Shore Excursions

tour guide in scotland

scotland's best private tour company

Experience a fun and friendly tour with our guides.

Tour Guide Scotland offer a range of private tours of Scotland which are perfectly tailored to your individual interests. From shore excursions and full day tours exploring Scotland's castles and historic sites or sampling its renowned Whisky to multi-day tours of the entire country allowing you to take in its stunning natural landscapes and immerse yourself in all that Scotland has to offer from its culture, history, food & drink, wildlife and amazing scenery with an exclusive private tour.

Speyside Whisky Tours

5-7 day tours, experience scotland in luxury with a private tour.

A Private tour of Scotland is a great way to explore the country and experience its rich history, culture and natural beauty. Because our tours are tailored specifically to you, they offer a flexible and personalised way to travel, allowing you to customise your itinerary and travel at your own pace.  

We have a great range of ready-made tours that you can choose from, or we’d love to work with you to design a tour that includes the places and activities that are most important to you. This could include visiting famous places like Edinburgh or Stirling Castle, taking a whisky tasting tour of the Speyside region, or simply exploring the rugged Highlands and Islands.

Our private tours offer you a more personal and intimate experience of Scotland, with the opportunity to learn from a knowledgeable and experienced guide who can share insights and stories about the places visited, providing you with a deeper understanding of Scottish history and culture.

We also offer more specialised tours, such as genealogy tours that help you trace your Scottish roots, or, if you are a fan, how about a tour focused on Outlander or any other specific themes.

Whether you are coming to Scotland from foreign parts by boat, train or plane, or you are simply popping over the border we will arrange for you to be picked up in your own private use minibus with your dedicated driver from a location of your choice before whisking you off on your Scottish adventure.

You could find yourself touring through the Scottish Highlands on route to the Isle of Skye for a fabulous sightseeing tour, or, if you are an Outlander fan, we can take you on a tour that covers some of the most memorable locations of Outlander as well as take you to some of Scotland’s most important historical and iconic places such as Glencoe and Culloden on our fabulous 7 Day Tour of Scotland .

Alternatively, if Whisky is your passion, we can offer you a full 7 day tour covering all of Scotland’s main distilleries , or, for a more intensive look at specific areas renowned for whisky production, you may prefer to immerse yourself in one of our Speyside Whisky Tours or set off for one of the islands famous for Whisky, with a 5 day Islay Whisky tour .  Whatever your taste in Whisky we have a tour to delight your tastebuds.

This is your holiday, so it is important to us to make sure that the whole experience is personal to you, that’s why we make sure that the only passengers travelling with you are your companions.

There are many benefits to taking a private tour of Scotland with us, including personalisation and flexibility, which means you get the opportunity to design your own unique travel experience and when you leave, you’ll have some great memories to take home with you.

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PRIVATE TOURS SCOTLAND

Magical Private Tours Of Scotland

Our team provide private tours of Scotland that include enchanting castles, breath-taking scenery, the world’s finest whisky distilleries, majestic mountains, fairy-tale stories of battles and romance all wrapped in a bespoke private tour. An experience like no other.

Our experienced team of tour designers have an extensive knowledge of Scotland and we pride ourselves on crafting the most enchanting and luxurious travel packages.

ENQUIRE TODAY & START PLANNING YOUR LUXURY TOUR OF SCOTLAND:

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Ultimate 10 Day Luxury Scottish Tour

Romantic tour of scotland, the ultimate scotch whisky tour, 8 day family tour of scotland, 14 day deluxe tour of scotland, nc500 & isle of skye tour, deluxe 8 day tour of scotland, bucket list golf tour of scotland, historic outlander themed tour.

All of our tours are fully bespoke – customised to suit your tastes and requirements.

Our experienced team of private tour designers have extensive knowledge of Scotland’s hidden treasures and pride themselves on creating the most delightful bespoke itineraries to give our guests inspiration. We can cater for any group size, large or small. Our list of destinations is a long and glittered list of gems, each offering and experience that only inspire and treat our guests to wonderful memories, including Scotland’s finest hotels, historic venues, traditional whisky distilleries, scenic driving routes, awe-inspiring landscapes and majestic golf courses. Our private tours of Scotland will take you to both the tourist hot spots and the hidden gems.

Luxury Private Tours Of Scotland

An eye for detail and care for our guests is what defines our private tours at Private Tours Scotland. From a day trip to 14+ day tours, we are Scotland’s tour operator of choice. Our experience lies in creating private tours to meet your exact specifications. An off the rack suit or dress may fit you but nothing is going to fit you better than a custom-tailored version that is measured down to the inch. From your initial enquiry, we will acquire all of the key details needed to craft a beautifully tailor-made private tour itinerary to cater to all of your needs. The experience is just as much about the journey as the events and tourist attractions. From start to finish, our private tour packages in Scotland include assigning you with a private chauffeur tour guide to escort you swiftly to each destinations. We can guarantee you will never forget your bespoke tour of Scotland

tour guide in scotland

Full-Service Scottish Private Tours

Join us on a journey that will rewind the clocks and take you to the very heart of Scottish folklore. Get in touch below and receive your customized Scotland private tour to create long-lasting memories with you and your loved ones

Our specialist team of tour designers will share their extensive knowledge of Scotland and craft a bespoke private luxury tour package that will create an unforgettable adventure.

Travel in Style & Comfort

Travelling in luxury and comfort is prerequisite one of Scotland's leading tour operators. It’s the small things on a private tour that make the difference from an enjoyable holiday to an outstanding one and so our approach is simple. The journey is just as important as the resorts and events. We have an outstanding fleet and private chauffeurs here in Scotland, that will escort you to each destination in style and comfort. In addition to an expert private chauffeur driver we can include an experienced tour guide for the duration of the trip. The tour guide will take your round each venue, enriching your experience with historic knowledge and legendary tales of the past We provide a wide range of tours including whisky tours, walking tours, golf tours, city tours, sightseeing tours guided tours ,tours of the Scottish highlands and more. A Scottish tour with Private Tours Scotland is laced with stunning scenery, fine cuisine, local culture and an in depth exploration of this beautiful country.

Mercedes Vito (up to 5 people)

Mercedes v-classes (up to 6 people) - optional luggage trailer, mercedes v-classes (up to 6 people), mercedes sprinter (8 people), mercedes sprinters (up to 16 people), executive coach (29, 37 or 49 seats).

Enchanting castle. Medieval folklore. Serene Scottish Highlands. Legendary Scottish whisky.

This 10-day ultimate luxury Scottish tour will take you on a magical journey through the most breathtaking destinations in Scotland, giving you a unique insight into the different cornerstones that make up the proud Scottish identity.

Just like the Scotch, this is a blended experience that includes a mixture of history, whisky, wildlife, and Highland exploration, all wrapped in luxury.

Itinerary Overview

tour guide in scotland

Arriving in the medieval city of Edinburgh, you will immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of history and medieval legends. You will begin your Scottish journey by visiting the city’s crown jewels, including the Scott Monument, Holyrood Palace and The Royal Mile.

You will then take a day trip to the heart of Scotland where some of the bloodiest and most iconic battles were fought in The Wars of Independence.

This historical insight will then transition into a geographical one, where you will travel to the beautiful West Cost of Scotland to witness some of the most inspiring landscapes that have been carved into the Scottish countryside.

Despite the enchanting beauty of the Scottish west coast, the true majesty of Scotland’s awe-inspiring landscapes lies further north in the legendary Highlands.

Here you will witness the picturesque Scottish mountains, steeped in tradition and folklore. Nestled deep in the Highlands are the traditional whisky distilleries where you will discover the secrets behind Scotland’s famous spirit.

Indulge in this private Scotland tour that will immerse you in the very fabric of Scottish culture and treat you with memories that will last a lifetime.

Luxury Accommodation

tour guide in scotland

The Balmoral. The Isle of Eriska Hotel. Benderloch. The Marmalade Hotel. This glittering list of luxury hotels is la crème de la crème of Scottish hospitality, offering a stunning blend of elegance and comfort that will envelop you from the moment you step through the door.

Each of these world-renowned hotels has a unique style and character, with a different history, a different charm, and a different story that will give you a glimpse into the rich heritage and culture of Scotland.

But all of these hotels have one characteristic in common – they share an unwavering commitment to delivering exceptional service and unparalleled luxury.

The Culinary Experience

This Scottish tour offers a unique culinary experience that will allow you to taste traditional Scottish dishes, including haggis, neeps, and tatties, and our hearty fish and chips. Each dining experience will spoil you with a wide selection of beverages that will add to the luxury experience.

Throughout your journey, you’ll have the opportunity to dine in some of the country’s finest restaurants, including Michelin-starred establishments, where talented chefs will serve exquisite dishes made from their secret cooking recipes.

Embark on a romantic coastal tour of Scotland, where you will be swept away by the mesmerizing natural beauty, fascinating historical landmarks, and rich cultural treasures that await you at every turn.

From the picturesque seaside villages to the rugged cliffs through to the pristine beaches, you and your loved one(s) will create unforgettable memories in the charming towns and cities that embody Scotland’s deep-rooted traditions.

tour guide in scotland

This private tour of Scotland begins in the beautiful and romantic city of Edinburgh, where you will visit the city’s most iconic landmarks, including the Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle, and Calton Hill.

Next, you will be chauffeured to the Kingdom of Fife and visit one of the most majestic golf courses in the world, St Andrews.

You will then escape to the beautiful Cairngorms and further north to the tranquil Scottish highlands where you will uncover hidden gems as you explore ancient castles, roam windswept shores, and discover the country’s unique cultural heritage.

This tour is designed to be a magical and unforgettable journey, taking you on an adventure through one of the world’s most captivating and beautiful countries, and giving you memories that will last a lifetime.

tour guide in scotland

Indulge in the luxurious hospitality of some of Scotland’s most prestigious hotels where you will experience the warm, welcoming service of the locals. From the grandeur of historic castles to the modern elegance of boutique hotels, each location will provide you with a luxurious and personalized service that will make you feel right at home.

Unwind in luxurious guest rooms, indulge in exquisite cuisine, and relax with spa treatments that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and refreshed. These will be the special moments when you and your loved one will wind down together and reflect back on a romantic day full of unforgettable experiences, creating cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

Prepare to go on a culinary journey that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you wanting more. Savour the finest local produce, from freshly caught seafood to prime Scottish beef, and indulge in an array of exquisite dishes that showcase Scotland’s rich culinary heritage.

You will dine in famous restaurants, some of which are located in historic castles, where you will be treated to world-class cuisine prepared by some of the country’s most talented chefs. It’s the champagne culinary experience that will spoil you with an exquisite drink selection and breathtaking views of some of Scotland’s most beautiful sights.

Set off on an exciting journey through the heart of Scotland’s whisky country where you will visit some of the most famous whisky distilleries in the world. In this private tour, you will discover the whisky-making process of each distillery which follow their own special recipe that’s been passed down since as early as the 18th century.

