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10 Day – Orkney and the Outer Hebrides

Go back in time to the prehistoric wonders of Orkney and the Outer Hebrides on this tour from Edinburgh. You will see emerald blue shores and cream-white beaches in Lewis and Harris.

You will be entranced by the vivid tales of prehistoric history in the Orkney Archipelago and you will be blown away by the sheer geological wonders of the Isle of Skye.

Absorb the beauty of the Cairngorms National Park and see if you can spot the monster from the shores of at Loch Ness.

It’s an unforgettable chance to escape to the wild and beautiful north of Scotland.

 

 




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Prices

  • £608.00 From per person

Enquire about this tour

Tour Highlights

  • 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 spot the famous Loch Ness Monster
  • 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
  • Lewis and Harris - These two areas with distinct landscapes make up the biggest 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
  • Isle of Skye - Traverse one of the world’s most stunning islands, with beautiful views around every corner
  • Eilean Donan Castle - An iconic and gorgeous 13th century castle that once warded off Viking invasions
Glencoe
61°
partly cloudy
100% humidity
wind: 4mph S
H 79 • L 54
81°
Wed
89°
Thu
93°
Fri
92°
Sat
94°
Sun
Weather from Yahoo!

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 - Glencoe, Loch Ness and Inverness

Departing 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 was 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 - Orkney Archipelago and Kirkwall

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.

On wards 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 two nights.

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

Day 3 - Skara Brae and Stromness

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.

We 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 our 2nd night after what is sure to be a memorable day.

Day 4 - Assynt, Ardvreck Castle and Ullapool

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.

We 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 we travel to Ullapool, situated at the mouth of Loch Broom, a beautiful whitewashed fishing village where you will spend you next two nights.

You will say goodbye to this group here, and will be collected by your new guide and group on the morning of day six.

Day 5 - Free time in Ullapool

Enjoy a free day in Ullapool to do as you please before joining up with your new crew the next day. There are many possibilities available in this lovely town, options for your day include enjoying a day just to relax and absorb the highland tranquil pace of life whilst browsing the small craft boutiques nestling through the streets of the town.

Alternatively you could head up Claypool hill for an easy two hour walk offering wonderful views over Loch Broom reaching a maximum height of 900ft. Or for the even more adventurous add to this walk by completing a three hour circuit returning to the town via Rhiddoroch estate.

(Full details of all local walks can be found at the local tourist information centre).

There is also a local swimming pool, and a small museum giving an informative narrative about the natural and social history of the area.

Day 6 - Stornoway and Butt of Lewis

Catch the morning ferry from Ullapool for the two hour sail along Loch Broom, past the Summer Isles then out across the Minch to Stornoway – the main town on Lewis and capital of the Outer Hebrides.

Look out for dolphins, whales and seabirds during the crossing.

In the afternoon explore the North West coast from Arnol with its historic old “blackhouse”, through traditional crofting townships to Port of Ness and the very north tip of the island – the Butt of Lewis.

From the lighthouse here there is nothing between you and the Americas!

Overnight in Stornoway.

Day 7 - Carloway, Callanish and Bhaltos

Today will be spent exploring some of the prehistoric remains on the island as well as its finest beaches.

The fascinating circular stone fort, or Broch, at Carloway will be our first stop followed by more traditional crofting communities such as Gearrannan and Shawbost.

Then its on to Callanish with its mysterious ancient stone circle.

In the afternoon you will head for the remote district of Uig with its fine, sandy beaches at Bhaltos, dramatic sea cliffs and rugged hills.

This is the wilderness of the Western Isles at its finest. Overnight again in Stornoway.

Day 8 - Harris, Luskentyre and Portree

Travelling south today from the wild moorlands of Lewis to the more mountainous Harris – almost but not quite an island on its own. Famous for the locally produced cloth, Harris Tweed, it is also home to the highest mountains in the Outer Hebrides and the stunning white sands of Luskentyre.

After a morning of exploring South Harris you will stop for lunch in the small port of Tarbet.

Here you will catch the late afternoon ferry to Skye and continue on to the harbour town of Portree, your base for the next two nights.

Day 9 - Skye

Is a very flexible day on Skye. There are many possibilities depending on the weather and your driver/guide’s knowledge will come to the fore in developing the best day out for you.

For example you might travel north to the stunning Quiraing mountain pass and enjoy a spectacular walk through some of Skye’s extraordinary geological scenery or visit the Kilt Rock, composed of basalt columns (reminiscent of the pleats in a kilt) with its waterfall cascading over the cliffs and down into the sea below.

Or, after lunch you could travel to Neist Point for a walk out to the lighthouse at the most westerly point on Skye.

Alternatively a visit to Dunvegan Castle, ancient ancestral seat of the Clan McLeod, may be possible.

Day 10 - Eilean Donan Castle

Departing from Portree the return journey to Edinburgh has many highlights – a visit to Eilean Donan Castle, Fort William and the dramatic scenery and dark history of Glencoe.

