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Scotland - Best Tours & Trips 2019

322 trips to Scotland tours from 91 tour companies. 263 reviews. 4.3/5 avg rating.
Scotland's contributions to the world are remarkable for a small nation of just over 5 million people: golf, bagpipes, kilts, Robert Burns, the Loch Ness Monster, Scotch whisky -- the list goes on. Whether you want to play on the world's oldest links, learn to do a Highland Fling, or follow the Whisky Malt Trail, Scotland is the place for you.
All Scotland tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages.
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Travel Style Travel Style Relaxed A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers.
Full on For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included.
Mixed You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included.

Trip Type Trip Type Group Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Tour Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ship Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Guided Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Self Guided / Independent Tour A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ship Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.

Itinerary Focus

Lodging Level Lodging Level Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.

Price From*

$ 1 $ 10,000+

Price Per Day

Trip Length

Countries

Physical Level Physical Level Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.

Travel Theme

Travelers Age

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Rivers & Seas

Cities & Attractions

Activities

Solo Friendly Solo Friendly Good for Singles Trips that specifically cater to travelers looking to meet other singles.
No Single Supplement Trips where single supplement is usually not required for solo travelers.

Company

Flights & Transport

Continents & Regions

Stride Gives Back Stride Gives Back This trip visits a destination impacted by climate change. When you opt in to the Stride Gives Back program, we will donate 10% of our net revenue to organizations that help mitigate climate change in these destinations and across the globe. Learn more

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Best of Scotland Summer 2019

Trafalgar
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
7 days
$ 279 / day
$ 1,950
From : $ 2,399
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • CITY TOUR in Edinburgh
  • ORIENTATION of Glasgow and Stirling
  • VIEW the 18th green at St Andrews, the Glenfinnan Monument, Eilean Donan Castle, Loch Ness, Glencoe, People's Palace and Winter Gardens and George Square in Glasgow
  • VISIT Edinburgh Castle, Pitlochry, the Isle of Skye, Culloden Battlefield and Stirling Castle
Visits:
Edinburgh, Glasgow, Scottish Highlands, England
View Trip

Best of Scotland First Look 2019

7 days
$ 275 / day
$ 1,925
From : $ 2,368
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • City tour in Edinburgh
  • Orientation of Glasgow and Stirling
  • View the 18th green at St Andrews, the Glenfinnan Monument, Eilean Donan Castle, Loch Ness, Glencoe, People's Palace and Winter Gardens and George Square in Glasgow
  • Visit Edinburgh Castle, Pitlochry, the Isle of Skye, Culloden Battlefield and Stirling Castle
Visits:
Edinburgh, Glasgow, Scottish Highlands, England
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England, Wales & Scotland

SmarTours
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
13 days
$ 231 / day
$ 2,999
From : $ 7,297
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • London City Tour
  • Stonehenge
  • National Museum of Wales
  • The Big Pit Museum (Blaenovan)
  • Worcester Cathedral
  • Ann Hathaway’s Cottage (Stratford-upon-Avon)
  • Liverpool City Tour
  • Lake District Visit
  • Edinburgh City Tour
  • Highlands/Loch Lomond Visit
Visits:
Cardiff, Edinburgh, Lake District, London, Stonehenge, England, Scotland, United Kingdom, Wales
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Country Roads of Scotland (Summer 2019)

