Creative Content Writer & former Tour Guide at HAGGiS Adventures. Scottish travel blogger and adventure lover. Kay enjoys travelling Scotland solo, and has visited 42 Scottish Islands. She loves to live up to stereotypes by dying her hair ginger, and regularly consuming haggis and whisky. A Scottish history geek and all-around chatterbox, she can literally talk for Scotland.
FAQs: How to tour Scotland like a pro
Coming on tour with us is a pretty big deal. Some would even say life-changing! Such momentous occasions require a bit of travel planning, and our passengers are often armed with questions about the tour experience, what to pack, or how to find the Loch Ness monster. Here are our top 10 FAQs, in varying degrees of seriousness and awesomeness.
1) Why should I come on a HAGGiS tour?
We’ve been showing off our home to independent travellers from around the world since 1993 and we’re still as passionate as ever. We’re on a mission to turn your heart tartan – which isn’t hard when there’s so much #DeepScottishLove floating around!
We want to show you Scotland’s best bits, immerse you in our insane history, and make you belly-laugh along the way. Find out what it’s really like on a HAGGiS tour in our ‘reveal all’ blog post here.
2) What is the best time of year to come to Scotland?
You will love Scotland at any time of year. Aye that’s right – we’re going to be really annoying and not give you a straight-forward, definitive answer. What we can tell you though is that Scotland is blessed with the gift of year-round awesomeness, which is why our tours run through all seasons: rain or shine.
The decision on when to visit really comes down to personal preference. In the summer months Scotland is a hive of activity, we have more daylight hours to play with, and it *might* be more sunny.
Winter means snowy scenery and lack of other tourists/photo-bomber, but if you cannae handle the cold this might not be the season for you.
If you’re somewhere in-between the two extremes, Scotland looks beautiful when it’s dressed in spring flowers or autumn leaves.
Has that narrowed it down at all?
3) I can’t decide on a tour. Help!
During peak season, you can have your pick of tours; everything from 1 day tours for those who are short on time to 10 day tours for those in search of an epic adventure. You can travel as far as the remote Outer Hebrides and the fascinating Orkney Islands. We can’t promise you amazing weather, but we can guarantee an awesome time.
If you have your heart set on certain a destination in Scotland, or you have a specific month or tour duration in mind, you can play around with the search function on our homepage to find your perfect tour. So, what will it be? A ride on the Hogwarts Express, exploring the white sand beaches of Harris, or following in Jamie and Claire’s footsteps on a tour of Outlander sites.
4) What should I wear?
Let’s start with what you shouldnae wear. Unless we’re experiencing some sort of freak heatwave, jandals/thongs/flip flops are never a great idea. The same goes for high heels (aye, we’ve seen it all – and we take no responsibility for heels wedged in the mud or sprained ankles). Be awesome: wear sensible, comfortable shoes.
There is always a probability of rain in Scotland, so we recommend bringing a waterproof jacket; maybe even some funky wellies (gum boots) depending on what the weather forecast is saying. In the colder months, you can never have too many layers; cosy jumpers, woolly hats, scarves and gloves. Tartan accessories and novelty ‘Hairy Coo’ hats will receive high praise all round. For more tips on what to pack for your tour, check out our Essential Preparation Guide.
5) Where we will be staying on tour?
We’ve handpicked a selection of awesome independent and Hostelling Scotland hostels, for their comfortable lodgings and range of top-notch facilities; free WiFi, free bed linen, fully- equipped self-catering kitchens and laundry facilities. The tour price includes accommodation and we reserve a bed for you in a dorm - room on all of our tours: these are often mixed sex dorms. Private rooms and single sex dorms can be requested if you contact us, however they cannot be guaranteed.
We also have our very own 5* award-winning hostel which is just a short walk from the banks of Loch Ness. This cosy home-from-home in the Highlands serves local drinks, home-cooked meals, and epic memories! You can read our full blog about Morag's Lodge here. You’re guaranteed to have a good sleep in the comfy hostel; whisky or no whisky. Which brings us on to our next question…
6) How much whisky is too much?
We absolutely encourage sampling some of our national tipple – particularly straight from the source in a distillery – but can you definitely take things too far. If you’re convinced you’ve just seen a unicorn or the Loch Ness Monster outside the hostel, enough is enough. Swap the ‘water of life’ for actual water and get tae your bed!
7) Where can I find my very own Jamie Fraser?
We can take you to Lallybroch on our Outlander tour, but we hate to break it to you - men like Jamie just dinnae exist in this century. If you find a Singleton Scotsman wearing a kilt in the local pub, he probably knew your bus was coming! You can, of course, scope out the eligible bachelors on Tinder or you could just embrace the #DeepScottishLove for our history, legends, music and scenery instead!
8) Where are the best places to photograph?
There are plenty opportunities to take your selfie game to the next level on our tours. Scottish scenery makes for an epic backdrop, and the windswept selfies are exactly the kind of ‘wild & sexy’ we’re talking about; just make sure you select the person with the steadiest hand to take it! We’ve written a whole blog about smartphone photography tips which you can read about here.
Some of favourite photogenic places we visit on tour are Glen Coe, Glenfinnan Viaduct, Old Man of Storr (Isle of Skye), Eilean Donan Castle, Luskentyre Beach (Isle of Harris), Falkland, and Marwick Head (Orkney). You also cannae beat a classic tourist photo next to the Loch Ness or ‘Welcome to the Highlands’ sign! Check out our blog on ‘Epic Destinations that Don’t Need a Filter’ for more info.
9) Is the Loch Ness Monster real?
All we can do is tell you the facts, and the rest is for you to make up your own mind. If you'd like to do some advanced reading, check out our blog with cool facts about Loch Ness. If you've still not convinced, we can arrange a Loch Ness Boat Cruise for you for ideal monster-spotting opportunities. Failing that, you could bust out your best ‘Nessie Haka’ on the shores of the loch to see if that will summon the beast! The truth is out there…
10) Will I see hairy coos?
Crazy ginger locks, epic horns, and effortless charm. These bonnie beasts are the definition of wild and sexy. They’re just so photogenic, even when covered in mud and hay. Rockin’ it!
We can’t guarantee you’ll see them on our tours, but our guides do know all the likely places, so if they can make it happen, they will.