Self-Guided Walking Tours & Biking Tours


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Views of Edinburgh on your independent driving and hiking tour
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Highlights

  • Mountains, glens and lochs in the rugged Scottish Highlands
  • 13th century Eilean Donan Castle, standing tall on its own island
  • Hike the soaring landscape of the Quiraing and the Storr on Skye's Trotternish Peninsula
  • Savor fresh-caught seafood in the colorful harbor-side village of Portree
  • Wandering the cobblestone streets of historic Edinburgh

Discover the history and romance of the Scottish Highlands, the rugged and remote landscape on the Isle of Skye and the majesty of Edinburgh on this walking and discovery self-drive tour of Scotland. Quaint and ancient towns, deep lochs, jagged peaks, imposing castles and fresh-caught seafood are just a few of the highlights of this classic tour.

Arrive in either Edinburgh or Glasgow and head north through the lush glens surrounding Glencoe and on to stately Eilean Donan Castle, perched above the shores of three intersecting lochs. Stay in the waterfront town of Dornie beneath rolling highlands. Cross to the Isle of Skye, a hiker’s paradise with ancient footpaths meandering along coastlines and through otherworldly rock formations and stay in the colorful port town of Portree. Catch the ferry back to the mainland and follow the iconic Road to the Isles to Fort William, at the foot of Ben Nevis, Scotland’s tallest peak. Wrap up your Scotland adventure exploring stately Edinburgh castle and the Royal Mile sweeping down to the green slopes of Arthur’s Seat.

For more time to explore the best of Scotland, we recommend additional nights in Edinburgh at the beginning or end of your trip and would be happy to assist.

Day 1: Arrive Glasgow

Arrive at either Edinburgh or Glasgow airport from where you'll collect the hire car and drive to your hotel in Glasgow.


Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland, has a vibrant cultural life, wonderful Victorian buildings and several great museums such as the Kelvingrove and Transport Museum.


Overnight: Glasgow


Day 2: Drive to Dornie

Leaving Glasgow you are soon immersed in the mountains and lochs of the Western Highlands and will pass Loch Lomond, Glencoe and Ben Nevis on your drive to Dornie.  En route you can enjoy a walk in dramatic Glencoe.


Walk: 2.5 miles, approx. 2-3 hrs, 335m ascent.


Overnight: Dornie


Day 3: Falls of Glomach walk

Although not the highest in Britain, the Falls of Glomach are certainly the most dramatic; plunging 113m in a single leap.  A good path leads you through remote Highland glens to the impressive falls before you return by the same route.  


You must also make time to visit the romantic Eilean Donan Castle, probably Scotland’s most famous and photographed.


Walk: 11 miles, approx. 5-6 hrs, 790m ascent/descent


Overnight: Dornie


Day 4: Walking in the Heart of Skye

Cross the Skye Bridge to the magical Isle of Skye. Here you’ll find an island of mists, myths and legends.


You have a choice of two walks today. The ruined coastal villages of Suisnish and Boreraig are a reminder of the Clearances and the island’s troubled past. This is a delightful walk along a remote coast.


Alternatively, take a boat (payable locally) from Elgol to Loch Coruisk, into the heart of the jagged black Cuillins.  Surely the most dramatic of Scotland’s freshwater lochs, it is surrounded by the dark peaks of the Cuillins. On the return journey you may see eagles, seals, sea otters or whales.


Ruined villages walk: 10 miles, 5-7hrs, 350m ascent/descent


Loch Coruisk walk: 4.5 miles, 3-4 hrs, 122m ascent/descent


Overnight: Portree


Day 5: Trotternish & The Quiraing

Stretching north from Portree, the Trotternish Peninsula is an atmospheric land of dark brooding cliffs and bizarre rock formations.


Again you can choose one of two walks. Either walk from Portree along the coast (keep your eyes peeled for the resident sea eagles) to the Storr. Standing beneath this needle of rock you’ll enjoy wonderful views over the island-filled sea. Return to Portree by bus.


Alternatively, drive a little further north to the Quiraing, with its wonderfully-named features such as the prison, needle and table. After your circular walk, why not take a longer drive home via Talisker Distillery or Dunvegan Castle, the seat of the Macleods of Skye.


Storr walk: 8 miles, approx. 5 hrs, 510m ascent/descent


Quiraing walk: 6 miles, 4-5hrs, 340m ascent/descent


Overnight: Portree


Day 6: Road to the Isles

Leaving Portree, you head south to the green Sleat Peninsula. In Armadale you can enjoy a walk through the beautiful gardens of the castle and visit the Clan Donald museum before catching the ferry (1hr) to Mallaig on the mainland.


Follow the Road to the Isles along the white sandy beaches of the Sound of Arisaig and then east to Fort William.


Your walk today is to the deserted village of Peanmeanach, which sits on a sandy beach on an isolated peninsula. See where Bonnie Prince Charlie landed during the Jacobite rebellion, before continuing to Fort William.


Walk: 7 miles, 3-4 hrs, 386m ascent/descent


Overnight: Fort William


Day 7: Glen Nevis (Ben Nevis)

Today you’ll enjoy one of Scotland’s finest walks. Just outside Fort William the steep-sided valley walls narrow to a steep gorge which cuts a narrow path to an isolated valley. At the head of this green and tranquil glen the white curtains of Steall Falls plunge relentlessly down. This really is one of Scotland’s most precious places.


Alternatively, you may want to walk to the summit of Ben Nevis, which at 1344m is Scotland’s highest mountain. It is not a challenge to be underestimated, but on a good day the views are endless.


