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Walk the North Highland Way

Walk the North Highland Way

01606 720199

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  • Holiday type
    Guided walking
  • Duration
    7 nights
  • Accommodation
    hotel-to-hotel
  • Activity level
  • From £1499per person, tour only
  • Departures
    Selected dates from 10 Apr '21 to 4 Sep '21
  • What's Included?
  • All breakfasts included
  • All accommodation
  • Transport as listed in itinerary & luggage transfer throughout week 
  • Key Information
  • This holiday is operated by our sister company, Exodus
  • 7 nights in local, family-run hotels and guest houses
  • 6 days walking
  • Group normally 4-12, plus leader. Min age. 16 yrs
  • Low altitude throughout
  • Travel by private minibus and train

United Kingdom: Scotland

Walk the North Highland Way

  • Operated by our sister company, Exodus
  • Cliff-top views & white sandy beaches with the opportunity see to puffin bird colonies (in season)
  • Day trip to the magical Orkney islands; famed for its Viking heritage, rich folklore and ancient Neolithic UNESCO sitesVisit the Wolfburn Distillery, the most northerly whisky distillery on the Scottish mainland
  • Walk to Sandwood Bay, one of the most magnificent beaches in Scotland 

Lesser-known, lesser-travelled, but no less spectacular. A train journey north from Edinburgh is the stepping stone into our adventure. Beginning with three nights in Thurso, the northernmost town in Scotland, highlights include a visit to Duncansby Stacks, John O’ Groats and Dunnet Head Lighthouse. As befitting the most northerly point of the UK mainland, the views across the Pentland Firth to the Orkney Islands cannot be done justice with mere words.

Equally, history and culture here cannot be ignored.  We take a ferry to the Orkney Islands, rich with Viking heritage and folklore. We also visit Wolfburn Distillery to witness a process that's been going hundreds of years.

We then head west to Bettyhill and onto the village of Durness where we continue walking across some of the most dramatic landscapes in the world, none more evocative than Cape Wrath. The final walk of the week is to the magnificent beaches of Sandwood Bay on the wild Atlantic coast before bidding farewell to the North Highland Way and returning to Edinburgh where our journey ends.



We're here to help

If you have any questions about this holiday call our sales team on 01606 720199, use our live webchat (we're open until 5pm today) or email sales@headwater.com

Typical holiday itinerary



We're here to help

If you've any questions about this holiday call our sales team on 01606 720199 (9am - 5pm), or email sales@headwater.com

Day 1: Start Edinburgh; morning departure by train to Thurso; arrive late afternoon

The trip starts this morning from Edinburgh Waverley Station where you will meet your tour leader and the rest of the group to depart by rail just before 10am. Today's journey north, provides the perfect opportunity to admire Scotland's stunning landscapes whilst getting to know your fellow group members and leader along the way. Throughout the train journey, there will be two changes required; first in Stirling and then in Inverness, arriving in Thurso by 6pm. 

Thurso is the northernmost town on the UK mainland and will be our base for the first 3 nights on the North Highland Way.

Due to the relatively early morning train departure from Edinburgh to Thurso on day 1, we do recommend arriving in Edinburgh the day before the trip starts if you would also like to explore Scotland's captivating capital. Exodus can provide pre-tour accommodation (on request- additional cost) in Edinburgh, please enquire at time of booking.

Pentland Lodge House & Pennyland House or similar

Day 2: Morning transfer to John O' Groats; walk to Duncansby Head and Stacks followed by a day trip by ferry to Orkney

After breakfast, we transfer (approx. 30 mins) by private mini-coach to John O’Groats. Upon arrival, take a walk along the coast to the lighthouse and Duncansby Heads to admire the breathtaking scenery and impressive sea stacks.

We then depart to Orkney by ferry (approx. 40 min journey crossing). This archipelago of islands is renowned for its rich folklore, history and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and is home to some of the oldest and best-preserved Neolithic sites in Europe.