From the peaty drams in Islay to the fruity aromas in Speyside through to the salty coastal malts in the Highlands, the Ultimate Scotch Whisky Tour promises an immersive experience that will live long in the memory.

tour guide in scotland

Starting in the medieval city of Edinburgh, you will travel through stunning Scottish landscapes and visit some of the most prestigious and traditional whisky distilleries such as Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, and Talisker.

Along the way, you will sample a variety of whiskies, from peaty Islays to smooth Speysides and discover the history andrich culture of Scotland’s national drink. The magic of a whisky tour lies not just in the sampling of different whiskies, but also in the stories and histories behind each distillery.

By learning about the unique techniques and traditions of each distillery, you will gain a deeper appreciation for the complex flavours and personalities of different whiskies – it’s the stories that add to the character.

This is one of our highest in demand private tours of Scotland because it provides you with a unique opportunity to uncover the heritage of Scotland’s national drink. Whether you are a seasoned whisky drinker or a curious beginner, this tour is the perfect way to experience the best of Scotland’s whisky culture.

With expert guides, luxurious accommodations, and unforgettable experiences, the Ultimate Scotch Whisky Tour is a must-do for anyone who loves whisky and Scotland.

tour guide in scotland

This private tour offers a truly luxurious experience, with accommodation that is both comfortable and stylish. Each hotel has been carefully selected to ensure that you have the perfect base for your whisky adventure.

Upon your arrival, you will be chauffeured to the Machrie Hotel & Golf Links where you will wind down in their luxurious spa.

On Islay, you will stay in a luxurious hotel that overlooks the sea, offering breathtaking views of the island’s rugged coastline. The hotel’s elegant rooms and high-end amenities will ensure that you feel pampered and relaxed throughout your stay.

In the Highlands, you will stay in a charming country hotel near the Cairngorms National Park. Surrounded by stunning scenery, the hotel offers a peaceful retreat after a day of distillery tours and tastings where their cosy rooms and warm hospitality will make you feel right at home.

In Edinburgh, you will stay in a centrally located five-star hotel, where you can enjoy the city’s rich history and culture. The hotel’s elegant rooms and luxurious amenities will ensure that you’re well-rested and ready for the days ahead.

No private tour of Scotland is complete without an exquisite culinary experience. The Ultimate Scotch Whisky Tour by Private Tours Scotland offers a diverse gastronomic adventure that showcases traditional Scottish cuisine and modern twists on classic dishes.

Guests will enjoy a traditional Scottish breakfast, private whisky tastings with gourmet dinners that feature locally sourced ingredients and fresh seafood, and a seafood lunch paired with a selection of Islay whiskies.

Throughout this private tour, guests will also sample local delicacies and artisanal products, such as Scottish shortbread and handcrafted chocolates. The tour’s expert guides and chefs ensure that guests have a memorable and authentic experience that highlights the best of Scotland’s culinary culture.

Private Tours Scotland’s Deluxe 8-Day Scotland Tour is a well-rounded and immersive journey that highlights Scotland’s rich culture, history, and natural wonders. This all-inclusive package offers a wide range of activities throughout the country, providing guests with a deep understanding and appreciation of Scottish culture.

On this tour, you will visit iconic landmarks that are steeped in history, go on private walking tours to uncover some of Scotland’s bloody history and venture deep into the Scottish Highlands where you will experience true serenity.

History. Culture. Natural beauty. You will experience it all and leave with a rich understanding of Scotland’s heritage, as well as unforgettable memories that you will share with your loved ones.

tour guide in scotland

The tour begins in the stunning Scottish capital, Edinburgh, where you will explore the city’s iconic landmarks such as Edinburgh Castle, Calton Hill, and the famous Old Town. You will have a private guided tour across the city where your guide will take you to the heart of Edinburgh’s bloody past.

Next, you will be taken on one of the most scenic driving routes in the country, from Loch Lomond to Glen Kinglas through to Glen Croe. Here you will be immersed in deep tranquillity as you take in the breathtaking views of some of the world’s most stunning scenery.

But there is more to come. You will then eventually venture north, to the Scottish Highlands and visit the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct, the train bridge that connects Harry Potter to Hogwarts. Activities include a ferry trip from Mallaig to Armadale, country walking and a visit to the Glenfinnan Monument.

You will then experience the magic of Skye where you will visit the Fairy Pools and discover the stunning natural beauty of this rugged island before ending the trip once again in the beautiful Scottish Highlands.

tour guide in scotland

Throughout the tour, you will stay in a mix of 5-star hotels, Victorian estate houses, and cosy but opulent lodges, each carefully selected to provide the ultimate in luxury and comfort. The accommodations are located in some of Scotland’s most picturesque and iconic settings, from the bustling city of Edinburgh to the remote wilderness of the Highlands.

The hotels and castles offer a range of amenities, including fine-dining restaurants, spas, and fitness centres. You will be able to relax and unwind after a day of exploring Scotland’s rich cultural heritage and natural beauty in the comfort of their luxurious accommodations.

The tour also provides guests with the opportunity to experience the warm hospitality and rich culture of Scotland. The accommodations are designed to showcase Scotland’s unique heritage and provide an authentic Scottish experience that guests will cherish for years to come.

The Deluxe 8-day tour of Scotland will give you a chance to explore Scotland’s finest cuisine from, traditional Scottish fare to modern fusion dishes. The tour takes guests on a culinary journey across the country, showcasing the diverse and rich food culture of Scotland.

You will dine in a variety of different establishments, ranging from the Balmoral’s prestigious Number One restaurant to the famous Torrish restaurant nestled in the Highlands, through to organised luxury picnics in Oban.

By the end of the trip, you will have sampled the best of Scotland’s culinary offerings while experiencing the warmth and hospitality of the Scottish people.

Set off on a unique journey that promises to take you through some of Scotland’s most picturesque golf courses. This is one of our most popular luxury private tours of Scotland because it combines the ultimate golfing experience with the chance to discover the stunning beauty of Scotland’s landscapes, including its rugged coastlines, famous lochs, and picturesque villages.

From Ayrshire’s Golf Coast to Gleneagles through to ‘The Home of Golf’, St Andrews, you will create unforgettable memories in one of the most immersive golf tours of Scotland.

But the experience goes just beyond the greens: you will also experience the very best that Scotland has to offer, from indulging in its world-renowned culinary scene to magical whisky tours to staying in historic castles steeped in history, this trip promises an unforgettable journey.

tour guide in scotland

Your tour will tee off in the historic Glenapp Castle where you will wind down in 5-star luxury before embarking on your golfing adventure. You will then have your first swing at a golf club at Trump Turnberry in one of the most scenic golf courses in the world.

But there are many headline acts to come. The star-studded list also includes Gleneagles, The King’s Course,  Kingsbarns, Carnoustie, and Castle Stuart. In between, hitting birdies in these iconic courses, you will also be treated to a tour of the legendary Dalwhinnie Distillery to discover that’s been producing whisky since 1897.

And of course, you will experience a fine dining experience that will spoil you with a variety of exquisite dishes overlooking the stunning Scottish landscape. Your last swing of a golf club will be on the prestigious Royal Dornoch, where you will end your tour with a birdie before flying out from Inverness.

tour guide in scotland

Expect luxurious hospitality from the moment you arrive on one of our most exclusive luxury private tours. You will be treated to sumptuous hospitality at a glittering array of award-winning and historic hotels, with the historic Glenapp Castle being just the beginning of what’s in store.

Many of these hotels come equipped with spas, pools, and immaculate gardens, providing you with the perfect setting to unwind and reflect on your adventures in comfort.

At the heart of the hospitality experience, is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the different stories that have moulded the character of these hotels, some of which go as far back as the early 19th century.

From Glenapp’s 5-star hospitality to the legendary Old Course Hotel through to the tranquil setting of the Ness Walk Hotel, you will feel right at home in some of Scotland’s most iconic hotels.

Along with your golf tours throughout the country, you will experience a fabulous gastronomic adventure where you will delight your taste buds with the finest of Scottish cuisine.

This private tour places a strong emphasis on luxury, offering you the chance to dine in a diverse range of environments, each with its own distinct recipes, personality, and charm.

From the prestige of Michelin Star to the warm intimacy of the Bothy restaurant through to Forgan’s rustic comfort, you will experience the true taste of Scotland’s rich culinary traditions.

Rewind the clocks and take a deep dive into Scotland’s rich history through the lens of the Outlander. This will be a magical journey that will take you to the battlegrounds, castles, and locations that have shaped Scotland into what it is today.

And of course, you will visit some of the places where Outlander was shot, allowing you to relive some of your favourite moments from the show and immerse yourself in the historic Edinburgh Old Town.

Whether you’re an Outlander fan or simply a lover of history and culture, this tour promises to be an unforgettable adventure that you will cherish with your loved ones.

tour guide in scotland

The tour begins in Edinburgh where you will explore the city’s treasures and bloody history with your bespoke walking tour guide. You will visit Edinburgh’s most iconic landmarks along with some of Outlander’s filming locations.

After visiting the breathtaking Hopetoun House, you’ll be chauffeured to Stirling, where you will delve into the heart of Scottish history by exploring the battlegrounds of one of its defining battles. This was where William Wallace and Robert the Bruce fought in the Wars of Independence that you may have seen in Braveheart and Outlaw King.

While the tour is primarily focused on Scotland’s rich history, you’ll also have the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the country’s vibrant culture.

This includes a visit to Scotland’s oldest whisky distillery, as well as an exploration of the breathtaking Scottish Highlands, allowing you to experience the natural wonders and unique customs of this historic country.

tour guide in scotland

The Historic Outlander Themed Tour offers a range of luxurious accommodation options to suit your needs and preferences. From five-star hotels to charming guesthouses, you will have the opportunity to stay in some of Scotland’s most stunning and historic properties.

In Edinburgh, you’ll stay in a luxurious five-star hotel located in the heart of the city. This elegant and stylish property offers all the amenities and comforts you could wish for, including spacious rooms, fine dining, and a range of leisure facilities.

As you travel through Scotland, you will have the opportunity to stay in a stunning Victorian mansion, a Castle Hotel, and secluded 5-star accommodation in the Highlands that provide you with breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

From start to finish, these properties have been carefully selected for their character, comfort, and hospitality, allowing you to experience the warm welcome and personal touch that Scotland is famous for.

Each accommodation is designed to provide you with a truly luxurious and memorable experience, allowing you to relax and unwind in style after a day of exploring Scotland’s rich history and culture.

As you stay in Scotland’s finest hotels, you will experience an exceptional assortment of Scottish cuisine where you will have the opportunity to savour a wide range of flavours and experiences.

But what also makes this one of our most popular private Scotland tours is the variety of different dining experiences on offer. This ranges from cosy family-run eateries to exclusive restaurants led by renowned chefs, providing you with the opportunity to enjoy a variety of culinary delights on this tour.

Scotland Private Tours - Frequently Asked Questions

What is the tipping etiquette in scotland.

