The Big Four Private Tour : Glenfinnan, Glencoe, Loch Ness & Ben Nevis

Explore the highlights of the Scottish Highlands including: the Glenfinnan Viaduct, Glencoe, Ben Nevis and Loch Ness on this one day tour from Inverness.

Interested in this tour?

This tour is available on a private basis only. Please get in touch to get a quote for your group.

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Only available as a private tour

This tour is only available as a private tour in 2023. Our private tours are conducted in our 16 and 30 seater mini-coaches and as such are best suited to groups of 8+. Prices starts from £1195 per day per group.

Rated 5* on TripAdvisor TripAdvisor by more than 2200 happy customers #1 for tours from Inverness and Invergordon

Tour Highlights

  • Exclusive private tour for your group
  • Watch the "Hogwarts Express" cross Glenfinnan Viaduct
  • Marvel at Ben Nevis, Scotland's highest mountain
  • Experience Glencoe and hear about its tragic history
  • Enjoy the best views of Loch Ness
  • Visit the Commando Memorial
  • The only tour to experience all of this in one day!
PricesOnly available as a private tour in 2023. Prices from £1195 for our 16-seater and £1495 for our 30-seater.
Times0745 - 1830
DatesMarch - October
Group sizePrivate tours for groups of 8 - 30+ available on request

Itinerary and Map+

Itinerary & Map

1

The Journey Begins

The Journey Begins
The Big Four Tour starts in Inverness, where you can be picked up at the centrally-located bus station, or from most of the city’s hotels.

Our journey from the Highland capital takes us west, along the picturesque shores of Loch Ness, which will whet your appetite for our exploration of that area later.  During this first part of the day you can focus on soaking in the scenery whilst your guide keeps you entertained with plenty of stories about the history, legends and geography of the area. We will arrive at Glenfinnan Viaduct around 10am,  in plenty of time for the first highlight (of many) today!

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2

Glenfinnan Viaduct

Glenfinnan Viaduct
Watch the Jacobite steam train (aka the Hogwarts Express) cross this iconic viaduct.

Our first stop of the day, at Glenfinnan, is timed perfectly to coincide with the Jacobite steam train crossing over the 19th Century viaduct. It’s without doubt one of Scotland’s most iconic views (regardless of whether you are a Harry Potter fan or not!) and you’ll have plenty of time to get yourself into prime position to watch the train chug cross, and snap that all important picture.

It is worth noting that there is much more to Glenfinnan than just its bridge. It was here, on the 19th August 1745, that Bonnie Prince Charlie rowed ashore and began his ultimately unsuccessful attempt to win back the thrones of Scotland and England for the Stuarts. The event is commemorated by an impressive 18 metre high memorial, built in 1815, which you are able to climb up for a small charge (£5 for adults, £3 for children).  Your dizzying climb will be rewarded with stunning views out over Loch Shiel and the surrounding mountains.

For those interested in finding out more about Jacobite history there is also a National Trust visitor centre outlining the events of the ‘45 .  You are welcome to visit if you wish (admission is currently free).

We will spend around 1 1/4 hours at Glenfinnan Viaduct.

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3

Ben Nevis view

Ben Nevis view
Amazing views of Scotland's highest mountain and the old boat of Caol.

Standing proudly at 1345 metres tall, Ben Nevis is Britain’s highest mountain and  thus seeing or climbing it are high on many visitors’ bucket lists. Whilst we don’t have enough time to climb it (that takes a day in itself!) we will take you to our favourite vantage point down by the shores of Loch Eil so that you can admire the majesty of the Ben from afar.

For days when the summit of Ben Nevis is shrouded in our famous “Scotch mist” this is still a great stop as, shipwrecked in the water just metres from the stony beach, is the Old Boat of Caol.  This herring and mackerel boat, also known as the Corpach wreck,  has been stranded here since 2011 and its rusting hulk makes for a beautiful picture, whatever the weather.

We will spend around 20 minutes enjoying the views from the beach here.

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4

Old Inverlochy Castle

Old Inverlochy Castle
Medieval castle and battle site

Old Inverlochy Castle is one of the best preserved medieval castles in Scotland and was the location of two major battles too. When the weather permits, we enjoy a picnic lunch here overlooking the River Lochy. Close by is the Highland Soap Company Visitor Centre & Cafe for those that fancy a little retail therapy or a coffee.

