Scenic Scottish Railways - 4 day tour
Scenic Scottish Railways
4 day/3 night
Scotland has some of the most picturesque railway journeys in Europe. Start the tour with a relaxing trip on the preserved Speyside Railway from Aviemore to Broomhill. Later make for your base in delightful Grantown-on-Spey, in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. The next day head to Inverness to take the Far North Line to Wick, enjoying spectacular coastal views along the way. Another scenic excursion is on the Kyle Line through Strath Carron to visit romantic Eilean Donan Castle. The highlight of the tour is left until the last day. Travel to Fort William to board the famous Jacobite Steam Train to ride on the scenic West Highland Line to Mallaig.
Strathspey Railway - steam through the beauty of the Cairngorms National Park aboard a vintage train
Grantown-on-Spey - relax with a stay in this historic town situated on the famous River Spey
Eilean Donan Castle - visit this picturesque castle stunningly situated on a tiny island in the shadow of the Kintail mountains
Wick - explore this traditional fishing port and discover its Viking history
Jacobite Steam Train - hop aboard the famous train that starred as the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter movies
Movie locations – Harry Potter, Monarch of the Glen and Highlander
Hotel accommodation included
Full Tour Itinerary
Day 1 - Edinburgh/Glasgow - Aviemore - Grantown-on-Spey
Leaving the cities behind, we head northwards over the River Forth and into the Kingdom of Fife. There’s a refreshment stop in the Victorian resort town of Pitlochry before we pass whitewashed Blair Castle and start the long climb through Glen Garry.
After travelling through the Pass of Drumochter, we reach Dalwhinnie and tour through the Spey Valley bound for Aviemore. On arrival at the town’s attractive railway station, a vintage steam train of the Strathspey Railway awaits to transport us on a nostalgic journey through the Cairngorms National Park.
The destination is Broomhill Station, which played the part of Glenbogle in the popular BBC TV series, “Monarch of the Glen”. The train will also make a stop in the attractive village of Boat of Garten in both directions.
On return to Aviemore, we rejoin our coach for the short drive to Grantown-on-Spey, our home for the next three nights.
Overnight: Craiglynne Hotel, Grantown-on-Spey (or similar) (3 nights)
Day 2 - The Far North Line Excursion
After breakfast, we board our coach and journey to Inverness, where we join the scheduled Scotrail train operating the service to Wick on the North Highland Line.
Our journey from Inverness takes us along the banks of the Beauly Firth to Muir of Ord, where towering Ben Wyvis dominates the landscape. As the train departs Tain lookout for Glenmorangie, one of Scotland’s most famous whisky distilleries and Skibo Castle, the former home of Andrew Carnegie, the Scottish philanthropist.
The Dukes of Sutherland have their seat at the fairytale Dunrobin Castle. When the line was constructed, the Duke, who was a railway enthusiast, had his own station built to serve the castle. It’s now a museum.
From Helmsdale, we travel inland to reach Kildonan, the scene of a gold-rush frenzy in 1868 and Altnabreac, one of the remotest stations in Britain. As we travel through this part of Caithness, lookout for the fences made of flagstones standing upright.
Journeys end is in Wick, once one of the busiest herring harbours in Europe. We’ll discover more about this port, and its Viking history before joining our coach for the journey back to our hotel along the famous North Coast 500 route.
Day 3 - The Kyle Line Excursion
Like yesterday we make our way to Inverness Railway Station after breakfast. Today we are heading westwards to Kyle of Lochalsh, which boasts a scenic location looking over the water to the Isle of Skye.
Wild mountain scenery accompanies us as the train heads towards Achnasheen, and briefly, the peaks of the Torridon Mountains will come into view. The journey continues along the banks of Loch Gowan and into the Achnashellach Forest, home to a thriving herd of deer.
At Strathcarron, there are lovely views over Loch Carron to the whitewashed cottages of Lochcarron. Soon we reach Attadale and the most spectacular section of the trip. The line hugs the shore, and the train twists its way past little inlets offering striking views at every turn.
Plockton is a delightful village overlooking a beautiful bay. Its sheltered location allows palm trees to flourish here. At too soon, the train pulls into Kyle of Lochalsh Station and the end of todays train journey.
After some free time we board our coach make the short journey to visit Eilean Donan Castle. This attractive castle sits at the confluence of three lochs and must be one of Scotland’s most photographed scenes. There’s time to explore the castle and admire the views before we make the journey back to our hotel for dinner.
Day 4 - Grantown-on-Spey - Jacobite Steam Train - Edinburgh/Glasgow
We end the tour on a real high with a return trip on the famous West Highland Line aboard the Jacobite Steam Train.
