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“Worth every penny.”
Review of Puffin Express - CLOSED

Puffin Express
Attraction details
Reviewed 22 September 2010

I'm a bit leery of bus tours. Most seem mechanical, impersonal and if you do have a driver who narrates, it's usually from a memorized script. Not so with Nor'West. My father and I took the Isle of Skye day tour earlier this month, and not only was Sinclair extremely knowledgeable of the surrounding area, he went out of his way to connect with everyone on a more personal level. Just don't be late to the pick-up points, haha. The scenery was spectacular and Sinclair even made a special stop so I could take in a spot I had a personal interest in. I'd recommend this tour to anyone. Thanks for a great day!

Thank J C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (9)
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5 - 9 of 9 reviews

Reviewed 1 September 2009

I've recently been on two of Nor'west tours and enjoyed both of them. One was to the Castle of Mey which was small and interesting. The other was to the Applecross Peninsular. The wather was perfect to see the scenery. The lunch stop at the Potting Shed was very good. Fresh cooked food with a view of the garden. There was a few stops for photo's including one to see the red deer. Our guide Kathleen was very friendly and helpful. A very good way to see places that are off the beaten track.

1  Thank travelbug90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2009

Puffin Express (now called Nor-West Tours) run small, friendly tours in a minibus, from Inverness to the far reaches of Scotland. Sinclair Dunnett, who has been our guide on both of the trips I've been on, is a wonderfully friendly, funny and knowledgeable guide who helps everyone feel welcome, and shares his insider knowledge and love for the beautiful landscapes and wildlife that you will see if you go on one of the tours.

Earlier this month my boyfriend and I went on a Nor West Tours one day trip from Inverness to John o'Groats and back. Sinclair, our guide, was immensely knowledgeable about everywhere we went, and passed a "fact file" around the minibus with interesting snippets of news, interviews, maps and pictures relevant to the areas we were visiting.

As with the previous tour we took from Inverness to Skye back in 2005, there were lots of stops along the way, where we got the chance to get out of the bus, stretch our legs, explore the area and spot wildlife. On this particular tour, binoculars were provided so that we could get a close-up view of puffins, seals and deer!

This tour covers an incredible distance so it is quite a long day - we set off just after 9am and arrived back at about 8pm - by the end I think everyone was rather tired. But we packed an amazing amount in on the tour - from a wonderful picnic lunch stop in a secluded harbour, to multiple wildlife-spotting stops and of course, John O' Groats (which as Sinclair points out, is NOT the most northerly point in Britain!) You can read more about this particular tour at http://www.go-orkney.com/jog.htm

I'd thoroughly recommend these tours to anyone who loves the beautiful scenery in the Highlands and wants a friendly guide to help them see all the best bits in a day.

Thank ad759
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 December 2008

I booked two separate tours with Puffin in early October 2008 and enjoyed both. I was looking for a tour company (I didn't want to drive myself) that offered a small group setting and allowed me to relax and enoy the journey as well as the sites! This I found in Puffin.

My tours were a day trip to the Orkneys, and a day trip to the Isle of Skye. On both trips I had informed and interesting drivers who added to the experience by sharing their local knowledge. The trips were well organized and allowed reasonable time at each of the sites along the way.

If you are looking to be pampered, this may not be your ideal. However if you are looking to be informed and be well taken care of - as well as getting good value for your money - then Puffin will leave you very satisfied! I look forward to booking with them again when I return to Inverness in the future!

2  Thank Jessica A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 22 September 2008

Although these tours fill a gap in the market, allowing those who do not wish to self-drive to see areas of the Highlands of Scotland they would otherwise miss, I pray you enjoy your experience because the aftercare skills of the company are somewhat lacking. Having arrived at the pick-up point early we were stunned to come out of the tourist information centre and see our minibus leaving without us - prior to the set departure time. Another of their minibuses arrived and they did get our bus to return for us but alarm bells were already ringing - perhaps comparing them to the fabulous service we received in Edinburgh from Timberbush is unfair but if you are in the same industry you need to try to do as well as the big boys or charge less. The tour started and we were comfortable together at the front, at the next pick-up point we were asked to move so others could all sit together - they moved us to the back where we could no longer sit together!! At the back of the minibus we began to feel ill, we reckoned the day could only be salvaged by leaving the tour as soon as we could and making our own way back to Inverness. Comments were made to the company regarding our tour and they came back to us with a catalogue of excuses, and plenty of big words no doubt intended to intimidate, and the offer of a £15 refund which they said would be deducted from the driver's wages! Unhappy though we were with the service we received from Puffin Express, telling us the refund is coming direct from his wages is simply making us feel worse. They employ the driver and should accept responsability for his actions (do they offer training??) Next time we will stick with tours from reputable companies, with smart coaches and excellent customer service skills - NOT those happy to charge for a substandard service in tatty and uncomfortable minibuses.

10  Thank JockyB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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