5 Best Guided Tours Of Scotland
Guided tours are the best way to get to know Scotland. Here are our top picks for guided tours of Scotland you shouldn’t miss out on.
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.
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