B&R Butterfield & Robinson - Scotland's Wild North - v1

Summer 2025 - 4 departures (dates tbc)

Number of Travellers: 12
Duration: 8 Days / 7 Nights

Overview

This carefully crafted itinerary takes travellers well off the beaten path to explore the wild far north Highlands of Scotland, and beyond to the wonderful Orkney islands. Along the way, they will enjoy a combination of coastal and (small) mountain hikes, visit a striking castle and a renowned whisky distillery. They’ll explore a UNESCO World Heritage Site on Orkney, and another proposed site in Flow Country. Each day they’ll uncover history, heritage and incredible scenery as they journey with our guide, staying in characterful accommodations and enjoying fabulous dining experiences in each location.

Highlights

  • Discover the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Neolithic Orkney
  • Enjoy guided hikes exploring a variety of wild landscapes in the mountains and on the coast
  • Relax in carefully selected hotels, enjoying the famous Highland hospitality in each destination

Day by Day

Day 1 - Meet Inverness - Loch Ness - Travel to North Coast

Meeting in Inverness, we take a short transfer to nearby Loch Ness, where we explore the ruins of Urquhart Castle, magnificently situated on the shores of Loch Ness. Afterwards, we head to the far north, looking out at the wild, wind-swept moors, dark rivers, and lonely tors that characterise this remote part of Scotland. Upon arriving in the tiny settlement of Tongue, take some time to relax and settle into your stunning accommodation. A former church manse with views of the sea, the hotel combines contemporary comfort with stone floors, large shuttered windows and exposed brick.

Total transfer time: 3 hours

 

Overnight: Tongue, North Coast | Lundies
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2 - Hiking the North Coast

After a relaxed breakfast, head out to explore the north coast. A great option is Caisteal Bharraich (or Castle Varrich), a ruined castle in a prominent position overlooking the Kyle of Tongue. There are numerous theories as to the origin of the building, from it being an 11th-century Viking stronghold to the seat of medieval bishops. A beautiful walk; make sure to climb the iron staircase at the top to give you the best views of the surrounding landscape. Take a stroll along the beach before sitting out in the soft dusk as orange tongues of flame cast flickering shadows against the old stone walls.

Short transfers in local area.

Overnight: Tongue, North Coast | Lundies
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 3 - Travel to Orkney

Leaving Tongue, we transfer west for a spectacular short hike at Duncansby Head. After a quick visit to John o’Groats – the most northerly settlement on the UK mainland – we board the ferry to venture further north. Landing in the port of St Margaret’s Hope – named after a child princess who died in Orkney on her way to inherit the Scottish crown – we visit the incredible Italian Chapel before arriving in Kirkwall, a small town but the largest settlement in these islands. Wander through the flagstone-paved streets to explore before settling down to dinner in a renowned local restaurant.

Transfers: 1 hour 45 mins to ferry terminal via Duncansby Head and John o’Groats

1 hour ferry crossing to Orkney

30 min transfer to Kirkwall from St Margarets Hope

Overnight: Kirkwall, Orkney | The Storehouse (tbc)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 4 - Discovery Neolithic Orkney

Today we explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site which covers a large part of Orkney’s mainland. Visit the iconic sites of Skara Brae and the Ring of Brodgar standing stones and keep an eye out for the island’s iconic wildlife inhabitants, including guillemots, fulmars, and kittiwakes. Immerse yourself in its rich heritage and traditions while exploring its rugged, salt-kissed landscapes with your guide.

Local transfers on the mainland, less than 30 mins per transfer. Less than 2 hours of transfer time in total.

Overnight: Kirkwall, Orkney | The Storehouse (tbc)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 5 - The Old Man of Hoy

A short drive along the edge of Scapa Flow takes us to Houton where we catch the ferry to the island of Hoy. Here we hike to the famous Old Man of Hoy sea stack and some of Britain’s highest sea cliffs before returning to Rackwick Bay. Returning to Kirkwall, we enjoy a meal together in our accommodation, with a focus on local produce.

