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Caledonian Canal

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Caledonian Canal: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe & Scottish Highlands Tour

From Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe & Scottish Highlands Tour

Depart Edinburgh on an air-conditioned luxury coach (max 57 seats). Pass Stirling Castle and hear your tour guide tell tales of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce and the bloody battles fought out on these lands. First, arrive at Callander town, nestled at the foot of the Trossachs. Next, drive through Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Your Scottish guide will tell you about Rob Roy MacGregor, the infamous Highlander. Follow in the footsteps of James Bond ("Skyfall") and Harry Potter ("Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban") as you travel to the stunning Highland valley of Glencoe. Hear the eerie story of the Clan MacDonald massacre of 1692. Travel through Fort William, home to Ben Nevis, which at 4,409 feet is the highest mountain of the British Isles. Arrive on the south bank of Loch Ness in the charming village of Fort Augustus, where lots of cafes, shops, and restaurants offer a relaxing lunch. Stroll along the banks of the Caledonian Canal, then experience Loch Ness on an optional 1-hour boat cruise. Try to catch a glimpse of "Nessie," the legendary Loch Ness Monster. Admire the impressive Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge with views of the Nevis Range. Enter the Cairngorms National Park and discover "Monarch of the Glen" country. Drive along Loch Laggan before the roads climb above the Grampian Mountains. Travel over the Pass of Drumochter, linking the northern and southern Central Highlands. Experience the majesty of a mountain pass created by glacial activity during successive Ice Ages. Finally, stop briefly in the beautiful Victorian town of Pitlochry before heading back to Edinburgh city center, arriving at approximately 8:30 PM. Please note, to meet demand and to prevent overcrowding in smaller Scottish towns, this tour will be provided in reverse in our peak season.

Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe & the Scottish Highlands Tour

Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe & the Scottish Highlands Tour

Head for the Highlands, whether in search of the Loch Ness Monster or just a scenic day trip from Edinburgh. After pickup, relax on our air-conditioned luxury coach and listen to the guide’s entertaining commentary and music as you’re driven through the highlands. Visit the Callander area for our first stop of the day, where you can get a coffee and may also get the opportunity to meet some of our famous Highland Cows (depending on the time of year). Next, we continue our adventure further into the highlands towards Glencoe. As we pass through, you will hear stories of the Clan massacres together with some atmospheric traditional music. There will be opportunity to pause briefly for a photo stop, where you can capture your very own breathtaking images and selfies of those unforgettable highland views. Arriving in the Fort William area we will stop for lunch, where your guide can advise you on options of where to eat. If you're interested in the mysteries of the kilt, you can even get a ‘wee’ kilt introduction here. After lunch, we are whisked away to the magical Loch Ness itself where you have options to customise what you do. Your guide will advise on the various optional activities. You could visit the 16th century, Urquart Castle which sits on the waters edge and hop on board a 30 min boat cruise in search of “Nessie”! Alternatively, you could choose not to visit the castle but take an extended 1-hour coat cruise on the Loch. The cruise offers outstanding views of both Loch Ness and the castle. You may prefer to spend your time simply exploring the area - such as the Old Coffin trail walk and view point that begins at the hotel car park where we stop or simply enjoy the views of Loch Ness from the pier where there is a souvenir shop and a café. Departing, we travel along the final section of the 23-mile Loch shoreline, passing through Inverness before turning south towards home. On the way home, we make a short snack stop in Pitlochry, a beautiful Victorian village in the heart of the country, before the final stage of the tour, returning to Edinburgh city centre around 20.30hrs. Top tip: to save time at the stops and ensure you get to make the most of every minute there, bring along a cold packed lunch!

