Isle of Skye, Loch Ness, Scottish Highlands, Orkney & Western Isles
Think you can take 10 days of it? All the creepy castles, all the crazy history and all the eye bursting beauty? Yes? Then be brave and do the Compass Buster. It spans Scotland from pub to mountain, from beach to monster and all the best bits in-between. And if that wasn't enough, you get to absorb a ton of knowledge from our legendery guides. So be bold, be smart and take our most complete tour of Scotland.
- Your legendary local HAGGiS Guide
- All ferry crossings
- Callanish Standing Stones
- Butt of Lewis Lighthouse
- Dun Carloway, Iron Age fort
- Ring of Brodgar Standing Stones
- Visit to the Italian Chapel
- Jacobite Steam Train journey
- Island whisky distillery visit
- Skara Brae Stone Age Village
- Tomb of the Eagles
- Gearrannan Blackhouses
H: Included Highlights
F: Free Time Option
DAY 1: EDINBURGH TO STORNOWAY
Departs 8.15am. From Edinburgh, we pass the famous Forth Bridge and into Perthshire, surrounded by mountains, forests and salmon packed rivers. We stop in Dunkeld, heart of Macbeth country and visit its mighty cathedral. Then it’s through the Cairngorms National park, past Inverness and onwards to the far north-west coast of Scotland for our ferry over the sea to the Outer Hebrides and the Isle of Lewis.
H:Ferry journey to the Hebrides
H:Dunkeld village where the Lowlands meet the Highlands
DAY 2: LEWIS & HARRIS
We visit one of Scotland's most westerly distilleries for a unique insight into the way the islands approach life. Then onto the stunning Callanish Standing Stones, Neolithic in age and dating back more than 4,000 years. Their meaning remain a mystery, perhaps an ancient calendar but these are considered to be some of the most impressive and inspiring of any of the ancient stones in Britain. These Hebridean islands are predominantly Gaelic speaking and have an unbroken culture dating back millennia. We visit the Butt of Lewis with its isolated lighthouse and stunning ocean views, then to a traditional blackhouse and the home of tweed makers, a fabric exclusive to the islands but now considered very trendy!
H:Callanish Standing Stones
H:Butt of Lewis Lighthouse
H:Dun Carloway, Iron Age fort
F:Traditional Gearrannan Blackhouses
DAY 3: LEWIS & HARRIS TO SKYE
In the morning we explore the amazing beaches of Harris, famous for its clear blue waters, magnificent mountain backdrop and traditional crofting culture. These islands are home to the Clan MacLeod who have lived here for centuries. After exploring the wonders of Harris, we leave their homeland and cross by ferry to the magical Isle of Skye where we spend the night.
H:Traditional Gearrannan Blackhouses
F:Island whisky distillery visit
DAY 4: SKYE TO LOCH NESS
Today we explore the magical Isle of Skye. Mountainous, rugged and stunning beautiful, you won't want to leave. Back on the mainland we pass Eilean Donan Castle, one of the most iconic views in Scotland then it’s truly off the beaten track and into the wilds! We drive through the stunning north west Highlands, some of the most remote and most isolated mountain terrain in Europe.
H:Beautiful Isle of Skye
H:View Eilean Donan Castle
DAY 5: LOCH NESS TO ORKNEY
Today we journey to the tip of the British mainland where a ferry carries us from John O'Groats to St Margarets Hope in Orkney. Home to more archaeological ruins in one area than anywhere else in Europe, first we visit the Tomb of the Eagles, a Stone Age chamber that was filled with thousands of human bones and the remains of sea eagles many millennia ago.
H:Ferry from the northern tip of the British mainland
F:Unique Tomb of the Eagles
DAY 6: ORKNEY
Today we head off to explore Skara Brae, a stone age village dating from the late Neolithic period and inhabited between 3,200BC and 2,200BC. This incredible village still has some original furniture! Then the magnificent standing stones at the Ring of Brodgar and the Italian Chapel built by 550 Italian POW's in the Second World War.
H:Ring of Brodgar Standing Stones
H:Visit to the Italian Chapel
F:Neolithic Skara Brae Stone Age village
DAY 7: ORKNEY TO LOCH NESS
We bid Orkney farewell and make the ferry crossing back to the mainland and a journey south through Scotland’s rugged terrain. We travel through the sparsely populated wilderness of Sutherland and Caithness, via glens left deserted as a result of the Highland Clearances. Our journey takes us past the ruins of Urquhart Castle along the length of Loch Ness whilst we monster spot! We return to Morag's Lodge, get ready for a party at Mo's Bar!