Upon arrival, we enjoy a tour visiting all the iconic sights such as Scapa Flow (where the German fleet was scuttled in WW1), The Churchill Barriers including the Italian Chapel (built by Italian prisoners of war while constructing the barriers), Skara Brae; the Neolithic site on the west of island along with the Standing Stones and Ring of Brodgar at Stenness. Finally, we will also the beautiful capital town of Kirkwall with the Nordic Cathedral.

 We return by ferry back to the mainland in the late afternoon before transferring back to Thurso for the evening.

Pentland Lodge House & Pennyland House or similar

Day 3: Dunnet Head walk; back to Thurso via Castletown Bay. Evening walk to Scrabster Harbour and out to Holborn Head

This morning we take a short private transfer to Brough to the start point of today's walk. We first walk out to Dunnet Head Lighthouse. This wild and remote location is the most northerly point on the British  Mainland. From here, we can view the Orkney Islands on the horizon over sweeping sea views with bird colonies on the cliffs below. Continuing our journey, we then take a coastal walk around Dunnet Bay to the town of Castletown back to Thurso.

In the evening, we walk down to explore Scrabster Harbour and out to Holborn Head Lighthouse.

Pentland Lodge House & Pennyland House or similar

Day 4: Visit Wolfburn Distillery; followed by transfer to Bettyhill; Torrisdale Bay and Ard Mor walk

After breakfast, we check out of our Thurso accommodation and visit the Wolfburn Distillery in the town where we join a 10am tour to learn how they craft their award-winning whiskies.

In the afternoon, we transfer (approx. 45 min) by private mini-coach to the small village of Bettyhill, where we will stay overnight. Upon arrival, we head out for a walk around Torrisdale Bay and Ard Mor overlooking Farr Bay. This afternoon's walk takes in a striking beach, dunes, riverside, moorland, visits an iron-age broch with stunning views and also passes an area considered a special scientific interest due to rare plants found in there.

Bettyhill Hotel or similar 

Day 5: Transfer to Loch Eribol; walk to Durness

This morning we take a private transfer (approx.1 hour) to Loch Eribol where we will be dropped off at Polla (located at the head of the sea loch) to be begin our walk. The path for today's walk runs mainly on sandy beachside taking us to the thriving village of Durness, that is surrounded by dramatic landscapes. We stay overnight in Durness.

Smoo Cave Hotel or similar

Day 6: Morning ferry; Cape Wrath Lighthouse walk; transfer to Kinlochbervie

Early morning transfer to ferry point at the Kyle of Durness for a 10 minute crossing to the Cape Wrath ferry port.

Upon arrival, the group will either take an onward minibus transfer to the lighthouse at Cape Wrath and then walk back to the ferry port or walk to the lighthouse upon arrival (with a minibus transfer back). Today's walk can be completed in either direction and your leader will advise on your departure. The lighthouse at Cape Wrath is the most north-westerly point on the British mainland and was built in 1828 and manned until 1998. Located in a landscape largely untouched by man, Cape Wrath has a wide diversity of wildlife, including red deer, fulmar, hooded crow, rock pipit, golden eagle, cormorant and gannet.

Please note, the ferry is a small boat (5 persons max), so for bigger groups, the group will need to split across a couple ferry trips. 

For those who would like to opt for a quieter day, there is the option to walk around Balnakeil Beach or visit Smoo Cave from Durness.

Later in the afternoon, the group will transfer (approx. 35 min) to the harbour village of Kinlochbervie where we stay for the next 2 nights.

Please be advised, in the event of adverse weather, it may not be possible to take the ferry and complete the walk on Cape Wrath. If this occurs, your leader will offer a suitable replacement walk around Balnakeil Beach and Durness.

4th September 2021 departure: This tour departure will stay a 2nd evening in Durness, instead of transferring to Kinlochbervie. Please refer to Is This Trip for You section of the trip notes for more details.

