Escape to Scotland’s extreme Northern Coast & Orkney on this magical tour from Edinburgh.
Orkney Isles - These beautiful islands are full of ancient history and wildlife.
Glencoe and Rannoch Moor - Be moved by the sheer beauty and tragic tales of one of Scotland’s most famous landscapes.
Loch Ness - Take a chance to go on an optional boat cruise or wander around this alluring and eerie loch.
Skara Brae and Ring of Brodgar - Learn how people used to live in ancient times at these prehistoric monuments.
Cairngorms National Park - Gaze in awe at Scotland’s most beautifully rounded peaks.
The archipelago of Orkney hides many treasures: and on our five day tour, your experienced guide will ensure you find the best of them. You’ll unearth some of the most well-preserved prehistoric sites in Europe, examine a beautiful red sandstone coast, and discover the vibrant culture of remote island communities.
You’ll also have a chance to find the Loch Ness Monster, see Scotland’s beautiful north, and learn about the tragedy of Glencoe.
It’s an experience you’ll treasure for a lifetime.
Students, seniors over 60, and children between 5 and 15 (unfortunately, we don't carry children under 5 years old)
Departing from Edinburgh you head 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.
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, the Kingdom of Fife, and back to Edinburgh.
I took this tour in 2014. It was one of my favourites. Cannot say enough about the quality of the tour. Unbelievable.
My friend and I recently went on the 5 day Orkney tour, Sept. 14-18 and we had a wonderful time. I would especially like to acknowledge our driver, tour guide, and storyteller extraordinaire, Emily (sorry I did not get her last name). Her knowledge of Scotlands history, its people and especially its unique geology was astounding. It was clear she is proud of her country and loves her job. She made our trip truly the trip of a lifetime. Thank you Emily for being such a wonderful, fun and knowledgeable guide!!!
Thanks Rabbies for a great tour . The country was beautiful, Stevie was knowledgeable and soooo entertaining!! Thanks for a wonderful time.
Recently returned from our 5-day tour taking us to Orkney and want to say a huge THANKS to Gail for making this such a memorable visit for us. Gail is by far the best guide we have had on any tour. She was passionate about Scotland, knows the history of places we visited and through her stories and knowledge gave them a depth that we would have otherwise missed. She was engaging and quite simply, fun to spend 5 days with. She made impromptu stops at fun things as well as the itinerary destinations. We enjoyed saying hello to hairy coos and shetland ponies which added to the pleasure of the tour. She provided the perfect blend of schedule and flexibility. We will return for other tours and will look for ones that shes on. A good guide makes the difference between a drive and an excursion. Gail was terrific.
This was my first guided bus tour and I couldnt have been happier . The route through the various different parts of Scotland has been well planned to show the changing landscapes . Our guide Emily was entertaining , witty and had an amazing depth of knowledge of history and geography . She was able to give a comprehensive explanation of how the social landscape changed over recorded history . Her personal anecdotes were very funny and showed the passion she brought to the narrative , which was tied in with local folk music and folk lore appropriate to the area we were travelling through . Will highly recommend this tour to my friends . Just a wee trip from Australia .
Enjoyed a magic tour to Orkney and the north of Scotland in the end of May. Spent 5 days in company with wonderful people and a gem of a tourguide Duncan. He is a true marvel as a storyteller, truly amazing! He made the tour so special with his humour, his wit, his kindness and attention to everyone, his amazing way of putting life to characters in the stories he told etc. I would love to go back on the bus for another week with him and all the friends I made. It will be difficult to beat this tour, so I am so glad I decided to go! I loved the scenery of the highlands and the north of Scotland and I loved Orkney. The islands with so much history and interesting places had me in their grasp the minute I set foot on land and I want to go back one day. I have always wanted to see Skara Brae, and now I have. The Ring of Brodgar and the standing stones of Stenness were great too. We couldn’t visit Maeshowe so Duncan suggested we visit the Tomb of Eagles instead. That proved to be a great idea and it was quite interesting. And the visit to the tomb itself gave me a funny memory poor Duncan having to crawl into the tunnel to help me when I got the board totally stuck into the wall. Had me in fits of laughter for a long time after. The weather was mostly cold, wet and windy but we escaped the most of the heavy showers. Well, there was the surprise Duncan promised us if we walked to Smoo Cave… little did he know that we would be soaked through by the time we got back up to the bus. Apart from that, we didn’t get too wet from the rainshowers and on the Scottish mainland it wasn’t quite as windy as it was on Orkney. We experienced some amazing scenery on the north coast and on the way back to Edinburgh too and I was sad to leave the wonderful people I got to know on this tour. Think I suffer from some kind of post-tour blues, really.