9 days
$ 311 / day
$ 2,795
From : $ 3,773
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : N/A
Physical Level : N/A
  • N/A
  • Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    Highlights
    • Ballindalloch: Visit one of the few remaining inhabited castle's of Scotland and enjoy Farm-to-Table cuisine with Scottish Tea and Scones.
    • Wick: Whisky's are known for their distinctive flavours, often bursting with the power and subtlety of the sea. Share a wee dram with a master distiller who imparts the age-old techniques of whisky production.
    • Glencoe: Your adventure culminates with a wonderful Celebration Dinner. Enjoy the best Highland hospitality and market-fresh ingredients accompanied by delicious wine or beer.
    • Dining Summery: 8 Breakfasts (B), 1 Afternoon Tea (AT), 4 Dinners (D) and 2 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.
    • Highland Hotels: Hotels in the Highlands area are mainly traditional and much simpler in style, typical of the region.
    • Inverness: Originally the mansion of a prominent local family, today the Kingsmills Hotel is a luxury accommodation in the heart of the Highlands. Renovated with contemporary rooms, the hotel is well-known for it's impeccable hospitality.
    • Thurso: Centrally located in the heart of Thurso, the Peatland Hotel offers comfortable accommodation and a warm welcome from staff.
    • Isle of Skye: Boasting an incredible location by Broadford Bay, The Dunollie Hotel is set at the base of outstanding mountains.
    • Ballachulish: Ballachulish Hotel offers spectacular views over the bay of Oban and the islands of the west coast of Scotland. This hotel is set in some outstanding scenery which can be used for picturesque walks.
    • Ballachulish: The Isles of Glencoe Hotel & Leisure Centre is a modern hotel located at the foot of Glencoe on the side of a peninsula.
    • Glasgow: Holiday Inn Glasgow - City Centre Theatreland is a 4-star hotel located in the heart of Glasgow, just a few minutes from the Royal Concert Hall. It offers bright, elegant rooms.
    • Edinburgh: A hush descends and eyes turn to the castle. The skirl of the pipes rises and drums crack the night air as a tide of tunics and tartan flood from the drawbridge. For a limited time in August, witness the incredible spectacle of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
    • Edinburgh: Walk with a Local Expert within the walls of the Castle to view the Scottish Crown Jewels, Stone of Destiny and Mons Meg.
    • Edinburgh: Your Local Expert reveals why this is Scotland's City of Culture. Explore the city as you travel along Princes Street to see the Scott Memorial, the neoclassical Adam facades of New Town and the official Scottish residence of the Queen, Palace of Holyroodhouse.
    • St. Andrews: Visit the university town where the famous beach scene from 'Chariots of Fire' was filmed and see the golf course where the sport was created.
    • Pitlochry: Visit this town, famous for its salmon leap.
    • Inverness: See the River Ness, Inverness Castle and take in the scenery around you as you hear about the beauty and history behind Inverness.
    • Highlands: At the exciting Culloden Visitor Centre, discover why the Battle of Culloden lasted only an hour yet changed the Highland way of life forever.
    • Loch Ness: Drive along the shores in search of the legendary monster.
    • John O'Groats: Visit Britain’s most northerly, yet tiny, mainland village.
    • Isle of Skye: See the dramatic Cuillin Hills and stay in pretty Broadford.
    • Eilean Donan: Stop for a photo of this gorgeous castle.
    • Fort William: Enjoy an excellent view of Ben Nevis from the World War II Commando Memorial.
    • Glencoe: Your Travel Director will lead you on an orientation of this Highland village on Loch Leven.
    • Loch Lomond: Enjoy time to explore the beautiful 'Queen of Scottish Lochs'.
    • Glasgow: During your orientation with your Travel Director, drive past the civic buildings and St. Mungo’s Cathedral.
    • Scenic Drives: Scottish countryside is some of the most majestic in the world. Admire the beauty of the Grampian Mountains, the North West Highlands, Skye, the Valley of Glencoe and Loch Lomond.
    Visits:
    Edinburgh, Glasgow, Orkney Islands, Scotland, United Kingdom
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    Scottish Castles and Sheltered Sea Lochs 5 nights

    St Hilda Sea Adventures
    Premier
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    6 days
    $ 161 / day
    $ 966
    From : $ 1,560
    The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
    Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
    Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
    Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    Highlights
    • Oban: Your departure point will be Oban. After a short introduction to life on board our small ship we lift anchor and set sail to our first destination. 
    • Loch Spelve: A narrow entrance leads us in to the tranquil waters of Loch Spelve (on the beautiful Isle of Mull) with its surrounding ancient oak forest. If we are lucky we might spot an otter along the loch shore. We can also pick up some local grown mussels in the morning before we leave to our next destination.
    • Tobermory: One of the most picturesque towns in the Western Isles with its famous whisky distillery and colourful waterfront. We anchor in the Bay where a Spanish galleon was supposedly sunk with all its treasure. We can spend a day ashore and for the adventurous there are fast boat trips that can be arranged to visit Fingal’s cave on the Isle of Staffa. There are also Sea Eagle Watch tours, guided walks or you can just wander along the streets, visit the delightful local museum, perhaps watch a pipe band, admire the wooden fishing boats and take in the long history of this lovely village.
    • Duart Castle: Our daytime anchorage in Duart Bay is below the spectacular 13th century Duart Castle, the ancestral home to the Maclean clan. We can go for walks along the shore and visit the castle and learn about its rich clan history.
    • Loch Aline: A pretty anchorage on the Morvern Peninsula, off the Sound of Mull.
    • Loch Linnhe: The long Loch Linnhe goes all the way to Fort William. We travel past Lismore Island for the sheltered anchorage off Shuna Island. We can go ashore and visit the local nature reserve on the mainland and admire the famous Castle Stalker. There are lovely walks across the causeway bridge to Port Appin.
    Visits:
    Scottish Highlands, Scotland, United Kingdom
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    The Isle of Skye

