Please note that between April-October this tour runs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays only. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays our ‘Highland Lochs, Castles & Whisky Tour‘ runs as an alternative. In addition, this trip also gives you the option of taking a tour of Stirling Castle and Deanston Whisky Distillery, as well as visiting our famous herd of ‘Hairy Coos’!
The ORIGINAL Scottish Highlands Hairy Coo Tour started it all off back in 2010! Follow in the footsteps of Scottish Heroes, Kings and Queens on this marvellous FREE 1-day adventure from Edinburgh (£45 value).
Visit the REAL Highlands, away from the crowds. On this magnificent Highland adventure, you’re shown around by a real local. You’ll see “off-the-beaten-track” places other tourists never visit. Hear stories they’re never told. And you’ll leave with an experience of Scotland that’s impossible to forget.
We believe EVERYONE should have the opportunity to experience the beauty and history of the Scottish Highlands, regardless of their budget, which is why we run this tour for FREE!
The obvious question you’re asking is, “What’s the catch?”
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 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. NO CATCH!
…your journey begins when we depart Edinburgh at 8:45am. By 9:15, we’ve reached the village of South Queensferry.
Gaze in astonishment at the Forth Bridge. Tragically, 57 people lost their lives building this 8,094 ft engineering masterpiece. It opened in March 1890, in the presence of Gustave Eiffel (of Eiffel Tower fame), and it’s said he proclaimed this bridge to be “…the 8th wonder of the World!” Sacre Bleu!
“And you think that’s impressive?” says your guide. “Wait until you see what’s next…”
10:30am: National Wallace Monument, Stirling
Feel the earth under your feet at the National Wallace Monument. And look at the stunning views of Stirling Castle! This is the same ground where Sir William Wallace sprung his ingenious trap…slaughtered Edward I’s armies as they crossed the perilous Stirling Bridge, and took Stirling back from the English. “FREEEDOOOOM!”
11:45am: Lake of Menteith
On a lonely island in The Lake of Menteith, this priory was a final refuge for the 4-year-old Mary “Queen of Scots.” Henry VIII’s armies marched by unknowingly. Also the final resting place of one of the most interesting men in Scottish history, Robert Cunninghame Graham aka ‘Don Roberto’, a friend of ‘Buffalo Bill’. We’ll leave that story, and many others, for the tour itself.
12:15pm: Historic Aberfoyle
At the Highland village of Aberfoyle, you stop for lunch and see the scenes that inspired him. There are fabulous cafes, pubs and restaurants. But if you’re anything like me, you’ll want a haggis and cheesy mash pie from the local Deli/Bakery, and a park bench to take in the views.
After lunch, ramble the Glen of Trossachs before meeting a few of the locals. Now, when I say “locals,” I mean cows. Enormous, hairy, ginger cows. These magnificent yak-like creatures are native to Scotland, and they love a good selfie. Depending on the season and the weather, you might take a short forest walk to see a little-known, but absolutely stunning local waterfall.
2:30pm: Loch Katrine
Step into Sir Walter Scott’s poem The Lady of the Lake, which was inspired by this beautiful place. The loch derives its name from the term cateran from the Scots’ Gaelic ceathairne, a collective word meaning “cattle-thief”, the most famous of them all who was ‘Rob Roy MacGregor’, the Scottish ‘Robin Hood’. Your guide will tell you all about this Scottish hero/villain (depending on whose version of history you believe!)
3:45pm: Doune Castle
Finally, step back in time at Doune Castle. This 14th Century Castle has been a setting on Outlander, Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Game of Thrones. Almost all of the stonework is original. If you venture inside, you’ll see one of the best-preserved Great Halls in Scotland.
What would this experience be worth to you?
Well, it’s FREE to book the tour. So what have you got to lose?
Deacon’s House Cafe, 304 Lawnmarket, Edinburgh, post/zip:code EH1 2PS
Check in for your tour will begin at 8.30am with your Driver-Guide at the Bus Stop located outside the Deacon’s House Cafe, 304 Lawnmarket, and the bus will depart PROMPTLY at 8.45am. Seats are unreserved and allocated on a first-come, first served basis upon check-in. Therefore, we recommend that you arrive in plenty of time.
PLEASE NOTE: We CANNOT wait for guests who are late, and it is YOUR responsibility to be at the Meeting Point by 8.40am at the latest.
A map of the departure point is below:
Tour Return Time/Location:
The tour will return to Edinburgh at approximately 6:00pm, and will drop off at a central location in Edinburgh city centre.
LOOK OUT FOR YOUR BUS!:
For operational reasons, occasionally our ‘Hairy Coo’ bus is covered by Dark Blue ‘Ness Bus’ branded buses, which is to the same high standard as our ‘Hairy Coo’ buses. In the event of a ‘Ness Bus’ bus being used a ‘Hairy Coo’ poster/sign will be visible on the front windows next to the passenger door. Please LOOK OUT for any of the buses below.
As we want to fill the tour with lots of great sights, the bus will depart at the designated times and CANNOT wait or return for guests – please be at the departure point AT LEAST 15 MINUTES before the scheduled departure time to check-in.
Due to the unique nature of the FREE Scottish Highlands Tour, the minimum age on this specific tour is 12 years old. Children aged 7 years or older are permitted to travel on the similar 1-Day Highland Lochs, Castles & Whisky Tour, the 1-Day Loch Ness, Glencoe & Whisky Tour and the 3-Day Isle of Skye, Highlands & Inverness Tour. We DO NOT carry children under 7 years’ of age on ANY of our tours
For groups of 5 people or more, please email us with your booking request (Group Size; Names, Ages, Date of Tour) at: email@example.com and we will let you know whether we can accommodate you on a particular tour date. Please note that groups larger than 4 can be accommodated by request only and unauthorised bookings may be cancelled by the operator.
If your preferred tour date is FULL, or there aren’t enough seats available for your group, don’t panic! We regularly get late cancellations, and people who’ve booked, who don’t show for the tour. Keep checking the site to see if more seats become available.
Alternatively, you are free to turn up without a reservation on the morning of any tour departure. Any empty seats shall be allocated on a ‘first-come, first served’ basis by our representative from 8:30 a.m. onwards. Due to high demand, we recommend booking, in order to guarantee your seat/s.
If you are unable to take the tour/trip booked and wish to cancel your booking without charge, please note you should notify us in writing AT LEAST 72 hours (3 days) before the tour departure time. You can do this by emailing us at: firstname.lastname@example.org with full details of your booking, and we will confirm your cancellation by return email.
If you notify us that you wish to cancel your booking within 72 hours of the tour departure time, we will strive to fill your previously booked seat/s as best we can, in order to avoid any fees or charges. Please note that there is a charge of £19 per person for anybody who does not show up/take the tour and has not contacted us 72 hours in advance to cancel. This goes some way to cover the costs of us running the bus with empty seats.