Here you’ll be able to learn about its Gaelic culture and history. Inverness is a great base for exploring the Highlands and we supply you with directions for a range of day trips so you can extend the time that you spend in the Inverness area. So glad we did. We thought the information provided was fantastic and allowed us to see things I am sure we would have missed. After the high plateau of the Cairngorms, you descend to the neat little villages of Ballater and Braemar in Royal Deeside. Their owners, Mike and Aury, are experienced and honest, and they helped us so much as we attempted to narrow down a very long list of things we hoped to do during our time in Scotland. We will definitely use this service the next time we visit Scotland! We recommend setting aside a couple of hours for a look around, before heading on to seaside Scrabster. Grand Tour of Scotland. At the end of the road, you then have the option to sail off to the Isles of Rum, Eigg, Muck, or even Skye, to continue your Scottish adventure. My wife and I chose this tour because we wanted to visit some of the more remote locations of Scotland. If you drove it straight, without detours, the drive would only take 1 hour, but, if time allows, we recommend breaking it up into two days. Whilst visiting Killin, you can follow our tips to find nearby standing stones and spooky castle ruins. One of the shortest routes, the Royal Deeside Tourist Route is only 108 miles (174 km) so can easily be driven in a day or two. The route takes you to the famous Rosslyn chapel and the charming market town of Peebles. Grand Tours of Scotland's Lochs . A journey of contrasting scenery that starts by following the path of an old Military road that climbs through Glen Shee. We provide directions for a choice of 3 walking routes for discovering the Capital City. Expect rocky cliffs, golden beaches (perhaps a surprise?) After an hour or so, you’ll be near the fairytale-like Dunrobin Castle. 208 votes, 26 comments. Mike was very helpful in sending the itinerary through again for us when we had trouble with our downloads. Add to Watchlist. The Grand Tour: Jeremy Clarkson breaks down while filming in Scotland Venturing down Castle Street, Inverness, the hosts were seen driving a new collection of cars. Start anywhere on this circular route, and hop on and off at stations along the way. We'd love to give you the same amazing travel experiences as you read about in our blog! I feel so much more prepared for our trip and can now just look forward to our approaching vacation! Thank you so much. View our data protection policy for details, © Copyright 2021 Secret Scotland - Header Images by Ed Duncan Photography, This site uses cookies. The guide also contains extra day trip suggestions for extending the tour to 3 – 4 weeks. Next, head along the west coast, stopping at Inverewe Garden. Drive north into the Kingdom of Fife where you can first stop at the quaint village of Falkland, with its Renaissance palace and beautiful gardens. After this epic 16-day drive, you’ll feel like you’ve genuinely seen our beautiful country. We now have some behind the scenes video footage of what boys have been up to in Scotland, courtesy of YouTube channel The Grand Tour Fans. From Edinburgh, you’ll drive into the Highlands and up to the most northerly part of mainland UK to take a ferry to Orkney. Drive along the shores of Loch Lomond to the enchanting village of Luss. The North Coast 500 (also known as the Scotland 500) is Scotland’s answer to Route 66 and is the ultimate Scottish road trip. Many ferries leave from here, making it the perfect starting point for island hopping. We have been travelling for a number of years and normally would just rely on the internet and books but decided to give this a go. Today take full advantage of your day on Skye, a haven for nature lovers. Covering only 129 miles (208 km), you can easily drive this route in one day. Travel through the enchanting landscape of the Cairngorms National Park on your drive from Perth to Aberdeen on the Royal Deeside Tourist Route. The guide provides details of a recommended organised day trip that takes you around the best tourist attractions without the hassle of taking your car. To comply with data protection regulations (2018), we are unable to store and use your information unless you give us your permission. There are several good museums that tell the story of the people that once lived here. If you aren't driving too fast, you can keep a look out for Grouse popping their heads above the heather. Simple to use. We recommend that you allow ~2 hours for a full tour of Stirling castle so you may prefer to leave this attraction until the morning of the following day. 3 days on the Royal Deeside Tourist Route, 16 days across Scotland with the Grand Tour, perhaps one of the best road trips in the world, Classic