Private Tours Around Scotland

Be inspired with some photos and impressions from my previous trips!

Whether you travel alone, in a small group or on a coach, bespoke tours to meet your needs are my specialty. 

Are you an agent or in charge of the travel arrangements for a private group – looking for a guide to take a coach / minibus on tour around Scotland? 

or for a step-on guide for the city of Edinburgh?

🚌 Meet me in York / Gretna Green / Edinburgh / Glasgow if you come by coach from the continent.

🛬 I welcome you at the Airport in Edinburgh or Glasgow if you fly in.

🏨 I meet you at your accommodation if you already have your accommodation booked – for a walk, a day trip or a tour

It will be an adventure for you to explore our major cities by foot or on wheels – if your journey includes city tours of Edinburgh / Glasgow / Aberdeen / Inverness.

Travelling in Scotland is about much more than landscapes, history and castles. Get close to Scotland and her people from the Borders to Orkney – from the east coast to the Hebrides.

As we tour Scotland together you get to know all the peculiarities of the different areas, hear stories and find out about modern day Scotland too.

Nature, alternative energies, engineering, whisky, sports, tales – there will be something for everyone in my mixed bag of stories.

See below some of the places that I have called my office in the past.

Going further afield from my day trips I have travelled the length and breadth of this country.

And of course you can taste your way through Scotland. I am a qualified Culinary World Travel Guide.

Scotland’s fine larder is well known – from the sea with its fish, seafood and seaweed to lamb, Angus beef and venison. It is all first quality and the kitchen is gaining rapidly in reputation too. In the East all manner of vegetable and fruit is grown from the humble potato through juicy berries to the exotic chilli. 

And we are not only known for the best whisky – gin too is making its way into the bestseller list, and here too local flavours dominate. Brewdog below started off as a micro brewery and is now exporting world wide.

Check out some of the places below. The view from my office is brilliant wherever I take you. I have taken those photos with my mobile phone – and yet you will get a good idea of the beauty and diversity that is Scotland.

Highlands

The Highlands of Scotland: The embodiment of all that is associated with Scotland, from mountains, empty landscapes to Loch Ness, Nessie and Balmoral

The highlands are vast and this is only a tiny snapshot. A fault in the earth crust that stretches from Helensburgh (west of Glasgow) to Stonehaven (south of Aberdeen) on the east coast presents the southern line of the highlands that stretch all the way to the far north west of Scotland.

So follow me around as you discover various parts of the highlands and see for yourself just how varied they are. You will find “highlands” nearly everywhere and so you will still be there when you reach the western edges of “North East Scotland” the NC 50 or the West Coast.

The highlands are everything you expected – empty spaces, mountains, water falls and deep valleys. I never tire of this ever changing landscape.While you are here – look out for Nessie or visit the late Queen Mother’s favourite holiday home at Balmoral. She used to fish in the river Dee.

No two routes are the same. Photo opportunities galore!

Feed the reindeer in their natural habitat. The herd of around 120 animals is roaming the hills and a few will appear when our special reindeer guides get out their favourite foods. 

Watch what working sheep dogs are able to do with the sheep – like separating sheep out. No need to worry about animal welfare. These dogs need the work and are allowed to go as long as they want.

A walk along the river Spey is a very different experience. This is for nature, super clean air and relaxation – of course this is also the whisky region with most whisky distilleries.

Before heading further north along the NC500 we move east.

North East

You should not miss out on this region. Fly into Aberdeen Airport and take your time to discover this fertile landscape that  merges seamlessly into the Grampian mountains. The countless Castles in this region bear witness to hard times when various clans and regents fought over this fertile land.

The Lowland part of the north east is particularly fertile and the climate much drier than the west. Come along and find out about the more unusual crops growing here besides the humble potato.Whisky too plays a big part.The coast gives access to fishing and transport. On the other hand you are within no time in Royal Deeside and the Grampian Mountains. See some of the wonderful castles here below.