Local transfers and 30 minute ferry crossing to Hoy (and return)

Overnight: Kirkwall, Orkney | The Storehouse (tbc)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Walk Details: 10 km / 6 miles

Day 6 - Castle of Mey - South Through the Flow Country

Leaving Orkney, we take a ferry back to the mainland. Our first stop is the Castle of Mey, formerly owned by the late Queen Mother. After lunch, we follow a tiny road which weaves its way through Flow Country – the largest blanket bog in the world, which stretches across the regions of Caithness and Sutherland, giving this remote part of Scotland its unique character. We break at a nature reserve, where we follow a boardwalk to a viewing tower in the heart of the bog. It’s a wild, untamed spot. Continuing south, we soon reach the village of Tain and our final hotel.

Transfers: 30 mins from Kirkwall to St Margaret’s Hope

1 hour ferry crossing back to mainland

2 hours 45 mins total once back on mainland (castle visit after 15 mins, then 1 hour to nature reserve, then 90 mins to hotel)

Overnight: Tain, Highlands | Glenmorangie House
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 7 - Local Hike - Whisky Distillery Experience

We hike up a small hill which is very much a local’s favourite. It is topped by an unusual monument, built over 200 years ago by a laird to provide work for a destitute local population. The monument is fabulous but the open views steal the show. Later, being based at Glenmorangie, we enjoy a memorable experience to learn about and fully appreciate one of the Scottish Highlands’ most celebrated malt whiskies. Our final night’s dinner will no doubt be followed by a dram or two of whisky!

Transfers to/from trailhead: Less than 30 mins each way

Overnight: Tain, Highlands | Glenmorangie House
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Walk Details: 6 km / 4 miles

Day 8 - Visit Culloden Battlefield and Clava Cairns

A short transfer south takes us to Culloden Battlefield, where you will learn about one of the most harrowing battles in Scottish history and walk across the rough moor where the Jacobites and the Government fought in 1746. Afterwards, we’ll visit Clava Cairns – a well-preserved Bronze Age cemetery complex of passage graves, ring cairns, kerb cairns and standing stones. From here, it’s a very short transfer to Inverness city center where the trip ends around lunchtime. Edinburgh and Glasgow are less than 4 hours away by train, and there are also flights from Inverness Airport to London, Amsterdam and other European destinations. Airport drop offs are also available.

Transfers: Approx 50 mins to reach Culloden Battlefield and Clava Cairns

15 mins transfer to Inverness city centre from there (extra 20 mins to get from city centre to airport if required)

Meals Included: Breakfast

Trip Details

Inclusions Read More
  • 7 nights accommodation, as stated in the itinerary above
  • Most meals, as stated in the itinerary above
  • The services of a qualified and experienced guide(s) from Day 1 to Day 8 inclusive
  • All transfers in a private vehicle(s) driven by our guide(s), including optional airport transfer on Day 8
  • All ferry fares
  • All guided hikes mentioned in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees and activities mentioned in the itinerary, specifically:
    • Day 1 – Visit to Urquhart Castle
    • Day 4 – Orkney sites including Skara Brae
    • Day 6 – Private Tour of Castle of Mey
    • Day 7 – Glenmorangie Whisky Experience
    • Day 8 – Culloden Battlefield private tour, and Clava Cairns visit
  • £100 Per Person WOW Moment Budget
  • T-Shirt Drop Moment – FOC
  • £100 Per Person Hosting & Enhancement Budget
  • Personalised trip design and delivery
  • 24/7 In-Country Support from the Wilderness Team
Exclusions Read More
  • Day 1 airport transfer (optional extra, along with pre-nights)
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Activities and entrance fees not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Gratuities for your main driver guide
Notes Read More
  • All suggested accommodations are subject to availability but would be held when the itinerary and pricing is agreed
Optional Upgrades Read More
  • Airport transfer at the start of the trip
  • Pre or post night stays at Inverness or Edinburgh
  • End of trip airport transfers for those departing later
Pricing Read More

The NET price for this itinerary is estimated to be £4,750pp – £5,000pp, based on a group size of 4-12 travellers. Final pricing to be agreed once the itinerary is finalised.

  • PRICING TBC
  • This includes a £12 per person conservation & community contribution which can be opted out of if wished, please see notes below.

 

Conservation & Community Contribution

This voluntary donation of £12 per person goes towards conservation & community projects in the locations we operate.  If you would like to opt out just let your trip designer know.

Click here for more information.

Terms & Conditions Read More

Please see our booking terms here.