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5

Glencoe

Glencoe
A spectacularly beautiful valley steeped in history.

Glencoe is without doubt one of the most beautiful locations in Scotland, which is quite a feat considering just how many impressive landscapes we have in our country! As we drive through the valley we are in fact driving straight through the heart of an ancient volcano, which goes some way to explaining why the area is just so impressive.

Being such an iconic location, it is perhaps unsurprising that it has been the backdrop to some major Hollywood films including: Braveheart; Skyfall; Harry Potter; as well as the Bollywood classic Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.

It is also famous for being home to one of the most treacherous events ever to occur in Scotland – the infamous Massacre of Glencoe. Its infamy lies not in the number dead, but rather in the way it was carried out, and your knowledgeable local guide will be sure to bring the story to life, warts and all.

We will drive all the way up the “Pass of Glencoe” to the start of Glen Etive, which is home to Buachaille Mor, one of Scotland’s most recognisable mountain peaks.

In addition to the time spent admiring the glen from the vehicle, we will have around 45 mins – 1 hour off the bus to enjoy the panoramic landscapes and take some stunning photos.

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6

Commando Memorial

Commando Memorial
Views over the WW2 Commando training grounds

The Commando Memorial is one of Scotland’s most iconic and well known statues and commemorates those members of this elite military force who lost their lives in WW2. The statue lies around 5 miles from Achnacarry Castle, which was where the Commando Basic Training Centre was established back in 1942.

As well as being a poignant place of remembrance, it also offers fantastic views of the local area, including the peaks of Ben Nevis, Aonach Mor and the Grey Corries.

We will spend around 15 minutes in this poignant place of remembrance, taking in the atmosphere and enjoying the views.

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7

Fort Augustus & Loch Ness

Fort Augustus & Loch Ness
A chance to see Loch Ness & explore this historic town

Our next stop is in Fort Augustus, a charming Highland town on the banks of Loch Ness. A short walk will take you to one of our favourite spots on the shores of the loch, where you can take in the world-class views (and perhaps indulge in a spot of Nessie hunting too)!

 The Caledonian Canal cuts through the heart of the village with its impressive array of 5 five lock gates, where you can watch boats travel up and down. You can find out more about the canal’s fascinating history at the recently opened Caledonian Canal Centre.

The bustling village is also home to various cafes and bars where you can enjoy some of the local area’s wonderful produce.

 

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8

Suidhe Viewpoint

Suidhe Viewpoint
Great views as far as the eye can see.

Our tour involves travelling along many classic stretches of roads, although this is our personal favourite, in part due to its “off the beaten track” feel. The road was initially built by the British military in the early 1700s in an effort to stamp out dissent in the Scottish Highlands, and en-route we will pass the “White Bridge”, built in 1732.

As we travel we will see great scenery, and often spot some of the resident red deer and feral goats. The highlight of the journey is the 400 metre high summit known as the “Suidhe viewpoint” which affords breathtaking views.

We will have a short stop at the Suidhe Viewpoint to enjoy, yip you’ve guessed it, the views!

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9

Dores

Dores
Yet another of Scotland's best views!

The last stop on our journey is in the village of Dores, on the eastern end of Loch Ness. This is where the locals go to enjoy Loch Ness, and affords a truly spectacular view of the loch. In fact, it was the voted as the 6th Best View in the UK (a view of the Three Sisters in Glencoe, which we will also see today, was in 2nd place!).

As well as the spectacular views, it is also home to the extraordinary Steve Feltham. Steve is one of the world’s most famous monster hunters and has been looking the Nessie now for over 27 years from his converted mobile library van on the banks of the loch.  He sells his much sought after model Nessies here, so  be sure to pick up one of these authentic souvenirs if Steve is around!

For those of you that have worked up a thirst you might want to grab a quick drink in the legendary Dores Inn. And don’t worry, if there is not enough time to enjoy your local ale or whisky you are welcome to bring it back onboard!

We will spend around 15 minutes at Dores Beach; a stunning end to a stunning day!

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Tour Map

FAQs+

Tour FAQs

Is The Big Four Tour available to book?+

This tour will not be running on a scheduled basis in 2023.  

If you have a group of 8+ please feel free to contact us about scheduling a private Big Four Tour for your group.  We have an executive 16-seater mini-coach and two 30-seater mini-coaches, all of which are available on selected dates for private tours.

