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Orkney, Shetland & the Highlands

(12 reviews)

Discover Scotland’s glory in a nutshell

You are viewing 2019 itinerary. Select departure year
9 daysSold out

2019 Tour code: OSS19

About the tour

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.


What’s included


Days 1-2 - Meet in Edinburgh and on to Inverness

Your Tour Manager greets you in Edinburgh at the 4-Star Radisson Blu Hotel, where we overnight. On Day 2 we travel by rail to Inverness, for two nights at the 3-Star Palace Inverness Hotel.

  • Day 1 - Dinner
  • Day 2 - Breakfast, Dinner
Days 3-4 - 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.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Excursions
Urquhart Castle
Day 5 - Orkney

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
  • Cruise to Orkney
  • Guided tour
Skara Brae
Days 6-7 - 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.

  • Excursions
  • Days 6-7 - Breakfast, Dinner
Royal Deeside Railway
Days 8-9 - Pitlochry and Home

Enjoy a day at leisure before returning to Edinburgh on Day 9, where our tour ends and you are free to make your way home.

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

Additional information

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.

Recommended Airport

We recommend that for this tour you arrange flights to and from Edinburgh Airport, which is approximately 8 miles from your base in Edinburgh. 

Please note: The train from Pitlochry back to Edinburgh arrives late morning on Day 9 so we recommend you book a mid-afternoon flight home, if leaving Edinburgh on the same day.

Visa Requirements

It is your responsibility to check and fulfil the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.

Departure times

You may check in at the first hotel on your itinerary anytime after 14:00; your Tour Manager will be available between 16:00 and 18:00. However, if you are arriving later, you can meet your Tour Manager before dinner from 19:00.


Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh

Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh

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Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa, Inverness

Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa, Inverness

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Fisher’s Hotel

Fisher’s Hotel, Pitlochry

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Pentland Hotel

Pentland Hotel, Thurso

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Far North Line
Royal Deeside Railway


100% of travellers would recommend this tour

Based on 12 verified reviews

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Mr P Allen

Submitted Oct 14, 2019

An excellent tour, Sandra our tour manager was really efficient and the tour itself was very well thought out

Mr R Ebelhar

Submitted Aug 19, 2019

The trip was well planned and accommodated.

Mr K Laidlaw

Submitted Aug 19, 2019

It was a well organised tour.

Mr R Croft

Submitted Oct 08, 2018

exelent tour so much to see our tour manager JUSTIN was JUST the biss.

Mr T Bradley

Submitted Oct 02, 2018

An excellent well run tour


Submitted Sep 17, 2018

Enjoyed the tour The train journey was reasonable and the ferry was okay. As i get claustrophobic in a room without window - the cabin was not ideal for me. Dinner was included which is one worry less The guides in Orkney and shetland were good In Inverness it seemed the castle visit was too short and could have been longer as we reached back too soon back to hotel - brfor 4:00 pm

Orkney Shetland & the Highlands

Discover Scotland’s glory in a nutshell


Vaugnel Fletcher
Dimitri Zgonis
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