FINAL INFO - Private Scotland's Islands & Highlands

Scott Schumaker & Tiffanie De Bartolo

Wednesday 24th April – Saturday 4th May 2024

Number of Travellers: 2
Duration: 11 Days / 10 Nights

Overview

Explore Scotland’s vibrant and historic cities, book-ending your journey between Edinburgh and Glasgow. Venture into mountains and subarctic landscapes, staying in a luxuriously restored 19th-century farmhouse in Cairngorms National Park, where you might conquer a “Munro” (a mountain in Scotland with an elevation over 3,000 feet). Hike in dramatic scenery in Torridon, wonder at Neolithic structures in unique Orkney, and walk atop castle walls. Savour local flavours with farm-to-table cuisine, neighbourhood pub fare, and true Scottish hospitality. Enjoy it all with your knowledgeable guide, who brings the landscape and history to life on this wonderful personalised adventure.

Highlights

  • Discover the summits, lochs and glens of the Highland mountains, from the Cairngorms National Park to the sharp ridges of Torridon
  • Explore a traditional Whisky Distillery and raise a wee dram to your adventures
  • Hear the tales and local legends with a Mini Cooper Tour of Edinburgh's cobbled streets, explorations with your guide and visits to ancient castles

Day by Day

Day 1 - Wednesday 24th April - Arrive in Edinburgh

Arrive at Edinburgh Airport where a private transfer will take you to your hotel. Depending on your energy level, you may wish to explore the city, or simply relax at your hotel. Edinburgh is a delightful mix of Medieval history, vibrant trending neighbourhoods, and craggy landscape. Grab a pint at a local pub or wander the halls of the National Gallery.

Overnight: Edinburgh | The Balmoral Hotel
Room Type: Executive Old Town View

Day 2 - Thursday 25th April - Exploring Edinburgh, Free Afternoon & Meet Your Guide

This morning you are picked up by a local guide and taken for a wonderful tour of Scotland’s hilly capital by Mini Cooper. As you zip through the city, your Edinburgh born-and-bred guide shares the history and culture of Scotland’s capital. Admire Edinburgh Castle overlooking the sea and the spires of St. Giles’ Cathedral. Revel in the ancient exploits of Sir William Wallace (known as Braveheart) and the hometown of actor Sean Connery.
After lunch in a charming local pub, you are dropped off back at your hotel to enjoy a free afternoon. Late afternoon meet your main Guide for a short chat over coffee to get acquainted and answer any queries you may have about the details of the adventures ahead. You then have an evening at leisure to discover the local culinary offerings.

Activity
Provider:  Mini Mack Tours
Contact:  +44 (0) 7739 060 400
Start Time:  10 am Finish Time: 14:00 pm
Meeting Place: Reception, The Balmoral Hotel

YOUR MAIN GUIDE
Guide Name: Alan Smith
Mobile: +44 (0) 7880 343 487

He will meet you at 00:00 in the lobby of The Balmoral Hotel
Note: Your guide will discuss & agree meeting times for each day the night before

Overnight: Edinburgh | The Balmoral Hotel
Room Type: Executive Old Town View
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 3 - Friday 26th April - Transfer To The Cairngorms via Stirling Castle & Bushcraft Experience

Your guide will collect you from your hotel this morning and you will head out of the city toward the mountains of Cairngorms National Park. Taking a short detour to soak in the views and history of majestic Stirling Castle.
On arrival in the Cairngorms set off on a wonderful warm-up hike through the Scots pines to a viewpoint that stretches across the Spey Valley to the mountains beyond. Established as a National Park in 2003, Cairngorms’ mountain peaks give way to lush forests, enchanting walking trails, sparkling rivers, and local wildlife. Small villages and traditional farms dot the dramatic landscape.
Discover a new way of looking at this landscape this afternoon as you learn some intriguing bushcraft skills and sip a cosy cup of pine needle tea. Arrive at your unique farmhouse accommodation in the late afternoon in time to settle in before dinner.

Hike details: 2.5 miles, 530 feet elevation gain, ~2 hours

Dinner
A table has been booked for 19:00, under the reference NAME, at your hotel restaurant.

