Northern Scotland Tour: Beyond Loch Ness

16 days – EUR 1,669.41 pp in dbl-room1
Oban, Skye, Ullapool, Durness, Loch Ness-Forres, Aberdeenshire, Edinburgh

Via Oban and the Isle of Skye, this roundtrip tour from Edinburgh includes the rugged, unspoiled wilderness of Scotland's far north.


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1st day: Oban

Dream-like landscapes: A B&B overlooking Loch Linnhe
Dream-like landscapes: A B&B overlooking Loch Linnhe
Oban: Idyllic setting between lakes and wilderness
Oban: Idyllic setting between lakes and wilderness
You arrive at the airport in Edinburgh.

Rental car pick-up
Type: Kia Cee'd or similar
Pick-up location: Edinburgh, Airport

To the High Country
Distance: 124 miles    Travel time: 3:30 h

After travelling through the sparsely populated lowlands you will enter the high country near Sterling. The wooded hills of the Trossachs and Ben More, the highest point in the Crianlarich Hills, lie along the route. A panoramic stretch around the edges of Loch Awe and Loch Etive begins at Dalmally.

Accommodation: A designer B&B overlooking Loch Linnhe

3 Nights, Bed & Breakfast
The designer guest house located between Appin and Oban on the west coast affords unparalleled views of Loch Linnhe. The eight, individually decorated rooms have jacuzzi baths, underfloor heating and large panoramic-view windows. The day starts out with a healthy, hearty breakfast: smoked fish or sweet pancakes provide a delicious alternative to the usual ham and eggs fare. Excursions can be arranged to the islands of Iona and Staffa, once a source of inspiration for the German composer Felix Mendelssohn.

For dinner the hosts recommend the Eriska Hotel which also features a golf course and a spa. Reservations need to be made at the time of booking. 



Umfulana-tip:
The host Sean O'Byrne is world champion in traditional longbow archery. Anyone who wants to try this historic discipline of the Scottish Highlands can book a lesson through Umfulana (35, - GBP per person - advance booking required).

Details: Oban
Oban is an ideal base for travellers wishing to explore the Western Highlands. The little town south of Fort William boasts a harbour and a yacht club. Most of the shops and restaurants are clustered around the small train station. Gavavan Sands is the best place to swim. The Oban whisky distillery, built in 1794, is known for its malt Scotch. Boat trips can be taken the Hebrides west of Orban, while the sparsely populated country east of the city offers spectacular mountain landscapes. Some of the most beautiful lakes in Scotland, such as Loch Tay, Loch Katrine and Loch Lomond, are only a 30 minutes' drive away.
Map: 1st day: Oban

4th day: Skye

A true gem on the Isle of Skye: A former parsonage
A true gem on the Isle of Skye: A former parsonage
Rugged and romantic: The Isle of Skye
Rugged and romantic: The Isle of Skye
Road of the Isles
By land: 80 miles Travel time: 2:00 h

The drive from Oban to Mallaig is one of the most scenic stretches in Great Britain. You will pass Ben Nevis, the highest mountain on the British Isles, then Loch Shiel, at the northern end of which a monument commemorates the Scottish clansmen who fought the English in 1745 to restore the exiled Stuarts to the throne. The ferry to Skye leaves from Mallaig. The island can also be reached via a toll-free bridge near Kyle of Lochalsh.
Ferry crossing to Skye
The ferry crossing to Armadale takes about 30 minutes.


Accommodation: A former parsonage near Portree

2 Nights, Bed & Breakfast
The stone house was built in the 19th century by the Church of Scotland for the local parson. The property changed hands in the 1930s and since then has served as a private home. It is set in a large, walled garden on the edge of Portree overlooking a group of small islands in the bay. The current owners, Don and Margaret, purchased the neglected property in 2005 and turned it into the gem it is today. The five guest rooms with oversized bathrooms are on the first floor. The guests meet the hosts for tea or sherry in the cosy lounge with its oak floor and open fireplace. Don and Margaret will gladly provide suggestions for local activities and day trips. The protected garden in the courtyard is an excellent place to unwind from the rigors of sightseeing.


Details: Isle of Skye
More than anything else, the largest island in the Inner Hebrides offers 639 square miles of pristine nature: rugged mountains, green valleys, caves, glens, crystal clear waterfalls and out-of-the-way beaches. Otters and seals feed on the salmon and trout that populate the island's unpolluted waters. The over 200 species of birds native to the area include endangered species like the golden eagle and the northern gannet. Skye is also known as the source of one of Scotland's best malt whiskies. The island has not always been a peaceful place. Under Bonnie Prince Charles, a descent of Maria Stuart, it was the focal point of a power struggle between the Scots and the English. A bridge connecting Skye to the mainland was constructed in 1995. Those who desire even greater remoteness can take a ferry from Uig to the Outer Hebrides, where they will find nothing but sheep, cliffs and wind.
Map: 4th day: Skye

6th day: Ullapool

Overlooking Loch Broom: B&B on Braes Hill
Overlooking Loch Broom: B&B on Braes Hill
Ardvreck Castle on Loch Assynt
Ardvreck Castle on Loch Assynt
Along the rugged coast
Distance: 180 miles Travel time: 4:30 h

You will leave the island over the bridge to Kyle of Lochalsh and travel northwards to more and more remote areas on increasingly narrow roads. Just when it appears the scenery couldn't get any better you will suddenly encounter Inverewe Gardens, a park with subtropical flora created by a Scottish aristocrat in the late 19th century.


