The 5 Best Guided Tours Of Scotland. Don’t Miss Out On These Exceptional Experiences

guided tours of scotland

Scotland is one of the most unique and sought-after tourist destinations in the world, attracting over 15 million visitors each year.

If you’re planning a trip to Scotland, you might be wondering how to make the most of your visit.

If you’ve never visited before, it can be hard to create your own travel routes and itineraries.

That’s where guided tours come in handy.

You’ll be shown around some of the best parts of Scotland, taught about the history of the areas you’re exploring and given insider info by local guides.

Not all guided tours are created equal, however, and some are better quality than others.

To help you plan the trip of a lifetime, we’re sharing five of the best guided tours of Scotland.

If you’re lucky, you might be able to fit them all in!

1. Edinburgh Darkside Walking Tour: Mysteries, Murder and Legends

A visit to Scotland’s capital wouldn’t be complete without a walking tour exploring some of the city’s most gruesome pieces of history.

Ideal for horror fans, history buffs, and fans of storytelling, this 2-hour tour takes you to Edinburgh’s Royal Mile through alleys and cobbled streets and up to Calton Hill.

At the top of the hill, you’ll learn about the pagan rituals that once took place here. You’ll get to take in an amazing view of the city.

Be sure to have your camera at the ready.

After leaving the hill, you’ll explore the famous Old Calton Burial Ground, where the famous Scottish philosopher David Hume is buried.

The tour ends close to a pub, where you can relax with a Scottish brandy and share a few ghost stories of your own.

2. Hadrian’s Wall, Roman Britain, and the Scottish Borders Tour

You cannot visit Scotland without a trip to the famous Hadrian’s Wall, once the northernmost limit of the Roman Empire.

What better way to experience than wall than with a guided tour that also takes in other key sites?

You’ll start by exploring an amazing 12th century Augustine abbey in the town of Jedburgh. Then you’ll go by coach to Steel Rig, where you’ll have the chance to explore sections of Hadrian’s Wall and learn more about Roman life.

Afterwards, you’ll take a trip to the medieval city of Lanercost, where you’ll see a real Roman fort.

The trip starts and ends in Edinburgh, so it’s an ideal way to take a break from the city and experience some mind-blowing history.

3. Glasgow Music City Tours

Are you a huge music fan?

Do you plan your holidays around the best music gigs?

Then taking a Glasgow Music City tour will be your idea of heaven.

It’s a unique way to explore the city while learning all about its music history.

You’ll explore some of the city’s most famous and important venues, get to hear untold stories about the stars who have played here, and learn more about the underground music scene in Glasgow.

If you’re the kind of person who likes to go off the beaten track, loves escaping into some musical nostalgia, and can’t help but search for new bands wherever they go, this tour should be top of your list.

Guides are full of local knowledge and can give you tips on where to find everything from the coolest record stores to the heaviest Scottish metal shows.

Tours last around two hours, and you can choose between “Merchant City Music – Past and Present” and “Glasgow’s Music Mile.”

If you really love your tunes, why not book both?

4. Loch Ness, Glencoe, and the Highlands Tour

Are you visiting Scotland in the hope of sneaking a look at the fabled Loch Ness monster?

We understand.

Taking a tour of Loch Ness, Glencoe, and the Highlands is the perfect way to get monster-spotting. Even if you don’t believe in fairy stories, this tour will give you an amazing, up-close look at the stunning Scottish Highlands.

This 12-hour tour combines bus travel and walking. You’ll get to experience a lot more than you would on other tours.

It’s ideal if you’re visiting Scotland to take in the scenery, and aren’t keen on spending too much time in cities.

You’ll depart from Edinburgh, passing the impressive Stirling Castle on your journey. Next, you’ll stop off in Glencoe for some quick photo opportunities, before continuing to Fort William.

After a stop for lunch, you’ll continue to Ben Nevis. It’s the highest mountain in the UK.

Luckily, you won’t have to climb the mountain. Instead, you’ll continue to Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness, where you’ll have several hours to enjoy the local area.

You’ll then have the option of paying to explore the castle, taking a boat trip across the Loch, or simply exploring at your own pace.

The trip will take you back to Edinburgh via the Grampian Mountains and the Forest of Atholl, where you’ll be able to enjoy breathtaking scenery and beautiful examples of Scottish wildlife.

If you’re a nature-lover or a keen monster-spotter, be sure to include this day out as one of your guided tours of Scotland.

5. Glasgow City Tour

Don’t fancy the traditional Edinburgh city tour, but still want to explore a metropolitan area?

Taking a guided tour of the city of Glasgow is a great choice.

You’ll begin at the famous Glasgow station, then venture underground to explore the subterranean depths of Glasgow’s streets.

You’ll get to take in plenty of amazing architecture, learn more about the history of the city, and hear unique Glasgow stories from the expert local guide.

If you love history and fancy an inside-look at a famous train station, don’t miss this tour.

Tips for Choosing the Best Guided Tours of Scotland

Choosing the best guided tours of Scotland is all about knowing what you want.

Before you settle on a tour, ask yourself if you’re more interested in cities or nature, horror stories or history lessons?

