This is the quintessential Royal Scotsman experience and certainly one of the most popular rail journeys. After following the east coast up to Keith, the train heads across Scotland to the picturesque west coast village of Plockton before making its way to Inverness and then south to Perth and Edinburgh.
Call 877-929-7245 to book the Royal Scotsman Classic rail vacation
A visit to Ballindalloch Castle, with its magnificent house and gardens, is just one of the many highlights of this luxury rail journey. Along the way there are opportunities for optional fishing, clay pigeon shooting or guided walks along Caledonian pine forest trails.
Day One: Edinburgh - Keith
The Royal Scotsman departs Edinburgh Waverley Station in the early afternoon and travels north across the Firth of Forth by means of the magnificent 1.5-mile Forth Railway Bridge. This is one of the first cantilever bridges, designed and built by Benjamin Baker in the late 1880s. It is considered one of the greatest achievements of the Victorian Age, and known as the eighth wonder of the world.
Enjoy your afternoon tea as you journey through the former Kingdom of Fife and across the Tay Bridge.
Follow Scotland's east coast, passing through Arbroath, Montrose and Aberdeen before arriving in the market town of Keith. This evening enjoy an informal dinner and, later, perhaps a nightcap with your fellow travelers in the Observation Car. Overnight train.
Day Two: Keith - Kyle of Lochalsh
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast as the train departs Keith and travels west towardsthe Highlands' capital of Inverness, which you pass through before heading on to Muir of Ord where you will disembark to visit Glen Ord Distillery. Guests are treated to a private tour and tasting before returning to the train.
Enjoy a delicious lunch as the train heads towards Kyle of Lochalsh on what is arguably one of the most scenic routes in Britain. The line passes Loch Luichart and the Torridon mountains, which geologists believe were formed before life began. The train then climbs to Luib summit and Achnashellach forest, descends to Strathcarron and runs along the edge of stunning Loch Carron. The train stops in Plockton, where you will have the opportunity to explore the town at your leisure. You may wish to take a boat trip to see wild seals or walk through the woodland to a viewpoint overlooking the loch, after which there is time to enjoy a dram or two in the Plockton Hotel, or choose to simply wander through this charming village.
Spend the night on board the train in Kyle of Lochalsh. Dinner is formal and afterwards there is entertainment in the Observation Car, which offers mesmerising views over Loch Alsh to the Isle of Skye. Overnight train.
Day Three: Kyle of Lochalsh - Boat of Garten
After breakfast the train heads back towards Dingwall, skirting the Beauly Firth and crossing the top of the Caledonian Canal, north of Loch Ness, before reaching Inverness. The train continues south to Carrbridge where guests disembark to visit the romantic Ballindalloch Castle with its wonderful gardens. Golfers can play on the estate's course; clubs are available to hire.
The night is spent on board at Boat of Garten on the private Strathspey Railway. After a formal dinner, our Highlander regales guests with stories of local heroes and their derring-dos, even demonstrating some authentic weaponry. Overnight train.
Day Four: Kyle of Lochalsh - Boat of Garten
The day begins with an excursion to Rothiemurchus Estate, where guests can choose from a variety of activities including fishing, clay pigeon shooting, a guided walk through the stunning landscape or simply relax with a warming dram by the fire.
Rejoin the train at Kingussie where lunch will be served as you journey south through Blair Atholl and Pitlochry to Dunkeld, where you disembark for your visit to Glamis Castle, Seat of the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, and childhood home of the late HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother.
After rejoining the train in Perth, relax and enjoy and informal dinner onboard. Overnight train.
Day Five: Dundee - Edinburgh
After breakfast the train winds its way back through the former Kingdom of Fife to Edinburgh, where you adventure comes to a close.
The Royal Scotsman departs Edinburgh at 1.42pm on day one and arrives back in Edinburgh at 9.46am on day five.
Please note: Itineraries are subject to change and all timings shown are for your guidance only. Confirmed itineraries and timings will be supplied with your travel documents.
* Prices are per person and include all table d'hôte meals, all alcoholic and other beverages, all sightseeinig excursions as seen in itinerary, and accommodations on board train based on two people sharing a twin compartment or one person in a single. Air fare is not included in the price of this vacation package.
Itineraries are subject to change and full details will be confirmed with your tickets.