Inverness
Castle & Palace Tours

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Our most recommended Inverness Castle & Palace Tours

From Inverness: Isle of Skye and Eilean Donan Castle Tour

1. From Inverness: Isle of Skye and Eilean Donan Castle Tour

Explore the Isle of Skye from Inverness and marvel at some of the most dramatic landscapes Scotland has to offer. See Loch Ness, visit Eilean Donan Castle, Portree, Kilt Rock, and much more. Depart Inverness and travel South, along the shoreline of Loch Ness to Invermoriston. Stop for a short break at Loch Ness which is 24 miles long, over 700ft deep, famous for its sightings of the Loch Ness monster. Continue to the picturesque Eilean Donan Castle, situated on its own island at the head of Loch Duic. Take time to explore one of Scotland’s most photographed castles and its atmospheric surroundings. Journey to the Isle of Skye, passing over the Skye Bridge and on to the small village of Portree for a lunchtime stop. Portree, although a small harbor village, is the capital of Skye, and is surrounded by rocky cliffs and rolling hills. Take in its beautiful surroundings while enjoying lunch with views of the boats. Begin touring the island with stops at Kilt Rock, Lealt Falls, the Old Man of Storr, and perhaps Strome Viewpoint.

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From Glasgow: Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands Tour

2. From Glasgow: Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands Tour

From Glasgow, travel north towards the Scottish highlands. Our first stop is for a cup of tea or coffee at a café on the shores of Loch Lomond. We then climb up into the Highlands over the unique, desolate landscape of Rannoch Moor and the Black Mount to Glencoe, site of the 1692 massacre of the MacDonald clan. After lunch in the Fort William area, we continue beneath Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis and into the Great Glen. At Loch Ness, take a 1-hour cruise on the loch or enjoy the beautiful views at its shores. Begin your return journey from Inverness, Capital of the Highlands. Before arriving back in Glasgow, we will cross the Grampian Mountains and the woodland scenery of Perthshire, including the Forest of Atholl.

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From Inverness: Complete Loch Ness 1-Day Experience

3. From Inverness: Complete Loch Ness 1-Day Experience

Depart Inverness and journey to the deep freshwater lake of Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands, where, on arrival, you will head to the Clansman Hotel for an optional boat trip across the water. Cruise around the loch for stunning views of the surrounding scenery, and get the chance to see Urquhart Castle from a different perspective. Look for the legendary Loch Ness Monster to work up an appetite, and then enjoy a delicious lunch at a nearby restaurant. Venture on with a gentle drive to Invermoriston, where you can go on a scenic stroll that showcases flowing rivers, an ancient summerhouse and the ruins of a picturesque stone bridge. Continue to the wee village of Fort Augustus, nestled between Loch Ness and the 60-mile Caledonian Canal. Journet back towards Inverness, stopping for short walks and coffee breaks at the scenic villages of Foyers and Dores before your estimated arrival in Inverness at 5:00 PM.

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From Inverness: Skye & Eilean Donan Castle Small-Group Tour

4. From Inverness: Skye & Eilean Donan Castle Small-Group Tour

Travel in style in a Mercedes minicoach and hear about Scotland's turbulent past from your knowledgeable guide. Marvel at the views of the mountains of Wester Ross on the drive to Eilean Donan Castle. Visit the castle before traveling over the bridge to Skye. Head through the mountainous heart of the island before arriving in the harbor town of Portree for lunch. After lunch the drive takes you around the Trotternish Peninsula. The guide will point out landmarks, including the Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock and Quiraing. Make your way back through majestic Glen Shiel, along the shores of Loch Clunie. The final part of the trip takes you along the banks of mighty Loch Ness.

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From Inverness: Isle of Skye Scenery Tour with Fairy Pools

5. From Inverness: Isle of Skye Scenery Tour with Fairy Pools

Depart from a central meeting point in Inverness, where you will meet your guide and board the mini-bus. First, stop at Eilean Donan Castle and take plenty of photos as you admire the majestic beauty of this iconic sight in its wonderful coastal location. Upon arrival in Portree, make your way to the harbor viewpoint where you can see the pretty pastel-colored houses. Enjoy a short stop here, where you can also purchase a light lunch. Next, stop at a loch-side viewpoint, and discover the unique rock formation of the Old Man of Storr. See the 50-meter high pinnacle that juts out from the Trotternish Ridge and is recognizable from blockbuster films including Ronin 47, Snow White & The Huntsman, Prometheus, and The BFG. Continue to Kilt Rock, an exposed sea cliff that resembles the traditional Highland kilt. Be amazed by the imposing waterfall that cascades 60ft (180m) into the Sound of Raasay below. Visit the Quiraing landslip on the eastern face of Meall na Suiramach. On a clear day, see the Outer Hebrides and the Scottish mainland, framed by pinnacles, cliffs, and great buttresses. Enjoy some time for a short hike at this scenic location. Continue to the Fairy Pools, a series of crystal clear waterfalls and pools surrounded by the stunning backdrop of the Cuillin Mountain. Finally, stop for some photos of Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness. Admire the sight of the castle on a distinctive peninsula jutting out onto the mysterious Loch Ness, before heading back to Inverness.

