Minibus tours that operate out of Edinburgh (and Glasgow) and head off into the Highlands are popular with backpackers who want a quick taste of Scotland. Aimed at the youth market, they adopt an upbeat and irreverent approach to sightseeing, as well as offering a good opportunity to get to know fellow travellers.

The current leading operator, Haggis (t0131/557 9393, haggisadventures.com), has bright yellow minibuses setting off daily on whistle-stop tours lasting between one and six days, in the company of a live-wire guide.

Several other companies offer similar packages, including Macbackpackers (t0131/558 9900, macbackpackers.com), which runs tours linking up their own hostels round the country, and Wild in Scotland (t0131/478 6500, wild-in-scotland.com), which takes in the Outer Hebrides or Orkney. The popular Rabbie’s Trail Burners tours (t0131/226 3133, rabbies.com) don’t aim squarely at the backpacker market and have a rather more mellow outlook.

Essentials

Everything you need to know before you set off.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Scotland features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

8 great alternative UK city breaks

8 great alternative UK city breaks

London, Edinburgh, Cardiff… These are the usual suspects when visitors are thinking about UK city breaks. But there are actually 66 other cities to be explore…

22 Feb 2017 • Greg Dickinson insert_drive_file Article
The most romantic places in the UK

The most romantic places in the UK

Whether your idea of romance is a stroll in the countryside or a sunset cocktail over one of the world's greatest cities, the United Kingdom isn't short of roma…

24 Jan 2017 • Phoebe Lowndes camera_alt Gallery
8 alternative UK winter breaks

8 alternative UK winter breaks

The UK gets pretty grim during the winter, with its dark, early nights and splutteringly cold weather. But if you can’t wait until spring to start having fun …

07 Nov 2016 • Greg Dickinson insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month