FAQ oooooos

Essential Information

We’ve butted our horns together and managed to come up with a full list of Frequently Asked Questions that we often receive from those interested in our tours.

Can’t find the answer you’re looking for? Please contact us!


How do I book a tour?

All of our tours are bookable right here on our Hairy Coo website. Simply head to the page of the tour you are interested in and click on the ‘Book Now’ button to be taken to our secure portal.

If you would like to pay with cash, or would just prefer to book face-to-face with someone, you can do so at the VisitScotland iCentre when you arrive in Edinburgh. The address is 249 High St, Edinburgh EH1 1JY, located on the city’s famous Royal Mile. They are open between the hours of 09:00 am – 5:00 pm, 7 days a week.

Please note, advance booking is strongly advised as our tours often sell out.

What does the price include and exclude?

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 extras such as accommodation, whisky distilleries, boat trips and castle entry fees are not included in the price of your tour.

You are not required to pre-book any of the additional activities prior to your tour and your driver-guide will be sure to give you all the necessary information needed before you make your decision.

Please note that many visitor attractions and accommodation providers may not accept credit card payments and so we always advise you have adequate cash with you on the day.

Gratuity is also, of course, encouraged and welcome if you would like to thank your driver-guide for the time they have given you on tour.

Am I eligible for the advertised Student/NHS price?

If you are booking a tour with us on a discounted rate – i.e. Student or NHS – then you must ensure you have a valid photo ID card proving your status in order to qualify. We are happy to accept Student ID from institutions all over the world.

Can a large group book on a public tour?

We are more than happy to welcome groups onboard, however, we will not do so to an extent that may disrupt the rest of the passengers. Our tours are fun, welcoming and most importantly a chance for travellers to meet and speak to one another – we feel larger groups detract from that slightly. Our maximum group sizes are as follows:

All 1-Day Tours 12
All Multi-Day Tours 8

Should you make multiple separate reservations in order to book on a party larger than what is permitted, your driver-guide reserves the right to refuse your group on the tour. Refunds will not be issued in this instance.

If your group is larger than each of our maximum size, please do contact us. We will be happy to discuss the option of a private tour with you!

What is the minimum age permitted on tour?

Due to safety regulations and insurance, we operate a minimum age requirement for all tours.

The minimum age for all of our tours, including private excursions, is 7 years old and we are unable to make any exemptions on this matter. Your child must be 7 years old at the time of departure and we cannot take children on board who will be turning that age while on tour.

Should your driver-guide be unsure of the age of your child, you may be asked to produce a government-approved photographic ID, such as a passport, in order to verify their age.

Additionally, we have to ensure that our seat belts fit all passengers properly and as such we are unable to accommodate anyone under 1.2 meters in height. This means that even if your child is 7, they must meet this minimum height requirement.

The safety of all passengers on board is the responsibility of your driver-guide and, as such, if they are not 100% content that your child meets these requirements you will be unable to travel. Refunds will not be issued in this instance.

Are all tours presented in English only?

All our tours are delivered by English-speaking driver-guides. All stories are delivered verbally through a microphone which is heard via speakers throughout the vehicle.

We do not supply any printed information to our guests while travelling due to the fact each of our driver-guides presents their tours in their own personalised manner.

Safety instructions will be given verbally by the driver-guides before departure. If anything is unclear, please bring this to their attention.

How does accommodation work on multi-day tours?

All accommodation information can be found near the bottom of each tour page.

What is the cancellation policy for each tour?

1-Day Tours
All of our 1-Day excursions require notice of cancellation at least 24 hours notice prior to your scheduled departure in order to be eligible for a 100% refund. Should you book your tour within this period, your booking will be immediately non-refundable.

Multi-day Tours
All of our multi-day excursions require notice of cancellation at least one week/7 days prior to your scheduled departure in order to be eligible for a 100% refund. Should you book your tour within this period, your booking will be immediately non-refundable.

If you have any questions about cancellation please contact us.

