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Scotland, Escape to the Edge (Orkney & Outer Hebrides Small Group): Edinburgh to Edinburgh

Duration
10 Days
Prices From:
US$ 1,837

This Scotland tour takes you to the outer reaches of the beautiful north, including the Orkneys, the Isle of Skye, and Lewis Island, all on a round trip from Scotland’s most fascinating city, Edinburgh.


This small group experience (maximum 16 participants) gets you off the beaten track so you get a real feel for the country. Our guides are hand-picked for their pride and passion for their country. Transportation is in modern Mercedes Benz mini-coaches and accommodation is in a combination of guest houses and B&Bs.

This 10-day Scotland trip sets out from Edinburgh, taking you to the furthest corners of the country, via some familiar Scottish icons.

Head straight for the Lochs on your first day, including Loch Luibnaig, Loch Earn, and of course the famous Loch Ness. We can’t promise a Nessie sighting, but you’ll have plenty of opportunity before an overnight stay in Inverness. Then cross the Black Isle and follow the northeast coast, keeping a lookout for Golden Eagles or Red Deer, making your eventual rendezvous with the Orkney Islands ferry.

The Orkney’s are an archipelago rich in Viking lore and ancient history. Stay in Kirkwall, a former Viking stronghold, then trek out to visit a 5000 year old village, mystical stone circles, and other archaeological sites. On your way back to the mainland, visit Ben Loyal and Ben Hope mountains, along with the 15th century ruins of Ardvrek. Overnight, settle into the fishing village of Ullapool on the edge of Loch Broom.

Say hello to some new travel friends as you switch tour groups for a sail along Loch Broom. Continue on past the Summer Isles to the Outer Hebrides. Then take the afternoon at leisure to explore the north coast. The following day, your trip to Lewis Island is all about prehistoric ruins including Carloway, Gaerrannan, and the stone circle of Callanish. Explore the village of Ulg, taking in waterfalls, woodlands and cliff-tops.

Travel to Harris, the home of Harris Tweed, a hand-woven specialty made by the islanders under the strictest conditions to ensure buyers receive the genuine article. Then cruise to the Isle of Skye, where a range of options includes a tour of 800 year old Dunvegan Castle, and a boat trip to see the seals of Loch Dunvegan. It’s a spectacular last stop on the tour before returning to Edinburgh via Eileen Donan Castle, Fort William, and beautiful Glencoe.


 

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Duration
10 Days
Prices From:
US$ 1,837

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Edinburgh to Inverness

Depart Edinburgh at 09.00 heading 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 were 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'.

Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Craigside Lodge Guest House

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Location View map
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    Craigside Lodge Guest House



    This family run property boasts an unrivalled location right in the heart of Inverness with panoramic views over Inverness Castle and the River Ness, with distant hills and mountains beyond. Craigside Lodge is situated within a quiet residential area but is just minutes away from ...

    This family run property boasts an unrivalled location right in the heart of Inverness with panoramic views over Inverness Castle and the River Ness, with distant hills and mountains beyond. Craigside Lodge is situated within a quiet residential area but is just minutes away from everything Inverness has to offer. With shops, bars, restaurants, local tour pick-up points, and the train and bus station within easy walking distance, our guesthouse provides the perfect location for a holiday or a business trip and is the perfect base from which to tour the Highlands.

    Facilities

    • Complimentary Parking Based on Availability
    • Complimentary WI-FI

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Day 2

Inverness to Orkney

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

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Royal Oak Guest House

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    Royal Oak Guest House



    The modern custom-built accommodation is about one kilometre from the centre of Kirkwall. All rooms are en-suite and a wide selection of facilities are available to help ensure that your stay in here is an experience that you will treasure for many years to come.

    The modern custom-built accommodation is about one kilometre from the centre of Kirkwall. All rooms are en-suite and a wide selection of facilities are available to help ensure that your stay in here is an experience that you will treasure for many years to come.

    Facilities

    • Garden
    • Laundry Service
    • Non Smoking Property
    • Parking

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Day 3

Orkney Mainland

Today 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. You will then 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 your 2nd night after what is sure to be a memorable day.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 4

Orkney to Ullapool

Today 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 the northern coastline. 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 you will 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 6.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Ladysmith Guest House

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    Ladysmith Guest House



    Shetlander Niv and Pauline McRobb would like to offer you a warm Highland welcome. LadySmith Guest house bed and breakfast, is a traditional Highland stone house built in 1888 and situated. The accommodation is extremely comfortable with fresh linen and luxury bathrooms. Relax in the ...

    Shetlander Niv and Pauline McRobb would like to offer you a warm Highland welcome. LadySmith Guest house bed and breakfast, is a traditional Highland stone house built in 1888 and situated. The accommodation is extremely comfortable with fresh linen and luxury bathrooms. Relax in the south facing garden surrounded by some of the largest trees in Ullapool.

    Facilities

    • Internet Access - Wireless
    • Parking Nearby ($)

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Day 5

Ullapool

You have 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. Or why not take the local boat, the 'Summer Queen' from the pier for an idyllic 'summer Isles' cruise. 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.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 6

Ullapool to Lewis Island

Catch the morning ferry from Ullapool for the 2 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.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Hebridean Guest House

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Location View map
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    Hebridean Guest House



    A warm welcome awaits you at the newly refurbished Hebridean Guest House. Their rooms and facilities will ensure you a pleasant and comfortable stay. It is situated in Stornoway overlooking the Lews Castle grounds and golf course. This Guest House is located within walking distance ...

    A warm welcome awaits you at the newly refurbished Hebridean Guest House. Their rooms and facilities will ensure you a pleasant and comfortable stay. It is situated in Stornoway overlooking the Lews Castle grounds and golf course. This Guest House is located within walking distance to the centre of town.

    Facilities

    • Bar/Lounge
    • Meeting Rooms Available
    • Non-Smoking Rooms
    • Restaurant

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Day 7

Lewis Island

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.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 8

Lewis Island to Harris

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.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Highfield Bed and Breakfast

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    Highfield Bed and Breakfast



    Highfield is only a five minute walk from Portree town centre. Located in a elevated position the bed and breakfast captures some unique views of beautiful scenery, including sea views and the Cuillins, one of Scotland's famous mountain ranges. Located by Portree Bay, Highfield sits ...

    Highfield is only a five minute walk from Portree town centre. Located in a elevated position the bed and breakfast captures some unique views of beautiful scenery, including sea views and the Cuillins, one of Scotland's famous mountain ranges. Located by Portree Bay, Highfield sits in a beautiful and quiet location. Boasting a beautiful and busy harbour, great for seafood lovers. Portree is Skye's largest town and is situated 36 miles from the only road from the mainland, via the Skye Bridge.

    Facilities

    • Coffee/Tea
    • Free Parking
    • Free WiFi
    • Guest Lounge

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Day 9

Isle of Skye

Today 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 MacLeod may be possible.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 10

Departure from Edinburgh

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.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

2018: Fri: Apr 6 - 17; Oct 5 - 26; Wed & Fri: May 2 - Sep 28*
* Tour does not operate: Jun 20, 22; Jul 13 

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • 9 nights' accommodation
  • Touring transportation in a Mercedes mini-coach with a maximum of 16 passengers
  • Services of a professional driver/guide
  • Breakfast daily
  • All road tolls.

 PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.

TB RABBIESEDI0918SG: EEOOH BB
21 Sep 2018
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