When visiting Scotland, time spent in the Highlands is a must and the Stirling Castle is a must-see.
The Highlands provides a completely different landscape and environment than being in the cities of the Lowlands. If you don’t have much time to spend in Scotland, a day tour with Rabbie’s is the perfect way to see a bit of what the Highlands has to offer. The Loch Lomond National Park, Kelpies, and Stirling Castle tour will give you a taste of everything: Scotland’s history, natural beauty, and modernity.
The tour leaves at 9:15 am in front of Rabbie’s Café Bar. If travelers arrive early, they can grab a quick breakfast before the tour leaves; freshly baked goods and coffees are offered. There will be a few tours heading out in the morning around the same time, so check-in is expected by 9:00 am, at which time tours are gathered into groups for the buses.
On the way out of Edinburgh, the bus will drive through New Town, and the guide will discuss the history of Old Town and New. Rabbie’s is great because they offer only small group tours with a maximum of 16 people, allowing guests to meet their fellow tourists. They also operate on a responsible travel ethic, by giving back to local communities and the environment wherever possible.
The first stop of the day is the Kelpies Monument. The Kelpies are two horses’ heads that stand 30-metres tall, built from 300 tonnes of steel. They are monuments to the horses that worked during Scotland’s industrial development. It is incredible to approach the heads, as they loom taller and taller above you. Be sure to get lots of photos of yourself beside the Kelpies heads for size comparison!
The next stop is Loch Lomond, which is a beautifully peaceful area. The guide will give you the option to walk along the shore back to the bus or to spend some time by the shore and in the town. The walk is easy and you are given lots of time to stroll back and take photos along the way. Loch Lomond is Scotland’s largest loch, and looking out from the shore gives tourists a beautiful view of the water and the mountains in the distance. There is some legendary folk history behind the land here, which your guide will share during the drive.
Afterward, the tour will make its way to a lunch stop. On the way, you’ll pass through the Trossachs, which offers a beautiful landscape of mountains, lochs, and forestry.
Your guide will make a quick photo stop at the head of a loch where you may see some Highland cows, or Heilan coo as they are called in Scots.
The little town the tour stops at for lunch offers a variety of foods at different cafés and your guide will point out the different options.
Following lunch, you will head to the last stop of the day: Stirling Castle, as seen in the lead photo. Admission to the castle isn’t included with the tour, but you get a discount if you mention that you are with Rabbie’s (the regular price is £16, approximately $21 USD).
You’re given at least a good hour to spend there, which is perfect to wander the full castle. It has so much history that you will want to read about it.
Be sure to look up at the ceilings to admire the carved wooden heads for which Stirling Castle is known.
Afterward, the tour heads back to Edinburgh, passing by the Kelpies again, and your guide may play some Scottish folk music for your group on the drive. Throughout the entire day, your guide will share lots of stories from Scottish history and folklore, making the long drives incredibly interesting.