5-Day Orkney & Scotland's Northern Coast Small Group Tour From Edinburgh

From USD 713.42
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Per Person
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Tour Information

Key Details

  • Mobile Voucher Accepted
  • Free Cancellation
  • Duration: 5 Days
  • Language:
    English
  • Departure Time :
    8:30 AM
  • Departure Details :
    Edinburgh Bus Station, Edinburgh EH1 3DQ, UK,
  • Return Details :
    Returns to original departure point
  • Cancellation Policy :
    • If you cancel at least 22 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is no cancellation fee.
    • If you cancel within 21 day(s) of the scheduled departure, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee.
    • Tours booked using discount coupon codes will be non refundable.

Overview

Venture to the far-flung Orkney Islands on a 5-day tour from Edinburgh with 3-star accommodation included, and visit top Highland towns and attractions, too! With a friendly guide, travel through the Highlands, visiting Loch Ness and Glencoe, and pass John oGroats on route to the stunning Orkney Island archipelago. With Kirkwall (Orkneys capital) as your base, discover the areas historical highlights such as Lamb Holm Italian Chapel and the Standing Stones of Stenness. On route back to Edinburgh, call in at the 15th-century ruins of Ardvreck Castle and Culloden Moor, an important Jacobite battlefield. Overnight stays in Inverness and Ullapool are included, plus two nights in Kirkwall.

Highlights

  • Small-group tour
  • Breakfast included
  • Multi-Day Trip
  • Informative, friendly and professional guide

Know More about this tour

Itinerary

Day 1: Edinburgh - Inverness

Stop At: Buachaille Etive Mor, Ballachulish, Glencoe, Scottish Highlands, Scotland
Be moved by the sheer beauty and tragic tales of one of Scotlands most famous landscapes.
Duration: 20 minutes

Stop At: Fort Augustus, Fort Augustus, Loch Ness, Scottish Highlands, Scotland
Situated on the most southern tip of Loch Ness on the Great Glen Way, this historic and scenic hamlet is a popular tourist destination.
Duration: 20 minutes

No meals included on this day.
Accommodation included: Overnight in Inverness.

Day 2: Inverness - John O' Groats - Orkney

Stop At: Dunrobin Castle and Gardens, Golspie, Caithness and Sutherland, Scottish Highlands, Scotland
Short photo stop - please note the path leading to the front of the castle is quite steep, not suitable for everyone.
Duration: 10 minutes

Stop At: John O' Groats, Airor, Knoydart Peninsula, Lochaber, Scottish Highlands, Scotland
This Highland village combines dramatic, unspoilt scenery and fascinating wildlife.
Just 11 miles from Dunnet Head, the mostly northerly point of mainland Britain, the small coastal village of John o Groats is the starting point for many embarking on the famous 'End to End' journey to Land's End in England, some 876 miles away.
Duration: 20 minutes

No meals included on this day.
Accommodation included: Overnight in Kirkwall.

Day 3: Full day touring around Orkneys

Stop At: Skara Brae, Stromness, Mainland, Orkney Islands, Scotland
Long before Stonehenge or even the Egyptian pyramids were built, Skara Brae was a thriving village. Step back 5,000 years in time to explore the best-preserved Neolithic settlement in Western Europe.
Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Ring of Brodgar, Stromness, Mainland, Orkney Islands, Scotland
One of the finest stone circles in the world.
Dating back from 2,500 to 2,000 BC, the stone ring was built in a true circle, 104 metres wide and originally contained sixty megaliths; today only twenty-seven of these stones remain.
Duration: 30 minutes

No meals included on this day.
Accommodation included: Overnight in Kirkwall.

Day 4: Kirkwall - St Margaret's Hope - Ullapool

Stop At: Standing Stones of Stenness, Stenness, Mainland, Orkney Islands, Scotland
Step back in time over 5000 years at what may be the earliest henge monument in the British Isles. The enormous Stones of Stenness are all that remains of a great stone circle on an ancient ceremonial site.
Duration: 20 minutes

Stop At: Maeshowe, Stenness, Mainland, Orkney Islands, Scotland
The monumental chambered tomb of Maeshowe is simply the finest Neolithic building in NW Europe. Built around 5,000 years ago, it is a masterpiece of Neolithic design and stonework construction, not least for its use of massive individual stones.
Viking crusaders broke into the cairn in the 12th century and carved graffiti runes on the walls of the main chamber. Maeshowe is part of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site, along with Skara Brae, the Ring of Brodgar and the Stones of Stenness.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: The Italian Chapel, St. Mary's, Mainland, Orkney Islands, Scotland
Visit the Italian Chapel, a beautiful Roman Catholic chapel in Lamb Holm which was constructed by Italians during the Second World War.
Duration: 40 minutes

No meals included on this day.
Accommodation included: Overnight in Ullapool.

Day 5: Ullapool - Edinburgh

Stop At: Culloden Battlefield, Culloden Moor, Scottish Highlands, Scotland
Visit the powerfully moving site of the final Jacobite Rising the last and most harrowing pitched battle to be fought on British soil.
Duration: 45 minutes

Stop At: Corrieshalloch Gorge, Ullapool, Scottish Highlands, Scotland
This plunging box canyon, through which the River Droma rushes, is one of the natural wonders of the Scottish Highlands. Follow the pleasant woodland trails, cross the Victorian suspension bridge over the tree-lined gorge, and look down on the torrent of water crashing 45m over the Falls of Measach.
Duration: 40 minutes

No meals included on this day.
No accommodation included on this day.

Itinerary:

Day 1: Edinburgh – Highlands – Loch Ness – Inverness
Leave Edinburgh in the morning and travel west to the town of Stirling, roughly an hour away. Pass Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument, a tribute to the man who won the Wars of Independence, and travel out of the city past Doune Castle — a filming site for the satirical British Monty Python film Holy Grail.