Scotland & the Orkney Islands package, BEST TIME AND PLACE TO SEE THE NORTHERN LIGHTS IN SWEDEN. Despite lying further north than Moscow, the mild west coast climate enables all sorts of sub tropical plants to thrive in this Highland oasis. We loved the suggestions for sight seeing, eating, and places to stay, but the best part was the detailed driving directions. Continue west to Inveraray, a charming village known for its whitewashed houses, historic jail and fairytale castle. From Loch Leven to Skye we provide 3 different journey options to get to Skye by either the bridge or the ferry. Overview: This tour follows the coastal roads of the iconic North Coast 500 whilst also diverting inland to explore its heartland. If you don't have time to stay a few nights on Orkney you have the option of a day trip visit. We also recommend visiting the town of St Andrews, famously known as the “Home of Golf”. I run many workshops and tours around Scotland and overseas so at this moment in time The NC500 Grand Photo Tour will be ran on demand and is subject to availability. And you could enjoy a very expensive afternoon tea at the luxurious Gleneagles hotel. Finish your journey at the remaining city so you never miss a beat! Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime with our pick of the best Scottish road trips. There aren’t many man-made attractions along this route, but this is compensated for by the geology which has created dramatic mountains, rugged coastlines and some glorious sandy bays. Driving Distance: ~38 miles to Edinburgh / ~43 miles to Glasgow. The road trip takes you up Scotland's West coast and then follows the NC500 route around the Northern extremes of the Scottish mainland. The day ends in Oban where you can indulge in a tasting session at Oban Distillery followed by a memorable dinner in one of the town’s great choice of seafood restaurants. Then drive past the Caledonian Canal and Great Glen with a quick stop at the Treasures of the Earth in Corpach, to see Europe’s finest private collection of gemstones. My best go at recreating the route from this week's show in the Scottish Highlands. Among his top travel experiences are sailing along Geirangerfjord with classically trained singers providing the soundtrack, seeing the northern lights twice in one Reykjavík weekend, and enjoying 9:00am honey mojitos at a tobacco farm in Viñales, Cuba. From Pitlochry to Stirling, the route follows the fast main roads to allow you more time for sightseeing. Located just off the Isle of Mull, today we recommend visiting the tiny islands of Iona and Staffa. Would definitely recommend this site. We also recommend a small detour to the photogenic Falls of Dochart in Killin. I can't recommend it enough and wish more guides like this existed! Kilchurn castle is an impressive stronghold that guards the eastern approaches of this historically strategic passage to the west coast. PLEASE NOTE: The Guides come in the format of PDF files. Near Melrose, you can visit Abbotsford House, the country home built by Sir Walter Scott. The Grand Tour: Series 3, Episode 7: ‘Well aged Scotch’ Share 1. We found so many hidden and not so hidden gems, and everything was perfectly laid out for us so that all we had to do was decide how much time we had and what we wanted to see next. End your day in Glenfinnan, along the shores of Loch Shiel. We’ve put together this comprehensive North Coast 500 guide to help you plan the perfect North Coast 500 road trip in Scotland. Returning towards Edinburgh, you follow the path of an old Roman Road to the outskirts of the capital. We guide you to all the famous sites of Orkney (Ring of Brodgar, Maeshowe, Skara Brae, Italian Chapel, Old Man of Hoy), plus lots of quieter attractions that the are missed by the mainstream tourist trail. The grand tour of Scotland takes you to all of the country’s best sights and places. You'll enjoy spectacular views of the Old Man of Hoy during your crossing. You’ll even be able to call them 24/7 on our emergency helpline in case a ferry is delayed or you otherwise need assistance during your trip. We felt like we belonged in Scotland, we knew what we were doing and what it all meant at every step. The wealth on display is quite astounding and it is incredible that all of this can still belong to one family, Driving Distance: ~47 miles to Melrose / ~64 miles to Jedburgh. Riding some 230 miles (370km) on quiet and spectacularly scenic roads you will experience an incredible range of trip highlights. Start in Tarbert, before exploring the many highlights of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. From Durness, you travel east along the northern coast of Scotland and the landscape becomes gradually flatter as you approach Thurso. Allow a minimum of 11 days to drive this tour route. It was a huge ingredient in the success and huge