Although tipping in Scotland is not compulsory, choosing to tip in restaurants is generally seen as polite and can be used as a kind gesture to demonstrate your appreciation of the quality of their service. Although around 10% is seen as the standard tipping rate, if the service has been of a premium standard then don’t hesitate to leave more. Bear in mind that this is entirely up to you and that there is not much of an expectation for you to do so.

Bartenders serving drinks in bars and pubs in Scotland don’t expect to be tipped by customers, although these are always welcomed. With regards to tipping your walking tour guides or driver tour guides, the same rules apply. Don’t feel obliged to tip but also don’t hesitate to do so if they have demonstrated a stellar service that has enhanced your holiday experience. However if you feel the service has been exceptional on your Scotland private tour then feel free to tip what you feel reflects the service.

What payment methods do you accept?

tour guide in scotland

Are flights included?

Booking flights is not part of our private tour package. However, we are happy to advise you on the best routes available. Once you have touched down in Scotland, from start to finish, every aspect of your tour will have been organised and waiting to begin once your driver greets you at the airport.

What is included in the price?

This varies from tour to tour, but generally speaking our  private Scotland tour offerings include: Accommodation Private Driver Guide Executive Vehicle All Excursions Tour Guides / Services of private local guides/guided tour Co-ordination and support / 24 h. assistance during the trip Your own Personal Tour Designer Customised Travel Itinerary Breakfast at all Hotels TAXES The tour cost  varies depending on the number of days, people, time of year and standard of accommodation.

Are meals included?

Bed & Breakfast will always be included in your private tour package, unless instructed. Our travel itineraries include lunch and dinner recommendations for you to choose from. Once you have decided on your preferred place to dine, a member of our team will contact the restaurant to reserve you a table. Lunch and dinner meals are generally not included within our package costs, unless of course specifically requested, we can arrange this. We can aslo accommodate special requests from travellers looking to have set menus and wines selected and pre-paid.

When is the best time to visit Scotland?

This depends on how you react to the weather although the peak times for visitors in Scotland are between April and September. These sit during the colourful spring and summer months, when visitors are welcomed by warmer and drier weather. However, the winter and autumn months also offer their own degree of charm, with festivities aplenty and a variety of exciting events to experience. It is to be noted that Scotland has varying weather patterns that can sometimes be unpredictable, with the possibility of rain never being too far away. Mother Nature is a talented architect and has blessed Scotland with a beautiful landscape, filled with colour and natural beauty, which could only have been achieved with a little drizzle. 

What clothes should I bring?

This depends on how you react to the weather although the peak times for visitors in Scotland are between April and September. These sit during the colourful spring and summer months, when visitors are welcomed by warmer and drier weather. However, the winter and autumn months also offer their own degree of charm, with festivities aplenty and a variety of exciting events to experience. It is to be noted that Scotland has varying weather patterns that can sometimes be unpredictable, with the possibility of rain never being too far away. Mother Nature is a talented architect and has blessed Scotland with a beautiful landscape, filled with colour and natural beauty, which could only have been achieved with a little drizzle.

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On 21 February, we celebrated International Tourist Guide Day. This professional holiday was established by the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (WFTGA) to recognise and showcase the important role of the tourist guides around the world.  This year’s theme … Continued

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On Wednesday 21 February, the Scottish Tourist Guides Association is proud to celebrate International Tourist Guide Day! Today, we recognise our passionate and hardworking tourist guide members who are the best ambassadors for their profession and for Scotland! This special … Continued

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From 19th – 25th February 2024, Scottish Gaelic will be celebrated across the globe! Seachdain na Gàidhlig is the first official nationwide language and culture week to be held in Scotland. Community events, projects, and initiatives are taking place throughout Scotland. To find out more and get … Continued

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tour guide in scotland

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Highland Experience Tours

Highland Experience Tours

Day & multi day guided tours of scotland.

Experience the best of Scotland with Highland Experience’s expertly crafted tours. Our guided tours of Scotland offer an immersive journey through breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. Discover hidden gems and iconic landmarks with our knowledgeable guides who provide deep insights beyond the typical tourist experience. Whether you’re interested in package tours of Scotland or private Scotland tours, our personalised itineraries ensure an unforgettable adventure tailored to your interests. Book your ultimate Scottish adventure today and explore Scotland like never before.

  • Most popular tour!

Loch Ness, Glen Coe & the Highlands

Loch Ness, Glen Coe & the Highlands. On this tour, drive the full length of Loch Ness, get the opportunity to cruise on the loch and explore Urquhart Castle, and pass through Cairngorms National Park and the stunning Glen Coe.

  • Calendar All year
  • User 3+ years old
  • Hour Glass 12.5 hrs
  • Hour Glass 3 days

Ultimate Skye Experience

Stay, explore and travel like a local in one of Scotland’s most scenic locations, the Isle of Skye, and see the spectacular Eilean Donan Castle. Book today!

  • Hour Glass 9 hrs 45 min

Stirling Castle, Loch Lomond & Whisky

This is the Scottish experience ‘distilled’. It gives you a taste of three classic Scottish ingredients — castles, lochs and whisky. Book online today!

  • Hour Glass 8.5 hrs

Rosslyn Chapel, Stirling Castle & Dunfermline Abbey

We take you behind the headlines of Dan Brown’s ‘Da Vinci Code’, explaining the background of one of the world’s most enduring mysteries. Book online today!

Why Choose Highland Experience Tours?

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5-Star Customer Service & Value

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Award-Winning Local Guides

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Comfort on Our Luxury Eco-Friendly Vehicles

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Choices: Departure City, Accommodation, and More

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  • 1-day tours – 100% refund with 24 hours notice or more
  • 2-3 day tours – 100% refund with 7 days notice or more
  • 4-8 day tours – 100% refund with 14 days notice of more

This means you can book and be safe in the knowledge that if your plans change, we’ll change with you.

Experience Scotland with us!

As you might have noticed, we LOVE Scotland. From the challenging mountains to the glistening lochs and mysterious glens, the variety in its natural features is as striking as it is beautiful. But that’s not all; Scotland is also a nation boasting rich Scottish folklore and historical heritage. Clans, tartans, kilts and bagpipes are world-famous Scottish symbols, and so are our myths and historical figures. Are you curious about the origins of Nessie or want to learn about William Wallace or the battle of Culloden ? Scotland has an extensive history to be unearthed. With Highland Experience Tours, you enjoy world-famous Highland hospitality and experience all that Scotland has to offer. But don’t just take our word for it. Take a tour and experience it for yourself.

We hope to see you soon.

Award-Winning Guided Scotland Tours

Your Scotland experience starts here. From monsters and mountains , chapels and chieftains to castles and whisky , we want to give you the most authentic Scottish experience possible. From the comfort of our luxury bespoke vehicles to our legendary, fully qualified guides, we can’t wait to show you our stunning country.

We consider ourselves extremely lucky to have a job doing something we really enjoy; everyone at Highland Experience shares a passion for travel and helping other people discover Scotland’s Highlands.

Our love for real, sustainable and unique tour experiences makes us who we are.

Tours from Edinburgh

Tours from glasgow, tours from inverness.

Go Scotland Tours

Go Tour. Go Scotland Tours.

Group and private tours of scotland. edinburgh, scottish highlands, islands... tours with local guide passionate about scotland., coupon code wingo1012 for 5% off multi-day scottish tours, group tour of edinburgh from queensferry cruise port, where in scotland do you want to go.

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Guided Group Tours of Scotland

Guided Group Tours of Scotland

Distillery and Whisky Tours

Distillery and Whisky Tours

Day Tours from Edinburgh

Day Tours from Edinburgh

Day Tours from Glasgow

Day Tours from Glasgow

Regular Tours from Inverness

Regular Tours from Inverness

Virtual Scotland - Online Guided Tours

Virtual Scotland - Online Guided Tours

Be-spoke private tours of scotland.

Build your own tailor-made tour with Go Scotland Tours. We also have some pre-set itineraries that may turn into your perfect Scottish Tour Experience. Our private tours include Qualified Blue or Green Badge Guides assuring you a professional service. We can offer you any range of tours from a single half or full day tour to private guide multi-day tours and also larger groups. Our guides are based in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness but can pick up elsewhere in Scotland.  Click here for Private Tours

Join a Group Tour of Scotland

Go Scotland Tours offers a variety of group tours from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness. If you only have a short time hop on one of our full day tours going to places like Stirling Castle, St Andrews, Loch Ness and more. We can also pick up from your cruise ships at Greenock and South Queensferry. Short break tours of 2 to 4 days going to places like the Scottish Highlands and Isle of Skye. Extensive tours from 5 to 16 days to Islay, Iona, Outer Hebrides, Orkney and more.  Click here for Scotland Tours

Deposit for Multi-day tours - Pay 10% now to book a tour!

Go Scotland Tours is now offering the opportunity to pay just 10% now to book your tour. A great option for those looking to book in advance but do not want to pay the full sum upfront. This is available for all multi-day tours that are 2 days or more in duration. You then pay the rest later when it is 6 months prior to the tour start date. For more details click here

Our Picks of The Week

The Isle of Skye Experience Tour

The Isle of Skye Experience Tour

Skye The Misty Isle is our best kept secret and is one of Scotlands most breathtaking retreats, a 3 day Isle of Skye Tour, Loch Ness, Pitlochry and Highlands..

Loch Ness, Glencoe and Scottish Highlands Day Tour Experience from Edinburgh

Loch Ness, Glencoe and Scottish Highlands Day Tour Experience from Edinburgh

Experience the best 1 day tour of Scotland, we go to the famous Loch Ness and Scottish Highlands, see the rich mountain scenery as you tour on the Nessie Bus...

The Scottish Highlands Essential Experience Tour

The Scottish Highlands Essential Experience Tour

The Essential Scottish Experience, tour highlands of Scotland and the western islands, Skye, Loch Ness, Glencoe, Oban, Simply the Best Tour of the Highlands...

Whisky Tour

Islay and the Whisky Coast of Scotland Tour

Islay and the Whisky Coast of Scotland Tour

A 4 day whisky tour to Islay and the Whisky Coast. Islay is home to Scotland finest malt whisky distilleries Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Bowmore, Bunnahabhain, Ardbeg

An Outlander Scotland Tour

An Outlander Scotland Tour

Outlander themed tour, designed especially for the fans of all things Jamie and Claire. Mystic and romantic locations which would have inspired Diana Gabaldon.

Eilean Donan, Loch Ness and North West Highlands Tour of Scotland

Eilean Donan, Loch Ness and North West Highlands Tour of Scotland

Enjoy a 2 day Sightseeing tour of Scotland: dramatic highlands, Eilean Donan Castle and the famous Loch Ness. Overnight in the Highland town of Fort William...

Tour Loch Ness, Inverness and the Highlands of Scotland

Tour Loch Ness, Inverness and the Highlands of Scotland

Take two leisurely days, travel in comfort in a small group tour of Scotland and savour delights of the Scottish Highlands and Loch Ness with your tour guide...

