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Edinburgh, Loch Ness and Highlands by train - 3 days

Guided tour to Edinburgh and the Scottish Highlands

Fully guided tour to Edinburgh and the Scottish Highlands. Travel from London by fast train and stay in city centre accommodation. Departures available every weekend throughout the year.

The best train times - giving you more time in Scotland

  • The best guides - many years of experience and knowledge
  • Centrally located accommodation
  • More sightseeing options than all other weekend tours to Edinburgh
  • Extra - enjoy Edinburgh's nightlife with our guides 

Please note: January and February tours will depart from Kings Cross Station, for info please contact us info@internationalfriends.co.uk 

Edinburgh Tour Highlights
Come with us across the border to Bonnie Scotland, to an ancient land of mountains, lochs and glens and to its historic capital city of Edinburgh.

Hear the history of Holyrood Palace and Mary Queen of Scots, walk along the Royal Mile, climb to the monuments on Calton Hill, see Edinburgh Castle and the new Scottish Parliament building. Experience the breathtaking scenery of the Scottish Highlands and see if you can catch a glimpse of the mysterious Loch Ness Monster (Loch Ness & Highlands day trip must be booked as an optional upgrade). 

New for 2016 - Optional Edinburgh Ghost & Ghouls evening Tour!

Day 1
We travel north from London Euston (January and February departures from London Kings Cross) by high speed train with reserved seating. A journey of just over five hours means you can have breakfast in England and lunch in Scotland. 

On arrival in Edinburgh city centre our guide will transfer us to the coach for a fantastic coach sightseeing tour of Scotland’s capital city. We will head to the Royal Mile that links the Palace of Holyrood House with the ancient castle on top of an extinct volcano. We will see the High Kirk of St Giles (the cathedral), the old Parliament Square and the Castle Esplanade. At the foot of this famous street we will stand outside Holyrood House and learn of  Scottish Royalty, of King David, Robert the Bruce and Mary Queen of Scots.

We journey from the Old Town towards the New Town and climb Calton Hill to see the National Monument and admire the view towards Arthur’s Seat, a 250m high rocky crag that lies within the whole city. Learn of Scotland’s writers, Robbie Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson, view their memorials and see where they lived.

After a guided drive through the elegant 18th century squares and terraces of the New Town we transfer you to your nearby accommodation, a chance to have a late lunch and explore some of the excellent free museums your guide will have talked about on the tour. Perhaps a visit to the National Museum of Scotland or one of the many free art galleries.

Optional Ghosts & Ghouls evening tour - 8pm - A spine tingling evening with ghoulish tales of torture and witchcraft as you learn of Edinburgh's ghostly past! The guided tour takes place in medieval closes and the haunted Blair Street Underground vaults. Included in the tour is a shot of Dewar's super Scotch Whisky to keep you warm on this chilling tour!!

Rest of the evening free to enjoy Edinburgh’s atmospheric old inns to sample some local ales and whisky, joined by the tour guide. A great opportunity for you to get to know some other fellow group members on the tour and we promise you’ll enjoy our evenings just as much as the sightseeing.

Day 2
If you have chosen our upgrade option to the Scottish Highlands and Loch Ness prepare to see some amazing scenery, with entry included to the stunning Urquhart Castle on the banks of Loch Ness (see image on right). We operate a full day out into Scotland’s wild and rugged landscape leaving city life far behind as we head into the mountains!

The coach will collect you from your accommodation and we head along the Forth Valley towards Stirling, entering William Wallace (Braveheart) country. We pass the famous battle site of Bannockburn (1314) then onto the land of Braveheart. Our guide will point out Stirling Castle and the National Wallace Monument where we will hear of his famous victory over the English at Stirling Bridge in 1297.

We follow the River Teith to Callander and the Highland Boundry Fault, rising up into the mountains to the land of Rob Roy. Entering the Trossachs National Park we pass the still waters of Loch Lubnaig, the crooked loch. Climbing even higher above Loch Earn towards Crianlarich we find ourselves on the windswept isolated desolate Rannoch Moor with nothing but marsh grass and distant mountains as far as the eye can see. After crossing one of Europe’s most sparsely populated areas we come across Glen Coe, the ‘weeping glen’ and learn of the bloody fate of the MacDonald clan at the hands of their bitter enemies, the Campbells.