Is there a waitlist for sold out tours?

Our tours tend to fill up quickly and far in advance, especially in Summer, meaning your preferred tour may not be available.

We do not operate a waitlist for any of our tours, nor are we able to reserve spaces on any of our tours without payment.

Should passengers cancel their booking within the permitted cancellation period, we will reload their spaces back onto our system immediately to allow others to book. We recommend returning to our site regularly to check the tour you would like to join!

What is the accessibility policy on all tours?

Our tours are operated in various sized buses depending on the capacity of the tour and range from 9, 16 and 34 seat coaches.

Entry and exit from each bus is via the front left passenger door. There are three steps up into the bus each approximately 30cm in height. There are grab handles on both sides to assist guests and the step edges are clearly marked in yellow. The seats are on one level and all have full three-point seatbelts which must be worn when the vehicle is moving.

Our coaches are not wheelchair accessible, however, we have luggage compartments which may easily take a folding wheelchair or walking frame. This will be easier to accommodate on our 1-day tours as the multi-day overnight tours will have customers travelling with luggage and space will, therefore, be limited.

Our staff are not able to offer any physical assistance when boarding or disembarking from the buses or at any point during the tour. Guests should be comfortable getting on and off the bus on their own or with the assistance of a travelling companion. Please advise us about any special requirements before you book your trip.

It is essential you give prior notice if you are bringing a wheelchair or walking frame etc. If we are not informed, we cannot guarantee travel or be held responsible for any cost or inconvenience incurred if we are unable to accommodate you or any member of your party.

We have to ensure all seat belts on our coaches fit all passengers properly and as such we are unable to accommodate anyone under 1.2 meters in height.

Please note that there are no toilet facilities on any of our buses and that although we try to offer comfort breaks as often as possible, there will be instances where requested additional stops will not be possible due to local infrastructure.

All information surrounding accessibility on tour can be found on our Accessibility page.

Are there any seasonal changes to itineraries?

Despite offering tours of Scotland all year round, there are of course a few attractions or locations we are not able to visit in the winter because of varying reasons.

We are committed to giving tours we believe are of good quality, no matter what time of year it is. Tours that are too affected by venue closures or limited light in key locations are omitted from our winter scheduling, such as the Alnwick Castle and 5-Day Tour.

The rest of the year, we stick to advertised routes as closely as possible. On occasions outwith our control, such as roadblocks or scheduled events, we may have to take diversions and omit stops. Please be assured, all of our driver-guides are experienced and knowledgeable about the routes they are on and will always strive to offer you the best experience whilst on tour.

Do you provide detailed itemised itineraries?

The reason we feel The Hairy Coo do tours differently is because of the unwavering trust we put in the knowledge and expertise of our driver-guides.

While our website aims to be as descriptive as possible regarding what you will see on tour, it is not possible for us to issue ‘full’ or ‘itemised’ itineraries, simply because they don’t exist. Our driver-guides are trained extensively on the roads they will travel on tour, the destinations they need to go and the allocated appointments they have at attractions. Other than that, it is at their discretion how long they spend at each stop.

Should you be considering one of our tours, we encourage you to read the relevant tour page on this website in full. If you have any questions afterwards, then we are happy to answer these via our contact form.


Where is the departure point?

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

Please arrive at least 15 minutes before the advertised departure time in order to check in with your driver-guide.

If you are joining the 5-Day tour in Glasgow, your meeting point will be at the entrance of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum at 10:45 am. Please make yourself known to your driver-guide, who will be wearing a Hairy Coo branded uniform.   The full address is Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Argyle St, Glasgow G3 8AG. 

We are unable to arrange personalised pick-up locations with guests. 

Where can I park my car near the departure point?

In support of Edinburgh’s scheme to reduce the number of vehicles in the City Centre, we strongly advise that you explore all public transport options available to you. 

