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The Benefits of Taking a Self-Drive Tour in Scotland
Scotland is a country that is steeped in history, culture, and natural beauty. From the highlands to the lowlands, there’s so much to explore. One of the best ways to experience all that Scotland has to offer is by taking a self-drive tour. Here are some of the benefits of embarking on a self-drive tour in Scotland.
One of the biggest benefits of taking a self-drive tour in Scotland is the flexibility it provides. You can create your own itinerary and travel at your own pace. If you want to spend more time exploring a particular area, you can do so without worrying about being rushed along by a tour guide or group.
Scotland is known for its stunning scenery, and there’s no better way to experience it than by taking a self-drive tour. You can take scenic drives through the highlands or along the coast, stopping off at picturesque villages and towns along the way.
When you take a self-drive tour in Scotland, you have the freedom to explore off-the-beaten-path destinations that may not be included on traditional tours. This allows you to discover hidden gems that many tourists miss out on.
Authentic Cultural Experiences
By taking a self-drive tour in Scotland, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with locals and experience authentic Scottish culture firsthand. Whether it’s attending a traditional ceilidh (a Scottish dance party), visiting local distilleries, or sampling traditional Scottish cuisine, there are plenty of opportunities for cultural immersion.
Taking a self-drive tour in Scotland can also be cost-effective compared to other types of tours. By renting your own car and planning your own itinerary, you can save money on transportation costs and avoid expensive guided tours.
In conclusion, taking a self-drive tour in Scotland is a fantastic way to explore all that this beautiful country has to offer. With flexibility, scenic drives, off-the-beaten-path adventures, authentic cultural experiences, and cost-effectiveness, it’s no wonder why more and more travelers are opting for self-drive tours.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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Why Travel with Lochs and Glens Holidays
Discover the wonders of Scotland with Lochs and Glens Holidays. Here are the top reasons to choose us for your next adventure:
600+ Pickup Points
Lochs and Glens pick up in local towns, cities and villages all over the UK.
All of our tours include a wide variety of excursions so that there is something for everyone.
Relaxing Coach Travel
Sit back and relax as your coach will take you directly to the hotel, with comfort breaks on the way.
Over 40 Years' Experience
We pride ourselves in our high-quality service, great hospitality and competitive prices.
Holidays For Every Season
Lochs and Glens Holidays offer coach tours to Scotland throughout the entire year therefore offering the chance to see Scotland in all its beauty. Whether you prefer the light breeze of spring or the cold and darker winters, we have itineraries every month to suit the climate of your choice.
Explore pretty towns and villages in the beautiful autumnal colours. Take advantage of the milder...
Our early year breaks offer the chance to see Scotland at its most tranquil. With snow-capped hills and...
Join us in Scotland for a trip this spring as we break into the warmer weather. As the bluebells blossom...
Join us this summer on our Scenic Scotland tours where you could find yourself exploring the Isle of Arran...
Our Hotels in Scotland
At Lochs and Glens Holidays, we own 6 hotels that offer different itineraries to suit everyone’s tastes. Our hotels are located in some of the most beautiful and rural parts of Scotland making them tranquil and unique. Our coach tours include all advertised excursions, dinner, bed and breakfast with evening entertainment every night.
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- Lochs & Glens flagship hotel
- Offering panoramic views of Loch Long
- Overlooked by the Arrochar Alps
- Originally built as a Victorian Railway Hotel
- Within walking distance of Fort William town centre
- Views across Loch Linnhe and the distance Sunart hills
Loch Tummel Hotel
- The first custom built hotel for Lochs & Glens
- Nestled in the heart of Perthshire
- Surrounding area steeped in Scottish history of clan battles and Jacobite rebellions
Loch Awe Hotel
- Built in 1881 to accommodate the tourist boom in the Highlands
- Views of Kilchurn Castle - the base of the mighty Campbells of Glenorchy for 150 years
- Retains its own scenic train line to Oban and Glasgow
Loch Achray Hotel
- Situated in the heart of the Trossachs
- Overlooked by the towering Ben Venue
- Queen Victoria frequently visited the area on her tours to Scotland
- Tucked away on the north eastern banks of Loch Lomond
- Sits on the West Highland Way route
- Once a hunting lodge for the Duke of Montrose
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Coach Holidays to Scotland
About Lochs and Glens
Lochs and Glens Holidays is a family owned coach-tour holiday company with 6 of our own hotels, all in stunning Highland locations. Enjoy the comfort of our modern coaches as you soak up the awe-inspiring landscapes and tour Scotland’s historic past. Relax in one of our fabulous hotels after a day of exploring the best that Scotland has to offer. As the premier company for coach holidays to Scotland, our dedicated teams have been perfecting our holidays for over 40 years.
