This is an experience sharing post. Loads of photos.

We waited for our bus downtown Edinburgh at 7:20 The bus was right on time and we were greeted by our tour guide / driver was Patrick aka Paddy. He was brilliantly humorous.

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This was Wendy, the bus. The bus had ‘thehairycoo’ but apparently because Ness Bus was a small company, they share a bus with them.

 

The bus can carry around 26 people? I liked them small like that. It felt more intimate that way. Drove passed the Stirling castle. Could barely see it. Stirling castle could easily be a full day trip by itself.

ness-bus-scotland-highlands-day-tour-25.jpgI will like you to take note of how wonderful the weather looked. Don’t worry, I was not that lucky all day long. Turned out the Scottish weather was not better than the English, just a ‘touch’ more gale on top of the rain.

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Deanston Whiskey Distillery (single malt) at 9h05

First stop was the Deanston Whiskey Distillery. They did single malt. It was a comprehensive tour finished with a shot of Whiskey. The local guide covered all of the whiskey making process… by the end of it, it was good time for a hard drink.

I swear the barrow room had so much alcohol in the air that I felt drunk from standing in there listening to the guide.ness-bus-scotland-highlands-day-tour-105According to Scottish law, no whiskey was allowed to be served before 10h00… so we waited for our drink.

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For sure, I am no whiskey drinking. Burnt like hell in my throat or maybe it was just too early in the morning? Not sure if the drinking part was necessary in my case. I was pretty happy to just walk around and learn about the distillation process.

After that, we queue up to grab our lunch from the cafe there. They had a full house menu. If you don’t want the Ness Bus lunch pack (GBP5 per person), you should order asap you arrive and get your order on the way out.

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What’s in the GBP5 packed lunch?

Chips

1 x fruit (I saw some people got an apple instead)

1 x still water 500ml

Either sandwich or bun, both are filled with peri-peri chicken

Driving on was a quick stop to see the Highland Coo aka local cow LOL Well, that and a toilet break.

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Hello, Highland Coo at 10h40

Once we returned to the bus, Paddy told us intriguing Scottish clans stories – betrayals, massacre, rebellions… That story about the MacDonald of Glencoe was so full of treachery. Incredibly sad story. That story made it completely understandable why the clans would hate the English for eternity (well, that and several other stories). Made a quick 10-15min stop at Glencoe (in sync with the story that he was telling). Please take a look at how the weather has changed on us.

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Glencoe. This photo did it no justice. 12h14

Within 2min out of the bus, it started to pour 🙁 As the rain poured, I fell asleep. I felt that I missed on on Paddy’s story telling. So I landed up buying a history guide book of Scotland to catch up.

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Fort Williams at 14h25

It was sort of sunny when we went into a supermarket and after 10min of quick shopping, it was pouring. Seriously, a hardcore waterproof jacket is the ONLY way to survive this temperamental weather.

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Fort Augustus at 14h41

Time to get excited!!! It was time for the Cruise Loch Ness. Loch in Scottish means a body of water.

Don’t get too excited for me… it started raining again.

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15h08

With this level of sorrow, I could only seek the comfort in alcohol.

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Full house bar inside the cruise. Tea, coffee (spiked or not), whiskey, wine, beer…

ness-bus-scotland-highlands-day-tour-298Hoped to spot Loch Ness monster was of course the focus of this trip. Why else will we want to do this tour?ness-bus-scotland-highlands-day-tour-296.jpgNothing… wait a minute, I spotted something!!!! Watch to video to find out what 😉

It was an hour ride? At least 45min type of ride. The guide on the cruise had a strong Scottish accent. Authentic touch? My hubby battled to understand what was going on.

Ness Bus gave use 90min or 110min for this stop. I remembered it being a long stop. We had plenty of time to do shopping & the cruise ride (GBP13 per adult).

Shopping conclusion. They could include whiskey in any sauce, jam or marmalade. We did buy some and we’re glad that we did :9

Time to get back to the bus.

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Commando Memorial 16h40 This is a class A monument in Scotland. As you can see, this was an ultra macho, war world 2 monument.

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May peace prevail.

Back on the road and listened to more fascinating historical stories.

Beautiful Victorian style town, Pitlochry. This was a 30min stop. Enough time to buy some food or shop 😀 Crazy good deals on the tartan wool scarves. I scored some for GBP10! Plus they wrapped it up like luxury goods. LOVE! Cashmere were also exceptionally cheap as well. I got myself the Elgin Johnston cashmere tartan scarf for GBP50. Elgin Johnston normally sell them for GBP99 in their official store / website. This was a complete steal!!! The day was slowly drawing to a close. 18h30 we started to head back to Edinburgh. On the way back, we spotted DOUBLE rainbow!!! It’s very faint in the photo, but it was there. What a beautiful day!

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Forth Bridge at 19h57

This was a bit too intense to my usual traveling style. However, with Paddy being such a wonderful guide and fab story telling, I can’t help but to admit that I thoroughly LOVED this densely packed day tour.

 

What tour was that?

Ness Bus

3 Princes Street, EH2 2QP, Edinburgh, near Waverley train station

Official site: nessbus.com

GBP45 per adult. Book in advance is essential as they’re a very small company.

 

Optional extras that I paid on top of the GBP

  • Deanston distillery guided tour + 1 shot of whiskey GBP7
  • Packed lunch GBP5
  • Nessie guided cruise ride GBP13
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Wendy, the bus

Paid for this tour myself.

 

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Sheeps were spotted everywhere

 

Author

Hi, I am Joyce. 30+ living in Paris. Laughs a lot. Rooibos tea. Appreciate little things. Explore places. Fighting beauty OCD.

10 Comments

  1. Impressive article, Joyce. And you have seen the legendary monster of Loch Ness. I saw in the movie :)) Nice idea to put it on the bus glass.

  2. How stereotypical that your guide was named Paddy! LMAO.
    There’s a great rivalry between Irish and Scottish Whisky / Whiskey. I personally don’t care but I’ve done more whiskey tours than one person really needs to in a life time!
    I love those highland cows! 🙂
    I’ve been to the Loch Ness twice now and neither times did we spot the monster. Phooey.
    That video is hilarious – the screaming! 😆

    • You’re so lucky that you’ve been multiple times. ???? I really don’t think I’ll do another whiskey tour. Whiskey is way too strong for me.

  3. I love the stories and as usual the images are great Joyce. You are dead right about the English having a lot to answer for regarding their genocide attempts in Scotland and don’t forget Ireland. My wife’s ancestry is a lot of Scottish and mine is lots of Irish so you can imagine how we chat about the English in our house. And we have English Neighbours living behind us!!!

    • The genocide isn’t the worst though. I feel that the ban on Gaelic and way of life was far worse. That basically wiped the culture + language off the map.

  4. I was in Edinburgh back in 1993… was too young to really enjoy and appreciate the history. Would love to go back some day! I remember buying my dad a tartan tie there!

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