If you really must bring the car, we suggest you utilise the ‘Park and Ride’ scheme in which you park your vehicle in the outskirts of the city and then jump on the local buses that run on a regular basis. Alternatively, there is a multi-storey car park at Viewcraig Gardens off Holyrood Road, EH8 9UL or Castle Terrace, Edinburgh EH1 2EW  which are both very near the departure point. You can find more information by clicking Here 

What happens if I am late for the tour departure?

Our tours depart promptly due to our action-packed itineraries and we cannot wait for late-comers.

If you miss your tour departure you will be unable to catch up on the day and we will be unable to seat you on any of our other tours. If you are booked on a multi-day tour, it will be your responsibility to make your own way to the first overnight location and join the tour on Day 2. 

Please pre-plan your route to your departure point far in advance. The city has many one-way systems and relying on a taxi to get you there on time may not always be the best decision.  

If you are travelling to Edinburgh overnight, you must ensure that you arrive in the city in plenty of time and that you get to the departure point 15 minutes prior to your tour’s departure. 

We are unable to process a refund for those who have missed their scheduled departure.

What size of luggage can I bring on tour?

You are more than welcome to bring along a carry-on bag on the tour which can be packed with essentials for the day. This bag will be stored either in front of your seat or in the overhead compartment. We would advise keeping this bag as light and small as possible to maximise your comfort on board.

Especially on our multi-day tours, we would also 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 per passenger and does not need to stick to any dimension restrictions as we understand those vary.

The luggage restriction has been included to ensure that not all guests join the tour with excessive luggage as our vehicles do not have the space to hold too much. Because of this, we would kindly ask that you try other options instead of bringing all of your luggage with you.

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, no matter what the forecast appears to be…Scotland’s weather is very unpredictable!

Don’t forget your camera to capture all the lovely scenery and wildlife you’ll encounter on your tour, which you can later share with us online.

Food is readily available at the majority of stops on tour, but you are absolutely more than welcome to bring snacks and a cold packed lunch on board. Hot drinks and soups are permitted but only if they have a secure lid.

To make the most of your time at Loch Ness, you might consider bringing a packed lunch if you are taking our 1-Day Loch Ness tour. If you are not able to prepare one beforehand, there is a small selection of cafes, pubs and take away’ in Fort Augustus for you to choose from.

Finally, we must remind you that while picturesque and quaint, some of the suppliers in smaller towns across the Highlands do still prefer cash payments. We’d recommend that you consider what you might purchase on the day (such as souvenirs or food) and bring enough cash along with you.

Can I reserve my seat on the coach?

In the spirit of being as fair as possible, we do not offer the option to reserve a particular seat on tour.

As our driver-guides often arrive at the departure point after guests have begun waiting, they will have no way of knowing who was there first. In this instance, we hope our guests are friendly and courteous to one another. Anyone forcefully pushing in front of other guests will immediately be asked to wait until the end to take their seats and, in extreme cases, will be unable to join the tour. 

Often people cite motion sickness as a reason to have the first pick of their seat, which is, of course, a completely valid reason. However, that may be the case for many guests on the same tour and so we cannot offer any preferential treatment. 

One instance where we will make an exception is in the case of limited mobility. If you would like to discuss this with us, please contact us.

The main thing to remember is our vehicles have huge windows, equal legroom throughout and speakers above all passengers….so every seat is the best in our opinion!


What will the weather be like?

It doesn’t matter when you are travelling, the weather in Scotland is incredibly unpredictable and sometimes you can even experience several seasons in one day! 

As a result of this, we would always encourage our guests to wear waterproof shoes and clothing, ensuring they have several removable layers. You are more than welcome to leave jackets/jumpers on the coach at each stop if you find that the weather is nice when you are due to get off.

I'm late back to the coach!

To allow for as much freedom as possible on tour, we are very flexible with what you choose to do when you depart the coach.  Due to the fact guests may go their separate ways, your driver-guide will always emphasise the allocated time you have at each location. 