If you have a group of less than 8 then unfortunately we are unable to assist you. The reason for this is that our smallest vehicle is a 16-seater, so the tour is priced on this basis.

What time does The Big Four Tour start and finish?+

The tour will pick you up from your accommodation in Inverness at 7.45am.  This early start ensures that we can get to Glenfinnan Viaduct in plenty of time to see the “Hogwart’s” steam train crossing the viaduct.

The tour will finish at around 6.30pm, back at your accommodation.

What sort of vehicle do you use?+

Here at WOW Scotland we only have three mini-coaches (16, 28 and 30-seater) all of which were built to our precise specifications, to ensure the highest levels of passenger comfort. They are very well-appointed with panoramic windows, comfortable reclining seats and USB ports under every seat. You can rest assured that you will be able to relax and enjoy the majestic scenery in complete comfort. You can read more about our larger coaches here.

How often are bathroom/toilet stops?+

If we follow our recommended itinerary there are seven main stops where toilets/bathrooms can be accessed, as follows;

    • Drumnadrochit
    • Glenfinnan
    • Fort William
    • Glencoe
    • Ballachulish (if required)
    • Fort Augustus (50p, charge)
    • Dores

Of course, as this is a private tour, we can also make additional stops as required; the above is a guide only.

Where will we stop for lunch/snacks?+

Our first refreshment stop will be at Glenfinnan, at around 10am, where there is a takeaway coffee shop.  We will then stop at a Marks & Spencer’s food hall in Fort William to enable you to pick up lunch to go, at around 12pm. You will have around 45 minutes in the village of Fort Augustus around 4.15pm, where you can pick up refreshments from a number of different shops, cafes and bakeries.  Finally, at around 5.30pm, we stop at Dores, where you may wish to purchase a drink from the bar at The Dores Inn, on the shores of Loch Ness

What should I wear on this tour?+

As we say in Scotland, “there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing”! The West Coast of Scotland is renowned for being wet. Consequently, we would recommend wearing comfortable and waterproof hiking boots or, as a minimum, trainers/sneakers. We would also strongly recommend bringing a waterproof jacket, and ideally waterproof trousers/pants too (note that umbrellas are not appropriate on the West Coast – they just blow inside out and are rendered useless very quickly). In addition to these essentials we would suggest wearing layers, including a thick sweater/fleece option, and bringing a hat and gloves and warm jacket in your bag. Even if the sun is shining brightly when you leave Inverness, they do say that you only really experience Scotland when you see four seasons in one day, so please be prepared!

Can wheelchair/walking frame users come on this tour?+

Unfortunately not all of the stops offer wheelchair access, as a lot of the terrain on the West Coast is quite rugged. Also, the coach is not equipped for passengers to remain in their wheelchairs. That being said, if you are able to get out of your wheelchair at the coach steps and walk onto the coach, there is no reason why you could not enjoy the tour from the comfort of the coach and we will make every effort to accommodate those with mobility problems.

How much walking is involved?+

There is a moderate amount of walking involved in this tour, but most is optional.

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Discover the Factor

LOCAL EXPERTISE
Local owners, guides and knowledge for a truly authentic experience.
GUARANTEED DEPARTURES
Tours always depart, whether with 2 or 20 guests, so you can book with confidence.
FAMILY-RUN
14 years of tours and our aim is the same; to provide a WOW experience every time.
SUSTAINABLE TOURS
Choose to tour with a company who are serious about preserving the Highlands.
BEST GUIDES
Our highly experienced team will ensure you go home with memories to last a lifetime.
COMFORT FIRST
Our custom-designed vehicles offer the highest levels of passenger comfort.

Meet your guides

Gordon Pearson

Founder & Tour Guide

  730 Reviews

Gordon founded WOW Scotland in 2010 and hasn’t looked back since. He is passionate about showcasing his homeland, and is continually striving to create the best possible experiences for every guest.

Robert Carr

Tour Guide

  137 Reviews

Prior to being a tour guide, Rob ran successful food and tourism businesses in Edinburgh and Perthshire. He has now been in the Highlands for 16 years, where he loves to indulge in his joint passions of golf and hiking.

Andrew Jones

Tour Guide

  210 Reviews

With over 10 years of experience as a tour director and guide, Andrew prefers to consider himself as a storyteller, amateur historian and, above all, an ambassador for Scotland

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