Next, consider how long you’d like the tour to be, and whether you’d prefer to travel on foot or by bus.

Once you’re clear on your preferences, you’ll be able to choose the perfect guided tours of Scotland for your trip.

Ready to book your Scottish vacation? Visit our website today.

Build A Solid Scotland Itinerary For Your Upcoming Trip

scotland itinerary

Great Scott!

Planning an upcoming trip to Scotland? You don’t want to miss out on the most beautiful sites and exciting opportunities this country has to offer.

Scotland has everything from bustling city life to serene nature trails.

Read on to discover a well crafted Scotland itinerary with the top sites to see.

1) Edinburgh

Edinburgh is Scotland’s most populous city and it is packed full of things to do. Plan on spending the largest portion of your Scotland trip in Edinburgh.

When you first arrive, hike to the top of Arthur’s seat for a bird’s eye view of the city. This will get you excited about your time exploring Edinburgh and Scotland in general.

After hiking up Arthur’s seat go down into the historic city and explore the landmarks. One of the most famous stretched of road is called the Royal Mile. This connects Edinburgh Castle with Holyrood Palace.

At this point, you may be growing weary of Scotland’s dreary weather.

If this is the case, head into the National Museum of Scotland to explore artifacts and exhibits.

Fan of the Harry Potter series? Don’t leave Edinburgh without checking out Elephant House Cafe. Elephant House Cafe is said to be the birthplace of Harry Potter. It was in this cafe that JK Rowling wrote parts of the multi-million dollar series.

Bring a laptop or a notepad and you too could produce the next best young adult novel series.

Still looking for a Potter fix? Take a short walk to George Heriot’s school. This is the school that inspired Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the Harry Potter series.

2) Glasgow

After Edinburgh has been thoroughly explored the next stop on your Scotland itinerary should be Glasgow.

It’s likely you’re weary from walking and traveling and you may need a short break. If this is the case head to Glasgow’s West End to enjoy a theatre performance.

Oran Mor is a theatre venue in Glasgow that offers a “Play, a Pint, and a Pie”. This is a quick 45-minute play where you enjoy a pint of beer and a pie for the price of your ticket.

In the afternoon after your pint, play, and pie take a cruise down the Clyde river. The boat ride will offer you a scenic view of Glasgow.

Done with the sightseeing and looking for a place to party at night? Glasgow is considered Scotland’s nightclub capital.

Jamaica street’s Sub Club is an underground dance club that offers great music and a great environment for boogying.

3) The Isle of Skye

Now it’s time to head away from the cities and into Scotland’s beautiful countryside to the Isle of Skye.

Your time in the Isle of Skye will primarily consist of hiking its beautiful trails and hills.

Neist Point, The Old Man of Storr, and Fairy Glenn are three must-visit cliffs for hiking destinations.

At the foot of the Black Cullin mountains, you can find the fairy pools. The fairy pools are beautiful pools of clear water that look fit for woodland fairies.

Hungry after your hiking expedition? Check out The Oyster Shed for the freshest oysters you’ve ever tasted.

4) Loch Ness

It’s hard to think of Scotland without thinking of lake Loch Ness and the infamous Loch Ness monster.

Whether you believe in the stories or not, it’s important to add Loch Ness to your Scotland itinerary.

The stories alone should make you curious enough to take a lake cruise and search for Nessie yourself.

Before you take off on your cruise, visit The Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition building for a history lesson on lake Loch Ness and Nessie.

If you’re looking for fun activities with your kids you can head over to Nessieland amusement theme park. Here they offer mini golf, a train ride, and a film about the Loch Ness monster.

Finally take a cruise on Lake Loch Ness with a guide who can give you the details about the backstory of the monster.

Have your camera fully charged in case you spot anything unusual out on the lake!

5) Seasonal Activities

One of the main things to think about when planning your Scotland itinerary is what season you’ll be visiting the country.

Summer is the most popular time to visit Scotland as temperatures are up and days are long. Summer is also the best time to visit if you’re interested in seeing some important elements of Scottish culture.

The Highland Games take place all summer around Scotland. However, the most popular Highland games take place in Dunoon, Scotland in August.

Interested in seeing men in kilts compete in all sorts of sporting events while bagpipes play in the background? Then the Highland games might be the event for you.

The Edinburgh Fringe festival is another must-see summer activity in Scotland. The fringe festival runs throughout the month of August.

The fringe festival features artists and performers from all over the world and of all skill levels. The fringe festival is all about encouraging people to perform and tell their individual stories through art and theatre.

It’s a great festival for anyone who supports artists and is interested in quirky forms of expression.

Use This Guide to Plan Your Scotland Itinerary

Use this guide as a jumping off point to plan your ultimate Scotland itinerary.

Scotland has activities to offer people from all walks of life with all sorts of different interests. Whether you’re into going outside and exploring nature or staying inside and watching a play, Scotland has something for you.

We welcome you to explore our site and learn even more about the great country of Scotland. If you have any questions about this article or want to contact us for any reason, please do so here.

We are happy to help you build your Scotland itinerary.