Your 5 day Orkney small group tour takes in the best Scotland has to offer. Experience the Orkney Islands, spend overnight in Ullapool, part of the North Coast 500, and see wildlife, lochs, castles and more on your 5 day tour.
Starting from Glasgow, our 5 Day Orkney and the Northern Highlands tour heads north to the village of Luss on the shores of Loch Lomond. After some time here admiring the beauty of the loch we travel on to Tyndrum at the south edge of Rannoch Moor for some lunch before heading to Glencoe, site of one of the most notorious mass murders in Scottish history. Enjoy a short walk and take in the atmosphere of the dramatic valley. Afterwards we move on to Fort Augustus where you will have the option to take a cruise* on the loch. After your cruise we will pause for photos of the loch-side ruins of Urquhart Castle before travelling to Inverness where day 1 of the tour ends.
We depart early from Inverness and head to the charming village of Golspie for a short break before a visit to the nearby Carn Liath, an Iron Age broch (stone tower). After spending some time exploring the broch our tour continues on for a photo stop at the Emigrants Statue that overlooks the village of Helmsdale.
Next stop will be at Gills Bay for the ferry ride across to Orkney, arriving at St Margaret’s Hope, we will then travel across the small island of Burray and on to visit the Italian Chapel*. It is named this as it was built by Italian prisoners of war during World War 2 and has since been restored. You can go inside the chapel and see the remarkable décor and artwork. An artist was amongst the prisoners of war called Domenico Chiocchetti who is responsible for the beautiful design. After spending some time here, we will journey on to Kirkwall, the largest town in Orkney where you will check in to your accommodation for the evening.
Day 3 of our 5 Day Orkney and the Northern Highlands tour is action packed, spent exploring Neolithic World Heritage Sites. First you will visit the Standing Stones of Stenness and the Rings of Brodgar, Stone Age ceremonial stone circles.
We will then move on to Maeshowe*, an underground chambered cairn where you will have time to explore the passages and chambers before we travel to Skara Brae*.
Skara Brae is Europe’s best-preserved Neolithic village, built even before the pyramids of Egypt. You can explore the village and get a glimpse into what life was like for the inhabitants 5000 years ago.
We then return to Kirkwall and check into our accommodation for the evening.
After breakfast we depart Kirkwall for the final time and make our way to St Margaret’s Hope to take the ferry back to mainland Scotland. After arriving at Gills Bay we travel west, enjoying the beautiful views on our way to Thurso, in Caithness, the most northerly town on Scottish mainland. Here, you will have time to get some lunch and refreshments before we begin our journey along the north edge of Scotland to Smoo Cave. The route is particularly beautiful so there will be plenty of opportunities for photo stops along the way.
Smoo Cave has a 50ft high entrance and it was created through erosion from the sea as well as an underground stream that formed the inner chambers. We pause here for photos before we journey on to our accommodation in Ullapool.
The final day of our 5 day Orkney and the Northern Highlands tour begins by departing Ullapool and travelling to Culloden Battlefield*, where Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites were defeated. You will have some time here to take a walk and soak up the haunting atmosphere. Afterwards, we will take short trip to the Clava Cairns, a 4000 year old burial mound surrounded by standing stones.
The tour then continues on to the 15th century Cawdor Castle*, north east of Inverness. Explore the castle and its beautiful gardens where you can even get audio-guides which are available in several languages.
We then move on to Pitlochry for refreshments before returning to Edinburgh where our Orkney and the Northern Highlands tour concludes.
If you are continuing to Glasgow, your guide will take you to Edinburgh Waverley railway station for the 50 minute free journey by train, courtesy of Timberbush.
Tel: +44 (0) 131 226 6066
TEMPORARY DEPARTURE LOCATION - 8TH JAN - 20 FEB 2020
Due to road closures, our Glasgow tours will be departing from the Royal Concert Hall, 19 Killermont Street, Glasgow, G2 3NX. This is located opposite Buchanan Bus Station.
For departures 21st Feb 2020 onwards:
Your 5 day Orkney and the Northern Highlands tour from Glasgow departs at 10.15 hrs from 266 George Street, Glasgow, G1 1QX. There is a designated tour company coach stop at this location.