We regularly receive positive feedback from our valued customers who return from our holidays. Take a moment to browse through our page featuring more Lochs & Glens reviews.
The service at The Ardgartan is on a parallel, it is truly EXCEPTIONAL. The attention to detail, in this stunning hotel is impressive indeed. Nothing is too much trouble for the staff. With a dairy allergy, the breakfast table is well equipped with no…
Dear Lochs and Glens, we have recently returned from a break at the Loch Awe Hotel. I just want to say 'thank you'. We had a fabulous time. The hotel we loved, all the staff wonderful, nothing was too much trouble and so polite/courteous. Food wonderfu…
Mr & Mrs Price
Comfortable coaches with knowledgeable drivers. Lovely hotels with delicious meals, nightly entertainment and a different excursion every day. What's not to like about Lochs and Glens? They are the masters of the coach holiday. We have had two holidays…
An excellent couple of days at Loch Awe, the hotel was very nice with excellent views over the Loch. Some good trips to the surrounding area, and a great boat trip on Loch Lomond. I can certainly recommend Lochs and Glens and it was great value for mon…
Just returned from a weeks' holiday at the Ardgartan Hotel. From the start to finish, I felt cared for. Our coach drivers Brian and Liz were great and informative over the week. On arrival and tired we were welcomed and our room keys handed to us ri…
Just returned from Loch Achray what a lovely hotel. Clean, modern, food excellent choice and plenty. Great entertainment, lovely friendly helpful staff. Steve coach driver very nice and very knowledgeable made us laugh with some of his stories. Can hig…
Just arrived home from a fantastic holiday at Loch Achray with my 2 sisters and my daughter. Hotel spotless, staff amazing, views were memorizing. Our coach driver Iain Greame is great, very informative about the areas we travelled in, very polite and …
Just wanted to say thank you. Had a fabulous time on our recent break with Lochs and Glens. Celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary with some friends, some of whom were knew to Lochs and Glens and were overwhelmed by the whole experience.
We have just spent eight days at the Highland Hotel which was absolutely amazing. From the manager down to all the staff they were amazing.
Thank you for a most enjoyable holiday with your company in the highland hotel Fort William. The hotel was very comfortable & clean and the staff all so pleasant not forgetting the food fantastic as always.
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Lochs & Glens Holidays, School Road, Gartocharn, Dunbartonshire, G83 8RW.
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M F Wells Hotels Limited t/a Lochs & Glens Holidays is an appointed representative of ITC Compliance Limited who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (their firm reference is 313486) and which is permitted to advise on and arrange general insurance contracts. All insurance prices include Insurance Premium Tax (IPT)
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Scotland Coach Holidays
Tours to scotland.
From the great cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow to the stunning surroundings of unspoilt Highland villages, Scotland is a diverse country with its rich history, breath-taking landscapes and spectacular wildlife. Wherever you find yourself in Scotland, there is sure to be a castle nearby and all are worth a visit, especially Edinburgh Castle which houses the Crown Jewels, the Stone of Destiny and Mons Meg. A visit to Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands is a must for those that believe (or even if you don’t), the legend of the Loch Ness Monster – the long, thin creature that circles the loch’s deep waters and occasionally raises its head above water to frighten the life out of anyone watching.
