Scottish Discovery with Orkney & Shetland Minicruise

Join us for an exploration of the glorious scenery and fascinating heritage of the Scottish Highlands and the archipelagos of Orkney and Shetland. Lying off Scotland’s north coast, these charming islands boast distinctive cultures, breathtaking coastlines, pristine beaches, remarkable wildlife and ancient archaeological sites evidencing the islands’ storied pasts. As we journey through the picturesque Highlands, we visit many of the magnificent castles dotted through the landscape plus the infamous battlefield of Culloden and a 16th-century time capsule.

Travel Options

Holiday Highlights

  • Return flights to Glasgow*
  • Airport taxes and luggage allowance (one piece of hold luggage per booking)
  • 2 nights bed and breakfast at the Holiday Inn, Glasgow Airport
  • 1 night dinner, bed and breakfast at a selected hotel in Inverness
  • 2 nights dinner, bed and breakfast at the Royal Hotel, Thurso
  • 1 daytime sailing on Northlink Ferries
  • 2 overnight sailings on Northlink Ferries with cabin accommodation**, including 2 breakfasts and 1 dinner
  • 1 dinner in a local restaurant on the Orkney Islands
  • Coach transfers to and from your excursions
  • Visits to the Royal Burgh of Culross, Blair Athol Distillery, Culloden Battlefield, Dunrobin Castle, Castle and Gardens of Mey, John O’Groats, Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands, Scone Palace & Pollok House
  • Exclusive Outlander tour of the Royal Burgh of Culross
  • Guided tour of the Blair Athol Distillery
  • Weapons demonstration and light refreshments at Culloden
  • Guided tours of the Orkney Islands and the Shetland Islands
  • Cream tea at Pollok House
  • Services of a Tour Manager

Selection of Accommodation

On the first and last night of our tour, we stay at the Holiday Inn, Glasgow Airport. We’ll also stay at a selected hotel in Inverness and the Royal Hotel in Thurso.

We have one daytime and two overnight sailings on Northlink Ferries ships. Overnight accommodation will be in simple cabins with en-suite washbasin, toilet and shower plus tea and coffee-making facilities. Other on board facilities include a bar, restaurant and shop.

**Some cabins are bunk style with higher and lower berths. You may be required to climb a short set of steps into your bunk.

Single Supplements Apply

Day One - Arrival in Scotland
We fly to Glasgow airport and check in to the Holiday Inn, situated just a two minute walk from the terminal building, where we are met by our Tour Manager and stay overnight on a bed and breakfast basis.

Day Two - Royal Burgh of Culross & Blair Athol Distillery
We leave our overnight hotel and make our way to the Royal Burgh of Culross, overlooking the Firth of Forth. This charming town is a fascinating time warp; the most complete example in Scotland of a Burgh of the 17th and 18th centuries. We enjoy an exclusive Outlander tour which takes us through cobbled streets and past historic buildings including the Town House and ochre coloured ‘Palace’, which featured in the television adaptation of Diana Gabaldon’s popular novels.

Continuing northwards, we visit the Blair Athol Distillery in the picturesque town of Pitlochry. On our guided tour we see how the uisge beatha whisky is made from golden malted barley, water and yeast, distilled in traditional copper pot stills and matured in oak casks.

We then enjoy a scenic journey via the Cairngorms National Park to Inverness where we stay overnight at a selected hotel with dinner included.

Day Three - Culloden Battlefield & Dunrobin Castle
Our first visit is to Culloden Battlefield, scene of the final battle of the 1745-46 Jacobite Rising and the last hand-to-hand battle fought on British soil. This short but bloody battle changed the course of history and the state-of-the-art visitor centre puts this infamous period of Scottish history into vivid context. We also enjoy a weapons demonstration and light refreshments during our visit here.

Next we head up to Dunrobin Castle, a magnificent castle that resembles a French château with towering conical spires. One of Britain’s oldest continuously inhabited houses; it has been home to the Earls and Dukes of Sutherland since the 13th century. The grand public rooms include the opulent wood-panelled dining room and a superb library housing over 10,000 books. The French influence continues into the extensive formal gardens with parterres and fountains.

Later, we arrive in the town and former burgh of Thurso where we check in to our hotel; our base for the next two nights with dinner included.