    3 days
    $ 48 / day
    $ 144
    Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
    Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
    Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    Highlights
    • Eilean Donan Castle - An iconic and gorgeous 13th century castle that once warded off Viking invasions.
    • Glencoe - Be moved by the sheer beauty and tragic tales of one of Scotland’s most famous landscapes.
    • Quiraing Mountain Pass - Skye’s outstanding geological stunner. These strange formations gave Skye its nickname, the ‘Winged Isle’.
    • Neist Point - The location of a dramatic lighthouse and a great place to spot dolphins, whales, porpoises, and basking sharks.
    • Five Sisters of Kintail - Legend says a local wizard turned five sisters into these mountains so he could preserve their beauty.
    • Loch Ness - This loch holds more fresh water than all of the lakes in England and Wales combined. But does it also contain the Loch Ness Monster?
    Visits:
    Eilean Donan Castle, Glasgow, Loch Ness, The Isle of Skye, Scotland, United Kingdom
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    The Uk - Scotland Untour

    7 days
    $ 146 / day
    $ 1,019
    From : $ 1,376
    The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
    Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
    Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
    Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    Highlights
    • Discover Edinburgh
    • Enjoy contemporary and arts at the Fringe Festivals in Edinburgh
    • Visit Gothic cathedral
    • Explore Doune Castle
    Visits:
    Doune Castle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Scotland
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    St Kilda: an Outer Hebridean Cruise

    St Hilda Sea Adventures
    Premier
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    12 days
    $ 182 / day
    $ 2,189
    From : $ 3,078
    The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
    Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
    Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
    Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    Highlights
    • Visit Hirta - a UNESCO world heritage site
    • See the sea cliffs of the St Kilda islands
    • Explore the islands of the Outer Hebrides and the Small Islands
    Visits:
    Scotland, United Kingdom
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    12 Days Ireland to Scotland – A True Small Gro ...

    STORY Land & Sea
    Premier
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    13 days
    $ 467 / day
    $ 6,074
    From : $ 8,200
    The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
    Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
    Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
    Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    Highlights
    • Explore beautiful Galway Bay and take a nice walk along the promenade
    • Explore Connemara area of Ireland
    • Explore Killarney and experience the Cliffs of Moher
    • A beautiful drive to Ring of Kerry, Killarney
    • Discover Blarney Castle, Dublin
    • Visit Scotland Oban
    • Oban, Scottish Highlands
    • Explore Stirling, Edinburgh
    • Discover Edinburgh
    Visits:
    Connemara, Dublin, Edinburgh, Galway, Kilkenny, Stirling Castle, Ireland, Scotland
    View Trip

    Mull Odyssey: Staffa, Iona and the Ross of Mull Cruise

    St Hilda Sea Adventures
    Premier
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    7 days
    $ 171 / day
    $ 1,196
    From : $ 1,869
    The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
    Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
    Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
    Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    Highlights
    • Visit Staffa and Fingal's cave
    • Explore Ardtornish castle
    • Watch whales, seabirds, seals, dolphins and porpoises
    Visits:
    Scotland, United Kingdom
    View Trip

