Let our team of experts help you get the most out of your time in Scotland by putting together a customised tour to meet your specific needs, whatever the size of your party, your budget or your timescale!
Private tours are the ideal thing for groups, families, friends, study groups or corporate guests.
With our private tours, you get your own vehicle and guide all to yourself, with a custom itinerary designed to meet your exact requirements! No request is too large or too small! Let us help you experience Scotland your way.
Why should you pick a private tour?
- It’s all about you – A custom private tour with Highland Experience lets you create and plan your tour just how you want it. You will get your own guide and vehicle so you get to experience Scotland the way you want to.
- Easy planning – You get a dedicated member of our team who will be with you throughout the whole planning stage to ensure you get your dream tour of Scotland.
- We take care of the details – We can do as much or as little as you like. Whether it’s booking accommodation or attractions or even just ensuring there’s a table waiting for you at dinner time — we’re here to make sure everything is taken care of, so you can focus on experiencing Scotland at its best!
When it’s your first time visiting Scotland, it’s hard to know exactly what to see, so knowing what you’re interested in helps us help you! Do you like castles, whisky, history, culture, beautiful scenery? Here are a few sample itineraries to get you thinking:
1-day Outlander Tour
Let your driver guide transport you away from the 21st Century and travel back in time to the Fraser family home at Lallybroch (Midhope Castle). After a photo stop there, you will be whisked off to the location of ‘Fort William’, also known as Blackness Castle and actually a 15th Century fortress in a stunning location where you will be treated to sweeping views of the Firth of Forth and over to the Kingdom of Fife.
Next, you are off to jail! Wentworth Prison is actually Linlithgow Palace, which in reality was birthplace to several Scottish monarchs including Mary Queen of Scots. The Palace fell into disrepair when King James VI moved the royal court to London, but the ruins remain for you to explore.
Your next stop will be Doune Castle, or as you may know it, Castle Leoch, the seat of Clan Mackenzie. Let Jamie Fraser guide you around the castle as you enjoy an audio tour narrated by Sam Heughan. Doune Castle is rich in history, dating back to the 14th Century, and has been a hunting lodge as well as a royal retreat. It has also been used for the filming of Monty Python & the Holy Grail, as well as featuring in Game of Thrones.
Continue your journey to the lovely town of Culross, which you will probably best remember as Cranesmuir from season 1. As you explore the narrow streets you will find it easy to imagine what life was like in the 18th Century.
As you make your way back to the present day, your journey will take you across the Firth of Forth on one of the Forth Bridges as you make your way back into Edinburgh.
6-day Outlander Tour
We’ll say goodbye to Scotland’s capital Edinburgh and journey to the nearby Black Ness Castle. A perfect viewpoint for the Firth of Forth and often referred to as ‘the ship that never sailed’, this 15th-century castle stood in for Fort William in Outlander. As you explore this castle at your own pace you may be reminded of Jamie’s heart-wrenching incarceration.
Next we’ll visit Linlithgow and Wentworth Prison or Linlithgow Palace; the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots, you’ll have time to wander the grounds of this impressive building and admire its ornate architecture or tour within if you’d prefer. Stirling Castle, one of the largest and most important castles in Scotland, you would need at least 2 hours & lunch time
We continue on to Doune Castle, which plays a starring role in the show; Castle Leoch home of Colum MacKenzie and his clan. You might also remember it from as Castle Anthrax from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. They offer audio guides here, with which you can listen to Jamie as he guides you through his uncle’s home.
Just 5 minutes up the road and we’ll find ourselves in France and Jamie’s cousin’s wine warehouse, actually the former cotton mill, Deanston Distillery. You can have a quick dram of whisky and a look around. There may be time for a tour and tasting if you are interested?
Overnight Loch Lomond – The Inn on Loch Lomond
Have a leisurely morning and see some more of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. Could join a cruise on the loch to see some of its islands closer up. We will then travel north into the Highlands and visit Glen Coe, which features in Outlander’s opening credits. One of the most impressive places in Scotland, you’ll be in awe as you stand in this striking glen. We will continue to Fort William where you can visit the West Highland Museum.
Overnight Fort William – Myrtle Bank B&B
Join the morning Jacobite Steam Train from Fort William to Mallaig and enjoying one of the most incredible rail journeys in the world. You’ll travel over the Glenfinnan Viaduct which overlooks Loch Shiel and the Jacobite monument. You’ll have a few hours in Mallaig where you can enjoy a seafood lunch and take a walk to enjoy views of the nearby islands.
