There are a few different companies that offer bus tours through the Highlands. Friends of mine used Rabbie’s and liked it, but I was intrigued by the 2-day route offered by Timberbush. Admittedly, I was most looking forward to going to Eilean Donan, which I’ll tell you about tomorrow!
Our bus driver/tour guide was a really lovely fellow with a rather overly dramatic Scottish accent (I’m going to be super embarrassed if that was his real accent, but I think he was defo playing it up because I didn’t meet a single other Scotsman who sounded like that). He sounded a bit like the guy who does the voiceover for Scott’s Turf Builder. The good news, is unlike people from Glasgow, he was super easy to understand – which is great since that is what you’re shelling out your hard-earned cash for. He passed the time by telling stories about Scotland – all of which were leading up to the next stop. For instance, before getting to Stirling, he was telling us about Braveheart and Mel Gibson. Before we got to Loch Ness, he was telling us about Nessie. He also stopped often for photo ops and didn’t talk too much (we weren’t ever annoyed by him).
Some of the places we went to on this tour (besides Eilean Donan) were Doune Castle (widely recognised by fans of Monty Python and the Holy Grail as the castle in the opening scenes and with the Trojan Rabbit), meeting Hamish the Highland Cow and the Commando Monument.
Timberbush Tours start and end in Edinburgh but they pick up in Glasgow and provide a free train ticket from Edinburgh Waverly to Glasgow, so it’s a pretty great option. For people to leave for the tour from either city. Another cool thing, is you get to pick what kind of accommodation you get for the night in Fort William – and pay accordingly. For adults, the tour is £84 (about $140) which I’ll admit is pretty pricey since the accommodation is extra (between £17-60 or $28-100). Children, seniors and students get a £4 break on the tour.
Even with it being rather expensive, I would say that it was worth the cost. The Highlands are definitely better seen by car and having someone to tell you the history of the places is pretty useful. Also, it’s not a large bus – I think they can fit a maximum of like 15 people. So it’s a pretty cool opportunity to get up close and personal with Scottish history and not just feel like a number on a bus.