The Hairy Coo is home of the world famous Ness Bus. Experience ‘SCOTLAND IN A DAY’ with fascinating historical tales of Heroes and Kings, the jaw-dropping scenery of Glencoe and Ben Nevis, and Monster Spotting at Loch Ness … All washed down with a ‘dram’ of our beloved Scotch Whisky! This tour is perfect to get a sample of the extraordinary wilderness of the Scottish Highlands, and see ‘Scotland in 1 Day’.
Glencoe & Loch Ness Tour Route Map:
You’ll leave Edinburgh at 08:00 am, and as you pass the fortress that is Stirling Castle, your Tour Guide will have you on the edge of your seat. Regaling you with tales of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, and the bloody battles fought out on these lands.
Before you know it, we’ve arrived at Deanston Whisky-Distillery, set within an 18th century Cotton Mill on the banks of the River Teith.
Ours is the only tour of Loch Ness and the Highlands which takes in a Whisky-Distillery visit, and your guide introduces you to the 10 craftsmen who made this single malt. If whisky is not your thing, skip the tour, and enjoy breakfast, or a coffee, at the distillery cafe, ‘The Coffee Bothy’.
“Would you like to try some of our single-malt?” you’re asked, after being shown around.
It’s still only 10 am, but what the heck? You’re on holiday! And this refreshing Scotch is 12-years aged, drawn from the River Teith’s crystal-clear waters. It’s too good to miss. Enjoy this wee dram as you anticipate the day ahead.
10:30 am, we enter The ‘Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park’ and The Hairy Coo bus weaves through hills, mountains and Glens.
“These remote places were once inhabited by Highland Clans,” your guide tells you along the way. “Not to mention Scotland’s most famous outlaw, Rob Roy Macgregor, AKA ‘The Scottish Robin Hood.’”
Relax and hear bloodthirsty stories of betrayal and revenge. As difficult as it is to believe, all these remarkable stories are true. If we spot some of our famous ‘Hairy/Highland Coos’, we might stop for a ‘selfie’.
After crossing the wilds of Rannoch Moor, one of Europe’s last great wildernesses, you arrive in beautiful Glencoe – setting for the 2012 movie Skyfall. And for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
More importantly, Glencoe was also the scene of one of Scotland’s most shocking massacres. As you gaze at the haunting hills, you notice the Glen is eerily silent. Something terrible happened here, in the 17th century. Your guide will recount one of the worst acts of betrayal you’ve ever heard. You can almost feel the sorrow in the mountains of the ‘weeping valley’.
Above all though, Glencoe is one of Scotland’s most beautiful landscapes. A highlight of any tour to the Scottish Highlands!
The tour then takes you through Fort William and you’re passing the spectacular Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in the British Isles. The ‘Nevis Range’ towers over the winding road as you continue your journey to Loch Ness.
“Soon, we’ll be stopping at Fort Augustus,” says your guide. It’s a charming little village on the banks of our most famous Loch.
2:15/30 pm: Loch Ness and Fort Augustus
Desperate for a glimpse of ‘Nessie’? St. Columba, an Irish monk, was one of the first people to record a sighting of the Loch’s infamous monster, back in the 6th century. And if you can’t trust a saint, who can you trust?!
1,500 years’ worth of recorded sightings of “The Water Horse” have made Loch Ness the most famous body of fresh water in the world. Why not see if you can spot ‘Nessie’ up close by taking the optional boat cruise from Fort Augustus? The sonar system on-board scans all 755-feet of the murky-depths, constantly searching for her presence, so you can relax and enjoy the views.
Alternatively, you can enjoy a spot of lunch in one of the many cafes, pubs and restaurants in Fort Augustus, take in the views of Loch Ness, and take a leisurely stroll along the gorgeous Caledonian Canal, which dates back to 1803.
You have around 2 hours to enjoy this enchanting village before heading to the Cairngorm National Park.
On route, we’ll stop at the Commando Memorial. In 1942, this setting became the training ground for Britain’s Special Forces. Harsh, unforgiving, and breathtakingly beautiful. A statue of our heroes overlooks the Nevis range. Bring a camera. This is undoubtedly one of our favourite photo-stops in all of Scotland.
Your driver takes you along the banks of Loch Laggan as we head for the Cairngorm National Park.
In the forests around The Cairngorms, you can see red squirrels. Roe deer, red deer, soaring buzzards, pine martens, golden eagles and osprey. too. If you’re lucky, you might even spot some of our magnificent wild-life during your drive south.
Our Highland adventure ends in the quiet, quaint village of Pitlochry, Perthshire. Queen Victoria was one of the town’s earliest visitors. She was so taken by its beauty, this has been a popular tourist attraction ever since.
As we re-enter Edinburgh from the North, you will be met with views of Scotland’s greatest piece of engineering, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Forth Bridge. This 19th century engineering marvel was at one point the World’s longest cantilever bridge. Today it neighbours the 20th century ‘Forth Road Bridge’, as well as the 21st century ‘Queensferry Crossing’ which opened in 2017. Three spectacular bridges, from three different centuries, span the Firth of Forth, connecting our Capital city and the Kingdom of Fife.
By 8:30 pm, you arrive back in central Edinburgh, guaranteed to feel the same as these happy visitors…
“Me and my husband enjoyed our day in the Ness Bus. Donald knows everything there is to know about the scenery, the history and the people involved…We learned a lot about the history of Schotland and he even throws in a personal story every now and then. We loved his sarcastic humor and would recommend this tour to anyone.”
– Lotte T, Amsterdam
“My first day in Edinburgh and can’t encourage you enough to get on a tour to explore the lowlands to the highlands. Whiskey tour and tasting at 10am was a bit naughty but educational, carried onto Loch Ness for a beautiful ferry cruise.. It’s a long tour 8am-8pm but Paddy our tour guide makes it fly buy with his hilarious story telling. Thanks for that experience!!”
– Rebekah S, Melbourne
So you can book now, guarantee your place for your preferred date, and cancel later if need be. Places fill fast for this trip.
Deacon’s House Cafe, 304 Lawnmarket, Edinburgh, post/zip:code EH1 2PS
Check in for your tour will begin at 7.45am with your Driver-Guide at the Bus Stop located outside the Deacon’s House Cafe, 304 Lawnmarket, and the bus will depart PROMPTLY at 8.00am. 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 whom are late, and it is YOUR responsibility to be at the Meeting Point by 7.45am at the latest.
A map of the departure point is below:
Tour Return Time / Location:
The tour will return to Edinburgh at approximately 8:00-8:30pm, and drop off at the same location as the Tour Departure Point in the morning (unless otherwise specified). Please note that throughout the Edinburgh International Festival (August), all tours will drop off at Waterloo Place near Waverley Train Station and NOT Lawnmarket, due to traffic restrictions.
LOOK OUT FOR YOUR BUS!:
For operational reasons, occasionally our ‘Hairy Coo’ bus is covered by Dark Blue ‘Ness Bus’ branded buses, which are 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.
Our ‘Easy-To-Cancel’ policy means that if your plans change, no problem, email us your booking details at least 3 days/72 hours before the tour departs, and we’ll cancel your booking and refund your money.
You can do this by emailing us at: firstname.lastname@example.org with full details of your booking, and a refund will be issued as soon as possible by our accounts department.
If you cancel your booking within 3 days of the tour departure time, a refund will only be issued if your booking/seats are resold. No refunds will be issued for any missed tour departures.