Bespoke Private Tours of Scotland

Cruise Shore Excursions

Cruise Shore Excursions

Private Tours from Glasgow

Private Tours from Glasgow

Half Day Private Tours

Half Day Private Tours

Private Tours from Edinburgh

Private Tours from Edinburgh

Private Tours of Scotland

Private Tours of Scotland

Trustpilot reviews.

Themes and Types of Scotland Tours

Themes and Types of Scotland Tours

We offer a wide range of different tour themes and types. Whether you only have one day to spare, a few days, a week or more to tour Scotland we have all your vacation needs.

Bespoke Tours of Scotland

Bespoke Tours of Scotland

We cater to groups and individuals looking for something different. If you can't find what you are looking for or would like a tailor-made be-spoke customized tour of Scotland with a private guide

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Whisky Day Tours from Edinburgh

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Scotland tours by type, tours by operator.

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tour guide in scotland

A tour on the Royal Mile, Edinburgh

Tours of Scotland

Uncover fascinating stories of famous Scots, get up close with curious wildlife or try out a new activity on one of our rivers. Tours are a brilliant way to see Scotland in a new way.

Find a friendly local expert guide, or make your own way along one of our suggested itineraries.

Get the most out your Scottish experience and book a tour of Scotland today.

Find tour experiences

Search a wide range of organised, bespoke tours, self guided tours and day trips.

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Explore Scottish Holidays and Tour Sites

No matter which kind of Scotland tour package you choose, you're never far from fantastic attractions, all set amongst some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes in the world. Go island hopping and explore the island paradises off Scotland's coast, see if you can spot Nessie on a Loch Ness tour, take a day trip around world-famous historic attractions or book a multi-day tour to really get a feel for the country's beautiful scenery and rich culture.

Top Tour Ideas

Scotland’s UNESCO Trail

Scotland’s UNESCO Trail

Scotland is the first country in the world to bring together 13 UNESCO sites into one trail.

Harry Potter film and book locations itinerary

Harry Potter film and book locations itinerary

Follow in the footsteps of Harry Potter with our 4-day itinerary travelling from Edinburgh to the Highlands.

Outlander Filming Locations

Outlander Filming Locations

Step into the world of Claire and Jamie and discover standing stones, castles, kilts and more.

Speyside Malt Whisky Trail Itinerary

Speyside Malt Whisky Trail Itinerary

Follow this 3-day itinerary around some of Speyside's top whisky attractions in the north east of Scotland.

Scotland’s Castle Trail

Scotland’s Castle Trail

Discover the most famous and dramatic castles in the north east with our incredible 6-day itinerary.

Scottish Islands & island hopping

Scottish Islands & island hopping

Explore some of the 700+ islands off Scotland's coast and experience their unique cultures and stunning landscapes.

Scotland's Most Scenic Driving Routes

Scotland's Most Scenic Driving Routes

Experience some of Scotland’s most epic road trips, including stunning National Tourist Routes and the breath-taking North Coast 500.

Self-Guided Tours

The Ultimate Scotland itinerary

The Ultimate Scotland itinerary

Venture around some of the most popular attractions and locations in this 14 day Ultimate Scotland Itinerary.

7 days in the West of Scotland

7 days in the West of Scotland

Follow this seven day itinerary through the west of Scotland to see iconic sights and attractions in Glasgow, Loch Lomond and more.

7 Days in the east of Scotland

7 Days in the east of Scotland

Follow this itinerary to see the highlights of the east of Scotland including dramatic coastline, historic castles and awesome attractions!

48 hours in Glasgow

48 hours in Glasgow

From museums and galleries to visiting the West End - explore with our 2-day Glasgow itinerary.

Highland castles itinerary

Highland castles itinerary

See some of Scotland's most amazing castles as you tour the Highlands over four great days.

5 Days in Scotland with an Electric Car

5 Days in Scotland with an Electric Car

Take a road trip with information on charging points, accommodation, attractions, food and drink, and more.

All itineraries

All itineraries

Plan your days in Scotland with the help of our suggested itineraries.

Over 350 Reviews

and counting on Trip Advisor

Private Tours of Scotland Logo

Build your own customised private tours of Scotland

Personal Tours of Scotland provide bespoke P rivate Tours of Scotland as well as customised Luxury Tours of Scotland .  Tailored solutions for every individual, couple, family or group.  

Contact Brian Collie on +44 131 202 2228 or email [email protected]. You may also fill out the website form or arrange a zoom call to discuss your tour of Scotland.

tour guide in scotland

Build Your Own Private Tour of Scotland & Meet Your Operator

£500 / deposit.

  • From Edinburgh

VIP Small Group Tours of Scotland in 7 or 10 Days

Fabulous tours showing off the very best of Scotland, her scenery, history, cuisine and culture. Bookings are available for 2025.

Book small group tours with Personal Tours of Scotland.

Secure your seat for just £500 . Pay the balance in installments.

Check availability and join a small group tour

  • Customised Luxury Coach
  • Tables & Whisky Bar
  • Maximum of 8 Seats
  • Payment in Installments
  • Book Online
  • Meet Brian Collie on Zoom
  • Book Now for 2024 & 2025

Lets take a look at our Luxury Tours of Scotland

Luxury tours of Scotland offer discerning travelers an unparalleled opportunity to explore the breathtaking landscapes and rich cultural heritage of this majestic country in utmost comfort and style. With a private tour guide leading the way, you can tailor your journey to your exact preferences, ensuring an unforgettable experience that surpasses all expectations.

One of the hallmark features of luxury tours in Scotland is the option to travel by helicopter, providing unparalleled views of the rugged coastline, misty lochs, and ancient castles from above. This exclusive mode of transportation not only adds an element of thrill but also allows you to cover vast distances in a fraction of the time, maximizing your time spent indulging in the sights and sounds of Scotland.

As you traverse the stunning countryside, your private tour guide will curate a bespoke itinerary that includes visits to some of the most opulent and historic landmarks Scotland has to offer. From majestic 5-star castles steeped in centuries of history to exclusive whisky distilleries where you can sample Scotland’s finest single malts, every moment of your journey will be marked by luxury and refinement.

Imagine stepping back in time as you explore the grandeur of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, or immersing yourself in the mystical atmosphere of the Isle of Skye, all while enjoying the personalized attention and expertise of your knowledgeable guide. Whether you’re strolling through manicured gardens or savoring a gourmet picnic against the backdrop of a Highland vista, every aspect of your luxury tour will be tailored to your preferences and desires.

At the end of each exhilarating day, retire to your luxurious accommodations, which may include sumptuous suites within historic castles or boutique hotels nestled amidst Scotland’s most picturesque landscapes. Here, you can unwind in decadent surroundings, reflecting on the day’s adventures and anticipating the wonders that await you on the morrow.

In essence, luxury tours of Scotland offer the perfect blend of indulgence, adventure, and cultural immersion, ensuring an unparalleled travel experience that will leave you with cherished memories to last a lifetime.

Enquire about a luxury tour of scotland

Scottish Guided Tours

tour guide in scotland

Tours of Scotland

tour guide in scotland

Private Tour Operator of the Year 2023 - Scottish Enterprise Awards

Guided tours of scotland - private day tours & multi-day tours.

Scottish Guided Tours specialise in unique private tours of Scotland. Exclusive fun and relaxed small group tours for your family, friends or travelling companions. Experience a magical Isle of Skye Tour & the wonders of the ‘Misty Isle’

Enjoy the ultimate Loch Ness & Scottish Highland Tours or Outlander Scotland Tours inspired by the hit TV show. Explore the very best of Scotlands Highlands & Islands with your own local tour guide . Browse our tours of Scotland below and plan a bespoke tour that matches your time frame and interests. Explore Scotland with a private tour guide and itinerary planning. Experience the best of Scotland – Enquire about Private Guided Tours of Scotland

Experience an Unforgettable Tour of Scotland

Ten Star Review!

Your Scotland Discovered - Contact us

Private guided tours depart from any location in scotland - contact us.

Niall and his team of experienced Scottish Tour Guides always aim to give the best possible experience, whether heritage related, historical, cultural or perhaps, a mixture of all three. Fun and authentic private guided tours of Scotland – The best Scotland has to offer.

‘Niall is an experienced Scottish tour guide. Raised in the mountains and glens of Scotland and inspired by his father, renowned Scottish author and historian Dr Rennie McOwan , Niall and his team feel passionately about their role as bespoke private tour guides.

Directly descended from legendary Highland stalker Donald Ross, Chief Stalker to the Duke of Portland..   Read more….

Scottish Guided Tours - Tours of Scotland

Private Day Tours of Scotland

Explore a variety of luxury private tours with Scottish Guided Tours. Private guided tours offering you complete door to door convenience.

Private multi-day Tours of Scotland

Multi-Day Tours of Scotland

Book an overnight private tour of with Scottish Guided Tours. Embark on a 2 day Private Tour, or even a 14 day small group tour of Scotland.

Day Tours of Scotland

Bespoke Private Tours of Scotland

Plan your very own, private bespoke day tours or multi-day tour. Private guided tours of Scotland focused on your time frame and interests.

Why Scottish Guided Tours?

Door to door service.

Your private tour guide shall greet you at your chosen location. Hotel, B&B or even Cruise Ship Terminal. The most convenient start possible to your private tour of Scotland. Complete Door-to-door service from Scottish Guided Tours. 

Your Guides

Niall and his team of experienced Scottish Tour Guides aim to give the best possible experience, whether heritage-related, historical, cultural or perhaps a mixture of all three. Fun and authentic private guided tours of Scotland – The best Scotland has to offer.

Private Tours of Scotland

Scottish Guided Tours delivers award-winning private tours of Scotland exclusively for your group of travellers. Bespoke tours of Scotland designed around your time frame & interests.

Our brand-new luxury vehicles ensure great views, comfort, and plenty of room for all travellers and luggage. Private Small Group Tours of Scotland are exclusively for you and your travelling companions.

Small Group Tours of Scotland

Small Group Tours of Scotland

The flexibility of small group tours of Scotland is one of the great bonuses of travelling exclusively with your family and friends. Bespoke itineraries, designed around your time frame and interests. Why not enquire about experiencing our world-famous Highland Games for example or our Scottish Island Tours. A great addition to any Scotland Tour. We love to help plan and deliver the best private tours of Scotland –  Enquire about small group tours of Scotland 

Scottish Island Tours

Scottish Island Tours

Scotland has over 900 islands, so allow us to plan and deliver the best Scottish Island tours. Our heritage, including our Viking past, is still very much evident on our islands. From the incredible Inner and Outer Hebrides to the outer reaches of Shetland and the neolithic wonders of the Orkney Islands. Scotland is an island paradise with history and folklore as abundant as our beautiful beaches and crystal clear ocean – Enquire about Scottish Island Tours

Luxury Private Tour of Scotland

Luxury Private Tour of Scotland

At Scottish Guided Tours, there is no luxury private tour of Scotland that we can’t accommodate. Small group tours, exclusively for your family and friends, may include a mixture of historic, whisky, golf, fishing, fine dining, and walking. We pride ourselves on creating bespoke itineraries that meet your exact requirements. Your time frame and interests, coupled with our experience for an unforgettable luxury private tour of Scotland. Our small group tours progress at a pace that allows you to enjoy Scotland. Together we decide how long you wish to stay at each location – Enquire about Luxury Private Tours of Scotland

Luxury Tours of Scotland

Airport Shuttle Service

Before a private tour of Scotland can begin or your small group tour of Scotland can get underway, you may have to get from the airport or arrival point to your hotel. Our shuttle service can sometimes be the most convenient way to travel to your accommodation on your arrival day in Scotland. 

