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Inverness National parks

Our most recommended Inverness National parks

From Edinburgh: Isle of Skye & Highlands 3-Day Guided Tour

1. From Edinburgh: Isle of Skye & Highlands 3-Day Guided Tour

Tour the Scottish Highlands and explore the Isle of Skye on a 3-day guided tour from Edinburgh. You’ll see castles, craggy mountains, picturesque towns, and maybe even a monster on this excursion. Stay overnight in a bed and breakfast accommodation. Day 1: A Spectacular Route North Depart Edinburgh and travel north through the Trossachs National Park. Visit a lovely village and take in views of the UK’s largest expanse of freshwater, Loch Lomond. Continue across the brooding expanse of Rannoch Moor, and through Glen Coe. Learn the brutal story of the MacDonald Clan massacre and take in the weeping waterfalls that inhabit this incredible glen. The highland town of Fort William marks the end of Scotland’s oldest and most popular long-distance walks, The West Highland Way. Stay overnight in Inverness. Day 2: A Full Day on Skye You'll have the full day to explore the Isle of Skye. Highlights include the craggy Cuillin Mountains, the dramatic hills of the Quiraing, and the stunning Trotternish Peninsula.  You might see seals out in the waves as you walk along the coast, or a stag standing on a hillside. Visit the capital of Skye, Portree for lunch. Return to Inverness for your overnight stay. Day 3: Monster Spotting on Loch Ness Drive along the banks of Loch Ness where you can take a boat tour to Urquhart Castle or do a bit of monster hunting from the shore. Please note that during the winter months it may not be possible to take a cruise and visit the castle, but you will still get the opportunity to take in views of the loch, and see if you can spot the Loch Ness Monster. At the Culloden battlefield, the site of the defeat of the Jacobites, there is the option of taking a tour. Continue on through the stunning Cairngorm Mountains and stop to explore the picturesque town of Pitlochry as you make your way back to Edinburgh.

From Edinburgh: 3-Day Isle of Skye and The Highlands Tour

2. From Edinburgh: 3-Day Isle of Skye and The Highlands Tour

Embark on a 3-day guided tour of the Scottish Highlands and visit highlights, including Loch Ness and the Isle of Skye. Learn the history of this lush region from your guide and spend two nights in Inverness. Day 1: Departing Edinburgh, we will take our first short drive heading north and stop at the mysterious Kelpies. Scotland’s largest piece of outdoor art depicting mythical creatures of Scotland’s folklore that your driver will tell you all about. We’ll then continue on our journey and pass Stirling Castle. Be inspired by tales from your guide of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. Continuing north, into the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, admire the scenery as your tour guide explains the remarkable tribal clan history of the Highlands. Discover beautiful Glencoe, the most famous valley in Scotland, and hear of its tragic history. Admire the spectacular Glenfinnan Viaduct then head north and arrive on the southern banks of Loch Ness to get photos of the infamous monster Nessie! Stop for photos of Urquhart Castle before arriving in Inverness, the Capital of the Highlands, where you'll stay for 2 nights, choosing from a local guesthouse, hostel, or hotel. Day 2: After breakfast, depart Inverness and drive across the Kessock Bridge to the Black Isle and marvel at the spectacular scenery of Achnasheen and Loch Carron. Arriving on the Isle of Skye, venture north to explore the highlights of the island, including; the Cuillin Mountains, Trotternish Peninsula, Portree, the Old Man Storr, Kilt Rock and the famous Quiraing. In late afternoon, stop for photographs of the most beautiful castle in Scotland, "Eilean Donan Castle." Backdrop to many famous films, such as 'Highlander' and 'Made of Honor', this castle is another must-see iconic landmark! A scenic drive through stunning Glen Shiel follows, returning to Inverness to stay your final night. In the evening, visit a local Highland Pub to drink some Scotch whisky or beer and eat some traditional Scottish food, whilst listening to some local musicians perform. Day 3: Visit Culloden Battlefield, site of the last Jacobite Rising, then 'Clava Cairns', incredible 4,000-year-old, Bronze-Age standing stones. Travelling south, stop at the Highland Folk Museum. Here you'll experience highland life in the 17th century. See the buildings, the clothes and weapons, and how people lived 300 years ago. Then, drive through the dramatic Cairngorm National Park. You will have the chance to experience a Scotch Whiskey tasting before you visit the historic village of Dunkeld on the banks of the mighty River Tay. Your journey back to Edinburgh takes you across the famous Forth Bridges. The expected arrival time back in Edinburgh is around 6:30 PM.

