I’ve just returned from a 3 day tour of the Highlands and the Isle of Skye with Haggis Adventures. The trip was perfect as I didn’t have a lot of time to travel and wanted to do something fairly cheaply.
Here is a short review of the trip:
Day one started off departing from Edinburgh with a group of 36 other people at 8.30am. We chose to stay in the Smart City Hostel the night before, which was reasonably priced considering the Edinburgh Fringe and the Edinburgh Tattoo were both on, and close to the Haggis Adventures departure point on the Royal Mile.
Our first stop was Dunkeld Cathedral by the River Tay, followed by a trip to the Tomatin whisky distillery where we got to see where the whisky was made and to try a sample. It was interesting to learn how to drink whisky properly despite it not being something I would usually have.
Next we headed to Culloden Battlefield where we were told about the history of the place and treat to some accordion music by our guide Scot.
After a stop for lunch in Aviemore, we drove to Loch Ness. By this time it had started to rain, but this didn’t matter as Scot showed us how to call upon Nessie. Unfortunately she didn’t raise her head, but it was fun nonetheless, and was another item ticked off my bucket list!
After a drive around Loch Ness we headed to Morag’s Lodge where we were staying for the night. The rooms were cheap and a reasonable size, and dinner was a large plate of good home cooked food.
We got the opportunity to see a show nearby by one of the locals, who told us about the history of this part of Scotland and about how people would have lived. He had dressed Mel Gibson for the film Braveheart, and dressed volunteers up in kilts, showing us how they were traditionally tied. He also had a number of large and brutal looking weapons to show us, with stories behind each. I’d definitely recommend going to this show if you go on the trip as it only costs an extra fiver and is very entertaining.
Back at the hostel the atmosphere in the bar was great, with traditional folk music being played and karaoke for those who wanted to join in later on.
Day Two started off with a small walk in the woods down to a Victorian building overlooking a waterfall to clear our heads.
Next we headed to Eilean Donan Castle for a tour. The castle is surrounded by beautiful scenery and was a great location to take some pictures.
Following the visit to the castle, we set off for the Isle of Skye where we drove up the east coast of the island to take in the views, followed by a picnic lunch and a visit to Kilt Rock.
After a tour of the island, stopping off at various locations for photos and a whole bunch of stories from Scot, we headed to our hostel for the evening, Saucy Mary’s in Kyleakin. The rooms were cheap at only £19pppn, and there was live music at all of the (2) pubs in the town. After watching the sun set over the Skye Bridge we grabbed some drinks at the bar and spent an evening chatting to our trip mates. I would definitely recommend trying the Skye Red and Gold!
The final day started with a trip back towards Eilean Donan Castle for some more scenic pictures, with a stop at Sligachan to dip our faces in the river for seven seconds in an attempt to gain eternal youth. I’m not sure if this worked but here’s hoping!
We then set off for the Commando Remembrance Memorial. Here there were memorials for soldiers aged from their early 20’s to late 90’s.
The trip had gone over really quickly, and was a lot of fun. The guide Scot was very knowledgeable and it was great to hear his playlist of folk and traditional music on the coach. Time on the bus was kept to a minimum and there was plenty of sightseeing. The trip was well worth the price, just remember your waterproofs and boots, even in the summer!
Cost: £125/120 (Students)