The NC500

Back on our trail up further north, I have followed a large part of the new NC500, a route that takes you from Inverness up the east coast, along the north coast to return down the west coast and back across to Inverness again.

It is a route with spectacular views and wonderful stories. This is an area where you will experience a totally different way of life in these empty lands. Inverewe Gardens on the west coast boasts spectacular flowers in the walled garden, rhododendron.

Orkney

Meet the Vikings in this island kingdom

Orkney is a group of 67 islands. Not all are inhabited and the majority of the population stays on “Mainland” with the administrative centre Kirkwall (population 9.000). 

If you can spare the time – don’t miss out Orkney. Orkney is well worth more than just a day trip. It is always special spending time on an island. And Orkney with its green pastures offers nature galore as well as plenty of Neolithic and Viking heritage.

It is said that if you scratch Orkney’s surface it bleeds history – hardly surprising as a large area is under Unesco World Heritage protection, the Heart of Neolithic Orkney. Skara Brae is a  miraculously conserved village with a sewage system and interior decoration. The Ring of Brodgar is a stone ring (much older and larger than Stonehenge) as are the Standing Stones of Stenness; Maes Howe is a sophisticated chambered cairn and passage grave. 

Orkney is littered with these monuments. They show that the land has been inhabited for thousands of years with the climate much milder to start with. 

It has its own Cathedral named after its own Saint Magnus too; and a thriving folk music scene, in which many of the islanders are involved.

The change of climates over thousands of years has led to the need to bring over grain from mainland Scotland – even for the whisky distillery. But the land is still as fertile as ever and produces the sought after Orkney Gold fertile islands being great for cattle and sheep. Orkney beef and dairy products are sought after but.

Today, Orkney is central again – to all manner of alternative energy; tidal, wave, wind, hydrogen. The wave turbines that stood the test in two Orkney winters have had to hold up to waves of up to 18m / 60ft in the Pentland Firth – one of the most dangerous waterways in the world.

West Coast & Western Islands (Hebrides)

Leaving the far north behind, it is hard not to be impressed by the west coast and its hundreds of islands. The west is simply synonymous with mountains, sea lochs (lakes) and beautiful beaches. 

The sea lochs cut far into the inner land of Scotland, up to 35 miles. Some of them have been created by giant “witches”, similarly to the Hebrides….The landscape is lush and there is a wealth of history reaching back to neolithic times – not to forget the seafood and fresh fish ‘n chips! Kilmartin Glen is one of my favourite valleys. Like Neolithic Orkney, this too has been settled since Neolithic times and has all the monuments, standing stones, chambered chairs (graves) to show for it – and you must stand in the old Scots foot print. It is on a rock at Dunadd Fort – have yourself crowned king of the Scots! 

If you would like to buy a home made curry frozen to take away – this is also possible along the west coast – not to forget the seafood and fresh fish ‘n chips!

The islands are nearly countless – the number around the Scottish coastline still changes. We count around 790 currently, over 85% of them are uninhabited and all with their distinct atmosphere.

Isle Of Skye

There is the all time favourite the Isle of Skye – the misty isle as it is know. It is quite young and sports 11 of the 12 island munroes – a munro features with 3.000+ feet height. It is a hiker’s and climber’s paradise. While the southern part is very fertile the northern part impresses with the Cuillin mountain range. 

The Macdonalds reigned here supreme and have their very own Clan museum to tell their story. Castle and Garden are just lovely but you might just want to find out.

Isle Of Lewis

Take the 1hr 45 minutes ferry from the western seaboard of Skye to Uig on Harris, the southern half of Lewis and Harris.

Have yourself surprised by an island with ever changing weather as the Atlantic carries across the winds and drift wood from the Americas – next stop west! You find beaches that make you think of the Maldives, albeit a bit warmer and peaceful Sundays where no shop is open. The sea has shaped the people and you still rely very much on the neighbour in times when the ferry can’t make it across.

Mull

A bit further south, stop off at Mull and add another day at Iona and Staffa. These islands are not quite as remote as the outer Hebrides, still worth a visit.

