A highland cow grazing beside Loch Linnhe (Dreamstime)
List Words : Team Wanderlust | 15 July 2019

Great Scot! 7 incredible trips through breathtaking Scotland

Stunning highland scenery, world famous whisky distilleries and some of the most unique wildlife experiences in the world – take the high road on these amazing trips through stunning Scotland...

1. Spot the queen at the Royal Highland Games

The Royal Family watching the tossing the caber competition, Braemar (Dreamstime)

The Royal Family watching the tossing the caber competition, Braemar (Dreamstime)

Experience the thrills and drama of the Highland Games and immerse yourself in the culture that surrounds it on this limited edition tour of Scotland with Peregrine.

You’ll attend the Royal Highland Games in Braemar, regularly attended by members of the British Royal Family. As well as enjoying the colour and spectacle of the games, a competitor will give you a demonstration of one of the Highland’s unique sports and let you have a go. Later, you’ll attend a cèilidh dance at a village hall, with dance tuition provided from an expert and other local dance enthusiasts.

Beyond the games, you’ll explore the jagged mountains, tranquil lochs and rolling greenery of Scotland's national parks, jump aboard the Jacobite Steam Train across the Glenfinnan Viaduct, enjoy a whisky tasting at Glen Ord Distillery and experience the local foodie scene in both Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Trip: Scottish Highland Games - Limited Edition

Who: Peregrine

Type: Small group

When: Aug

How long: 14 days

How much: From £4,345 (exc. flights)

2. Hike the Orkney Islands

Ring of Brodgar, Orkney (Dreamstime)

Ring of Brodgar, Orkney (Dreamstime)

Roam the margins between sea and land, along deserted cliffs and past megalithic monuments, on this guided walking holiday through the Orkney Islands with Ramblers Walking Holidays.

Based in the village of Stromness, you’ll enjoy countless walking opportunities, led by both a naturalist and a historian. You’ll walk to the Kitchener Memorial, Wideford Hill burial chamber and the Ring of Brodgar, as well as the Old Man of Hoy.

Birdwatchers will know that Orkney has more RSPB reserves than anywhere else in Britain, so there are plenty of opportunities to observe puffin, gannet, guillemot, razorbills and tysties (black guillemot) on the cliffs, waders on the mudflats, eider ducks and other divers in the wetlands and Great Arctic skua, short-eared owl and hen harrier on the moorlands.

Trip: Orkney Islands

Who: Ramblers Walking Holidays

Type: Small group

When: Departures May to Aug & Oct

How long: Seven days

How much: From £1,135 (exc. flights)

3. Discover the wild Shetlands

An Atlantic puffin in the Shetlands (Dreamstime)

An Atlantic puffin in the Shetlands (Dreamstime)

Witness the fantastic seascapes and an astounding diversity of flora, fauna and marine life on this small group holiday to the Shetland Islands with Wildlife Worldwide.

Accompanied by an expert naturalist guide, you’ll explore the Shetland Islands from two bases: Sumburgh in the south and Baltasound on Unst (the most northerly populated island of the British Isles).

Boat trips and daily wildlife walks will take you into the heart of RSPB Reserves including Sumburgh Head and Fetlar, and Hermaness, as well as the Keen of Hamar National Nature Reserves on Unst. The variety of bird life – and the immense size of the seabird colonies – is quite unlike anywhere else in the world.

Trip: The Shetland Islands

Who: Wildlife Worldwide

Type: Small group

When: May to Jul

How long: Eight days

How much: From £1,395 (exc. flights)

4. Luxuriate in five star Scotland

Blair Castle in Perthshire (Dreamstime)

Blair Castle in Perthshire (Dreamstime)

Enjoy the Scotland at its luxurious best on this traditional five star Scottish holiday with Exsus Travel.

With its breathtaking highlands, deep lochs and glens draped in heather, the scenery in Scotland is undoubtedly first-class. Matched with nights beside a roaring fire in a truly luxurious castle hotel and fine meals, prepared from the fresh, locally-sourced produce - it becomes a truly memorable experience. 

Extend your trip to spend a few more days on the west coast of Scotland, visiting the beautifully wild islands of Mull and Iona, or the whisky islands of Islay and Jura, and it becomes unforgettable.

Trip: Loch Ness, Whisky, Castles: Traditional Luxury Scottish Holiday

Who: Exsus Travel

Type: Tailor-made

When: Flexible departures throughout the year

How long: Six nights

How much: From £1,795

5. Encounter Scotland’s wild coast

Gannet colony in Scotland (Dreamstime)

Gannet colony in Scotland (Dreamstime)

Cut off by the imposing highlands, the Scottish west coast is one of the last truly wild places left in Britain. You’ll experience it in all its untouched glory on this small group expedition with Wildlife Worldwide.

It’s a journey that will take you to the remote crofting communities and picturesque villages of the Hebrides and the Orkney and Shetland Islands. Excursions by Zodiac allow you to get close to seals playing nearby in waters patrolled by whales and dolphins, and to immense seabird colonies, filled with gannets, fulmars, arctic terns and delightful puffins. 

Combined with visits to Neolithic sites scarcely changed in 5,000 years, and castles that were once strongholds of Scottish clans, this is a fascinating insight into the wilds of Scotland

Trip: Scotland’s Wild Coast

Who: Wildlife Worldwide

Type: Group

When: Jun

How long: 11 days

How much: From £5,245 (exc. flights)

6. Discover the highlights of Scotland

The ruins of Kilchurn Castle on Loch Awe (Shutterstock)

The ruins of Kilchurn Castle on Loch Awe (Shutterstock)

Explore Scotland’s highlands, lochs and villages, experiencing breathtaking nature and the warmest of hospitality on this 10-day romp through Scotland with Intrepid.

It’s a trip that will take you through rolling hills, rocky cliffs and undulating valleys,  past pristine lochs and countryside dotted with castles as old as time. Enjoy whisky tasting at the Blair Athol Distillery, hike to the top of Ben Vrackie and go on urban adventures in both Glasgow and Edinburgh.

This trip offers the right amount of small group adventure, local knowledge and stunning scenery. The Scottish Highlands are bound to enchant you.

Trip: Highlights of Scotland

Who: Intrepid

Type: Small group

When: Departures May to Sep

How long: 10 days

How much: From £2,310 (exc. flights)

7. Spend a day with Scotland’s wildlife superstars

An otter kicking back on a bed of seaweed in Scotland (Shutterstock)

An otter kicking back on a bed of seaweed in Scotland (Shutterstock)

The Scottish Highlands is home to some of the most iconic wildlife species in the country, but finding them can be a real challenge. That’s why Speyside Wildlife offer special day trips, using their expertise to increase your chances of encountering Scotland’s native creatures in their natural domain.

Whether you are part of a family group wanting to see a broad range of Highland wildlife, or a keen birder looking for a specific and elusive species, Speyside’s guides will take you to the best locations, using their expert knowledge.

Whether it’s dotterel and ptarmigan on the high tops, capercaillie and crested tits in the forests, or maybe otter and dolphin on the shoreline, just tell them what you’d like to see and they can help you to achieve your wildlife watching goals.

Trip: Scottish Wildlife Day Trips

Who: Speyside Wildlife

Type: Small group

When: Flexible departures throughout the year

How long: One day

How much: From £160 (exc. flights)

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