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Caithness News Bulletins April 2003

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Wick/Lybster Railway

Easter Train Trip To Caithness

An Easter Train excursion weekend to Caithness and Orkney has had the advantage this year of fabulous spring weather.  Travelling by train the length of Scotland passengers have had a great chance to see the Highland countryside.  The train seen here early on Sunday morning was awaiting the passengers returning from an overnight trip to Orkney.  The party return today (Sunday 20 April 2003) before setting of south again later in the morning. 

Trip organised by Pathfinder Tours

The luxury diesel hauled special train, formed of all First Class air conditioned carriages, departs for the North of Scotland, with a delicious cooked Breakfast or Brunch served 'at seat', setting the tone for the weekend ahead. The rail route is firstly along the West Coast main line, with a 'leg stretch' in Carlisle, before crossing the Scottish Border at Gretna and heading over Beattock to the Clyde Valley, and on through Stirling to Perth. The Highland Line is then taken for the undulating journey onto Inverness, arriving mid evening after Evening Dinner has been served on board. Road coaches will then transfer you to good quality hotels, with en-suite rooms, for an overnight stay.

Continue our rail journey by taking the Far North Line from Inverness. A full Scottish cooked Breakfast will be enjoyed on board as the Highland scenery unfolds around you. Late morning sees our special train arrive at the northern outpost of Thurso, where road coaches will transfer you the short distance to Scrabster, the port for our ferry to Orkney. After a ninety minute sailing across the Pentland Firth, passing the Old Man of Hoy, you arrive in Stromness ready for an afternoon exploring the main island and its landmarks and attractions, such as Scapa Flow, the Standing Stones and Italian Chapel. Come the evening and it is time to relax, with Dinner served at the featured hotel.

After Breakfast in the hotel, local road coaches will return you to Stromness for the morning ferry back to the mainland at Scrabster. We then head east along the north coast past Dunnet Head to John O'Groats for a visit, before turning south for Wick to rejoin the special train at this Far North Line terminus. Refreshments are served as the train threads its way across the barren lands of Caithness, into Sutherland, before stopping at the private station at Dunrobin, where after an afternoon visit to the Castle and Gardens, we continue south by the way of Lairg and Tain, with a traditional Roast Dinner served before reaching Inverness and our hotel accommodation for the night.

Today we return home after Breakfast in the hotel, taking the Highland Line for the stiff climb over the Grampians to Perth, then on through Stirling and Motherwell back to the 'softer' scenery of Southern Scotland and England. A Light Luncheon and Three Course Evening Dinner will be served en-route.