7 Days £2695
per person based on 2 sharing
Discover Scotland’s majestic north coast on our Scottish North Coast 500 & Culloden tour. This part of Scotland sees fewer visitors than other parts, but any hardy souls who make the journey will be rewarded with spectacular scenery everywhere they look. As well as doing the North Coast 500 — a 516-mile journey along Scotland’s ragged north coast — you will also be staying in the HQ of the Jacobite leader, Bonnie Prince Charlie. You will be taken to the battle site of the failed rebellion and scene of the last battle on the British mainland: Culloden.
For many, the scenery is the main attraction, with vast unspoilt wilderness and the sense of remoteness and tranquillity. For others, the main attraction is the region’s rich historical heritage. Immerse yourself in the history and culture of Scotland. Many of the places and sights on this 500-mile route are steeped in the history of the past; as you travel, you will learn more about the Jacobites, the Highland Clearances, and go all the way back to the Vikings and even the Picts! Discover the Scottish Highlands’ unique culture and history. And if you’d like a mixture of Scotland’s Lowlands and Highlands, check out our Glasgow and Edinburgh Two Cities and Outlander Tour.
The Northern Highlands is like nowhere else in Britain: the scenery changes like the weather, remote glens, unspoilt hills and mountains, huge lochs and churning rivers. Northern Highlands is surrounded on all three sides by magnificent and often breath-taking coastline. Not only are the weather conditions for each of the 3 coasts different but they also have differing cultural histories, which gives each coastline its own unique feel. If you’d like to incorporate this Scottish North Coast location as part of your own tour, tell us more about it on our Customised Scottish Tours page.
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Visit Culloden site of the last major battle on the British mainland
Stay overnight in a now Luxury hotel, which was where the Jacobite leader Bonnie Prince Charlie set up his HQ before the last battle ever to take place on Scottish Soil.
Visit charming and picturesque Plockton
Stay in excellent accommodation and heritage properties
Various optional walks and hikes
Walk in John Lennon’s footsteps and hear about and even visit the old site of Scotland’s first hippie commune ‘The Far North Project’
Visit John O’Groats and even the real ‘edge of the earth’ Dunett point
Stay in Inverness, the capital city of the highlands
Interactive tour of Culloden – experience the battle and see the artefacts
Visit Highland folk museum – Scotland’s first open air Living History museum. Find out about highland culture in this immersive experience.
Driven and guided through the North Coast 500 by your friendly Driver/Guide
Learn about the history of the areas you visit from your Driver/Guide. The ancient Picts and Vikings to The Jacobite and the Highland Clearances to the more recent Arctic Convoys of World War 2, the Cold War & much more besides
Explore the Black Isle
See lots of magnificent mountains and munros
See Castles and stately homes and even stay in one
Northwest Highlands Geopark
Take part in a living history presentation
Explore Applecross peninsula and view the spectacular scenery it has to offer
Explore Wester Ross
Learn about Highland culture and how things have changed
See many splendid Lochs and Lochans
Explore the dramatic region of Assynt – some of the oldest rock formations in the world
Visit charming and picturesque fishing village of Cromerty and do the audio walking tour
Today you will be met and transferred from Edinburgh or Glasgow or Inverness to the Culloden House Hotel – HQ of Bonnie Prince Charlie the Jacobite leader, before the battle of Culloden. Where you will spend 2 nights.
Here you will be able to get a feel for the atmosphere and explore the battle site with your guide as well as visit the visitors centre to find out more about the last battle to be fought on British soil. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure soaking up the atmospheric surroundings.
This morning after breakfast you will meet your friendly Inspiring Travel Driver/Guide, together you will leave the Jacobite HQ behind and take to the battlefield to discover a pivotal moment in future of Scottish Highlands culture, the battle of Culloden. Here you will be able to get a feel for the atmosphere and explore the battle site with your Driver/Guide as well as enjoy the fantastic visitors centre to find out more about the last battle to be fought on British soil. After which we will visit the Highland Folk Museum, where history will come to life in Britain’s first outdoor museum, as actors in period costume show you what life would have been like hundreds of years ago.
After breakfast we will leave your fantastic hotel and travel towards the coastline, this is the start of the North Coast 500. We will hit Wester Ross and head along the coast to Torridon. Here you will see Scotland’s typical beauty and some of its most impressive mountains with the Isle of Skye serving as a backdrop on the horizon.
We take a slight detour to visit the charming village of Plockton. With cottages curving behind a tiny harbour and views across the Loch to mountains it is well worth a visit. After your visit we will take you to on one of the classic journeys of the Highlands, the Applecross peninsula, where all the classic elements of Scotland’s coastal scenery will come together – atmospheric mountain ranges, white sandy beaches, small remote crofting cottages and views over the lochs and seas to the islands. At the east end of Loch Torridon we will stop at your accommodation for the evening, here you will be blessed with awe inspiring scenery, rising from the water are the mountains of Liathach and Beinn Eighe. All the while your Driver/Guide will be on hand, imparting all their knowledge of the area as well as to answer any questions you have.
