Armadale Castle & Gardens

Armadale Castle & Gardens: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Edinburgh: Isle of Skye & The Highlands 3-Day Tour

1. From Edinburgh: Isle of Skye & The Highlands 3-Day Tour

Our Skye High tour is the perfect way for travelers short on time to see most of Scotland. In just three days, go hunting for the Loch Ness Monster, see ruined castles and stunning lochs, and listen to Celtic myths in a proper Highland pub. Leaving Edinburgh at 8:00 AM, take in views of the spectacular Forth Bridges and journey north to Macbeth County. Visit the quaint village of Dunkeld with its historic cathedral sitting on the banks of the River Tay. Drive further into the Highlands and enter the Great Glen. Stop at Fort Augustus on the banks of Loch Ness and search for a glimpse of the legendary beast. Our journey to the Isle of Skye passes one of the most photographed castles in Scotland – Eilean Donan. Our home for the night is the small village of Portree on the Isle of Skye. (Overnight: Portree) Today we explore the Isle of Skye, also known as the ‘Misty Isle’: a bucket-list destinations thanks to its heart-stopping scenery. This wee island is packed with ruined castles, breathtaking views, and faerie stories. Home to the legendary MacLeod and MacDonald Clans, hear Celtic myths and Viking legends from the past millennia. Explore the windswept landscape, coastline, and mountain ranges. In the afternoon, explore Dunvegan Castle, the ancestral home of the Chiefs of Clan MacLeod before returning to Portree. Summer itinerary, April to mid-October. Our first stop of the day is the beautiful Armadale Castle, Gardens, and Museum of the Isles before taking the ferry to the west coast fishing village of Mallaig. Have the option to be a wizard for the day and board the Jacobite Steam Train aka “Hogwarts Express” to Fort William, one of the most spectacular railway journeys in the world and a must for all Harry Potter fans. The train crosses the Glenfinnan Viaduct where a monument to Bonnie Prince Charlie’s campaign now stands. We head south through the dramatic scenery of Glencoe, wild Rannoch Moor then the heart of Rob Roy country before arriving back in Edinburgh at approximately 8:30 PM.

Isle of Skye and Outer Hebrides 6-Day Tour from Edinburgh

2. Isle of Skye and Outer Hebrides 6-Day Tour from Edinburgh

Day 1: Edinburgh to Inverness. Depart Edinburgh at 8:30 AM and head north towards Bannockburn, which is the site of the famous battle won by outlaw king Robert the Bruce. Learn about William Wallace as you pass Stirling Castle. Catch a glimpse of Doune Castle, which appears in Monty Python & the Holy Grail, Outlander, and Game of Thrones. Soak up the atmospheric scenery in Glencoe. Look out for Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest mountain, on your journey toward Loch Ness. Learn about the legend of the ‘Nessie’ the Loch Ness monster then continue onto Inverness. Arrive around 5:30 PM and spend free time enjoying a walk along the River Ness or to Inverness Castle for views of the city. Then you can wander around the various bars and restaurants.  Day 2: Inverness to Stornoway. Begin your day with fresh air and stunning scenery at Black Water Falls. Continue north along a beautiful stretch of road then take to the water on the ferry from Ullapool to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis. Keep an eye out for dolphins along the way. Explore the remote and rugged Atlantic coastline of Lewis. Visit the Butt of Lewis, the most northerly point on the island, to see the isolated lighthouse and dramatic force of the sea against the cliffs. Return to the main town of Stornoway for the night. Day 3: Stornoway. Prepare for an exciting day touring the cultural attractions on the Isle of Lewis. First, go back to the Neolithic period as you visit the mysterious 5000-year old Callanish Standing Stones. Then fast-forward to the Iron Age at the broch of Dun Carloway. Experience 17th century island life at the Gearrannan Blackhouse Village and unwind with a wee dram of whisky at Abhainn Dearg, which is the most westerly distillery in Scotland. Spend free time back in Stornoway. You can wander around the pretty harbour and go in search of fresh seafood in the local restaurants.  Day 4: Stornoway to Portree. Depart Stornoway and drive south towards the idyllic Isle of Harris. Marvel at the flawless white sand beaches with turquoise sea and a backdrop of mountains on West Harris. Board the ferry and go over the sea to the Isle of Skye, where you will spend the afternoon exploring the Trotternish peninsula. Soak up the enchanting scenery and learn about the island’s myths and legends. Arrive at your final stop, Portree, in time to enjoy dinner in one of the town’s restaurants. Day 5: Portree. Enjoy a magical day of island exploration on the Isle of Skye. Hear about the island’s resident fairies on a stop at one of the famous Fairy Bridges. Visit the enchanted waters of the Sligachan River, with views of the old bridge and the breathtaking Cuillin mountains. Drive over the Skye bridge to the iconic and absolutely beautiful Eilean Donan Castle. This castle was used in the filming of Highlander and James Bond, The World is Not Enough. Spend free time back in Portree visiting the shops, restaurants, and picturesque harbour with its colourful facades. Day 6: Portree to Edinburgh. Explore more of the beautiful Isle of Skye before taking the ferry to the west coast fishing village of Mallaig on the west coast. Experience one of the most spectacular railway journeys in the world and travel over the Glenfinnan Viaduct on the Jacobite Steam Train, made famous by Harry Potter. Take the scenic route back to the city, through the Cairngorms National Park. Arrive into Edinburgh around 8:30 PM. 

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What people are saying about Armadale Castle & Gardens

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 40 reviews

This trip met, and even exceeded, our expectations. We're usually not big fans of organized bus trips. However, when faced with limited time, this option made perfect sense. This tour gives you a perfect feel for the beauty and history of Scotland from the Highlands to the Outer Hebrides. Highland Explorer Tours does a phenomenal job in creating a wonderful experience. Our tour guide (Caitlyn Burnett) was truly exceptional. She deftly drove our mini bus while narrating our trip with a lovely mix of rich history and funny anecdotes. She is professional and courteous, and has a youthful exuberance with a wicked sense of humor. Of course, one must realize even one unruly or rude fellow passenger can ruin a trip. We were lucky to be among a group of likeminded and laid-back souls. We can heartily recommend this tour.

Amazing scenery and very knowledgeable driver/guide. Seafood was also top notch. Our tour bus guide/driver did the most amazing job of driving us, picking up ferry and train tickets and making sure we were booked in easily to all accommodation and any event we had booked. I would love to go back and would certainly request the same driver as Rich was very knowledgeable about the area and the historical events. Dont drive be driven and then use your energy to sight see. Way to go from booking and talking with the office staff to enjoying the route from start to finish.

We had a really nice trip in a small group of 7 participants, which was great! We got to see so many beautiful places, Jo P. knew so much about all the places we visited and passed by in the bus. It was the perfect mix of doing things together and time for ourself to explore the nature. Jo asked us to write down some songs we would like to hear on our last day in the bus - loved that :) (But music was nice anyway on our journey)

Great tour to take if you want to really explore the Highlands. Thomas was an excellent guide as well - humorous and personable. Glencoe and the Isle of Skye were just beautiful. Unfortunately due to the time in season and dates, some of the activities were cancelled (distillery tour, museums, etc). Regardless, the tour is fun if you want to meet new people and get some great photos of the landscape!

Fantastic experience! A must see in Scotland. Our knowledgeable tour guide Charlie went above and beyond to make sure the whole bus enjoyed the tour and seen as much