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Historic Edinburgh is one of the best places to visit in the UK. Everyone should visit this wonderful capital city at least once to explore medieval streets of the Old Town, visit numerous galleries,...
Take a coach break to visit the 'Granite City' of Aberdeen, a vibrant city that lies on the edge of the North Sea between the Rivers Dee and Don. Aberdeen is surrounded by beautiful beaches and rugged scenery and is an ideal place for a peaceful yet exciting break. We have a range of coach trips to Aberdeen from short breaks to lengthier tours that take in Aberdeen and other areas of Scotland. Top places to visit in Aberdeen are The Gordon Highlanders Museum, Duthie Park Winter Gardens and Aberdeen Maritime Museum. Most coach tours that featuring Aberdeen also may include staying in the lovely village of Braemar, a scenic drive through spectacular Royal Deeside, a journey to the Speyside Cooperage where you can experience the ancient art of coopering and excursion to magnificent Ballindalloch Castle.
Go north, keep going, a little bit more! Inverness is the 'Capital of the Highlands' takes its name from the River Ness, which flows from the world famous Loch. The ancient city of Inverness is nestled amongst the spectacular countryside and boasts an array of historic buildings including the beautiful red sandstone Inverness Castle and impressive St. Andrew's Cathedral, along with a range of museums, galleries and unique little shops. Visiting Inverness is included on most coach tours travelling to the north of Scotland. Being in Inverness you might like to take a stroll along the waterfront passing the glorious cathedral, see the castle, visit Fort George or go on a boat cruise to see the dolphins and otters in the Moray Firth.
Enjoy a trip to the lively and modern city of Glasgow as a part of your coach holiday to Scotland. Glasgow has become one of Europe's most dynamic and cultured cities, full of fantastic museums, galleries, magnificent Victorian architecture, fabulous shopping and delightful parks beside the Clyde. There is so much to see and do here, top places to visit in Glasgow are Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Buchanan Street and The Riverside Museum of Transport and Travel.
Discover the stunning beauty of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, with glittering waters, dramatic mountains, breathtaking views and pure air, this treasure trove of unspoilt delights makes for a perfect coach break destination giving you a real flavour of Scotland. When taking a coach holiday to Loch Lomond it is recommended to visit Balloch Castle Country Park and sail on the lovely Loch Katrine.
Welcome to the best of the West Highlands. Fort William is the most popular West Highland resort lying in a beautiful location at the foot of Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain, and overlooking the peaceful waters of Loch Linnhe. As a touring centre, Fort William is a perfect resort to visit by coach to enjoy the stunning scenery of Scotland. The most interesting things to do and to see near Fort William are magnificent Ben Nevis mountain, the West Highland Museum and a trip on the Jacobite Steam Train.
Enjoy breathtaking views all day long as you travelling by coach up Scotland’s spectacular west coast. The picturesque fishing port of Ullapool is located on the shores of the fjord-like Loch Broom, well known for its beautiful location and friendly charm. Here is some of the most beautiful unspoilt scenery in the world. Visiting the beautiful resort of Ullapool with its scenic setting, colourful harbour and whitewashed cottages is a joy any time of year.
Coach Holidays to Dunoon
Nestling on the shores of the Firth of Clyde, where Loch Long and Holy Loch join the sea, Dunoon offers a perfect base for seeing the spectacular mountain scenery in the Argyll Forest Park and exploring the area along the beautiful Cowal Peninsula. Dunoon is the perfect place in Scotland to relax and unwind, stroll along the promenade, explore the historic pier and gardens, or simply sit back and watch the ever-changing seascape. Top places to visit in Dunoon are the remnants of the 12th century Dunoon Castle and The Castle House Museum.
Enjoy a scenic drive on a coach along the shores of magnificent Loch Ness surrounded by the towering Scottish hills. Learn more about the mystery and legend behind this famous loch on a lovely boat trip. Make sure you have your camera at the ready just in case you see the Loch's most famous resident! Top things to see near Loch Ness would be Urquhart Castle, The Falls of Foyers and Fort Augustus.
