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  1. United Kingdom
  2. Scotland
  3. Edinburgh
  4. Stirling Castle

Scotland: Orkney and Northern Coast 5-Day Tour

Product ID: 42460
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Escape to Scotland’s northern extremes on a 5-day scenic tour and explore the beauty and prehistoric history of the Orkney archipelago, the rugged limits of Scotland’s northern coastline, the fabled Loch Ness, and the stunning Cairngorm mountains.
About this activity
Duration 5 days
Printed or mobile voucher accepted
Instant confirmation
Live tour guide
English
Cancellation policy
Cancel up to 14 days in advance for a full refund

Select participants and date:

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Experience

Highlights
  • Travel the northern limits of Scotland's mainland
  • Cross the Pentland Firth to the Orkney archipelago
  • Stay in the Viking stronghold of Kirkwall
  • Explore the ancient island of Orkney
  • Learn about the clan massacre of the Macdonalds
  • See the mystical prehistoric stone circle at Brodgar
  • Look for Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster
  • Spot deer and eagles
  • View the 15th-century ruins of Ardvreck Castle
Full description
Drive to the top of Scotland on a scenic 5-day tour, and learn the history of the Highlands at sites such as the battlefield of the Macdonald clan massacre, and Stirling Castle. Spend the day on the Orkney Isles, and travel the northenmost coast of mainland Scotland.

The tour is by luxury 16-seat Mercedes minibus for a more intimate experience, while bed and breakfast accommodation is provided in Inverness, the lovely town of Kirkwall, and the whitewashed fishing village of Ullapool at the mouth of Loch Broom.

Day 1:
Depart Edinburgh, heading west towards Stirling. Pass Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument, and continue to Doune Castle, used for location shoots in Monty Python’s “Holy Grail.” Stop in the small town of Callander for refreshments. Then, marvel at the splendor of Loch Luibnaig, Loch Earn, Glen Ogle, and Glen Dochart on a scenic drive over the wild and remote Rannoch Moor. The views of the extinct volcano will take your breath away, and were also the scene of the infamous Clan Macdonald massacre of 1692.

Continue north up the Great Glen to mysterious Loch Ness, with plenty of time to try and spot “Nessie” the Loch Ness Monster. The evening will be spent in Inverness, with free time to explore the “Capital of the Highlands.”

Day 2:
Depart Inverness early to cross over the Black Isle and past Andrew Carnegie’s Skibo Castle. From here, drive the northeast coastline, traveling into some of Scotland’s most dramatic scenery. Enjoy the views of some of Europe’s oldest landscapes, and the chance to spot wildlife such as golden eagle and red deer.

Close to Scotland’s most northerly mainland village, John O’ Groats, board the ferry to cross the Pentland Firth to the Orkney archipelago. It is a short drive on arrival to the famous Italian Chapel, where you will stop for a quick visit before continuing to the Viking stronghold of Kirkwall, your home for the next 2 nights. Look inside Kirkwall’s magnificent Viking cathedral, and wander the winding streets of the historic town center.

Day 3:
Explore the ancient island of Orkney, and discover a land of contrasts, where fertile green pastures are fringed by shores of golden sands, and washed by the waters of the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean. Highlights include a visit to Skara Brae, the mystical prehistoric stone circle at Brodgar, the standing stones of Stenness, and Maeshowe, where Vikings left one of the largest collections of Norse runic inscriptions in the 12th century.

Day 4:
It’s time to leave Orkney and sail the Viking waters back to the mainland. From here, travel 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 the northern coastline. Go to the far northwest of the Highlands, and admire the grandeur of the wild Assynt mountains. Stop to view the 15th-century ruins of Ardvreck Castle. Continue to Ullapool at the mouth of Loch Broom, a beautiful whitewashed fishing village where you will spend your last night.

Day 5:
Your morning includes visits to Corrieshalloch Gorge, and the ancient Clava Cairns, as well as exploring the more recent bloody history of the Culloden battlefield. Return south through the magnificent Cairngorm National Park, driving past the ancient Caledonian pine forests of Highland Perthshire, before your drop off in Edinburgh.
Includes
  • Transportation by Mercedes mini coach
  • Driver/guide
  • Bed and breakfast accommodation (4 nights)
What’s Not Included
  • Meals
  • Refreshments
  • Visitor attractions

Prepare for the activity

Meeting point

Gate J & Gate K, Edinburgh Bus Station, St Andrew Square

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Important information
Know before you go
• Drop off in Edinburgh on day 5 is scheduled for 6:30PM (approximate)
• Tour operate with a maximum 16 passengers for a more intimate and personalized service
• Please bring suitable clothing and footwear for country walks
• Accommodation: Choose from a selection of small, locally owned guesthouses and B&Bs. All rooms are en suite. For individual travelers, please select the single accommodation option. For 2 or more people traveling together, please choose the twin room shared option
• Minimum age to participate is 5 years
• You're restricted to 14 kg (31lbs) of luggage per person. This should be one piece of luggage similar to an airline carry-on bag (approximately 55cm x 45cm x 25cm / 22in x 17in x 10in) plus a small bag for onboard personal items
Organized by

Rabbie's Small Group Tours

Product ID: 42460