Discover the beauty of the Scottish Highlands on this wonderful 4 day rail tour from London. Travel to Edinburgh by express train where you will spend 2 nights in comfortable accommodation. Explore the Edinburgh by open-top bus before enjoying excursions to Loch Ness and the scenic beauty of the Western Highlands. Explore the Victorian splendour of Glasgow before returning to London.
London to Edinburgh (2 nights)
Welcome aboard! You’ll travel northwards to Edinburgh along the route of the famed Flying Scotsman. This fascinating journey will take you through the Viking City of York and the University City of Durham. Enjoy the panoramic views as you slip from England into Scotland at Berwick-upon-Tweed then speed towards Edinburgh. You’ll arrive in Edinburgh by late morning and after checking into your hotel the city of Edinburgh is waiting to be discovered.
Discover Edinburgh from a different perspective aboard your open-top double deck bus. This tour allows you to hop-on and off to visit many of the city’s attractions including Edinburgh Castle*, the Palace of Holyroodhouse* and the famous Royal Mile.
Overnight: Jury’s Inn (or similar)
Into the Highlands
There’s a wonderful journey into the northern Highlands of Scotland today. From Edinburgh we cross the Forth Road Bridge and tour through the ancient Kingdom of Fife. Our first stop will be in the pleasant town of Pitlochry which boasts a wide range of shops and eateries.
Next we make our way through the Pass of Drumochter and enter the beautiful Cairngorm National Park where the mountains soar skywards and there are wonderful loch-side vistas to savour.
From the lonely village of Dalwhinnie we travel through Glean Spean to reach the famed Great Glen beyond. Fort Augustus is our gateway to Loch Ness, probably Scotland’s most famous lake. Why not go on a monster spotting cruise* or enjoy a leisurely stroll along the banks? Either way keep a close watch, just in case!
From Fort William, which is overshadowed by Ben Nevis Britain’s highest peak, it’s into eerie Glen Coe. We will hear the sad story of the infamous massacre in 1692 while marvelling at the outstanding beauty of this special place. Soon we cross from the Highlands into the Lowlands and join the motorway for the last part of our tour back to Edinburgh.
We leave Edinburgh behind and travel across Scotland to Glasgow and Loch Lomond beyond. There is a stop in the pleasant town of Luss to enjoy the views of the "bonnie, bonnie” banks. Loch Lomond is Scotland’s largest and is dotted with 38 islands. We will drive the entire 23 mile length of the loch and as we do we’ll cross into the Highlands once more. Today we are going to explore the picturesque Western Highlands and so we turn westwards from the village of Tyndrum for Loch Awe and the Pass of Brander.
Oban is a popular fishing and ferry port which is located on a sheltered bay. We’ll make a stop here so you can discover this bustling town. For stunning views over the bay to the islands of the Inner Hebrides make the climb up to McCaig’s Tower, a Victorian Folly. It’s well worth the effort!
We will make a photo-stop at ruined Kilchurn Castle before making the short drive to Inveraray, which nestles on the banks of Loch Fyne. The Duke of Argyll rebuilt this community in 1776 so he could surround his newly built castle with landscape gardens. It’s immaculately preserved and makes a fascinating visit.
During our descent of the "Rest and be Thankful” mountain pass we'll see the original road, built by General Wade, winding its way up the through the glen. Soon we reach the Argyll Forest Park where icy streams cascade down through wooded glens. Shortly we will return to the gentle shores of Loch Lomond once more and then to Glasgow, where you will spend the night.
Overnight: Millennium Hotel (or similar)
Glasgow is one of Europe’s most exciting cities. A city of striking architecture, heritage and culture and today you can discover the city for yourself on an open-top bus tour. This informative hop-on, hop-off tour is the ideal way to experience Scotland’s largest city.
Explore the Victorian architecture of the City Centre then head out to the leafy West End to visit the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum or the newly-built Riverside Museum. Follow the banks of the River Clyde to experience Old Glasgow and the Cathedral Quarter.
Take time to seek out the hidden work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Glasgow’s famous architect, whose art nouveau gems can be seen throughout the city.
Later this afternoon board your express train at Glasgow’s Central Railway Station for the journey back to London.
The train journeys are unescorted.