Enjoy coach holidays to the beautiful bayside town of Oban with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, islands and sweeping bay. Known as the “Gateway to the Isles”, with pretty harbour and ferries sailing to Mull and other islands, Oban is undoubtedly the most popular resort and touring centre in the Western Highlands since Victorian times. The town boasts a level esplanade, whisky distillery and excellent facilities for water sports, as well as Pulpit Hill with a stunning view across the harbour to Kerrera, not to mention a memorable Highland sunset.
Stunning Scottish Highlands evoke images of spectacular views, towering mountains, ancient pine forests and dark, shimmering lochs and the very best railways through these vast and wondrous landscapes. Most coach holidays to the Highlands offer you the opportunity to experience some of the greatest train journeys in the world, from the spectacular Kyle Line to the famous West Highland Railway and the amazing Jacobite Steam Train. Make sure you do not miss the opportunity to join these amazing railway journeys to ensure that you leave the Scottish Highlands with wonderful memories to treasure.
- West Highland Line & Jacobite Steam Train
- Spey Valley & the Wonderful Strathspey Steam Railway
- Funicular Railway on Cairngorm Mountain
- The Spectacular Kyle Line Railway
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Scotland Coach Holidays
Language: English is the main language with recognised regional languages and dialects including Scottish Gaelic Currency: Pound Sterling Time Zone: GMT Tipping: 10 to 12% is usual for hotels with 10 to 15% being usual for restaurants. In each case, it is not necessarily added to the bill. If a service charge has already been added, no further tip is required.
Scotland - an introduction
In a nutshell, Scotland is one of the most extraordinary places you'll get to visit that's crammed coast to coast with amazing scenery, beautiful historic towns and cities combined with cutting-edge attractions for everyone to enjoy. Scotland tours are the best way to discover England's fascinating neighbour with its rugged coastline, romantic lochs and eye-watering peaks so high that they touch the skies above.
When you visit Scotland, you will find yourself doing all manner of things that you wouldn't normally do such as listening to live fiddle music, sampling heather-infused whisky or following in the footsteps of Royalty at Stirling Castle. Ride the Jacobite Steam Train , the real 'Hogwarts Express', from Inverness to Mallaig where you could even pretend you're a wizard like 'Harry'?
On your tour of Scotland, you will begin to realise that the country has a complex history and houses an astonishing number of ancient monuments and buildings such as the Callanish Stones on the Isle of Lewis or The Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage which takes you back 5,000 years with its burial tombs and prehistoric settlements. On the other hand, wildlife enthusiasts will love the accessible wilderness of the Shetland Isles , The Orkneys and The Hebrides with its abundance of wildlife at every turn.
Edinburgh should definitely feature high on your itinerary when you visit Scotland as not only is it home to the world famous Edinburgh Military Tattoo but it also has a thriving arts scene boasting an International Festival Fringe, a good wash of museums and an Old and New Town ensemble that have earned this city an 'Athens Of The North' nickname and World Heritage acclaim. Visit The Royal Mile for outstanding street entertainment, go to Princes Street where there are more shops than you can throw a stick at including a rather upmarket looking Primark! Jump on a sightseeing tour bus for a whistle-stop tour of the city including all the major sights such as Edinburgh Castle , Holyroodhouse , Jenners Department Store (the oldest in Scotland) and the Council Buildings .
Escape the hustle and bustle of city life and take your Scotland tour into the wilderness where you can climb ice falls in Glencoe , hurtle down rapids in Perthshire or trek through the awesome glens of West Highland Way . See if you can spot the elusive wildcats of the Cairngorms National Park , relax by the tranquil waters of Loch Lomond or see if you can spot 'Nessie' lurking in Loch Ness . Gaze over the fields where the Battle of Bannockburn was fought and won near Stirling or pay a visit to Burns Cottage , the birthplace of Robert Burns in Ayrshire. No visit to the Scottish Borders would be complete without seeing the interiors of Floors Castle . Admire the priceless artwork and hunt for the holly tree in the grounds that apparently marks the spot where King James II was killed during a siege!
