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  Important Information about your Accommodation on Tour

Your tour does not include accommodation in the price. By giving you a choice of accommodation it allows you to manage your budget. We stay in smaller places where you will feel closer to the local people. This also means you help to sustain the communities you visit in the long term. Choose from either a hotel, B&B or a hostel and we will book it for you.

The accommodation prices above are for your guidance only and we cannot be held responsible for any variation in the cost of accommodation, or for the variation between providers. We will always do our very best however to satisfy your personal requirements and have an amazing track record for providing our customers with the best quality accommodation available. We do advise that single supplements usually apply, particularly during peak season when double/twin room rates are charged for sole occupancy .Please note that whilst Rabbie’s will try and place single travellers into the same accommodation, this may not be possible due to availability and the time of each individual reservation.

The accommodation we use will be dispersed around various towns and villages, usually not more than a 10-15 minute walk from the centre. There are occasions however when this can be increased to 20-30 minutes. Taxis are available for a small fee if necessary. If you have access needs or specific requirements please let us know when booking. Late bookings and/or peak season may limit the choice and location of available accommodation.

Whilst on tour your driver/guide will drop you off at your pre booked accommodation* and pick you up each morning.

*Please note that if your accommodation has already been booked by Rabbie’s, as per your initial request, there will be a surcharge for any amendments, and are entirely at our discretion. Changes to accommodation cannot be guaranteed and are subject to availability. A minimum of £5.00 will apply increasing to a maximum of £20.00 dependant on the length of the tour.

Please be prepared to pay cash. Most bed and breakfast, hostels and guest houses do not accept credit cards. In most large towns automatic cash point machines are readily available**

**There is no cash point facility in the village of Plockton**

Customers are able to book their own accommodation as long as we have been informed that you intend to do this, and that it is within our drivers’ drop off’ area. If you are at all unsure please contact the office for guidance.

We are unable to supply a list of providers that we use due to availability at the time of booking. We do visit our providers regularly and are proud of the long standing relationships we have with them and positive feedback from previous customers.

For more information on accommodation and prices click here...

Orkney and Scotland's Northern Coast 5 Day Tour

Highlights:
~ Orkney Isles
~ Glencoe and Rannoch Moor
~ Loch Ness
~ Skara Brae and Ring of Brodgar
~ Assynt and Ullapool
~ Scotland’s far north coast
~ Culloden or Clava Cairns*
~ Cairngorm National Park

Orkney Explorer – escape to Scotland’s northern extremes.
A tour to treasure for a lifetime. Highlights of the tour are the magical beauty and prehistoric history of the Orkney archipelago, the rugged extremes of Scotland’s northern coastline, Loch Ness and the Caledonian forests of the Cairngorm National Park.

*This tour visits Culloden and Clava Cairns as featured in the  "Outlander" series  - based on the books by Diana Gabaldon.

Stay 2 nights in Kirkwall, Orkney with a night in Inverness and Ullapool before and after.

Please phone us if the date you want to travel is unavailable to book online.

Departs: 09.00       Returns: 18.30
Adult Prices:  £289 - £309
Discount Prices:  £269 - £289
Departing: Mondays (May to September) and Fridays (April to October)
Accommodation Info Accommodation Options
 
 
Details & Itinerary Customer Reviews Traveller Photos Full Itinerary (English)

Day 1 takes you northwest past Stirling into the Highlands, travelling through the dramatic landscape of Rannoch Moor and Glencoe. Your afternoon’s highlights include passing Ben Nevis, travelling the full length of Loch Ness including Fort Augustus and Urquhart Castle, before arriving in Inverness for the night

Day 2 takes you north through the Black Isle, past the imposing Dunrobin Castle, before crossing the Pentland Firth from near John o’ Groats to the Orkney Isles. You stay in the Viking town and capital of Orkney, Kirkwall for 2 nights.

Day 3 is your chance to explore this fantastic ancient island; a land of contrasts where fertile green pastures are fringed by shores of golden sands washed by waters of the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean. Highlights include a visit to Skara Brae, the mystical prehistoric stone circle at Brodgar, the standing stones of Stenness, and Maeshowe, where in the 12th century the Vikings left one of the largest collections of Norse runic inscriptions.