Stop in the pretty town of Callander to stretch your legs and grab lunch (own expense), and then continue to the Highlands. Sit back and relax as you pass some of the region’s most stunning stretches of water including Loch Luibnaig, Loch Earn, Glen Ogle and Glen Dochart, and travel north through Rannoch Moor to Glencoe, site of the brutal 1692 Glencoe massacre. Stop for photos on the rugged mountain, and then continue north through the Great Glen to Loch Ness for some ‘Nessie spotting’! Look out for the fabled Loch Ness monster while looping around the lake, and travel onward to Inverness, capital of the Highlands and your final destination of the day. Check in to your hotel and spend the rest of the evening doing whatever you please.

Overnight: 3-star hotel or guesthouse in Inverness

Day 2: Inverness – John o’Groats – Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands (B)
Check out of your accommodation after an early breakfast and travel through the scenic Black Isle region, past Skibo Castle and along the dramatic northern coastline. Scotland’s finest wildlife is often seen here, so look out for golden eagles and red deer as you journey through the remote countryside.

Pass through John o’Groats, Britain’s most northerly mainland village, and then board your ferry from Gills Bay to the Orkney Islands archipelago. After approximately one hour crossing Pentland Firth, dock at the main Orkney port, and then drive to the famous Italian Chapel in Lamb Holm. Hear how it was built by Italian prisoners of war when the island was uninhabited, and admire its intricately built architecture. Continue to the former Viking stronghold and Orkney capital of Kirkwall, check in to your accommodation and then sightsee at leisure, perhaps paying a visit to St Magnus Cathedral.

Overnight: 3-star hotel or guesthouse in Kirkwall

Day 3: Kirkwall – Skara Brae – Stromness – Maes Howe – Kirkwall (B)
After a relaxing breakfast in your hotel, meet your guide for an action-packed day, spent exploring the Orkney Islands and learning their history. Visit the Neolithic village of Skara Brae — a site older than the Pyramids of Egypt — and immerse yourself in prehistoric mystery on a trip to the stone circle at Brodgar and the Standing Stones of Stenness.

Stop in Stromness, one of Scotland’s most picturesque seaside villages, and then travel to Maes Howe, the village where 12th-century Vikings left a vast collection of Norse runic inscriptions. Enjoy some free time for lunch (own expense), and then finish your excursion with a drop-off at your hotel.

Overnight: 3-star hotel or guesthouse in Kirkwall

Day 4: Kirkwall – Ardvreck Castle – Ullapool (B)
Leave Kirkwall after breakfast, and travel to the port with your guide to board your ferry back to the Scottish mainland. Journey through the Ben Loyal and Ben Hope mountains, following the rocky cliffs and gold-sand beaches of the northern coast, and then work your way deep into the Assynt Mountains of the Highlands. Stop to explore the 15th-century ruins of Ardvreck Castle and gaze out at the sweeping vistas of rugged Scottish countryside.

After a break at a nearby town for lunch (own expense), travel to the whitewashed fishing village of Ullapool, located at the mouth of Loch Broom. Check in to your hotel, and then spend your night at leisure.

Overnight: 3-star hotel or guesthouse in Ullapool

Day 5: Ullapool – Culloden Moor – Edinburgh (B)
Relax over breakfast, check out of your hotel, and leave Ullapool behind as you start your journey south to Edinburgh. Pass alongside the River Droma, stopping to see the waterfalls at Corrieshalloch Gorge, and take in the beautiful Loch Glascarnoch on the way past Inverness.

In the early afternoon stop at Culloden Moor, the site of the third and final Jacobite uprising (a series of battles for independence during the 18th century). The gruesome Battle of Culloden, in which some 2,000 men were killed, was the last pitched battle (pre-planned fight) to be waged on British soil. Explore the battlefield with your guide, imagining what it was like to be at the center of the action in 1746.

Continue to the standing stones and Bronze Age burial ground at Clava Cairns for a photo stop, and then travel through the Caledonian Pine Forest that hugs the Cairngorm mountain range for the final lunch break of your tour. From the forests, travel south through the picturesque Kingdom of Fife, and arrive back in Edinburgh in the early evening.

Inclusions

Accommodation included: 4 nights

4 nights accommodation with private facilities in either a B&B or 3-star hotel (breakfast included)

Small-group tour (maximum 16 passengers)

Transportation by top of the range 16-seat Mercedes mini-coach

Driver/guide

Exclusions

Hotel pickup and drop-off

Gratuities

Meals and refreshments

Admission fees

Entry/Admission - Dunrobin Castle and Gardens

Entry/Admission - Skara Brae

Entry/Admission - Maeshowe

Entry/Admission - The Italian Chapel

Entry/Admission - Culloden Battlefield

Additional Info

Confirmation will be received at time of booking, unless booked within 9 days of travel. In this case confirmation will be received within 48 hours, subject to availability

Children are not permitted to travel alone. Child rate applies only when sharing with at least 1 paying adult

Minimum age for travel on this tour is 5 years

Please note: you will be required to choose between either a 3-star bed and breakfast or 3-star hotel at time of booking

Booking three or more people? We can accommodate up to 8 guests in a group, please add each required room to your basket separately

When booking three or more people, efforts will be made to book a combination of suitable rooms (double/twin/family). Preferences should be noted upon booking in the Special Requirements section

Family rooms are limited and may be available on request. Maximum of 2 Adults and 1 child in one room. Family rooms for 2 adults and 2 children are not available

Luggage Allowance: You're restricted to 14kg (31lbs) of luggage per person on our tours. 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.

Not wheelchair accessible

Near public transportation

Most travelers can participate

This tour/activity will have a maximum of 16 travelers

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