Earlier this summer I headed up to Scotland for a weekend in Glasgow. Using the Megabus it only cost me £25 round trip and even though it’s not the most comfortable way of travelling, it’s cheap and totally worth it.
When I’d finally reached Glasgow it was around 7am, and as I wanted to see as much as possible of Scotland during my two days there, I had decided to take a one-day tour. The tour started at 8am, so it’s an understatement to say I spent a lot of time on a bus, coming from an 8h journey to Scotland and then heading straight to a 12-hour tour made for one intense day. But totally worth it.
After some research and some back and forth of what I wanted to see and which tour I wanted to take, I decided to go with Timberbush and their 1-day tour of Loch Ness, Glencoe & The Highlands. The tour will cost you £43 and depending on where you are, you can take the tour both from Glasgow and from Edinburgh.
If you take the tour from Glasgow it leaves at 8am from 266 George Street, Glasgow, G1 1QX. Make sure to be on time for the departure and through out the whole tour, as it’s disrespectful to everyone else to make them wait, and worst case you’ll be left somewhere. Need to say, not a great situation.
I usually am not a huge fan of taking tours, as it’s very toursity and I much prefer to explore on my own. However, if I have limited time and budget, a lot of the time a tour is the best way to see as much as possible for a good price! It would have cost me a lot more and been a lot more difficult travelling around the highlands on my own, and probably wouldn’t have been something I could have done in a day.
I really did enjoy my tour with Timberbush, the guide was great, informative, funny, and not over the top. He played Scotish music during the ride, was interesting to listen to, and even made some extra stops not included in the original tour.
The first stop on the tour was Loch Lomond, a beautiful lake not to far from Glasgow. Then the tour made it’s way up into the Highlands, over the stunning landscape of Rannoch Moor and the Black Mountain to get to Glenoce, one of Scotland’s most haunting glens, site of the 1692 massaccre of the MacBonald clan.
The tour then made it’s way to Fort William area for lunch, and then continued into the beautiful area of Great Glen and passing beneath Britain’s highest mountain. The highlight of the tour was of course Loch Ness and Urquhart castle. This is where we spent the most time, before making or way back to Glasgow.
We spent around 2 hours by Loch Ness and Urquhart castle, and here you could chose between the ‘Loch Ness by Jacobite’ boat cruise, or double up with visiting the castle and taking the boat cruise back. I would highly recommend spending £18 and visiting both the castle and taking the boat ride!
If you only go with the boat cruise, it will take you over the Loch Ness to Urquhart castle, pick up the people who chose to do both, and then go back across the lake. If you chose to visit Urquhart castle as well, you’ll have a good amount of time exploring the castle, before getting on the boat back accross the lake.
After Loch Ness the tour starts making it’s way back to Glasgow, passing though Inverness, Capital of the Highlands, crossing the Grampian Mountins and the woodland scenery of Perthshire, including the Forest of Atholl. The tour does make one final stop on the way back, at the Victoriand resort town of Pitlochry, for some refreshments before making it’s way back to Glasgow. Here you should definitley make sure to get yourself some ice cream at Scotch Corner, it’s delicious and they have cotton candy flavor, what more do you really need?
I got back to Glasgow around 8pm and went for dinner before simply crashing in my bed. It had been an intense day, but a really amazing one. I am very happy with the tour, it was just what I wanted and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to see as much of Scotland as possible and have limited time! If you’ve got some more time to spare, check out the longer tours, and if you can, get yourself to Isle of Sky as it’s absolutley stunning!
- The whole tour is approximatly 11hrs 45 mins, it departures from Glasgow at 08.00, Mon-Sun, and returns at 19:45. Included in the tour is a knowledgeble driver-guide, a nice modern air conditioned coach, and written translation (on request). Not included is the boat cruise and entrance to Urquhart castle, along with food and drinks. More information here.