Family fun on a Highlands explorer bus

Exploring the Scottish Highlands has been made a great deal easier thanks to a summer season "hop on, hop off" bus. The award-winning Ring of Breadalbane Explorer bus takes passengers on a journey through the beautiful Highlands area and runs clockwise and anticlockwise on a scheduled timetable. Brilliantly the bus allows buggies and bikes to be transported so it is perfectly suited to families. Operating on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays until October, passengers can jump on and jump off at a wide range of attractions, including the outdoors company Highland Safaris, Auchingarrach Wildlife Centre, Dewar’s World of Whisky, the Birks Cinema and the fascinating Scottish Crannog Centre. The inspiration and driving force behind the service, the Breadalbane Tourism Co-operative, has been recognised for its innovation and won the Partnership in Tourism Award at the North East and Tayside regional finals. Thomas McGonigle, of the Breadalbane Tourism Co-operative, said: “We are delighted that the second season of the Ring of Breadalbane Explorer is underway, opening up this beautiful area of the Highlands for those who don’t want to or can’t drive. We have developed a range of itineraries, ‘Day Trips Made Easy’ which will help visitors to decide upon their perfect day out. With an enormous amount of activities to get involved with from each bus stop, visitors will be hard pushed to know what to choose.” What is the cost? A hop on, hop off day pass for adults is £12; under 18s is £6. Under 6s can use the service for free and visitors can benefit from a family ticket, which enables one accompanied child to go for free per full fare adult ticket. Day Trips Made Easy Here are four great ways to explore the Highlands on the Ring of Breadalbane Explorer bus. Downhill all the way Catch the Ring of Breadalbane Explorer clockwise bus at 9.28am from Comrie with your bike. Jump off at the top of Glen Ogle and then ride down the old railway path to Lochearnhead. You can then cycle on quiet and traffic-free roads to Kingshouse and Balquhidder. Return to Kingshouse and cycle back to Lochearnhead where you can catch the bus to finish back at Comrie. The total distance cycled is 10 miles and the bus back leaves at 13.43 heading anti-clockwise. On a wet day Catch the clockwise Ring of Breadalbane Explorer that leaves Killin at 10:03.  Enjoy a lovely drive to Aberfeldy, then through the Sma Glen, a beautiful and remote part of Breadalbane.  The bus stops at the front door of Crieff Hydro at 12:06.  Lunch in the Winter Garden Restaurant at Crieff Hydro. If the weather is fine, take part in some of the Hydro’s 30 outdoor activities or walk down to the centre of Crieff (around 15 minutes) for a bit of exercise and a glimpse of this beautiful Highlands town.  Catch the 15:41 bus from the High Street to complete the circuit.  You will be back in Killin at about 17:00. Whisky tasting and safely back home! Catch the clockwise Ring of Breadalbane Explorer that leaves Killin at 10:03. The bus arrives at Dewars World of Whisky at 11:17.  Visit the distillery and then catch the bus clockwise at 14:47 and enjoy a lovely drive that will take you through the Sma Glen, arriving back in Killin at 17:03. Alternatively return anticlockwise from Aberfeldy Chapel Street (15:49) back to Killin, where you will arrive at about 17:00. Go wild with the kids Catch the clockwise Ring of Breadalbane Explorer that leaves Killin at 10:03. Enjoy a lovely drive to Aberfeldy then through the Sma Glen. Get off at Auchingarrich Wildlife Park (12:50), a wildlife centre with more than 70 species of animals and birds plus indoor and outdoor play areas. The Torlum Coffee Shop has fresh food and home baking.  After visiting the park walk down to the little town of Comrie (around 30 minutes) and catch the 16:28 bus (clockwise) to complete the circuit.  The bus arrives in Killin at about 17:00. To check all information please visit www.breadalbane.org/ring-of-breadalbane-explorer Facebook at www.facebook.com/breadalbaneexplorer Twitter @RingBreadalbane

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