    The Sounds of The Hebrides: Mull, Luing, Shuna and Jura

    St Hilda Sea Adventures
    Premier
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    6 days
    $ 199 / day
    $ 1,196
    From : $ 1,869
    The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
    Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
    Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
    Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    Highlights
    • Cruise over natural anchorage of Tayvallich, once a famous Viking harbor
    • Explore Tobermory, one of the most picturesque towns in the Western Isles
    • Get an opportunity to see eagles, sharks, whales, porpoises and dolphins, as well as many types of seabirds
    Visits:
    Scotland, United Kingdom
    View Trip

    Kayaking, Walking & Whisky

    ROW Sea Kayak Adventures
    Preferred
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    8 days
    $ 499 / day
    $ 3,990
    Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
    Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
    Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    Highlights
    • Visit Old Inverlochy Castle
    • Visit Glen Coe
    • Explore Eilean Shona
    Visits:
    Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
    View Trip

    Malt Whisky and Wildlife

    St Hilda Sea Adventures
    Premier
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    9 days
    $ 171 / day
    $ 1,540
    From : $ 3,493
    The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
    Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
    Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
    Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    Highlights
    • Visit the Malt Whisky capital of the world – Islay
    • Enjoy the magnificent Munro mountains
    • Visit Lagavulin distillery and other world famous distilleries
    Visits:
    Scotland, United Kingdom
    View Trip

    Scottish Island Golfing: Whisky and Wildlife

    St Hilda Sea Adventures
    Premier
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    8 days
    $ 327 / day
    $ 2,612
    From : $ 3,213
    The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
    Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
    Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
    Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
    Highlights
    • Visit the Oban distillery and play the 18 hole Glencruitten Golf Club which is a wild-life rich
    • Sail the Sound of Luing to West Loch Tarbet on the Mull of Kintyre Peninsular
    • Famous “whisky island” of Islay (eight distilleries) and here you can play one of Scotland’s oldest courses
    • Visit the Oban distillery and play the 18 hole Glencruitten Golf Club which is a wild-life rich, picturesque
    Visits:
    Scotland
    View Trip

    The UK - Central Scotland Untour

    7 days
    $ 146 / day
    $ 1,019
    From : $ 1,376
    The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
    Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
    Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
    Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    Highlights
    • Explore the region’s scenic glens, lochs
    • Explore the nearby gardens
    • Amazing National Museum of Scotland
    Visits:
    Doune Castle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Loch Lomond, Scotland
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    Top Scotland Experiences and Attractions

    Top Scotland Experiences

    Touring the Scottish Highlands on a cycling trip

    Trying to catch a glimpse of the infamous Loch Ness Monster

    Visiting the ruins of St. Andrews Cathedral

    Enjoying a pint in one of Glasgow's many pubs

    Going on a trek through Trossachs National Park

    Visiting Stirling Castle, built in the 16th century

    Marveling at the grandeur of Edinburgh Castle

    view more

    Scotland Trip Reviews

    263 Scotland Tour Reviews - Summary 93% Recommend

    4.3 out of 5
    Excellent 153
    Great 57
    Average 38
    Disappointing 8
    Terrible 7
    Value
    4.3
    Guide
    4.3
    Activities
    4.3
    Lodging
    4.3
    Transportation
    4.3
    Meals
    4.3

    Tour Reviews Write a Review

    Great expectations fulfilled and more!

    5.0
    • Value 5.0
    • Guide 5.0
    • Activities 5.0
    • Lodging 5.0
    • Transportation 5.0
    • Meals 5.0

    This June, I led a group of 12 on a tour to Ireland. Maggie Lunde was my group specialist who did an excellent job helping me achieve the desired plans for our visit. She was thorough and very responsive to our needs. Our chauffeur for the tour was Martin McAviney, a delightful guide and great friend to us. From the start, he let me know that he was there to fulfill all our plans and wishes and to feel free to communicate them clearly to him. He not only delivered but once he had a sense of our group, he gave us excellent additions which fit perfectly for us. His warmth and great sense of humor added greatly to the enjoyment and success of tour. Members thanked me afterward for "making our dreams come true" and another described the tour as "life-changing" I whole-heartedly share these accolades with Martin and Maggie.

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    Operator Authentic Vacations

    Irish eyes are smiling

    5.0
    • Value 5.0
    • Guide 5.0
    • Activities 5.0
    • Lodging 5.0
    • Transportation 5.0
    • Meals 5.0

    We had a great week long self guided tour around Ireland. Lainie put together a topnotch package for us. We didn't know she booked premium air for us but what a Godsend it was!