We must remind guests that we are trying to fit as much on tour as we can and our driver-guides are doing their best to stick to a schedule. That is why we ask guests to be as courteous to the group as possible and return to the coach when your guide requests. If you are unsure of when you are to be back, please do ask your driver-guide before you get off! 

Please note that continued lateness will have a huge impact on the tour and could result in some stops or activities being omitted from the day. If your party are repeatedly late back to the vehicle, your driver-guide reserves the full right to eject you from the trip and you will not be entitled to a refund. 

Is there a toilet, WIFI and USB Ports on board?

We do not have toilet facilities on any of our vehicles. We make regular comfort breaks throughout the day, and try as best we can to ensure one at least every hour.

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide WiFi on our coaches.

We recognise that USB charging ports are now very desirable and try to ensure that all of our newer coaches are fitted with this feature however, it is ultimately luck on the day as to whether your tour is conducted on a vehicle that has USB ports – it is not something we can guarantee at this stage.

If this is something you are worried about, do bring along a portable charger just in case!


Where does each tour conclude?

All tours conclude back at the Edinburgh meeting point: Deacon’s House Cafe, 304 Lawnmarket, Edinburgh, EH1 2PS.

If you are travelling on the 5-Day excursion, your trip will conclude in Edinburgh only on the final day. We do not offer a Glasgow drop off on this tour due to the route we take. There are many public transport links available nearby if you would like to return to Glasgow.

We are unable to arrange personalised drop-off locations with guests.

I think I left something on the coach...

When departing your coach at the end of the day, you will be repeatedly asked to ensure you have all your personal belongings with you.

Should you realise you have left something on board, we would ask that you contact us as soon as possible after the conclusion of your tour in order for us to locate your item and arrange a time for you to be reunited with it.

We are not able to send any lost property via mail or courier and it may only be reunited with the owner on a collection basis from the departure point the next morning.

Lost property will be kept aside for one month before being disposed of or donated to charity.

What should I tip?

Not only do we permit our driver-guides to accept tips/gratuity, but we encourage our guests to do so if they feel their day has exceeded expectations.

Our driver-guides are the hardest working employees in the business, often working long hours through testing environments.

They talk for pretty much the entire duration of their tours, study their own facts and stories, maintain their coaches to an impeccable cleanliness standard and share pieces of their lives with guests every day.

Where should I leave a review?

We’re pretty confident our driver-guides mentioned leaving us a review once, twice… or maybe even twelve…times while on tour because they are so very, very important to us.

As an independently owned business, the only way we have managed to get our name out above the other tour companies is because of word of mouth. It’s likely that before you booked your tour with us you even had a wee skim and noted our overwhelming number of 5-star reviews.

If you could, we’d really appreciate it if you could take a few moments to leave us a review in one or all of these places. Furthermore, be sure to include your driver-guides name so that we know who’s getting some extra carrots in their stocking at Christmas time!


How do I 'Join the Herd'?

‘The Herd’ is the phrase we like to use when referring to the collective group of people who have been on tour with us and who like to stay connected long after, either through sharing photographs or talking to one another about time spent in Scotland.

You can join us on all social media platforms and we encourage you to share everything about your trip. Don’t forget to tag #thehairycoo!


This is what our guests say about us

  • 5 star ratingFun day trip The best tour we have been on! Our guide was knowledgeable, genuinely hilarious and he was able to tell stories... read more

    Niranjhana N
  • 5 star ratingJust do it. Brian was my tour guide. Not only was he extremely knowledgeable, he was also entertaining. You can tell this man... read more

  • 5 star ratingWonderful Trip This tour was amazing! We were very lucky with the weather and had blue skies for most of the day.... read more

  • 5 star ratingGreat tour We had a great time touring with John. He kept us entertained during long drives and didn’t rush us at... read more

  • 5 star ratingExcellent way to see Scotland in a day! I took this tour yesterday and it was fabulous! Our guide Brian Smith was really passionate and told such interesting... read more


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