We really had a terrific time - Gus was fabulous, I learned a lot from listening to him talk about the places we visited. I guess if I had to pick, Orkney was my favorite.
This was our first experience with a small bus tour and we loved it. Our guide, Karen, was fantastic. Her knowledge and love of Scotland made the trip most enjoyable. The scenery and places of interest were most memorable. Some of our favorites were the Italian chapel on Orkney, the black houses, the weavers on Harris, the standing stones, Fingal's cave and the beautiful beaches.
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.
Thanks to Roland and the group.
You stay two nights in Kirkwall, Orkney with a night in Inverness and Ullapool before and after.
Your tour excludes accommodation; but when you book, you can ask us to reserve local accommodation for you, or you can choose to reserve your own accommodation in the overnight locations.
Once you've booked your tour, we'll reserve all your accommodation, and your driver will drop you off with your hosts. You’ll pay your accommodation hosts directly. Most accommodation hosts don’t accept credit cards, so be prepared to pay cash.
Due to availability, we may not be able to reserve your first choice of accommodation. When this happens we’ll book your second choice, and If there are any further issues we’ll contact you.
Changes to accommodation cannot be guaranteed and are subject to availability. A minimum amendment charge of £5.00 will apply, increasing to a maximum of £25.00 depending on the length of your tour.
You’ll need to contact us with your accommodation details. Please only reserve accommodation within the overnight towns that your tour stops in. And if you’re unsure, please check with us first.
Your driver will drop you off at your chosen accommodation as long as it’s relatively central.
If you cancel less than three days before departure, you may be liable for the cost of your first nights’ accommodation. And occasionally you may be liable for all your accommodation costs.
We try to reserve accommodation that’s no more than a 20-minute walk from the town centre. But during busy periods there can be a walk of up to 30 minutes.
We regularly check our accommodation suppliers to ensure they reach a certain standard. The prices below are for guidance only.
B&B (Bed and Breakfast) Standard
The toilet and showering facilities are shared with at least one other rooms in the house, and the price includes breakfast. The cost is between £30.00 - £35.00 per person per night. A single standard is between £35.00 - £60.00 per night.
The showering and toilet facilities are private, and breakfast is included in the price. The expected cost for a room, based on two people sharing, will be between £40.00 – £50.00 per person per night.
The expected cost for a single room will be between *£55.00 - £65.00 per night. If you travel during a busy period, you can expect to pay up to *£75 - £80 per night. Rooms with a view are limited and may be more expensive.
In Ireland B&B's will be around €45 - €55 per person per night.
Hotels have a bar or restaurant and provide evening meals. Breakfast is included in the price. The expected cost of Hotel 3* is between £65.00 - £85.00 per person per night. Hotel 4* is approximately £75.00 - £120.00 per person per night. Please be advised that 4* hotels aren’t available in some smaller rural areas of the Scottish Highlands and islands.
In Ireland, Hotels are around €55 - €65 per person per night.
A hostel consists of dormitory rooms with 4 to 16 bunk beds. Towels aren’t provided, but you can hire towels there. The bathroom facilities are a short distance from the dorm room. Kitchen facilities are equipped so you can make your own meals. The cost is between £15.00- £25.00 per person per night.
Please note that SYHA hostels only offer same gender dorms. Some independent hostels will offer mixed rooms (males and females together). If you have a preference, please let us know at the time of booking.
If you have any more questions, feel free to call us on +44(0)131 226 3133, or email email@example.com.
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Highlights: mountains, lochs, walks, castles, beaches, national parks
Highlights: nessie, film locations, gaelic culture, ferry, lochs, mountains, prehistoric sites, walks
Highlights: walks, ferry, abbeys, gaelic culture, lochs, mountains