Mull is Scotland in miniature – the same as Arran. The Highland Boundary fault runs through both and so you find lowland in the southern part and upland in the northern part. Visit the dairy, the charming chapel of Our Lady, Star of the Sea or look out for golden eagles.

Take a stroll through the wonderful sculpture park of a local artist. Tobermory on Mull is particularly well known to British children as it is home to the BBC programme Balamory. Maybe that is why the Beatles bought some land here? 😊

Iona & Staffa

Iona – Another ferry of 10 minutes takes you from Mull on to the Isle of Iona, home to Scottish Christendom. Here Columba set up with his 12 followers and started his mission. The old St Oran’s Chapel has stood the test of times since around 1150 whilst the Abbey Church itself has been rebuilt, original foundation still standing. Here too was the burial ground for kings for hundreds of years. The island always gives me a feeling of calm with its 120 inhabitants.

Staffa – Know Mendelson’s Hebrides Overtures? Mendelssohn was inspired by this composition by Fingal’s cave and its fantastic acoustic and stunning sights. The basalt columns that form this island are considered as a continuation of the Giant’s Causeway in Ireland – makes perfect sense, given that the separation happened only 60 mio years ago. This uninhabited Island is well known for its puffin colonies.

Arran

Arran is also called “Scotland in miniature”. The fault that separates the Lowlands from the Highlands continues hereacross the island, providing lush green pastures in the south and rugged mountains in the north. Due to its geographical location, it has always been popular for short holidays from Glasgow.

Make the most of it, go for a great walk or visit Brodick Castle with its wonderful garden. You will find some interesting artisan shops and two whisky distilleries – one in the Lowland part and one in the Highlands.

Southwest

Ayrshire and Dumfries & Galloway

This was the last area for me to discover properly. It is – like many areas vastly different, with an amazing coastline and a lot to discover. What is Sir Walter Scott for the Borders, is Robert Burns for Ayrshire.

So it is here that you find his birthplace museum and a dedicated Robert Burns Museum whilst on the other side there is Wigtown, the famous book town.

The Mull of Galloway is just breathtaking and again- like the Borders, the continuous border wars left their scars as much as the reformation – lots of ruined abbeys as well as St Ninian’s home, Whithorn.

Not to forget the industrial heritage. The list of interests is endless and includes the famous Turnberry Golf course.

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Dumfries – Quisque sed lacus ac odio posuere placerat a ut dolor. Aliquam pharetra et elit non hendrerit. Sed mi risus, malesuada a tincidunt ut, iaculis sed quam. Phasellus et dignissim lectus. Nullam dictum facilisis feugiat. Vestibulum ullamcorper accumsan ultricies. Proin sed fringilla sapien. Phasellus commodo fermentum porta.

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Get In Touch!

Interested in taking a tour? Get in touch today using the contact form below and select which tour location(s) you’d like to do. I’ll be in touch as soon as possible!

Private Tour Locations

Tour Options

Find out more about other tour options I have available below!

Walking Tours in Edinburgh

The only way to really get to know Edinburgh and its people is a guided walk tour in a small group. Get in touch if you are interested in a private tour or check out the set tour suggestions.

Walking Tours Near Edinburgh

You need not travel far to feel totally removed from the big city – Dunfermline and South Queensferry are only a bus ride away from the centre of town. Combine a walk tour in a small group with time to
yourselves and make it a day trip. Find out more about the attraction of both to all ages by clicking below.

 

Day Trips From Edinburgh

There are some great day trips from Edinburgh in all directions. I have selected five suggestions for you to contemplate. They each contain more than can be done in a day – so select your favourite bits, add a distillery if you wish. I will adapt to your ideas and make it a great day out for all.

Private Tours In Scotland

Planning for a tour of Scotland? This is my favourite page. It shows you a snapshot of places I have guided in the past. Including a few things to do in Scotland. Be inspired !

Covid-19

With Covid still around us, I follow the guidelines for walking tours of the Scottish Tourist Guides Association. You find the link to the guidelines here 

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