Kinlochbervie Hotel or similar

Day 7: Walk to the picturesque Sandwood Bay

Today we commence our last walk of the trip straight from our hotel in Kinlochbervie. Our path will follow mostly moorland track and will culminate with spectacular views of Sandwood Bay, arguably the most beautiful beach in Britain. Here we can spend time exploring the 1.5 miles of golden sand and dunes, with rocky cliffs and a giant sea stack to complete the scene. The roaring sea completes a feeling of sheer isolation at the isolated location, considered one of the most un-spoilt beaches in the whole of Scotland.

We spend our last evening of the trip in Kinlochbervie where we will enjoy a final group dinner together.

4th September 2021 departure: The group will complete the walk to Sandwood Bay (with a transfer down to Kinlochbervie in the morning to start the walk). After finishing the walk to Sandwood Bay, the group will then transfer (approx. 2 hours) down to Tain, to spend the final night together and stay overnight at the Royal Hotel. On day 8, the group will arrive back into Edinburgh mid-afternoon where the trip will end.

Kinlochbervie Hotel or similar

Day 8: Transfer to Lairg; train journey south to Edinburgh; end of trip

This morning we take a private transfer (1 hour & 15 min) to Lairg for our train connection to Inverness; followed by an onward train journey south back to Edinburgh, where the trip will end upon arrival at Edinburgh Waverley Station in the late afternoon/early evening.

If you would like to extend your stay in Scotland to explore Edinburgh independently, Exodus can provide post-tour accommodation (on request- additional cost), please enquire at time of booking.

4th September 2021 departure: This morning, the group will depart Tain by train for the journey back down to Edinburgh (there will be one change of train in Inverness), arriving back into the capital mid-afternoon where the trip will end.

 

Where you stay

During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking.

To find out more call our sales team on 01606 720199, use our live webchat (we're open until 5pm today) or email sales@headwater.com

Hotels & Guesthouses

Throughout the week, you will spend 7 nights in locally owned, family-run hotels and guesthouses. The accommodations have been selected for their charm, character and offer a comfortable stay. All accommodations offer rooms with en-suite.

Please be advised that for bigger group sizes, the first 3 nights in Thurso will be accommodated in two properties located closely to each other. 


Meals

All breakfasts are included.

Lunches can be purchased from local bakeries, shops and mini-markets which will offer you the opportunity to try lots of local produce and delicacies. Packed lunches may also be possible to organise with accommodations stayed at during the trip.

Dinners will be taken at accommodations we stay at or traditional local pubs along the way.

Travel

Our aim is to provide holidays that are unbeatable for choice and flexibility. We've listed our most popular travel options below, however you aren't limited to these - we can tailor-make virtually any holiday to suit.

To find out more about the travel options available call our sales team on 01606 720199, use our live webchat (we're open until 5pm today) or email sales@headwater.com

Transfers

 

 

 

Transportation

Transfers throughout the week will be by private mini-bus. The tour also includes a return train ticket from Edinburgh. Luggage will be transferred throughout the tour to the next accommodation. You will only need to carry a daypack during the walks.

Joining Instructions

Travelling land only: 8 days starting in Edinburgh Waverley Station and ending in Edinburgh Waverley Station

The land only meeting point on day 1 for this trip is 9am at Edinburgh Waverley station on the main concourse. Your tour leader will be holding Exodus signage and further details, including contact phone numbers will be sent to you in your final joining instructions 2-3 weeks before departure.

Please ensure you arrive no later than 9am on day 1 at Edinburgh Waverley station.

For those flying into Edinburgh Airport, the easiest way to make your way to the city centre and Edinburgh Waverley station is by tram. 

Tram tickets can be purchased online in advance at or upon arrival at Edinburgh Airport at the tram stop. Tram tickets start from 6.50 GBP for a an adult single journey (including airport and city centre) and open adult return tram tickets (including airport and city centre) are approx. 9 GBP.

Please visit https://edinburghtrams.com/ to purchase tram tickets in advance and for more details and the most up to date information. 

Upon arrival into Edinburgh Airport, please follow signs to the tram stop outside the airport. Trams currently operate every 15 minutes from 5am to midnight. Please check the Edinburgh trams website for the most up to date timetables before travel as they are subject to change.

