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Orkney Islands, Inverness & Loch Ness
Located off the far northern tip of mainland Scotland, where the Atlantic meets the North Sea, few people get the chance to make the journey to these remote and sparsely inhabited islands. With over 9,000 years of history there are Neolithic villages, tombs, stone circles and many reminders of its Viking past. A place unlike the rest of Scotland and proud of it!
- Your legendary local HAGGiS Guide
- FREE dram of Highland whisky
- Culloden Battlefield
- Orkney islands' 9,000 years of history
- Skara Brae Stone Age village
- Tomb of the Eagles
- Awesome ferry trips from the northern tip of Britain
- Taste the 'water of life' at a whisky distillery
- Have a night out in Inverness, capital of the Highlands
- Taste great fish and chips in Kirkwall
- Learn a 'peedie' bit of Orcadian dialect
- Try whisky at an optional Highland distillery visit
- Your legendary local Guide
- Transport on one of the famous yellow HAGGiS buses
- All ferries
- FREE Lonely Planet guidebook
Day 1: Edinburgh to Inverness
Heading north we pass the famous Forth Bridge and into Perthshire, surrounded by mountains, forests and salmon packed rivers. We stop in Dunkeld, heart of Macbeth country and its mighty cathedral. Hear tales of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the tragedy of his defeat on the eerie moor of lonely Culloden Battlefield, scene of the last major battle in Britain. The Highland Capital is our home for the night.
Day 2: Inverness to Orkney
We continue our journey north passing over the Moray Firth home to bottlenose dolphins and minke whales and on to the tip of the British mainland, John O'Groats. We board the ferry to sail over the Pentland Firth to the Orkney Islands, home to more archaeological ruins in one area than anywhere else in Europe. We visit the Tomb of the Eagles, a Stone Age chamber that was filled with thousands of human bones and the remains of sea eagles many millennia ago.
Day 3: Orkney
Today we head off to explore Skara Brae, dating from the late Neolithic period and inhabited between 3,200BC and 2,200BC. This incredible stone village is made up of eight dwellings (some still containing original furniture) linked together by a series of low alleyways and is a marvel of ancient building techniques. There will also be time to visit the magnificent standing stones at the Ring of Brodgar before the chance to head to a whisky distillery to sample some of the local single malt (and a very good drop it is too).
Day 4: Orkney to Inverness
First we visit the Italian chapel. This place of worship was built by 550 Italian POW's in the Second World War. We then bid Orkney farewell and make the ferry crossing back to the mainland and a journey south through Scotland’s rugged terrain. We travel through the sparsely populated wilderness of Sutherland and Caithness, via glens left deserted as a result of the Highland Clearances.
Day 5: Inverness to Edinburgh
Winding our way down the west of Scotland, we’ll visit the monstrous Loch Ness and the mysterious and haunting Glencoe, areas that formed the backdrop to the ‘Harry Potter’ movies, ‘Braveheart’ and ‘Rob Roy’. We cross the wilds of Rannoch Moor (watch out for stags) and south, past historic Stirling, arriving back in Edinburgh early evening.