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Six months into our relocation to Scotland, we were itching to become tourists in our new country.
What were we going to do? How were we going to start our adventures of touring Scotland? All good questions. So we went online and started looking at guided, bus, day, and overnight tours. We finally settled on a two-day tour of the Highlands departing from Glasgow with Timberbush Tours.
We settled on a guided tour that took us to and through some of the places we had been looking forward to seeing the most.
The tour picked us up in Glasgow at 10:15 am on a Monday and dropped us off in Edinburgh on Tuesday at around 8:00 pm. From there, we went to Waverley Train Station, caught the 8:30ish train to Glasgow and then the First bus at 10:14 pm, arriving home at about 11:00 pm. We were tired but extremely satisfied with our rapid-fire adventure.
What did the tour include, I hear you ask? Well, an amazing guide by the name of Marty Rose welcomed us aboard the Timberbush tour bus at 10:15 am on Monday. We took our seats on a 16-seat bus and were on our way.
Day 1 – a visit to the conservation village of Luss nestled on the banks of Loch Lomond, Rannoch Moor, Glencoe, Fort William, Ben Nevis, Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle and arriving in Inverness in the early evening.
Day 2 – starting in Inverness, we headed off to visit the Clava Cairns (Burial Cairns of Bulnuaran of Clava), Culloden Battlefield (Cuil Lodhair), taking in the option of a distillery tour at Tomatin Distillery, Aviemore, Pitlochry and finally over the Forth Bridge into Edinburgh. From there, it was back home to Glasgow.
The tour of Tomatin Distillery was amazing. We were shown through the distillery, and I got to stand in a mash tun, the only place in Scotland where you can do that. We were shown the process by which Whisky is made and shown through a storage area where there was a barrel of Whisky that had been lying in state for 50 years – amazing.
Our tour guide, Marty, was a font of information. He gave us a running commentary for the entire two days of the tour.
We learnt that according to the length of his sword (they were made to the measure of the man), William Wallace was apparently 6’7″ (200cm) tall, and given his penchant for wearing a green hood and living in the forest, may well have been the factual basis of the tales of Robin Hood. Why is that? Because he had a smaller (little) brother named John and had a personal religious man or friar who accompanied him wherever he went.
We travelled through Glencoe, and our guide informed us of the MacDonald Clan massacre in 1692. Passed there, we went over Rannoch Moor and through an area near Ben Nevis where the World War II Commando’s received their training. Marty informed us that the expression ‘going commando’ was probably coined at this training facility because the soldiers trained with live ammunition, which may have led to an accident requiring burying their underwear and then dressing again without underwear.
I won’t give you all the tour details because you can book one for yourself and enjoy the wondrous landscape and the knowledge of the tour guides. Suffice it to say, our first true outing as tourists in our new country was one of the most enjoyable experiences of our lives.
Read about our self-drive 2-day tour of the Scottish Highlands, where we explore more locations in detail and stay overnight near Loch Ness.