H:Get off the beaten track in the wilds of Scotland’s rugged terrain
DAY 8: FREE DAY AT LOCH NESS
Loch Ness sits in the Great Glen and provides a fantastic opportunity to get out and about and enjoy the surrounding area. You'll have a free day to do what you want. Canoe on the famous loch, hike in the hills on a local trail, play a round of golf on a Scottish course or chill out and read a book in the hostel with a beer. It's entirely up to you. Whatever you do, we're sure you'll love the Highland Hospitality.
H:Free day at Morag’s Lodge to explore
F:Decide your activity; canoe, hike, gorge walk or just chill out
F:Go monster spotting on a Loch Ness cruise (summer only)
DAY 9: LOCH NESS TO OBAN
We leave Loch Ness for the chance to travel on the famous Jacobite Steam train also known as the 'Hogwarts Express'. We take the 'Road to the Isles' to view Glenfinnan Monument where Bonnie Prince Charlie began his claim for the throne of Scotland back in 1745 . From Fort William we pass under the shadow of Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain and on to Oban. Known as the ‘Gateway to the Isles’ because of its spectacular views over to Mull, Oban is home for the night and this is your chance for a proper Highland Fling with some traditional dancing at a ceilidh!
H:Glenfinnan Viaduct as seen in Harry Potter
F:Jacobite steam train also known as the Hogwarts Express (summer only)
F:Ceilidh the night away in Oban
DAY 10: OBAN TO EDINBURGH
We head for eerie Glencoe, home to some of Scotland’s most iconic scenery and the setting of the infamous 1692 massacre and used as a backdrop for many movies. Further south we enter Rob Roy country where the landscape changes from the Highlands to the Lowlands. We pass Doune Castle, setting for Outlander and Game of Thrones and our journey back to Edinburgh takes in views of magnificent Stirling Castle and the mighty Wallace Monument. Returns approximately 5.00pm.
H: Dramatic Glencoe, scene of the 1692 massacre of the MacDonald Clan
PRE-PAY BUNDLE or PAY AS YOU GO
Add to your booking. Includes:
- 9 nights accommodation on tour
- 6 breakfast
- Highland Whisky Distillery visit
- Skara Brae Stone Age Village
- Tomb of the Eagles
- Gearrannan Blackhouses
- HAGGiS t-shirt
- Faster check in and easier to budget on tour
Pay As You Go
- Pay for accommodation and optional activities direct to suppliers uopn arrival
- Accommodation is pre-booked and guaranteed
- Optional activities are subject to local availability
Jacobite Steam Train (Pre-Pay Only)
Featured in a number of the Harry Potter movies as ‘The Hogwarts Express’, the Jacobite Steam Train is a spectacular journey through some of Scotland’s most dramatic coastal scenery. Voted as the best train journey in the world by Wanderlust magazine readers for several years, the 42 mile trip is certainly worth considering as a trip add-on!
Highland Whisky Distillery visit
Some people squish up their face. Some stamp their foot on the ground. Others let out a loud 'ahhhhhh'. However you react to whisky, don't let it stop you from going on this fantastic optional guided tour. You'll discover the history behind Scotland's most divisive drink. You'll discover how it's made. And hopefully you'll discover how to love it.
Skara Brae Stone Age Village
No trip to Orkney is complete without a visit to Skara Brae Stone Age Village, part of a World Heritage site. A Neolithic settlement dating back 5000 years which gives a fantastic insight into prehistoric living.
Tomb of the Eagles
A unique ‘hands-on’ experience! Perched above dramatic cliffs, the Isbister Chambered Cairn is better known today as the ‘Tomb of the Eagles’! Discovered by chance by local farmer Ronnie Simison in the 1950s, the Stone Age tomb revealed an amazing collection of bones and artefacts. More than 50 years after Ronnie Simison came across these remarkable sites, his family invite you to come and enjoy these well-loved visitor attractions.
Gearrannan Blackhouse Village
You’re reading this because you’re interested in seeing more of Scotland than just the major icons like Loch Ness. Gearrannan offers a fantastic insight into traditional way of life which has changed slowly, still shapes the Western Isles today and is truly off the beaten track.
Morag's Lodge, Loch Ness Adventures Activities
Morag's Lodge, Loch Ness sits at the south end of the famous loch in the Great Glen and is ideally situated for adventure. Possible activities range from canoeing or RIB trips on the loch to gorge walking or white water rafting in the local rivers. Its also possible to hire a bike or just go for a hike. Activities are subject to availablility locally.
No stress, your accommodation is booked in the best hostels available!
'Pre-Pay Bundle' or 'Pay as you go', we book hostel multi-share, generally small 4 to 6 bed dorms.
'Pre-Pay Private Room Bundles' are limited and subject to availability.
The majority of private rooms are of the same standard as the hostel dorms, may have shared facilities and are accommodated within the same building as the rest of the group. Where this is not possible, you may be required to make your own way to your accommodation located a short walk away from the main drop off point.
A brilliant trip. We saw so much. learned so much. Fantastic guide. Great people!"