Outer Hebrides & the Scottish Highlands
5 day tour

  • Callanish Standing Stones
  • Outer Hebrides tours from Edinburgh
  • Inverness castle
  • Cairngorms National Park
  • Beaches of Lewis and Harris

Experience the timeless traditions and brilliant beauty of the Outer Hebrides and the Highlands.

Tour map

Tour Highlights

Cathedrals
UNESCO Heritage Sites
Waterfalls
Mountains
Ferry
Beaches
Prehistoric Sites
Lochs

Cairngorms National Park - Gaze in awe at Scotland’s most beautifully rounded peaks.

Lewis and Harris - These two areas with distinct landscapes make up the largest island in Scotland.

Calanais Standing Stones - This mysterious monument is even older than Stonehenge.

White sands of Luskentyre - Walk along this phenomenal beach and feel like you’re in the Scottish Maldives.

Inverness - The ‘Capital of the Highlands’ blends Victorian architecture with a lively modern lifestyle.

Braemar - This village has a strong association with the British Royal Family and the annual Highland Gathering.

Scone Palace - The original home of Scotland’s Stone of Destiny.

Loch Ness - See Scotland's most famous Loch and try to spot Nessie.

 

Your journey

 

The stone walls and straw roof are stained with soot from the central fire. The children are sleeping amongst the cattle and sheep. And outside the door, you see a spectacle of sharp mountains and soft white sands.

This is what life was once like in the Outer Hebrides: wild, beautiful, and harmonious with the forces of nature.

On this tour, you journey to the edges of Scotland to experience the epic landscapes, wonderful traditions, and ancient relics of the Isle of Lewis and Harris.

You learn about the tweed weavers of Harris, you ponder over the purpose of gigantic Neolithic stone circles, and you step inside an ancient styled abode at the Arnol blackhouse.

What’s more is you also experience the classic Highland landscapes of the Cairngorms and experience the beauty of Scone Palace.

Join this tour, step inside the world of clans and crofters, and experience the wild and rugged legends of the Hebrides.

 

Tour Details

Starts
Check-in closes at 08:15 (tour departs at 08:30) - Edinburgh Bus Station Pick Up, Gate J and Gate K, inside Edinburgh Bus Station, St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, EH1 3DQ
Finishes (approx.)
18:30 - Edinburgh Bus Station Drop Off, George St / St. Andrews Square area, (Within 5 mins of Edinburgh Bus Station), Edinburgh,
Luggage
You're restricted to 20kg (44lbs) of luggage per person. This should be one piece of luggage similar to an airline carry-on bag (approximately 55cm x 45cm x 25cm / 22in x 17in x 10in) and a small bag for onboard personal items.
Discounts

Students, seniors over 60, and children between 5 and 15 (unfortunately, we don't carry children under 5 years old).

Important information
  • Pack your waterproof clothing and walking shoes
  • Some attraction tickets can be purchased in advance when you book your tour. You’ll have the option to add at check-out. Other attractions will not be available to book beforehand, instead you can purchase those while on tour.
Tour inclusions
  • Transport in a 16 seat Mercedes mini-coach
  • Air conditioning as standard
  • The stories and services of an English-speaking driver guide
Tour exclusions
  • Accommodation

Itinerary

Day 1

  • Take in views of the softly rounded peaks of the Grampian Mountains
  • See the amazing Corrieshalloch Gorge
  • Travel by ferry through the Summer Isles

You depart the cosmopolitan city of Edinburgh, journey past the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Forth Rail Bridge, and travel into the Highlands.

Your first stop of the day is in the village of Dunkeld. You get time here to stretch your legs and admire the cathedral’s unusual mixture of architectural styles.

You then venture through the shadows of the great and gorgeous Grampian Mountains and stop for lunch in the charming town of Aviemore. 

After you’ve satisfied your taste buds, you drive out to Rogie Falls and take a short walk out to see this lovely sight.

Next up is Corrieshalloch Gorge, a lesser-known Scottish sight, but it’s one that you’ll love. It’s a short walk under forest canopies with a lovely view of a waterfall.

Then you’re off to Ullapool for a short visit before you jump on the ferry. This two and a half-hour boat trip takes you through the Summer Isles to Stornoway, the main town of the Western Isles, where you will be spending the night.