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    Operator Authentic Vacations

    Effortless travel planning!

    5.0
    • Value 5.0
    • Guide 5.0
    • Activities 5.0
    • Lodging 5.0
    • Transportation 5.0
    • Meals 5.0

    Effortless travel planning! Heather listened well to our desires and planned an impeccable vacation for us. From flights to rental car to a great itinerary and incomparable B&Bs we were thrilled at every detail.

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    Operator Authentic Vacations

    Thank you Ayana and Jared!

    5.0
    • Value 5.0
    • Guide 5.0
    • Activities 5.0
    • Lodging 5.0
    • Transportation 5.0
    • Meals 5.0

    From panic to success!
    Had some issues with getting my trip rescheduled after a family emergency . Ayana & Jared were most helpful in getting it resolved and helping straighten out the confusion. I look forward to my new travel plan with the company.

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    Operator Aer Lingus Vacation Store

    It was well planned out vacation

    5.0
    • Value 5.0
    • Guide 5.0
    • Activities 5.0
    • Lodging 5.0
    • Transportation 5.0
    • Meals 5.0

    It was well planned out vacation. We did the bus tour and everything ran as planned. It was a great vacation for my family of adult children.

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    Operator Authentic Vacations

    Jocoya was wonderful!

    5.0
    • Value 5.0
    • Guide 5.0
    • Activities 5.0
    • Lodging 5.0
    • Transportation 5.0
    • Meals 5.0

    The trip Jocoya helped us arrange was perfect! I honestly couldn't think of anything that could've been done differently, from arranging the car rental to a night in a beautiful castle. It was a wonderful trip that was everything I'd asked for - and more! We'll definitely be calling Authentic Vacations for our next trip!

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    Operator Authentic Vacations

    Scotland Tours and Travel Guide

    Scotland Attractions & Landmarks Guide

    Scotland's contributions to the world are remarkable for a small nation of just over 5 million people: golf, bagpipes, kilts, Robert Burns, the Loch Ness Monster, Scotch whisky -- the list goes on. Whether you want to play on the world's oldest links, learn to do a Highland Fling or follow the Whisky Malt Trail, all these and more are waiting just north of England.

    There are many different ways to experience Scotland, each one worthy of it’s own trip. You might enjoy a golfing trip visiting, among others, the famous St. Andrews course. You might dive into the various forms of scotch on a whisky tasting tour. Or you might visit the untamed highlands, or explore the depths of Loch Ness seeking the elusive monster.

    Scotland Golf Trip Packages

    Golf enthusiasts will be in heaven visiting various courses in the country where the sport was invented. Many guided tours in Scotland will highlight this history. And some are devoted to golf alone! True aficionados can go on a private golf tour and enjoy playing some of the most famous golf courses in the world.

    If you plan to visit multiple golf courses while you are abroad, taking a guided tour is highly recommended. Unlike in the United States, where many top golf courses are entirely private and a tour operator will not be able to change this fact, technically private clubs in the U.K. do welcome guests to play. Guests, however, are usually restricted by complex rules (usually pertaining to what times they are allowed to play), and a tour guide can be essential in navigating these rules, and helping bend them if need be.

    A guide’s regional knowledge can also make or break your Scottish golf vacation package. If you are uncomfortable driving on the opposite side of the road, or simply don’t want to waste time getting lost on the notoriously unpredictable Scottish backroads, a guided tour will also provide convenient and comfortable transportation between courses.

    River Cruises in Scotland

    Although there isn’t a main waterway in Scotland to take a multi-day cruise on (although you can take a riverbus service along the River Clyde, which connects Edinburgh and Glasgow, or take guided Scottish island cruise), those who enjoy trips to Scotland to immerse themselves in the bucolic countryside also tend to love relaxing on a river cruise. As a result, some tour operators combine overland tours in the United Kingdom with river cruises in other parts of Europe. This way, you can get the best of both worlds.

    Whisky

    For whiskey lovers, Scotland is the place to be. Scottish whisky (rather than whiskey!) remains Scotland biggest export, and is sometimes called “the water of life” -- in fact, this is what the gaelic word for whisky directly translates into.

