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Scottish Highlands & Islands

Spend a delightful twelve days discovering the truly stunning Scottish Highlands and some of the Western Isles. Nowhere else in Britain can match the Scottish Highlands & Islands for sheer splendour and dramatic landscape. There are spectacular mountains, heather-clad hillsides, tumbling rivers and mirror-like lochs in the Highlands to be explored as well as heading out to the northwest edge of Europe – the 150 mile long island chain of the Hebrides, complete with some of Britain’s best beaches, as well as yet more of the beautiful scenery described above, dotted with small crofts, many sheep and lovely Highland cattle. This historic region abounds with tales and legends of saints and Picts, of Viking invaders and endlessly warring native clans. It is a long history, much of it bloodied with battles, and it has left the countryside rich in antiquities and burial chambers, standing stones, brochs, forts and castles which can be seen wherever people found land to settle.

“The Scottish Highlands and Islands Tour was one of the very best tours we have ever been on – everything that we experienced was perfect.”  N&B.S., Buckinghamshire

Itinerary

May be subject to change.

Day 1

Start at Loch Lomond and stay overnight on the lake shore at a lovely hotel. Set amidst some of Scotland’s most idyllic and unspoilt areas, Loch Lomond is engulfed by a natural beauty, surrounded by some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. Many of the hotel rooms and the restaurant offer undisturbed panoramic views of Scotland’s most breathtaking loch and its majestic mountainous surroundings. The award-winning restaurant serves up delicious modern cuisine carefully created using the freshest of local produce.

Day 2 123 miles

Drive over Rannoch Moor and on to Glencoe. Take the time for a walk to the Secret Valley and find out about the bloody history of the area. After circling round Loch Leven spend the night near Fort William, at a lovely hotel, which was a former hunting lodge, in the highlands.

Day 3 118 miles

After heading to the Commando Memorial near Spean Bridge, and crossing the Caledonian Canal, continue past Glenfinnan to Mallaig, where we take the ferry across to Armadale, on the Isle of Skye. Drive up through Skye, maybe stopping for tea at the renowned Kinloch Lodge. Stay for two nights at a lovely country house hotel in the north of the Island, which overlooks the Isle of Raasay. The cottage of Flora MacDonald’s (of Bonnie Prince Charlie fame) is just behind the main house and a couple of the rooms are here too.

Day 4 87 miles

Spend the day exploring Skye. Drive over the Quiraing to Uig. Drive up to Waternishand then on towards Dunvegan to see the superb castle and seat of the MacLeods. Perhaps enjoy lunch at the famed Three Chimneys restaurant. Head south to the Talisker Whisky distillery and then return to Flodigarry.

Day 5 64 miles

Take the morning ferry from Uig to Tarbert on the Isle of Harris. Discover Harris with a circular tour of the island, and perhaps see how the famous eponymous tweed is made. Drive to Leverburgh down the west coast, taking the opportunity for a stroll on the fabulous Luskentyre Beach. Head to Rodel and then visit the ancient St Clement’s Church.

Return to Tarbert along the ‘Golden Road’ east coast, which contrasts starkly with the west coast. There are a number of small tweed makers along here, particularly in Plocropol, and a visit is very interesting and worth-while. Stay for two nights on Harris at a lovely hotel in Tarbert.

Day 6 105 miles

Leave Tarbert and head along the wonderful road to Huisinish, passing Abhainn Suidhe Castle. Return to the main road and drive around the island of Lewis, visiting the Calanais Stones, and the wonderful and atmospheric Blackhouse Village at Gearrannan. Drive up to the Butt of Lewis and visit some of the many art and craft galleries. Head back to Tarbert.

Day 7 68 miles

Drive up to Stornoway on Lewis and take the ferry to Ullapool, back on the mainland. Head north to Lochinver on some outstanding roads, and stay for the next three nights in a gorgeous hotel overlooking the lochs from its elevated, hillside position. The restaurant is managed by famed chef, Albert Roux.

Day 8 117 miles

Enjoy a circular tour right up to the northernmost point on the British mainland, travelling over the superb Kylesku road, where a number of motoring adverts are filmed. Head up to Durness and Tongue and delight in the gorgeous scenery before returning to Lochinver.

Day 9 47 miles

Another circular day tour of the highlands, or enjoy some time to relax. Massages can be arranged at the hotel. There is the opportunity to fish for trout if you wish. The clear running streams and lochs in this part of Scotland are the natural home of brown trout, the hotel can offer a range of loch fishing with boats and a ghillie.

Today’s tour takes you round the Assynt Coastal Route via to Stoer Point and Lighthouse and Drumbeg. It’s beautiful scenery all the way, again.

Day 10 189 miles

A superb drive south with simply outstanding scenery and vistas.  Head south, past Ullapool to Inverewe, to the wonderful gardens. Continue to Loch Torridon and take the wonderful and narrow coastal road past Applecross and on to Plockton. Stay overnight in a lovely little hotel right in the centre of Plockton. Parking is on the street but it’s a small, friendly village.

Day 11 179 miles

Drive south, past the exquisite Eilean Donan Castle, which is open to visitors. Continue to Invergarry and through Fort William, and Inveraray to stay for the last night back at Loch Lomond.  Inveraray Castle and Jail are well worth a visit. Return south over the Rest and Be Thankful Pass to Loch Lomond.

Day 12

Depart for home at your leisure.

Accommodation

We have handpicked the very best and most suitable hotels available to us in Scotland.  All the hotels we have chosen have character and charm, and most have great views. The hotels range from loch-side lodges, country house hotels, former shooting lodges and village inns. All except one (Plockton) have suitable parking.

What's Included?

Tour book – includes a brief history of the countries to be visited, emergency details, route maps and detailed directions, accommodation information, and a very detailed, tailored account of sights and visits for each day. The book effectively eliminates the need for any other guide books

Click here to see the Photo Book for the Scottish Highlands & Islands Tour

Requirements

  • Please ensure you have suitable travel insurance
  • It is a good idea to carry a warning triangle, first-aid kit, fluorescent jacket, set of replacement bulbs and a national identification sticker.
  • The most important requirement is that you take pleasure in motoring through fabulous scenery, relish individual, character hotels and enjoy the company of like-minded travellers – and maybe enjoy the odd wee dram of whisky!

Photo books

Photo Books from the Group Tours in 2010 and 2011

Route map

Tour Book (incl UK P&P): £175

11 nights / 12 days

Total: About 1200 miles miles

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