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“a most memorable day”

Heart of Scotland Tours
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$54.81*
and up
Rosslyn Chapel and Hadrian's Wall Small Group Day Tour from Edinburgh
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$50.60*
and up
Stirling Castle and Whisky Small Group Day Tour from Edinburgh
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$63.25*
and up
Loch Ness and the Highlands Small Group Day Tour from Edinburgh
Ranked #5 of 218 Tours in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Small groups of 16 in the Wee Red Bus. Our guided tours have been specially designed to give you maximum variety by including famous sights as well as hidden gems that many tourists never see. We look forward to welcoming you onto our famous Wee Red Buses to experience and enjoy the essential Scotland together.
Reviewed August 25, 2012

had a wonderful, magical day yesterday visiting Glencoe and Loch Ness with a heartfelt thankyou to Rose, our storyteller/guide. The day was perfect from start to finish thanx to Rose's brilliant mix of tales of folklore, music, historical background and masses of information and ,of course, the amazing Scottish Highland scenery.

9  Thank bobbi m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,098 - 2,102 of 2,367 reviews

Reviewed August 24, 2012

Me and my girlfriend decided to book the Loch Ness day tour with the Macbackpackers tour company. We got a phonecall from them informing us that we would be travelling with the Heart of Scotland Day Tours to save on petrol as it is more environmentally friendly. We found this a great idea as they would save money on petrol and it would not be as harmful to the environment. It was great that they called to let us know the changes.
Our Tour was excellent, the tour guide (Rose) was very informative and gave us a lot of information about all of the places we came across and was open to any questions. She also played a great list of music that was associated with the stories she was telling.
She stopped a good few times so that we could have lunch and take photographs along the way.

A great tour overall that we would both recommend to anyone considering visiting Scotland.

5  Thank Kmcrither
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2012

Just did this tour last week. It was brilliant! Our guide, Rose, was so nice! It was really nice to listen her stories. She was so energetic, fun and interested about the history of Scotland. We were so lucky to join one of her tours! We saw beautiful Stirling castle, beautiful landscape of Scotland and ended our tour to whisky tasting. Such a nice day! Thank you so much! Will highly recommend!

4  Thank annamannariini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2012

I went on the Wizards & Warriors tour in early August. The tour guide was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable, but I found this tour was not as enjoyable as other tours I have been on for a few reasons:

1. If you are traveling solo and it is scheduled to be a full bus, regardless of how early you show up, you will be required to sit in the back row so they don't split up families or people travelling together. While I understand the logic behind this policy, Heart of Scotland is the only tour company I have been on that has ever done this, and I do not think it is a good policy. It feels slightly like you are being punished for traveling alone, and does not make for a good start to the tour. If they insist on continuing this policy, you might as well get some extra sleep and show up on-time, instead of early.

2. It was unclear when we were to eat lunch on the tour. The guide mentioned earlier about lunch around 1 PM, which is when we got to Alnwick Castle. We had 2 hours to explore the castle and/or gardens. Be prepared to wait in a queue to buy your tickets to get in, which eats up some of the time. Since this was supposedly our lunch stop, I figured I had to eat something at some point so I wasn't hungry for the rest of the day. However, that took away some more precious time, so I wasn't able to see the gardens, only the castle. After leaving Alnwick Castle, we were told the next stop was Etal, where we would go to a pub and could have some food and drink. In future, I think the tour guides should be very clear before Alnwick Castle that there will be an opportunity for food at Etal, since then I suspect many of us would have devoted all 2 hours to exploring Alnwick Castle and the gardens, knowing we would eat later. (Also, I'm pretty sure we only got 2 hours at Alnwick Castle, not 2.5 hours. More time would have been nice).

3. The tour no longer stops at Wallace Statue due to vandalism and theft issues in the area. This wasn't a negative to me, but you should be aware of it in case you are really hoping to see the statue.

4. This is the type of tour where you spend a lot of time on the bus with the tour guide talking a lot, and sometimes playing relevant music. Again, our tour guide was enthusiastic, but lots of talking does wear you out even with an enthusiastic guide. That's not necessarily bad, but just be aware up-front that this is what the tour is. Perhaps if the guide involved the people on the bus more, it might break up the lectures a bit.

Overall, I enjoyed seeing Bamburgh Castle and Alnwick Castle, and Etal is a really cute town which is an excellent stop.

Thank ThetaSigma99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
nckr, Owner at Heart of Scotland Tours, responded to this reviewResponded August 28, 2012

Thanks for your review. In the context of your positive comments and 4-star review I would like to address the points raised:

1. We don't have a policy about seating solo travellers in the back row of the bus. Our experienced driver/guides do their best to keep groups together but pay equal attention to solo travellers and their requirements. There is excellent visibility and legroom on all seats. In many instances solo travellers will occupy the front seats but on this occasion there were 4 other solo travellers and the guide thought it best to seat all five of you together for social and practical reasons.

2. The tour group was informed mid-morning that lunch would be at Alnwick (arriving at the Castle before 1pm) and there are six places to eat there. It was very quiet in the Castle and all customers were served very quickly.

3. The Wallace Statue has been vandalised since the beginning of the year. In this regard some of our guides have taken the decison not to take customers there and spend longer in Etal for walking/sightseeing. It sounds like you really enjoyed the stop in Etal which is good to hear.

4. Rose's involvement with customers is second-to-none, for example, dressing up in character and conducting small magic shows. The combination of guiding and music is circa 50/50 which we feel is the correct balance.

Thanks for your review and I'm glad that, overall, you enjoyed the day.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2012

A wonderful day out. The bus was comfortable and the stops well organised with plenty of time to see and do everything. Our tour guide Rose was awesome, knowledgeable, and a captivating story teller. Highly recommended.

4  Thank Lesley B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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