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Scotland's West Coast small group tour

Explore the West of Scotland, join the gulf stream and visit and spend time with a small group educational tour for senior couples and mature solo travellers visiting with time to explore in depth, Skara Brae, Mull, Iona, Oban and Glasgow and the communities of the Atlantic.

From A$18,995 AUD

Available

Highlights

  1. 1. See and learn about Harris Tweed
  2. 2. Visit Fort William and Aviemore

Departure Dates

Departure Date Price
03 April 2022

Ends 28 April 2022

Selected
08 May 2022

Ends 02 June 2022

04 September 2022

Ends 29 September 2022

02 April 2023

Ends 27 April 2023

07 May 2023

Ends 01 June 2023

03 September 2023

Ends 28 September 2023

07 April 2024

Ends 02 May 2024

05 May 2024

Ends 30 May 2024

01 September 2024

Ends 26 September 2024

Best of the West Coast of Scotland

This twenty six day small group tour of Scotland’s West Coast is for the senior couple or mature solo traveller who wants to really explore the beauty of Scotland’s magnificent landscape, particularly in the Highlands and Islands. Our fully escorted tour takes us from the historic Orkney Islands in the north, all the way down to the Mull of Galloway in the far south of the country. On the way we visit the Outer Hebrides, Skye and the Island of Mull. We drive through atmospheric Glencoe, travel around mysterious Loch Ness, and take the famous rail journey between Fort Willian and Mallaig. There will be time to stop to admire lochs and glens, seals, sea eagles and highland cows, lighthouses and historic castles. There may even be time for a dram or two of the famous “Water of Life”, or if you prefer, a cup of tea and a scone in a remote café with magnificent views over the surrounding countryside. There is so much to see in Scotland that this tour will be a little longer than usual though, even then, we have had to be selective.

Go back to the Neolithic period

Our small group tour is for the active senior with an interest in seeing the magnificent scenery and, at the same time, delving into Scotland’s long history. On Orkney Mainland we explore the Neolithic period with visits to the pre-historic village of Skara Brae, the standing stones at at Stenness and the Maeshowe chambered tomb. Time on Orkney, however, has not stood still, as can be seen through its Viking remains, Medieval cathedral, Renaissance Bishop’s Palace, 19th century farmhouse museum and relics from both WWI and II. There is also plenty of history to be uncovered on the mainland, and on the other islands we visit. Iona, off the coast of Mull, is well known as the home to one of the first Christian missionaries to Scotland, while further south, near Portpatrick, the 6th century Romano-Christian grave stones at Kirkmadrine are less well known, but possibly even older. This tour will provide much to surprise you as we travel through land that has been occupied and fought over for thousands of years. (And don’t believe that the Romans never came to Scotland! We’ll see proof of their occupation when we sail right through the remains of the Antonine Wall at Falkirk.)

The West coast landscape of Scotland

Travellers with an interest in natural history and wild life will not be disappointed on this tour either. There are seal colonies on many of the islands and these fat creatures can often be observed basking on rocks close to the shore. Puffins nest on the cliffs in spring and dolphins often follow our boat as we move between islands. You should also keep an eye out for wild deer and golden eagles, as well as the comical looking Highland Cow. Scotland has large tracts of underpopulated, un-farmed land, and this is likely to be covered in spring and summer with wild flowers, including the dramatic yellow gorse and, of course, the purple heather of folk lore. People often think of Scotland as cold and bleak, but the warm Gulf Stream runs down Scotland’s West Coast, and you may be surprised by the luxuriant gardens to be found at Mount Stuart House on the Island of Bute, at Culzean Castle and Dumfries House on the mid-west coast, and Armadale Castle, on the Island of Skye.

Small group travel with like-minded companions can provide the senior traveller with more than just dramatic scenery, interesting wildlife and fascinating history. On this tour along Scotland’s West Coast, you have the chance to share an evening drink or a chat with new friends over dinner. You can discuss the merits of the Jacobean Revolution, ponder the benefits of the 19th century Caledonian Canal, exclaim over the majestic Ben Nevis, or recall the pleasure of standing beside the windswept Stevenson lighthouse on the mainland’s north-western tip at Cape Wrath. Your Programme Leader will ensure that you have company if you want it, but allow you time to wander in solitary contentment, if that is your preference.

Small group educational tour

This is a tour that has something for everyone, even if they have no Scottish ancestry. The West Coast is wild and rugged, providing wide beaches of stunning white sand, dramatic cliffs, lonely mountain roads and history enough for anyone. Although this is a long tour there will be plenty to keep the senior traveller interested, all the way from Orkney to the Mull of Galloway and then back up to Glasgow where we end our tour.

Itinerary

26 days

Day 1:

..

Includes / Excludes

What’s included in our Tour

  • 26 nights of hotel accommodation.
  • 26 breakfasts and 16 dinners.
  • All entry fees and services of local expert driver/guide.
  • Cruises, ferry crossings, field trips, and excursions as indicated.
  • Touring by comfortable and modern mini-coach.
  • Services of a Tour Leader for the duration of tour.
  • Gratuities and necessary tips.
  • Detailed preparatory information.

What’s not included in our Tour

  • Return airfare and departure taxes.
  • Comprehensive travel insurance.
  • Items of a personal nature, such as telephone calls and laundry.
  • Porterage.
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary.
Level 2 - Moderate

Participants must be able to carry their own luggage, climb and descend stairs, be in good health, mobile and able to participate in 3-5 hours of physical activity per day, the equivalent of walking / hiking up to 8 kilometers per day on uneven ground.

