Loch Ness and the Highlands Very Small Group Tour from Edinburgh

Badge of ExcellenceEdinburgh, United Kingdom
Loch Ness and the Highlands Day Tour from Edinburgh

From $110.80

Select Date and Travelers

Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 12 hours
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


Uncover the mysteries of Loch Ness on an exciting day-trip from Edinburgh. Set out north along Scotland's West Coast to experience one of the country's most iconic lochs, best known for the fabled 'monster' said to reside deep within its waters. En route, pass some incredible sights, including the ruins of Linlithgow Palace, Ben Nevis―Britain's tallest mountain―and dramatic Highlands landscapes recognizable from films like 'Skyfall.' Your guide regales you with stories about the area, making for an exciting, informative―and if you're lucky, truly legendary―trip.
  • Loch Ness and the Highlands small-group day tour from Edinburgh
  • Traverse one of Scotland's most stunning and stark landscapes en route to Loch Ness
  • Learn the true story behind 'Braveheart,' see the ruins of Linlithgow Palace
  • Board a boat or seek out Nessie from the shores of Loch Ness
  • Have a leisurely stroll through a Highlands village and drive across Forth Road Bridge
  • Enjoy fascinating facts and stories from an onboard guide

What's Included

  • Very small group tour - average group size of around 12 passengers
  • Live commentary on board
  • Local guide
  • Transport by air-conditioned Mercedes mini-coach
  • Driver/guide
  • Food and drinks
  • Gratuities
  • Attraction Entrance Fees

Meeting And Pickup

Meeting point

  • Waterloo Place
    Waterloo Pl, Edinburgh EH1 3BQ, UK

    This tour departs from (and returns to) Bus Stand ZE, Waterloo Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3BQ (opposite Howie's Restaurant). Please arrive no later than 07.45

Start time

07:45 AM

End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

What To Expect

Linlithgow Palace (Pass By)

Stirling Castle (Pass By)

National Wallace Monument (Pass By)

Doune Castle (Pass By)

Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park

30 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Glencoe National Nature Reserve

10 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Rannoch Moor (Pass By)

Commando Monument

10 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Ben Nevis (Pass By)

Caledonian Canal (Pass By)

Loch Ness

1 hour 30 minutesAdmission Ticket Not Included

Cairngorms National Park

15 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Scottish Highlands (Pass By)

Forth Road Bridge (Pass By)

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Small group tour - average group size of 12 passengers
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Minimum age is 5 years old
  • Service animals allowed
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • Near public transportation
  • Operates in all weather conditions (unless it is unsafe to do so), please dress appropriately
  • Most travelers can participate
  • Please inform us 7 days in advance if you are bringing a service animal
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 16 travelers

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Traveler Photos

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Featured review
The journey was smooth and weather was good. The tour guide is sharing lots of scotland history and provide awesome tour services and guidance. Highly recommend to friends.


