Caledonian Canal Culture & history

Our most recommended Caledonian Canal Culture & history

Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe & the Scottish Highlands Tour

1. Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe & the Scottish Highlands Tour

Head for the Highlands, whether in search of the Loch Ness Monster or just a scenic day trip from Edinburgh. After pickup, relax on the bus and listen to the guide’s entertaining commentary. Visit Kilmahog for an introduction to the famous Highland Cows and a cup of coffee. Discover what a ‘hairy coo’ really is. Next, travel up the road to Glencoe and enjoy a 10-minute photo stop in front of the unforgettable Highland views. Have lunch in the Fort William area, where your guide can advise you on where to eat. If you're interested in the mysteries of the kilt, you can even get a ‘wee’ kilt introduction here. Then be whisked to Loch Ness itself. Customize your experience at Loch Ness. Choose to visit the majestic Urquhart Castle, and hop on a boat in search of ‘Nessie’, as the locals call it. Or simply hang out on the pier and grab a coffee with gorgeous views. On the way home, make a short snack stop in Pitlochry, a beautiful village in the heart of the country, before returning to Edinburgh.

From Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe, Highlands & Ben Nevis

2. From Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe, Highlands & Ben Nevis

Depart Edinburgh on an air-conditioned luxury coach (max 57 seats). Pass Stirling Castle and hear your tour guide tell tales of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce and the bloody battles fought out on these lands. First, arrive at Callander town, nestled at the foot of the Trossachs. Next, drive through Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Your Scottish guide will tell you about Rob Roy MacGregor, the infamous Highlander. Follow in the footsteps of James Bond ("Skyfall") and Harry Potter ("Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban") as you travel to the stunning Highland valley of Glencoe. Hear the eerie story of the Clan MacDonald massacre of 1692. Travel through Fort William, home to Ben Nevis, which at 4,409 feet is the highest mountain of the British Isles. Arrive on the south bank of Loch Ness in the charming village of Fort Augustus, where lots of cafes, shops, and restaurants offer a relaxing lunch. Stroll along the banks of the Caledonian Canal, then experience Loch Ness on an optional 1-hour boat cruise. Try to catch a glimpse of "Nessie," the legendary Loch Ness Monster. Admire the impressive Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge with views of the Nevis Range. Enter the Cairngorms National Park and discover "Monarch of the Glen" country. Drive along Loch Laggan before the roads climb above the Grampian Mountains. Travel over the Pass of Drumochter, linking the northern and southern Central Highlands. Experience the majesty of a mountain pass created by glacial activity during successive Ice Ages. Finally, stop briefly in the beautiful Victorian town of Pitlochry before heading back to Edinburgh city center, arriving at approximately 8:30 PM.

From Inverness: Jacobite Steam Train and Highlands Tour

3. From Inverness: Jacobite Steam Train and Highlands Tour

Immerse yourself in the natural wonders of the Scottish Highlands and board the Jacobite Steam Train on a day trip from Inverness. Cross the Glenfinnan Viaduct for a scenic tour of Loch Ness and in the fishing town of Mallaig. Begin your journey by bus and drive along the world-famous Loch Ness, stopping for photos above the ruins of Urquhart Castle. Continue south and visit the Commando Memorial, overlooking the Nevis Range—home to the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis. Next, set your sights on the Jacobite Steam Train and hop on board at Fort William. Your journey through magnificent landscapes will end in the fishing port of Mallaig, where you can try fresh seafood for lunch (at your expense) or explore the town. Take the scenic ‘Road to the Isles’ to Glenfinnan viaduct for stunning views. Admire beautiful scenery as you ride to Fort Augustus, the Caledonian Canal, and Loch Ness. Finish your tour at Falls of Foyers and Dores Beach on the banks of Loch Ness.

From Edinburgh: Loch Ness and The Highlands Tour

4. From Edinburgh: Loch Ness and The Highlands Tour

Take in wild landscapes, pretty villages, and historic monuments on this tour from Edinburgh. Experience the many sides of the Highlands on this inclusive excursion. Depart from the old town of Edinburgh in the early morning and travel by bus or minivan into the Highlands. Admire the dramatic scenery and enjoy views of Stirling Castle, a famous royal abode that was once the home to the mighty Stuart monarchs. Pull up in the picturesque town of Callander and stretch your legs while admiring shaggy Highland cattle grazing in surrounding pastures. Continue north across rugged terrain to Glencoe valley, with its craggy mountains and sweeping vistas perfect for photographing. Arrive in Fort Augustus and spend some time at your leisure. Cruise the calm waters of Loch Ness (optional), tuck into a spot of lunch or stroll along the Caledonian Canal. Next, it's back to the bus for the World War II Commando Memorial. Continue your journey as you look out the window for Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest mountain. Your next stop is a visit of Pitlochry and its salmon ladder. Sip on a dram of warming whisky in a local pub (own expense), before returning to Edinburgh.

Loch Ness, Inverness, & Highlands 2-Day Tour from Edinburgh

5. Loch Ness, Inverness, & Highlands 2-Day Tour from Edinburgh

See the beauty of the famous Loch Ness and stay in Inverness, the capital of the Scottish Highlands, on this 2-day small group tour. Detailed Itinerary: Day 1: Depart Edinburgh and head north across the River Forth towards the Highlands. A short stop in Dunkeld is followed by a walk along the River Tay, or perhaps at the nearby Hermitage, before you head for the holiday town of Pitlochry for lunch. From here the tour now takes you past Blair Castle into the Cairngorm National Park, where you will spend some time taking in the majesty of this amazing area, deep within the ancient Caledonian Pine Forests of the Rothiemurchus Estate. You then continue north and arrive at your destination of Inverness, where you will be dropped off at your accommodation. The evening is free for you to explore the capital of the Highlands. Day 2: After a leisurely breakfast you will be picked up from your accommodation in Inverness and explore the surrounding countryside en route to Loch Ness. Here you have the chance to take a boat trip along the loch with great views of Urquhart Castle, or to stay on shore and visit the impressive ruins of the castle, overlooking the loch. You will spend your lunchtime on the southern shore of the loch in the charming village of Fort Augustus. The Caledonian Canal, which links the lochs of the Great Glen, dominates the town and makes a great place to relax and watch the boats sail by. You now continue south past Ben Nevis and Fort William to Glencoe. This haunting glen was the scene of a terrible massacre in 1692, where many of the Clan Macdonald were slaughtered. The return journey continues over the wild and remote Rannoch Moor and into the countryside around Stirling, before finally reaching our starting point of Edinburgh.

Other Sightseeing Options in Caledonian Canal

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What people are saying about Caledonian Canal

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 4,547 reviews

The whole experience from the start of the journey to the end was fantastically rewarding and worth spending every penny. This was all possible not just because of the natural beauty but our undoubtedly the best tour guide so far Paul and our bus driver Adam. Paul is a jolly person with great humour and his passion for Scottish history and The landscapes were mesmerising and the history attached made it more intriguingly beautiful

Great trip to have a glimpse of Scottish highlands in one day. Breathtaking scenery, entertaining local guide who shared good bits of Scottish history. The 12-hour bus tour went by quickly and we loved Scott's playlist

I recommend, I'd go once again. Tour guide Jim provided excellent service, he shared so many facts about Scotland. I really enjoyed the trip.

It was a wonderful experience, make sure you feed the famous celebrity cows!

Amazing Place, Special kudos to Guide David and John.