MASTER TEMPLATE - Edinburgh, Cairngorms, Tongue, Orkney, Torridon, Glencoe, Glenapp

Number of Travellers: 2
Duration: 15 Days / 14 Nights

Overview

Join us on a bespoke trip that takes you into the heart of the Highlands. Hike along stunning trails that wind through brilliant purple heather below ancient Caledonian pines. Meander along the shores of hidden lochans, looking out for roe deer and golden eagles. Enjoy the wild beauty of the slate-blue Cairngorm mountains, the lonely moors of the north, and the wild and rugged landscape of the west coast. With your guide, discover the beauty of Scotland’s unique landscape – visiting castle ruins, taking a day trip to Orkney and exploring the dramatic beauty of Glencoe. As the sun sinks below the horizon and the sky grows thick with stars, settle into hand-picked accommodations carefully chosen for their relaxed luxury and charm. On a trip designed just for you, enjoy the bewitching beauty of Scotland.

Highlights

  • Hike and canoe through the Cairngorms National Park discovering it's native wildlife
  • Enjoy a day trip to the heart of neolithic Orkney
  • Explore the wild and rugged beauty of Scotland's west coast
  • Relax each evening in handpicked accommodations chosen for their relaxed luxury and Highland hospitality

Day by Day

Day 1 - Welcome to Edinburgh

Arrive in the architecturally stunning city of Edinburgh today and settle into your lovely accommodation. Depending on your arrival time, you may wish to head out and explore the winding alleys and cobblestone streets. Full of history, the capital is very accessible by foot. Wander up the Royal Mile, visiting St Giles’ Cathedral (which has been a working church for over 900 years) and Edinburgh Castle, which offers sweeping views over the city. This evening, enjoy dinner and a good night’s sleep.

Day 2 - Travel to the Cairngorms National Park

After breakfast, catch the train north into the enchanting beauty of the Cairngorms National Park. Disembark in the pretty village of Kingussie, where your Wilderness guide will be waiting on the platform. Visit the ruins of Ruthven Barracks (an impressive fortification built after the 1715 Jacobite uprising) before exploring Insh marshes which is home to curlew, lapwing, redshank and snipe. Continue through silver birch groves, over an old stone bridge and through the tang of ancient pine forests to arrive at a lovingly restored farmhouse which will be your base for the next two nights.

Day 3 - Canoe and hike the Cairngorms

Today, head out with your guide to canoe across the still, smooth water of a peaceful loch. Fringed by pines, embrace the tranquillity of being out on the open water, listening to the birds and enjoying the steady rhythm of paddling. After a relaxed lunch, you’ll spend the afternoon looking out for wildlife on a relaxing walk. One option is to hike into Glen Feshie, a wild glen considered by many to be one of the most beautiful in the Cairngorms. As you follow the river and wind through the trees look out for red squirrels and golden eagles overhead.  Returning to your accommodation this evening for a relaxed dinner.

Day 4 - Travel to Tongue

After breakfast, wind your way north towards Tongue. Along the way, explore the ruins of Urquhart Castle, which is magnificently situated on the shores of Loch Ness. After lunch, continue your journey coastward, looking out at the wild, wind-swept moors, dark rivers, and lonely tors that characterise this remote part of Scotland. Upon arriving in 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.

Day 5 - Discovery Neolithic Orkney

Head out to discover Orkney’s enchanting blend of history and wildlife on a captivating day trip from mainland Scotland. Immerse yourself in its rich heritage and traditions while exploring its rugged, salt-kissed landscapes with your guide. 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. A short ferry crossing returns you to the mainland in time for dinner.

Day 6 - 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.

Day 7 - Travel to Torridon

This morning, wind your way down the stunning west coast – a remote and spectacular drive. The majestic mountains of Assynt rise dramatically towards the sky, pristine white sand beaches hugging the coastline as lochs glitter like jewels in the sun. Gorse fringes the road in and hardy sheep graze amongst the bracken, heather and golden grasses. With many stunning places to stop and stretch your legs, enjoy the journey – one of the most spectacular drives in Scotland – before arriving at your hotel this evening.

Day 8 - Shellfish safari

After breakfast, head to Gairloch to meet your skipper for today’s sail. Glide through the waves on a traditional fishing boat, the skipper, whose family has been fishing in this area for over 200 years will share these waters with you. Together you’ll haul in creels full of lobster and prawn before heading back to dry land to cook up the fresh seafood for lunch. This afternoon, join your guide for a scenic hike that ribbons along the coast, returning to your hotel for dinner.

