Escape to the Highlands. Fly to Inverness, Scotland and enjoy a land of open skies, rugged mountains, sparkling lochs, romantic castles, culture and history. From the stunning Road to the Isles and legendary Loch Ness to the mysterious Black Isle, this special holiday for solo travellers features a host of Highland highlights. Take a ride on the Strathspey Steam Railway, visit a 16th-century castle and a whisky distillery, and take a cruise on the Moray Firth, home to around 190 resident bottlenose dolphins and a wealth of birdlife. Discover the beauty and variety, and warm welcomes, that this very special part of the world has to offer in the company of your tour manager and your friendly fellow travellers.
Spot dolphins on a cruise on the Moray Firth
A tour of the Black Isle
Enjoy a ride on the nostalgic Strathspey Steam Railway
An unforgettable journey on the Road to the Isles from Fort William to Mallaig
Discover the beauty of the Moray Coast and visit Brodie Castle
Enjoy the chance to go monster hunting on a boat trip on Loch Ness
An opportunity to join a tour and tasting at the Dalwhinnie whisky distillery
Following your flight into Inverness airport you will be met by your tour manager and make the short transfer to Carrbridge. Depending on your flight time you might be able to explore Inverness before checking in to your hotel. Spend the rest of the day relaxing at your hotel or in the pretty village. Opposite your hotel, you'll find the famous Packhorse Bridge, which dates back to 1717 and is reputed to be one of the oldest bridges in Scotland. This evening, join your tour manager and fellow guests for a Welcome Drink and a get-together before dinner.
This morning we head to the rose-coloured, turreted Brodie Castle (entrance payable locally but free to National Trust members), the ancestral home of the Brodie clan for over 400 years and a treasure trove of priceless antiques and artefacts. The castle building reflects the changing needs of the residents over the centuries – from the impenetrable 16th-century guard chamber to a sprawling Victorian extension with some magnificent rooms. A guided tour will help you make the very most of your visit. The beautiful grounds, which boast a dazzling display of daffodils in the spring, are also well worth exploring. Later in the day you’ll have the chance to see some of the renowned Moray Coast, and to explore the fine, historic town of Elgin with its warren of alleys and closes, and awe-inspiring cathedral ruins.
Explore the capital of the Highlands today as we visit Inverness. This thriving city is home to a delightful Victorian Market, an excellent museum and art gallery, and some attractive riverside walks. We'll also enjoy a short tour of the Black Isle, which is neither black nor an island, but rather a delightful scenic peninsula surrounded by three bodies of water. We'll stop at Fortrose and the charming nautical town of Cromarty. Your day ends as you board the Dolphin Spirit to enjoy a cruise around the inner Moray Firth in the hopes of spotting the Firth's resident bottlenose dolphins. A specialist guide will give a full commentary so that you don’t miss anything.
No holiday to the Highlands would be complete without visiting beautiful, mysterious Loch Ness. We'll head to Fort Augustus, at the southern tip of the loch, where a series of locks join it to the Caledonian Canal, and the Caledonian Canal Heritage Centre gives a fascinating insight into the history and operation of the canal. From here, we'll head past the dramatic ruins of Urquhart Castle to Drumnadrochit, where you may like to visit the Loch Ness Exhibition Centre, which is packed with information about the loch, or perhaps take a boat trip (payable locally) to go monster hunting. Nature lovers are in for a treat as the wooded shores of the Loch are home to an abundance of wildlife, including cormorants and ospreys.
This morning you'll take a ride on the nostalgic Strathspey Steam Railway through the Cairngorm National Park, home to five of Scotland’s six highest mountains. Sit back and relax as your vintage train spends 45 minutes steaming through the lovely Spey Valley, following the River Spey past heather-clad moors and forests. Your day also includes a visit to the Highland village of Dalwhinnie where you can explore, or visit the Dalwhinnie Distillery to enjoy a guided tour and the chance to sample three different single malts (entry and tour payable locally).