We’ll join a ferry and make our way to the Isle of Skye.
Overnight Isle of Skye (suggested location: Portree). Portree Hotel or Rosedale Hotel
A full day on the Isle of Skye is all about scenery, and your experienced driver-guide will ensure you get the best out of your time here depending on the weather.
I would suggest the Trotternish Ridge, Fairy Glen, Neist Point – as you’ll be in a smaller vehicle you’ll have more freedom than travelling on one of the larger buses.
Overnight Isle of Skye (suggested location: Portree) Portree Hotel or Rosedale Hotel
Morning on Skye
Eilean Donan Castle, at least for photographs from the outside. This is one of Scotland’s most iconic castles. You can also tour this castle if you wish. Then a visit to the world’s most famous loch, Loch Ness. You could also visit the ruin of Urquhart Castle which perches on the loch’s edge. In the afternoon we can visit Culloden Battlefield and Clava Cairns. Approximately 4,000 years old, these are one of Scotland’s more impressive sights as you can get up close to the standing stones and burial chambers.
Overnight Inverness – Strathness Guest House
We will journey south to the Highland Folk Museum to get a flavour of how Highland people lived and worked from the 1700s up until the 1960s. It was an ideal choice for various period scenes in Outlander. As we head further south to Fife we will visit the village of Falkland. Here you can relive one of the first scenes of the Outlander series, in which Jamie’s ghost looks up at Claire’s room. You’ll recognise this village as 1940s & 1960s Inverness. You will also have time to visit Falkland Palace if you choose to. Our final stop is Midhope Castle, the external location for Lallybroch, the family home of Jamie Fraser. This 15th-century castle is largely intact outside, but sadly derelict within – so we will have a quick photo stop here before returning to Edinburgh.
1-day Loch Ness Discovery Tour
Leave the city behind and enjoy changing landscape as you enter the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. Your personal driver guide will find the best location for you to take in the scenery as you stop for a morning coffee.
Continuing further north you will cross Rannoch Moor, a large expanse of peat bog moorland that featured in the James Bond film Skyfall, as well as Outlander and Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part 1. Wonder at the contrasting landscape as you enter Glencoe, one of the most photographed areas of Scotland. This is a valley filled with history as well as outstanding natural beauty. Your driver will be able to share stories of the area, as well as the best photo opportunities.
As you pass the shores of Loch Linnhe on Scotland’s west coast and the town of Fort William, you may be lucky enough to get glimpses of Ben Nevis, Scotland’s Highest Mountain. Continue into the Great Glen, a huge fault line that dissects the Highlands; an area full of historic importance and immense beauty.
Arrive into the quaint village of Fort Augustus at the south end of Loch Ness. There will be time for you to explore the shore of the loch, and perhaps take a cruise to go in search of the Loch Ness Monster.
Your return journey will take you through the Cairngorm National Park for some more stunning highland scenery. Enjoy a stroll around the Victorian town of Pitlochry, before making your way back over one of the Forth Bridges to Edinburgh.
1-day Touch of the Highlands Tour from Edinburgh
Your specially chosen guide will meet you at your accommodation in Edinburgh and your Highland Experience begins!
We will travel north of Edinburgh to Crieff and Glenturret Distillery, where you can opt to do a tour and tasting – they have a delicious range of single malt whiskies!
Further north, we enter the Sma’ Glen and all of a sudden you’ll know that you have arrived in the Highlands as the countryside takes on a much more imposing character.
The Hermitage is a beautiful National Trust site on the banks of the River Braan. This is the perfect spot for a leafy walk through stunning countryside. See Ossian’s Cave and Ossian’s Hall, a Victorian folly built to honour the immortal band of the Gaels.
On the way back, we stop for coffee at Dunkeld on the banks of the River Tay. Take a look at its beautiful cathedral and be transported back in time to when Dunkeld was a pocket-sized city and the centre of Scottish Christianity.
We then bring you back to Scotland’s capital city to continue your Scottish holiday!
Want to escape the crowds and create a custom itinerary just for you?
1-day St Andrews Shore Excursion from South Queensferry/Leith/Rosyth
This tour is all about Fife and to get there we cross the Firth of Forth – this is your perfect chance to get a photograph of the famous Forth Railway Bridge.
