Visiting Scotland Like a Local
[Private Tours of Scotland]
Luxury private tours of Scotland
So you’re planning a trip to Scotland. Congratulations! What a great choice you’ve made. We are one of the most exciting, historical and friendly countries you could choose to visit.
You know about all the main sites – Loch Ness, Edinburgh Castle, The Isle of Skye. But you’re looking for a little more. You don’t want to be just one of the other 133 million day tourists who visit Scotland each year.
Well, you came to the right place. With private tours of Scotland, you can experience our beautiful country and come away with a little more than the same travel photos every other tourist has. You get to experience the country with a local and not just scratch the surface.
Want to be let in on the secrets? Well, here are some of Scotland’s best spots that aren’t crawling with tourists and come on the recommendation of locals. Let’s dive in, shall we!
Robert Burns in Dumfries and Galloway
Let’s start in the south of the country, shall we? Not necessarily on many people’s bucket list, Dumfries and Galloway is a lesser-known region in Scotland’s southwest.
What is there to see in this region? Well, if you are keen on nature and want to see some of Scotland’s unspoilt, stunning landscapes, then Loch Trool should be high on your list. The loch is in the middle of a forest and is perfect for lovely, quiet walks.
You probably want to visit Scotland to see some historical castles, right? Well, Dumfries and Galloway is the home to over 100 castles. Two must-visit castles when visiting the region are Threave Castle and Caerlaverock Castle.
Robert Burns, Scotland’s national bard, also happened to reside in this area. He built Ellisland Farm in 1788 and wrote the infamous Auld Lang Syne while he lived there.
Castles in Ayrshire
Let’s move a little further north to Ayrshire. Home to some other stunning castles that are well worth a visit.
There’s the stunning ruin of Greenan castle, situated on the top of a cliff by the sea on the edge of Ayr. It was initially a fort from the 12th century.
Then there’s Culzean Castle, an impressive, fully restored castle by the sea that looks over the Firth of Clyde. Commissioned to be built by famous Scottish architect and interior designer Robert Adam, work started on the castle in 1777.
Another super cool fact about Culzean castle – it used to be President Eisenhower’s holiday home. In 1945 the castle was given to the National Trust for Scotland, but a part of it was gifted to Eisenhower. He received it as a thank you from the Scottish people for his contributions in the Second World War.
The Beautiful Isle of Bute
Arran’s lesser-known neighbour, this stunning island in the Firth of Clyde, is one of the most incredible places to visit in Scotland.
There are walks galore, tranquil beaches, castles and gardens to explore. A fantastic gastronomy scene means you will also leave Bute with a full and happy belly.
This quaint tiny island even distils its own gin. You can visit the distillery for a tour or attend a cocktail making class with the gin experts.
Mount Stuart is a stunning stately home built in the gothic style. It’s definitely worth a visit if you love history and show-stopping interiors. The Marble Hall is magnificent.
Loch Lomond & The Tossachs National Park
Let’s start heading north. So you love the jaw-dropping scenery Scotland has to offer, then why not take a visit to Loch Lomond?
Easily reachable from both Glasgow and Edinburgh, this area of natural beauty is perfect if you want to spend some time getting fresh air while stretching your legs. As well as walking, people climb, cycle and sail in the national park.
Dunkeld on the River Tay
A historical city often referred to as the gateway to the highlands. Dunkeld is situated near the larger city of Perth and boasts a historic cathedral that dates back to AD 750.
The city lies on the bank of the river Tay which makes for a marvellous walk. Along the banks of the river, within walking distance of Dunkeld, you can find the Birnam Oak. This ancient tree is often known as Macbeth’s Oak because it is mentioned in Shakespeare’s famous play.
Scotland’s Famous Tipple
Heading up north past the Cairngorms National Park, let’s talk about whisky.
The name whisky comes from the Gaelic word, which is loosely translated to ‘water of life’. No trip to Scotland would be complete without a visit to a whisky distillery.
Welcome to whisky district. The highlands have the most significant number of whisky distillery by far; there are over 30. You can also visit distilleries in the lowlands, on the Isle of Islay and in Speyside.
The region that produces your favourite whiskey will depend on the type of flavours you like in a whisky. Do some research to find out where your favourite whisky comes from.
It is always nice to support an independent distillery. You will likely have a better experience if the people who show you around are passionate about what they do.
Dolphin Watching in Inverness
Did you know you can spot dolphins off the coast of Scotland? The Moray Firth, next to Nairn and Inverness, is a favourite spot for dolphins, seals and porpoises.
You can stand by the harbour and watch them playfully jump around as they hunt salmon for their dinner. You could also take a boat trip to go and see these magnificent creatures up close.
Beaches in the Hebrides
Ok, so you may not think to visit Scotland for the beaches. In most of the country, especially the Hebrides, including the Isle of Skye, the beaches are pristine.