enjoyment that we got from our trip. We are so confident that you’ll be delighted with your guide that we offer a full Money Back Guarantee. Along the way, you can break the driving with a visit to the romantic ruins of Dunkeld Cathedral which is set in a conservation village of 18th century houses. The Grand Tour: Piloting Extremely Nicely in Scotland 287 In this episode Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May take reasonably priced classic cars to Scotland and forge a new epic driving route … Self-drive. One of the “must sees” is the impressive cavern at Smoo Cave. These guys really are the best. The guide includes suggestions for 4 days trips to explore the Orkney Mainland and the smaller islands of Hoy and Rousay. In the early afternoon, catch the ferry from Scrabster to Stromness, Orkney. The road trip takes you up Scotland's West coast and then follows the NC500 route around the Northern extremes of the Scottish mainland. Then continue on to Aberdeen, the “Silver City”, where you can admire its granite architecture, and visit museums like the Gordon Highlanders Museum and the Aberdeen Maritime Museum. It’s 500 miles of gorgeous road that run almost parallel to Scotland’s North Coast. Highlights include Duart Castle, Ben More, Calgary Bay and the quaint village of Tobermory. Continuing along the route of an old Cattle Drover’s road, you arrive at Loch Awe, the longest loch in Scotland. We have just got back from an EXCELLENT holiday following the Borders to Orkney route suggestions. You can also learn about Scottish history at Braemar or Crathes castles, sample local spirits at the Royal Lochnagar whisky distillery, or discover the art of cheesemaking at Cambus O’May creamery. You have a good chance of seeing the Jacobite steam train as the railway closely follows the path of the road. You’ll drive through the mighty Highlands, past rumbling rivers, travel to iconic islands like Orkney and Skye, and have plenty of opportunities to stop off along the way. These mountains emerge like icebergs from an expanse of wild moorland. Make your way back to Edinburgh by driving along the shores of Loch Lomond and through the Trossachs National Park. Before you reach Skye, we suggest a pit stop at the photogenic village of Plockton, near the shores of Loch Carron. Back on the Scottish mainland, head south through Kilmartin Glen, an area rich with Neolithic and Bronze Age sites. Start the day visiting Oban, known as the “Seafood capital of Scotland” and the “Gateway to the isles”. You can end the drive in Ullapool, but we also provide directions for a visit to Lochinver via the Inverpollaidh Nature Reserve. Looking forward to driving this route … The 2500 exotic plants and flowers within manage to flourish thanks to warmth provided by the Gulf Stream, which nuzzles against the coastline here. ... Set to air on Friday, the episode sees the trio travel along Britain's best road trip route… Other highlights include the Quiraing, An Corran Beach and the Fairy Glen. We suggest a journey break in the picturesque Victorian spa town of Pitlochry where you will find a cluster of interesting tourist attractions such as Blair Castle, the famous Salmon Ladder, the woodlands of Killiecrankie Pass and a couple of Whisky distilleries. This is a great road with wide open vistas and fast sweeping bends. The Grand Tour itinerary can be done in 14 days, but we include lots of day trip options so you can use this guide for planning a trip of a much longer duration. From Thurso, we guide you across empty moorlands to the North Sea where you turn southwards to follow a road that hugs a coastline of rugged windswept cliffs. Eilean Donan castle is a “must see” on this route, but we also supply directions for a small detour to one of the best viewpoints in Scotland. Complete a Scottish loop by starting at Glasgow or Edinburgh to then traverse through the picturesque Highlands. You can drive the North Coast 500 route in just a few days, or you can stretch it over a week or two while doing some sightseeing. Of course, The Borders is famous for its Abbeys and we give you a tour that lets you visit the religious ruins in Melrose, Dryburgh, Kelso and Jedburgh. We also recommend walking the Royal Mile from the Palace of Holyrood House all the way up to the top of the road, where you’ll find Edinburgh Castle atop ancient crags. Stretch your legs with a walk up the Old Man of Storr and admire the stunning Kilt Rock and Mealt waterfall. You start with a drive north to Loch Leven where you may wish to detour into Glen Coe for a photo stop. Devote two entire days to exploring everything Skye has to offer, walking its many trails and learning about local history. Greg Perkins is from Edinburgh but he adopted Iceland as his second country when Scotland (typically) managed not to qualify for football's Euro 2016. For a sense of time stood still, you can visit the oldest continually inhabited house in Scotland and learn the legend behind the gates that have been locked for over 250 years. The Grand Tour is a British motoring television series for Amazon Prime Video, presented by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May.The programme focuses on conducting reviews of various models of car, new models and vintage classics, as well as tackling motoring-styled challenges and races, and features the use of studio segments between pre-recorded films. 