Glen Nevis walk: 8 miles, 4-5 hrs, 200m ascent.


Ben Nevis walk: 10 miles, 7-9 hrs, 1344m ascent/descent.


Overnight: Fort William


Day 8: Edinburgh

Your route takes you south past the mountains, lochs and rivers of the Highlands to the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage City of Edinburgh.


One of the world’s most romantic cities, you can look forward to exploring the Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle and perhaps even the city’s catacombs on a ghost tour!


Overnight: Edinburgh


Day 9: Onward travel

After breakfast your Highland drive and hike adventure comes to a close and you bid farewell to Edinburgh and make your onward journey home.


Accommodation


This tour includes 8 nights in family run B&B’s, guesthouses and small hotels of 3 or 4 standard. We hand pick each one of our hotels so that you enjoy every minute of your stay. All offer a warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and delicious local food


Solo Walkers & Single Rooms

This trip is available to solo walkers. Single rooms are available, subject to availability and a supplement applies.


Additional Nights


We can book you additional nights before, during or after your tour and would especially recommend adding extra nights in Portree and Edinburgh.


Meals


Breakfast is included each morning. Lunch and dinner are not included so you are free to choose from the available options. Most of your accommodations will more than happy to provide a packed lunch on request and this can be booked on arrival. Alternatively you can pick up a picnic from a local shop. Dinner is available at your accommodation or nearby pubs and restaurants.


Availability

Please note that Skye is exceptionally popular throughout the Summer months.  As a result it may be necessary to book upgraded accommodations and / or taxi transfers to accommodate your dates.  Your specialist will inform you of this prior to confirming your booking and advise of any supplement payable.


This trip is best enjoyed between early April and the end of October. You can start on any day of the week.  Both the Isle of Skye and Edinburgh are very popular, especially during the summer months (notably during the Edinburgh Tattoo and Fringe Festival), so it is best to book as far in advance as possible.


Time of Year

Traditionally April/May has always been the most popular time of year because the theory goes that the weather is better and the midges have not yet appeared. Although having walked in the summer we believe any time between March and October offers a wonderful experience.


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

This trip is available to solo walkers. Single rooms are available, subject to availability and a supplement applies.


Grade & Terrain

This route is graded easy to moderate. Daily walks are between 3 and 7 hours and you have a choice of easier and harder walks on most days so you can do as much or as little as you please. Most of the walks follow good footpaths or tracks but occasionally the paths in more remote areas can be very boggy and indistinct. You should have sturdy waterproof footwear. Please note that the optional walk between the Storr and Portree on day 5 should not be attempted in bad weather.


Navigation

We supply detailed route notes, maps and a comprehensive information pack so you should have no problem following the walking routes although you should be happy reading maps and using a compass.


Rental Car

You will need a car for this trip and we would be happy to book a rental car for you if you require this. Otherwise, you can of course bring your own vehicle if travelling within the UK/Europe!


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

The distances and ascent/ descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Getting to and from Edinburgh/Glasgow

By Air: Edinburgh, Glasgow and Glasgow Prestwick are the most convenient airports and are served by airlines from throughout Europe. For details of how to reach the city centres, please check the aforementioned airport websites; buses serve Glasgow and trams serve Edinburgh, or you can take a taxi. 


The website www.travelinescotland.com is fantastic for researching train and bus timetables throughout Scotland. Your pre-departure information pack will also have handy hints and tips about journeys and transport services.



 

Included

  • 8 Nights in family-run B&B's and guesthouses (3 or 4-star standard).
  • 8 Breakfasts
  • A detailed information pack, route notes and maps for all the walks as well as a map of Scotland.
  • Ferry from Armadale to Mallaig for you and your car.
  • Emergency telephone support from our office in the event of a problem.

Excluded

  • Travel to/from Glasgow/Edinburgh
  • Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Personal Equipment.
  • Optional boat trip to Loch Coruisk.
  • Entrance and admission fees.
  • Car rental.

Extras

  • Additional nights
  • Additional nights in Edinburgh or Glasgow
  • Solo walker supplement
  • Car rental

Frequently Asked Questions

We are often asked the following questions and we hope that you will find the answers useful. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for more advice from our team.

How fit do I need to be?

As you will be walking on varied terrain and for up to 16 miles per day a moderate level of fitness is required. All walks are however optional, and we also offer easier variants each day.

Do I need to be able to navigate?

We supply detailed route notes, maps and a comprehensive information pack so you should have no problem following the walking routes, although you should be happy reading maps and using a compass.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as this trip can become popular over the summer months. Busy dates are around the Edinburgh Tattoo and Fringe Festival.

What personal equipment do I need?

You will need good walking boots (ideally waterproof), comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack and hats/gloves etc.

When is the best time of year?

Traditionally April/May has always been the most popular time of year because the theory goes that the weather is better and the midges have not yet appeared. Although having walked in the summer we believe any time between March and October offers a wonderful experience.

What are the midges like?

Midges are small biting insects (much like north American gnats or blackfly) which are prevalent in the summer months. They are particularly bad on still, overcast days but do not bother you if you are moving, the wind is blowing, sun is shining, it’s raining, or you are inside so as long as you carry repellent for the odd occasion you may need it they shouldn’t have any impact on your experience.

Am I able to take my dog?

This trip is suitable for dogs but the accommodation might vary and there is a small additional charge.Not all accommodations accept pets and we would need to check this for you in advance, should you wish to bring a dog with you.

 

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