Drive the full length of Loch Ness, see Cairngorms National park and the stunning Glen Coe, and pass Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument.
- Adult ages 16-59
- Child aged 3 to 15 inclusive
- Senior Seniors(s) 60yrs+ / Students
Pre-History, Stunning Scenery & Island Life
This spectacular Highlands and Islands tour heads west through the beautiful scenery of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, Glen Coe, Fort William, Loch Ness then on to Orkney.
- Glen Coe & Loch Ness: Fascinating history and wonderful scenery
- Kirkwall: The Italian Chapel & Churchill Barriers
- Skara Brae, Maes Howe: And the Ring O’Brodgar
- Culloden: Visit the historic battlefield
- The Cairngorm Mountains: Stunning Highland scenery
North to Loch Ness…
This spectacular Highlands and Islands tour starts by heading west through the beautiful scenery of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Full of stunning lochs and mountains, it is easy to understand why this area is often described as ‘The Highlands in Miniature.’
Visit beautiful Glen Coe…
The route then takes you through the haunting landscape of Glen Coe (scene of the terrible massacre of the MacDonald Clan). Glen Coe is also seen a lot in film. Bond fans will recognise the glen from ‘Skyfall.’ The glen also features in the opening credits of ‘Outlander.’ The tour then continues through Fort William, most famous for being the site of the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis. You will then continue on to Fort Augustus via the Great Glen, Scotland’s greatest fault line which divides the country in two. There will be plenty of opportunities to photograph the best of Scotland and experience great beauty, discover ancient myths and legends and learn all you can on this first day of your tour. Please note this part of the tour is fairly flexible, and your knowledgeable driver-guide will use their experience to design the perfect itinerary to suit the weather and requirements of the group.
Experience Loch Ness by night…
In the evening you will arrive at the fabled shores of Loch Ness, where you can enjoy an evening boat cruise* run by Cruise Loch Ness and enjoy your first night in Fort Augustus.
Overnight: Fort Augustus
Over the sea to the Orkney Isles…
On day two you head north via Inverness and the spectacular coastal scenery of the Moray and Cromarty Firths. Then you board the ferry for a memorable trip to the mysterious and magical Orkney Isles. There are over 70 islands in this group, of which only 20 are inhabited. You will be staying on the largest: the Mainland.
Explore remnants of the Second World War…
Once you arrive you can take in the stunning scenery and start exploring. You’ll visit the beautiful Italian Chapel*, which was built by Italian prisoners of war during the Second World War. These prisoners later became paid workers when Italy joined the allies, and the church was constructed to give the Italians a proper place of worship. From the same era, you’ll also see the famous Churchill Barriers – causeways that were constructed to protect the British naval fleet from submarines.
Exploring the ancient history of the Isles…
From your base in Kirkwall, you’ll spend the whole of day three exploring the islands. This is a land full of ancient history and you’ll be able to take in prehistoric marvels such as the Maeshowe* chambered cairn from the Neolithic era. You can also visit the world-famous Neolithic village of Skara Brae*. It is composed of eight houses and is Europe’s most complete Neolithic village. It is also one of the best-preserved monuments in western Europe, despite being discovered after a storm in 1850! You will go on to see the brooding stone circles of Stenness and the Ring o’Brodgar, a UNESCO world heritage site also from the Neolithic era. The day will finish with a visit to beautiful Britain’s most northerly cathedral, St Magnus Cathedral, which boasts stunning Romanesque architecture.
Explore the dramatic northern Scottish coastline…
You will have a leisurely morning in Kirkwall, which boasts many craft and gift shops to enjoy. Take time to explore the beautiful working harbour and ancient streets. In the late morning, we will say goodbye to Orkney and join the ferry ride back to the mainland. Your expert guide will ensure you get the best out of your journey to Inverness, exploring the dramatic coastline.
Visit John O’ Groats…
Your first stop of the day will be John O Groats, the only place where you can view both the east and west coasts of the UK simultaneously. It’s an excellent opportunity for a photo stop as well!
Experience Dunrobin Castle…
We will then be able to visit Dunrobin Castle, the most northern of Scotland’s great houses and the largest in the Northern Highlands. It is also Britain’s oldest continuously inhabited stately home, more recently owned by the Dukes of Sutherland. Explore the vibrant formal gardens and discover why this Scottish Castle looks like a French chateau.
Visit the capital of the Highlands, Inverness, by night…
Your overnight stop will be Inverness, the capital of the Highlands. This ancient cathedral city has no shortage of things to view; full of cathedrals, churches, and cobbled streets.
Home via Culloden and the Cairngorms…
As you head home, you’ll be able to visit the battlefield of Culloden*, the site of the defeat of the Jacobite forces. Learn more about this turbulent moment of Scottish history which shapes the way the country ran for centuries.
You’ll also pass the stunning Cairngorm Mountains, which serve as both a summer retreat and centre for winter sports. The Cairngorm National Park is also the largest national park in Scotland, and proves a popular destination for tourists and locals alike due to its proximity to major cities- Edinburgh and Aberdeen.
Stop in picturesque Pitlochry…
We will then travel south and explore the picturesque town of Pitlochry, full of independent shops, cafes, and restaurants. It also boasts great mountain and Lochside views.
It is then only a short drive to Edinburgh where you leave the tour and say goodbye to your group.
Q. How does our accommodation booking service work?
We can book your accommodation for you, or you can choose to book your own, as long as it is centrally located at the overnight stop location. Your driver-guide will drop you off and pick you up from the accommodation and you will pay direct to your hosts.
Q. How much will the accommodation cost?
Accommodation is not included in the tour price, below is an estimate of the costs per bed or room night.
- Hostel: Shared rooms from £18 to £28 per single bed per night
- Bed & Breakfast: From £80 – £110 per room per night
- Bed & Breakfast Ensuite: From £110 – £150 per room per night
- Hotel: From £150+ per room per night
- Ensuite: This means you will have your own private bathroom/toilet/shower
All accommodation costs depend on availability and season – so it may be more or less than estimated above. Also, please be advised that many smaller accommodation providers only accept cash payments, and do not accept debit/credit cards as method of payment.
Q. If I wish to book my own accommodation is there anything I need to know?
Once you’ve booked your accommodation, you’ll need to contact us at [email protected]
highlandexperience.com and let us know where you have booked to stay. Please, only reserve accommodation within the overnight towns that your tour stops in. If you’re unsure, please check with us first.
- No matter when you visit, the weather in Scotland can be “changeable”, to say the least. We suggest that you bring suitable clothing for all conditions, including a waterproof jacket (it has been known to rain in Scotland), sunglasses and plenty of layers.
- Ensure you bring shoes suitable for short walks, on rough or uneven terrain.
- Although most attractions & eating establishments we visit accept card payments, we would also recommend bringing cash with you.
- Don’t forget a camera to snap the fantastic memories you’ll make on tour with us!
- Please limit your luggage to 1 x small/medium piece per person (no more than 15kg), along with 1 x small handbag or daypack.