Miles of unspoilt coastline make for stunning photos and excellent walking. Hebridean beaches definitely need to be put on your list of top places to visit.
While in the Hebrides, look out for the famous Hebridean sheep. They are small black sheep with two sets of horns.
Private Tours of Scotland – Movie Scenes
Are you a movie or TV buff? Bond, Harry Potter, Star Wars your thing? What do these movies have in common? They have all been shot on location in Scotland.
If you want to see some of the places these famous movies were shot, such as Glencoe (Skyfall) or the Glenfinnan Viaduct (Harry Potter), we can add these stops to your tour.
A recent Netflix phenomenon – Outlander, was shot at many locations across Scotland. We even offer an Outlander Tour to show you all the famous spots you will recognise from the show.
Local Advice – What to Bring and When to Visit
You should be prepared for all weather eventualities when visiting Scotland! Make sure you have sunglasses, a warm jumper and a rain jacket packed with you at all times. It is possible you can experience all seasons in the space of a few hours.
The sunniest and warmest month to visit Scotland is probably May. During the summer months, it doesn’t get dark until about 10 pm, even later in the Highlands. This means you can still go walking at night and enjoy the long hours of daylight.
Design Your Tour
We can tell you are incredibly excited about coming to Scotland by now. If you weren’t sold on the landscapes, it was the architecture or the history or the gastronomy scene or our famed hospitality.
Of course, your tour can include the historical Edinburgh or the metropolitan Glasgow, but we want to show you more than that. That’s why we can tailor your tour to suit your preferences.
You want to see dolphins but hate castles, we can organise that. Prefer whisky over lochs, that can be arranged. Not bothered by castles but obsessed with white sand beaches, we got you.
Wherever you choose to visit, you can be sure that your guide has an abundance of local expertise to make your experience unforgettable.
Create Memories To Last A Lifetime
It may be a biased view, but Scotland has it all. Making memories that will last forever is easy when you have such a stunning backdrop for them.
When you take private tours of Scotland, you will see a side to the country you perhaps wouldn’t when travelling alone.
With a bespoke private tour of Scotland, you can design your own itinerary and include all the secret spots along with the main sights.
We can’t wait to welcome you to our bonnie land with open arms. Get in touch, and we can start helping you design your dream trip to Scotland.
Customised, bespoke tours of Scotland
Private tours of Scotland, prices start from £750 per day for exclusive hire of our luxury mini coach and professional driver/guide. Our vehicles can accommodate up to 16 passengers.
Select one of our private Scotland tours, customise your own tour to create your perfect Scottish vacation dream. With our help, we can create a tour to meet your exact requirements.
Our extensive knowledge of Scotland is second to none. This gives us the ability to create a specialised itinerary for your exact needs and can take you to all of places on your Scottish bucket list, as well as showing you some of the places we belive must not be missed.
Look at our examples of private tours of Scotland from 1 – 7 days which might just get you inspired…
Luxury private tours of Scotland
What makes our private Scottish tours different from our scheduled tours?
Private Bespoke Tours
Our bespoke private tours of Scotland will be customized exclusively for you. We will aim to create something very special for you, fulfilling your desires and showing you the very best Scotland has to offer. With our expertise and your wishes in mind, we will create a tour appealing to you and your group of friends or family. Whether you wish to travel at a slow or busy pace, we will be able to take care of your precise needs.
Working with us and with our help, you get to choose every aspect of your private Scotland tours.
Above are some examples of private tours of Scotland you can take some inspiration from.
luxury private tours of Scotland
Possibly the best way to see Scotland is on one of our luxury private tours of Scotland. We have been creating tours for our guests for many years and have a wealth of experience in delivering small group tours of Scotland.
Sitting down and planning your holiday can be a daunting task, reading through the Lonely Plant-Scottish edition, or spending countless hours Googling thing to see and do in Scotland. All of this can result in you going to overly touristy destinations.
Heartland Travel take pride in our wealth of local knowledge. Our driver guided have a true passion for our country and are experts on the road less travelled. Consider us to be your friendly local with eyes and ears to the ground.
We also understand that when creating your luxury private tours of Scotland that there will be some “must sees” on your list of places to visit. Working with us, we will develop your luxury private tour of Scotland to create a perfect balance of famous locations, such as the Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye or Loch Ness, alongside some of the amazing places we know about which go beyond the Guide books.
Highland private tours
We can create and develop Itinerary’s for any area in Scotland but what we are often asked for are Highland private tours.The Highlands of Scotland are truly magnificent and wondrous with so many locations to choose from. It really requires some expertise to taylor a journey to ensure your Highland private tours exceeds your expectations.
How it works
You tell us a few of the locations you know of that you would like to add to your Highland private tours, and we will create an itinerary specific to your personal requirementsH.
Some of the places we would suggest you include on your travels are Glencoe, Glen Sheil, Bealach na Bà and even the North Coast 500 to name but a few.
For examples of our Highland private tours click Link