Discover one of Scotland’s most remote Islands. From exploring Orkney's 9000 years of history, monster hunting on the waters of Loch Ness to travelling on the 'Hogwarts Express' and visiting sites that inspired the hit series Outlander, this trip has something for everyone. From our Morag's Lodge base in Loch Ness, we head north to the Orkney Islands and south to Oban for rugged scenery, bloody history, golden whisky and Ceilidh dancing. You’ll have a free day at Loch Ness to try adventure activities, explore the local area and really immerse yourself in the Highland life. One week, one amazing adventure!
DAY 1: EDINBURGH TO LOCH NESS
We leave the capital behind at 8.30am and head north to Perthshire and Dunkeld with its impressive Cathedral overlooking the river Tay, in the heart of Macbeth country. This area is saturated with history, as you’ll hear from your Guide when you travel northwards. You’ll stop at a Highland whisky distillery to find out how what we call the ‘Water of Life’ is made. Don’t miss the opportunity to taste a wee dram of Scotland's national drink. Journey north on to ancient Clava Cairns and lonely Culloden Battlefield, they both have a dramatic history of their own but have been once again thrust into the limelight by the hit series Outlander. Your home for the night is Morag’s Lodge Hostel, nestled on the banks of Loch Ness. With a warm Highland welcome and a well-stocked lively bar, you’re sure to have one hell of a night.
DAY 2: LOCH NESS TO ORKNEY
Today we travel through the rugged North Coast to the tip of the British mainland, where a ferry carries us over choppy seas from John O'Groats to St Margaret’s Hope in Orkney. Home to more archaeological ruins in one area than anywhere else in Europe, Orkney has over 9000 years’ worth of stories to tell. We visit the Tomb of the Eagles, a Stone Age burial chamber that was filled with thousands of human bones and the remains of sea eagles many millennia ago. Enjoy the night in the town of Kirkwall, the capital of Orkney. Don’t forget to check out the magnificent St. Magnus Cathedral that dominates the skyline, before searching out a cosy local pub with some traditional music to dance along to!
DAY 3: ORKNEY
First stop today is at the incredible Skara Brae. Throw yourself back in time once more and explore this Stone Age village dating back to the late Neolithic period; inhabited between 3,200BC and 2,200BC, some of the buildings even have some original furniture! Your guide will passionately bring Orkney to life with traditional tales and stories of the past. Visit the magnificent standing stones at the Ring of Brodgar and stop for a photo at the Italian Chapel, built by 550 Italian POW's in the Second World War. End the day with a Clan dinner in the cosy social area of the hostel or in one of the tasty restaurants to be found in Kirkwall.
DAY 4: ORKNEY TO LOCH NESS
We bid Orkney farewell and make the ferry crossing back to the mainland and travel south through Scotland’s rugged terrain. Journey through the sparsely populated wilderness of Sutherland and Caithness, via glens left deserted as a result of the Highland Clearances. Our journey takes us past the ruins of Urquhart Castle and along the length of Loch Ness whilst we monster spot! We return to Morag's Lodge in Fort Augustus, our home away from home, and as there’s the chance for a wee lie in tomorrow, get yourself ready for a huge party in Mo's Bar tonight!
DAY 5: FREE DAY AT LOCH NESS
You have a free day to explore the charming village of Fort Augustus on the banks of Loch Ness and take advantage of one (or more) of the many activities the area has to offer. From canoeing on Loch Ness - an excellent way to get closer to the unique wildlife in the area (Nessie!), mountain biking along the Great Glen Way and Caledonian Canal, to an exhilarating RIB trip on the loch, there is something for everyone! Of course, there’s the option of going for a wee walk in the wild but whatever you choose to do, don’t miss the opportunity to explore this fabulous part of Scotland.
DAY 6: LOCH NESS TO OBAN
Harry Potter fans, your day has come. Jump aboard the famous Jacobite Steam Train, better known these days as the ‘Hogwarts Express’ and travel through the dramatic Highland scenery. Alternatively, stay with the coach and take the winding 'Road to the Isles' to view the Glenfinnan Monument where Bonnie Prince Charlie began his claim to the throne of Scotland back in 1745. From Fort William, we pass under the shadow of Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain and on to Oban, known as the ‘Gateway to the Isles’ because of its spectacular views over to Mull. Treat yourself to some super fresh seafood before heading along to a traditional Ceilidh for your chance to join in with a proper Highland Fling. It’s one of the best nights out on tour and a great way to spend your last night with your group.
DAY 7: OBAN TO EDINBURGH
This morning we head for eerie Glencoe, home to some of Scotland’s most iconic scenery and the setting of the infamous 1692 massacre. The stunning glen has also been used as a backdrop in many movies like Harry Potter and Skyfall. As we head further south, we enter Rob Roy country where the landscape changes from the Highlands to the Lowlands. We pass Doune Castle, setting for Outlander and Game of Thrones on our journey back to Edinburgh. Take in views of the magnificent Stirling Castle, the mighty Wallace Monument and hear tales of heroic William Wallace and the famous battle of Stirling Bridge. By the end of the 7 days, you’ll have well and truly fallen in love with Scotland and made some new friends along the way.
- From: £335