Day Four - Castle and Gardens of Mey & John O’Groats
The most northerly inhabited castle on the British mainland, the Castle of Mey was built between 1566 and 1572 with jutting towers and corbelled turrets typical of that period. The castle was saved from ruin in 1952 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother who renovated and restored it and created the beautiful gardens seen today. We enjoy these lovely surroundings where she spent many happy summers.

We finish the day in John O’Groats, famous for its ‘End of the Road’ location - the most northerly point of mainland Britain. We have time to explore this small coastal village with its craft and gift shops, harbour area and iconic sign post.

Day Five - Orkney Islands
We catch the morning ferry from Scrabster to Stromness on the Orkney Islands. We are met by a local guide who takes us on a tour of some of the islands’ highlights. The history of this picturesque archipelago of islands can be traced back some 6,000 years and the numerous archaeological sites are evidence of this fascinating past including the Neolithic settlement of Skara Brae. The scenery is equally appealing with rugged cliffs and stunning beaches plus an abundance of wildlife.

After dinner in a local restaurant, we board our overnight ferry from Kirkwall and head towards the Shetland Islands.

Day Six - Shetland Islands
We arrive in the bustling capital of Lerwick on the Shetland Islands. After breakfast on board, we disembark our ferry and join the coach for our tour of the islands with a local guide. Closer to Norway than mainland Scotland, this remote archipelago has much in common with the Orkneys, with a rich heritage dating back to Neolithic settlers and Vikings who all left their mark, plus stunning coastal scenery and a rugged, untamed beauty.

In the late afternoon, we board our ferry for the overnight crossing back to the mainland. Dinner is included on the ferry tonight.

Day Seven - Scone Palace & Pollok House
After breakfast on board, we disembark our ferry in Aberdeen and head first to Scone Palace, crowning place of Scottish kings including Robert the Bruce, Macbeth and Charles II and family home of the Earls of Mansfield. We have time to explore the palace with its fine collections of furniture, porcelain, ivories, clocks, paintings and other objets d'art.

Next we visit Pollok House where we enjoy a cream tea. Set in the tranquil surroundings of Pollok Country Park, this grand country house gives a real flavour of the upstairs, downstairs life in the 1930s. The lavish family rooms are crammed with period furniture as well as an outstanding collection of Spanish art while the vast servants’ quarters show the realities of running a country house.

We arrive back at our overnight hotel at Glasgow airport this evening where we stay on a bed and breakfast basis.

Day Eight - Flight home
We check out of our airport hotel and walk across to the departures terminal for our flight home.

Please note: The Holiday Inn, Glasgow Airport is situated just a two minute walk from the terminal building, therefore airport to hotel transfers are not included.

*Air holiday prices are correct at the time of publication but are subject to fluctuation and availability. Other regional airports may be available. The final price will depend on the current flight price on the day of your booking, your chosen airport, airline and flight time. This will be advised at the time of booking.

One piece of hold luggage PER BOOKING is included however; the weight allowance does vary between airlines. Please ask for details.

Holiday operated by Just Go! Holidays under ATOL No.10889

Club Class Home Collection

Door to Door Service from just £90 per person

Take advantage of our brand new, stress free departure option of "Club Class Home Collection Service". With this luxury service, a uniformed chauffeur will collect you from home and transfer you to the hotel, airport or cruise port in top specification cars or MPV's then at the end of your holiday they will be waiting to whisk you home again.

Please note: On some journeys we may collect other customers en-route who are travelling on the same holiday as yourself. The maximum number of pickups would be your plus two more with a maximum of six people in the vehicle. Journeys over 2.5 hours will include comfort breaks and complimentary bottles water is provided. All vehicles are fitted with satellite navigation and tracking devices. Service available from addresses in mainland England only, one pickup per booking. Service operating in partnership with Club Class Chauffeurs.
Round Trip Mileage Price (pp)
Up to 150 miles £90
151 - 200 £150
201 - 250 £175
251 - 300 £200
301 - 350 £225
351 - 400 £250
400 + Call for a quote
Single Traveller Supplement Additional 75%

Please note: This is an active tour and there is a fair amount of walking involved, often on uneven and rugged terrain, therefore this tour is not suitable for those with limited mobility.

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