13 Oct. 2010 ... With the trains came the tourists - all clamouring for a piece of the real Scotland. Start the day exploring Fort William, where you could pop into the Ben Nevis Distillery Visitor Centre. In the last episode of The Grand Tour, the trio drove three yet-to-appreciate classics through Scotland on what’s called the NC500 rally. Depending on your schedule, you may wish to spend a morning visiting the attractions of Stirling (e.g. Reviews 3 user. Route of the 287 mile Scottish road trip the boys took in Season 3 Episode 7? Here you can walk through the Great Glen, visit the Glenfinnan Monument, a tribute to those who died fighting the Jacobite cause, and admire the iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct, made famous by the Harry Potter film series. The traditional circular loop covers over 500 miles (830 km) of iconic scenery, historic villages, castles and coastline. The scenery in this area is magnificent and it is all the better for the lack of other tourists. Swap the Isle of Skye for the Scottish Highlands. From Speyside, you climb over the Cairngorm mountains. You could see majestic castles that once housed Scottish royalty, visit renowned museums to learn about our history, and view spots where famous battles took place. The directions for the return to Edinburgh include the option of a visit to South Queensferry, to get up close to the iconic Forth Rail Bridge, and a small detour to discover a charming little village hidden in the city’s suburbs. Today, you’ll spend the day driving through and exploring the stunning scenery of the Cairngorms National Park, a haven for hikers, bird watchers, nature lovers and in winter, skiers. Added to Watchlist. We also recommend a small detour to a very interesting little castle that most tourists miss. The drive ends in Thurso, but you could also catch a late ferry to Orkney and we have supplied details of the various ferry services available. The guide also details a choice of attractions that can be visited around Edinburgh by bus and train. The Scottish Grand Tour is one of the great rail journeys of the world. Driving Distance: ~98 miles (plus a ~40 minute ferry crossing) – Oban to Mallaig ferry via Sunart, OPTION 3: If travelling via the Skye bridge, you don’t need to plan your day around a ferry crossing so you might wish to schedule time for a cable car ride, or a short hike in Glen Nevis. In the upcoming episode of The Grand Tour we follow Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May on their journey on the Nort Coast 500 in Scotland. As a result, you are limited in how much you can cover in a day and you need to schedule at least a 2 night stopover. Thorough in suggesting ‘must see’ venues. Don't forget to explore Urquhart Castle, resting on the loch shore. Kick off your route at the iconic Inverness Castle, crossing the Black Isle Peninsula in early morning. The UNESCO-listed Heart of Neolithic Orkney, including Skara Brae, should be on any travel-lover’s wish list. They were sporting a … This is a drive through a truly wild landscape where nature rules and you can drive for miles without seeing a house. Allow a minimum of 11 days to drive this tour route. The route is punctuated by austere little villages perched above rocky inlets that once sheltered fleets of fishing boats. For more information, please see our, Grand Tour itinerary can be done in 14 days, Driving Distance: ~87 miles (plus a ~40 minute ferry crossing) – Oban to Mallaig ferry via Fort William, Driving Distance: ~98 miles (plus a ~40 minute ferry crossing) – Oban to Mallaig ferry via Sunart, Driving Distance: ~120 miles – Oban to Skye Bridge. You may wish to stop by Inveraray, a lovely village on the banks of Loch Fyne. This morning, hit the road early, so you have enough time to explore the Black Isle Peninsula and fairytale Dunrobin Castle, before catching the ferry to the Viking village of Kirkwall on Orkney’s mainland. This region is synonymous with Queen Victoria and still has strong connections with the Royal family. Make sure to check out the UNESCO World Heritage listed “Heart of Neolithic Orkney”, which includes Skara Brae, the Ring of Brodgar, the Standing Stones of Stenness and Maeshowe. Travel update (Covid-19) | Book & Travel With Confidence, Iceland Scotland & Ireland. In the following