For further information about visiting Scotland you can visit the Official Tourism Website at visitscotland.com
Tips & Advice
To help you have an enjoyable holiday in Scotland, take a look at these useful tips and advice provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO):
Health and Travel Insurance
British Citizens are advised by some of our tour operators to have travel insurance before going on a tour or holiday, even if it happens to be in your country of residence. As a British citizen, you will be entitled to free emergency health care on the NHS.
If you are visiting Scotland from outside of the United Kingdom and fall ill or are involved in an accident and are from any member of the European Economic Area or Switzerland, you can obtain free or reduced cost treatment with The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Comprehensive travel insurance is advised for all other nationals planning on visiting Scotland.
If you need to contact the emergency services whilst in Scotland simply dial 999 or 112 to ask for an ambulance.
Crime Most destinations are generally trouble-free, however as with all places that you are not familiar with, keep an eye on your belongings and if necessary lock them away somewhere safe back at your hotel. Keep an eye on everyone in your party and don't go off with people you do not know. Buy your own drinks and keep sight of them at all times. Be aware of your surroundings and don't venture off on your own.
Local Laws and Customs Queuing is a British Institution - jump a queue at your own risk!
Drug offences will carry penalties in the UK, so avoid getting involved with anything whilst in Scotland. Please note the narcotic plant Khat/Qat is legal in the UK, but it isn't in a majority of other countries so never try to export this when leaving the UK.
If you are visiting from outside of the United Kingdom, it is wise to check customs requirements before you travel. If you are planning to bring alcohol, tobacco or souvenirs into the country, you need to be familiar with the UK's custom laws. For those people coming to the UK from the EU, you are allowed to bring an unlimited amount of most goods for your own use without paying tax or duty.
However, if you are travelling to the UK from outside of the EU, you are given an allowance of how much alcohol, tobacco, perfume, souvenirs and other goods. If you go above this allowance you may have to pay tax or duty. It is worth checking the HM Revenues and Customs website before you travel.
Entry Requirements When travelling between the UK, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man in most cases an official form of identification such as a Driver's License will be ok. However, some airlines will insist you show a passport so check before you travel.
If you are travelling to Scotland from Australia, Canada or the USA, you must have a valid passport for at least three months beyond the length of your stay. EU nationals need to have either a valid passport or identity card.
Visas for the UK are not required by those travelling from Australia, Canada, USA or EU for stays of up to six months.
Any other nationality looking to visit the UK must contact the local embassy to check visa requirements.
Things to do
Scotland is such a fascinating country to visit and should definitely feature high in your touring itinerary if you are planning a tour of the UK. Here are just a few ideas of the places you could visit during your tour:
Balmoral Castle Balmoral has been a holiday home for the British Royal Family since it was purchased by Queen Victoria in 1848. Queen Victoria herself described Balmoral as her 'dear paradise in the Highlands' and on visiting, you will hopefully see why. The estate has been lovingly preserved for 150 years and covers in excess of 51,000 acres.
Skara Brae This mystical ancient settlement was uncovered by a ferocious storm in 1850. Older than Stonehenge, this settlement consists of eight houses which are connected by low covered passageways and was inhabited between 3200 BC and 2200 BC. It has been carefully preserved allowing a unique insight into prehistoric life.
Cairngorm National Park The Cairngorm National Park makes up Britain's vastest and tallest mountain range. The scenery here is spectacular with clean rivers, lochs, moorland, native forests and farmland. Stop off at the nearby Speyside Heather Garden and Visitor Centre, to view the heather exhibition and visit the Garden Shop.
Jacobite Steam Train Often described as one of the greatest railway journeys in the world, this 84 mile round trip, starts near the base of Ben Nevis, and will take you past many impressive sights. These include Loch Morar, the deepest freshwater loch in Britain, the most westerly railway station (Arisaig) and the deepest seawater loch in Europe – Loch Nevis.