From Glasgow: Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands Tour

3. From Glasgow: Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands Tour

Embark on a full-day guided bus tour of the Scottish Highlands from Glasgow. Marvel at the wild beauty of the Scottish countryside and visit highlights, including Loch Lomond and Loch Ness. Head north towards the Highlands and admire the lush pastures of the Scottish countryside from an air-conditioned bus. Stop for a cup of tea or coffee at a café on the shores of Loch Lomond before ascending into the Highlands. Traverse the desolate landscape of Rannoch Moor and the Black Mount to Glencoe, the site of the 1692 massacre of the MacDonald clan. Learn about the events and history of the area from your guide. After lunch in the Fort William area, pass beneath Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, and into the Great Glen. At Loch Ness, opt for a sightseeing cruise on the loch or choose to admire the views from the shore. On your way back to Glasgow, cross the Grampian Mountains and admire the woodland scenery of Perthshire, including the Forest of Atholl.

Isle of Skye & The Highlands: 3-Day Guided Tour from Glasgow

4. Isle of Skye & The Highlands: 3-Day Guided Tour from Glasgow

Escape the bustle of daily life and get back to nature on a 3-day tour of the Scottish Highlands and Isle of Skye, with bed and breakfast accommodations in Inverness. Hear of clan massacres, visit monuments associated with Scotland’s struggle against the English, and see location sites of the blockbuster movie “Highlander.” Day 1: Departing from Glasgow, take a spectacular route north through Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. First, stop at a pretty village perched on the banks of Loch Lomond. Then, further north, cross the brooding expanse of Rannoch Moor and travel on through Glen Coe. Here, you'll learn of clan massacres as you stand amongst the eerie but beautiful glen. Spend overnight in Inverness. Day 2: Depart Inverness to set off on our day excursion to the Isle of Skye. Stop for photographs at Loch Ness and Eilean Donan Castle before crossing the bridge to Skye. On the island, explore the craggy Cuillin Mountains, the dramatic hills of the Quiraing, and the beautiful Trotternish Peninsula. Look for seals peeking out of the waves as you walk along the coast, or spot stags silhouetted on hillsides. Then stop for lunch in the capital of the island, Portree. Day 3: Follow the banks of Loch Ness where you can take a boat tour to Urquhart Castle or do a bit of monster hunting from the shore. Please note that during the winter months it may not be possible to take a cruise and visit the castle. En route back to Glasgow, go past the battlefield of Culloden, the site of the defeat of the Jacobite forces. Drive through the Cairngorm Mountains, home of Britain’s highest mountain, and see the picturesque Victorian town of Pitlochry.

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

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

Get back to nature in the Scottish Highlands and go for gentle walks. Spend the night in the city of Inverness and avail of a flexible itinerary on day 2. Day 1: Depart Edinburgh and head west to Glasgow before visiting the pretty village of Luss on the banks of Loch Lomond. Descend into Rannoch Moor and pass the Black Mount and Glencoe at the site of the 1692 massacre of the MacDonald Clan. Go for a leisurely walk to soak up the atmosphere. Head north towards Fort William and get stunning views of Ben Nevis before traveling around Loch Ness after lunch. Pass historic Urquhart Castle before arriving in Inverness, where you will spend the night. Day 2: Choose to visit the Culloden Battlefield, where Bonnie Prince Charlie was defeated by the Duke of Cumberland. Glimpse the ancient stones of Clava Cairns and taste the whisky at Dalwhinnie Distillery. Go to the old military garrison of Ruthven Barracks. Return via the Hermitage and stop for a gentle forest walk in idyllic woodlands (summer only) before crossing the Forth Bridge to arrive back in Edinburgh.

