Leaving Edinburgh at 8.30 a.m. we head straight for the Highlands. First stop is Stirling and Braveheart Country (William Wallace, King Robert the Bruce and Rob Roy) – you’ll hear all the history and legends, with plenty of walks and time off
the bus. Then we wind through some of Scotland’s finest glens, including Glen Garry, Glen Nevis and breathtaking Glencoe (hear about the massacre of Clan MacDonald). Then it’s onto the famous village of Plockton near to the Isle of Skye to the Station Bunk House - our home for the next 2 nights
A full and active day round the Isle of Skye, with lots of walks and time to take in the magic. You’ll see the Cuillin mountains, the Old Man of Storr (an incredible Jurassic pillar) where you’ll hear some amazing legends, visit Lealt waterfalls and Kilt Rock, and take in absolutely stunning panoramas in the Quirang. There are stories of old to be heard around every corner and you can’t help but feel the magic. Perfect preparation for a few wee drams in the local pub, to reflect on a day of tales and legends.
Before making our way North we will have time to go on a seal spotting trip with a local fisherman and hopefully try some seafood fresh from the water! Inchnadamph lodge (nr Ullapool) is our destination but there is much to do on the way. Take in the magnificent Corrieshalloch Gorge by Ullapool and then wind around the coastline of Wester Ross stopping at waterfalls & golden beaches with views of the Torridon mountain range. The beautiful mountains of Assynt surround our hostel tonight.
Today we wind our way along the narrow roads of Sutherland – a chance to explore the famous Smoo caves and drive/wander through some of the most remote and rugged landscape Europe has to offer. Deserted beaches, towering mountains, sparkling lochs and the wide open skies really set the tone today before we take the evening ferry to the awesome Orkney Islands. We will spend the next 2 nights in the Murray Arms where a warm welcome is assured.
From our base in the fishing village of St Margaret’s Hope we spend a full and energetic day today exploring the islands - it will be packed with Viking ancestry and world-renowned archaeological treasures such as Skara Brae and the ring of Brodgar. Plus a chance to gaze in wonder at the island’s Italian Chapel, search for the coastal Puffins (May-July) and also walk to one of the neighbouring islands. Loads of time will be spent off the bus and much time spent walking especially along some of the fantastic beaches – a day to remember (another one!)
Another morning on Orkney going for some lovely walks in the area (experience a "Gloup"). This afternoon we return to the mainland visiting John O'Groats before heading south via Wick and the atmospheric ruins of Castle Sinclair. Finally another castle, Carbisdale our home for the night! A unique experience living it up in style, surrounded by it's priceless art collection.
We have plenty to do before getting back to Edinburgh today and so it is over the Moray Firth to infamousLoch Ness for a spot of monster hunting , before taking an emotional visit to tragic Culloden battlefield (Bonnie Prince Charlie's last stand). We recover our spirits with a visit to Edradour Distillery Scotland's smallest whisky distillery. Our final stop is a gentle walk through the beautiful Hermitage Forest.
Finally a short hop back to Edinburgh – a tired and happy honorary Scot!
We're certain that this will be a really special trip, and one you'll remember for a long time to come. We look forward to seeing you.
Tour itineraries and accommodation can vary due to acts of God etc, but we normally stick to this.
Hostel accommodation * Evening meals * Breakfasts * Ferries to and from Orkney
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