Please take the tram 15 stops to St Andrews Square (for Edinburgh Waverley) located in the city centre. The journey from the airport takes approx. 30 minutes. Once disembarking the tram at St Andrews Square, please follow signs to Edinburgh Waverley station (6 minutes walk) and head to the main concourse area to meet with your tour leader.

Reviews

Here at Headwater we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can continue to develop, and where necessary improve, our services and ensure our holidays continue to be the best they can be. As this is a relatively new holiday, we don't yet have any customer reviews available from our customers, but here are the comments that have been received from previous Exodus travellers.

Dates and prices

You can be confident that our pricing includes all the standard requirements of your holiday and many additional extras. Always ensure that you are comparing like for like when booking your holiday.

This 7 night guided walking holiday includes:

All breakfasts included

All accommodation

Transport as listed in itinerary & luggage transfer throughout week 


How to book:

For further details, or to check availability, speak to our sales team on 01606 720199 (we're open until 5pm today) or complete our holiday enquiry form (we'll contact you at a time that's most convenient for you).

Complete our holiday enquiry form - we'll get in touch when it's most convenient for you
Speak to our sales team on 01606 720199 - we're open until 5pm today
Use our live chat to ask us a question

  • Apr 2021
  • Sep 2021
DepartingTour only Prices  
10th Apr 2021 £1499 Tour only: £1499 Check availability
Check availability
DepartingTour only Prices  
4th Sep 2021 £1499 Tour only: £1499 Check availability
Check availability

The prices quoted for each individual departure supercede those published in our current brochures. Air prices are subject to change and we advise early booking to obtain the best prices. Please see our Planning your holiday and What's included in the price? pages for additional information.

Key information

This holiday is operated by our sister company, Exodus

7 nights in local, family-run hotels and guest houses

6 days walking

Group normally 4-12, plus leader. Min age. 16 yrs

Low altitude throughout

Travel by private minibus and train

Transfers

 

 

 

Transportation

Transfers throughout the week will be by private mini-bus. The tour also includes a return train ticket from Edinburgh. Luggage will be transferred throughout the tour to the next accommodation. You will only need to carry a daypack during the walks.

Joining instructions

Travelling land only: 8 days starting in Edinburgh Waverley Station and ending in Edinburgh Waverley Station

The land only meeting point on day 1 for this trip is 9am at Edinburgh Waverley station on the main concourse. Your tour leader will be holding Exodus signage and further details, including contact phone numbers will be sent to you in your final joining instructions 2-3 weeks before departure.

Please ensure you arrive no later than 9am on day 1 at Edinburgh Waverley station.

For those flying into Edinburgh Airport, the easiest way to make your way to the city centre and Edinburgh Waverley station is by tram. 

Tram tickets can be purchased online in advance at or upon arrival at Edinburgh Airport at the tram stop. Tram tickets start from 6.50 GBP for a an adult single journey (including airport and city centre) and open adult return tram tickets (including airport and city centre) are approx. 9 GBP.

Please visit https://edinburghtrams.com/ to purchase tram tickets in advance and for more details and the most up to date information. 

Upon arrival into Edinburgh Airport, please follow signs to the tram stop outside the airport. Trams currently operate every 15 minutes from 5am to midnight. Please check the Edinburgh trams website for the most up to date timetables before travel as they are subject to change.

Please take the tram 15 stops to St Andrews Square (for Edinburgh Waverley) located in the city centre. The journey from the airport takes approx. 30 minutes. Once disembarking the tram at St Andrews Square, please follow signs to Edinburgh Waverley station (6 minutes walk) and head to the main concourse area to meet with your tour leader.



Due to the tailor-made nature of our holidays, we need a little more information in order for us to check availability for Walk the North Highland Way. Simply complete the form below (fields marked * are mandatory) and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and an accurate price. Of course there's no obligation, but if you do wish to proceed with a booking they will be on-hand to assist you throughout the process.

Alternatively, you can call our sales team on 01606 720199 to discuss your requirements in more detail (we're open until 5pm today) or contact us via live chat for help and advice.

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