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Orkney, Shetland & the Highlands

(12 reviews)

Discover Scotland’s glory in a nutshell

9 days Sold out

2020 Tour code: OSS20

About the tour

Experience a captivating rail adventure to Britain's far north, enjoying a cruise on Loch Ness, witnessing the untouched beauty of Orkney and Shetland, and trundling alongside the River Dee aboard the scenic, steam-hauled Royal Deeside Railroad.


What’s included


Days 1-2 - Edinburgh and Inverness

Our Tour Manager greets us in Edinburgh at our hotel, where we enjoy dinner this evening. On Day 2 we travel by rail to Inverness, our base for the next 2 nights.

  • Day 1 - Dinner
  • Day 2 - Breakfast, Dinner
Days 3-4 - Loch Ness, Dunrobin Castle and Dornoch

Today, we visit Loch Ness for a cruise across this fabled body of water. We then visit 13th-century Urquhart Castle, set on a headland looking over the loch. On Day 4 we travel by rail from Inverness to Dunrobin Castle, where there's time at leisure. After exploring the beautiful stately home, you could relax in the popular tea room, or catch the daily falcon display. We continue to Dornoch where we check into our hotel. We head to Carnegie Court house this evening to indulge in a quintessential Scottish activity - a dram of whisky - before taking a leisurely stroll back to our hotel, enjoying views of the sea.

  • Day 3 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 4 - Breakfast, Dinner
Urquhart Castle
Day 5 - Orkney

We transfer by coach to Scrabster to board the MV Hamnavoe for our journey to the Orkney Islands. On arrival, we enjoy a guided coach tour that features Skara Brae and Scapa Flow, the area's natural harbor. After dinner in a local restaurant, we board either the MV Hrossey or the MV Hjaltland to begin our 2-night cruise of the Shetland Isles and coastal Scotland.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Skara Brae
Days 6-7 - Shetland and the Royal Deeside Railroad

We arrive in Lerwick for a guided tour of this port town and other parts of Shetland. In the evening, we sail to Aberdeen, where we arrive on Day 7. After disembarking, we transfer to Crathes and join the Royal Deeside Railroad. Our charming train trundles its way alongside the pretty river Dee, granting an unspoilt look at rural Scotland. We continue by coach to Balmoral, the vacation home of the Royal Family, spending 2 nights in Pitlochry at the Fishers Hotel.

  • Day 6 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 7 - Breakfast, Dinner
Royal Deeside Railroad
Days 8-9 - Pitlochry and Home

We enjoy a day at leisure before a farewell meal at our hotel. We return to Edinburgh on Day 9, where our vacation ends and you are free to make your way home.

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

Additional information

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.


Dornoch Bespoke Hotel

Dornoch Bespoke Hotel, Dornoch

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Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa, Inverness

Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa, Inverness

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Macdonald Hotel Drumossie

Macdonald Hotel Drumossie, Inverness

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Fisher’s Hotel

Fisher’s Hotel, Pitlochry

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Far North Line
Royal Deeside Railroad


100% of travelers 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 vacation 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 vacation 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

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