Day 4 takes you back across the water to the cliffs and sandy beaches of Scotland’s dramatic northern coastline, passing Ben Loyal, Ben Hope, Durness and Assynt with a visit to the 15th century Ardvreck Castle, and staying overnight in the whitewashed fishing village of Ullapool.

Day 5 your morning includes visits to Corrieshalloch Gorge, the ancient Clava Cairns and the more recent bloody history of the Culloden battlefield (as featured in the recent "Outlander" series based on the books by Diana Gabaldon), before returning south through the grandeur of the Cairngorm National Park, the ancient Caledonian pine forest and Highland Perthshire to Edinburgh.

Departure Point
Rabbie's Café, Waterloo Place, Edinburgh. Click here to see map.

Return to Waterloo Place

Inclusions: 
Transportation by top of the range Mercedes minicoach for a more personal experience with a maximum of 16 passengers on tour. 
We believe a small group tour with a maximum of 16 passengers really does make a big difference to your trip. It allows us to give you a more personal service and remain the only 5 Star operator to offer this personal guarantee. Touring with a maximum of 16 passengers you get more for your money, more personal attention, more time with the locals, more time off the bus, more time on the back-roads and just more of an authentic, friendly experience. The smaller groups allow you to meet people from all over the world and make friends for life. 
Air Conditioning as standard. 
Services of a professional Rabbie's driver/guide 
All ferry and bridge crossings. 
Rabbie's Discount Card - money off restaurants, shopping and attractions.

 

Exclusions: 
Meals and refreshments. 
Entrances to all Visitor Attractions. 

Accommodation
Your tour does not include accommodation in the price. By giving you a choice of accommodation it allows you to choose your budget, stay in smaller places and get closer to the local people. This also means you help to sustain the communities you visit in the long term. Choose a hotel, B&B or a hostel and we will book it for you.
For more information on accommodation and prices click here

*NB On occasions, when villages we stay in have events on, accommodation can be scarce and expensive so we may use other locations for your accommodation on the tour. We will always inform you of this when this is necessary.

Discount Price 
Students, Seniors over 60 and Children between 5 and 16 (we regret we do not carry children under 5 years old)

Important Information  
Because we believe in time off the bus and give you opportunities to take nature walks we recommend you bring suitable clothing and footwear for your tour. Scotland can be a wet place!!

Details & Itinerary Customer Reviews Traveller Photos Full Itinerary (English)
I had a great time on the Orkney tour even though the weather did not cooperate. Roland was the best story teller, learned so much from him and was totally entertained the whole time. A great big thank you for arranging the side trip to the Orkney Brewery. I enjoyed having my Orkney Dark Island out of a Orkney glass when I returned home. I hope your mum liked the gift you bought her.
Posted by Jan R on 24/09/2014


Thanks to Roland and the group.
Posted by Ann Wood on 31/07/2014


During this tour, Roland recited a poem called "Bloody Orkney". Any chance I can get a copy of it??!!
Posted by Rebecca Craven on 09/07/2014


This tour was epic! Thank you Duncan for making sure this trip will always be remembered. You are now my standard to which every other guide will be compared.
Posted by Laura on 25/06/2014


Dear Karen, thank you for these wonderful days. We enjoyed very much. So many wonderful impressions are taken home, they will stay with us a long time. Next year we will come back when the heather blooms. We can already hardly wait. Sabine + Birgit
Posted by SD Berlin on 15/06/2014


Back in Canada and wanted to say a great big thank you to Roland for making our tour more than anyone could ask for. Roland, your knowledge, story telling, humour and song made the time fly. It seems like we had just started the day and the next thing you knew we were pulling into our hotel for the night. Your personal touches made the tour so much more enjoyable. I will definitely recommend Rabbie's to anyone heading to Scotland.
Posted by Lorri Kiernan-Crowe on 04/06/2014


Just want to thank our guide Roland for a very entertaining and unforgettable tour to the far far north of Schottland. I really really liked ich it. Greetings from germany. Maren
Posted by mareeen on 02/06/2014