Day 2

  • Explore the  rugged coastline of Lewis
  • Step inside an ancient Scottish home at Arnol Blackhouse*

After your breakfast, head off to the Butt of Lewis, the most northerly point of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. Hold onto your beanies, as this headland spot is known as one of the windiest locations in the United Kingdom.

You’ll continue to explore the island as your driver-guide makes the most of what weather you’ve been blessed with, taking you through traditional crofting towns and seaside ports. Beach fans will love walking the beach at Port of Ness, and history buffs will adore Arnol Blackhouse*. Here, you can experience what traditional farming life was like in these remote reaches without getting your hands too dirty.

After lunch in Stornoway, you’ll explore the west side of Lewis out to Uig Bay, before returning to Stornoway for the night. Don’t forget this port town is home to Scotland’s most delicious black pudding – so why not give it a try?  

 

Day 3

  • Admire the landscapes that inspired Harris Tweed
  • Cast your eyes upon the slender, blonde curves of Luskentyre beach

It’s time for something a little more dramatic. It’s time to enter the region of Harris.

Harris boasts the highest mountains in the Outer Hebrides and one of the most beautiful white-sandy beaches in Britain, Luskentyre.

The area is also famous for Harris Tweed and myths that are as strange as they are poignant. Sate your appetite for shopping with a visit to the Clo Mor Harris Tweed Centre.

After a morning of exploring the dramatic landscapes, you stop for lunch. Depending on the weather, we may even go for a picnic on the beach – so don’t forget to pack your sunglasses.

You head back to Stornoway in the late afternoon.

Day 4

  • Try not to get sent back in time when visiting the Calanais Standing Stones*
  • Spend the evening in Inverness, the ‘Capital of the Highlands’

First up today is a visit to the Calanais Stone Circle*, so prepare yourselves for the possibility of time travel. This prehistoric sight still mystifies archeologists today.

Continue your exploration with Dun Carloway Broch – these unique ruins sit atop a mound of rock on the Isle of Lewis.

Following lunch in Stornoway, you’ll jump back on the ferry to the mainland. We head straight for Inverness, the Capital of the Highlands and our final overnight stop.

*The Calanais stones will be closed from 26 October 2024. This will affect tours departing between 25-29 Oct 2024. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Day 5

  • Try your luck at spotting Nessie
  • Visit Scone Palace, the ancient crowning place of the Kings of Scots

This morning we leave Inverness and head along the shores of Loch Ness. Get your cameras ready just in case Nessie decides to make an appearance. Next you head for Tominoul, the highest village in the Highlands. Sitting on the north side of the Cairngorm National Park, with its central square and 18th-century buildings, Tomintoul is a fine example of a planned village.

Next we head into Royal Deeside, the great valley of the River Dee that runs all the way from the sweeping mountains to the Aberdeenshire coast.

Next it’s time to relax over a leisurely lunch in the charming village of Braemar in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. This beautiful and remote village feels like the Highlands of a bygone era. Set amongst majestic mountains, peat coloured rivers and cool dark forests, it’s easy to see why the British Royal Family have made this area their favourite summer retreat.

From here the route south passes over Scotland’s highest mountain pass, through Highland Perthshire before stopping at Scone Palace, the home of Scotland’s legendary Coronation Stone, better known as the Stone of Destiny.

From here it’s a short journey back to Edinburgh.

Itinerary subject to change.

Attractions

Tour Attractions

You are able to pre-purchase entrance tickets to the following attractions at the time of booking:

  • Arnol Blackhouse

Other attractions may be booked and paid locally during the tour.

Accommodation

Where does this tour stay overnight?

You stay three nights in Stornoway, and one night in Inverness.

 

How can I book accommodation?

Accommodation is not included in the price of your tour. To book accommodation, there are two options: either Rabbie’s Tours can book it for you, or you can book your own. For information on how to do this, please see the ‘Accommodation’ tab on FAQ page HERE.

Alternatively, please email us your questions at tours@rabbies.com or call us on +44(0)131 226 3133.

Information you can find on the FAQ page, under the ‘Accommodation’ tab: types of accommodation, room types, the booking process, getting to and from your accommodation, and cancellation terms.

How much will the accommodation cost?

We book accommodation with third-party providers on your behalf and each property sets their own rates. Rates vary considerably depending on the accommodation standard, facilities, location, and local demand. We therefore can’t tell you exactly how much your accommodation will cost until your request has been allocated to a specific property.