676 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 676 reviews
Great experience with highland scenic.
Bee_S, Sep 2023
The journey was smooth and weather was good. The tour guide is sharing lots of scotland history and provide awesome tour services and guidance. Highly recommend to friends.
Beautiful scenery, talkative guide.
Eugene_L, Sep 2023
Travel through beautiful Highlands, including Glencoe. Guide had a good sense of humor, and was resilient in the face of circumstances beyond his control, attended to our comfort. Only downside was he never stopped talking so we could not absorb the experience.
Highlight of our trip to Edinburgh!
Steven_L, Sep 2023
This day tour was the highlight of our trip to Edinburgh! After spending a few days in Edinburgh during the Fringe Festival, it was so nice getting out of town and going into the Highlands of Scotland! Our driver/guide was very knowledgable, friendly and funny. Highly recommend this tour!
What could go wrong?
Dorothy_S, Aug 2023
A 1.5 hour traffic delay because of a broken down bus ahead. Only 45 minutes at Loch Ness wasn't time to eat lunch and no shopping. The rest of the afternoon was done in the rain. Despite all, the guide was very knowledgeable and a great driver. This is probably not typical for this tour.
Response from Host, Sep 2023
Hi Dorothy, thanks for your review. Traffic problems on our narrow Highland roads can occasionally lead to long delays but thankfully it's more the exception than the rule. Thanks for choosing Heart of Scotland Tours.
Great experience
Ahmed_S, Aug 2023
The trip and the whole journey was very well organized . The tour guide Angela did a tremendous job in showing us around and telling us relevant history of the sights and places . We had enough time and enough stops for restroom breaks , snacks and taking pictures . The mini bus was comfortable and well ventilated . I highly recommend this tour .
Amazing tour!
Nicholas_L, Aug 2023
Angela was amazing! Great commentary over the whole 12 hour tour and extremely knowledgeable. She answered all of my questions too. This is around a 400 mile loop trip so don’t expect long stops at multiple locations. There are a few long stops, including the longest at Loch Ness. Other quick stops are for photos only. I read the reviews before I booked and understood this. Some negative reviews don’t seem to realize that you can’t take a day trip to these locations and spend long periods at multiple places. Worth every pence!
Couldn't have asked for a better day in the Highlands!
NoelleJulianna_M, Aug 2023
We took our day trip with Angela and couldn’t have asked for a better guide or person to spend the day with! Right from the beginning, Angela was so enthusiastic and her passion for Scotland and her job was so evident! She did an absolutely fantastic job explaining this history, culture, and significance about the Scottish highlands and every town and landmark we passed. She also answered all of our obscure questions and seemed equally delighted by the challenge of each one. In addition to keeping up lively, informative conversation throughout the day, she also perfectly curated a playlist that related to each of the things we discussed!! It truly made this such a unique and memorable experience. We couldn’t have asked for a better day or guide! 1000/10!!
Great Day!
Antoinette_M, Jul 2023
Great excursion! Saw so much in one day. Great guide - Culum put his heart into sharing his wealth of knowledge of Scotland :-)
Great Day in the Highlands!
Shawn_R, Jun 2023
We had a small group who all became fast friends. Andy was our driver and together we made it there and back Alive!!! And filled with his wonderful repartee!!! Loved it!!! Now I’m going for the Scotch!!!!
All the sights!
Kate_M, Jun 2023
We loved this excursion! Our tour guide, Ewan, told great stories as we drove through the highlands region and made stops along the way to get the best photos. This trip hits all the highlights of the area! The only downside was that several other tour companies were operating in the same towns/areas we stopped, so if traveling during the high season, pick a non-weekend day for this trip.
Needs improvement
Michele_M, Jun 2023
Beautiful scenery , tour guide tried very hard but difficult to understand & endless stories that were not woven together for those unfamiliar w Scottish history. Spent too little time at “important” stops ,& too much time at meaningless spots like a town w stores all closed ?
Loch Ness and Highlands
Karen_M, Jun 2023
Callum was a fantastic guide! Tho it’s a long day, the scenery is beautiful. The stops are too fast, but it gives you a good taste of where you might visit the second time!
Great potential, poor company.
Jason_L, May 2023
The views on this tour were amazing. The stops for nature viewing were all great and we were allowed time to get pictures and walk around. However the company that did this particular tour left a lot to be desired. First we were told by our driver shortly after leaving that the bus we had was known to have mechanical issues and he would need to take it easy on the trip to make sure we made it back (spoiler alert we did not make it back without breaking down). They also start out by telling you that there will be surcharges for some things and you need to get cash at one of the stops. The stops for food and restrooms were all terrible, eat before you go and bring a lunch (or skip the boat and eat in the town). The stops for food were all tourist traps with very over priced food, high atm surcharges and dirty restrooms. The driver would actually tell us pulling into the stops, don't eat at some of the restaurants and don't eat some of the food at particular restaurants because they are too bad. He would also tell us that most of the restrooms were dirty and pointed us to the ones he hoped were cleaner. The company took us to a place for a lake cruise for loch ness for I believe 