Time touring Orkney Islands was fabulous! B&B was fantastic. 13 Palace Road! Wonderful hosts.
Posted by Cara-Joy on 27/05/2014


I love it that the tour group was really small - there were only 7 of us, excluding the guides. We had another guide, Gail, who was travelling with us and making a recce of the trip. It was like we had two tour guides! :D It was really awesome because we get double the information hahaha. They were both very knowledgeable and humorous and I enjoyed my trip tremendously. Already missing Richard and Gail and everyone else on the trip!
Posted by Geelyn on 27/05/2014


Roland is an amazing story teller and this brought the history to life in a way that went beyond simple facts. He went out of his way to ensure everyone on the trip was having all their needs met and a great time.
Posted by Heather on 26/05/2014


The itinerary was well organised in the time frame, which, along with the small group size, was the reason I chose this tour. I am very happy with the experiences provided by Rabbies. However, I continue to be super impressed with the calibre of the driver/guides. Gus was a gem, his thorough & in depth knowledge was only to be wondered at, & he presents his commentary extremely well & highly articulately. I am overwhelmed by the honesty & quiet enthusiasm displayed. Gus is helpful, friendly, entertaining, professional & efficient. I have travelled with small groups pretty extensively & have nowhere had better guides. Thanks for a wonderful few days.
Posted by Anne on 15/05/2014


Had an amazing week with Eddie on the Orkney & Far North tour. I was a bit tentative at first, as it was my first solo trip outside the US--all of the anxiety was completely unnecessary. I can't say enough about this tour. We stopped at more incredibly beautiful spots than I thought was possible, and still managed to see all of the major sights. Eddie heard early on from our group that we were interested in beers & whiskies, and managed to get us both a tour & tasting at Orkney Brewery AND a tasting at Dalwhinnie, without sacrificing much else, it seemed. All of the photo stops were breathtaking and filled with historical significance, all of our guesthouses were met with warm reviews, and we had plenty of time to explore the various towns along the way. The smaller the towns got, the earlier stores & pubs & such seemed to close, which left little room for shopping--but trust me, you're not on this tour to shop. You're here to meet locals, meet fellow travelers, and take in the beautiful scenery. I can't wait to book my next Rabbie's tour!
Posted by Danielle on 28/07/2013


I can't single out one most enjoyable part. Every stop was interesting, Eddie was incredibly knowledgeable about everything and made sure we all had enough time to see what we wanted to see...The entire experience was wonderful.
Posted by Danielle on 28/07/2013


Visiting the Neolithic sites in Orkney was fantastic as I am a history teacher. All of the sites were beautiful and there was a lot of good information available.
Posted by Rosemary on 25/07/2013


We just returned home after a trip to Orkney, with Emily as our guide/driver. What a lovely knowledgeable young women, the landscape was breath taking and Emily always entertained us with stories and her knowledge of the area was fabulous...
Posted by Trudy Campbell on 15/07/2013


Hi All, I'm a solo traveler looking to head out to Orkney this summer. I'm wondering what your experiences were like on this trip, and also what the age range tends to be-I'm 24, and would love to be in a group with a few others around my age. How was this trip, if you've been on it? Any tips? Thanks!
Posted by Danielle on 26/06/2013


Gus,had a very comprehensive, detailed commentary, which was also very enjoyable and at times humourous to listen to. The best guide I have ever experienced in years of traveling. My traveling companion with Rabbies agrees completely.
Posted by karen on 22/06/2013


Finally back to Oz after a wonderful trip to Scotland, made all the more so by my third and fourth tours with Rabbies. Emily brought the north and the Orkneys alive for us, and Liam and Audrey kept us well entertained throughout Lewis & Harris and on to Skye. I hope Rabbies looks after these young guides exceedingly well as they are a precious asset to the company and should be treasured accordingly. Hmmm, now, where to next? Wales?
Posted by Cherie Chasling on 18/06/2013


