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This is a trip of a lifetime and our most luxurious tour! Starting at Inverness we will follow the simply breathtaking North Coast 500 route which circles the Northern half of Scotland where life is slow-paced and everywhere you look is stunning! This trip is a suggested 5-day trip which will allow you to unwind and cruise along at a manageable pace sampling some of the world’s best whiskies and gins along the way.
You will experience sparkling white beaches, castles, distilleries of some of Scotland’s finest spirit, jaw dropping scenery, stunning flora and fauna, wild, fresh winds to blow the cobwebs away. You will stay in luxurious surroundings and eat your way through some of the finest food/ produce you can get, anywhere.
Day 1 – Inverness to Hilton of Cadboll We will meet early in Inverness for the start of our adventure. Take in the scenery around the beautiful Beauly Firth and then cross the Kessock Bridge onto the Black Isle. This is not technically an island or black. Journey takes in Black Isle Brewery, Fortrose Cathedral, Struie Hill Viewpoint, Balblair Distillery, Portmahomack Beach, Anta Pottery and Home goods factory. Stay at the luxurious Glenmorangie House for secret beach walks and walks in the avenue of trees. Excellent food and drink with some whisky tastings of the famous Glenmorangie dram.
Day 2 – Hilton of Cadboll to Ackergill Continue the journey North stopping off at the world famous Glenmorangie Distillery on the Dornoch Firth. It is a truly idyllic location and well worth a visit even for non-whisky fanatics! Cross the Dornoch Firth Bridge to visit the quaint village of Dornoch which comes complete with a cathedral, a championship golf course and a beach that could be mistaken for the Caribbean! Travel along the water to the village of Embo. Cameras at the ready. This is journey is so soothing and beautiful. Make tracks for the gothic splendour of Dunrobin Castle. A tourist hot spot but stunning. The gardens are also spectacular. We continue our trip North and head towards the village of Brora where the distilleries of Clynelish and Brora are located side by side. Brora is a Mecca to some whisky afficienados. Our next recommendation is the jaw-dropping view at Berriedale. Rough, wild but calming and enlightening all at the same time. We will take time to stop off and savour the views. Another impressive castle to visit is further North at Dunbeath, being wonderfully perched commandingly on a cliff. Towards the fishing town of Wick highlights are Old Pulteney Distillery and the Clan Gunn Museum and Heritage Centre. Some retail therapy may also be in order at the Northshore Pottery at Mill of Forse. Accommodation and Dinner will be booked at the luxurious Ackergill Tower Hotel to end the laid back and relaxing journey.
Day 3 – Ackergill to Durness We have reached the mainland limit and we are at the top of Scotland now! Time to go west.But first visit Duncansby Head Lighthouse and John O’Groats the most northerly village of the UK mainland. Head West and stop off at the 16th Century Castle of Mey which was holiday residence for Queen Elizabeth II’s mother who was know to adore the Castle and surrounding countryside and views. We will keep West and head towards another stunning lighthouse at Dunnethead which is the official most northerly part of the UK. The feeling of isolation here is quite remarkable. Continue West towards the town of Thurso. There are many refreshment stop offs here if required. Head West again towards Strathy and Melvich Bays. Just beautiful scenery to melt the heart. The village of Bettyhill also has a white sand bay which will still make you think of the Caribbean! Head towards Tongue and you will see the Castle of Varrich which was the ancient seat of the clan Mackay. Continue west around the coast visiting Loch Enboll, Smoo Cave, Sango Sands on the way. Arrival at Durness for overnight stay. The Balnakeil Craft Village is worth a visit also and close to the village of Durness. This includes what must be the most remote chocolatier, Cocoa Moutain.
Day 4 – Durness to Ullapool We will start to travel down the idyllic west coast where some of the views will take your breath away and you will taste the sea air from the Atlantic Ocean. A suggested excursion is a ferry trip over to the isle of Handa, a great spot to view seabirds coming here to breed. This will include chance to see the beautiful little Puffins (mid-May to July). There is a pedestrian ferry which runs from Tarbet. There is also a seafood restaurant next to the ferry launch if it is close to lunchtime when we get there we can sample some delicious seafood, as fresh as you can possibly get! Further down the coast it’s possican visit ‘The Old Man of Stoer’, a 60m high sea stack rock formation as well as viewing dolphins and whales here frequently. This does involve a good hour and a half walk so sturdy, waterproof shoes are essential.Visit the village of Lochinver which now has quite a reputation for restaurants including the Michelin Starred restaurant, Albannach. If you would like to try it booking well ahead is essential and not always available. Next stop, Ullapool. A beautiful fishing town where there are plenty of attractions and entertainment. Try the award winning Seafood Shack on the front. If you are a seafood lover, you will not be disappointed! http://www.seafoodshack.co.uk. We will book accommodation in or around Ullapool.
Day 5 – Ullapool to Inverness The final day of our adventure and we will head East to the capital of the Highlands, the beautiful city of Inverness. Some interesting attractions on the way are Corrieshalloch Gorge with fabulous views of Being Dearg, Loch Garve and the Rogie Falls. We will visit the quaint spa village of Strathpeffer with a beautiful square with traditional shops and a spa pavilion. Head east towards Tore and it is possible to visit the Black Isle Berries farm. In season it is possible to pick your own berries and soft fruits are to die for in this area! Well worth the effort to get picking the fresh berries. Head towards Cromarty a little seaside village for a little refreshment at the Cromarty Brewery. Ask them for a ‘Happy Chappy’, a spicy ‘Red Rocker’ or a ‘Brewed Awakening’! Accommodation will be booked for the last evening of your adventure and allow you to relax in luxury at your accommodation. Recommendations for restaurants are available on request.
Be advised that on some occasions chosen accommodation may not be available. Plenty of advance notice is advised to best benefit from luxurious accommodation on this tour.
-all entrances to prescribed tours as detailed above
-luxury accomodation (subject to availability. Price will be adjusted accordingly if chosen accommodation is not available.
What not included?:
-all meals and refreshments, except where hotel offers Dinner, Bed and Breakfast option. This will be confirmed on booking and firming of itinerary.