20 pounds per person. The boat is actually pretty big and since we got to the location late we were among the last to board which put us in the middle where you can't see anything really other than tv screens. Honestly skip the boat ride, the town that you are in looked great and I would have loved to have lunch there instead of the stops the company makes for food. The boat ride is about 30 minutes and you really don't see much, you can say you were on loch ness but again I would skip and enjoy the town. Finally on the way back the bus finally broke down about 15 mins from the return place. The driver called the company and he told us the company was not going to send anyone and to just make it back on our own so we spent over an hour driving at about 10 mph through heavy traffic. We were dropped off a good deal aways from the planned location since it was closer to the company garage. The company said we were back in time but it was well over an hour past the time the driver stated we would return. I did send an message through viator about the poor stops and the break down. The company offered a refund but it has now been nearly 3 weeks with no refund. The driver was nice and informative. Only issue we had with him is there were probably a few extra nature stops so he could vape, on the one hand that was nice to see more however I feel that the last stop at an out of the way area with a huge hill to climb out of is actually the reason we broke down so not sure.
Response from Host, May 2023
Hello. I’m sorry you feel the tour merits a negative review (especially as we have also been corresponding independently) but there are a number of inaccuracies here which I should address: - The bus didn’t breakdown. It went into what’s called ‘limp’ mode and had to be driven slowly (and safely) back to Edinburgh from the outskirts of the city. - You were back in central Edinburgh by 8pm, the advertised return time. Perhaps your driver/guide anticipated and stated an earlier return time but in the end you were bang on time. - The implication that your driver/guide was left to his own devices and not supported by the company is incorrect. We were in communication all day and decided to nurse the bus back to Edinburgh instead of arranging taxis which would have seriously delayed your return time. In terms of restrooms and food stops there are undoubtedly challenges when working with extremely busy third parties in the main tourist season but your driver/guide tried to point you in the right direction, literally. Thanks for the positive feedback regarding your driver/guide which is appreciated . It was a challenging day but at the end of the day he did a great job.
Fantastic Experience!
Michelle_F, May 2023
Great tour! Our guide, Callum, was very personable and knowledgeable - it was truly a pleasure to hear how passionate he is about the Scottish Highlands.
Tour guide was excellent;...
Alina_B, May 2023
Tour guide was excellent; friendly, funny and extremely knowledgeable. Absolutely loved how our guide played Scottish folk and contemporary music to compliment every part of the tour. The biggest disappointment and the reason for booking this trip are the stops at Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park and Cairngorms. Neither of which happened or were mentioned. The only other interesting aspect of this tour was Glencoe. Really disappointed!
Amazing Day Out of the City
Jacquelyn_C, Apr 2023
Fantastic tour - can't recommend it enough. It is a long day, but the stops are frequent enough that you have plenty of opportunities to stretch your legs or use the restroom. Our guide, Euan, was awesome - great commentary and music for the ride, knowledgeable and so friendly. Left us with recommendations for local bars and restaurants and offered to take pics for anyone who wanted them along the ride. Amazing photo ops and learned so much!
Highlands OMG
Sarah_H, Apr 2023
Our guide Alan was wonderful. I enjoyed the smaller group for the tour. It felt more personal than a large bus. My only complaint was I felt a little rushed where we didn’t really have a time to eat lunch. We took the boat at Loch Ness which was an additional cost with cast only so we didn’t have the time to sit down and eat for the day. Other than that the day was great. We made lots of stops for photo taking and the Alan told us a bunch of history about the landscape. Loved it
Best day tour
Nicole_S, Apr 2023
The best all day trip so far this week! Alan greeted us with a dad joke and kept us entertained all day long. We managed to hit everywhere listed in the description AS WELL as multiple comfort stops and photo opportunities.
Amazing views with a very good tour guide!
Madieke_B, Apr 2023
It was an amazing adventure, we had such a fun day. It was a long day but with lots of views, photostops and so much information provided by our guide Angela. She was a lot of fun, relaxed and has so much knowledge! She told us so many stories about the Scottish history and had a lot of fun facts and some personal stories which made it all very entertaining. She also had fitting Scottish music for a lot of her stories which was a bonus! She listened to what we were interested in and what wanted to see, and tried to make it happen on the tour if possible. The views were amazing, Scotland is so incredibly beautiful. We would definitely recommend this tour and company, and would certainly be doing it again. We had a very good experience and now so many great memories. Thank you so much Angela!
Anne_A, Apr 2023
Absolutely loved Alan😊👍 incredible scenery went thru rain, snow and sunshine. Alan drove like the skilled driver he is and carried on with his narrative as if the weather was perfect!

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Loch Ness and the Highlands Very Small Group Tour from Edinburgh


12 hours
Free Cancellation

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