An accommodation on Braes Hill

2 Nights, Bed & Breakfast
The inn stands on Braes Hill about a mile from the centre of Ullapool. The elevated position affords a tremendous view of the surrounding landscape. The bright, cheerful bedrooms each have their own views extending to Loch Broom and its mountain backdrop. The location is ideal for exploring Wester Ross, one of the last wilderness areas still existing in Europe, whether on foot, by bicycle or in a boot. Marked hiking paths, good restaurants and a heated swimming pool are all available in the vicinity.


Details: Ullapool
The picturesque, west-coast fishing village with around 1,000 inhabitants is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Scotland. It is situated on the shore of Loch Broom, a beautiful lake featured in several paintings by expressionist artist Oskar Kakoschka. Wonderful day trips can be made from Ullapool through the striking countryside to such sites as Loch Assynt or to the romantic mountain landscapes south of the Kirkaig Waterfalls. Those willing to drive a little farther can even reach Cape Wrath at the northwest point of Scotland. Just 20 miles south of Ullapool is the spectacular Corrieshalloch Gorge, a deep ravine cut out by waterfalls.
Map: 6th day: Ullapool

8th day: Durness

Proud of its Scottish hospitality: A B&B near Durness
Proud of its Scottish hospitality: A B&B near Durness
Great view: sunset
Great view: sunset
To Cape Wrath
Distance: 70 miles Travel time: 2:00 h

Plenty of time should be allowed for this short stretch along Scotland's remote northwest coastline. The one-lane road leads past Loch Assynt set against a romantic Highlands background. The coastal road via Invercraig is particularly scenic.

Accommodation: A B&B in Durness

2 Nights, Bed & Breakfast
Completed in 2010, the family-run inn sits on a farm near Durness with uninhibited views of the cliffs of Cape Wrath. Each of the modern rooms was individually decorated. Hiking paths lead straight from the property over hill and dale to the coast. The best thing about the B&B, however, is the sincere Scottish hospitality of its hosts, who strive to ensure that every guest's stay in pleasant from start to finish. A restaurant is a few minutes' walk away.


Details: Durness
The sparsely populated county in Scotland's far northwest is only accessible by one-lane roads. The main attractions near Durness include Smoo Cave with its underground waterfall and the region's unspoiled beaches and steep cliffs, from which numerous species of seabirds, sea lions and occasionally even whales can be observed.

A few km northwest of Durness is Cape Wrath, the northwest point of the British mainland. The cape is only accessible on foot or by taking a ferry across the Kyle of Durness (15 minutes) followed by a shuttle bus trip to the point (30 minutes). Balnakeil, a former military base two km south of Durness, is now a community of craftsmen and artists. The village also has an ancient cemetery and the ruins of a 17th century chapel next to the tombstone of highwayman Donald Macmurchow, who repented after killing 18 people and paid for the construction of the chapel.
Map: 8th day: Durness

10th day: Loch Ness-Forres

In a green oasis: a country home near Findhorn Bay
In a green oasis: a country home near Findhorn Bay
Loch Ness and Urquardt Castle
Loch Ness and Urquardt Castle
Through the Highlands
Distance: 130 miles Travel time: 3:30 h

The route leads from the remote northern region south through the majestic Highlands. Along the way you will pass Ben Klibreck, the highest point in the northern Highlands (962 m or 3,156 ft).

Accommodation: A traditional Scottish country house

2 Nights, Bed & Breakfast
Host Rosemarie has been running the elegant B&B for over 16 years. The secluded property is situated on rich farmland east of Inverness just a few miles from the sea. The rooms are decorated with antique furniture handed down in Rosemariefamily through generations. The excellent meals are made using fresh herbs and vegetables grown on the farm. All room overlook the lovely grounds and Moray landscape beyond.


Details: Loch Ness
The lake, which is actually a fjord, is situated in one of the most scenic regions of the British Isles. The second largest lake in Scotland is the biggest body of fresh water in Britain owing to its incredible depth of over 800 feet. The lake is part of the 60 miles long Caledonian Canal, which bisects the Highlands from north to south and joins the four lakes created by the Great Glen geological fault. The man-made sections of the canal were built in the early 19th century. Of course, Loch Ness is less known for its sublime beauty than for the legendary monster of the same name, which was first sighted by the Irish missionary St. Columba in the 6th century, then disappeared for hundreds of years before suddenly reappearing in 1933. Two extensive exhibitions can be found in the nearby town of Drumnadrochit, which provide some useful information on the geological history of the region in addition to a large supply of knickknacks.
Map: 10th day: Loch Ness-Forres

12th day: Aberdeenshire

Idyllic countryside: farm in Aberdeenshire
Idyllic countryside: farm in Aberdeenshire
An impressive stop on the Castle Trail: Craigievar
An impressive stop on the Castle Trail: Craigievar
Whisky Trail
Distance: 80 miles Travel time: 2:00 h

The route largely follows the Malt Whisky Trail. The Glen Grant Distillery near Rothes offers tours. Several other distilleries near Dufftown are also open to the public for tours and purchases. The route then joins the Castle Trail, which leads past several imposing structures built over a period of 700 years.

