Outer Hebrides & the Scottish Highlands
5 day tour

  • Callanish Standing Stones
  • Outer Hebrides tours from Edinburgh
  • Inverness castle
  • Cairngorms National Park
  • Beaches of Lewis and Harris

Experience the timeless traditions and brilliant beauty of the Outer Hebrides and the Highlands.

Tour map

Highlights

Cathedrals
UNESCO Heritage Sites
Waterfalls
Mountains
Ferry
Beaches
Prehistoric Sites
Lochs

Cairngorms National Park - Gaze in awe at Scotland’s most beautifully rounded peaks.

Lewis and Harris - These two areas with distinct landscapes make up the largest island in Scotland.

Callanish standing stones - This mysterious monument is even older than Stonehenge.

White sands of Luskentyre - Walk along this phenomenal beach and feel like you’re in the Scottish Maldives.

Inverness - The ‘Capital of the Highlands’ blends Victorian architecture with a lively modern lifestyle.

Braemar- This village has a strong association with the British Royal Family and the annual Highland Gathering.

Scone Palace- The original home of Scotland’s Stone of Destiny.

Loch Ness - See Scotland's most famous Loch and try to spot Nessie.

 

Your journey

 

The stone walls and straw roof are stained with soot from the central fire. The children are sleeping amongst the cattle and sheep. And outside the door, you see a spectacle of sharp mountains and soft white sands.

This is what life was once like in the Outer Hebrides: wild, beautiful, and harmonious with the forces of nature.

On this tour, you journey to the edges of Scotland to experience the epic landscapes, wonderful traditions, and ancient relics of the Isle of Lewis and Harris.

You learn about the tweed weavers of Harris, you ponder over the purpose of gigantic Neolithic stone circles, and you step inside an ancient styled abode at the Arnol blackhouse.

What’s more is you also experience the classic Highland landscapes of the Cairngorms and experience the beauty of Scone Palace.

Join this tour, step inside the world of clans and crofters, and experience the wild and rugged legends of the Hebrides.

 

Tour Details

Starts
Check-in closes at 08:15 (tour departs at 08:30) - Edinburgh Bus Station Pick Up, Gate J and Gate K, Edinburgh Bus Station, St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, EH1 3DQ
Finishes (approx.)
18:30 - Edinburgh Bus Station Drop Off, Gate J and Gate K, Edinburgh Bus Station, St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, EH1 3DQ
Luggage
You’re restricted to 20kg (44lbs) of luggage per person. This may consist of a small bag for onboard personal items and a larger suitcase or rucksack.
Discounts

Students, seniors over 60, and children between 5 and 15 (unfortunately, we don't carry children under 5 years old).

Important information
  • Pack your waterproof clothing and walking shoes
  • Attraction tickets may need to be purchased in advance. More information is provided in your booking confirmation e-mail
Tour inclusions
  • Transport in a 16 seat Mercedes mini-coach
  • Air conditioning as standard
  • The stories and services of an English-speaking driver guide
Tour exclusions
  • Entry fees to visitor attractions

Itinerary

Day 1

  • Take in views of the softly rounded peaks of the Grampian Mountains
  • See the amazing Corrieshalloch Gorge
  • Travel by ferry through the Summer Isles

You depart the cosmopolitan city of Edinburgh, journey past the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Forth Rail Bridge, and travel into the Highlands.

Your first stop of the day is in the village of Dunkeld. You get time here to stretch your legs and admire the cathedral’s unusual mixture of architectural styles.

You then venture through the shadows of the great and gorgeous Grampian Mountains and stop for lunch in the charming town of Aviemore. 

After you’ve satisfied your taste buds, you drive out to Rogie Falls and take a short walk out to see this lovely sight.

Next up is Corrieshalloch Gorge, a lesser-known Scottish sight, but it’s one that you’ll love. It’s a short walk under forest canopies with a lovely view of a waterfall.

Then you’re off to Ullapool for a short visit before you jump on the ferry. This two and a half-hour boat trip takes you through the Summer Isles to Stornoway, the main town of the Western Isles, where you will be spending the night.

Day 2

  • Explore the  rugged coastline of Lewis
  • Step inside an ancient Scottish home at Arnol Blackhouse

After your breakfast, head off to the Butt of Lewis, the most northerly point of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. Hold onto your beanies, as this headland spot is known as one of the windiest locations in the United Kingdom.

You’ll continue to explore the island as your driver-guide makes the most of what weather you’ve been blessed with, taking you through traditional crofting towns and seaside ports. Beach fans will love walking the beach at Port of Ness, and history buffs will adore Arnol Blackhouse. Here, you can experience what traditional farming life was like in these remote reaches without getting your hands too dirty.

