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Skye, Orkney and the Wild North

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8 days From £1,395 per person

2023 Tour code: WNS23

About the tour

From vibrant Glasgow we travel north to the mystical, unspoilt isles of Orkney and Skye. We explore the great houses and gardens of the Northern Highlands, Dunrobin and Dunvegan, rounding off our romantic trip to the wild north with a tour and tasting of the Talisker Distillery.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - Glasgow

Our tour begins in cosmopolitan Glasgow, where we meet our group at the hotel. Straddling the River Clyde, Glasgow is one of Europe's liveliest destinations, full of vitality and style, with a backdrop of elegant Victorian architecture.

Day 2 - Helmsdale

After breakfast this morning we transfer by coach to Glasgow where we join the Scotrail service to Inverness. From here we are transferred to our hotel in Helmsdale - a picturesque fishing village on the eastern stretch of coastline, where we spend the next two nights in a small traditional guest house. This evening we enjoy dinner with our group at a local restaurant.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Orkney

Today we take a full-day excursion to the lovely isle of Orkney. We travel first by coach to John O'Groats then continue by ferry to Orkney. Here we enjoy a guided sightseeing tour of the island's highlights, including Scapa Flow, Churchill Barriers and the Italian Chapel. We visit the harbour town of Stromness, where you have free time to look around the interesting shops and find a café or restaurant to enjoy lunch. We return to Helmsdale by ferry and coach where you are free for the rest of the evening. The village has a good choice of pubs and restaurants.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 4 – Dunrobin Castle and Plockton

This morning we visit the fabulous Dunrobin Castle and gardens, on the east coast, overlooking the Moray of Firth. The historic home of the Earls and Dukes of Sutherland, this is the most northerly of Scotland's great houses with an astonishing 189 rooms. Towering above the coast and gardens, the Castle resembles a French Chateâu with its whimsical conical spires. We take a self-guided tour of the castle, its formal gardens and Victorian museum. We continue to Inverness where you have free time over lunch. This afternoon we join the wonderful Kyle Line to the Kyle of Lochalsh, travelling among mountains, forests and lochs, then transfer to the village of Plockton for three nights. Tonight we enjoy dinner at a local Inn.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 – Isle of Skye

We take a ferry across the water to the mystical Isle of Skye for our first of two excursions. Today we explore Broadford, a long and meandering village set out on either side of the Broadford River, where we visit a local wool spinner for a demonstration of this traditional island craft. We continue east to Skye's capital town of Portree, with its pretty harbour of pastel-coloured houses, overlooking the bay and surrounded by hills. After free time to look around, shop and have some lunch, we take a scenic drive along the coast back to Plockton, passing the Old Man of Stor and Kilt Rock.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 6 – Dunvegan Castle & Gardens, Talisker Distillery

Today our tour takes us to one of the greatest Hebridean castles, Dunvegan. Standing out against a dramatic backdrop of forest, sky, and sea, this striking castle features different architectural styles - from 1200 to the 1850s. The castle was restored in the Victorian era with distinctive pepper-pots and defensive battlements along its roof line. After exploring the castle and gardens you have free time for lunch. We then visit the nearby distillery of Talisker, for a tour of the unique distillery and a tasting of the award-winning Talisker Single Malt Scotch Whisky. We return to Plockton by coach at the end of the afternoon and the evening is yours to enjoy as you wish.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 7 - Glasgow

We start our return journey to Glasgow this morning, travelling to Fort William by coach. We then join the wonderful West Highland Line, one of the most beautiful rail journeys in the UK, travelling south to Glasgow. We return to our central 4-star hotel in Glasgow in the afternoon, then you are free to explore before a special farewell dinner.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 - Home

After breakfast this morning, our holiday ends and you're free to leave Glasgow or stay longer to see the sights.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

The Bridge Hotel, Helmsdale

The Bridge Hotel, Helmsdale

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The Haven Guest House, Plockton

The Haven Guest House, Plockton

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Trains

The Kyle Line
West Highland Line

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UK by Rail 2023

UK by Rail 2023

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Skye, Orkney and the Wild North

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