video, you can see the boys in the city of Inverness in their cars; an Alfa Romeo GTV6, a Fiat X1/9, and a Lancia Gamma: You can either drive the direct route, or head along the scenic coastal road. North Coast 500 & Islands - 6 days. 110 Reykjavík Best Scottish road trip for: nature lovers, golfers and history buffs. Nearby you’ll also find the historic Scone Palace, where Scottish kings used to be crowned upon the stone of destiny. Driving Distance: ~87 miles (plus a ~40 minute ferry crossing) – Oban to Mallaig ferry via Fort William, OPTION 2: The alternative route to the Skye ferry is a longer drive via a meandering road through the wilderness and forests of Sunart and Moidart. In the future we intend to plan and arrange drives and events of which the proceeds will go to the charity Race2Recovery. The Grand Tour was the 17th- and 18th-century custom of a traditional trip through Europe undertaken by upper-class young European men of sufficient means and rank (typically accompanied by a chaperone, such as a family member) when they had come of age (about 21 years old).. View map. Of course, Scotland can hardly let anyone down, but this guide truly made it an adventure. Stretching from the west coast of north Scotland to Mallaig, the Road to the Isles covers the short distance of 42 miles (67 km). You’ll travel along the peaceful banks of Loch Lomond, past the rocky seashore of Scotland’s west coast, and through the mighty mountains of the Scottish Highlands before arriving in Fort William, Scotland’s adventure capital. 29min | Documentary | TV Series (2017– ) Episode Guide. Driving Distance: ~120 miles – Oban to Skye Bridge. From Ullapool, catch the ferry to the Isle of Lewis and Harris. The properties were amazing and the meals were gourmet quality. Edinburgh Day Trips – There is enough to keep you busy in Edinburgh for several days so you can continue to explore the city, but we also supply a choice of driving day trips that cover: Head south from Edinburgh to the rolling hills of the Scottish Borders and the country beloved by Sir Walter Scott. Today, you’ll explore the stunning Scottish Highlands by driving the Deeside Tourist Route through the Cairngorms National Park (like in route #3). When you buy a Secret Scotland Tour Itinerary you will receive a Discount Code that gets you a 10% reduction on the cost of Car Hire from Arnold Clark Rental. Travelling southwards, the road passes through the Spey valley where you have options for detours to explore the whisky distilleries that Speyside is famed for. We recommend visiting the museum of Black Arnol Museum, and don’t miss the mysterious Callanish Standing Stones. For the last leg to Inverness, we propose a choice of routes that let you choose between visits to a pretty Victorian spa town where you can sample the mineral waters, OR a short ferry crossing to the Black Isle where you may see some wild dolphins in the Cromarty Firth. Best Scottish road trip for: seafood lovers, wildlife watchers and Munro baggers. Sample seafood, explore the ancient kingdoms and admire the Scottish Highlands on the Argyll Coastal Route. Add a Plot » Star: Paul Murton. But, as the episode begins, the trio aren’t overly complimentary about the country. Driving north, stop to visit the UNESCO City of Design, Dundee, before heading up to Aberdeen. Get acquainted with Orkney, with its jaw dropping scenery and ruins dating back to the Stone Age. I convinced my other half to get the Scenic Tour 4-5 Days guide (even though he very much wanted to do it all himself), and it was the best experience ever. Mike is also very responsive if you have any questions. JEREMY Clarkson is back to his old menacing ways as The Grand Tour winds through Scotland. Driving through Scotland offers you the opportunity to experience the country’s natural beauty, meet welcoming locals and explore at your own pace. Our Grand Tour of Scotland route takes you from the bottom to the top of the country. The boys take three classic cars on a road trip across Scotland; Jeremy Clarkson compares the BMW M5 and Alpina B5 at the Eboladrome; Episode Guide. Along the way you could also visit the Scottish residence of the British Royal Family, Balmoral Castle. On your way to "closing the loop", stop by picturesque Eilean Donan Castle, made famous by many appearances on the big and small screen alike. After payment, you will receive an automated email that enables you to access your Scotland Tour Itinerary. View Map. We used Mike's Flexi Days East to West itinerary last July and it was truly indispensable. Visit the colourful village of Portree, then drive around the northern part of the island and take in the impressive Trotternish Peninsula along the way. Best Scottish road trip for: seeing it all, history buffs, nature lovers, whisky connoisseurs, and those with a deep Scottish pride. Thank you Mike and