Next, descend to the coast, to sea lochs with salt water and fishing boats and on to Fort William and Spean Bridge with a stop for lunch and a chance to buy souvenirs. We now enter the Great Glen and follow the Caledonian Canal in the shadow of Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain. The huge fault line of the Great Glen is filled with deep lochs such as Loch Lochy, Loch Oich and the most famous of all, Loch Ness. We follow the banks of this huge body of water looking for a glimpse of the famous monster as your guide tells you tales of sightings and encounters of this elusive beast. Fact or fiction? You decide.

Next stop at historic Urquhart Castle on the banks of Loch Ness with entry included and time to explore. After the Castle we continue to our northernmost point, Inverness the Capital of the Highlands before turning south through the Cairngorms and our return to Edinburgh.

Day 3
There is plenty of free time on the final day until your coach transfer from the hotel to the train in the afternoon. There will be time to walk the Royal Mile, visit one of the many museums and galleries in Edinburgh, enter Edinburgh Castle or the Palace of Holyrood House, enjoy some whisky tasting for lunch or shopping on Princes Street.

Our departure transfer coach will collect you from the accommodation at 13:30 for the transfer to Edinburgh Waverley station, train departing at 14:51 for the return journey to London Euston. Arrival time in Euston is shortly after 20:30pm.


City Centre Accommodation Options

Caravel Guest House - Caravel Guest House
The basic price includes 3-5 bedded ensuite accommodation but you can select an upgrade to single, twin or double. If you do not select a 3* upgrade you will automatically be placed in a room with customers of the same gender in Caravel Guest House. These rooms are exceptionally good value for money with short walking distance to the city centre, especially for single travellers who do not want to pay for single room upgrades, and a great way to meet your fellow travellers.

3 Star Upgrade - Ecosse International
This is a traditional family run guest house, which offers fantastic service and a great location. All rooms have private bathrooms are decorated to a high standard. This guest house has a lounge and free wifi.

 - During peak season (July and August), other accommodation of equivalent standard may also used, including university halls and quality hostels.

 - 4 or 5 star accommodation options available on request, please contact our office and we will be happy to provide you with a price.

Price includes:

  • Return train travel in standard class from London Euston station to Edinburgh by train. On day 1 the train departs London Euston 06:43am arriving Edinburgh Waverley 12:22pm. On day 3 depart Edinburgh Waverley 14:51pm, arriving London Euston 20:30pm. January and February departures from London Kings Cross.
  • Two hour professionally guided coach tour of Edinburgh on arrival, ending with drop off at city centre accommodation
  • Traditional Scottish Guest house/hotel accommodation in 3-5 bedded rooms in central Edinburgh with breakfast. If you require a twin/double or single you MUST select an upgrade in the 'Book this Tour' box.
  • Coavh transfer on day 3 from accommodation to Edinburgh train station.
  • Services of Tour Manager for entire duration of the tour 

Loch Ness & Highlands upgrade - £44 extra
A 1 day tour into the Scottish Highlands and Loch Ness with professional guides in an air-conditioned executive coach. Day trip includes entry to Urquhart Castle. 

Whisky & Borders upgrade - £36 extra
A 1 day trip to Glenkinchie whisky distillery and the Scottish Borders. If you select this day trip you will be dropped back at the hotel after the tour in time for the coach departure transfer to the train station. 

NB. The typical group size on our 3 day weekend breaks to Edinburgh is 30-45 people. You will travel by luxury air-conditioned train in what will be an excellent, shared experience with one of our professional tour managers 

We also offer minibus transport to join this tour from the following locations:

  • Cambridge Parkside (outside Police Station) 04.15am
  • Ramsgate Train Station 04.00am
  • Canterbury East Train Station 04.25am
    Return transport to the above locations is also provided and coincides with the return train.
This tour normally ends by 8.30pm in London. If you are travelling onwards to Cambridge, Ramsgate or Canterbury, the final arrival time will vary, as the feeder service that we provide links in with our other tours.  The feeder servcie will be by private transport or rail

Option to make your own travel arrangements to Edinburgh - Save £30 per person
If you would like to make your own travel arrangements to Edinburgh but still join this tour, we offer a £30 per adult or child reduction. If you would like to take up this option, please enter notravel in the promotion code box, after you have entered your name(s).


No passport or visa required 

You do not need a passport or visa to travel to Scotland from England, as Scotland is part of the UK.


What other people have said about this tour:

This trip was really more than I expected. The driver is so nice, the city guide's dress was typically as a Scottish guy.The hotel was very well located and everything was perfect. I hope to see everybody again. Thanks, Aline Lazzarotto, from Brazil - Edinburgh and The Scottish Highlands