Escaping the city to visit Highlands… and meet some ‘coos’

I wrote previously that we spend long weekend in early April in Edinburgh and chose the get out of the city for two days. We booked online two different one-day tours to learn more of the country, history and people during our visit as well as to avoid driving on the wrong side of the road 😉

Our first tour was Hairy Coo Free Highland tour promising us a one day adventure out of the city to see the real highlands and away from the crowds. The cute orange bus “Daisy” started from the center of the old town on Lawnmarket and we were lucky to get three guides for the trip (one of the founders as the main guide and two more in training). The tour took all day and we heard great stories and tales from Scottish history and life  today. I don’t want to spoil anything by quoting too much of the stories and rather let the pictures tell of the places we saw.

At the end of the tour all participants could choose themselves how much they wished to pay for the tour (in tips), as it was Free Tour. I my opinion this tour was very good and it delivered as promised a great day outside the city. I enjoyed the stories told by the guide and especially loved meeting some “locals”, highland cattle, up close.

Sheeps.jpg

Our second tour was with NessBus (through Hairy Coo) and headed to Loch Ness and back. This was also a whole day tour and a bit longer than the Highlands Tour. The drive itself up to Lock Ness (Fort Augustus takes without stops almost 4 hours) from Edinburgh meaning this tour was a lot of sitting in the buss and looking at views. The guide was good and kept telling us stories of the places we drove by as well as history of Scotland with its Kings and Queens, continuous battles with England and tales of Rob Roy MacGregor (the Scottish Robin Hood).

NessBus.jpg

We started they day in Deanston Distillery learning about whiskey and getting to taste some the distillery’s 12 year old scotch.

After few hour drive we had a two hour break in Fort Augustus to take a cruise on Loch Ness and try to see the monster. On the boat we heard more about all the monster chases and evidence they have gathered of it during the years. On our way back I admit taking a nap in the bus as it had been long day 😉

I did enjoy this tour also though the day schedule felt quite rushed, which is understandable do to long drive to Loch Ness. Of these two tours if I only wanted to use one day to visit outside of Edinburgh I would have to choose the Free Highland Tour and reserve more than a day to drive and visit Loch NessNessie

All in all I also have to admit that I loved Scotland and am already planning a new visit to see more of its castles and beautiful nature.

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