We head west today, following the evocatively named Road to the Isles from Fort William to Mallaig. On this wonderfully scenic day we'll pass landscapes ranging from sandy beaches to flowering heather moors and dense woodland. We'll stop at the Glenfinnan Visitor Centre, from where you can see the lone Highlander atop the Glenfinnan Monument looking out over Loch Shiel. Take the short uphill walk from the centre to get a wonderful view of the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct. The road ends at the thriving fishing port of Mallaig. Don’t miss the town's heritage centre, and if you’re fond of kippers you’ll go a long way to find any that taste better than those found here. At the end of a long but incredibly scenic day we'll return to the hotel.
Today you'll travel back to Inverness airport to catch your flight home at the end of a wonderful break in the Highlands. Those not flying until the afternoon will also enjoy a short visit to the Victorian seaside town of Nairn, where pretty walking trails run alongside the river and a seafront promenade overlooks the Moray Firth.
Six nights' dinner, bed and Scottish breakfast accommodation at the three-star Carrbridge Hotel
Visits to Inverness, Aviemore, Elgin, Loch Ness and Dalwhinnie
A dolphin cruise and Strathspey Railway journey
A tour of the Black Isle Visit to Brodie Castle (entrance payable locally by non National Trust members)
A Welcome Drink on your first evening
Return flights to Inverness
Coach travel throughout your time in Scotland
Escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
With more than 35 years’ tour-operating experience, Newmarket Holidays can provide escorted tours, river cruises, cruise holidays and resort-based stays that combine superb value for money and the highest standards of customer care. Having won Best Escorted Tours Holiday Company six years running at the British Travels Awards, the company has become one of the largest and most respected independently owned tour operators in the UK.
Newmarket Holidays offers a huge array of escorted tours, short breaks, long explorations and holiday experiences for just about every interest and activity level, with transfers, excursions, carefully chosen accommodation and many entrances included in the price. All holidays also include a friendly and knowledgeable tour manager to help you make the most of your trip and to ensure your holiday operates as smoothly as possible. And although much of your escorted tour is prearranged, you’ll still have plenty of free time to relax and the flexibility to do your own thing.
With Newmarket Holidays, there’s a whole world to explore, from the historic railways of the Isle of Man and the canals of Amsterdam to the exciting city of New York and the magical sight of the Taj Mahal in India. Alternatively, relax and unwind beside the blue waters of Lake Garda, enjoy a guided tour of Poland’s former royal capital or spend a few nights in the heart of Moscow in Russia. Newmarket Holidays has something special for all couples, groups, families and solo travellers, including romantic breaks in Paris, safari adventures in Kenya, Santa experience days in Lapland and rail journeys through the Italian countryside.
There’s also a choice of holiday types and themes, such as small group tours, rail holidays, UK and Ireland short breaks, Christmas markets and cultural experiences, as well as concerts and events. As a company that now focuses on UK, European and Worldwide air holidays, ocean cruises and river cruises, you can even choose how to travel to your chosen destinations. Not forgetting that Newmarket Holidays specialises in included and optional excursions to ensure your escorted tours are memorable from beginning to end.
When you choose an air holiday, you can either tour as many attractions and cultures as you can fit in or base yourself at a quiet resort and take your pick from a collection of excursions and day trips. This means that your holiday can be as adventurous or as relaxing as you wish. If a cruise is your ideal group tour, Newmarket Holidays has departures from nearly every major port in the UK and can take you to places in and around Europe, the Canary Islands, the Baltic Cities, Greenland, the Far East, Australia and Africa. You can also choose from a wide range of European and worldwide river cruises or select a Christmas and New Year river cruise along the Danube, the Rhine or the Seine River.
From the moment you book an escorted tour, resort-based stay or cruise holiday, you can have peace of mind that your money is safe because Newmarket Holidays is a member of ABTA and is licensed by ATOL. Also, the company has a 4.5 out of 5 customer rating, which is a testament to the quality of the escorted tours and the outstanding customer care provided by the team. But that’s not all. As Newmarket Holidays is all about offering the best value for money holidays, this competitive tour operator promises to price match any like-for-like escorted tour found cheaper elsewhere.
Please note: After many years of operation, Newmarket Holidays has decided to discontinue the UK and European coach breaks and tours departing from local pick-ups in the UK (as of 2019) to concentrate on its range of UK, European and Worldwide air holidays, ocean cruises and river cruises.