Hitting the high roads to Skye.
Now it’s time to try haggis.
Radical Travel tours are for backpackers, students or independent travellers who want to have an enormous amount of fun in just a few days.
Radical tours are for backpackers, students or independent travellers who want to have an enormous amount of fun in just a few days. Passengers must be at least 18 years old, but there is no maximum age.
Three Scottish brothers travelled through Asia, Australia and New Zealand, returned home and opened Haggis in Scotland, Shamrocker in Ireland and Border Raiders in England, all under the Radical umbrella. They have 18 buses running year round in Scotland and offer three-day and six-day tours with a flexi hop on/hop off service.
The three-day Skye High tour starts and ends in Edinburgh and takes in some of Scotland's most beautiful countryside. But be warned. It could help to know the words of Amazing Grace as there is quite a bit of singing to be done on these tours.
Day one takes you to Perth, past Dunkeld Cathedral, the River Braan, Blair Castle and Inverness. You stop for lunch at Kingaussie, see the Cairngorm Mountains (Britain's highest range), Rothiemurchus Estate Caledonian pine forest and Culloden Moor, which in 1746 was the last Battle of Britain site.
From Inverness you travel to Dummnadrochit and Loch Ness, home of the elusive monster, Urquhart Castle and Fort Augustus, where you stay the night. This is your big chance to taste haggis if you've never had it before.
On the second day you travel to Invergarry via Cluanie Dam and Loch Cluanie, through the Kintail Mountains and Glenshiel. You will visit Eilean Donan Castle, where Highlander and a recent James Bond film were set. Standing at the meeting point of three sea lochs Long, Duich and Alsh it is a fortress of solid stone and formidable defences. It is one of Scotland's most beautiful castles, privately owned by the MacRae family since the 1400s. Centuries ago it was destroyed and rebuilt from memory. Many years later the original plans turned up and the new castle was found to be 90 percent true to the original.
At the Sligachan River everyone is encouraged to take part in one of Scotland's secrets for eternal youth. The story goes that if you immerse your face in the river for just seven seconds you will be beautiful forever.
Portree is the capital of the Isle of Skye. Its harbour is pretty and the streets pleasant to wander around. Saucy Mary's Lodge in Kyleakin is named after a Norwegian princess who extorted money from ships by charging them a toll to enter the straits of Lochalsh.
You will see cairns around the Scottish countryside. These are piles of stones. Highland chiefs used to call for warriors to join them in battle. Those who did left a stone from the land on the pile and if and when they returned from battle, they took the stone home with them. The remaining stones were a memorial to the dead.
Glencoe is a very beautiful place with a bloody history. The Campbells massacred the MacDonalds there centuries ago and at Balquidder you will see Rob Roy's grave. Because of him, the name Macgregor was banned for about 100 years. Glencoe's mountains are striking. The peaks of Buachaille Etive More, Beag and Bidean Nam Bian are great spurs known as The Three Sisters of Glencoe.
Radical tours are all about getting in amongst it, so you should have trekking boots or sturdy shoes, warm layers, waterproof jacket, hat, gloves, scarf, backpack and daypack. Scotland has a wild and varied history and your guides are Scottish to their sporrans, with a great knowledge and love of their country. You are bound to know much more about Scotland at the end of your trip than at the beginning.