Highlands & Islands 5 Day Tour

Highlands & Islands 5 Day Tour

Day 1

Depart Edinburgh around 8 am, travelling north to Dunfermline (one of our ancient Capitals) stopping to visit the 11th Century Abbey and ruined Royal Palace to visit the tomb of King Robert I (“The Bruce”). Up and through Highland Perthshire (Macbeth country), stopping at Dunkeld to visit the 12th Century Cathedral and have a coffee break.

Heading back on the road we’ll head up to the “Pass of Killiecrankie” where a battle was fought during the Jacobite wars in 1689, continuing northwards we’ll pass Blair Castle and travel through the Grampian and Cairngorm mountains and arrive at Clava Cairns dating from the Stone and Bronze ages for a visit. We will then head up to Culloden Battlefield for our last visit of the day. It was on the moor that the last battle of any significance to be fought in Britain took place on the 16th April 1746. Then it’s off to the hotel for your well-earned dram and a relaxing evening.

Day 2

Depart our hotel around 0830 am, travelling South West our destination is the Isle of Skye, en route we travel almost the full length of Loch Ness, stopping for photographs at the ruins of Castle Urquhart (and possibly Nessie?), then we cut West through Glen Sheil and towards Eilean Donan Castle for a visit/comfort stop. Continuing our journey we “drive across The Atlantic” on the Skye Bridge and onto the Island, time will dictate our programme on Skye. We then head for the little port of Armadale and take the 45 minute crossing back to the mainland and drive through Glenfinnan towards Fort William and our overnight accommodation.

Day 3

Depart our hotel around 0930 am and continue our journey South West.  We head along the banks of Loch Linnhe and into Glencoe, the setting for one of our blackest chapters in Clan warfare in February 1692, a glen of volcanic origins, in the Highlands of Scotland. It lies in the north of Argyll, close to the border with Lochaber. It is often considered one of the most spectacular and beautiful places in Scotland, and is a part of the designated National Scenic Area of Ben Nevis and Glen Coe. The narrow glen shows a grim grandeur, approaching from the east on the main A82 road, is surrounded by wild and precipitous mountains. Further west at Invercoe, the landscape has a softer beauty before the main entrance to the glen. The main settlement is the nearby village of Glencoe located at the foot of the glen, near the site of the 1692 Massacre of Glencoe. After a photo stop and some time to explore, we continue back towards Loch Linnhe and the Appin region (Stewart country), following the Loch we eventually arrive at the coastal town of Oban and your base for the next two nights.

Day 4

A full day spent on the islands of Mull & Iona.

Mull

It is widely believed that Mull was inhabited from shortly after the end of the last Ice Age, around 6000 BC. Bronze Age inhabitants built brochs and stone circles with examples of burial cairns, cists, standing stones, pottery and knife blades providing some compelling evidence.

Between 600 BC and AD 400, Iron Age inhabitants were building protective forts, duns and crannogs. Whether or not they were Picts is unclear.

In the 6th century, Irish migrants invaded Mull and the surrounding coast, establishing the Gaelic kingdom of Dál Riata. The kingdom was divided into a number of regions, each controlled by a kin group, one of which the Cenél Loairn, controlled Mull and the adjacent mainland to the east. Dál Riata was a springboard for the Christianisation of the mainland; the pivotal point was AD 563, when Columba, an Irish missionary, arrived at Iona and founded a monastery, from which to start evangelising the local population.

Iona

It is mainly known for Iona Abbey, though there are other buildings on the island. Iona Abbey was a centre of Gaelic monasticism for three centuries and is today known for its relative tranquillity and natural environment. The Book of Kells may have been produced or begun on Iona towards the end of the 8th century. Around this time the island’s exemplary high crosses were sculpted; these may be the first such crosses to contain the ring around the intersection that became characteristic of the “Celtic cross”. The series of Viking raids on Iona began in 794 and, after its treasures had been plundered many times, Columba’s relics were removed and divided two ways between Scotland and Ireland in 849 as the monastery was abandoned.

The ancient burial ground contains the 12th century chapel of St Odhrán (said to be Columba’s uncle), restored at the same time as the Abbey itself. It contains a number of medieval grave monuments. The abbey graveyard is said to contain the graves of many early Scottish Kings, as well as Norse kings from Ireland and Norway. Iona became the burial site for the kings of Dál Riata and their successors. In 1549 an inventory of 48 Scottish, 8 Norwegian and 4 Irish kings was recorded.

Day 5

Along the banks of Loch Long and, into MacGregor country. Travelling down and through Balquhidder, we enter MacGregor country famous for Rob Roy and our last comfort stop of the day at the Victorian village of Callander (noted in history for the Romans, Rob Roy and the tragic Earl of Callander). Continuing our journey we drive through the village of Doune and its exceptional 13th Century Motte and Bailey Castle, noted for Robert Duke of Albany, David Stirling, Monty Python & The Holy Grail and more recently Outlander. Finally reaching the main motorway we drive past Stirling Castle, the battlefields of Bannockburn and the ruins of Linlithgow Palace before arriving back in Edinburgh around 8 pm.

Price Info:

Full Day 5 days sightseeing £4,583.00

*A non-refundable deposit of 30% is required at the time of booking

*Price is for the hire of the VIP Class vehicle not per person.

PLEASE NOTE: The hire cost charged is for the exclusive use of the vehicle, guiding services, driver accommodation & meal charges and ferry crossings. It does not include passenger meals, overnight accommodation, or entrances for optional visits etc.

Inclusions:

  • Bottled water
  • Soft Drinks
  • Welcome pack including: Scottish shortbread, Scottish tablet & fudge
  • Complimentary on board snacks
  • Complimentary maps
  • Hotel/port pickup and drop-off
  • Transport by air-conditioned VIP Class vehicles
  • Ferry crossings. Skye, Mull & Iona

Exclusions:

  • Entrance fees
  • Food and drinks, unless specified

Client’s accommodation whilst on tour: This will be arranged on your behalf by the company depending on your hotel preferences. All client accounts must be settled direct at time of check-out unless previously agreed with us.