St Andrews is the star attraction of this tour. As the spiritual home of golf, it is a must see for all devotees of the game, but it also boasts a stunning beach, great cafes and shops, a beautiful university. You will also have the time to visit the castle and the ancient cathedral*.
You’ll also explore the East Neuk. This is an often forgotten corner of Fife that has some particularly beautiful historic fishing villages and stunning coastal scenery.
To finish, you’ll stop at Anstruther and have the chance to experience an award-winning “fish supper” (as it’s known to true Scots). Then you’ll head back full of good food and good memories.
1-day Stirling & Loch Lomond Shore Excursion from Glasgow (Greenock)
As you are travelling through Stirlingshire, our guide will bring to life the turbulent times of William Wallace – dramatised in the film Braveheart – and explain his link to the countryside you’re passing through. We’ll stop at the beautiful city of Stirling, site of the Wallace Monument. You’ll have ample time to explore the stunning castle* or stroll through the beautiful and ancient streets that surround it.
Take in the view along the Duke’s Pass. Our route takes you through the spectacular Duke’s Pass which offers spectacular views to the peaks of the stunning Trossachs Mountains and carries you past some of Scotland’s most picturesque lochs.
Your lunchtime stop is by Loch Lomond. Why not try lunch at a traditional pub built out of a 300-year-old oak tree and then walk the shores of Britain’s largest expanse of freshwater? This is the place of the first National Park of Scotland, so just relax and enjoy the views of the magnificent landscape.
As you leave Edinburgh your journey will begin by crossing the Firth of Forth on one of the iconic Forth Bridges and enter the ancient Kingdom of Fife, one of the major Pictish Kingdoms. As you make your way around the city of Perth, let your driver guide tell you about its significance in Scottish history, and the importance of the Stone of Destiny, formerly housed close by in Scone.
Enjoy a coffee stop in the Victorian town of Pitlochry. As you stroll along the main street you will see why Queen Victoria fell in love with the area; it was her visit to Pitlochry that inspired her to buy the Balmoral Estate.
Traveling further north you could visit Killiecrankie, the site of the first bloody battle of the Jacobite uprising and today, where history and natural heritage combine. You can see Soldier’s Leap, where a Redcoat solider leap 18ft across the raging river to escape the Jacobite troops.
As you enter the Cairngorm National Park, you will make your way from east to west and enjoy some stunning highland scenery. Make a stop at the Commando Memorial, dedicated to the original British Commando forces raised during the 2nd World War. From here you will be treated to an amazing vista across the Nevis Mountain range including, if you are lucky, Britain’s highest mountain: Ben Nevis.
Your journey takes you next to Fort William at the foot of Ben Nevis, sitting on the shores of Loch Linnhe and a town steeped in history. Your journey along Loch Linnhe will take you across the Ballachulish Bridge and into the magnificent Glen Coe. This is an area of outstanding natural beauty, but also one shrouded in sadness. Let you driver guide take you back in time with the tragic story of the Glencoe Massacre.
As you cross Rannoch Moor and make your journey south there will be plenty more to see. Make a stop in the beautiful town of Callander, then your driver guide will be sure to regale tales of the Scottish Wars of Independence as you pass Stirling Castle & the Wallace Monument.
1 day Whisky – Lindores & Glenturret
Your driver guide will pick you up from your Edinburgh accommodation and whisk you over the Forth Bridges to the Kingdom of Fife.
This tour starts off at the spiritual home of Whisky: Lindores Abbey. The earliest written reference to whisky was here in 1494, though it is thought to have started way before that. For a whisky lover, this is often described as a pilgrimage you must make! You will be taken through the whisky making process by the experts, and find out about the work and love that goes into creating the perfect dram. You will of course get the chance to sample a dram or two!
Then it’s on to Scotland’s oldest working distillery, Glenturret. You will get a chance to see the time honoured methods they use as they bring to life the history and heritage of one of Scotland’s most iconic whisky brands.
On your return to Edinburgh, why not stop in at the Loch Leven Brewery to sample another of Scotland’s great drinks – beer! You could enjoy tasting in their Tap Room, sampling authentic craft beer straight from the small independent brewery.
Oban, Mull & Islay – Whisky & Wildlife
Your guide will pick you up from your accommodation to start your adventure.