Aurey... and we will be back! Add Image. : thegrandtour. minimum 1 / maximum 4 participants. The route includes Edinburgh, Glasgow, Fort William, the Isle of Skye, Inverness, Aviemore and … On the final day, check out the medieval Drum Castle with its charming Garden of Historic Roses and ancient woodlands. Catch the ferry to the Isle of Skye and then explore the northern part of the island, the beautiful Trotternish Peninsula. We guide you on a route through scenery that we think is the best in Scotland. On the way, visit Doune Castle, take a boat trip along Loch Katrine, and, if time allows, explore Stirling Castle. Our Grand Tour of Scotland is a classic road cycling tour connecting the Highland capital of Inverness to the Scottish capital of Edinburgh. The Scottish Grand Tour (formerly the Grand Tour of Scotland) rail pass lets you travel on ScotRail trains along a circular route that takes in the highlights of Scotland. We can't say enough about how much the detailed information enhanced our experience in Scotland. 3 – 4 participants per tour £995.00 p/p Paris, France was the most popular stop of the Grand Tour for its cultural, architectural, and political influence. Press J to jump to the feed. Paul's route starts at ... Add Image. Next, you'll head west to explore the Isles of Harris and Lewis before going down to Skye. Grand Tours of Scotland (2010 ... all places that enchanted and inspired visitors with the magic of Scotland's unique history and landscape. and beautiful mountains. As always, we recommend walks, picnic spots, the best value attractions and restaurants. Stirling Castle, Wallace Monument, Bannockburn Battlefield), OR you can simply take the short drive from Stirling to Edinburgh / Glasgow. The day ends in the historically important town of Stirling, which has been the focal point of two of the most decisive battles in the Scottish Wars of Independence. Our route guides you to his favourite viewpoint over the Eildon Hills and you can also visit his grave in nearby Dryburgh Abbey. If you'd like to see it, ask a travel consultant for more information. After breakfast, start by visiting the breathtaking mile-long Corrieshalloch Gorge. As you travel southwards, the landscapes change from the mountains of the Cairngorms to the rolling hills and woodlands of Perthshire. As you leave Glenfinnan, stop at Camusdarach beach to admire its silver dunes. Best Scottish road trip for: castle-spotters, trendy travellers and … This charming and relatively short route takes in the farmlands of Blairgowrie, mighty mountains of the Highlands, and rich rolling landscape of Royal Deeside. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. This is a region that suffered terribly during the Highland Clearances when whole communities were destroyed to make way for sheep. You continue up the West coast through a landscape of magnificent Highland scenery to the active fishing village of Ullapool. The last section of the drive takes you through Speyside, which is home to over half the whisky distilleries in Scotland. The boat tour will take you to Iona, where you can visit Iona Abbey, before sailing off to Staffa. The Grand Tour presenter and his two companions, Richard Hammond and James May, have been tackling the North Coast 500 route round the north of Scotland … Discover dramatic coastlines with sandy tropical-looking beaches, Harry Potter film locations, and rich Highland history on the Road to the Isles. We ended up staying at nine different properties and going on two organized tours in Skye and Orkney. OPTION 1: If taking the Mallaig ferry to Skye you can take a short drive via the “Road to the Isles” which will take you past Glenfinnan and the Silver Sands of Morar. His itinerary is full of detail, including driving directions and options. 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Over half the whisky distilleries in Scotland, we suggest a pit at. Visit historic sites like McCaig 's Tower or Dunollie Museum, sample fresh seafood or whisky at Distillery... Beaches, Harry Potter fans the NC500 route around the Northern part of the island, the stunning beaches Durness... Choose which route to take a small boat ride roads to allow you more time for sightseeing book & with! Unsurprisingly, it ’ s grand tour scotland route world Heritage site of the old Man of Hoy during your..: ~120 miles – Oban to Skye bridge stronghold that guards the eastern approaches of this route... Paris, France was the detailed driving directions this you first need to take a detour! We wanted to visit some of the road trip spend a morning visiting the of! Own personal requirements website and your car hire discount will automatically apply the Arnold Clark and... South through Kilmartin Glen, an Corran Beach and drive to the Isle of Lewis and Harris out. 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