Self-Drive Holidays
7 Nights
  • Fully customisable itinerary
  • Prices from: £1065 per person
  • Best time to go: April - October
  • Transport: Rental car included (optional)


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Walk the winding flagstone lanes of the historic fishing port of Stromness, Orkney’s second largest town. Explore the town’s narrow winding streets and iconic harbour and waterfront.

Skara Brae
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Explore Skara Brae, a Neolithic village where Britain’s earliest inhabitants once lived. This site is one of the best preserved settlements in Western Europe and was first uncovered by a storm in 1850.

The Ring of Brodgar
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Step back in time at some of Europe’s finest ancient monuments including the chambered tomb of Maes Howe & the Ring of Brodgar, a large stone circle that originally consisted of 60 stones with 36 still standing today.

Island of Hoy
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Take a boat over to the Isle of Hoy and find the famous sea stack, the Old Man Of Hoy, or enjoy a magnificent coastal walk. The Vikings named the island Hoy, meaning ‘High Island’ due to the dramatic highland landscape unlike any other landscape in Orkney.

Cape Wrath
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Enjoy a guided trip to Cape Wrath, the north-westerly point of Britain. Admire the stunning and spectacular views and wild coastline of the dramatic headland with its whitewashed lighthouse perched atop the cliffs.

Sandwood Bay
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Walk into Sandwood Bay, one of the most isolated & beautiful beaches in the British Isles. The beach is well known for its 1 mile stretch of beautiful white sand and the view over to Am Buachaille, the stand alone sea stack.

Explore the Enchanting Islands of Orkney and the North Coast

Enjoy a wonderful self-drive tour of Scotland’s northern extremes with a visit to the enchanting Orkney Islands and the striking landscapes and windswept beaches of the Northern Highlands.

Spectacularly located off the northern tip of Scotland, Orkney is a unique destination with a distinctive culture drawn from centuries of Norse rule and a landscape sculpted by the sea.

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Explore the enchanting islands of Orkney and delve into the prehistoric Neolithic sites that the island has to offer. There are almost 3,000 Neolithic sites on Orkney alone, including the incredible 5,000 year old houses at Skara Brae. Not only is Orkney a cultural gem, with some of the best historic sites in Western Europe, but its wildlife is thriving. It makes the perfect home for a rich diversity of birds and sea life, such as puffins, seals and whales.

Travel across the very top of Scotland, past spectacular rocky sea cliffs, stunning golden beaches and down through the ancient mountains of the North West Highlands. This area of the Highlands will show you the best of Scotland’s mountains and beaches in one place. Enjoy a guided trip to Cape Wrath, Scotland’s most north-westerly point and hike out to Sandwood Bay, one of the most beautiful beaches in the British Isles.

Visiting Orkney and the North Coast of Scotland will give you a great insight into Neolithic history and a chance to see the Scottish Highlands at its best.

Suggested Itinerary

The holiday ideas on our website are just examples of the amazing trips we offer. Think of this itinerary as a starting point which can be tailored into something completely unique to you by our award-winning specialists.

We love the opportunity to use our first-hand knowledge and experience to design and deliver the perfect, bespoke holiday experience for you.

Day 1: Inverness to the Orkney Islands
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Depart Inverness and travel along the wild northeast coastline, passing through some of Scotland’s most dramatic landscapes and ancient Viking sites. At Scrabster, board your ferry for your journey to the mystical Orkney Islands.
Overnight – Kirkwall or Stromness

Day 2: Orkney Islands Sightseeing
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Spend the day exploring the two main towns on the Orkney Mainland. The fishing port of Stromness is the very image of an island town, with a narrow, flagstone-paved main street and tiny alleyways leading down to the waterfront.

Meanwhile Kirkwall, the capital of Orkney, was once a Viking stronghold and is home to Highland Park Distillery and magnificent St Magnus Cathedral.
Overnight – Kirkwall or Stromness

Day 3: Orkney Islands Sightseeing
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There is a deep sense of history throughout the 70 scattered islands of the Orkney archipelago – which boast the greatest concentration of prehistoric archaeological sites in Europe. Visit Skara Brae, a 5,000 year old Neolithic stone village, and explore the mystical pre-historic stone circles at Brodgar and the Druidic standing stones of Stenness. Travel on to Maeshowe, the finest chambered tomb in northwest Europe, where you can see authentic Viking graffiti.
Overnight – Kirkwall or Stromness

Day 4: Orkney Islands Sightseeing
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Take a day trip to visit one of the other islands. Soak up the wonderful peace and quiet on remote Papa Westray by taking the shortest scheduled flight in the world, or visit the wild island of Hoy where you can find towering cliffs and the iconic Old Man of Hoy.