You will travel through the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park, making a stop on the shores of Scotland’s Largest Loch, Loch Lomond. After taking in the stunning views, it’s time to continue your journey over the Rest & Be Thankful Pass to Inveraray on the shores of Loch Fyne. This former royal burgh is home to Inveraray Castle, seat of the Clan Campbell. You may choose to visit the Castle & explore the grounds, or take a stroll along the loch shores.
Continuing along the shores of Loch Fyne and onto the Kintyre Peninsula, your next stop will be the pretty fishing village of Tarbet, before you board the ferry to Islay.
Today you will have the chance to experience what Islay does best: Whisky! Let the local experts take you through the distillation process and let you into the secrets of Uisge Beatha: the water of life. We can tailor distillery visits to suit you, but the Warehouse Experience at Lagavulin is always a popular choice!
There is a lot more to Islay than ‘just’ whisky, so if you want to explore a little more, let your driver guide take you back hundreds of years to the former seat of the Lord of the Isles at Finlaggan, and share some of the beauty and wildlife the island has to offer.
This morning you have the chance to visit one last distillery before boarding your ferry back to the mainland. As you sail you will be treated to wonderful views of the Paps of Jura, and get a close up look at the Isle of Colonsay before disembarking in Oban, the gateway to the isles. Why not take a walk up to McCaig’s Tower for some wonderful views over to the isles of Kerrera, Lismore & Mull. As seafood capital of Scotland, you will be spoilt for choice for dinner this evening.
It’s time to board your next ferry and sail out of the Oban bay over to the Isle of Mull, where many options are available to you. You could visit the tiny island of Iona, often described as the birthplace of Christianity in Scotland. Or why not join a wildlife tour out to the uninhabited island of Staffa to get up close to the local puffins, and explore Fingal’s Cave. Alternatively, you could explore the Isle of Mull, and perhaps pop in to the Tobermory Distillery for a wee dram.
Look out for otters as you prepare to board the ferry from Mull over to the Ardnamurchan peninsula. Back on the mainland, you will enjoy some stunning scenery as you journey towards your final ferry across Loch Linnhe. From here you will see the mountains rise up around you as you enter Glencoe; an area of outstanding natural beauty, and one steeped in history. Your guide will share stories of the area with you as you absorb the atmosphere of this mysterious area.
Heading further south, your will cross Rannoch Moor, which you may recognise from the James Bond film ‘Skyfall’. Your journey continues into the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, with time to explore the town of Callander before making your way back into Edinburgh.
Meet the Team
“I’ve worked with Highland Experience for over 8 years now. It’s given me the chance to work in an industry I’m incredibly passionate about – travel! I love exploring myself and helping others to experience my home country in the best way possible.
I enjoy creating unique itineraries that take people across the whole of Scotland. I have a special interest in whisky tours (and tastings!) and love to recommend the best places to sleep and eat when touring Scotland. I like to get to know travelers and their interests to ensure we pair them up with the perfect guide for their time exploring Scotland.”
“I worked in tour operations for many years across Europe before deciding to come back home to help share the beauty of Scotland with people from all around the world. I ran a boutique accommodation on the Isle of Skye before joining Highland Experience so have a deep understanding of life in the highlands and islands. I began my time at Highland Experience in their accommodation department before moving to be a driver guide so have first hand experience of the best routes, places of interest and hidden gems as well authentic accommodation options.
I love both arranging private tours and being a driver guide, so I may even take you from initial enquiry to guiding you round the country as you enjoy your own personalised experience of Scotland. I have a keen interest in history, Scottish culture, whisky and anything foodie so I know where to find the best seafood and farm shops…
“Our group of 10 – 5 adults, 3 seniors, one 7 year old and one 23 month old booked three tours to meet our cruise ship – one in Greenock, one in Invergordon and one in S. Queensferry. I communicated in advance with Clare who was most efficient, accommodating and lovely in assisting in customizing our three tours. If you ever have occasion to book private tours in Scotland, do not hesitate to contact Clare at Highland Experience Tours – she will not steer you wrong! She and her wonderful guides went out of their way to make our Scottish tours full of memories we will cherish always… we will book through them the next time we visit without fail!!!”
-Denise, New York
“I will be the first to admit that I am a demanding customer. . .but these folks came through brilliantly in my estimation from inquiry to booking to actual tour.”
-Ed, Rapid City
“Highlands tour with Highland Experience Tours was one of the best trips we ever had in terms of service. Flawless, professional, friendly… In case you ever plan a private tour, I highly recommend this team, they are wonderful!!!”