After lunch in Stornoway, you’ll explore the west side of Lewis out to Uig Bay, before returning to Stornoway for the night. Don’t forget this port town is home to Scotland’s most delicious black pudding – so why not give it a try?  

Day 3

  • Admire the landscapes that inspired Harris Tweed
  • Cast your eyes upon the slender, blonde curves of Luskentyre beach

It’s time for something a little more dramatic. It’s time to enter the region of Harris.

Harris boasts the highest mountains in the Outer Hebrides and one of the most beautiful white-sandy beaches in Britain, Luskentyre.

The area is also famous for Harris Tweed and myths that are as strange as they are poignant. Sate your appetite for shopping with a visit to the Clo Mor Harris Tweed Centre.

After a morning of exploring the dramatic landscapes, you stop for lunch. Depending on the weather, we may even go for a picnic on the beach – so don’t forget to pack your sunglasses.

You head back to Stornoway in the late afternoon.

Day 4

  • Try not to get sent back in time when visiting the Callanish Stone Circle
  • Spend the evening in Inverness, the ‘Capital of the Highlands’

First up today is a visit to the Callanish Stone Circle, so prepare yourselves for the possibility of time travel. This prehistoric sight still mystifies archeologists today.

Continue your exploration with Dun Carloway Broch – these unique ruins sit atop a mound of rock on the Isle of Lewis.

Following lunch in Stornoway, you’ll jump back on the ferry to the mainland. We head straight for Inverness, the Capital of the Highlands and our final overnight stop.

Day 5

  • Try your luck at spotting Nessie
  • Visit Scone Palace, the ancient crowning place of the Kings of Scots

This morning we leave Inverness and head along the shores of Loch Ness. Get your cameras ready just in case Nessie decides to make an appearance. Next you head for Tominoul, the highest village in the Highlands. Sitting on the north side of the Cairngorm National Park, with its central square and 18th-century buildings, Tomintoul is a fine example of a planned village.

Next we head into Royal Deeside, the great valley of the River Dee that runs all the way from the sweeping mountains to the Aberdeenshire coast.

Next it’s time to relax over a leisurely lunch in the charming village of Braemar in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. This beautiful and remote village feels like the Highlands of a bygone era. Set amongst majestic mountains, peat coloured rivers and cool dark forests, it’s easy to see why the British Royal Family have made this area their favourite summer retreat.

From here the route south passes over Scotland’s highest mountain pass, through Highland Perthshire before stopping at Scone Palace, the home of Scotland’s legendary Coronation Stone, better known as the Stone of Destiny.

From here it’s a short journey back to Edinburgh.

Itinerary subject to change.

Accommodation

 

Where does this tour stay overnight?

You stay three nights in Stornoway, and one night in Inverness.

 

 

How does the accommodation work?

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.

 

I want Rabbie’s to book my accommodation, what happens now?

Once you've booked your tour, we'll reserve all your accommodation, and your driver will drop you off with your hosts. 

We'll reserve your room(s) with one of our preferred accommodation suppliers and you'll pay them directly when you check-in. Most accommodation hosts don’t accept credit cards, so be prepared to pay cash.

You won't be able to choose which Hotel/B&B you stay in, but we will confirm the named property and exact prices on your first day of tour. If it's important for you to know where you're going to be staying in advance, or if you want to stay in a specific Hotel/B&B, we recommend that you select the option to book your own accommodation.

 

What if I want to change my accommodation booking with Rabbie’s?

Plans can change, so we let you alter your accommodation choices for free within the first 48 hours of booking. After this time, amendments aren't guaranteed and carry a surcharge. Please contact rooms@rabbies.com if you have any questions.

 

I booked my own accommodation is there anything I need to do?

You’ll need to contact us with your accommodation details. Please only reserve accommodation within the overnight towns that your tour stops in. Your driver will drop you off at your chosen accommodation as long as it’s relatively central.

 

What if I cancel my tour at short notice?

You may be liable for the cost of your first nights’ accommodation for each separate accommodation booked. If you cancel less than three days before departure, you may be liable for all your accommodation costs.

 

What are the accommodation types?

We try to reserve accommodation that’s no more than a 20-minute walk from the town centre. We regularly check our accommodation suppliers to ensure they reach a certain standard. The prices below are for guidance only.

 

The prices below are for guidance only and are based on 2022 rates. We’re working with suppliers to bring you the most up to date pricing for tours departing in 2023.

 

B&B (Bed and Breakfast) Standard

The toilet and showering facilities are shared with at least one other room in the house, and the price includes breakfast. The cost is £35 - £50 per person per night based on shared accommodation. A single standard room is £40 - £70 per night.