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From Edinburgh: Outlander Experience 2-Day Tour

6. From Edinburgh: Outlander Experience 2-Day Tour

Day 1 Your first visit will be Blackness Castle overlooking the Firth of Forth. The castle was used as the backdrop for Fort William and then Wentworth Prison (or as it in known, Linlithgow Palace). Onwards to Doune Castle, better known as Castle Leoch, home to Colum Mackenzie. The castle has also made appearances in the Monty Python and the Holy Grail film. Stop for lunch and a taste of whisky at the charming little distillery of Deanston. Next, into the Highlands and through Glen Coe with a quick stop at Loch Ness before arriving at your overnight in Inverness. Day 2 Step back in time 4000 years ago at Clava Cairns, the inspiration for Craigh na Dun. Then, continue to Culloden Battlefield, the scene of the last battle fought on British soil. Discover a living history at the Highland Folk Museum and its various time period scenes. Relive one of the first scenes when Jamie's ghost looks up in Claire's room at Outlander's Inverness: Falkland Village. Finally, explore the outside of Lallybroch at Midhope Castle. There will be a quick photo stop before arriving back in Edinburgh.

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

7. From Edinburgh: 3-Day Isle of Skye and The Highlands Tour

Day 1: Departing Edinburgh, we will take our first short drive heading north and stop at the mysterious Kelpies. Scotland’s largest piece of outdoor art depicting mythical creatures of Scotland’s folklore that your driver will tell you all about. We’ll then continue on our journey and pass Stirling Castle. Be inspired by tales from your guide of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. Continuing north, into the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, admire the scenery as your tour guide explains the remarkable tribal clan history of the Highlands. Discover beautiful Glencoe, the most famous valley in Scotland, and hear of its tragic history. Admire the spectacular Glenfinnan Viaduct then head north and arrive on the southern banks of Loch Ness to get photos of the infamous monster Nessie! Stop for photos of Urquhart Castle before arriving in Inverness, the Capital of the Highlands, where you'll stay for 2 nights, choosing from a local guesthouse, hostel, or hotel. Day 2: After breakfast, depart Inverness and drive across the Kessock Bridge to the Black Isle and marvel at the spectacular scenery of Achnasheen and Loch Carron. Arriving on the Isle of Skye, venture north to explore the highlights of the island, including; the Cuillin Mountains, Trotternish Peninsula, Portree, the Old Man Storr, Kilt Rock and the famous Quiraing. In late afternoon, stop for photographs of the most beautiful castle in Scotland, 'Eilean Donan Castle'. Backdrop to many famous films, such as 'Highlander' and 'Made of Honor', this castle is another must-see iconic landmark! A scenic drive through stunning Glen Shiel follows, returning to Inverness to stay your final night. In the evening, visit a local Highland Pub to drink some Scotch whisky or beer and eat some traditional Scottish food, whilst listening to some local musicians perform. Day 3: Visit Culloden Battlefield, site of the last Jacobite Rising, then 'Clava Cairns', incredible 4,000-year-old, Bronze-Age standing stones. Travelling south, stop at the Highland Folk Museum. Here you'll experience highland life in the 17th century. See the buildings, the clothes and weapons, and how people lived 300 years ago. Then, drive through the dramatic Cairngorm National Park. You will have the chance to experience Dalwhinnie Scotch Whiskey-Distillery for an optional tasting tour before you visit the historic Dunkfeld Cathedral on the banks of the mighty River Tay. Your journey back to Edinburgh takes you across the famous Forth Bridges.

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4-Day Outlander Trail From Edinburgh