From Edinburgh: 2-Day Loch Ness, Inverness & Highlands Tour

6. From Edinburgh: 2-Day Loch Ness, Inverness & Highlands Tour

Day 1 Travel north to Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park and the lovely village of Luss on the western banks of Loch Lomond, best known as a haven for wildlife and stunning flowers. Stroll along the shore and walk past pretty cottages during your time here. Travel further into the Highlands and visit Glen Coe, one of the most beautiful valleys in the world. Feel the past come to life as your guide tells you about the terrible massacre of the MacDonald clan. Depart Glen Coe via the Great Glen, another one of Scotland's majestic valleys which stretches 62 miles from Inverness all the way to Fort William. This is the second largest town in the Highlands and lies in the shadow of Ben Nevis, Britain's tallest mountain. Continue west to Glenfinnan, made famous by the Harry Potter films, which feature the iconic Viaduct. In the summer months, you may catch a glimpse of this magical train crossing the Viaduct. This landmark is surrounded by spectacular Highland scenery at the head of Loch Shiel. Stay overnight in accommodation near Loch Ness. Day 2 After a delicious Scottish breakfast, you have time to explore Loch Ness, Britain's largest body of water by volume. Then, visit Culloden, the last stand of the Jacobites against the British government forces. A visit to the battlefield is a poignant experience. Walk on the grounds where the battle took place and see the headstones that mark the graves of hundreds of clansmen. Travel south and enjoy the stunning scenery as you pass through the unique wilderness of the Cairngorms, Scotland's largest National Park. Its mountain range has five of the UK's highest mountains within its limits. Before returning to Scotland's capital, Edinburgh, make one last stop at a beautiful Highland town chosen by your driver-guide.

From Glasgow: Loch Ness, Inverness and Highlands 2-Day Tour

7. From Glasgow: Loch Ness, Inverness and Highlands 2-Day Tour

Day One: Visit the conservation village of Luss, on the banks of Loch Lomond. Descend into Rannoch Moor and pass the Black Mount. Walk through Glen Coe and take in its haunting atmosphere. View Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis, before stopping for lunch in Fort William. End the day by travelling to Inverness, after walking around Loch Ness.  Day Two: Visit the fascinating Culloden Battlefield and glimpse the ancient stones of the Neolithic Clava Clairns. Visit Dalwhinnie Distillery and take the opportunity to try their whisky. Stop for a gentle forest walk in a Scottish woodland after lunch (Only possible in the summer months). Cross the Forth Bridge and travel back to Edinburgh where you will be dropped off outside Edinburgh Waverley Train Station. Passengers that began the tour in Glasgow will be provided with a free train ticket to return to Glasgow.

From Inverness: Glen Affric, Culloden and Clava Cairns Tour

8. From Inverness: Glen Affric, Culloden and Clava Cairns Tour

Leave Inverness in the morning and begin your full-day tour with a trip to the ancient burial site of Clava Cairns. This Bronze-Age graveyard has survived 4 millennia and is a great spot to take photos.  Afterward, you’ll head to Culloden, one of the most important sites in Scottish history. It was here that a 60-year series of uprisings finally ended in a tumultuous battle in 1745.  Explore the visitor center and pay tribute to those who lost their lives at the last ever battle fought on British soil. Continue to Glen Affric and stop to walk among the indigenous Caledonian pine trees. Enjoy views over Loch Affric and the mountains beyond, with your expert guide taking you to the best waterfalls and photo spots.  Afterward, explore the historic ruins of Beauly Priory, a monastery dating back to the 13th century. To cap things off, you’ll head to the shores of Loch Ness, before ending up back in the center of Inverness in the early evening.

Applecross, Loch Carron & Wild Highlands Tour from Inverness

9. Applecross, Loch Carron & Wild Highlands Tour from Inverness

Depart Inverness early in the morning and begin your tour crossing the beautifully scenic Black Isle and stopping in the village of Lochcarron. Enjoy the views across Loch Carron and perhaps pick up a bite to eat, before you continue on to Achintraid. The small village enjoys views over Loch Kishorn and a breathtaking mountain range on the opposite shore. Continue your journey, climbing upwards through dramatic landscape over the Bealach na Ba (Gaelic for Pass of the Cattle). Pause for photos at the summit of the third highest road in Britain at over 2000 feet, so be ready for those breathtaking views across Raasay and the Isle of Skye. Begin your descent to Applecross village, located on a beautiful bay and full of natural wildlife, perfect for nature lovers. Look out for otters, red kites, deer and perhaps pine martens. Stop here and enjoy plenty of time to explore the village. Begin your return journey to Inverness, driving along the banks of Loch Torridon, through the Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve. This nature reserve is one of the oldest in Britain and is home to plenty of wildlife; you may even spot a golden eagle. Travel on through Shieldaig and Kinlochewe and homeward bound to Inverness.

