Northern Scotland: A Luxury Adventure to Highlands & Uninhabited Islands

Sometimes, the best adventures are those that lie close to home. Those that see us pack our bags for a weekend before emerging out the other side, refreshed and renewed. This year, more than ever, has been a year for reconnecting with the homegrown, experiencing the wilderness that lies right on our doorstep. From the UK, that has meant bundling into the car and driving north, and further north, until we hit the wilds of Scotland. Here, we’re chartering a private RIB for an overnight adventure on uninhabited islands and hunkering down on exclusive-use estates so expansive you’ll see no one else for days. In the company of expert guides, you’ll learn survival skills, forage for your supper and bag a Munro if you so choose. Where luxury meets adventure, this is a trip for escaping it all and getting back to nature.

Explore your very own Highland Estate

Driving north of Inverness, your adventure into the wilderness begins amid the 23,000 acres of the Alladale Estate. From the rural seclusion of Ghillie’s Rest, your private cottage for the next two nights, you’ll have all this terrain to explore. Packed full of dramatic glens, remote hill lochs and native wildlife, a day on the Alladale Estate is enough to feel as if you’ve escaped to another land. In the evening, you’ll be able to put your feet up by the fire with the estate’s private chef on hand to prepare an exquisite menu of local produce, served up in the privacy of your cottage.

Make this itinerary yours

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Start Planning Here

The next morning, jump in one of the estate’s land rovers and head up into one of the ten serene hill lochs where you’ll cast a line for brown trout and arctic char. Later that afternoon, link up with a local ghillie who’ll take you foraging on the estate, creating a menu for later that night.

Drive the North Coast 500 to John O’Groats

With Alladale having given you a taste of the rugged beauty of Scotland’s scenery, tomorrow that scenery is taken up a gear. From Alladale, you’ll pick up Scotland’s answer to Route 66, the North Coast 500, winding your way up the east coast to the most northeasterly point in mainland UK at John O’Groats. Here, we’ll have an expert nature guide waiting to take you on a coastal hike out to the sea stacks of Duncansby Head. Bringing color to your surroundings with their knowledge of local history and wildlife, you’ll get to know this atmospheric corner with it’s swirling sea birds and playful dolphins whilst the Orkney Isles shift into view on the horizon.

Camp on an Uninhabited Island

Spend tonight at Lundies House, a former manse turned contemporary boutique hotel with views out over the Kyle of Tongue. You’ll have the room for the next three nights, however, might we suggest something a little wilder for tomorrow? Walking down to the jetty outside Lundies in the morning, you’ll meet your skipper as you board your private RIB. From here, head out across open sea to discover some of Scotland’s rugged and remote northern isles, many of which remain uninhabited for the majority of the year.

Reaching Sula Sgier, you’ll spend some time onshore alongside a nature guide exploring this home to one of Europe’s largest Northern Breeding Gannet colonies before continuing onto North Rona. Here, in the shadow of the Celtic Chapel ruins, you’ll make camp for the night. But before you settle down, there are bushcraft skills to be learnt – how to start a fire, how to set a trap and how to take shelter from the notorious Scottish elements. Survival instinct engaged, your guide will then help you cook dinner over the open fire and beneath a canopy of stars. Don’t fancy spending the night? We’ll have the RIB and the warmth of Lundies House on standby.

From a Scottish Sea Safari to a Viking Stronghold

Tomorrow, you’ll continue your sea safari on through some of the north coast’s other uninhabited islands saving our favorite, Eilean Nan Ron, for last. In this favorite playground of a grey seal colony, you’ll sail by under dramatic sea cliffs topped by impressive arches on this island that time forgot. Returning to the mainland, you’ll have one final night to enjoy the friendly hospitality of Lundies House before returning home after one final hike into a Viking stronghold the next morning.