AITO: The Association of Independent Tour Operators
Orcadian: Scotland in the Summer

Orcadian: Scotland in the Summer

Orcadian: Scotland in the Summer Overview

An exciting mix of spectacular rail travel, ancient sites and stunning scenery blended into a memorable holiday. This 11-day rail tour showcases the very best that the Scottish Highlands have to offer!


Day 1 – Welcome to Edinburgh

Meet in Edinburgh for a welcome dinner and a 1-night stay at the Jurys Inn, Edinburgh, where our tour leader will outline travel plans and offer advice on how to spend your free time.

Day 2 – A Morning at Leisure

Spend the morning exploring this great city with its Castle, Royal Mile, Botanical Gardens and the former royal yacht Britannia. We take a mid-afternoon train to Inverness for a 2-night stay at the Best Western Palace Hotel & Spa.

Day 3 – Free Day in Inverness or…

Take the stunningly spectacular train ride out to Kyle of Lochalsh and back. This is one of the most breathtaking rail journeys in the world! Alternatively, you may choose to enjoy a boat excursion on nearby Loch Ness.

Day 4 – To the North

A free morning in Inverness before taking another spectacular train journey to the Pentland Firth for a 3-night stay at the Pentland Hotel in Thurso. The run over the wild moorland is unbelievably beautiful, one of the few wilderness areas of the UK.

Day 5 – A Day of Exploration

Use your travel pass to explore the area. A very rewarding excursion is the circular route taking in the Castle of Mey, John o’Groats and the Caithness Glass Museum at Wick.

Day 6 – On to Orkney

A full day excursion to Orkney, beginning with an 08.45 sailing to Stromness where a local guide and bus will meet us and take us on a day’s tour of the ‘mainland’ including the ancient sites of Scara Brae, Skail House, Ring of Brodgar, St Magnus Cathedral and much more. We return to Thurso on a late afternoon ferry back to Scrabster for our transfer back to the hotel.

Day 7 – To the Grampians

Today we take another delightful train journey, via Inverness, for a lunchtime arrival in Aviemore for a 1-night stay. Afternoon at leisure in Aviemore which lies in the heart of the Cairngorm and Monadhliath Mountains, a perfect location for those who enjoy spectacular views.

Day 8 – Strathspey Steam Railway

This morning we have a return journey on the lovely Strathspey Steam Railway to Broomhill in the heart of “Osprey” country, via Boat of Garten. Journey past heather-clad moors and woodland along this great railway. We then drive to Fort William for a 2-night stay at the Nevis Bank Inn.

Day 9 – The Jacobite Steam Train

The “jewel in the crown” of any Scottish holiday is the renowned “Road to the Isles” behind a classic steam locomotive. This 84 mile round trip crosses the 21-arched Glenfinnan Viaduct which overlooks Loch Shiel and the Jacobite monument. Another world class rail journey!

Day 10 – Head to Glasgow

We take a late morning train to Glasgow, arriving mid-afternoon for a 1-night stay. There is some free time to explore this vibrant city before our farewell dinner tonight.

Day 11 – Farewell

After breakfast, we travel home from Glasgow independently.

Price Includes

  • All rail travel as stated in standard class
  • Spirit of Scotland Pass
  • Excursions as specified
  • All ferry and coach travel as specified
  • 8 dinners
  • Accommodation in good quality hotels on a bed and breakfast basis
  • Services of a tour leader from Edinburgh and throughout the tour
Find out more about this holiday