    Scotch tasting and distillery tours are popular activities, and many whisky tasting tours will include this as a part of their itineraries. Brush up on basic whiskey knowledge, and best practice if you want to make the most of the experience. For example, don't ask for ice -- this is not how it's served and you may be setting yourself up for some, if good natured, ribbing.

    Natural Wonders

    Beyond the manicured golf courses and friendly dive bars, there are the exhilerating highlands. Visit Glencoe for the experience of small village life nestled among the Scotlands natural beauty. If you do plan to go hiking in the Scottish countryside, which is a very popular activity, make sure you do your research! Your tour guide can provide you more detailed information, but it's imporant to be aware that the hiking might be very different to what you're used to.

    Just because you have experience hiking in the Alps or the Rockies, doesn't mean a hill in Scotland can't challenge you unexpectedly. The terrain in the Highlands can be surprisingly difficult to traverse, and presents its own array of challenges, from midges (a pesky insect native to Scotland), to holes in the earth. Your phone will most likely not work well so prepare to use a physical map. Trails are not nearly as well marked as most US trails, so if you are venturing out on your own, pick up an Ordnance Survey map of the area to help you navigate.

    Wildlife in Scotland

    Travelers are sometimes surprised by the fact that Scotland tours can have a wildlife element. The animals on these tours are usually coastal. During the spring and early summer, you can see Scotland’s migrating colonies of puffins begin to nest. The fall is prime time for spotting massive basking sharks and whales.

    Scottish Culture

    Maintaining their unique culture is incredibly important to the Scottish. Historically, the Scottish have struggled to keep their customs, language (Scottish Gaelic), and heritage after unification with Britain in 1707. Many tours of Scotland which venture into the Highlands will take you on a tour of Culloden Battlefield -- an important place in Scottish history, where the Highlanders were finally defeated by the British.

    Scotland’s unique culture is a modern feature, and can be seen in a hundred different ways. Try, for example, try to visit a Highland Games event, see (and take part!) a ceilidh, or go to a viking fire festival -- or ensure you'll make it by going on a cultural tour. 

    Tourists usually see “Scotland” as a single, unified concept -- and this is usually linked to some of the classic stereotypes about the place. What they don’t realize is that Scottish culture can seriously vary depending on where are you. Edinburgh and the surrounding Lothians are known for its mix of international cultures, high-brow accent and tastes.

    Glasgow is a booming, industrial city -- here you are a lot more likely to see street art over castles, get that friendly pub welcome, and hear a truly powerful Scottish brogue. The northernmost Scottish islands, Orkney and Shetland, have stronger ties to their Viking heritage than the Celts, and their language is closer to Old Norse than Norway and Sweden’s.  

    Top Scotland Travel Companies

    Things to Know Before You Go

    Tours in Scotland are offered in a wide range of budgets and styles. This is a popular destination among older travelers looking for a relaxing golf getaway, scotch tastings and walking tours through the highlands. Scotland has a warm, welcoming culture and if you like exploring an ancient culture, participating in pub conversations, and a good natured barb here and there, you’ll love being on a Scotland tour.

    Is there a language barrier in Scotland?

    Depending on the region of Scotland you’re traveling in, it may be extremely difficult to discern what people are saying. English is the main language, however the accent can be notoriously difficult to decipher.

    This is a great reason to travel on a tour in Scotland - you and your travel companions will lean on each other to help navigate the accent, and your tour guide will be a useful safety net. Scottish people are aware that their accent can be hard to understand and are generally patient with being asked to repeat themselves.

    What is the weather like in Scotland?

    Scotland weather is quite variable region by region. If you’re traveling near the coast you can expect fairy cool and windy conditions almost year round. Due to being so far north, during the summertime Scotland experiences very long days, and in Scotland’s northernmost region, there are a few days out of the year with 24 hour sunlight. If you’re traveling during the winter time, expect regular snowfall and temperatures in the 40s (Fahrenheit).

    Spring and autumn are highly recommended times to visit, where the weather is less extreme than during the summer and winter. You’ll see temperatures in the 50s and 60s, with intermittent sunshine, and it will be mostly dry.

    As far as what to wear, given the variability and the cooler climate, layers are going to be your best friend any time of year in Scotland!