Day 9 - Travel to Glencoe

Leave Torridon’s dramatic, rugged mountains behind this morning as you travel south. On the way, stop at the pretty town of Fort Augustus and stroll a short way along the famous Caledonian Canal before enjoying lunch, looking out over the waters of Loch Ness. Later, take a boat trip out onto the water, in search of the legendary monster. Continue on this afternoon to Glencoe, carved out centuries ago by glaciers and volcanic eruptions, the famous Glen’s tragic history is only eclipsed by its wild beauty.

Day 10 - Hiking in Glencoe

Enjoy breakfast before meeting your guide and heading out to explore Glencoe. The spectacular Glencoe, carved out centuries ago by glaciers and volcanic eruptions, offers some wild and scenic hiking. One great option is to hike along a narrow rowan-hung gorge until you reach the Lost Valley. This enclosed meadow – high, green, and hidden by precipitous tors, is said to be where the Macdonald clan used to conceal their rustled cattle. Surrounded by jagged peaks that shift in and out of mountain mist, visit the Glencoe Center to learn about the landscape’s haunting history.

Day 11 - Visit Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park

After breakfast, wind your way south, stopping in a pretty Highland village to stretch your legs and have a nosy around a couple of artisanal shops. Continue into the verdant embrace of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Along the way, enjoy a walk through the beautiful countryside, hearing about the region’s interesting history and stopping for coffee and cake at a local cafe. Later this afternoon, arrive at the luxurious and secluded Glenapp Castle. With a touch of the gothic, this striking castle’s exterior gives way to sumptuous comfort within. Enjoy dinner this evening with breathtaking views.

Day 12 - Hiking to Mull of Galloway Lighthouse

Today, join your guide on a stunning walk along the sea cliffs to Scotland’s most southerly point: Mull of Galloway Lighthouse. Along the way keep your eyes peeled for sea birds and seals. Perched on the edge of the headland, with waves crashing in from below, the lighthouse was first lit in 1830 and remains a guiding light today. Explore the exhibition, perhaps enjoying tea and sticky gingerbread, before returning to Glenapp to relax before dinner.

Day 13 - Boat trip with a sea eagle

After a relaxed breakfast, head out for a unique RIB experience. On a private boat, sail along the rugged Ayrshire coast, along with your skipper you’ll be joined by Ripley – an African sea eagle – who will showcase his awesome power and fishing prowess as he fly between the boat and the shore swooping over the waves to puck fish from the ocean. Along your journey, you’ll sail around the island of  Ailsa Crag, which is home to an extraordinary number of gannets and below the strong hold of Culzean Castle perched high on the cliffs. Return to Glenapp Castle in the amber sunshine and enjoy a dinner overlooking the fabulous grounds.

Day 14 - Explore Edinburgh

Leave the coast and return to Edinburgh this morning. Here your guide will leave you and you can spend the afternoon exploring the historic capital. Stroll down to the Waters of Leith, meandering your way along the river to the beautiful Dean Village and looking out for the solitary statues that stand silently in the water. Pick up a fresh coffee and a buttery pastry from one of the many independent cafes as you browse the art galleries, booksellers and artisanal food shops. This evening, head out into the twinkling streets to dine at one of Edinburgh’s many award-winning restaurants.

Day 15 - Greyfriars Bobby and Depart

After a relaxed breakfast, spend the morning visiting some of the city’s lovely shops and pottering through Princes Street Gardens. Visit the statue of Greyfriars Bobby, a well-loved Skye terrier who spent 14 years guarding the grave of his owner until he died on 14 January 1872. Depending on your onward travel plans, after lunch, transfer to Edinburgh Airport and begin your journey home.

Trip Details

Inclusions Read More
  • All accommodation from Day 1 to Day 15
  • All meals included in the itinerary
  • Services of an experienced guide from Day 2 to Day 14
  • Ground transportation from Day 2 to Day 14
  • Ferry tickets
  • All guided hikes and activities mentioned in the itinerary
  • private half day canoe experience with equipment hire
  • Entry into historic Orkney sites
  • Private creel fishing experience with local skipper and lunch
  • Private RIB trip and sea eagle experience
  • Entry to all attractions described in the itinerary, specifically:
    • Urquhart Castle
    • Glencoe center
  • Personalised trip design and delivery
  • 24 hour in-country support
Exclusions Read More
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Activities and entrance fees not mentioned in the inclusions