14 Top Tours Operators for Your Trip to Scotland

Emily Buchan ·June 19, 2023Reading time: 7 minutes

Discover some of the best tour operators in Scotland for your next day out, weekend or holiday. Choose your adventure with wildlife tours, walking and whisky distillery tours. This is just a selection of what’s available, so make sure to check out more on tours in Scotland.

  1. Mercat Tours Edinburgh

    Mercat Tours - Edinburgh Underground Vaults Tour

    © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

    Edinburgh is one of the most haunted cities in the world and with Halloween just around the corner, there is nothing better to get you in the spooky spirit than a haunted ghost tour. Put on a brave face and discover Edinburgh’s dark side with Mercat Tours. Join your Mercat storyteller as they take you on a bone-chilling journey through the past on one of their ghost tours. With tales of murderous spirits, criminals, deadly punishments and much more, prepare for a history lesson like no other!

    We know that ghost tours aren’t for everyone but that shouldn’t stop you from uncovering Edinburgh’s rich, historical past. Swap ghostly tales for a historic walk along Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, enjoy a candle-lit whisky tasting session or if you’re a fan of Outlander, watch the drama unfold as you follow in the footsteps of Jamie and Claire’s experiences in the historic capital.

  2. The Hairy Coo Across Scotland

    Elgol, Isle of Skye

    © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

    Embark on the ultimate Scottish adventure with The Hairy Coo. Choose a selection of tours on offer, ranging from 1-5 days as you explore the length and breadth of the country from visiting classic destinations like Skye or Loch Lomond, to exploring new places like St Andrews and Oban. Whatever you decide to choose, you will no doubt be able to impress all your family and friends with what you have learned during your discoveries.

    Of course, no trip would be complete without seeing a Highland coo on your travels, with many opportunities for you to grab a quick selfie with these fluffy and adorable creatures.

    Tours include:

  3. The Mountebank Tour of Edinburgh Edinburgh

    Edinburgh Castle and cherry blossom trees viewed from Princes Street

    © Kenny Lam

    Prepare to laugh your socks off as you learn about the incredible history of Edinburgh. Guided by a local stand-up comedian, The Mountebank Comedy Walk pokes a bit of fun on all things Scottish, from our dreich weather to our most famous historical figures. Get set for two hours of non-stop laughter.

    Please note that due to the nature of this tour, the Mountebank Comedy Walk is strictly for ages 16+.

  4. Eat Walk Glasgow Glasgow

    Queen's Park, Glasgow

    If you’re on the hunt for delicious food and drink, make sure to book a tour with Eat Walk Glasgow. Work up an appetite as you take to the streets of Glasgow with a tour guide around some of the city’s foodie hotspots. Alston and Mharsanta are just some of the top venues making a special appearance. Of course, no foodie experience would be complete without filling your camera roll with mouth-watering dishes. With great food, company and a bit of history added to the mix, what’s not to love?

  5. Edinburgh Cab Tours Edinburgh

    West Sands, St Andrews

    Travel in style with Edinburgh Cab Tours as you take a whistle-stop tour around some of the capital’s most historic sites. The Classic Edinburgh Full Day Tour is a great way to get your bearings around the city. Stop at various sites including the Grassmarket, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Arthur’s Seat and much more. Fancy squeezing in an attraction not listed on the tour? No problem! Your friendly and knowledgeable cab driver will be able to tailor your tour itinerary, giving you the scoop on interesting facts and stories.

    Fancy exploring more of what Scotland has to offer? Edinburgh Cab Tours have a wide range of tours from short half-day tours to full-day tours including visiting the ‘Home of Golf’ on the Edinburgh & St Andrews Tour.

  6. In Your Element Various locations

    Sgòr Mòr, Cairngorms

    The name says it all. Swap a quiet weekend indoors for a fast-paced outdoor adventure with the whole family by booking with In Your Element. With outdoor activity bases in Inverness and Loch Ness, Aviemore and the Cairngorms National ParkLoch Lomond and the Trossachs and Loch Tay, enjoy the magic of Scotland’s outdoors right at your fingertips. From abseiling to dipping your toe in the water with its range of watersport activities on offer such as canoeing and gorge walking, adventure waits around every corner.