We are always on hand to help with any aspect of your Scotland travels. You may want to know what to pack, or what airport is best. You may just require a dinner recommendation – Say Hello!! Allow us to take care of everything

Award Winning Scotland Tours

tour guide in scotland

Deals of the Week   Vibrant North Africa   Up to 50% OFF

Fully Guided Tours & Trips in Scotland

173 fully guided tour packages in scotland with 7,228 reviews.

5 Day Skye & Highland Fling Tour

Explorer Historical

5 Day Skye & Highland Fling

"The tour was amazing! I highly recommend this tour! I'd definitely come back for more." Kayle, traveled in June 2024

3 Day Loch Ness & Skye Tour

Explorer Coach / Bus

3 Day Loch Ness & Skye

"My tour with Macbackpackers was everything I was hoping it'd be, and more. I definitely made the right choice." Andrew, traveled in May 2024

Country Roads of Scotland (Classic, 9 Days) Tour

In-depth Cultural Family Coach / Bus +1

Country Roads of Scotland (Classic, 9 Days)

"It was really enjoyable." Perry, traveled in August 2023

Scotland Tour

In-depth Cultural Family Explorer Historical +2

"The itinerary was varied and the weather played its part. We had a brilliant bus driver, Brendan who was very informative as well." Julie, traveled in May 2024

Bonnie Scotland Tour

Bonnie Scotland

"The tour was excellent, and the experience was truly exceptional." Larry, traveled in September 2023

Isle of Skye & the Outer Hebrides (B&B) Tour

In-depth Cultural Family

Isle of Skye & the Outer Hebrides (B&B)

"Her passion for Scotland and her love of her homeland was so evident from the very start." KimandLynHart, traveled in September 2019
  • €75 deposit on some dates

2-day Outlander Tour (Small Group) Tour

2-day Outlander Tour (Small Group)

"Highly recommend. Stayed at Oak Villa in Inverness, best hosts and the breakfast was amazing." Jeff, traveled in May 2023
  • 10% deposit on some dates

Highlights of Scotland Tour

In-depth Cultural Historical

Highlights of Scotland

"I had a wonderful and unique time! I will never forget this trip." Cynthia, traveled in November 2022

Highlights of Scotland Tour

Explorer Sightseeing Historical +1

"Lovely tour, very committed guide." Magdalena, traveled in May 2022

Hebridean Escape Tour

Hebridean Escape

"B & B's were very good. I would certainly take another tour with them." Jill, traveled in August 2019

What people love about Fully Guided Tours in Scotland

What an incredible tour!! Branka made this week magical! From her funny stories, great food recommendations, and impeccable driving, she made this tour worth while. With an almost full group tour, she fit sooo many adventures into 5 days. I would recommend this tour to any young backpacker traveling solo or with a friend and who wants to explore the best of Scotland!
Branka's tour with MacBackpackers was absolutely amazing! Her ability to combine Scottish folklore, history, and personal connections made for an entertaining and enlightening tour. We saw amazing sights, heard great stories, and made memories to last a lifetime -- my only regret is not leaving enough time to take the 5-day tour!
We had a fantastic and thorough tour experience of Country Roads of Scotland with our Tour Director Greg Colgin. He gave us a holiday to always look back on with very fond memories. In nine days on the road we saw more and did more than expected. The Optional Experiences amped up the energy required but thank good goodness we bought in. Greg has a strong knowledge of Scotland's history, other points of interest and proudly talked about the stunning countryside. We appreciated hearing about Scotland's music artists and movie and book titles we might find later. Greg has a nice manner, is very energized and engages easily with others. Les our coach driver was very responsible behind the wheel and the coach vehicle was extremely comfortable. Would do it again!

Regions in Scotland

  • Northern Scotland (53)
  • Scottish Highlands (29)
  • Isle Of Skye (25)
  • Central Scotland (12)
  • The Hebrides (6)
  • Orkney Islands (6)

Travel Styles

  • Fully Guided
  • Scotland Travel Guide | All You Need to Know
  • Best 7 Day Scotland Itineraries 2024/2025 (with Reviews)

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Little Scottish Treasures Company Logo

Private Tours of Scotland

tour guide in scotland

Tour Scotland with

Little scottish treasures .

Tripadvisor travelers choice award winners 2023 for our Scottish private tours

For travelers embarking on a Scottish adventure, look no further than Little Scottish Treasures. We are a family company based a short distance from both Edinburgh & Glasgow offering a diverse range of private tours, which combine sightseeing, culture, fun and adventure, either within our award winning tailor made itineraries, or one of our popular private tours of Scotland, we are dedicated to crafting a vacation that exceeds your expectations.

Tripadvisor Travellers Choice Award Winner 2020 for our Scottish Private Tours

Multi Day Tours

Make the most of your Scottish vacation with one of our celebrated multi day tours of Scotland

Coastal view with cliffs and a house on top, looking north from St Abbs

Private Day Tours

Choose from some of the best Scottish day tours on the market leaving from Glasgow or Edinburgh

Rob Roy MacGregor's family tree

Ancestry Tours

Walk in the footsteps of your ancestors or visit the home of your GG Granddad during an exquisite private tour

Glencoe mountain range with tour group in the foreground

Bespoke Tours

Be sure to visit your must see locations or add a twist to your trip with a bespoke private Scottish tour

Customer reviews.

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Lising Family California

5 star reviews

"Absolutely stunning day and tour. We are blown away by the care and detail put into our day, by Peter and Carolina. We saw everything on our bucket list and then some. The stories and explanations of historical significance, dates, names, atmosphere is incredible to learn along the way as Peter draws such a rich picture for even the first time Scotland traveler to imagine. We were not disappointed, returned home happily exhausted and felt like we had time traveled through the entire day."

Donna & Stella South Carolina

"We had an INCREDIBLE private tour through Scotland thanks to Little Scottish Treasures! Jamie McPhail, our guide and driver, was exceptional! He was so knowledgeable and entertaining! He went out of his way to make sure we had a great tour and didn’t miss anything. When we had heavy rains one day, he rearranged the schedule on the spot. Scotland was the highlight of our three weeks in the UK thanks to Jamie and Little Scottish Treasures!"

Lolanda & Amigas Barcelona

Recomendable 100%. Un tour personalizado de acuerdo con aquello que más te interesa, añadiendo lugares preciosos y llenos de historia. Escocia es increible, pero haciendo el tour con Little Scottish Treasures es aún mejor. La calidez y dedicación de Carolina y Jamie, junto con su entusiasmo y conocimiento del país e historia, han hecho del viaje una experiencia fantástica.

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A Private Scottish Tour: The best way to experience all that Scotland has to offer.

Scotland, is a land of ancient castles, rolling hills, and dramatic landscapes, a dream destination for many travelers. But if you want to truly immerse yourself in Scottish culture and experience the country's natural beauty like never before, a private Scottish tour with Little Scottish Treasures is the perfect way to go.

Little Scottish Treasures is a local family run company that specializes in providing personalized, small-group tours of Scotland. Our experienced guides will take you on a journey through the Scottish Highlands, the Isle of Skye, Scottish Borders and beyond, introducing you to the country's rich history, culture, and natural wonders.

On our private tours, you'll have the opportunity to explore at your own pace and discover hidden gems that most visitors miss. You'll also have the chance to tailor your itinerary to your interests, whether you're passionate about history, nature, whisky, or something else entirely.

Here are just a few of the reasons why a private Scottish tour with us is the best way to see Scotland:

Personalized Attention: We will ensure that your tour is tailored to your interests and preferences. This means that you'll have the flexibility to explore the places and activities that most excite you.

Small-Group Experience: Our tours are limited to small groups of up to 8 people, which ensures a more intimate and personalized experience. This also means that we can get off the beaten path and visit places that are off-limits to larger groups.

Expert Local Guides: Our guides are passionate about Scotland and are eager to share their knowledge with you. During your private tour they will provide you with insights into Scottish history, culture, and natural beauty that you won't find anywhere else.

Flexibility and Adaptability: We are able to adapt our itineraries to suit your needs, whether you need to make changes due to weather or other circumstances. We are also flexible with the starting and ending points of our tour.

Unique Experiences: We will take you to some of the less-visited places in Scotland, like hidden castles, scenic viewpoints, and local farms. We will also introduce you to local traditions and customs that you won't find on mass-market tours.

Sustainable Tourism: We are committed to responsible tourism and we will use local suppliers whenever possible. We will also minimize our impact on the environment, such as by using eco-friendly transportation and accommodations.

Whether you're a first-time visitor to Scotland or a seasoned traveler, a private Scottish tour with Little Scottish Treasures is an experience you won't forget.

Some of the Highlights of our Tours:

Exploring the Scottish Highlands, including Glenfinnan Viaduct, Loch Ness, and Eilean Donan Castle.

Discover the magic of the Isle of Skye, with its stunning scenery, ancient castles, and charming villages.

Visit a traditional whisky distillery and learn about the history and production of Scotland's national drink.

Take a scenic drive along the North Coast 500, Scotland's newest long-distance driving route.

Contact us today to book your private tour of Scotland. We can't wait to show you the beauty of our home and share our passion for this incredible country with you.

 For more to do in Scdotland's capital city visit https://www.kayak.co.uk/Edinburgh.29671.guide

tour guide in scotland

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  •  Edinburgh Old and New Towns
  •  Edinburgh Old Town
  •  Glasgow Highlights
  •  A Whisky Day from Edinburgh
  •  An Outlandish Day Out: Outlander in a day
  •  Kilmartin Glen
  •  Scottish Borders
  •  Spirit of Speyside: The Malt Whisky Trail
  •  St Andrews and the East Neuk
  •  Stirling and the Trossachs
  •  Textiles and Sheepdogs in the Scottish Borders
  • Multi-day Tours
  •  Islay Whisky: a 5 day tour
  •  Our Highland Adventure: A 10-Day Tour of Highland Scotland
  •  Our Highland Experience: A 5-Day Tour of Highland Scotland
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Ben Nevis from Corpach Sea Port in Scotland

The 10 most beautiful places in Scotland

From dolphin sightings off rugged coasts to glimpses of medieval and modern cities, these are the most dazzling destinations in Scotland

Photograph: Shutterstock

Malcolm Jack

Growing up in Scotland , incredible beauty was so close at hand that I almost took it for granted. It was only when I hit my teens and twenties and started travelling that I began to truly understand why so many tourists – around three million a year – flock to my homeland from all over the world and are endlessly enraptured. It’s pretty uncommon, it turns out, to find a country where you can wake up in an ancient capital city, walk rugged coastline and admire historic engineering wonders, plunge into a misty Highland glen or climb a snow-flecked mountain all in the space of about 24 hours. Capped with a whisky, of course.