Overnight: Near Kinguissie | Killiehuntly Farmhouse
Room Type: Double Room
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 4 - Saturday 27th April - The High Peaks Of The Cairngorms

Cairngorms National Park is home to 5 of the 6 highest peaks in Scotland, and people come to Scotland every year to “bag a Munro,” or scale a mountain over 3,000 feet. Today this could be you—and if you are up to the challenge you could even bag two!
Alternatively, hike to a green lochan (small lake) where, legend has it, fairies come down every night to wash their clothes. From here you can continue up the Hill of the Shepherd with great views over the adventure town of Aviemore. Whatever you decide, this will be a day to remember.

Hike details: up to 11 miles, 3,057 feet elevation gain, ~8 hours

Dinner
A table has been booked for 19:00, under the reference NAME, at your hotel restaurant.

Overnight: Near Kinguissie | Killiehuntly Farmhouse
Room Type: Double Room
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 5 - Sunday 28th April - Hiking Morning & Visit Cawdor Castle

Make full use of your last morning in the Cairngorms to explore another beautiful hike with your guide. The choices are endless and your guide will discuss the options with you to suit the day. This afternoon you will transfer north and visit the medieval castle of Cawdor, which was made infamous by Shakespeare’s play Macbeth. Legend says that the Thane of Cawdor chose this spot as a safe place for his family to live after an oracle spoke to him in a dream. It must have been a true oracle because the Cawdor family still live there today. Your guide will take you to your luxurious hotel in Inverness with plenty of time to settle in before dinner.

Overnight: Inverness | Ness Walk Hotel
Room Type: Cedar King
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 6 - Monday 29th April - Hiking in The Unique Scenery of Torridon

The mountains of Torridon sweep up out of the ground almost from sea level in dramatic bare slopes which culminate in rocky ridgelines. This wonderful hiking location is little visited but only an hour’s drive away from Inverness. Together with your guide you will decide on the best route for the day, depending on the weather and what level of challenge you wish. Enjoy a full day out to explore as much of this incredible landscape as possible before returning to Inverness.

Hike details: Variable depending on choice

Overnight: Inverness | Ness Walk Hotel
Room Type: Cedar King
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 7 - Tuesday 30th April - North To Orkney

The journey to the Orkney Islands follows the north-east coast of the Highlands and onwards over the Pentland Firth. Reaching Orkney in the afternoon, visit the Italian Chapel, two Nissan huts converted into a unique place of worship by prisoners of war. Then continue on to your hotel which is situated nearby to the major archeological sites which add to the intrigue to these islands.

Dinner
A table has been booked for 19:00, under the reference NAME, at your hotel restaurant.  Please pay directly

Ferry Details
Provider:  Pentland Ferries, Orkney
Contact:  +44 (0) 1856 831 226
Departure: Gills Bay – 13:30
Arrival: St Margaret’s Hope – 14:45
Notes: Booking number 0329853 – check in closes at 13:00

Overnight: Kirkwall, Orkney | Lynnfield Hotel
Room Type: Deluxe Double
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 8 - Wednesday 1st May - Coastal Hike and Skara Brae

Skara Brae is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world, and probably the best known site in Orkney. An early start this morning will ensure that you get a chance to immerse yourself in this fascinating site while it is still quiet. Then maybe take a stroll north along the coastline along cliffs which are home to a multitude of seabirds and thousands of years of history in the form of archaeological sites. You can continue all the way to the rocky Point of Buckquoy where you may be able to cross the tidal causeway to explore the Norse settlement on the tiny isle of the Brough of Birsay.
If you’re feeling thirsty, maybe end the day with a trip to the local micro-brewery; or perhaps stock up on some local snacks such as tablet and fatty cutties, bought from the ‘Little Yellow Hut’ honesty box nearby.

