The Far North

Line from Inverness to Wick and Thurso. Not so much spectacular, but a strange almost desolate beauty – this railway serves the least populated part of the British Mainland. From Inverness the train shares tracks with the Kyle line as far as Dingwall, where it heads North, through Alness and Invergordon, then taking a detour inland around the Dornoch Firth, before rejoining the North Sea coast as far as Helmsdale, where it heads inland along the Strath of Kildonan.

From here the rails cross Caithness’s ‘flow country’ – a virtually uninhabited, ecologically sensitive wilderness – until reaching the tiny station at Georgemas Junction, where the line splits into branches for Wick and Thurso. At Scrabster, a short bus ride from Thurso, there’s a ferry link to Stromeness in the Orkney Islands.

  • Train frequency – Two return trips each day – One on Sundays. Journey time – 4 hrs 15 minutes (one-way)