You can view our departure point via. the following link: https://goo.gl/maps/EEGLZ
You can also find us by Glasgow Public Transport
Check-in opens 15 minutes prior to the stated departure time and closes 5 minutes prior to the stated departure time. We recommend that all passengers arrive in this window as tours must depart on schedule.
Our multi-day tours return to Edinburgh Waverley Station and we will provide you with a free train ticket to return to Glasgow.
No, accommodation is not included in the tour price, as we prefer to let you choose exactly what kind of accommodation you want, depending on budget.
The 5 day tour price includes the services of a friendly, knowledgeable and experienced Driver-Guide and transportation on one of our luxury, modern, air-conditioned coaches.
All accommodation is payable on arrival to the accommodation provider. Please note that many Bed and Breakfasts do not have card machines and do require guests to pay in cash.
Accommodation rates do vary between providers and seasons. For this reason we are only able to give you an estimated rate until a booking has been made. Estimated rates are as follows:
Hotels do require credit card details in order to secure a booking. If you wish us to reserve a hotel room on your behalf, we will contact you for your budget and card information.
Please note a single supplement may apply. The above accommodation rates are valid until March 2020.
Single supplements may be charged, especially in high season. Please contact our Reservations Team for more information.
Hostels are budget accommodation. Many hostels have kitchen facilities where customers can prepare their own food.
B&B's are privately owned Guesthouses. Guests are given breakfast (continental or full, depending on the B&B) but cannot prepare their own food.
Hotels are the most expensive choice of accommodation. Rooms come with a full breakfast (unless stated) and guests are unable to prepare their own food.
Double means one double bed which sleeps two.
Twin means two single beds, where you share a room but not a bed
Ensuite rooms have a private bathroom/toilet/shower within the room
Standard rooms have communal facilities that are shared with other guests.
Yes, you are free to make your own arrangements if you wish. Simply advise us at the time of booking that you will be reserving your own accommodation, and inform us at your earliest convenience of the name and address of the Guesthouse once it has been booked.
We kindly ask that your accommodation provider is located in central Inverness for the first night, Kirkwall on the second and third night and central Ullapool on the forth night of your tour.
Luggage is restricted to one medium sized suitcase per person.
For guidance: a medium sized suitcase is considered 60-69cm high and roughly 45cm in width.
No, optional extras are not included in the 5 day tour price.
This is to allow our guests the freedom to choose which attractions they would like to visit on the day.
Optional extras on this tour are as follows:
From March 2019
The above rates are valid from March 2019. Please note some attractions do not accept credit cards, entrance fees must be paid in cash only.
No, you don't need to worry about pre-booking any of the optional extras.
All of the attractions can be booked on the day and your Driver-Guide will advise you of how to book. We negotiate discounted rates for you, ensuring you'll always get a great deal at Scotland's top visitor attractions.
Please note that many visitor attractions and accommodation providers may not accept card payments, so please ensure you have plenty of cash with you on the day. If you have any questions about this please contact our Reservations Team on +44 (0)131 226 6066 - open 7am-10pm daily.
Yes, all of our tours are in English.
Your 5 day tour from Glasgow will be taken by an experienced, knowledgeable and friendly English-speaking Driver-Guide.
If you require a written translation of the tour, just let us know at the time of booking and we’ll arrange one for you. Written translations are available for this tour in the following languages:
You can also view and download translations by clicking here.
As you’ll be spending four days on and off the coach with the opportunity for walks, we recommend bringing warm and/or waterproof clothing, comfortable walking shoes and some sun-block or a hat for sunny days.
And don’t forget your camera to capture all of the lovely scenery and wildlife you’ll encounter on your tour!
We welcome children over 5 years old on our tours, and children aged between 5-16 years are eligible for the concessionary rate.
We regret we are not able to carry children under the age of 5.
Some of the locations may cause accessibility issues due to their geography and architecture.
If you are a wheelchair user or have restricted mobility, we would suggest downloading this helpful Access Guide by Historic Environment Scotland.