We really loved the whole bit, fantastic driver, friendly people, great sites. Maybe Skara Brae stands out for it's age and the fact that we saw Killer whales from the Orkney ferry. Gus really is a great driver guide, we learnt so much.
Posted by Andreas on 17/06/2013


I am just back from a tour of the Orkneys and the North West with the wonderful Emily... Her knowledge of Scottish history and passion for her country really made the tour of this magnificent area. Everything ran like clockwork and her easy manner and her way of working with every member of the group was really special - we were not just people on a bus. Emily, I want you as my guide for my future visits to Scotland!
Posted by Jen Bartlett on 12/06/2013


We have just returned from our 5-days' trip to Highland and Orkney islands with Rabbie's. In spite of some days of very bad weather, the tour was admirable - ancient artifacts, mysterious castles and breathtaking landscapes - all these spectacular sights highly impressed me and my friend Larysa. We are very grateful to our guide Richard and driver Guz: due to their calm confidence our trip was safe and well organized. We managed to see a lot of picturesque places. We appreciate their teamwork, their attentiveness to clients, comprehensive knowledge and devotion to their native land.
Posted by Nataliya Morozova on 16/05/2013


Thank you SO much Rabbie's and fantastic guides Richard and Gus for a wonderful, amazing, fascinating trip (03 to 07 May)! I had a great time and have absolutely fallen in love with Orkney. Hoping to see you guys again one day. Best wishes, Tina (the wanna-be Brit from Germany) :o)
Posted by Tina on 15/05/2013


Emily's knowledge & history of the area especially around The Orkneys very memorable. Her story of 'The Working Fairies' will remain with us forever - an absolute delight. I have already bought a cd of The Corries which she played on our trip.
Posted by Peter & Anna Brennan on 08/05/2013


One word, Fantastic! Tour guide manages time well and flexible. Whenever possible, stopovers on the route are made and this has given us the benefits of seeing scenery and things unique to those places.
Posted by Swee Len Wong on 14/10/2012


Dear Rabbies, Thank you for an excellent tour. As we left Australia my cousin expressed envy saying that she to wanted to visit 'the frilly bits of Scotlend'. We we have now done it and what a wonderful trip, filled with interest for any person regardsless of background. Our group of 14 quickly merged into a family under the excellent leadership of Rabbies beautiful young guide, Emily whose faultless driving, time management, story telling, history teaching and care made this a tour of outstanding value. One wonders that the company can reward the worth of such an excellent person. The scenery is almost as beautiful too, indeed the landscape, geology, industry, community, flora & fauna, hospitality all add up to almost over load one's wonder capacity. Thank you Rabbies and Emily for a super Scotland experience, the best! Ian & Di Farquhar
Posted by Ian & Di Farquhar on 26/09/2012


Thanks to Rabbie's and to George, the best guide tour I ever met. Very competent, considerate, always cheerful.He took time to stop when marvellous rainbows happened or red deers wandered on the road! We loved his stories and the Scottish music on board. Scotland is so beautiful, we'll come back very soon, sure! Joëlle, France
Posted by Joëlle Chamarie on 01/09/2012


Skara brae, iron age settlements, walks - it was all good. Michael is a superb tour leader, totally professional and very knowledgeable on Scotland past and present. He made everything we did so interesting.
Posted by Glenyse Webster on 18/06/2012


Every part was enjoyable: both the quiet seclusion of Orkney and the unbeatable beauty of north west Scotland.
Posted by Luisa Ferrari on 02/09/2011


Really enjoyed the 'story-telling' from Michael. He had a great facility to relate the history in an entertaining way. I also appreciated him pointing out odd bits and pieces that were seen on the way. Great to hear the music.
Posted by Susan Robertson on 30/08/2011


Karen was great and so easy to get along with. Great stories. She arranged some nice lunch places for us based upon her knowledge and experience.
Posted by Brenda Ryan on 18/07/2011


Details & Itinerary Customer Reviews Traveller Photos Full Itinerary (English)
Details & Itinerary Customer Reviews Traveller Photos Full Itinerary (English)