First, we make our way through the Spey Valley, then Glen Spean, passing grand Ardverikie House, which sits at the head of Loch Laggan. This impressive house recently played Balmoral Castle in the hit Netflix series “The Crown”.
At Fort William, the Jacobite Steam Train awaits to take us on a spectacular 42-mile journey considered by many to be one of the World’s most memorable rail journeys.
After leaving “The Fort”, the train will cross the Caledonian Canal, giving you a wonderful view of Neptune’s Staircase, a network of eight locks that lifts the waterway 20 m (64 ft).
After following the banks of Loch Eil, the excitement mounts as the train steams over the Glenfinnan Viaduct, offering superb views of Loch Shiel. The 21-arched viaduct has become world-famous thanks to the adventures of a young wizard called Harry Potter.
At Arisaig, admire the views over Loch Nan Ceall towards the islands of Rum and Eigg before arriving in Morar, where Scotland’s shortest river flows from Loch Morar, our deepest loch.
Journeys end is in the historic fishing port of Mallaig, where there is free time to enjoy some lunch before reboarding the train for the return journey to Fort William.
On arrival in Fort William, rejoin the coach and head homeward through the magnificent scenery of the Western Highlands.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I expect on this Escorted Tour?
If you enjoy the art of first-class travel whilst enjoying amazing value then an Escorted Tour is just for you. These tours are carefully researched and combine quality hotels, luxury travel, informative visits and leisure time. You’ll find our Escorted Tours to be memorable - for all the right reasons!
You will travel aboard a state of the art motorcoach with air-conditioning, reclining seats, oversized windows and emergency washroom. Many coaches are equipped with WiFi too.
An experienced tour manager will lead the tour and your coach will be expertly driven by a professional driver. In certain locations you’ll may be joined by a local guide who will provide local insight and show you the highlights.
These tours are inclusive of superior tourist class accommodation, transportation, selected admission fees and many meals.
On many tours you’ll have the chance to personalise your touring experience by participating in some carefully planned optional excursions. These are at additional expense and, if available, details will be provided with your tour documentation.
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 much luggage can I bring?
You can bring one suitcase and one carry-on bag per person. The maximum weight allowance and luggage dimensions varies by tour so you should check the tour documentation for the luggage policy that applies to your tour.
Where can I purchase travel insurance?
We strongly recommend that you have travel insurance in place for your trip to Scotland, especially if you are visiting from overseas. To purchase a policy speak to your insurance broker or undertake a search on-line.
We would also suggest checking your home policy or credit card contract as many suppliers include travel insurance as part of their offering.
What sort of weather can I expect?
Ah, this is the $64,000 question! It may surprise you to know that we have a very temperate climate in Scotland. The geography of Scotland means that it does rain more frequently in the west of the country and there are stronger winds in the east. If it does rain on your tour we will not be too concerned and neither should you be – we need it to make our whisky!
- 3 nights hotel accommodation
- Location: Granton-on-Spey (3)
- Cooked/Continental breakfast (3)
- Table d’ hote dinners (3)
Visits, Admissions and Experiences
- Return journey on the Strathspey Railway from Aviemore to Broomhill
- Single journey by scheduled Scotrail train in standard class from Inverness to Wick and Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh
- Admission to Eilean Donan Castle
- Return journey on the Jacobite Steam Train from Fort William to Mallaig
- Touring by luxury air-conditioned coach with reclining seats
- All baggage handling and hotel tips are included
- Services throughout the tour of a professional Tour Director
- Service charges and taxes
North Hanover Street Bus Stance, Glasgow, G1 2BP
Check-in: 08:15 hrs
Tour Departs: 08:30 hrs
Tour Returns: 21:30 hrs
Outside Marriott Hotel, on Glasgow Road, Edinburgh, EH12 8NF
Check-in: 09:30 hrs
Tour Departs: 09:45 hrs
Tour Returns: 20:15 hrs
Please contact us for information on child prices.
The price of this tour includes hotel accommodation with en-suite bathroom.
Please see the FAQ section for more information on this tour.
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Customer Reviews Overall Rating:
Rating:(4 /5) 24 May 2022
As a whistle-stop, scenic tour of Scotland, this trip provided an opportunity as a 'taster' of the highlands, lowlands and lands in between, with 'scenic' as the key word. While neither of us are railway enthusiasts, it was good to have an alternative view of the landscapes, with the opportunity to get out of one's seat at any stage of the rail journeys. The weather was generally kind to us, with only one day out of four being spoiled by inclement weather.Andrew David Paul from Playa Blanca , ES