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SCOTLAND’S FAMOUS ROUTE 500, NORTHWEST PASSAGE AND ORKNEYS

SCOTLAND’S FAMOUS ROUTE 500, NORTHWEST PASSAGE AND ORKNEYS

Wednesday 2 to Thursday 10 June 2021

  • 9 Days £790
  • Single supplement £155
  • Holiday insurance £29

A most extraordinary holiday visiting Scotland’s North West coastline and islands. This trip of a lifetime skirts the very top of the United Kingdom on the famous Route 500 as it snakes along the coast passing fairy-tale castles, deserted beaches and ancient ruins. A region so sparsely populated the lifestyle and culture has little changed in generations. The highlight of the week is a marvellous guided tour of the Orkney Isles.


WEDNESDAY: Following our morning departure we travel north to our overnight hotel in the Glasgow area.

THURSDAY: Travel through the changing Scottish scenery, we travel along the shoreline of Loch Lomond ‘The Queen of Lochs’ to then drive through Glencoe over the mountain passes to Fort William. You will lose count of the number of lochs we travel past, enjoy a quick stop at Eilean Donan Castle, one of Scotland’s most photographed castles before arriving at Skye and the Dunollie Hotel for a two-night stay.

FRIDAY:  A full day on Skye, first to the capital of Portree, fringed by high ground and cliffs, where the harbour continues to be used by fishing boats. We cross the island to the 800-year-old Dunvegan Castle and Gardens – the stronghold of the Macleod Clan and Scotland’s longest inhabited castle. Returning along the coast road with views of the Cuillins, the most impressive mountain range in the UK.

SATURDAY: We depart Skye via the bridge to arrive at Kyle. Drive along Loch Carron to Gairloch, a pretty fishing village. Continue along the total length of Loch Maree, without doubt, one of Scotland’s bonniest of lochs before we snake our way along cliffs, beaches, inlets and a coastline dotted with islands before arriving into the picture-perfect harbour town of Ullapool and the Royal Hotel for our overnight stay.

SUNDAY: Travelling north, the extraordinary beauty unfolds before you. Mile upon mile of crumbling cliffs, sheer rocky headlands and sheltered bays with white deserted beaches. See/hear huge seabird colonies clustered in clefts on remote stacks, seals also bob around in the surf offshore. Arrive at Durness, the most north-westerly village on mainland Britain. Lunch included at the Smoo Cave Hotel.  Continue to travel east along the northern coastline, entering the least populated area in the UK, passing sea lochs and villages before reaching the picturesque fishing village of Caithness and the Castletown Hotel, for our two-night stay.

MONDAY: We travel past Scotland’s most northern mainland castle, Castle of Mey, which was owned and frequently visited by the late Queen Mother, we see the Orkney’s rise from the North Sea.  At John O’Groats we board the ferry as foot passengers for the 40-minute ferry crossing over the Pentland Firth to begin a magical guided tour of the Orkney Island. A private coach with driver/guide awaits to take you across the Churchill Barriers, visiting Scara Brae, Ring of Brodgar, standing stones, Italian Chapel and much more.  We return on the ferry back to John O’Groats.

TUESDAY: Another day which is sure not to disappoint you, travel by way of Wick and the coastal road to historic Helmsdale and then various vantage points such as the white sands at Brora, Dunrobin Castle to the Highland capital of Inverness for some free time. Continue south climbing the Drumochter Pass then by way of Glen Garry, Bridge of Tilt and Pitlochry to our overnight stay in the Perthshire area.

WEDNESDAY: We have a leisurely departure today and travel south through Scotland, crossing the border into England and our hotel in the Lancashire area.

THURSDAY: Travel south to arrive home late afternoon/early evening.


Please Note: Admissions and fares are not included in the price unless stated below.


DUNOLLIE HOTEL, BROADFORD, SKYE***

The Dunollie Hotel is set by the serene waterside of Broadford Bay, at the foot of the mountains that lead to the famous Cuillin Hills. With 84 en suite bedrooms, a bar and a restaurant, it is perfectly placed to explore an area rich in history. Many of the bedrooms offer spectacular views across Broadford Bay and the islands of Pabay and Scalpay, they are equipped with a television, telephone and tea/coffee making facilities. There is no lift.

ROYAL HOTEL, ULLAPOOL***

Located on the edge of the village with breath-taking views across Loch Broom and the surrounding Highlands. All 55 bedrooms are en-suite with a television and tea/coffee making facilities. No lift but ground floor rooms available.

CASTLETOWN HOTEL, CAITHNESS, THURSO**

Nestled in the curve of Dunnet Bay, within the picturesque fishing village of Castletown, this family-run hotel is perfect for exploring Caithness, offering quality, affordable accommodation with free Wi-Fi and parking. There are 24 en-suite bedrooms with television, hairdryer and tea/coffee making facilities. There is no lift.


INCLUDED IN THE PRICE

Executive coach travel, 8 night’s dinner, bed and breakfast, Orkney Isle ferry and guided tour, lunch at Smoo Cave Hotel, entry to Dunvegan Castle and gardens and excursion programme