B&B En suite

The showering and toilet facilities are private, and breakfast is included in the price. The cost is £45 - £65 per person per night based on shared accommodation. A single en suite is £75 - £90 per night.*

* The cost of accommodation in Stornoway is higher, it's £45 - £70 per person per night based on shared accommodation. A single en suite is £75 - £100 per night.

Hotels

Hotels have a bar or restaurant and provide evening meals. Breakfast is included in the price. The cost is £75 - £90 per person per night based on shared accommodation. A single is £90 - £150 per night.*

* The cost of accommodation in Stornoway is higher, it's £75 - £109 per person per night based on shared accommodation. A single is £100 - £150 per night.

Hostels

Please note, we're unable to book hostels for this tour at the moment. You may still be able to book hostel accommodation yourself if you choose to the option to book your own accommodation for your tour.

A hostel consists of dormitory rooms with 4 to 16 bunk beds. The bathroom facilities are a short distance from the dorm room. Kitchen facilities are equipped so you can make your own meals. The cost based on dorm beds is £19 - £30 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).

 

I have more questions, who can help me?

If you have any more questions, you can read our FAQs, call us on +44(0)131 226 3133, or email rooms@rabbies.com.

 

FAQs

Do you offer hotel pickups in the departure cities?

The UK and Ireland's historic city centres are full of narrow streets and winding roads. So, to speed up your departure, we only pick up from our central meeting points. What's more is leaving the city using the most direct route also reduces the carbon footprint of our tours.

Is there parking close to the departure point?

We don't recommend bringing your car into the centre of our departure cities. It can be hard to find parking, and there are excellent public transportation services.

When should I get to the departure point?

Arrive 15 minutes before your departure time. Due to waiting restrictions, we can't wait for you if you're late.

What happens if I'm late or miss the tour?

If you're late for your tour, our cancellation policy applies.

What are your cancellation policies?

We have a cancellation period of 48 hours for our one day tours, 15 days for two to nine day tours, and 21 days for 10+ day tours. If cancelled outside this period, we'll give you a full refund minus a 10% admin charge. If you cancel inside this period, refunds are at our discretion. Click here to view full terms and conditions.

Can Itineraries change?

Your tour will always follow the itinerary as closely as possible. While there are ongoing coronavirus restrictions throughout the UK and Ireland, itineraries are more likely to change than usual as opening hours and capacities at many visitor attractions are reduced and subject to change. Your driver-guide will keep you up to up to date on the road, and we'll try to get in touch about any large changes prior to your departure.

Can I pre-book a specific seat?

Due to logistical reasons, we're unable to let you pre-book a seat on the bus. But our comfortable 16-seat mini-coaches have huge windows. So, you'll always get a good view.

Are there toilets on the bus?

Unfortunately, we have no on-board toilet facilities, but you'll have regular comfort breaks.

How do you cater for people with accessibility needs?

We aim to accommodate everyone. To read more information on how we do this, click here to go to our accessibility guide.

Do you take children on your tours?

We regret we don't carry children under the age of five on our scheduled tours.

You can ask us about the tours we recommend for younger children. And if your child is less than 1.35m tall, you should let us know, so we can provide them with a suitable booster seat.

How much time do I get off the bus?

We want you to enjoy Britain and Ireland. And we believe the best way to do this is to get you off the mini-coach and out exploring. So, we give you plenty of time to take photos, go walking, and explore ancient ruins.

Why do you exclude visitor attractions?

We exclude visitor attractions in your tour price because it lets you travel your way. It means you can pamper yourself with a luxury lunch or skip an attraction whenever you feel like it.

Do we need to bring our own lunch?

You don't need to. We stop in small towns, villages, and rural eateries where you can choose whatever meal pleases both your taste buds and your budget.

Should I tip the driver-guide?

Let's be honest, our driver-guides would never refuse a cheeky bonus. But it's up to you, and the amount is entirely at your discretion.

What about travel insurance?

We advise you take out travel insurance.

What is ABTOT?

You're protected by ABTOT when you chose to let us reserve your accommodation on a multi-day tour. This means you can claim back anything you've paid us if we become bankrupt. Read our terms and conditions for more information.

I have more questions, who can help me?

If you have any more questions, call us on +44(0)131 226 3133, email tours@rabbies.com , or check out our full FAQs .

4 reasons to choose Rabbie's

Travel the local way on small group tours of 16 people or fewer

You'll have a guaranteed experience, or your money back

Guaranteed departures: We’ll never cancel your tour because of minimum numbers

Our eco-friendly tours support local communities


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