Leaving the majestic scenery of Torridon behind, we continue up the coast, passing Badacharo & Poolewe, where the Arctic Convoy departed from during world war II. The way to Ulapool is a fantastic road with outstanding scenery and great views out to Gruinard Bay. The region just north of Ulapool, called Assynt is arguably more impressive than anything you have encountered previously on this road trip, as the vast peaks rise from the Moors. Assynt is home to some of the world’s oldest rock formations that are part of the Northwest Highlands Geopark. Lochinvar is your base for the night, nearby there are some crofting villages to take in as well as the imposing Suilven mountain and views out to the Hebrides.
After you have dropped your bags at your fine accommodation near Lochinvar you might be tempted to drive back down to Inverkirkaig to the falls of Kirkaig to the base of Suilven, an easy trek taking in a waterfall and a remote loch, or possibly a shorter walk just north of Lochinvar with fantastic views of the Assynt peaks (from Baddriach to Achmelvich), or maybe you would prefer to explore some more by road to Loch Assynt, Ardveck Castle & Knockan Crag, one of the world’s most important geological sites, or how about just relaxing at the hotel, simply discuss the options with your dedicated Driver/Guide and let him know what you want to do. They will accommodate your requests as well as being on hand to impart information and answer questions.
The North coast receives fewer visitors than the west coast. Stretching from Cape Wrath to John O’Groats. The North Coast offers sheer cliffs and white sandy bays, sculpted over time by the battering Atlantic storms. Along the north coast road you will see steep mountains in the west and lochs and moors in the east, not to mention the cliffs beaches and rocky headlands.
After incessant raids in the dark ages, the Vikings ruled much of the northern highlands by the 9th century, they named the area ‘South Land’ which now forms the district of Sutherland.
First though we will reach the far north west of Scotland, a trip too far for some, as villages become fewer and fewer. As you are more intrepid than most you will be rewarded with a feeling of insight about life on the edge of civilisation along with sights of stark beauty like nowhere else in Scotland, a landscape marked with lochs and lochans. A visit to Durness the most north-westerly village on the British mainland where John Lennon used to come to visit his aunt Lizzie, which features on the song In My Life. Near Durness we will take you to visit the Balnakeil craft village, which was the sight of Scotland’s first hippie commune ‘The Far North Project’, before travelling on via the attractive setting of Tongue scene of the sinking of the Jacobite sloop the Hazard and its cargo of £13,600 worth of gold coins, along with the capture of the 1000 men trying to rescue the stricken treasure, look out for the shapely peaks of Ben Hope & Ben Loyal and the ruins of Castle Varriach, after which we will continue hugging the rugged and beautiful coastline to your accommodation just outside Thurso.
After checking in to your hotel, time permitting, you may wish to travel out to John O’Groats and the surrounding area, possibly visit Dunnet Head for a real ‘edge of the world’ experience, past the Queen Mothers old residence, where Prince Charles often visits in July, Castle of Mey, or simply just relax at your hotel and visit tomorrow morning, again discuss any options with your dedicated Driver/Guide and let them know what you prefer to do.
The east coast tells a tale of human history. Relics of the Pict’s as well as Castles and Cathedrals and several places and monuments linked to the Highland Clearances. Stretching from Wick to Inverness the east coast is a fertile place, with rolling moors, fields and woodlands which run down to the sandy beaches in places like the Black Isle, which is not an island at all but a peninsula.
We now change compass direction and start heading back down south to compete this epic and scenic road trip and finish off in Inverness. Today we see a monument to the Duke of Sutherland, as huge as it is controversial it can be seen for miles around, you will learn more about the highland clearances and the affects it had on this area and the people who lived there. After which you will be taken to the Black Isle Peninsula to visit the picturesque fisherman’s town of Cromarty, here you will visit Cromarty Courthouse to find out more about the area and do the audio guided tour of the town. Today you may want to visit and tour the Glenmorangie Distillery (at own expense) or visit Chanonry point, one of the best dolphin spotting sites in Europe, simply discuss the options with your Driver/Guide after breakfast and they will take you to the preferred option. Today you will say fond farewell to your friendly Driver/Guide as they drop you off at your hotel in Inverness for the end of your tour.
A sedate journey through the winding single track roads, your Driver/Guide will concentrate on the road letting you appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds you on all sides.
This area sees fewer visitors than other parts of Scotland, but any hardy souls who make the journey will be rewarded with spectacular scenery everywhere they look. Along the way you will travel to Assynt and have the option to have a stroll to take in the views of the Suliven and the startling sugar loaf outline of the iconic mountain. Wander the streets of the friendly coastal town of Cromarty, made up of handsome Georgian Townhouses and cute cottages.
As well as doing the North Coast 500 you will also be staying in the HQ of the Jacobite leader, Bonnie Prince Charlie, you will be taken to the battle site of the failed rebellion and scene of the last battle on the British mainland, Culloden. Here you can immerse yourself in the stories and tales and history of the past in the interactive visitors centre.
Along the way you will learn about the highland clearances & why the people were forced off the land and how they recovered from their plight. As well as finding out about some of the more unique and unknown aspects of recent history in the area, walk in the footsteps of John Lennon or discover how a cold war early warning centre went full circle and became Scotland’s first hippie commune.
The coastline being the main reason to visit, indented by sea lochs, which give rise to high shattered cliffs that spring waterfalls or beautiful white sandy beaches that give way to Munros and mountains that sweep up from the shore.
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