A Day in the Highlands

I’m obsessed with Outlander and my mom likes to read those smutty historical romance novels about the Scottish clans, so a trip to the Highlands was a must for us while in Scotland. So for one of our free days in Edinburgh, we decided to book the Loch Ness, Glencoe, and Whisky tour with The Hairy Coo.

We took the £49 Loch Ness, Glencoe, and Whisky tour, but The Hairy Coo also offers a free tour! The tour doesn’t go to Glencoe or Loch Ness, but it does go to other areas of the Highlands. It’s all done off of tips, so it’s definitely a great option to get outside of the city. We really wanted to see Loch Ness and more of the Highlands though, so we picked the paid tour and I’m glad we did. It was such a long day and we spent a lot of time on the bus, but we had an amazing time. The scenery is so beautiful and we lucked out with perfect weather.

The first stop on the tour is the Deanston Whisky Distillery. I’m not really a whisky drinker, but when in Scotland…

The distillery tour was really interesting and the process reminded me a lot of the brewery tours I’ve been on before. Of course you end the tour with a whisky tasting. My mom and I paid for the extra sample because we were on vacation and that means it’s perfectly acceptable to drink whisky at 10 a.m.

After leaving the distillery our guide took us for a quick stop at Doune Castle. This wasn’t listed as part of the tour, so I don’t know if they always go there or not. If you’ve ever watched Outlander, it’s Castle Leoch in the show. We only had enough time to take a few pictures, but it was fun to see in person. Sadly, there were no Jamie Fraser sightings.

After our quick castle stop we hopped back on the bus and headed off to the Highlands. On the way we took a little detour and stopped to visit a few Highland cows aka hairy coos. This was seriously one of my favorite parts of the trip! THEY ARE SO CUTE! The shop offers a bag of treats to feed them for only £1 (I think) and it’s a must. I was seriously obsessed with them after this and like half of my souvenirs from that day are cow related.  


At about this point is when we crossed into the Highlands. We drove through hills and glens while our guide told us about clan history and the Massacre of Glencoe. We stopped of a quick picture break at the Three Sisters in Glencoe. This is where then panoramic setting on cameras comes in handy!

Finally after A LOT of driving we arrived at Fort Augustus and Loch Ness. There was an optional boat cruise of Loch Ness that I really wanted to do, but ended up skipping because it was windy and I get seasick. I think it would have been fun to search for Nessie by boat, but I really didn’t want to be sick on the long drive back to Edinburgh. Instead we had lunch at a lakeside restaurant and went to all of the little shops. 


Once we were all back on the bus we started our trek back to Edinburgh. We stopped a couple times along the way for a quick break to stretch our legs. One of the stops was at Pattack Falls. It’s a small waterfall only a short “hike” from the parking area. The waterfall isn’t much to see, but the wilderness surrounding it is beautiful.


Our last stop was in the small village of Pitlochry for a short bathroom and food break. I wish the stop would have been longer (and earlier because almost everything was closed) because the village had so many cute shops. Finally, about 12 hours later, we made it back to Edinburgh. It was a very full day and I was so over the bus by the time we got back, but we had such a great time. It was definitely worth the long day/bus ride to get out of the city and spend a day in the Highlands.

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  1. Love all the animals and the mountains! Amazing!!

  2. Of course it's acceptable to sample whiskey at 10AM! Beautiful pictures, and it looks like you had an awesome time

  3. Looks like a lovely trip! I'm with you...the hairy coos are pretty darn cute!!!

  4. Your pictures are beautiful! I love those hairy cows!

  5. This is bucket list stuff right here! I hope I get to go someday. It looks like you had a great time!

  6. LOVE every single minute of this!! Always splurge for the extra whiskey; 10am, 10pm, who's checking :) I would love to visit the Scottish highlands one of these days!!

  7. I'd love to explore the Highlands properly - I don't know why I've never thought of a day trip from Edinburgh. I did take the train to Skye once which went via Inverness and the scenery is just amazing but that is really as close as I've got. I need to go back for the hairy coos if nothing else :D Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

  8. How nice you got to see all of these Scottish beauties! And highland coo's too! And lets be honest, it's acceptable to drink whisky any time of the day when you're in Scotland - regardless of whether you are on holiday or not! ;) What a fab tour. #citytripping

  9. Wow! This place looks so amazing! Makes me want to go to Ireland again!

  10. This looks like such a cool trip. It definitely has something for everyone.

  11. What a great idea for a day trip from Edinburgh. So diverse and the scenery is just stunning! #citytripping


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