery in which Captain Robert Falcon Scott sailed on his fated expedition to the Antarctic, 1901-1904. We then continue towards the town of St Andrews where we will stop for lunch. St Andrews is known as the “home of golf” and we have the option here to visit the British Golf Museum and admire the fine greens of the Old Course. If golfing is not your bag another option is to visit the ruins of St Andrews Castle and St Andrews Cathedral and take in the fine view over the town from the top of St Rule’s Tower. The other thing St Andrews is famous for is being the home of Scotland’s oldest university, founded in 1411, and recently the place of study of HRH Prince William. Departing St Andrews in early evening we will cross the Firth of Forth and enter Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city.

Day 6: On our first day in the capital we will visit Edinburgh Castle and walk through the history of this volcanic rock, which has been fortified for around 3,000 years. We will also admire some of the wonders of the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh, including an optional hike up Arthur’s Seat, the extinct volcano at the foot of the Royal Mile, or for a slightly less strenuous hike but equally stunning views, we will take a stroll around the Calton Hill. Other optional visits on this day include The Palace of Holyrood House (the Queen’s royal residence in Edinburgh), the National Museum of Scotland, The National Galleries, the Museum of Childhood, St Giles Cathedral, the Gallery of Modern Art, The National Portrait Gallery and perhaps just some retail therapy along George Street or souvenir shopping on the Royal Mile.

Day 7: Another day to see some more of Edinburgh, which has so much to offer. Visits which are slightly outside of the city centre might include the Royal Yacht Britannia, Edinburgh Zoo (famous for its penguin parade and now its Giant Pandas currently on lease from China), Murrayfield Rugby Stadium (home of Scottish rugby). Tour ends today. Cheerio and haste ye back! Goodbye and come back soon!

Colin is also available for airport transfers, meet and greets (in kilt), cruise ship shore excursions, media tours, conferences and incentives.

Due to the varying nature of tour requests prices are not published here. Each tour is priced on an individual basis depending on size of the group, vehicle size required, distance to be covered, guiding language required, and the changeable prices of vehicle rental and fuel.

Please contact us to discuss your specific tour requirements.

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