Orkney & North Coast 500


Trip Info


New for 2021, dates released summer 2020. For more information, contact info@highlandexplorertours.com.

Join us on a breath-taking adventure through the wild Highlands and Orkney Islands. Discover some of Scotland’s most iconic sights and scenery, as well as the local secrets; taking in the world-famous Loch Ness, and remote locations around the islands. Ancient settlements, spectacular coastline, and pretty villages are guaranteed – and a wee sample of Scotch whisky is greatly encouraged. Take plenty photos of the eerie Glencoe and mysterious standing stones, and the idyllic beauty of the coast. Listen to myths, legends, and tales from our rich history, as you relax and soak up the stunning scenery. 


  • Glencoe
  • Loch Ness
  • Highland Capital Inverness
  • Ferry from Gills Bay to St Margaret’s Hope
  • Skara Brae village
  • Dunrobin Castle
  • Ring of Brodgar standing stones
  • Tomb of the Eagles
  • Whisky Distillery tour
  • Ullapool fishing village
  • Culloden Battlefield
  • Dunkeld village and cathedral
  • Legendary North Coast 500 


  • Local Scottish Guide
  • 5 nights Bed and Breakfast
  • All ferry crossings
  • Tomb of the Eagles
  • Skara Brae Village
  • Highland Park Whisky Distillery visit
  • Dunkeld cathedral

Explore more

  • The Battle of Bannockburn Experience
  • Dunrobin Castle 
  • Culloden Visitor Centre


Tour Map

Select a date to book!



Limited Seats


DAY 1: Edinburgh to Inverness

Following our 08.30am departure from Edinburgh, we head north to visit the site where ‘Outlaw King’ Robert the Bruce famously won the Battle of Bannockburn. Learn the true story of William Wallace as we pass Stirling Castle, and look out for Doune Castle, which appears in Outlander, Monty Python & the Holy Grail, and Game of Thrones. Soak up the atmospheric beauty of Glencoe, and if you’re lucky, catch a glimpse of the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis. Visit Loch Ness and learn about the legend of the ‘Nessie’, the Loch Ness monster. Our final stop is Inverness, where we will be spending the night. Enjoy a walk along the River Ness or to Inverness Castle for views of the city, and then go in search of traditional live music in the local pubs.

Day 2: Inverness to Orkney

Today we join the popular North Coast 500 route, on our coastal adventure to the very top of Scotland, to catch our ferry to Orkney. On the way, we stop at the elegant Dunrobin Castle – try and spot the resident seal colony on the way! We follow the stunning coastline, before boarding the ferry over the Pentland Firth to Orkney. On arrival, we travel to our accommodation to get settled for the night.

DAY 3: Orkney

You have free time to explore after breakfast and prepare for a day of history and culture on South Ronaldsay, the bottom island of the archipelago. Visit the mysterious Tomb of the Eagles - an ancient burial tomb – and marvel at the artefacts unearthed by a team of archaeologists. From there, we drive over the Churchill Barriers and alongside Scapa Flow to visit the Italian Chapel; a peaceful and ornate place of worship, built in the 1940s by Italian Prisoners of War using military huts. A visit to one of Scotland’s most famous whisky distilleries, Highland Park is the perfect end to the day.

DAY 4: Orkney

Our second full day on Orkney takes us back to the Neolithic age on our visit to the Ring of Brodgar Standing Stones, and then Skara Brae; an unbelievably well-preserved village, hidden underneath sand dunes for thousands of years. Afterwards, we explore the north end of Orkney mainland, and marvel at impressive sea cliffs, famed for their puffin colonies. Learn about wartime mariners and old Norse myths before returning to our accommodation for the evening. Why not try some local Orkney produce for dinner? 

DAY 5: Orkney to Ullapool

This morning we board the ferry, crossing back over the Pentland Firth.  Keep your eyes peeled for marine life such as seals & dolphins!  It’s not unheard of to spot Orcas in this part of the world.  Gaze at the abandoned Isle, Stroma after your guide has regaled you with the islands amazing story. After safely arriving in Caithness, we continue the North Coast 500 road-trip route.  This coastal area is one of the most beautiful parts of Scotland, and your guide will make the most of your day amidst the natural beauty – where you can explore stunning beaches, sea caves and ancient ruins. Our overnight stop is in the pretty fishing port of Ullapool, where you can now tick off the North Coast 500 from your bucket list!  

DAY 6: Ullapool to Edinburgh

If you’re a fan of Outlander, this is the day for you!  On our final day of the tour we drive south, with a stop at Culloden Battlefield; the site of the last battle fought on British soil.  Hear the remainder of the tale of Bonnie Prince Charlie & discover the fate of the Jacobite Army on this, one of the richest historical sites in Britain. We continue our journey into pretty Perthshire, to visit the beautiful cathedral town of Dunkeld, on the banks of the River Tay. The last stretch takes us over the Firth of Forth, where you can see the trio of Forth Bridges, before arriving back on the Royal Mile in the heart of Edinburgh. 



The Battle of Bannockburn Experience

This fully immersive 3D experience brings Scottish history to life. Watch as Robert the Bruce raised his standard and amassed the Scottish Army in preparation for one of Scotland’s most famous and bloody battles. 

Culloden Visitor Centre 

On 16th April 1746, Culloden was the site of the last pitched battle fought on the British mainland. Through an interpretive exhibition and a visit to the battlefield itself, you can learn why this hour-long conflict changed Highland life and world history forever. With ongoing archaeological research and fresh historical interpretations, the story is far from over… More recently, the popular TV series Outlander has used the years prior to the Battle of Culloden as a backdrop.

Tour Map

Select a date to book!



Limited Seats


Highland Explorer Tours Office

60 High Street (The Royal Mile)

See Map

Departure Time

Please check in at 08.15am for tour departure at 08.30am

Return Time

Tour returns at 05.30pm.


Accommodation Included

We book your accommodation and drop you off at the door to your 3* Bed & Breakfast (B&B) / Guest House.

In most cases you are staying with a family who let out rooms in their home to visitors. B&B's are renowned for being warm and friendly and many people feel that they offer a more authentic way to experience Scotland. These are generally located within one mile of the centre of town, although during peak season, this distance may be slightly further. Most offer a traditional Scottish cooked breakfast.


Twin Room
One room with two separate beds suitable for one adult in each bed.

Double Room
One room with one bed suitable for two adults.

Family 3
One room with two separate beds. One bed suitable for two adults and one bed suitable for one adult/child.

One room with one bed suitable for one adult.

Accessibility and Facilities

For more information, see our Accessibility Statement.

See you there!

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