Edinburgh: Loch Ness & Scottish Highlands Tour with Lunch

Edinburgh: Loch Ness & Scottish Highlands Tour with Lunch

Embark on a full-day guided trip to Loch Ness from Edinburgh and tour the Scottish Highlands. See the UK's highest mountain, Ben Nevis, keep an eye out for Nessie on a boat cruise and enjoy a picnic lunch. Head north from Edinburgh and pass the imposing ramparts of Stirling Castle. Skirt the Trossachs Rob Roy country, and cross the wilds of Rannoch Moor before stopping at dramatic Glen Coe; the scene of the infamous 1692 massacre.  Your journey takes you through Fort William. Pass Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain, before entering the Great Glen. Arrive at the pretty Highland village of Fort Augustus on the banks of Loch Ness, and enjoy a lovely picnic with freshly made sandwiches, shortbread, and chips. If you fancy something more substantial, your guide will happily recommend some great local cafes.  Take an optional boat cruise on the loch, go for a scenic hike, or just relax by the Caledonian Canal. If you choose to sail along the waters of Loch Ness, it really is an unforgettable experience. Your boat is equipped with the latest hi-tech color, sonar, and underwater imaging system, giving you a fascinating view of the underwater terrain and life. You might even see Nessie! You can also relax with a coffee or beer in the onboard bar. Having seen the best of the Scottish Highlands, it's time to head back to Edinburgh via shimmering Loch Laggan and the wild and lonely Drumochter Pass. Head south and enter Perthshire, a land of forests, rivers, and mountains. See the spectacular Forth Bridge before arriving back in Edinburgh at around 20:00.

Dochgarroch: Loch Ness and Caledonian Canal 2-Hour Cruise

Dochgarroch: Loch Ness and Caledonian Canal 2-Hour Cruise

Join this cruise for a round-trip sail to Urquhart Castle from Dochgarroch Lock. Your cruise sails from Dochgarroch Loch on the Caledonian Canal and heads to the heart of the mystery, where you’ll learn the fascinating story of Loch Ness. You will sail through parts of the Caledonian Canal, see Aldourie Castle, and more while enjoying the selection of hot and cold Scottish snacks on board. There is also a bar if you fancy a wee dram, and for those of you who like to stay connected, there is free Wi-fi onboard.

Glasgow: Loch Ness, Glencoe and Highlands Tour with Cruise

Glasgow: Loch Ness, Glencoe and Highlands Tour with Cruise

You depart Glasgow and travel towards the Highlands along the “bonnie, bonnie” banks of Loch Lomond. This is Scotland's largest loch and it takes its name from the mountain, Ben Lomond, on the eastern shore. You cross the ancient natural fault line that runs across Scotland and venture into the majestic Highlands where the scenery changes dramatically. The flat plains of the Lowlands transform into shimmering lochs, rugged mountains, and forest-filled glens. The alluring beauty makes it easy to forget this was once a battleground of the fiercely territorial Highland clans. Travelling north through Breadalbane (meaning the 'High Country of Scotland'), you climb towards Rannoch Moor. This 1000ft plain is covered by heather, peat bogs, and dozens of lochs. You’ll love how it contrasts with the spectacular mountain scenery of Buachaille Etive Mor (meaning 'the great shepherd of Etive'). You then head down to Scotland's most famous valley, Glencoe, where you’ll be mesmerised by the beautiful cliff faces and steep slopes. After Glencoe, you enter a deep glacial valley, known as the Great Glen. Passing through the town of Fort William you travel under Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis, before arriving at Fort Augustus on the shore of Loch Ness. Fort Augustus boasts the Caledonian Canal, which is a great spot to relax and watch the boats sail by. You stop here for one hour to give you time for lunch. After your lunch, you get the opportunity to take a five-star Cruise Loch Ness boat cruise from Fort Augustus*. Taking to the waters is the best chance you'll get to spot the monster and admire the beauty of this mysterious loch. You leave the scenic village and begin your journey back towards Glagsow, but not to worry, there are many lovely stops along the way for photos and views, including the quiant town of Pitlochry. You continue south through the forests of Perthshire before finally reaching Glasgow in the evening. *The Loch Ness boat cruise is weather dependent and may be cancelled without notice.

From Glasgow: Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands Tour

From Glasgow: Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands Tour

Embark on a full-day guided bus tour of the Scottish Highlands from Glasgow. Marvel at the wild beauty of the Scottish countryside and visit highlights, including Loch Lomond and Loch Ness. Head north towards the Highlands and admire the lush pastures of the Scottish countryside from an air-conditioned bus. Stop for a cup of tea or coffee at a café on the shores of Loch Lomond before ascending into the Highlands. Traverse the desolate landscape of Rannoch Moor and the Black Mount to Glencoe, the site of the 1692 massacre of the MacDonald clan. Learn about the events and history of the area from your guide. After lunch in the Fort William area, pass beneath Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, and into the Great Glen. At Loch Ness, opt for a sightseeing cruise on the loch or choose to admire the views from the shore. On your way back to Glasgow, cross the Grampian Mountains and admire the woodland scenery of Perthshire, including the Forest of Atholl.

From Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glenoce & The Highlands Day Tour

From Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glenoce & The Highlands Day Tour

Following pickup from central Edinburgh, you will head towards Stirling, catching views of the Castle and Wallace Monument as you venture to the Highlands. Visit Callander, and stop for morning coffee in this bustling town described as the gateway to the highlands. Head northwards over Rannoch Moor until you reach the dark, brooding Pass of Glencoe. Stop for lunch and free time nearby the Fort William area, then follow the Caledonian Canal up the Great Glen to Loch Ness. Here, you have some free time with the option to cruise on the Loch, or if you don't want to take the cruise you can relax in one of the bars or restaurants in the tranquil village or on the pier.  After Loch Ness you will head South East and take in magnificent views of Loch Laggan. On the way home, enjoy a refreshment stop in Pitlochry, a delightful Victorian resort town. Then, head south through Fife, and cross the Forth next to the amazing Forth Bridge, before arriving back in Edinburgh.

Fort William: Seal Spotting Loch Linnhe Cruise

Fort William: Seal Spotting Loch Linnhe Cruise

Embark on a boat tour of Loch Linnhe. Pass picturesque villages, seal, islands and a Caledonian forest. Hear live commentary from the skipper. Depart from Fort William's town pier and head towards the top of Loch Linnhe. See the charming village of Corpach which has Scotland's most instagrammed shipwreck. Marvel at islands teeming with birdlife. Sail over the entrance to the Caledonian canal. Admire traditional black houses, stunning glens, an ancient Caledonian forest, and salmon and mussel farms. Keep your eyes peeled for eagles, otters, and porpoises. Have the chance to purchase refreshments and from the crew. Get close to Black Rock for the chance to see seals and seal pups. Head back to Fort William.

From Inverness: Jacobite Steam Train and Highlands Tour

From Inverness: Jacobite Steam Train and Highlands Tour

Immerse yourself in the natural wonders of the Scottish Highlands and board the Jacobite Steam Train on a day trip from Inverness. Cross the Glenfinnan Viaduct for a scenic tour of Loch Ness and in the fishing town of Mallaig. Begin your journey by bus and drive along the world-famous Loch Ness, stopping for photos above the ruins of Urquhart Castle. Continue south and visit the Commando Memorial, overlooking the Nevis Range—home to the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis. Next, set your sights on the Jacobite Steam Train and hop on board at Fort William. Your journey through magnificent landscapes will end in the fishing port of Mallaig, where you can try fresh seafood for lunch (at your expense) or explore the town. Take the scenic ‘Road to the Isles’ and admire beautiful scenery as you ride to Fort Augustus, the Caledonian Canal, and Loch Ness. Finish your tour at Falls of Foyers and Dores Beach on the banks of Loch Ness.

From Inverness: Loch Ness and The Highlands Day Tour

From Inverness: Loch Ness and The Highlands Day Tour

Try to catch a glimpse of the Loch Ness Monster on this day trip from Inverness. Board an airconditioned coach and travel to iconic Highlands locations like Fort Augustus, the Caledonian Canal, and Invermoriston. 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.

Top Attractions in Scottish Highlands

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What people are saying about Caledonian Canal

Overall rating

4.6
(10,725 reviews)

Absolutely loved it! Stevie is a legend. Bus 1 is definitely VIP and all the others were on…Munro “L”. So much to see with great commentary and dad jokes. Grateful for the extra stops that we were able to pop into while doing everything on the list, even if there was a hold up on the motorway. Stevie deserves the best whiskey the Highlands has and a day off after he’s bottomed it. Will definitely be back to do another tour and would recommend TimerBush Tours to all, Cheers 🤟🏽

Noah was an awesome guide and we learned a lot from him!! He has a real skill and enthusiasm for this. We enjoyed his Scottish playlist too. We had a ton of fun and the scenery and history of the highlands is breathtaking. We really enjoyed our boat trip on Loch Ness, looking for Nessie. A perfect day for us :). Would highly recommend this tour and our guide Noah.

Very good trip. The only negative was that the guide was too Scottish, so that a lot of information was only partially understood. There was quite a lot of rather low "mumbling" at the end of the sentences. Better with a more distinct guide as far as oral information is concerned for non-Scottish participants.

Our guide John made the trip very interesting and dynamic! Telling us with passion different stories about Scotland history and legends

The tour is super interesting and John Guide told interesting stories about the history of Scotland and it was never boring