Day 1 Depart Edinburgh at 09.00 heading west towards Stirling, passing Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument. You also pass Doune Castle (set of Monty Python's "Holy Grail") before stopping in the small town of Callander for a refreshment stop. You now cross over the fault line into the magnificent Highlands taking in the splendour of Loch Luibnaig, Loch Earn, Glen Ogle and Glen Dochart, as you travel north over the wild and remote Rannoch Moor into Glencoe. The stunning views and spectacular landscapes of our own super (extinct) volcano and scene of the infamous massacre of the Clan Macdonald in 1692, where many of the Clan Macdonald were slaughtered. You stop in this imposing mountain Glen so you can enjoy the spectacular views. You continue north up the Great Glen to the mysterious beauty of Loch Ness, travelling the whole 23 miles of the famous Loch - plenty of time to try and spot "Nessie!" You arrive at your destination of Inverness at approx 18.30 where you will be dropped off at your booked accommodation. The evening is free for you to explore the 'Capital of the Highlands'.

Day 2 is an early start, leaving behind the 'Capital of the Highlands', crossing over the Black Isle, and past Andrew Carnegie's Skibo Castle. From here you drive through the northeast Highland coastline, travelling into some of Scotland's most dramatic scenery, and enjoy amazing views of some of Europe's oldest landscapes and the chance to see wildlife such as Golden Eagles and red deer. Onwards through Scotland's most northerly mainland village, John o' Groats, and then to Gills Bay, where you board the ferry, crossing the Pentland Firth into the Orkney Archipelago. From here it is a short drive to the famous Italian Chapel where we stop for a visit before continuing to the Viking stronghold of Kirkwall, Capital of Orkney where you shall stay for 2 nights. Here you can visit Kirkwall's magnificent Viking Cathedral and its historic winding streets.

Day 3 is your chance to explore this fantastic, ancient island; a land of contrasts where fertile green pastures are fringed by shores of golden sands washed by waters of the North Sea and Atlantic ocean. You will visit the 5000 year old village of Skara Brae (older than the Pyramids of Egypt!), the mystical prehistoric stone circle at Brodgar and the Druidic standing stones of Stenness. You stop in Stromness - one of Scotland's most picturesque seaboard villages and then travel onto Maeshowe, where in the 12th century the Vikings left one of the largest collections of Norse runic inscriptions. Then its back to Kirkwall for your 2nd night after what is sure to be a memorable day.

Day 4 is a relaxed start to the day, as you leave Orkney and sail the Viking waters back to the mainland. From here you travel the old road right across the very top of Scotland, driving past the stunning Ben Loyal and Ben Hope mountains following the rocky cliffs and stunning golden sand beaches of our northern coastline. You then visit the far northwest highlands and the grandeur, expanse and wilderness of the mountains of Assynt before stopping to view the 15th century ruins of Ardvreck Castle. From here you travel to Ullapool, situated at the mouth of Loch Broom, a beautiful whitewashed fishing village where you spend your last night's stay on tour.

Day 5 Leaving Ullapool behind you, you take in the drama of the River Droma as it plunges 60m down into Corrieshalloch Gorge, before taking in the beautiful Loch Glascarnoch, on the way past the 'Capital of the Highlands' Inverness. You can then visit Culloden Moor, the site of The Battle of Culloden in 1746, one of the bloodiest events in our history and the last battle to have been fought on the British mainland, before taking a short drive to the ancient standing stones at Clava Cairns, made famous by Diana Gabaldon in the "Outlander" books. This prehistoric and stunning Bronze Age burial ground is one of the oldest in Scotland. From here you travel through the ancient Caledonian Pine Forest, hugging the Cairngorm mountain range. Lunch will be spent in these beautiful surroundings before travelling through big tree country of Perthshire, through the Kingdom of Fife, and back to Edinburgh around 19.00.

Photography Credits:
Visit Britain
Visit Scotland.
Britainonview.
Mike Hasted, Luke Sheppard, Ingrid Rasmussen, Pawel Libera, Tony Pleavin, Craig Easton, David Angel, Martin Brent, Bob Berry, Paul Watts, Geoff Wong (Stromness), Dorcas Sinclair (Lochinver), Flaxton at en.wikipedia (Thurso).