The Hairy Coo


If you have any questions regarding our tours, chances are they will be answered below. If not, please send us an email:

How can I book my tour?

You can book all our tours securely online via the booking form on our website, which you will find on the left-hand side of each tour page, just click the ‘Book Now’ button to begin.

Alternatively, you can visit the Visit Scotland Tourist Information in person, at 3 Princes Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2QP, near Waverley train station, between the hours of 09:00am – 5:00pm, open every day.

Where is the departure point?

All of our tours depart from the Bus Stop directly outside Deacon’s House Cafe, 304 Lawnmarket (Royal Mile), Edinburgh, EH1 2PS.

Please arrive at least 15 minutes before the advertised departure times to check-in with your Guide.

Please note that our tours depart promptly and due to our action-packed itineraries, we cannot wait for late-comers.

Tours usually return to the same location at the end of the day. However, sometimes this cannot be possible due to traffic restrictions put in places at Lawnmarket for special events. Please note that throughout the Edinburgh International Festival, all tours will drop off at Waverley Bridge and NOT Lawnmarket, due to traffic restrictions.

What is included in the price?

The tour price includes the services of a friendly, knowledgeable and experienced driver-guide, and transportation on one of our luxury, modern, air-conditioned coaches.

All optional extras such as Accommodation, Whisky Distilleries, Loch Ness Boat Cruises and Castle entries are not included in the price of your tour. This is to allow our guests the freedom to choose the accommodation types that suit and which option you would like to take part in. Please note that many visitor attractions may not accept credit card payments, so please ensure you have plenty of cash with you on the day.

What happens if I am late for the tour departure?

It is very important that you arrive in plenty of time before your tour departs as our coaches must leave on time and are unable to wait for late-comers. This is for the benefit of all customers, and allows us to explore all stops for the full amount of time, offering you the most of your tour. We are not able to give refunds if you arrive late for the tour.

Accommodation on multi-day tours? (2-5 days)

Your accommodation is not included in the price of the 3-Day Isle of Skye, Inverness and Highlands Tour or the 5-Day Isle of Skye, Oban, St Andrews and North West Highlands. You can choose your accommodation preferences at the time of booking be it a Hotel, B&B/Guesthouse or Hostel. Once your booking is confirmed we will book the accommodation on your behalf. On arrival into the overnight destination, you will pay for the accommodation directly to the establishment.

You are also more than welcome to book your own accommodation for each night spent on tour. It’s your holiday after all and we want you to be comfortable. Simply select “I WANT TO BOOK MY OWN ACCOMMODATION” during the booking process. All we ask is that you email us at your earliest opportunity to advise the name and address for our tour records.

If you choose to book your own accommodation, your Driver-Guide will drop you off and pick you up each day from the designated meeting point.

For more information please visit our 2 & 3 day accommodation or 5 day accommodation pages.

What size of luggage can I bring on my multi-day tour?

We expect everyone to bring one larger piece of luggage, a suitcase or backpack which we will put in the hold of the bus during transit. This can weigh up to 15kgs (we understand dimensions vary). You are welcome to bring a small ‘carry on’ backpack/handbag which you can take on to the bus with you and keep in the storage shelves during transit.

What should I bring with me?

As we like to give you as much time off the coach as possible, we recommend you bring warm and/or waterproof clothing, wear comfortable shoes and take a sun-block or a hat for sunny days. And don’t forget your camera to capture all the lovely scenery and wildlife you’ll encounter on your tour! Food is accessible throughout the tour during our stops, but if you do have your own preference a packed lunch is recommended.

Where can I park my car close to the Edinburgh tour departure point?

We do not recommend you bring your car into Edinburgh city centre. Edinburgh parking attendants are notoriously stringent in enforcing the rules, and fines are hefty. If you really must bring the car, we suggest the multi-storey car park at Viewcraig Gardens off St. Johns Road, EH8 9UL. Parking will cost approximately £15 for the duration of a day tour with us. You can find more information by Clicking Here.

Can I reserve my seat on the Hairy Coo bus?

We do not offer reserved seating on our bus. If you wish to sit near the front, near the back or beside your group of friends, please make sure you arrive nice and early at the departure point.

Can groups book on to a Hairy Coo tour?

We recognise that many people travel in small groups of friends and family and we encourage you to join our tours. However, we do welcome a lot of travellers on our tours who are travelling either alone or in couples. Often, large groups (without necessarily intending to) can alter the dynamic of a public tour to the detriment of other travellers’ experiences. Therefore, we ask any groups larger than 8 persons to contact us in advance of booking any of our paid for public tours. We’ll discuss the options available to you, including our wonderful Private Group tours which can be tailored to suit your interests/needs.

Please note that groups of 5 or more persons travelling together are not permitted on the Free Scottish Highlands Tours during peaks season and only by request during winter.

Can a group of 5 or more people travel on your free Scottish highland tour?

Please note that during the peak-season of April-October, we cannot accommodate large groups on this tour. This is due to the unique small group nature of the tour and the disruptiveness groups can have. If you are travelling between November-March, please email us to check availability.

How should I tip on the free Scottish highlands tour?

Put simply, we run this tour on a Tips-only basis. This means, at the end of the tour, we gratefully accept tips. This allows you to decide how much the tour is worth. So at the end of your fabulous day out with us, we will graciously accept, whatever you feel the tour was worth.

Some of our competitors charge up to £47 for a very similar tour itinerary. We’re handing the power back to you, the customer, and this guarantees the highest quality of tour possible.

We believe that if money is given; it should be in direct proportion to the quality of the tour, and the level of customer service you feel has been provided.

Am I eligible for the advertised student price?

If you are over 18 years old and are a Full Time Student, you can book your tour at the Student price. Please bring your VALID Student ID card with you to check in for the tour. University/College matriculation cards (Overseas AND UK), ISIC, ISE, International Student cards are all accepted.

Why don’t you carry children under 7 years of age on your day tours?

Due to safety regulations and insurance, we are unable to take children under 7 years old on our tours. We have to ensure all seat belts on our coaches fit all passengers properly. We operate a minimum age requirement for all tours, and you may be asked to produce government-approved photographic ID for your children in order that we can verify their age. Please note that due to the nature of the tour, we cannot take children under the age of 12 years old on the Free Scottish Highlands Tour.

My preferred tour date is full or there are not enough seats available for my group, what should I do?

We often get late cancellations on tours, when this occurs availability is re-loaded onto the booking engine so it is worth keeping an eye online. All of our 1-Day Tours need to be pre-booked, apart from the Free Scottish Highlands Tour.

If you wish to join our Free Scottish Highlands Tour but it is fully booked, you are more than welcome to go along to the meeting point at Deacon’s House Cafe on the Royal Mile at 8:30am. If, by 8:45am, there are available seats due to ‘no-shows’ empty seats will be allocated on a first come, first served basis to anyone waiting.

Is the tour only in English, or do you present it in other languages?

The tour is only available in English, and the stories/history are delivered verbally.

What is a ‘hairy coo’?

‘Hairy Coo’ or ‘heilan coo’ is the Scots’ phrase for the native cattle of the Highlands; the wonderful, ‘Highland Cows’. You can find out more about them by watching the ‘Hairy Coo’ YouTube video.

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