Overnight: Kirkwall, Orkney | Lynnfield Hotel
Room Type: Deluxe Double
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 9 - Thursday 2nd May - Orkney’s Neolithic Heart

This morning you head to one of the crowning jewels of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the Heart of Neolithic Orkney, the massive stone circle that is the Ring Of Brodgar. Theories still abound about the purpose of this site, hear all the evidence and decide for yourself if it was a ritual site, a giant astronomical observatory or something completely different. Nearby you will also find Maeshowe and the Stones Of Stenness, where 4 huge standing stones are all that remain of what is possibly the oldest stone circle in the British Isles.
Before you return to your hotel you may also want to take some time today to explore the characterful town of Stromness, full of narrow alleys and always with the character of the sea permeating the air. Or hike with your guide along a coastal path to a headland known as ‘The Ness’, and onwards to the Sand of Warebeth.

Overnight: Kirkwall, Orkney | Lynnfield Hotel
Room Type: Deluxe Double
Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 10 - Friday 3rd May - Fly To Glasgow. Free Afternoon

This morning your guide will take you to the airport to catch your flight to Glasgow and bid you farewell. On arrival in Glasgow you will be met by a private driver and transferred to your luxurious city centre hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to use as you wish.

Departure
Logan Air FLIGHT NUMBER – Depart Kirkwall Airport 10:40am OR 15:15 TBC – Arrive Glasgow Airport at 00:00 pm

Transfer
Provider:  Littles Chauffeur Hire
Chauffeur Company Driver: NAME
Contact: +44 (0) 141 883 2111
Your city driver will be ready at 00:00 from PLACE (DELETE IF APPROPRIATE) This is a wait and return service so they will be waiting for you once the performance is over to take you back to your hotel

Overnight: Glasgow | Kimpton Blythswood Square
Room Type: King Premium
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 11 - Saturday 4th May - Depart

A private transfer will collect you from your accommodation and take you to Glasgow Airport to make your onward connections. Waving farewell for now but taking with you special memories and wonderful stories of your explorations.

Transfer
Provider:  Littles Chauffeur Hire
Chauffeur Company Driver: NAME
Contact: +44 (0) 141 883 2111
Your city driver will be ready at 00:00 from PLACE (DELETE IF APPROPRIATE) This is a wait and return service so they will be waiting for you once the performance is over to take you back to your hotel

Departure
AIRLINE FLIGHT NUMBER – Depart Airport 00:00 am – Arrive Airport at 00:00 pm

Meals Included: Breakfast

Trip Details

Inclusions Read More
  • 10 nights accommodation, as stated in the itinerary above
  • Most meals as indicated above
  • Services of an experienced and knowledgeable UK qualified guide from Day 2 to Day 10
  • All transfers in a private vehicle driven by our guide, on guided days
  • Private Transfer from Edinburgh Airport to Hotel on Arrival Day, with Meet & Greet
  • Private Transfer from Glasgow Airport to Hotel on Day 10, with Meet & Greet
  • Private Transfer to Glasgow Airport from City Centre on Departure Day
  • All Ferry Travel mentioned in the itinerary
  • All guided hikes and activities mentioned in the itinerary
  • Private Morning Driving Tour in Mini, including pub lunch
  • Private Bushcraft Session with Expert
  • Entry to Cawdor Castle
  • Entry to Italian Chapel
  • Entry to Skara Brae
  • Entry to Maeshowe, Stones of Stenness & Ring of Brodgar
  • Personalised trip design and delivery
  • 24 hour in-country support from the Wilderness Team
  • Gratuities for included meals and local activities
Exclusions Read More
  • All Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Activities and entrance fees not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Gratuities for the main driver guide
Notes Read More
  • All suggested accommodations and services are subject to availability at the time of booking
  • A 15% deposit is required before any accommodation and services will be confirmed
  • This quote is valid for 14 days from the date quoted, after this time pricing may be subject to revision
Optional Upgrades Read More
  • Room Upgrades are available in some locations, subject to availability. Pricing on request
    • Balmoral – Upgrade to Junior Suite for £310 per night
    • Ness Walk – Upgrade to a Suite for £70 per night
    • Kimpton Blythswood Square – Upgrade to 1 Bedroom Suite for £200 per night
    • Option to add additional private activities
      • eg. Private Experience with Musician, Storyteller, Craftsperson or Forager
      • Pricing on request. Please just let us know of any specific interests
Pricing Read More

The NET price for this itinerary, based on 2 clients sharing a room is £9,245 GBP per person

This price includes a £12 per person conservation & community contribution*

*This voluntary donation 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.