Scotland’s finest attractions both natural and manmade are not only abundant and extraordinary but amazingly accessible. At less than 31,000 square miles, Scotland is smaller than most American states and you can drive coast to coast in less than a day. And yet it packs in so much, from sweeping lochs and peatlands to sleepy fishing villages, cities steeped in culture, mountains stacked on mountains and castles enough to give you castle fatigue. Finding beauty in Scotland isn’t a case of where to look, so much as where to start. Here’s my pick of the most beautiful places in Scotland. 

RECOMMENDED: 🏩The best Airbnbs in the Scottish Highlands 🎭The best things to do in Glasgow 🌲The best road trips in the UK 🏞️The most breathtaking hikes in the UK 🌤️The best places to visit in the UK

Malcolm Jack is a writer from Scotland. At Time Out, all of our  travel guides  are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our  editorial guidelines . This guide includes affiliate links, which have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, see our  affiliate guidelines . 

Been there, done that? Think again, my friend.

The most beautiful places in Scotland

1.  edinburgh old town.

Edinburgh Old Town

Best for: Getting to the heart of Scottish urban history

Scotland is one of the most sparsely populated countries in Europe , but for centuries people have clustered themselves so tightly into the medieval heart of Edinburgh that they literally built things on top of one another. Hugging a sloping slab of craggy volcanic rock, Edinburgh’s Old Town is a magical mystery tour through Scottish urban history, stretching from Edinburgh Castle at the top of the Royal Mile down to Holyrood Palace at its foot. Among its warren of cobbled streets and narrow closes, wynds and terraces, you’ll discover traces of a subterranean city beneath a city, sudden sweeping views of the Auld Reekie skyline, and some classic hidden pubs . 

📍 Need more reasons to go to Edinburgh? Here’s everything you need to know about this year’s Edinburgh Fringe . 

2.  Fingal’s Cave

Fingal’s Cave

Best for: Marvelling at the raw power of nature

‘The mighty surge that ebbs and swells,’ runs a line of a poem by Sir Walter Scott inspired by an 1810 visit to Fingal’s Cave on the Inner Hebridean island of Staffa, and the roar of the sea amplified by the cathedral-like enclosure. The 60-million-year-old geological wonder has inspired centuries of poetry, music, writing, painting and filmmaking. Accessible on foot over broken pillars of rock, or by boat when conditions are a bit fairer, Fingal’s Cave is an assault on the senses. Deep darkness is hit by shards of light from the sea,  kaleidoscopic colours surround you and  sound reverberates around the walls and ceiling. Nature’s symphony, you could say, happens here, when air is sucked in and blasted out of the cave by the wind and the waves, creating rumbles and booms. Yes, it’s as poetic as it sounds. 

3.  Crail Harbour

Crail Harbour

Best for: Grabbing some fresh crab

Among a string of sleepy old fishing villages and towns along the coast of Fife’s East Neuk, Crail has to be the prettiest. Thanks not least to its picture-postcard perfect harbour – a crescent of time-and-tide washed sandstone set beneath steep cliffs, sheltering a small fleet of boats and weathered fishing creels stacked along the piers. Gorgeous old stepped-gabled cottages jut out of the hillside above at severe angles. While the harbour is nowhere near as active as it was in its late 19 th century Herring boom heyday, a handful of fishing vessels still operate, landing live lobster and crab which you can buy fresh off the boat from an iconic old harbourside shack, Reilly Shellfish . 

4.  The Cairnwell Pass

The Cairnwell Pass

Best for: Taking the high road

Stretching from Glen Shee, Perthshire past the mountain ski resort of the same name to the enchanting Victorian village of Braemar, Aberdeenshire, The Cairnwell Pass is the highest main road in the UK and the southern gateway to the Cairngorms National Park. The drive up – which can also be walked or cycled if you’re feeling fit enough – is literally breathtaking; the land suddenly sweeps sharply upward, and before you know it, you’re hundreds of metres above sea level gazing back down at the glen below. The sudden feeling of transition is profound and overwhelming – a true moment of arrival to the Scottish Highlands. Coming back down at speed makes your ears pop. Truly invigorating stuff. 

5.  V&A Dundee

V&A Dundee

Best for: A glimpse of modern Scotland

The first design museum in Scotland and the first Victoria and Albert museum outside of London has brought fascinating exhibitions on everything from video games to tartan to the City of Discovery. But you don’t even need to enter Japanese architect Kengo Kuma’s dramatic jagged building, inspired by the cliff edges of eastern Scotland, to experience its impact. Juxtaposed with the famous Dundee-built arctic explorer steamship RRS Discovery moored on the Tay next door, the V&A has helped re-shape and revitalise the entire city’s entire waterfront and provides an inspiring glimpse of a Scotland that seizes its future as well as celebrates its past. Sip a summertime beer by the sea at the pop-up outdoor café and you could be anywhere from Copenhagen to New York .

6.  The Small Isles

The Small Isles

Best for: Dolphin spotting

Almost as famous as its Highlands are Scotland’s islands , many of the most beautiful of which are to be found off the west coast among the Hebridean Archipelago. While the larger islands of Harris and Lewis, Skye and Mull might attract the most tourists, the Small Isles of the Inner Hebrides – Canna, Eigg, Muck and Rum – offer up something different. Our favourite? The most populous small Isle, Eigg. H ome to only around 100 people, Eigg is a fascinating experiment in community ownership and sustainable living, and it’s got a stunning beach in the Singing Sands. Rum is a National Nature Reserve, while Canna (with a population only 15) has spectacular cliffs and archaeological sites. If you’re lucky, you can spot seals, dolphins and even whales onboard the ferry there. 

7.  Loch Katrine

Loch Katrine

Best for: A legendary cruise

It might be dwarfed by the far larger Loch Ness and nearby Loch Lomond, but for an unforgettable experience on and around one of Scotland’s countless famous bodies of inland water, the legendary Loch Katrine in the Trossachs can’t be beaten. This is a mystical, atmospheric spot, completely removed from the outside world and surrounded by huge mountains. So beautiful, in fact, it inspired  Sir Walter Scott’s poem ‘The Lady of the Lake’ and Gioachino Rossini’s opera ‘ La donna del lago’ . 

Badboy hero of Scots folklore Rob Roy MacGregor was born on the loch’s northern shore, and it’s served as as reservoir to the city of Glasgow 30 miles to the south for over 150 years (the still functioning Victorian waterworks are an engineering masterpiece) . There’s still functioning Victorian waterworks to admire, and you can you can hop on a cruise ship adjacent to the  SS Sir Walter Scott steamboat (yes, there’s a bar on board). Or simply walk or cycle a paved path along the northern shore.

8.  Dunnottar Castle

Dunnottar Castle

Best for: The crown jewel of Scottish castles

Big ones, small ones, ruined ones, living ones – Scotland has castles to suit every requirement. More than 1,500 in total, spanning over a thousand years in age. Of course, the most beautiful is a matter of taste, but Dunnottar Castle in Aberdeenshire near Stonehaven has to be up there. Built in the 15 th and 16 th centuries, the ruins gaze out at the North Sea from a 160-foot rocky outcrop ringed by cliffs, once the stronghold for one of Scotland’s most powerful families, the Earls Marischal, until they lost their titles in the failed 1715 Jacobite rebellion. The Scottish crown jewels were famously hidden here from Oliver Cromwell's invading army in the 17 th century, and exploring Dunnottar’s remains with panoramic sea views is a seriously romantic experience.

9.  Ben Nevis

Ben Nevis

Best for: The highest of Highland highs

If you’re going to climb a Scottish mountain, might as well make it the biggest of the lot, right? And at 4,411 feet, Ben Nevis is the highest peak in Britain, and is always to be taken seriously – check the weather forecast well in advance before setting out, pack sensibly and wear strong footwear. But know that you don’t have to be a highly seasoned mountaineer to bag this Munro (as Scotland’s 282 mountains over 3,000 feet are known). It’s a relatively straightforward climb if you’re quite fit. Budget for about six to nine hours in all and set off nice and early to give yourself plenty of good daylight at the rocky summit. On a clear day, you’ll get 360° panoramic vistas stretching as far as Northern Ireland. In other words, it’s worth it. 

10.  The Flow Country

The Flow Country

Best for: Splendid isolation

You can travel for miles across the barren far north of Scotland in Caithness and Sutherland and scarcely see another living soul or a trace of human habitation. The feeling of isolation is awe-inspiring, like a private audience with vast mountains and plains. A nd yet, the Flow Country as it’s known – the most extensive bog in the world, stretching over 1,500 square miles – will play a crucial role in the future of mankind. The soggy peatlands, formed of the remains of plants, store enormous quantities of carbon for thousands of years. Keeping them alive and healthy is essential in the fight against global warming. A decades-long quest for UNESCO World Heritage status and protection is hoped to be completed in 2024.

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How much of Scotland can I experience in a week?

Luke Waterson

Aug 3, 2023 • 4 min read

Hiking the Isle of Skye

You’ll want to stop to take in the spectacular views hiking the Isle of Skye © iStock © © iStock

A reader asks whether it’s possible to traverse much of Scotland in just one week. Our expert has some thoughts.

Lonely Planet’s team of writers and editors is here to address your travel problems and provide tips to help you plan a hassle-free trip. Lonely Planet author Luke Waterson,  who has written three guidebooks and numerous travel articles on Scotland. helped us out with this Scottish query.

Question: We are spending a week in Scotland . Is it possible to do Inverness ,  Portree  on the  Isle of Skye and a few days in Edinburgh within this time? If not, what else do you recommend? We love scenery and historical sites.

Girls sitting on the hill of Arthur’s Seat overlooking Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

Luke Waterson: All these are worthy destinations for a best-of-Scotland trip. Hitting them all up in a week can certainly be done – but it will be fairly frantic. For the sake of a less hectic holiday, and so that you remember Scotland as fondly as possible, consider a couple of itinerary edits.

While it doesn’t seem that way on a map, Edinburgh, Inverness and Portree on the Isle of Skye are far apart indeed in terms of time: driving non-stop between the three alone takes a good seven hours – and that’s assuming the going’s good. You mention Inverness as a starting point, yet logistically this would come in the middle of any itinerary featuring these places. Given Edinburgh’s better international flight, rail and road connections, it makes sense to start your adventure there. 

