Edinburgh, Scottish Highlands and Jacobite Steam Train Experience - 4 day tour
Edinburgh, The Highlands and Jacobite Steam Train
4 day/3 night
Speed to Edinburgh by express train and see the sights of the medieval Old Town including a visit to the mighty castle. Next day head into the picturesque Highlands to see wild Rannoch Moor, Glen Coe and eerie Culloden Moor! Enjoy a night in delightful Fort Augustus on the banks of Loch Ness. Next day enjoy the trip of a lifetime on the West Highland Railway Line aboard the Jacobite Steam Train, the real Hogwarts Express. Return to Edinburgh for a sightseeing tour and free time before returning to London by high-speed train.
Price Range: £650 - £870
Express Train - enjoy a comfortable journey with reserved seats between London and Edinburgh
Edinburgh - get the best views of Edinburgh and discover its colourful history on a hop-on, hop-off tour
Edinburgh Castle - explore this majestic castle to see the stunning Scottish Crown Jewels
Scottish Highlands - experience the picturesque lochs, mountains and glens of this scenic region
Jacobite Steam Train - all aboard for a scenic trip aboard the Jacobite Steam Train, featured as the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter movies
Movie locations - Harry Potter, Highlander and Fast and Furious
Hotel and Guest House accommodation included
Full Tour Itinerary
Day 1 - London – Edinburgh – Edinburgh Castle
The whistle blows and your train glides out of Kings Cross Station in the heart of London bound for Edinburgh. As you speed northwards to the Scottish Capital you'll travel through the Viking City of York; Durham, famed for its magnificent Cathedral and bustling Newcastle, which straddles the River Tyne.
During the journey, enjoy free WiFi and access to the on-board buffet where tasty food and drink can be purchased. Typically, it will take just under 4 hours and 30 minutes to reach Edinburgh.
On arrival in Edinburgh it's a short walk to your city centre hotel and after you've checked-in Edinburgh's medieval Old Town is waiting to be discovered.
Take a stroll along the famous Royal Mile to see the many historic buildings including St Giles Cathedral with its soaring crown spires and Gladstone's Land, an authentic 17th Century merchants house.
At the top of the Royal Mile sits Edinburgh Castle, standing guard over the city. On your visit don't miss the sumptuous Royal Palace and the opulent Great Hall of King James IV, where grand banquets took place. The highlight of the tour will be the viewing of the stunning Scottish Crown Jewels. Outside the views over Edinburgh from the battlements are magnificent.
Overnight: ibis Edinburgh Centre South Bridge, Edinburgh (or similar)
Day 2 - Edinburgh – Culloden Moor – Fort Augustus
After breakfast, join your fellow travellers and driver/guide for the start of your highland adventure. Leaving the city behind the three bridges spanning the Firth of Forth – The Forth Bridge, the Queensferry Crossing and the Forth Road Bridge come into view – it makes an awe-inspiring sight.
Our journey continues through the ancient Kingdom of Fife to reach our first stop, the quaint town of Dunkeld, nestled in glorious Perthshire woodland. The partially-ruined cathedral, overlooking the winding River Tay, radiates mystery. Discover its centuries-old history but beware of the cursed effigy of the Wolf of Badenoch!
The scenery changes from the gentler wilds of the lowlands to rugged, raw peaks as we head northwards through the Grampian Mountains to reach the picturesque Cairngorms National Park.
On the outskirts of Inverness, we'll be astonished at the historic tales from Culloden, where Highland clans fought in vain alongside Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Jacobite during his uprising against the Duke of Cumberland's forces in 1746. Thought-provoking and memorable, this bloody battle still inspires writers to this day and led to the creation of the Outlander story.
The mysterious and alluring Loch Ness soon beckons, where we discover the legend of its most famous inhabitant before our final stop in the charming village of Fort Augustus.
Overnight: Guest House, Fort Augustus (or similar)
Day 3 - Fort Augustus - Jacobite Steam Train - Edinburgh
From Fort Augustus tour through the Great Glen and make our way towards Fort William.
At the station, join the Jacobite Steam Train and take your seats. Departure time comes, and as the train puffs its way out of the station, an unforgettable journey along the famous West Highland Railway begins. The steam-hauled train will pass Scotland's shortest river, deepest loch and highest mountain along the 42-mile journey. Have your camera at the ready for a souvenir photo as the train crosses the Glenfinnan Viaduct, just like the Hogwarts Express!
After time for lunch in Mallaig, head back to Fort William where the snowy peaks of Ben Nevis stand impressively before us.
A scenic drive along the banks of Loch Linnhe will bring us to Glen Coe. Such a thoroughly unspoilt landscape deserves a closer look, so we pause to experience the full drama of the famous valley before making our way across the vast wilderness of Rannoch Moor.
After a refreshment break, we'll pass majestic Doune Castle, location of many a famous scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Outlander and Game of Thrones.
