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Orkney, Shetland & the Highlands

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(Tour code: OSS19)

Discover Scotland’s glory in a nutshell

Experience our captivating rail adventure to Britain's far north, enjoy a cruise on Loch Ness, witness the untouched beauty of Orkney and Shetland, and trundle alongside the River Dee on the scenic, steam-hauled Royal Deeside Railway.

  • Inverness
  • Loch Ness cruise & Exhibition Centre
  • Urquhart Castle
  • John O’Groats
  • Castle of Mey
  • Shetland
  • Royal Deeside Railway
  • Balmoral or Royal Lochnagar Distillery
  • Orkney, including a Cruise
What’s Included
  • Standard Class Rail
  • 3-4* Accommodation
    Breakfast Every Day
    Evening Meals
  • All Transfers Included
    Optional Bag Concierge

Orkney, Shetland & the Highlands 2019Tour Details

Print Itinerary
Days 1-2 Edinburgh

Meet in Edinburgh and on to Inverness

Your Tour Manager greets you in Edinburgh at our hotel, where we enjoy dinner. We overnight in Edinburgh. On Day 2 we travel by rail to Inverness, our base for the next two nights.

Please note: Departures OSS1901 & OSS1904 will overnight at the Apex Hotel. OSS1904 will stay at the Macdonald Highland Hotel Aviemore,

  • Day 1 - Dinner
  • Day 2 - Breakfast, Dinner
Days 3-4 Urquhart Castle
Urquhart Castle

Loch Ness Cruise and John O’Groats

Today we visit Loch Ness for a cruise across this fabled body of water. We then visit the 13th century Urquhart Castle, set on a headland looking over the loch. Later we visit the Loch Ness Exhibition Centre.

On Day 4 we travel on the dramatic Far North Line to Thurso, the UK's northernmost railway station. From here we enjoy a visit to Castle of Mey, which once served as the home of the Queen Mother, and is surrounded by beautiful scenery and gardens.

We continue by coach to John O'Groats, called 'the start of Great Britain' as it is the most north-easterly inhabited part of mainland Britain. We spend tonight in Thurso.


Please note: Departure OSS1902 you will visit Dunrobin Castle, Museum and Gardens.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 Skara Brae
Skara Brae


We transfer by coach to Scrabster, where we board the the MV Hamnavoe for a cruise to the Orkney Islands. On arrival we enjoy a guided coach tour which features Skara Brae and Scapa Flow, the area's natural harbour. After dinner in a local restaurant, we board either the MV Hrossey or the MV Hjaltland.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Days 6-7 Royal Deeside Railway
Royal Deeside Railway

Shetland and the Royal Deeside Railway

We arrive in Lerwick for a guided coach tour before our evening sailing to Aberdeen, arriving on Day 7.

We transfer to Crathes and join the Royal Deeside Railway, travelling by steam. We continue by coach to Balmoral. If the Royal family is not in residence we enjoy admission to the grounds; on other occasions we visit the Royal Lochnagar Distillery for a tour and whisky tasting. We spend two nights in Pitlochry at the Fishers Hotel.

  • Days 6-7 - Breakfast, Dinner
Days 8-9 Edinburgh

Pitlochry and Home

Enjoy a day at leisure before returning to Edinburgh on Day 9, where our tour ends.

  • Days 8 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 9 - Breakfast

Please note

If requesting a twin room, please note the room layout of the Novotel Hotel will be a double bed and a sofa bed.

Departure Times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

What’s included

An escorted experience and all travel arrangements

  • The services of a professional Tour Manager from start to finish
  • Standard Class rail travel
  • Luggage transfers between Edinburgh and Inverness and at all hotels on your tour
  • All coach transfers

Comfortable accommodation in your destination

  • 6 nights' hotel accommodation including 1 night at the 4-Star Radisson Blu Hotel in Edinburgh, 2 nights in Inverness, 1 night at the Pentland Hotel in Thurso and 2 nights at the Fishers Hotel in Pitlochry
  • 2-night cruise on the MV Hrossey or MV Hjaltland

Delicious meals included

  • 16 meals including 8 breakfasts and 8 dinners, including 1 farewell dinner in Pitlochry


Exciting excursions and free time to explore

  • Loch Ness cruise and visit to Urquhart Castle
  • Visits to the Castle of Mey and John O'Groats
  • Guided coach tours of Orkney and Shetland
  • Journey on the Royal Deeside Railway
  • Excursions to Balmoral or Royal Lochnagar Distillery
  • Visit to Loch Ness Exhibition Centre

Not Included

  • Cancellation & Travel Insurance is not included in the price of the tour but can be arranged.


Please note: This tour may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.

What our customers think
Helen Laverack
Lynne Broadley
Julie Pacalon
Orkney, Shetland & the Highlands

Discover Scotland’s glory in a nutshell


Europe & UK by Rail 2019

The definitive guide to our 2019 summer & winter rail holidays to a wide range of destinations in Europe.

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