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Make it a private tour

If you have a group of 6 friends or more you can book this tour as a private departure, with all the benefits of our small group tours.
Get in touch to find out more.

Easing your journey

Crossing international borders with restrictions

The list of requirements to travel internationally has changed and will continue to change for several years. Odyssey is here to assist you in managing your way through these requirements:

Pre-departure checklist for travelling across International borders.
Support over email or phone available 24/7 for any questions you have.

For more information see our Crossing international borders with restrictions page.

Book With Confidence

If less than 30 days before your tour starts you are unable to travel as a result of Government travel restrictions, Odyssey Traveller will assist you with a date change, provide you with a credit or process a refund for your booking less any non-recoverable costs.

See Terms and conditions for details.

Peace of Mind Travel

The safety of our travellers, tour leader, local guide and support staff has always been our top priority and with the new guidelines for public health and safety for keeping safe for destinations around the world, we’ve developed our plan to give you peace of mind when travelling with us.

See Peace of Mind Travel for details.

Reading List Download PDF

A History of Ancient Britain

Continues Neil Oliver's landmark exploration of how our land and its people came to be, which began with the acclaimed A History of Scotland.

By Neil Oliver

Amazon

In the Footsteps of Sheep: Tales of a Journey Through Scotland, Walking, Spinning, and Knitting Socks

In the Footsteps of Sheep details the completion of a mission the author, a Welsh-born Scot, set for herself: to travel and camp throughout Scotland, find cast off tufts of wool from 10 Scottish sheep breeds, then spin the wool on her spinning stick while walking (or waiting for ferries), and finally design and knit one pair of socks to represent each breed...all the while writing about her adventures and taking plenty of photographs. Debbie has written beautifully about her journey; the hills, shorelines, and bogs explored; the sheep and people she met along the way; weather both foul and fair, and a particularly exciting chapter about the intriguing St Kilda archipelago and its feral Soay and Boreray sheep. The eleven sock patterns, one at the end of each chapter, are a bonus and, for those of us unable to gather and spin our own fleece, all were test-knitted with commercial wool. The designs are knitted from top to toe with different motifs, among them color-patterns, cables, spirals, stripes, Kilt Hose with top-turnovers, and a pair of baby booties.

By Debbie Zawinski

The Hebrides: By the presenter of BBC TV's Grand Tours of the Scottish Islands

Paul Murton has spent half-a lifetime exploring some of the most beautiful islands in the world - the Hebrides. He has travelled the length and breadth of the Scotland's rugged, six-thousand-mile coast line, and sailed to over eighty islands.

In this book Paul visits each of the Hebridean islands in turn, introducing their myths anc legends, history, culture and extraordinary natural beauty. In addition he also meets the people who live there and learns their story. He has met crofters, fishermen, tweed weavers, Gaelic singers, clan chiefs, artists, postmen and bus drivers - people from every walk of life who make the islands tick. This blend of the contemporary and the traditional creates a vivid account of the Hebrides and serves as unique guide to the less well known aspects of life among the islands.

By Paul Murton

Whisky: Malt Whiskies of Scotland

This beautifully presented Little Book is an excellent introduction to the world of Scotch whiskies. It includes the major Scotch whiskies and the distilleries that produce them.

The book includes details of the very best of Scottish single malts and deluxe whiskies, covering Speyside (Cardhu, Glenfarclas, Glenfiddich) the Highlands and Islands (Blair Athol, Glenmorangie, Talisker), to Islay (Ardbeg, Laphroaig), the Lowlands (Auchentoshan, Glenkinchie) and Campbeltown (Glen Scotia). It is completely up-to-date, including new Scottish distilleries which have yet to bottle spirit or establish a core product.

What’s more, an introduction exploring the current whisky boom and how distilleries are coping with this surge in demand makes this attractive Little Book a great introduction for anyone looking to learn about whisky.

By Dominic Roskrow

Amazon

Wild Guide Scotland: Hidden places, great adventures & the good life

A new compendium of adventures, from the best-selling Wild Guide series (winner of travel guidebook of the year 2015). This guide to Scotland and the Scottish highlands and islands, one of Europe's fastest growing adventure holiday destinations, explores the hidden parts of its better known tourist areas, as well many more remote regions, rarely visited by tourists. Guiding you to over 800 wild swims, ancient forests, lost ruins and hidden beaches. Including inns, wild camping, local crafts, artisan whisky distilleries and wild places to stay.

By Kimberley Grant

The Scottish Islands: A Comprehensive Guide to Every Scottish Island

Fully revised and updated and liberally illustrated with the author's own paintings, this beautiful guide will take readers to every Scottish island, whether by armchair or yacht. From the abandoned crofts of Mingulay and the standing stones of Orkney to the white beaches of Colonsay and the spectacular Cuillins of Skye, this is the first complete gazetteer to cover all of Scotland’s many hundreds of islands, including those which are uninhabited and those which are notoriously difficult to reach. Packed with information on access, anchorages, points of historical or natural interest, and things to do and see, this fascinating compendium provides indispensable information for touring, for browsing, for reference, and for all of those travelers who wish to experience some of the most beautiful and remote places in the world. No other book begins to emulate the range and depth of the information contained in The Scottish Islands. Complete with the author's own paintings, full-color illustrations, and relief maps of all the main islands, this is both an impressive work of reference and a fascinating personal view of Scotland’s distant outposts.

By Haswell-Smith, Hamish

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