  7. Glasgow Music Tours Across Glasgow

    The Barrowland Ballroom is an iconic dance hall and music venue

    © VisitScotland / Luigi Di Pasquale

    Looking for things to do this weekend? Discover Glasgow’s vibrant music scene with Glasgow Music City Tours and learn about how its musical landscape was revolutionised through legendary performances, iconic venues and most importantly, the people.

    Your guide will bring the tour to life with tales of artists old and new, including our very own Paolo Nutini.

    Find out more about the tours:

  8. Red Bus Bistro Edinburgh and Glasgow

    Glasgow Green

    Enjoy a spot of afternoon tea on wheels with Red Bus Bistro. Hit the road as you pass through Edinburgh’s most iconic sights and attractions while tucking into some scrumptious goodies. Highlights along the way include the Scott Monument, Edinburgh Castle and the Scottish Parliament.

    Red Bus Bistro also operate the following tours in Glasgow:

  9. Dolphin Spirit Inverness

    Speed boat looking for dolphins

    The waters around Scotland are among some of the finest with an abundance of marine life to be seen all year-round. Running tours from April – October, Dolphin Spirit offer two wildlife watching boat tours to see the world’s most northerly population of bottlenose dolphins along the Moray Firth. Choose between the Wildlife Cruise or the Dolphin Mischief RIB Experience if you’re looking for more of a thrill.

    It’s not just dolphins that you will be on the lookout for. Keep your eyes peeled for other wildlife creatures during your journey with seals, otters and other sea creatures bound to make an appearance.

    Key facilities
    • Parking
    • Pets Welcome
    • Accessible Parking Or Drop-off Point
    • Accessible toilets
  10. Solway Tours Dumfries

    Mull of Galloway Lighthouse

    © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

    Can’t get enough of Scotland’s rich, historic past? Running bespoke historic and ancestral tours since 2015, Solway Tours allows you to immerse yourself in Scotland’s history, landscape and culture by visiting a range of stunning locations and attractions. If you’re looking to plan a short staycation, choose from its two multi-day tours or follow in the footsteps of your ancestors with the ancestral tour, specifically tailored to your family name or any Scottish Clan connections that you may have.

    Strapped for time? There are many one-day tours available to book including the Rosslyn Chapel and the Borders Tour or get to know our National Bard better with the Robert Burns Tour.

  11. Land Rover Experience Scotland Dunkeld and Birnam

    Land Rover Experience Scotland

    Fancy getting behind the wheel for your next tour? Located on the shores of Butterstone Loch near Dunkeld in Perthshire, push yourself to the limit with Land Rover Experience while navigating your way through white-knuckling obstacles and terrains. Don’t worry if it’s your first-time driving a Land Rover, a qualified instructor will make you feel at ease while allowing you to develop your off-road skills.

    Key facilities
    • Parking
    • Accessible Parking Or Drop-off Point
    • Level Access
    • Accessible toilets
  12. The Orkney Distillery Orkney

    Orkney Distillery gin tasting

    For all you gin enthusiasts out there, this one is for you! Home to Kirkjuvagr Gin, take the Orkney Distillery Tour where you will learn about the distilling process and history behind its gin and beautiful islands. Want to upgrade your experience a notch? Get busy experimenting by making your very own gin.

    If you’ve been picked to be the designated driver for your trip to the distillery, make sure to stock up on a few bottles to take home with you. With a range of different flavours to choose from, your G&T nights are about to get a whole lot better!

  13. Perthshire Treks Pitlochry

    Druim nan Aigeach, below Beinn a' Ghlo by Perthshire Treks

    © Perthshire Treks

    With summer drawing to a close, make the most of the outdoors by going on a walking holiday. Perthshire Treks offer a range of guided walking adventures to help you soak up the fresh air and admire Scotland’s natural beauty. Whether you are looking to explore the outdoor region of Perthshire or take a staycation elsewhere, there are many walks and mountain trails to be found across the country. Stretch your legs by taking a hike up the Cairngorms, walk up ancient hill forts or take a leisurely stroll along old drove roads.

    Start your walking adventure around Scotland with these tours:

  14. West Coast Tours Oban

    Fingals Cave on Staffa Island, Argyll

    © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

    Our towns and cities may be a hub of activity for things to see and do but our islands have just as much to offer. Turn your dreams of travelling to our beautiful islands into reality with West Coast Tours. Enjoy a whistle-stop tour around the Inner Hebrides on the Three Isles Tour where you will discover the gems of Mull and Iona as well as taking a boat trip to Staffa to see the magnificent Fingal’s Cave.