Mercure Edinburgh City Princes Street Hotel, Edinburgh (or similar)
Day 4 - Edinburgh Sightseeing - Free time – London
You're exploring more of Edinburgh today, so pop your bags into storage at your hotel and head out to join a hop-on, hop-off tour to see many of Edinburgh's most famous sights.
Travel along the imposing streets of the Georgian New Town to see grand squares before heading into the medieval Old Town; both these areas are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Visit the historic Grassmarket, where there are gruesome tales to be told then tour along the famous Royal Mile to see the Palace of Holyroodhouse, HM The Queen's official residence in Scotland and the Scottish Parliament building.
Enjoy panoramic views of the city skyline and Holyrood Park as you head back into the city centre. The remainder of today is free for you to explore more of Edinburgh or enjoy a leisurely lunch in one of the city's fine restaurants.
Later make your way to Waverley Station to board a late afternoon train bound for London. After a relaxed journey, you'll have a mid-evening arrival in London's Kings Cross Station.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I expect on this Freestyle Train Tour?
This carefully planned semi-independent tour will stretch your holiday time to the max, without making you feeling rushed. A unique combination of travel by train, comfortable accommodation and quality sightseeing will give you extra time to explore Scotland in greater detail. All the documentation you need, including your rail tickets, will be emailed to you. Just print these out and you are good to go. Any questions or if you need your documents early - just email or call us, we’re here to help. On the tour you’ll travel independently by train to and from London. We’ll make sure you have a reserved seat and we’ll send you a comprehensive itinerary, so you know what’s happening at any time during your tour, as well as helpful city guides for you to download to your smart-device. Accommodation in Edinburgh and Inverness is provided in comfortable 3-star hotels that are just a short walk from the railway station and are convenient for sightseeing and the tour departure points. A buffet breakfast is included in the cost of the tour. The sightseeing tours that are included as part of this package are led by experienced driver/guides who will provide an entertaining and informative commentary in English.
What is the journey on the Jacobite Steam Train like?
Described as one of the great railway journeys of the world this 42 mile one-way trip takes you past a list of impressive extremes. Starting near the highest mountain in Britain, Ben Nevis, it visits Britain’s most westerly mainland railway station, Arisaig; passes close by the deepest freshwater loch in Britain, Loch Morar and the shortest river in Britain, River Morar, finally arriving next to the deepest seawater loch in Europe, Loch Nevis! The train will cross the 21-arched Glenfinnan viaduct (a location made famous in the Harry Potter films) which overlooks Loch Shiel and the Jacobite monument. The train may pause on the viaduct, time permitting, to allow you to take in the magnificent view. On some tours the route may be reversed.
What type of room should I choose?
Selecting the right sleeping arrangements can be a little bit confusing so here is a description of what you can expect from the hotel accommodation offered as part of your tour: Single room - this is a room for one person sleeping in a single bed. Twin room - this is a room for two people sleeping in two separate beds. Double room - this is a room for two people sharing one large bed. Family room - this is a room for three people sleeping in one large bed (2 people) and one single bed (1 person). Please note that a family room is normally a standard double or twin room with either a sofa bed or a rollaway bed. All room types other than twin rooms are subject to availability.
How will I find my hotel?
This Freestyle Train Tour has been very carefully planned. Your hotel has been selected not just for its comfort but also for its location close to the railway station as well as your sightseeing requirements. Concise directions on how to reach your hotel will be given in your customised tour itinerary.
Can I reserve specific seats on the coach?
Seating on this tour is on a first come, first served basis and cannot be pre-booked. If you are travelling as part of a group please make sure that all members of the party arrive at the departure point together.
- 2 nights hotel accommodation
- Location: Edinburgh (2)
- 1 nights guest house accommodation with en-suite facilities
- Location: Fort Augustus (1)
- Scottish/Continental breakfast (3)
Visits, Admissions and Experiences
- Admission to Edinburgh Castle
- Hop-on, Hop-off tour of Edinburgh
- Two-day excursion to the Scottish Highlands with a local driver/guide
- Jacobite Steam Train trip with reserved seats on the West Highland Railway Line
- Standard class return train tickets from London to Edinburgh with seat reservations
- Customised tour itinerary & Official Edinburgh and Loch Ness Guides
- Service charges and taxes
- Admission charges unless stated above
- Meals, snacks or items of a personal nature
- Gratuity to your driver/guide
From Kings Cross Railway Station
London N1 9AL
Check-in: 06:30 hrs
Tour Departs: 07:00 hrs
Tour Returns: 20:55 hrs
Child discount applies to children aged 3 to 15 years inclusive.
We’re sorry but children aged under 3 years cannot travel on this tour.
Photo-ID may be requested to confirm discount entitlement.
IMPORTANT: Once booked this tour cannot be changed or cancelled
The price of this tour includes hotel and guest house accommodation with en-suite bathroom.
The times shown above are for guidance only. The train times for your journey will be shown on your tickets and itinerary.
One medium sized suitcase/bag per person (maximum weight: 15 kilos)
To give you maximum flexibility, admission fees (except for Edinburgh Castle) are not included in the cost of this tour.
Please see the FAQ section for more information on this tour.