From Edinburgh: Orkney, Skye and the Far North 8 Day Tour

10. From Edinburgh: Orkney, Skye and the Far North 8 Day Tour

On day 1, travel through the Trossachs to Oban. This wide-ranging Highland and Islands tour starts by heading west through the beautiful scenery of Loch, Lomond and the Trossachs National Park to Kilmartin Glen. Explore Scotland’s ancient past; with over 5,000 years of history laid out before you, you’ll be able to walk in the footsteps of the first Scots at Dunadd Hill Fort and the Temple Wood Stone Circle. Then stay overnight in Oban. On day 2, enjoy a day of high hills and history. Discover the haunting landscape of Glen Coe, past Ben Nevis - Britain’s tallest peak, and make a stop at Fort William. If traveling between May and September you will board the Jacobite Train from Fort William to Mallaig. Crossing over the sea to the Isle of Skye by ferry for your second night, staying overnight in Skye. On day 3, enjoy a whole day to explore Skye’s beautiful landscape. Here the mountains and beaches beckon, so lose yourself amongst the spectacular scenery of the Cuillin Mountains, the slanting hills of Quiraing, and the incredible Trotternish peninsula. Stay overnight in Skye. On day 4, discover castles and mountains and then head to Loch Ness. Once you leave Skye the first stop is a visit to the idyllic Eilean Donan Castle. You will then continue onwards to the fabled shores of Loch Ness, where you have the option (extra cost) to visit Urquhart Castle and take a cruise on the loch. Enjoy an overnight stay in Inverness. On day 5, head over the sea to the Orkney Isles. Travel north via Inverness and the spectacular coastal scenery of the Moray and Cromarty Firths. Then board the ferry for the memorable trip to the mysterious and magical Orkney Isles. Once you arrive, you can take in the stunning scenery and start exploring. Visit the beautiful Italian Chapel, which was built by Italian prisoners of war. You’ll also see the famous Churchill Barriers – causeways that were constructed to protect the British naval fleet from submarines. Stay overnight in Kirkwall. On day 6, explore the ancient history of the Isles. From your base in Kirkwall, which boasts many craft and gift shops to enjoy, you’ll spend the whole of day six exploring the islands. This is a land full of ancient history and you’ll be able to take in prehistoric marvels such as the Maeshowe chambered cairn, the world-famous Neolithic village of Skara Brae and the brooding stone circles of Stenness and the Ring o’Brodgar. The day will finish with a visit to the beautiful St Magnus Cathedral. Stay overnight in Kirkwall. On day 7, head back to the mainland again and start your journey south. You will be treated to some fantastic scenery, and may have the chance to visit Dunrobin Castle as you make your way back to Inverness. Stay overnight in Inverness. On day 8, as you head home, you’ll be able to visit the battlefield of Culloden, the site of the defeat of the Jacobite forces. You’ll also pass the stunning Cairngorm mountains and explore the picturesque town of Pitlochry.

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Frequently asked questions about Inverness

What are the best day trips and excursions from Inverness?

The best day trips and excursions from Inverness are:

Loch Ness

Other Sightseeing Options in Inverness

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What people are saying about Inverness

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 11 reviews

Considering we chose to see Scotland in the peak of winter, we were worried that we'd miss out on a lot. But Brian Smith (our amazing Tour Guide/DJ) made it memorable! His sheer passion for storytelling and friendly easygoing nature is a credit to the Hairy Coo and I hope they appreciate how lucky they are to have him. The trip was very well planned and even with the weather being unpredictable and causing disruptions, it was well worth it and we now have a new found love for the Scottish Highlands and it's beauty!

What a great way to see Scotland! With so many locations to see this gave a great look at some iconic places in Scotland. The bus tour allowed us to enjoy the views and not worry about navigation. Chris (our guide) was amazing! Very knowledgeable and funny. I would definitely go on another tour with Chris! The B&B’s were clean and comfortable. The breakfast had a lot of variety as well.

Gillian really seems to love the views and is still awed by her country and it showed throughout the 2 day trip. There was an unfortunate mix up about Culloden that didn’t allow us to go in and that was the company not paying attention to closures around the holidays. Overall, the views were gorgeous and it was much better than driving ourselves.

John (aka the king of the north) was amazing. He made us all laugh, kept us entertained, engaged, and happy throughout the whole trip. Even though some places were shut due to weather he managed to take us to other points of interest to make up for it

A great experience with Stephen as we ventured around the Highlands. Amazing recommendations and insights personalised to our questions. Would highly recommend to people interested in an intimate and lively tour.