Shapinsay has a fine castle and wonderful beaches, while the isolated isle of North Ronaldsay is the most northerly island with rolling seas and endless skies.
Overnight – Kirkwall or Stromness

Day 5: Orkney Islands to Durness
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Depart Orkney and sail across the Viking waters back to the mainland. Travel across the top of Scotland, past the stunning mountains of Ben Loyal and Ben Hope and by the sparkling beaches of the northern coastline. Your destination in the Far North is a spectacularly located village, a magical spot tucked away behind several gorgeous white sandy beaches.
Overnight – Durness area

Day 6: The Far North Sightseeing
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Hike into Sandwood Bay – one of the most beautiful beaches in the British Isles, or enjoy a guided trip to Cape Wrath, the most north-westerly point in Scotland. Explore white-sandy beaches, and visit Smoo Cave with its spectacular blowhole.
Overnight – Durness area

Day 7: Durness to Ullapool
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Travel south along a wonderfully scenic and winding road, passing secluded beaches, crofting communities and bays to the pretty fishing village of Ullapool. En-route pass through the grandeur and wilderness of the mountains of Assynt, and stop off to view the 15th century ruins of Ardvreck Castle.
Overnight – Ullapool

Day 8: Ullapool to Inverness and depart
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On your journey back to the Highland capital view the drama of the River Dorma as it plunges 60m down into the Corrieshalloch Gorge, before taking in beautiful Loch Glascarnoch.

What's Included?

Your holiday includes:

  • Carefully selected en-suite accommodation for 7 nights including traditional Scottish breakfast
  • Comprehensive information pack
  • Personalised itinerary with our recommendations for the best places to eat and drink and sightseeing suggestions
  • Map of Scotland with our recommended driving route
  • 8 days rental of an Economy car (other vehicle categories available) including comprehensive insurance
  • All ferry crossings (as per your itinerary)
  • 24-hour emergency contact number
  • Full financial protection

Your holiday doesn't include:

  • Travel insurance
  • Flights
  • Lunches and evening meals

Accommodation & Prices

Special Places to Stay Special Places to Stay
Special Places to Stay Special Places to Stay
Premium Premium
Premium Premium
Standard Standard

We know that after a busy day of sightseeing an exceptional place to stay makes all the difference. That’s why all of the accommodation we select is hand-picked using our first-hand knowledge of the best places to stay.

Our discerning team has a wealth of experience, and we extensively research and regularly review all of the accommodation we select for our clients.

Please choose from one of our accommodation categories below. If you wish to combine these categories or perhaps upgrade for a special occasion let us know in your enquiry.

Accommodation type
Price per person
4* Guest Houses and 3* Hotels
From £1160

A collection of quality 4* Guest Houses and 3* Hotels often located in beautiful locations which provide an excellent standard of accommodation.

Tastefully decorated and furnished, these properties are generally owned and operated by locals who have a genuine passion for their region which they are keen to share with you. Their warm hospitality is sure to be a highlight of your Scottish experience.

Boutique Guest Houses and 4* Hotels
From £1420

Our Premium category includes a unique collection of luxurious and stylish boutique Guest Houses and small 4* Hotels. These are wonderfully charming and intimate and run with great flair by their owners.

It also comprises larger 4* Hotels selected for their high standard of accommodation, exceptional service, and great location. These range from traditional luxury to contemporary Hotels.

Special Places to Stay
Exceptional Hotels and luxury Resorts
Please enquire

From award-winning luxury Hotels to unique country retreats, all of which offer exceptional accommodation with superb facilities and outstanding service.

These are truly magical places and amongst the best Scotland has to offer. The perfect choice when you would like somewhere really special which can be a treat for the night or for your entire holiday.

Car Hire

Our packages include car rental and comprehensive insurance for the duration of your holiday. Absolute Escapes has an excellent relationship with a number of car hire operators and we are able to offer quality vehicles and great value for money.

If you plan to bring your own vehicle, we are also able to offer this itinerary without a rental car.

All our packages include:

  • Collision Damage Waiver
  • Super Damage Excess Waiver
  • Third Party Insurance
  • Theft Waiver
  • Tax
Vauxhall Corsa or similar
  • Good for 2 people
  • Maximum of 4 passengers
  • 2 large suitcases
  • Manual or automatic transmission
Ford Focus or similar
  • Good for 2 – 4 people
  • Maximum of 5 passengers
  • 2 large suitcases
  • Manual or automatic transmission
Volkswagen Passat or similar
  • Good for up to 4 people
  • Maximum of 5 passengers
  • 3 large suitcases
  • Manual or automatic transmission
VW Sharan or similar
  • Good for 5 people
  • Maximum of 7 passengers
  • 3 – 4 large suitcases
  • Manual or automatic transmission

Make an enquiry

Orkney & the Far North

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