As a guide, you can expect to pay the following prices, per person per night:

 

Approximate prices, per person per night

Overnight Location

 

Sole Occupancy

Multiple Occupancy

 

(1 person per room)

(2+ people per room)

B&B Standard

£80 - £120

£60 - £80

UK & Northern Ireland

€80 - €120

€60 - €80

Ireland

B&B En-suite

£100 - £145

£55 - £95

UK & Northern Ireland

€100 - €145

€55 - €100

Ireland

Hotel

£110 - £190

£75 - £150

UK & Northern Ireland

€130 - €235

€75 - €150

Ireland

NOTE: Prices quoted are for guidance only and may be higher on some occasions, especially for last-minute bookings and when demand is high (E.g. peak season, weekends, holidays, special events etc)

Breakfast will be included unless otherwise noted. The type of breakfast provided will vary from place to place so you may receive either a full cooked breakfast, a continental style breakfast (E.g., toast, fruit, cereal), or a packed breakfast bag or tray (E.g., porridge pot, fruit, granola bar).

FAQs

Do you offer hotel pickups in the departure cities?

The UK and Ireland's historic city centres are full of narrow streets and winding roads. So, to speed up your departure, we only pick up from our central meeting points. What's more is leaving the city using the most direct route also reduces the carbon footprint of our tours.

Is there parking close to the departure point?

We don't recommend bringing your car into the centre of our departure cities. It can be hard to find parking, and there are excellent public transportation services.

When should I get to the departure point?

Arrive 15 minutes before your departure time. Due to waiting restrictions, we can't wait for you if you're late.

What happens if I'm late or miss the tour?

If you're late for your tour, our cancellation policy applies. 100% charges are applicable, and you will not be entitled to a refund or alternative.

What are your cancellation policies?

Your cancellation terms depend on which tour you've booked.

For one-day tours: You'll receive a full refund if you cancel 24 hours or more before the tour departure

For tours of between two and nine days: You'll receive a 90% refund if you cancel 15 or more days before the tour departure

For tours of 10 or more days: You'll receive a 90% refund if you cancel 21 or more days before the tour departure

For all European packaged tours: You'll receive a 90% refund if you cancel 42 days before the tour departure.

If you cancel inside these notice periods, full charges will apply and no refunds will be issued.

To cancel your booking, email tours@rabbies.com as soon as possible. The effective date of cancellation will be the date we receive written confirmation from you.

Click here to view terms and conditions

Can Itineraries change?

Your tour will always follow the itinerary as closely as possible. Your driver-guide will keep you up to date on the road, and we'll try to get in touch about any large changes prior to your departure.

Can I pre-book a specific seat?

Due to logistical reasons, we're unable to let you pre-book a seat on the bus. But our comfortable 16-seat mini-coaches have huge windows. So, you'll always get a good view.

Are there toilets on the bus?

Unfortunately, we have no on-board toilet facilities, but you'll have regular comfort breaks.

How do you cater for people with accessibility needs?

We aim to accommodate everyone. To read more information on how we do this, click here to go to our accessibility guide.

Do you take children on your tours?

We regret we don't carry children under the age of five on our scheduled tours.

You can ask us about the tours we recommend for younger children. And if your child is less than 1.35m tall, you should let us know, so we can provide them with a suitable booster seat.

How much time do I get off the bus?

We want you to enjoy Britain and Ireland. And we believe the best way to do this is to get you off the mini-coach and out exploring. So, we give you plenty of time to take photos, go walking, and explore ancient ruins.

Why do you exclude visitor attractions?

We exclude visitor attractions in your tour price because it lets you travel your way. It means you can pamper yourself with a luxury lunch or skip an attraction whenever you feel like it.

Do we need to bring our own lunch?

You don't need to. We stop in small towns, villages, and rural eateries where you can choose whatever meal pleases both your taste buds and your budget.

Should I tip the driver-guide?

Let's be honest, our driver-guides would never refuse a cheeky bonus. But it's up to you, and the amount is entirely at your discretion.

What about travel insurance?

We advise you take out travel insurance.

What is ABTOT?

You're protected by ABTOT when you chose to let us reserve your accommodation on a multi-day tour. This means you can claim back anything you've paid us if we become bankrupt. Read our terms and conditions for more information.

I have more questions, who can help me?

If you have any more questions, call us on +44(0)131 226 3133, email tours@rabbies.com , or check out our full FAQs .


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