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Welcome to Railtrail Tours

A family firm with an ethos of honesty and integrity. Our passion for delivering quality escorted holidays by rail at great value fares along with consistently excellent customer service has stood us in good stead for over 40 years.

Big on Quality, Small Enough to Care

01538 382323
Monday - Friday, 9am to 5pm

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The Orkney & Shetland Explorer

Discover the peace, tranquility, and rich heritage of the beautiful islands of Orkney & Shetland on our mini cruise to the northernmost reaches of the UK, part of a wider grand tour visiting John O’Groats, historic Stirling, and Edinburgh, Scotland’s proud capital.

View Dates & Book

7 days from £1529



Wednesday 15 May 2024

Wednesday 19 June 2024

Wednesday 11 September 2024



  • Explore historic Orkney at a gentle pace from our base on the Orkneys

  • Visit the Italian Chapel, Churchill Barriers, and Skara Brae

  • Tour idyllic Shetland Isle and discover its Viking past

  • Rich archaeology and history

  • Dramatic scenery of the Highland Lines

  • Photo-stop at John O’Groats

  • Fantastic seascape coastline of the Far North

  • One night’s relaxing cruising with modern, en-suite cabins

  • Scenic rail journey to Aberdeen along the North Sea coast

  • Spend time in historic Stirling, a short walk from the castle and Old Town

  • Visit Edinburgh, with a guided walking tour of the ‘Royal Mile’


Also included in your tour fare:

  • Dinner every evening

  • Rail travel & seat reservations from your Home Station to Tour Base (Standard or First Class)

  • Services of experienced Railtrail Tour Manager


We arrive in Stirling and check into the Stirling Highland Hotel, an attractive, historic building and formerly the city’s school. Why not explore the Old Town and take in the view from the castle before dinner.



Leaving Stirling, our train journey heads through the scenery of Perthshire, a taster of what lies in store on day 5. Today’s views just become more and more beautiful, however, as we hug the North Sea coastline on our way to Aberdeen. Here we join our Northlink ship, enjoying dinner on board before retiring to our en-suite cabins.

B, D


Disembark and step into an entrancing mixture of history with amazing flora and fauna on our guided tour of Shetland. More Scandinavian than Scottish in many ways, the Viking heritage is still strong in this world of magnificent wild beauty, steeped with internationally renowned archaeological sites. We visit remarkable Jarlshof, the historic town of Scalloway and its fascinating museum, capital Lerwick, seabird colonies, and the famous Shetland ponies. Back on-board ship, we sail this evening to the Orkneys, with dinner on board. We arrive late evening and check into our hotel for two nights, the Kirkwall Hotel.

B, D


Staying on Orkney allows us to tour the island at leisure. Our guided tour of Orkney includes the Churchill Barriers, the wonderful Italian Chapel that was built by prisoners of war, Skara Brae, the astonishingly well-preserved Neolithic village, and the awe-inspiring Ring of Brodgar stone circle. After a day exploring this unspoilt region of natural beauty, we settle down to dinner in our hotel.

B, D


Today begins with a cruise from Stromness to Scrabster. Make sure you have your cameras ready on port side as there are fabulous views of Old Man of Hoy, at 450ft, one of the UK’s tallest sea stacks. Our coach then continues the journey southwards calling in at John O’Groats, before taking the lovely coastal route through Caithness and Sutherland, skirting the Firths of Beauly and Cromarty en route to Inverness. Here we join the Highland Line, one of the country’s most beautiful, climbing into the Cairngorms before descending through Perthshire to our hotel for two nights, the Stirling Highland.

B, D


A short rail journey whisks us to Edinburgh Waverley where our Blue Badge Guide awaits to introduce the highlights of the city’s ‘Royal Mile’. An afternoon at leisure in Scotland’s proud capital enables you to visit the castle, relax on the Grassmarket, or indulge in a little retail therapy on Princes Street.

B, D


We bid farewell to Stirling and our Scottish grand tour.


B=Breakfast, D=Dinner


Stirling Highland Hotel, Stirling

Just a short walk from Stirling Castle is the historic 4-star Highland Hotel. The hotel’s Scholars restaurant offers quality locally sourced food, and the comfortable bar is the perfect place to enjoy a wee dram! The leisure club, including swimming pool, is a great place to relax. Built in the 19th century as the city’s High School, this characterful building still houses a working observatory in its roof.


Kirkwall Hotel, Kirkwall

This 3-star Victorian hotel is located on Kirkwall’s picturesque harbour front close to the marina and the main shopping area. The comfortable bedrooms are equipped with a TV, free Wi-Fi, and tea/coffee making facilities. Single travellers have sole occupancy of a double room. The recently refurbished and stylish Harbour View Restaurant serves excellent local produce and the new Highland Park Bar and traditional Skippers Bar provide the perfect place to sample a glass of Orkney’s famous whisky.


Northlink Ferries

Northlink’s modern vessels boast comfortable bars, lounges, and restaurants, as well as well-stocked shops. Cabins have two comfortable fixed beds, positioned side by side. Built you’re your comfort in mind they are modern, clean, and fully equipped with en-suite washbasin, toilet, and shower facilities plus individual temperature control and tea/coffee making facilities.



Fare Region



London: Kings Cross



Greater London



South of England



East Anglia



South West



Heart of England









North East



North West



South Wales



North Wales






*Please note: Some local and regional train services are Standard Class only, so First Class ticket holders will travel in standard class accommodation for these sections of journeys.


Join & Leave at Hotels £1,539


June Departure Supplement £100


£10 tour discount for holders of National Railcards


Single Room Supplement £360


6 nights’ bed, breakfast & table d’hôte evening meal

Rail travel & seat reservations from your Home Station to Tour Base (Standard or First Class)

Rail & coach travel, with transfers as described

All excursions & admissions as detailed

Services of experienced Railtrail Tour Manager


Important – Please select the number of passengers before proceeding to ‘Book Now’

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Contact Us
Railtrail Tours Limited
21 The Smithfield Centre, Leek
Staffordshire Moorlands, ST13 5JW
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