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Breathtaking tour with an amazing guide!
Posted By Diana on 29/08/2019
Tour: West Highland Lochs & Castles 1 Day Tour
  I canít recommend this tour enough! The entire experience really was magical. We felt taken care of from the moment we checked in (they have such a lovely cafe where you meet in the morning- complete with a portrait of Jamie from Outlander!).

We found ourselves incredibly lucky to be paired with Graham T. as our tour guide. He provided a wealth of information all day and not only made the stories engaging on his own, but also highlighted the trip with a curated soundtrack to emphasize some of the stories told and the feelings we felt as we took in the views. As a music lover, this intensified the experience in such a visceral way. I specifically am a huge fan of the song Caledonia, so hearing this on the bus as I gazed out the window at beautiful majestic mountains gave me a once in a lifetime experience in the highlands.

As far as the stops, we briefly stopped outside Sterling Castle (and heard some fascinating stories about its place in history). The first main stop though was Luss (on Loch Lomond). My only wish was that we had more time there since it is a beautiful tiny little historic village and the loch is so lovely (if you want more time here, perhaps plan a trip on your own after the tour to explore more). Then we went to Inverary Castle, a gorgeous place that is still the residence of the duke of Argyll. The gardens there are especially lovely!

My favorite part of the tour was Kilchurn Castle. This is more of a castle ruin, but the walk to and from the castle canít be beat (itís about 10 minutes down this path that offers you expansive views and a few cows and sheep that are close by as well). It started raining at this point (itís Scotland in the Highlands, of course it was going to rain), but this actually enhanced the experience. You really felt transported back in time and at one with nature. Another highlight from earlier in the trip is a brief stop at the ďRest and Be ThankfulĒ pass. This is another gorgeous view of the highland mountains and is a breathtaking experience. The last stop is Castle Doune (famous for portraying castles in Outlander, Game of Thrones, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail). I did the audio tour and got to learn some great information that way as I explored the grounds at my own pace. The gift shop here is especially fun!

Be aware that there are admission fees to Inveraray Castle and Castle Doune (but you get a group rate for being with the tour). You donít get to spend a ton of time at each stop (thatís the nature of these day tours unfortunately since thereís so much to see), but I felt happy with my experiences at each stop and also loved that they use small buses, which means youíre always with a small group, making for a more personalized experience.

Overall Graham gave us a truly magical experience that we wonít forget. He went above and beyond telling us about Scottish history, what whiskies to try, and answering all the questions we had. Even as we drove in and out of Edinburgh, he pointed out some interesting landmarks and gave us little bits of trivia. I highly recommend not only the tour itself, but going on the tour with Graham T (itís like having Dougal Mackenzie as your personal highlands tour guide!). We literally left the tour and immediately wanted to go back on another one! I definitely canít wait to try out some of Rabbieís other tours next time Iím in Scotland!
 
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West Highlands Day Tour
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Uploaded by Diana
on 29/08/2019
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