Hebridean Explorer

from Edinburgh

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Lying at the very edge of Europe is the land of the Gaels. These neighbouring islands have a rugged natural beauty with sparklingly white beaches, plentiful wildlife, ancient monuments and lively cultural traditions.

Day One: Edinburgh to Loch Ness

Welcome aboard this tour to the Western Isles. Leaving Edinburgh behind we travel to Stirling where we make a photo-stop at mighty Stirling Castle. Enjoy the panorama which includes the Wallace Monument and the impressive Ochil Hills as a backdrop. From Stirling we make our way towards Doune, famed for its own castle (of Monty Python’s Holy Grail and Outlander fame), then onwards to Callander. Shortly the Lowlands of Scotland give way to the spectacular scenery of the Highlands.

Our journey takes us through Rob Roy MacGregor country to the desolate beauty of Rannoch Moor beyond. This unspoilt landscape extends over 50 square miles and is one of the last wildernesses left in Europe!

No matter the weather Glen Coe is quite simply awesome! We'll make a stop so you can discover the natural beauty of Scotland's most famous glen for yourself. Shortly we will enter Fort William, a pleasant tourist town which sits on the banks of Loch Linnhe. Just outside "The Fort” we should get good views of Ben Nevis – it's Britain's tallest mountain.

Our next treat is Glen Mor whose soaring mountains and deep lochs provide spectacular vistas at every turn. The Great Glen, as this valley is more popularly known, extends some 60 miles from Fort William to Inverness. During our journey listen to stories of clan battles that took place here including the famous "Battle of the Shirts”

Fort Augustus is our gateway to mysterious Loch Ness and our home for tonight.

Overnight: Fort Augustus

Day Two: Inverness to Stornoway (2 nights)

After breakfast we start our day with a drive along the entire length of Loch Ness. Keep a careful watch, just in case! From Inverness we cross the impressive Kessock Bridge and enjoy the grandstand views over the Moray Firth. After crossing the Black Isle we make our way into the Northern Highlands.

Dunrobin Castle is one of Scotland's great houses and is home to the Dukes of Sutherland. The Castle, which resembles a French chateâu, boasts 189 rooms as well as extensive gardens. We'll make a stop so you'll have the opportunity of visiting this magnificent castle*.

Later we'll learn about one of the oldest landscapes in Europe when we visit the Knockan Crag National Nature Reserve.

The fishing port of Ullapool sits on Loch Broom and is where we board our ferry for our crossing of The Minch to reach Stornoway, on the Isle of Lewis. The sailing will take 2 hours 45 minutes and our cruise-ferry boasts extensive lounge and dining facilities.

On arrival in Stornoway it is a short drive to our accommodation for the next two nights.

Overnight: Stornoway

Day Three: Exploring Lewis

After breakfast we leave our hotel and make the drive to the Butt of Lewis where a lighthouse stands warning passing ships of the nearby rocks. This is the most northerly point of the Outer Hebrides. Due west from here is nothing but the North Atlantic until you reach Newfoundland, Canada!

The astonishing Callanish Standing Stones is our next visit *. Archaeologists believe that these 15 foot (5 m) stones were placed here by Neolithic people sometime between 3,000 and 1,000 BC and the site is rated second in importance only to Stonehenge. A point of major historical interest is the impressive Dun Carloway Broch *, an Iron Age stone fort known to have been built more than 2,000 years ago. This is one of the best preserved fortified towers in Scotland and it's beautifully located with wonderful views over Loch Carloway and the sea beyond.

Traditional Harris Tweed is produced by around 140 independent craftsmen and women who work tirelessly at their home looms, skilfully intertwining warp and weft in hundreds of patterns and colour combinations. We’ll visit a local artisan who will demonstrate for us the traditional method of weaving*.

Overnight Stornoway

Day Four: Exploring Harris

Today we cross from Lewis into the neighbouring island of Harris.The mountainous scenery that we shall experience was formed millions of years ago and is some of the oldest rock on the planet. The northern section of Harris is almost lunar-like.

Nestled in a valley where North and South Harris meet, and set against a backdrop of rugged mountain peaks, sits the island’s main settlement of Tarbert. We'll spend some time here before moving on to enjoy the views over the beautiful Sound of Taransay.

Luskentyre Beach, which appears never-ending, is the ideal spot for a relaxing walk and, perhaps, some beach combing. Look out for the machairs which sit behind the beach. These green grassy plains are covered in a mass of wild flowers in the summer.

We meander our way back to Stornoway where there is time for lunch. Our island interlude ends when we board the ferry for our crossing of The Minch. On arrival in Ullapool we drive directly to Inverness, our home for tonight.

Overnight: Inverness

Day Five: Inverness to Edinburgh

After breakfast there is time to explore Inverness, the Capital of the Highlands.

Culloden Moor was the site of the last battle ever fought on British soil in 1746. It was here that Bonnie Prince Charlie's Jacobite army was routed by Government troops. There's an opportunity to tour the award-winning visitor centre (optional) which explains more about this famous battle, the outcome of which changed life in the Highlands forever.

The natural beauty of the Cairngorms National Park is our next treat before crossing the Grampian Mountains and arriving in Perthshire, "Big Tree Country”. We'll make a stop in the attractive town of Pitlochry before making our way through the ancient Kingdom of Fife and the end of our tour in Edinburgh.

* Admission fees extra

Highlights: Loch Lomond, Glen Coe, Loch Ness, Inverness, Dunrobin Castle, Ferry to the Outer Hebrides, Stornoway, Butt of Lewis, Callanish Standing Stones, Dun Carloway Broch, Harris Tweed demonstration, Beach combing on Harris, Inverness, Culloden Moor and Pitlochry.

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Prices (Per Person)

Guest House
Single from £ 665.00
Twin from £ 585.00

Single from £ 785.00
Twin from £ 705.00

Accommodation Details

Product Code:HEX00326

A child discount of £10 applies to children aged 3 to 15 years inclusive at time of travel

We’re really sorry but children aged under 3 years cannot travel on this tour. Photo-ID may be requested to confirm discount entitlement.

Seasonal price range
£585 - £785
Luggage Allowance: One medium sized suitcase/bag per person (maximum weight: 15 kilos)

Product code: HEX 00326

Dates of Operation

14 & 28 May, 2020
11 & 25 June, 2020
9 & 23 July, 2020
6 & 20 August, 2020
3 & 17 September, 2020

Departure Information

Check in: 08:15 hrs
Departure: 08:30 hrs
From 1 Parliament Square, Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH1 1RF
Tour returns at: 19:00 hrs

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What's included

• 4 nights accommodation in rooms with private bath/shower
• Full Scottish breakfast
• Ferry charges and reservations
• Transport by luxury minicoach
• Live commentary in English
• Services of an experienced tour host
• Service charges and taxes

What's NOT included

• Admission charges unless otherwise stated in the itinerary
• Meals, snacks or items of a personal nature
• Gratuity to your tour host

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