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  • 5 Day Orkney & North Coast Tour

    5 Day Orkney & North Coast Tour From £369

    Ancient Mysteries & Dramatic Landscapes

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About Sholto

sholto250Sholto is our tour expert and has information on something like 30 different tours around Scotland. If you don't want to browse around the site, try giving him a call for some advice.

(BTW: Sholto is ancient Scottish/Gaelic name that means the "sower of seeds" or propagator - people often ask)

5 Day Orkney & North Scotland Tour from Edinburgh

Discover Scotland's North Coast and the wonders of the Orkneys on this 5 day/4night tour! Highlights are the Orkneys, the rugged extremes of Scotland’s northern coastline, Loch Ness and the Caledonian forests of the Cairngorms. Price includes B&B accommodation. Sunday, Wednesday & Friday departures.


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. Stay 2 nights in Kirkwall, Orkney with a night in Inverness and Ullapool before and after. This tour visits Culloden and Clava Cairns as featured in the  "Outlander" series  - based on the books by Diana Gabaldon.


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This tour operates on: Wednesday, Friday, Sunday

Day 1

Depart Edinburgh at 09.00 heading west towards Stirling, passing Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument.

flick wallace monument1

You also pass Doune Castle (set of Monty Python's 'Holy Grail') before stopping in the small town of Callander for a refreshment stop.

flick rannochmoor7

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.

glencoe

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!'flick loch ness urquhart castle4

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

We have 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.

flick italian chapel1

Here you can visit Kirkwall's magnificent Viking Cathedral and its historic winding streets.

Day 3

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.

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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.

flick brodgar3

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.

flick maeshowe1

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.

assynt1

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.

ullapool1

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.

culloden3

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. 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.

cairngorms1

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.

Inclusions

Accommodation based on B&B sharing - we can also upgrade to hotel 3*

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. 
Forced air ventilation as standard. 
Services of a professional driver/guide 
All ferry and bridge crossings. 

Unless otherwise notified passengers are restricted to one medium sized suitcase/bag (maximum 15 kilos) and one carry-on bag per person.

Exclusions

Meals and refreshments. 
Entrances to all Visitor Attractions. 

The Little Details

  • Minimum Age: Age 5+
  • Min Age: 5 years
  • Tour Vehicle Type: Mini Coach
  • Months of Operation: April, May, June, July, August, September, October
  • Duration of Tour: 5 days
  • Departure Point: Edinburgh
  • Departure Point: 6 Waterloo Place, Edinburgh EH1 3EG
  • Departure Time: 9.00 Hrs Please check in 15 minutes earlier
  • Expected return Time: 19:00 approx (day 5)
  • Duration of Tour: 5 days

Rates & Dates

Adult Prices:         £499 - £529
Discount Prices:  £399 - £424

Discount Prices apply to Children between 5 and 16.
We regret we do not carry children under 5 years.

Departing: Fridays ( April to October) and Sundays and Wednesday (May to September)

Booking Notes

Click on the "Book Now" button to check availability and make enquiry.

Tour Essentials

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!!

Some Places We Will Visit

  • Callander

    The small Trossachs town of Callander lies right on the main tourist trail from Stirling through to the west Highlands. The town became famous during the 'Scottish Enlightenment' of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries with the gleaming reports given by poets Sir William Wordsworth and Sir Walter Scott and developments came to a full swing with Queen Victoria choosing to visit Callander and with the arrival of the train line in the 1860s.

  • Ullapool

    The attractive little fishing port of Ullapool, on the shores of Loch Broom, is the largest settlement in Wester Ross.

  • Glencoe

    Dramatic landscape with a dramatic history. Few who visit the glen are unmoved by its majesty and power.

  • Loch Ness

    Loch Ness is world famous for the wrong reasons: the mythical watery monster than has been subject to repeated scientific investigations without success. Its fame ignores the real attractions of this huge lake framed by mountains and castles that cuts the highlands in two. 

  • Kirkwall

    Orkney's capital is built around a wide sheltered bay and is the main departure point for ferries to the northern islands.

  • Stromness

    Ferries from Scrabster arrive in Stromness, and the newcomer is greeted by rows of stone-built houses hugging the shore, each with their own jetty. Stromness is a much more attractive town than Kirkwall, and its narrow, winding main street, its wynds and closes, its fascinating shops, and its unique atmosphere make it the ideal base for exploring the West Mainland.

  • John O'Groats

    If you still feel inclined to visit this old tourist trap, then that's your prerogative, but don't say we didn't warn you. It's kind of boring at best and pretty miserable most of the time. It gets its name from the Dutchman Jan de Groot, who was commissioned by King James IV to run a ferry service to Orkney in 1496. Ferries still operate from here to Burwick in Orkney (see Transport below). There's a Tourist Information Centre here (Tel. 611373, open April-October Monday-Saturday 0900-1700), as well as a post office, craft shops and a chippie.

Ancient Sites We Visit or Pass

  • Skara Brae

    The best preserved stone age village in Europe: an extraordinary insight into life 5000 years ago.

  • Ness of Brodgar

    The most recent Neolithic site in the area and to some accounts the most important. Dates back to 3500BC and was occupied for 1500 years. In the summer months, archeologists are hard at work. 

  • Maeshowe or Maes Howe

    Maeshowe is a Neolithic chambered cairn and passage grave situated on Mainland. It was probably built in around 2800 BC. It gives its name to the Maeshowe type of chambered cairn, which is only found in Orkney.

  • Standing Stones of Stenness & Ring of Brodgar

    Two Henges (or sets of standing stones) in walking distance of each. Catch them at sunset or early evening when you will virtually have them to yourself. Amazing and so much more exciting than Stonehenge!

  • Clava Cairns

    Bronze age circular cemetary beside the battlefield at Culloden and now famous from Outlander series. Probably 4000 years old

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