Driving the Cuillin Hills in the Isle of Skye, Scotland, UK

Setting off for Skye

After some time in one of Europe’s most dazzling capital cities, the best option is to rent a car for exploring everywhere else on your trip, given where you want to go and the time you have. You’d need to leave Edinburgh on day three in order to spend two nights in Inverness, then on day five leave by lunchtime to drive the three hours to Portree for a late-afternoon arrival. Day five evening and all of day six could indeed be spent in Portree, before you’ll have to head back fairly early on day seven to make onward connections from Edinburgh (or Inverness or Glasgow, the other two transport hubs you could use). However, I’m guessing you will be wanting to see some of Skye if you’ve made it this far. And here is the caveat: the roads get slower, the scenery more staggering and the desire to stop en route more frequent…meaning you are sure to be frustrated and frazzled by the tightness of your schedule.

My suggestion: skip Inverness. It’s nice enough if you need to be there, but the reason most folks visit is to take a cruise on Loch Ness , one Scotland’s most underwhelming sights. It’s not unattractive – just way down the league table of Scotland’s loveliest lochs, despite the huge crowds it attracts.

Sunset on the spectacular Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland, UK

An alternative: linger in Edinburgh, and explore the Highlands

Linger another day in Edinburgh; it has so much to offer. You can squeeze in the must-see Edinburgh Castle and Royal Mile sights in a day, then spend two days getting under the city’s skin with visits to the likes of laid-back Stockbridge, with its Georgian architecture and well-to-do cafes and delis; Calton Hill , writer Robert Louis Stevenson’s favorite city viewpoint; Leith for exquisite seafood and the Royal Yacht Britannia ; and charming fishing village suburb Cramond. Then, drive to Portree on day four. You can make the journey memorable by stopping somewhere like Glencoe, even taking the three-hour out-and-back to Coire Gabhail (the Hidden Valley) and soaking up some of the most impressive Scottish Highlands mountain scenery, or pausing at probably the country’s most fetching fortress, Eilean Donan Castle , which sticks out on a causeway-connected island in Loch Duich. This approach gives you three days on Skye. 

Here, I think your plan of basing yourselves in Portree is sound. Your extra day opens up intoxicating possibilities, too. Drive around Trotternish peninsula to wander among some of Britain’s craziest rock formations, like the Quiraing and the Old Man of Storr . Or head to Glenbrittle or Elgol for knockout views of what general consensus has as the UK ’s most picturesque mountain range, the Cuillins. You’ll also have ample time to appreciate Portree’s candy-colored harborfront houses and inviting places to eat and drink.

Perhaps most importantly, you’ll feel that you can relax a bit.

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Edinburgh   Travel Guide

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Why Go To Edinburgh

Burrowed beside long-dormant volcanoes and reigning over green moorlands, Edinburgh (or Ed-n-bruh in Scots speech) is known for more than its staggering landscape. The Athens of the North, as Edinburgh is sometimes nicknamed, also claims a cast of near-mythic characters: Rebel leader Sir William Wallace (aka Braveheart); the tragic Mary, Queen of Scots; the Enlightenment thinkers David Hume and Adam Smith; "James Bond" actor Sean Connery; and prolific wordsmiths Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and J.K. Rowling – are all woven into this very old, yet very relevant city.

But if your impression is confined to bagpipes, tartans, crests and kilts, you'd be wrong. The second most-visited city in the United Kingdom (after London ), Edinburgh offers an abundance of things to do . History buffs will enjoy Edinburgh Castle , Holyroodhouse Palace and other attractions found along the Royal Mile . Those in search of an authentic live-as-the-locals experience will find it in the outer-lying neighborhood pubs, shops and parks. Shoppers will find retail bliss in New Town; art aficionados will enjoy the free Scottish National Gallery ; and theater hounds will meet their match at August's Edinburgh Festival.

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Edinburgh Travel Tips

Best months to visit.

The best time to visit Edinburgh is June through August when the average high temperatures rise to a balmy 65 degrees Fahrenheit. But this is also the city's busiest time for tourism, especially in August when festivals fill up the calendar. To avoid spending a small fortune, you'll have to bundle up: winter (November to March) offers the best low-season deals, except during the city's New Year's celebration, Hogmanay. Spring and early fall are the sweet spots – relatively mild weather and thin crowds pair with the chance to find hotel and airfare deals. 

Weather in Edinburgh

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center

What You Need to Know

Brrr, it's cold out there Edinburgh is located in the Northern Hemisphere, so expect chills year-round. Bring a sweater or two, even in the summer.

Edinburgh vs. Glasgow The two Scottish cities are pretty competitive, so it's not a good idea to trash talk one or the other in a mixed crowd.

Know the ingredients Scottish specialties, such as haggis and black pudding, have some ingredients American palates might not be accustomed to. A food tour is a great way to sample Scottish favorites with the guidance of a local.

How to Save Money in Edinburgh

Walk Most of Edinburgh's biggest attractions are within a 2-mile radius of one another, so hopping on a bus or tram is unnecessary most of the time.

Visit in the winter An influx of visitors come to Edinburgh during the summer for festival season. The colder months see fewer visitors and lower room rates.

Veer off the beaten track Stray from the touristy Royal Mile and Princes Street and you'll likely find better shopping and dining options for a fraction of the price.

Culture & Customs

Although the language is the same, Scots inflect their speech with a Sean Connery-esque brogue, which might be difficult to understand. You shouldn't be afraid to ask Scottish people to repeat themselves; no one will be offended. But be advised that residents are extremely proud of their city; don't exalt Glasgow at the expense of Edinburgh unless you're willing to argue it out. For the most part, visitors will probably be surprised by the warmth and friendliness of the Scots.

The official currency is the pound sterling. Since the pound to U.S. dollar exchange rate fluctuates, be sure to  check what the current exchange rate is  before you go. Major credit cards are accepted at most restaurants and shops. Much like the rest of the U.K. and Europe, tipping is not required. However, if you feel so inclined and your service was exceptional, a 10% tip will be more than enough.

What to Eat

Scotland is known for haggis, which – if you really want to know – is sheep's heart, liver and lungs minced together with onions, oatmeal and some seasoning. It's usually served with neeps and tatties , or mashed turnips and potatoes. But note that Edinburgh also offers an array of international cuisine as well, from Thai to Italian. Edinburgh's pubs offer traditionally British cuisine and other comfort food items, including fish and chips and hamburgers, which are also reasonably priced. But if you're willing to take on the haggis challenge, pop on over to Greyfriars Bobby's Bar , the pub located in front of the Greyfriars Bobby memorial, which honors the dog who guarded his deceased master's grave for more than a decade, or Arcade Haggis & Whisky House .

Not keen on trying haggis? Not to worry, Scotland has plenty of other food offerings. One traveler favorite is Makars Gourmet Mash Bar Company , which dishes up hearty favorites like sausages, lamb shank and vegetarian haggis atop mashed potatoes. For a small snack, pop by Pickles . It serves charcuterie boards along with pate, wine and other beverages. For a special occasion, visit Aizle for its delicious seasonal fare. 

Many of Edinburgh's restaurants are clustered around Old Town's Royal Mile and New Town's Princes Street. Thanks to its location right by the water, the northern village of Leith is the place to go for fresh seafood. South Edinburgh, or anywhere outside of the city center, also has a variety of cheaper cafes and restaurants for budget-minded travelers. If you want a little help navigating the Edinburgh dining scene, consider signing up for a food tour led by a local.

Edinburgh is a safe city. It's generally safe to walk around at night, but make sure to know where you're going. Parts of the city, especially Old Town, are filled with winding alleys, closes and wynds, making it easy to get lost at night. Exercise caution for pickpockets in tourist areas, but keep in mind that Edinburgh's low crime rate make pickpockets uncommon in comparison to other big European cities.

Getting Around Edinburgh

The best way to get around Edinburgh is by foot. This hilly city may have you a little out of breath at certain points, but it's still small enough that walking makes the most sense. When you grow tired or want to explore out-of-the-way areas, the city's efficient bus can cart you the rest of the way.  A bus – Airlink Shuttle , to be exact – can also bring you from Edinburgh Airport (EDI) into the city center in about the same time as a cab, but for fewer pounds. Once there, you can hop on the city's tram system or explore the city via bus or black cabs, which can be found on high streets (main thoroughfares) and other points of interests throughout town.

Entry & Exit Requirements

A valid travel document is required for United States citizens traveling outside the mainland by air or sea, as well as for U.S. citizens trying to re-enter the country. A United States passport is the preferred form of documentation, and children must have them, too. Note that U.S. citizens do not need a visa unless they plan on staying longer than six months. Visit the U.S. State Department's website for the latest information on the U.K.'s foreign exit and entry requirements.

Calton Hill offers spectacular views of the city below.

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Wilderness Scotland: Exploring A Greener Side Of Scotland

Lisa Young takes a low-impact tour of the Highlands with Wilderness Scotland, finding local wines and innovative cuisine along the way.

Read the C&TH Responsible Tourism Guide

At first glance, the appeal of a sauna in a converted horse box on the edge of Loch na Dal, Isle of Skye, in the rain, may not be obvious. A sauna is typically enjoyed in the calming comfort of a spa.

Yet inside the warm horse box sauna, handcrafted with carefully sourced materials and heated by a Finnish wood-fired stove, it was not hard to reach a state of meditative calm.

However, when cool-down time came, the thought of leaving the protected warm space and plunging into the cold loch was unappealing. We tripped our way to the water’s edge, stepping  cautiously and breathing slowly, trying not to think about it, then surrendered ourselves to the bracing waters.

The Sauna Horse box with a Finnish wood-fired stove and handcrafted with carefully sourced materials (©Lisa Young)

It had been a grey November day when we arrived in Scotland a few days earlier, rolling into Perth station from London Euston on the Caledonian Sleeper train, a fun, comfortable and lower-impact way of reaching the Highlands. 

We were on a five-day, intricately crafted trip of contrasts, guided by specialist Wilderness Scotland (and its partners), staying at an inspiring range of historic castles and luxury hotels, and enjoying gourmet dining and adventure experiences, while connecting with nature in Perthshire and on the Isle of Skye. Wilderness Scotland is committed to sustainable tourism and its goal is to achieve true net-zero status by the end of 2030.

Working with carbon consultants eCollective, Wilderness Scotland has developed one of the world’s first carbon labelling schemes for travel . It can measure not only the carbon impact of its entire business, but also each trip, allowing travellers to make carbon-conscious travel decisions.

Our first night was spent at Murrayshall Country Estate, where fabulous views of the Perthshire landscape blend with golf greens and ancient woodland walking trails. The estate’s Eòlas restaurant (meaning ‘experience’ in Gaelic) offers fine dining and innovative Highland cuisine from a larder of Perthshire’s finest ingredients. It is more than enough to tempt any foodie through their door.

Murrayshall Estate. (©Lisa Young)

A new masterplan was recently announced that will provide a viable, ecologically sound future for the estate, ensuring its resiliency for decades to come. Plans include introducing more outdoor pursuits, a sports ground, camping grounds (including a glamping pod), new lodges, plus a café, spa and leisure facilities.

