Scotland's Wild Highlands & Islands
A Journey into the Heart of One of Europe's Last Great Wildernesses
During a far northern summer, as the days stretch toward
almost perpetual light, the Hebrides Islands off Scotland’s far northwest coast are a flurry of life. Millions of seabirds nest in some of the largest rookeries in the world, while whales, seals and dolphins feed in clear waters warmed by the Gulf Stream. As we explore the coves and cliffs of the Outer Hebrides, we also find remnants of ancient human culture, from Iron Age stone forts to embellished Celtic crosses. Inland, the rugged Highlands abound with wildlife in the boreal forest and heather moorlands, including red deer, badgers, pine marten and the captivating Scottish wildcat. Come with us to discover wild, mystical Scotland!
- Discover Scotland’s nature and wildlife by land and sea with our Expedition Leader, an expert naturalist who enhances our adventure at every turn
- Cruise to the remote Outer Hebrides where millions of seabirds nest in some of the world’s largest cliffside colonies, and make a rare visit to far-flung St. Kilda
- Explore the northern Highlands, one of Britain's last large wild areas, with private interpretation from author and naturalist Sir John Lister-Kaye, director of the Aigas Field Center
See Another Side of Scotland, As Only Nat Hab Can Show You!
While Scotland’s cultural heritage and natural landscapes have long been popular tourism destinations, we let others show you Glasgow Cathedral and Loch Ness—our focus is on Scotland less discovered, less known, more remote—and wilder!
- Experience Scotland Far Off the Crowded Tourist Track
Our carefully crafted itinerary is designed to show you places that few experience, from Europe’s largest seabird rookeries to vast forests home to elk, red deer and Scottish wildcats, as well as mystical prehistoric and Celtic sites that reveal Scotland's ancient cultural history. We also include a private wildlife-focused cruise to the Corryvrechan Whirlpool for encounters with golden eagles and marine mammals. You won't find these destinations on standard tour routes!
- Travel with a Small Group for Intimate Nature Encounters
Unlike typical motorcoach tours, our nature adventure is limited to just 11 guests. We can thus take secluded hikes and walks, travel aboard small boats, watch wildlife without disturbing it, and enjoy a sense of quiet, unadulterated nature. We're also able to use more intimate accommodations in natural areas, enhancing our experience of the wilder side of Scotland. And, when we travel with 7-11 guests, we include a second Expedition Leader for even more personalized guide interactions. With our high guide-to-guest ratio, our guides can tailor daily activities to travelers’ unique interests, impossible to do on a bus tour with 40 or more people.
- Stay in Smaller, Distinctive Accommodations
Because we travel with such a small group, we are able to choose authentic accommodations selected for their history, cozy atmosphere and special locations in small villages and closer to nature. Most of these places cannot accommodate larger groups and bus tours, which generally stay in large, impersonal chain hotels.
- Rare Excursion to St. Kilda
This far-flung island group 40 miles off Scotland's west coast, and the most remote point in Britain, sees very few visitors. Our fortunate group is among them, on a chartered boat excursion to these mystical isles that are home to Europe’s largest seabird colonies—St. Kilda hosts more than a half-million breeding seabirds that nest on its thousand-foot-high cliffs. St. Kilda is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site recognized for both nature and culture—ancient human sites include more than a thousand small stone storage sheds called cleits.
- Private Boat Trip to Cromarty Firth for Dolphin Watching
Rather than share a tour boat and crowded deck space with others, we've included a private boat trip to see the world's most northerly population of bottlenose dolphins. They come in like clockwork with the tide to feed and play in this area, delighting us with their acrobatic antics and engaging nature.
- Exclusive Wildlife Hide Access at Aigas Field Center
During our visit to Aigas Field Center in the wild northern Highlands, we enjoy a private experience in a wildlife hide designed for unobtrusive animal watching, where we’ll hope to spot badgers and the elusive pine marten.
- Private Meeting with Aigas Field Center Director Sir John Lister-Kaye
We'll spend time with famous author and naturalist Sir John Lister-Kaye, who is the proprietor and director of the Aigas Field Center, featured on the BBC. In a private meeting, we'll learn about the natural history of the area, the history of the estate, and the center's beaver and Scottish wildcat restoration projects.
- Private Guided Tour of Edinburgh Castle
We've arranged a private guided tour of Edinburgh Castle with a specialist guide, conducted exclusively for our small group.
- Pre-Arranged Orkney Extension Option
One more NHA advantage is the opportunity to book our custom-designed extension to the Orkney Islands off Scotland's northern tip—enhance your nature adventure with a completely different experience, without the hassle of having to set it up yourself. The Orkneys, more Nordic than Celtic, are rich in natural history and prehistory, with new archaeological discoveries made almost daily.
- The World’s Finest Naturalist Guides
Natural Habitat Adventures has a well-deserved global reputation for employing the highest-quality guides in the industry. Our Expedition Leaders have years of experience and training, including resources from WWF's top scientists. You won’t find more knowledgeable—or more personable—guides than those who are proud to work with us. Our philosophy is simple: a nature adventure is only as good as the guide who leads it, so we provide the very best! See Expedition Leader bios with traveler comments regarding the quality of our leaders.
- Our Quality Guarantee Ensures Your Outstanding Scotland Experience
With Natural Habitat Adventures, you receive our exclusive guarantee that clearly states that we will meet the high expectations we set forth in our promotional materials. To our knowledge, this is the most ambitious guarantee made by any adventure travel company. Read our important promise.
- Feel Good About the Way You Travel
We all care about the planet, and you can travel with us knowing that the emissions from your trip are 100% carbon-offset. Natural Habitat Adventures is the world’s first carbon-neutral travel company, a feature that is especially critical when considering that polar bears are under substantial threat from our planet's warming temperatures.
- Natural Habitat Adventures is World Wildlife Fund's Travel Partner
Because of our commitment to environmentally friendly travel, as well as the exceptional quality of our small-group nature adventures, World Wildlife Fund, the world's leading environmental conservation organization, has named Natural Habitat its worldwide travel partner -- a designation that makes us exceedingly proud!
Longitude Books has created a custom comprehensive listing of Wild Scotland travel books
for this trip.