8. 4-Day Outlander Trail From Edinburgh

Leave Edinburgh and begin following the trail of the best-known film locations featured in the Outlander TV Series. Your first stop is the charming village of Culross. You continue to the small town of Falkland to relive the first scenes of the show, where Falkland substitutes for 1940s Inverness. In the early afternoon you stop at the Newtonmore Highland Folk Museum, which houses replicas of 18th century turf-roofed Highland crofts. These were used as a setting in the first episode of the show. You then pass Aviemore, where you may recognise the stunning hilly and wooded area of Tulloch Ghru. You arrive in Inverness later that afternoon, which will be your base for the next two nights.  Day 2 starts by visiting Culloden, which plays an important role in Scottish history and the Outlander books. It’s at the Culloden Battlefield where Claire and Jamie said their tearful goodbyes, before Jamie joined the Jacobite army to fight for the Stuarts. You have the opportunity to explore the visitor center and site, and pay tribute to those who lost their lives at the last battle fought on British soil. You then take a short drive to the ancient standing stones at Clava Cairns. After lunch, head continue to Castle Leod, “home of the Clan MacKenzie”, where you can enjoy a relaxing walk. The castle resembles the way that Diana Gabaldon described Castle Leoch, though she had never heard of this building prior to writing Outlander. A short drive takes you to Beauly, the site of Beauly Priory and the tomb of Lord Lovat in the heart of Clan Fraser lands. Beauly priory is a beautiful 13th-century ruin and where the Lovat Frasers are buried in Diana Gabaldon’s book. In the afternoon, you can sample ‘The Water of Life’ with a whisky distillery tour and tasting. Afterwards, return to Inverness with time to explore the town and enjoy the city for another evening. Day 3 starts with a visit to the majestic Glen Affric. Lochs, mountains and pine forests: this is one of Scotland’s most glorious glens. You then continue along the entire length of Loch Ness and through the Great Glen before heading to Glenfinnan. It stands framed by typically spectacular Highland scenery and bedside a section of the Jacobite Steam Train railway line famously used as the Hogwarts Express in Harry Potter. Your overnight stop is in Fort William underneath the shadow of Britain’s tallest mountain, Ben Nevis. Day 4 begins with a magnificent drive through Glencoe, across the rugged Trossachs area onto Doune Castle. The castle is an extensive ruin that represents Castle Leoch in the TV program. Later, you have a photo stop at Blackness Castle on the banks of the Firth of Forth. This was used as the set for Fort William in the show and appears in many other movies because of its beautiful setting and thickly fortified walls. After your medieval adventure, you'll return to Edinburgh in the early evening.

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Inverness: Glenfinnan, Mallaig and Loch Ness Tour

9. Inverness: Glenfinnan, Mallaig and Loch Ness Tour

See some superb Highland sights on this 1-day excursion from Inverness, and keep an eye out for the Loch Mess monster. Begin your day out from Inverness, by hopping on board the coach and heading for Urquhart Castle. Spend time for refreshments and photos at the Castle, located on the banks of Loch Ness. From Mallaig, travel to Fort Augustus for a refreshing break, and then to Commando Memorial for a photo stop before heading for the beautiful Glenfinnan Viaduct, well known for the Hogwarts Express Harry Potter Train. Enjoy an hour here to soak up the atmosphere, and get your camera ready for a photo of the train when it crosses the bridge. Then, travel westwards on the picturesque Road to the Isles and arrive in the harbour village of Mallaig in time for lunch. Spend time exploring its harbour and beautiful sea views. From Mallaig, travel to Fort Augustus for a refreshment break, and then on to the Falls of Foyers; an impressive waterfall. Your final stop of the day is Dores Beach; located at the north of Loch Ness. Pause here for time to explore its sandy beach and go Nessie hunting, before returning to Inverness.

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From Inverness: Loch Ness and The Highlands Tour

10. From Inverness: Loch Ness and The Highlands Tour

Leave Inverness in the morning and follow the beautiful Caledonian Canal to its source at Loch Ness. The loch is home to the famous Loch Ness monster, affectionately known as Nessie. You'll spend most of the morning at Loch Ness, allowing plenty of time to look for Nessie. Choose to take a 5-star cruise across the loch to Urquhart Castle. If you’d rather see the loch from the shore, then stay on board the bus and your driver will take you to Urquhart Castle. Explore the ruins of the castle, enjoy the visitor center, and soak up the atmosphere of Scotland’s most famous Loch. Your tour continues to Invermoriston, where you'll pause to take photos of the bridge and Columbus Well. Afterwards, journey to Fort Augustus, the furthermost point of your full-day Highlands tour. Fort Augustus is a small town of only 650 people and a perfect spot to watch boats passing through the Caledonian Canal while you enjoy your lunch. After lunch you'll begin the journey back to Inverness, stopping at the Falls of Foyers. The waterfall was a favorite retreat for poet Rabbie Burns, and is truly breathtaking. Enjoy plenty of time here to appreciate the landscape before continuing on to Dores to see Dores Beach. Spend a short while wandering the sandy shoreline before boarding the bus for the final time and returning to Inverness.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Inverness

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What people are saying about Inverness

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 1,171 reviews

This was so worth it! This is the perfect guided tour if your traveling solo and kind of want to relax, meet people, see some beautiful landscapes and learn about Scottish history. Our tour guid was the absolute best! He told us stories and history of Scotland. He played traditional and modern Scottish music as well. It didn’t feel like I was in school, in history class. He made it intriguing, exciting and engaging. Since it was really overcast and in winter with very little time for sunlight, he took us to extra little spots in isle of sky. It was definitely worth it. Not even the rain, clouds or crazy winds can ruin this tour. This was definitely the highlight of my trip!

The tour was amazing! We saw so many things & our guide Ray always had a good story to tell about these places. The music he played was also fantastic. Wishing it was longer than a day and will definitely use Timberbush’s services again!

An eventful day! So worth it—many stops, perfect amount of sitting and then getting out of the bus. The stories are incredible, our guide Ray was our favorite part!

Excellent tour with an experienced guide! Very fun and never a boring moment, the music Ray played while driving through the scenery was very cathartic!

It was enjoyable and the driver was helpful and funny. Meal stops were short and not much option so best to bring your own food/snacks.