A historic farm house

2 Nights, Bed & Breakfast
This listed farm house was built in 1762 by the ancestors of the present owner. Forest with deer, birds chirping and tranquillity surround the rural idyll. Those who enter the prestigious stone house will be met by the stern glances of the ancestors of the McCombie family in the impressive galleried entrance hall. All the more friendly are the hosts who make every effort to make their guests happy. Veronica is a trained Cordon Bleu chef, which is reflected in both breakfast and dinner. The house in the heart of Aberdeenshire is ideally located for exploring the surrounding castles, gardens, and whiskey distilleries.


Details: Aberdeenshire
The Grampians west of Aberdeen contain some of Scotland's most picturesque castles, eleven of which are connected by the Castle Trail. Most of the structures were built in the 13th century, a period when Scottish lords began to fortify their settlements under the influence of the Normans. The castles have been renovated numerous times through the centuries in response to the changed living conditions of the nobility. The imposing fortresses are surrounded by equally majestic landscapes. The moors and remote, grassy hills of the Highlands are the perfect breeding grounds for legends involving ghosts and other supernatural occurrences. Travellers who have had their fill of castles can switch to the Whisky Trail, which leads to several renowned distilleries.
Map: 12th day: Aberdeenshire

14th day: Edinburgh

Decorated with interesting antiques: B&B in the city centre
Decorated with interesting antiques: B&B in the city centre
The drawing room: stylish interior
The drawing room: stylish interior
Crowning the city: Edinburgh Castle
Crowning the city: Edinburgh Castle
Victorian palaces
Distance: 130 miles    Travel time: 3:00 h

Several Victorian palaces and medieval castles are located along the stretch between Aberdeen and Edinburgh. Some of the most interesting of these are Dunotar Castle near Stonehaven, the House of Dun near the Monrose Basin Nature Reserve and Scone Palace in Perth.
Rental car drop off
Drop off location: Edinburgh, Downtown


Accommodation: Pippa's B&B

2 Nights, Bed & Breakfast
Pippa and Hugh Lockhart are the hosts of ths small B&B with just 3 guest rooms located in the noble London Street in Edinburgh's historical New Town district. The hosts are descendants of Gibson Lockhart, the famous biographer of writer Sir Walter Scott. Accordingly, their elegant residence is decorated with antiques and some of the oldest family portraits in the Scottish Lowlands.


Details: Edinburgh
Scotland's capital is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. A burgh is said to have stood on Castle Rock - which offers the best view of the city - since the 7th century. Walls were erected around the town in the shadow of the fortress following bloody and disastrous clashes with England. The medieval plan and narrow winding streets of the Old Town once protected by those walls have been preserved. The area called New Town was created in the 18th century to relieve crowding in the rapidly growing city. With its rigidly ordered grid New Town was considered the epitemy of rational urban development during the period of Enlightenment. The main shopping street today is Princess Street, which is lined with shops, galeries and museums. The cultural capital of Scotland is offen referred to as the Athens of the North. The city's political history was defined by the rivalry with England. Edinburgh is now once again the seat of the Scotish Parliament.
Map: 14th day: Edinburgh

16th day: Edinburgh

Departure

Rental car

Rental car company: AVIS (United Kingdom)
Type: Kia Cee'd or similar (Group C)

Equipment: radio/CD, power steering, Air conditioning
AVIS
Services The price is per person based on two persons sharing a double room and includes accommodations (meals included as stated above) and rental car (if stated above).

USD 2,059.001
(EUR 1,669.41)1




The tour can begin on any date desired.
Best Travel Time:
May – October

Upon booking this tour you will receive:
» the names, addresses and telephone numbers of each accommodation
» vouchers
» detailed directions to each accommodation

Please call us if you would like to request a customized itinerary, book a tour or just ask quesitons about our range of services.

Your Consultants

Left: Jessica Parkin
Phone: +49 (0)2268 9098-23

Martin Bach
Phone: +49 (0)2268 9098-15

Booking Process
  • 1Your Tour Specifications
    Request a tailor-made tour proposal. Indicate your interests, desired destinations, travel period and budget.
  • 2Consulting + Proposal
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  • 4Payment + Travel Documents
    After completion of the booking process, you will receive a confirmed itinerary. The complete travel documents will be forwarded to you on receipt of the remaining balance following payment of the deposit.
  • 5Tour
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1Price per person based on two people sharing a double room, flights not included. Prices may vary by season and due to differences in available services.

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