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From exploring Orkney's 9000 years of history, monster hunting on the waters of Loch Ness to travelling on the 'Hogwarts Express', this trip has something for everyone. From our Morag's Lodge base, we head north to Orkney and south to Oban for rugged scenery, bloody history, golden whisky and ceilidh dancing. You'll even get a day based at Loch Ness to try adventure activities, explore the local area or just chill out. One week, one amazing trip.
Tour starts 8.30am. From Edinburgh, we head north to explore the forests and salmon packed rivers of Perthshire and Dunkeld with its mighty cathedral in the heart of Macbeth country. Then our chance to sample Scotland's national drink, a wee dram at a Highland distillery. Onto Clava Cairns and Culloden Battlefield, they both have dramatic history of their own but have been once again thrust into the limelight by the hit series Outlander.
Today we journey to the tip of the British mainland where a ferry carries us from John O'Groats to St Margarets Hope in Orkney. Home to more archaeological ruins in one area than anywhere else in Europe, first 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.
Today we head off to explore Skara Brae, a stone age village dating from the late Neolithic period and inhabited between 3,200BC and 2,200BC. This incredible village still has some original furniture! Then the magnificent standing stones at the Ring of Brodgar and the Italian Chapel built by 550 Italian POW's in the Second World War.
We 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. Our journey takes us past the ruins of Urquhart Castle along the length of Loch Ness whilst we monster spot! We return to Morag's Lodge, get ready for a party at Mo's Bar!
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!), to mountain biking along the Great Glen way and Caledonian Canal, to an exhilarating rib trip on the Loch, there is something for everyone!
We leave Loch Ness for the chance to travel on the famous Jacobite Steam train also known as the 'Hogwarts Express'. We take the 'Road to the Isles' to view Glenfinnan Monument where Bonnie Prince Charlie began his claim for 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, Oban is home for the night and this is your chance for a proper Highland Fling with some traditional dancing at a ceilidh!
We head for eerie Glencoe, home to some of Scotland’s most iconic scenery and the setting of the infamous 1692 massacre and used as a backdrop for many movies. 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. Our journey back to Edinburgh takes in views of magnificent Stirling Castle and the mighty Wallace Monument. Returns approximately 5.00pm.
Add to your booking. Includes:
Jacobite Steam Train
Featured in a number of the Harry Potter movies as ‘The Hogwarts Express’, the Jacobite Steam Train is a spectacular journey through some of Scotland’s most dramatic coastal scenery. Voted as the best train journey in the world by Wanderlust magazine readers for several years, the 42 mile trip is certainly worth considering as a trip add-on! Add to your tour at time of booking, pre-pay only.
Highland Whisky Distillery visit
Some people squish up their face. Some stamp their foot on the ground. Others let out a loud 'ahhhhhh'. However you react to whisky, don't let it stop you from going on this fantastic optional guided tour. You'll discover the history behind Scotland's most divisive drink. You'll discover how it's made. And hopefully you'll discover how to love it. Included in the Pre-Pay Bundle.
Skara Brae Stone Age Village
No trip to Orkney is complete without a visit to Skara Brae Stone Age Village, part of a World Heritage site. A Neolithic settlement dating back 5000 years which gives a fantastic insight into prehistoric living. Included in the Pre-Pay Bundle.
Tomb of the Eagles
A unique ‘hands-on’ experience! Perched above dramatic cliffs, the Isbister Chambered Cairn is better known today as the ‘Tomb of the Eagles’! Discovered by chance by local farmer Ronnie Simison in the 1950s, the Stone Age tomb revealed an amazing collection of bones and artefacts. More than 50 years after Ronnie Simison came across these remarkable sites, his family invite you to come and enjoy these well-loved visitor attractions. Included in the Pre-Pay Bundle.
Morag's Lodge, Loch Ness Adventures Activities
Morag's Lodge, Loch Ness sits at the south end of the famous loch in the Great Glen and is ideally situated for adventure. Possible activities range from canoeing or RIB trips on the loch to gorge walking or white water rafting in the local rivers. Its also possible to hire a bike or just go for a hike. Activities are subject to availablility locally.
No stress, your accommodation is booked in the best hostels available!
'Pre-Pay Bundle' or 'Pay as you go', we book hostel multi-share, generally small 4 to 6 bed dorms.
'Pre-Pay Private Room Bundles' are limited and subject to availability.
The majority of private rooms are of the same standard as the hostel dorms, may have shared facilities and are accommodated within the same building as the rest of the group. Where this is not possible, you may be required to make your own way to your accommodation located a short walk away from the main drop off point.
BEFORE AND AFTER TOUR
We don't reserve accommodation before your tour starts or after your tour finishes. We recommend checking out our Accommodation section under 'Essential Info'.