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  • Golden Compass New Zealand Freephone number 0800-132-385
  • 1800-132-385

Scottish Island Hopping
Commences Glasgow 17 July and ends Edinburgh 05 August 2022

  • Portree, Skye
    Portree, Skye
  • Iona Abbey
    Iona Abbey
  • Shetland Pony
    Shetland Pony
  • Stromness - Orkney Islands
    Stromness - Orkney Islands
  • Talisker Distillery
    Talisker Distillery
  • Callanish Stones
    Callanish Stones
  • Edinburgh Castle
    Edinburgh Castle
  • Fingal's Cave
    Fingal's Cave
  • Skara Brae - Orkney
    Skara Brae - Orkney
  • Puffin - Sunburgh Head
    Puffin - Sunburgh Head
  • Program Status Places Available
  • Price AUD 13,550
  • Program Code GCTSIH22
  • Single Supplement AUD 2,550
  • Program Leader Peter Burns
  • Activity Rating Moderate

Tour Itinerary

  •  19 Nights
    • 1 - Glasgow
    • 1 - Ayrshire
    • 2 - Arran
    • 1 - Oban
    • 2 - Isle of Mull
    • 2 - Isle of Skye
    • 2 - Outer Hebrides
    • 1 - Thurso
    • 2 - Orkney
    • 1 - Overnight Ferry
    • 2 - Shetland
    • 1 - Overnight Ferry
    • 1 - Edinburgh

Commences Glasgow 17 July and ends Edinburgh 05 August 2022

Tour Highlights

  • The pretty Clyde island of Arran
  • The island of Mull with inspiring Iona, birthplace of Celtic Christianity
  • Scenic Skye with its colourful ports and dramatic peaks of the wild Cullin Mountains
  • Outer Hebridean islands of Lewis and Harris, renowned for their tweed and ancient standing stone
  • The Orkney Islands with their dramatic coastal scenery, abundant marine bird life and some of Europe's greatest concentration of pre-historic sites
  • Shetland with its tiny ponies, seals and colonies of sea birds as well as historical treasures
  • The Scottish capital, Edinburgh

Tour Overview

Scotland has over 700 islands scattered around its coastline, each with its own individual character, identity and charm. We travel from the Clyde Island of Arran with its rugged granite mountain peaks in the north and green rolling hills and pretty villages in the south to the Hebridean Isle of Mull, home and burial place of Lachlan Macquarie. The nearby, tranquil islet of Iona is the birthplace of Celtic Christianity in Britain and traditional burial ground of Scottish kings. We experience the Isle of Skye, the largest island of the Inner Hebrides, renowned for the dramatic peaks of the Cuillins as well as Flora MacDonald’s famous flight across the sea with Bonnie Prince Charlie. We travel to the Outer Hebridean islands of Lewis, known for its wild moorlands, and to the more mountainous Harris, almost but not quite its own island, and probably most famous for the locally produced cloth, Harris Tweed.

The outer islands of Orkney and Shetland are closer through language, lifestyle and history to their Nordic neighbours than to Lowland Scots. Just over 300km from the Norwegian coast, the Shetland Islands, of which only about fourteen of the hundred or so are occupied, were under Norse rule until 1469. Shetland is known for its tiny ponies, seals, and colonies of sea birds as well as historical treasures such as Jarlshof – a site occupied for over 3,000 years. In contrast the Orkney Islands, of which eighteen of the sixty-seven islands are inhabited, lie within just 10km of mainland Scotland. They are, however, perhaps even more renowned for their dramatic coastal scenery, abundant marine bird life and, arguably, Europe's greatest concentration of prehistoric sites.

We explore these islands with their sea-lochs, limestone grasslands dotted with sheep and cattle as well as crofts abandoned during the Highland Clearances. We learn about ancient standing stones and brochs. We experience the culture and heritage of the Scottish islanders as we stay in comfortable family-run hotels and guest houses and cruise to some of the country’s most isolated islands to experience some of the most awesome scenery in the British Isles.

Tour Inclusions

  • 19 nights en-suite accommodation
  • Typical breakfast daily and 11 dinners
  • Touring by comfortable and modern mini-coach
  • Cruises, ferry crossings, field trips and excursions as indicated
  • All entry fees and services of local expert driver-guide
  • Services of a Program Leader
  • Gratuities and necessary tips
  • Detailed Program Information Booklet

Peter Burns

Peter Burnsgrew up in suburban Melbourne and graduated as a civil engineer. Following his keen interest in the natural environment, Peter then completed a Master of Natural Resources and Diploma in Education at University of New England in Armidale NSW.

Peter has had an eclectic career, working as a civil engineer, teacher, and environmentalist. He has also lived and worked on remote Aboriginal communities in central Australia.

Peter has retired from Parks Victoria, where he worked for 18 years as the Ranger in Charge of the Great Otway National Park, which includes the iconic Great Ocean Walk. Peter also undertook a 12-month work exchange to Scotland, as the Reserve Manager for Loch Lomond National Nature Reserve. Peter has since become passionate about all things Scottish.

Prior to their recent move to bayside Melbourne, Peter and his wife lived for many years in a self-built sustainable house in the Otway ranges, where he was actively involved in the community as a volunteer Ambulance Officer.

An obsessive walker and Anglophile, Peter is committed to walking the length and breadth of Britain. He has completed the Pennine Way, Offa’s Dyke Path, and a section of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path in recent years.

Peter has lead many groups throughout India, the 'Stans’ of Central Asia, the Caucasus, Eastern Europe, Iran and of course Scotland.

Much closer to home, Peter has escorted many tours throughout Australia and New Zealand, and one of his favourite local destinations is the island state of Tasmania, and he looks forward to showing you the best of this beautiful state.


This program includes placeswhich can only be explored on foot and where walking tours may be a little longer and not always on the flat. Accommodation may have some stairs and or have some rooms which may involve some walking to access.
All our programs naturally involve some walking in order to discover bet­ter the places visited and, although we arrange porterage where this is available, participants are expected to be able to handle their own bags. Our program leaders will always try to make as much of the program as possible available for those who find walking longer distances, uphill or down steps difficult but, in same places, this cannot always be avoided.
If you have any concerns at all about your level of fitness, please do not hesitate to talk to us and discuss further with the experts who know the particular demands of each program.

Make an Enquiry

Golden Compass’s Tours educational travel programs are only available by booking direct with Golden Compass Tours. This gives you a cost saving and dealing direct with the specialist who actually arranges your tour on the ground.

Follow these simple steps to secure your place on one of our unique tours:

  1. Select the program or programs you are interested in joining, make a note of the program code that appears next to the program price (eg: GCTAD17) and call us on 1800 132 385 to check availability and hold an option.
  2. Access the Golden Compass booking form here.
  3. Complete the details you have available (we understand your flights and travel insurance details may not be confirmed when you make your booking).
  4. Print and sign your form, then simply scan and email your form direct to info@goldencompasstours.com.au. If you prefer you can post it to our Australian postal address at:

  Golden Compass, PO Box 163, Keiraville, NSW 2500, Australia.

Please note we require a deposit of AUD500 per person per program with the full balance for each tour being due 80 days prior to the start of your program.

Once the deposit payment has been taken you will then be sent your confirmation letter either by email or post (as you prefer). An invoice for the balance will be issued to you 12 weeks prior to the departure of your first tour or tours. Full payment by MasterCard, Visa or electronic bank transfer is required 80 days prior to the start of your tour. Payment will be charged by Golden Compass Tours from you in Australian dollars.

If you need any assistance, please call our Freecall number on 1800 132 385.