    Top 5 Travel Attractions in Scotland

    Recently rankeas the most beautiful country in the world, Scotland boasts some of the most breathtaking natural sights on our planet. From its peaceful lochs and glens, to the rolling highlands, to the harsh and jagged peaks in the Western Hebrides, Scotland’s dramatic and diverse landscape is sure to stun even the most seasoned outdoorsman.

    Beyond its natural heritage, Scotland is also a country with a vibrant culture and a fascinating history. Home to golf, haggis, and the Loch Ness Monster, there is no shortage of sights to see and things to do in Scotland. Here is this author’s take on the top five travel attractions.

    5. A WHISKY TASTING

     A trip to Scotland would not be complete without a taste of its most famous beverage: a dram of genuine, single-malt Scotch. Luckily, there are many opportunities to not only get a taste of whisky (not whiskey!), but also learn about its creation process. There are over 100 licensed distilleries in Scotland, each with their own unique history and fiercely guarded trade secrets, and the majority of them offer some sort of visitor experience. In particular, we recommend a tour at the Glenlivet - one of Scotland’s most famous distilleries that began as an illicit smuggling operation.

    4. THE ROYAL RESIDENCES OF EDINBURGH

    A walk through the streets of Edinburgh transports you back in time, in no small part due to the capital’s two castles. In the direct heart of the city looms Edinburgh Castle, an imposing stone fortress that sits on top of an extinct volcano. A trip to the castle will not only reward you with an incredible view of the entire city, but a chance to learn about the building’s intriguing and bloody history. The castle has been a royal residence since the 12th century, and for a small fee, you can enter and see Mary Queen of Scots’ private quarters, as well as the infamous Scottish Crown Jewels.

    You must be sure to also stop by Edinburgh’s second castle: Holyrood Palace, an active royal residence. Holyrood lies at the opposite end of the Royal Mile, the historic street that connects the two castles, and when the Royal Family is not in town you can take a tour of its decadent rooms and haunted ruins of a cathedral. A detailed guided audio tour will fascinate any visitor, though history buffs will be particularly delighted. The entire castle staff is required to have a thorough understanding of English history, and visitors are encouraged to ask questions.

    3. EILEAN DONAN CASTLE

    This awe-inspiring structure falls on the border of the wild highlands and is often the image of the iconic Scottish castle. Only accessible by an ancient stone bridge, Eilean Donan is a built on a small island in the icy waters of a saltwater loch. The now isolated fortress was once a centerpiece in hundreds of years of clan conflict and violence, and the weight of this history runs deeply through the castle’s veins.  It is still privately owned and maintained by a member of the MaCrae clan.

    2. ISLE OF SKYE

    The Isle of Skye is home to some of the most spectacular natural vistas in all of Scotland. This harsh and isolated island has long been heralded as a place of magic, and is the birthplace of hundreds of myths about giants, faeries, and kelpies. A visit to Skye would not be complete without a trip to the enchanted Fairy Pools, a hike up the cliffs of Kilt Rock, and a visit to the see the mysterious stones of Storr. After a day in the outdoors, be sure to warm up with a warm cup of tea and some fish and chips in the charming town of Portree.

    1. THE ROYAL MILE

    The Royal Mile is a cultural hotspot in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, with no limit of things to do. The best place for shopping and dining, the Royal Mile is lined with some of the best traditional Scottish pubs and shops selling typical Scottish goods, from wool sweaters to shortbread to haggis. The cobblestone mile itself is impressive and physically unique as it has been largely unaltered since it was formalized in 1816.

    One especially interesting element of the Mile is its well preserved “closes”, the narrow walking paths which used to lead to residential areas. As the busy road is popular with tourists, you can expect to encounter some authentic bagpipe playing, and the sight of several men in kilts.

    Some of the unique buildings on the Royal Mile include the gorgeous Gothic St. Giles’ Cathedral, the old Scottish Parliament, and a church converted into a craft market. At night, the Royal Mile is home to some of the city’s best ghost tours, including trips underground to see full streets that were built over during the plague.

    All Scotland tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages. Average rating of 4.3 for all Scotland trips.

    322 trips from 91 tour companies with 263 reviews

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