Travelling back south through the Central Highland the last stop of the day will be in Killin beside the Falls of Dochart before returning to Edinburgh.

Glencoe
61°
partly cloudy
100% humidity
wind: 4mph S
H 79 • L 54
81°
Wed
89°
Thu
93°
Fri
92°
Sat
94°
Sun
Weather from Yahoo!

Important Information

  • Discounts for students, seniors over 60, and children between 5 and 15 (unfortunately, we don’t carry children under 5 years old).
  • Pack your waterproof clothing and walking shoes.
  • One 15 kilogram bag per person.

Tour Inclusions

  • Transport in a 16 seat Mercedes mini-coach.
  • Air conditioning as standard.
  • The stories and services of a driver-guide.

Departure Information

  • Departs 08.30 – Gate J and Gate K, Edinburgh Bus Station, St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, EH1 3DQ.
  • Returns 19.00.

Accommodation

  • 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.

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 between £30.00 – £35.00 per person per night.
  • A single standard is between £35.00 – £60.00 per night.

B&B En/suite

  • 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 – £80.00 per night.

Hotels

  • 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.

Hostels

  • 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 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).


FAQ’s

What meals are included?

Breakfast is included on all overnight tours.  Lunches are not included, unless otherwise stated.  Evening meals are included when stated on the tour itinerary.  On tours of seven days or more, generally fifty percent of dinners are included.  Please check the itinerary page for exact details.

Where does the trip depart from?

Each UK trip will have a dedicated pick up point in central London.  Shorter duration trips will normally depart from Victoria Coach Station, with longer duration trips leaving from the London Reception Centre, near to Waterloo train station.  Departure points will be confirmed before booking a tour.

Can I get picked up from my hotel?

Pick up from hotels is not possible.  You will need to make your own way to the departure point.  However some tours do have a designated hotel departure, which you can stay in prior to the trip.  Please ask at time of booking for departure points and we can direct you to local hotels.

Are entrance fees included?

Entrance fees are included where specified on the itinerary.

Can I pay in dollars?

All tours are quoted and charged in pounds sterling, but you can pay using your local card and currency.  We will debit the card in pounds sterling and your bank will use their exchange rate at that time to deduct the amount in your local currency.

What time does the trip leave and return?

Departure times will vary depending on the itinerary.  European tours departing from London will usually leave between 05.00am and 07.00am.  Multi day UK tours will leave between 06.00am and 07:30am.  Day trips will depart between 07.00am and 09.00am.  European and worldwide tours that start in an overseas city will have a welcome reception on day one of the tour which is usually around 18.00pm.

Return times vary depending on the itinerary.  All the full day coach tours should be finished by no later than 19.00pm, traffic permitting.  The train tours return between 20.00pm and 22.00pm.  Longer duration trips will return between 16.00pm and 19.00pm.  All times will be confirmed at time of booking.

Is this a definite/guaranteed departure?

A definite departure is guaranteed to operate for that given departure date.  A trip that is not yet designated a definite departure is not yet guaranteed to operate based on current booking numbers.  If a trip and departure date you are interested in is not yet definite, do not let this discourage you from booking.  The more paid passengers received, the odds of the trip operating increase.  In the slim case that the operator withdraw a trip you are booked on due to a lack of numbers, you are entitled to a full refund of any funds already paid towards the tour, or if flexible with your time, we can move you onto another departure.

Who travels on these tours, who else is booked?

Whilst we can not confirm exactly who else is booked on a tour, we can guarantee you will be travelling with fellow liked minded travelers who share a passion for travel, fun, adventure and discovery.  All tours will be run by English speaking guides and age ranges will vary.  The beauty of taking a guided holiday is you’ll have the opportunity to meet and travel with people from all over the globe.

Are transfers included from the airport?

In general, if you are joining or departing your guided holiday on the first or last day, return transfers between the airport and hotel are included (excludes itineraries starting and/or ending in London).  You’ll find specific information on the itinerary’s page.

What optional excursions can I do and can I book them now?

Optional experiences are available on some tours.  These are activities that are not automatically included, but offered during your trip to enhance your travel experience.  These are all bookable whilst on the tour via your tour guide/travel director.  These are payable by cash or card.



Our Most Popular Essentials



There are so many and we cater for everyone so it may be a case of a leisurely out of London trip to Stonehenge or you may want the buzz and excitement of a theatre tour of London – all the glitz and glamour is there. Out of London, we offer all sorts of adventures: Roman Baths, Shakespeare country, the Royal Pavilion, Brighton – you name it. Same with London – we don’t just do the round London tours – we can take you to Kew Gardens or we can take you on an expedition on the roof of the O2 Dome to the platform at the top offering spectacular views.

So we offer Out of London, Around London, Theatre and Hotels and then there are the spectacular Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day tours – what a way to celebrate the fun season.