At nearby Cairn O’Mohr, a characterful award-winning winery, we sampled excellent fruit wines, blossom-scented sparkling wines, ciders and bourtree (elderberry) juices on the winery tour. All the ingredients are foraged or produced within a 16-mile radius of the winery. Locals can be seen dropping off huge bags of home-grown apples to be used in the production of the winery’s unusual yet delicious beverages. The fun surroundings are colourful, creative and down to earth, and we were taken aback by the wealth of gourmet and flavoursome food available in its café, the generous portions using locally grown produce, and served by friendly and attentive staff.

In the village of Grandtully, we experienced a private chocolate tasting session with world-renowned master chocolatier Iain Burnett, aka the Highland Chocolatier. Iain’s clients include Albert Roux, Gordon Ramsay and British Airways First. He uses only natural ingredients to create his famous unique Velvet Truffles, leaving out the usual artificial preservatives and additives to create a luxurious ganache. Iain sources a sustainable rare cocoa from the island of São Tomé and combines this with fresh cream from local herds of Scottish Friesians, local heather honey, and fruit infused with natural spices, to create his mouth-watering flavours and textures.

Master Chocolatier Iain Burnett, aka the Highland Chocolatier. (©Lisa Young)

We drove to Scotland’s west coast through film-worthy Highland landscapes and atmospheric glens, past glass-plated lochs and one of the most iconic sights in Scotland – 13th century Eilean Donan Castle – before driving for ten minutes ‘over the sea to Skye’ by bridge, to our home for the next few days, Kinloch Lodge.

This is where the aforementioned horse box sauna has its home, towed to Kinloch Lodge from Findhorn Bay, east of Inverness, by its creator, Rupert Hutchinson, co-founder of certified B Corp sustainability consultancy Living Alive. ‘The premise of Living Alive is getting people into the outdoors and really facilitating spaces for personal, meaningful experiences outside,’ says Rupert.

‘The sauna is one of our tools for nature connection; it’s an amazing thing to be able to put this on the back of the van and drive it to the most extraordinarily remote place, giving people access to the wild , while feeling warm and comfortable. It’s not so much about running a mobile sauna business, it’s about incorporating it into experiences in the outdoors and that’s very much related to our business.’

Kinloch Lodge (© Lisa Young)

Kinloch Lodge sits on the shore of Loch na Dal at the foot of Kinloch Hill. It was originally a farm, then a shooting lodge for the Macdonald family, until their home was opened as a family-run hotel in 1972 by Godfrey Macdonald (8th Baron Macdonald of Sleat) and his wife, Lady Claire. Today, it is run by their daughter, our friendly host, Isabella Macdonald.

The charming, rustic hotel combines the relaxed comfort of Highland hospitality with delectable, award-winning food, whisky on tap, and super king-size beds. Surrounded by mirror-still lochs and soaring mountains, it is also a gateway for exploring the outstanding natural landscape of Skye.

When darkness fell, we retreated to the lodge’s intimate sitting room where, perched on brightly upholstered antique furniture, and under the gaze of historic Macdonald ancestral portraits, we sipped on creatively crafted pre-dinner cocktails.

The cosy restaurant embodies all that is best about Scottish produce and sources all its food from, or near, Skye. Dishes include Skye venison loin, organic Perthshire duck, Drumfearn mussels, Hebridean salmon and Lochalsh crab.

The following morning rain clouds threatened, but that didn’t dampen our enthusiasm to join the Skye Ghillie, aka Mitchell Partridge, an experienced guide, for an off-the-beaten track foraging experience, learning how to live off the land and reconnect with nature.

The Skye Ghillie, aka Mitchell Partridge, digging up wild Chanterelle mushrooms at Kinloch Lodge on the Isle of Skye, Scotland. (©Lisa Young)

On Loch na Dal’s rugged shoreline we waited patiently for a sea otter known to frequent the area. It was a no-show, but we did spot seals and birds of prey. Roe and red deer, porpoises, white-tailed and golden eagles are spotted regularly around the lodge.

We scrambled through nearby ancient Kinloch Forest in search of plants and, specifically, wild edible chanterelle and saffron milk cap mushrooms. Various wild plants were pointed out, some so poisonous they would kill a human in minutes if ingested. We collected a pile of orange-coloured chanterelles and our ghillie soon had a small fire going, using birch bark ignited with traditional flint and steel. From his backpack he produced a small pan and butter, and proceeded to fry the soft, sweet-tasting foraged food.

On our last day on Skye, we joined John MacRae of the John Muir Trust at the base of Blà Bheinn, overlooking Loch Slapin, where the Cuillin Range dominates the wild and rugged landscape. Wilderness Scotland is a supporter of the John Muir Trust, and its donations go towards protecting and maintaining this popular hiking area, as well as wild land and peatland restoration, hiking trail maintenance and tree planting.

The John Muir Trust is a charity dedicated to the conservation, protection and restoration of the UK’s wild places. John Muir (1838-1914) is the Scots-born founder of the modern conservation movement. In 2021, the Trust launched a world-leading idea for a carbon emissions land tax in Scotland. With the climate crisis, this has become ever more urgent work.

Scotland’s fresh air and dramatic scenery are a tonic for the soul, whatever the weather. From castles to saunas, chocolate tasting to foraging, wild swimming to distillery tours and gin tasting, travelling with Wilderness Scotland and its partners is the perfect way to explore the best of luxury Scotland – and doing so sustainably.

BOOK IT 

Wilderness Scotland offers five-night itineraries from £4,000pp, including accommodation, transportation within the itinerary, a guide, activities and all meals. wildernessscotland.com  

For further information on Luxury Scotland hotels, visit luxuryscotland.co.uk  

For more sustainable trips to Scotland, visit visitscotland.com  

Featured image: Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland © Lisa Young.

The post Wilderness Scotland: Exploring A Greener Side Of Scotland appeared first on Country and Town House .

The Sauna Horse box with a Finnish wood-fired stove and handcrafted with carefully sourced materials

Watch CBS News

Taylor Swift fans danced so hard during her concerts they created seismic activity in Edinburgh, Scotland

By Caitlin O'Kane

June 13, 2024 / 4:35 PM EDT / CBS News

Taylor Swift's Era's Tour has broken huge records in ticket sales , but her concerts in Edinburgh, Scotland, just tipped another scale — the seismic scale. Fans at her concerts last weekend danced so hard they generated seismic activity that was felt nearly four miles away from the Murrayfield Stadium, according to the British Geological Survey.

BGS says three songs consistently generated the most seismic activity during each of the three Edinburgh shows: "…Ready For It?" "Cruel Summer" and "champagne problems." 

"…Ready For It?" starts with a loud, blown out bass beat and is 160 beats per minute, making it the perfect song for triggering seismic shakes, BGS said. The crowd transmitted about 80 kilowatts of power, or about the amount of power created by 10 to 16 car batteries, according to BGS. 

The Friday, June 7 concert showed the most seismic activity, with the ground showing 23.4 nanometers of movement, BGS found.

Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour - Edinburgh, Scotland

While the crowd shook the Earth enough for it to register at BGS' monitoring stations miles from the venue, people in the immediate vicinity of the stadium were likely the only ones to feel the Earth shaking.

This is not the first time a crowd has created a quake — and Swifties are usually the culprits. 

During a 2011 NFL playoff game between the Seattle Seahawks and the New Orleans Saints at what was then called Qwest Field in Seattle, Marshawn Lynch made a play that drove the crowd so wild they caused shaking that registered on a seismometer.

Scientists were interested in the stadium shake, which earned Lynch a new nickname: "Beast Quake." But last July, Swift proved it's not just football fans who can create tremors in Seattle. During her Eras Tour concert at the venue, a quake registered on the same seismometer.

"The actual amount that the ground shook at its strongest was about twice as big during what I refer to as the Beast Quake (Taylor's Version)," Jackie Caplan-Auerbach, a geology professor at Western Washington University, told CBS News at the time. "It also, of course, lasted for hours. The original Beast Quake was a celebration on the part of some very excited fans that lasted maybe 30 seconds."

When Swift took her tour to Los Angeles' SoFi stadium in August, a California Institute of Technology research team recorded the vibrations created by the 70,000 fans in the stands. 

Motion sensors near and in the stadium as well as seismic stations in the region recorded vibrations during 43 out of her 45 songs. "You Belong with Me" had the biggest local magnitude, registering at 0.849.

  • Taylor Swift

Caitlin O'Kane is a New York City journalist who works on the CBS News social media team as a senior manager of content and production. She writes about a variety of topics and produces "The Uplift," CBS News' streaming show that focuses on good news.

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Taylor Swift congratulates engaged couple: 'Thanks for doing that at my concert'

tour guide in scotland

It's a love story, and Taylor Swift is congratulating one couple in Edinburgh, Scotland for saying, "Yes."

"I love performing this entire show in sunlight because I'm pretty sure I saw someone get engaged over here," the singer said before performing "Betty" on Friday night. "You have no idea. I never get to see that, right? Because it’s, like, dark usually at night, but it's not right now so congratulations. Wow, I just saw that whole thing! Uh, man, that's amazing!"

The open-roof of Scottish Gas Murrayfield stadium and late sunset of 9:55 p.m. allowed Swift to perform the bulk of the Eras Tour in sunlight and twilight. The arena grew dark around her acoustic, surprise set.

"Thanks for doing that at my concert, that’s a big moment — huge!” Swift acknowledged.

One couple on the right side of the stage -- where Swift was referencing when she saw an engagement -- did make it official an hour earlier during "Love Story" when she sang, "He knelt to the ground and pulled out a ring / And said, 'Marry me, Juliet / You'll never have to be alone.'"

Need a break? Play the USA TODAY Daily Crossword Puzzle.

A TikTok video captured the magic moment. Many of the comments congratulated the couple. Others commented on the Jason Kelce red-and-gold overalls outfit. It wasn't confirmed if this is who Swift saw.

'Love Story' proposals are global

The love story deed where couples get engaged at her three plus hour show has made it's way around the globe. At the start of the year in Tokyo, Nobuya Matsuoka popped the question to his girlfriend Alyssa Yeager.

Yeager explained why the moment was the perfect way to ask, "Taylor Swift changed my life, saved my life and was there during the best moment of my entire life."

More: Taylor Swift fan proposes to his girlfriend during 'Love Story' performance in Tokyo

Don't miss any Taylor Swift news; sign up for the  free, weekly newsletter This Swift Beat.  

Follow Taylor Swift reporter Bryan West on  Instagram ,  TikTok  and  X as @BryanWestTV .

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  30. Taylor Swift reacts to couple's engagement at Eras Tour in Scotland

    The open-roof of Scottish Gas Murrayfield stadium and late sunset of 9:55 p.m. allowed Swift to perform the bulk of the Eras Tour in sunlight and twilight. The arena grew dark around her acoustic ...