A Scottish Christmas
Spend Christmas with the Scots, ringing in the holiday in Inverness and enjoying Boxing Day at Loch Ness - with plenty of other destinations along the way.
Scotland plays host for Christmas on this holiday rail tour. The festive journey follows a round-trip route that begins in Edinburgh and travels through beloved destinations such as Kyle of Lochalsh, Inverness and Loch Ness. Traveling by Scotrail, the Kyle Line and coach, we enjoy views of the picturesque Cairngorms Mountains and Eilean Donan Castle. Christmas is spent toasting to family, friends and good fortune in Inverness, and for Boxing Day, we embark on an excursion to Loch Ness. As the tour returns to Edinburgh, bid farewell to Scotland by sightseeing through the city and enjoying the sites illuminated in twinkling lights. Celebrate this season with traditions both old and new.
Your vacation start or end can be tailored to meet your travel needs.
Highlights and Inclusions
- Rail travel on Scotrail
- Christmas Eve excursion on the famous Kyle Line
- Rail journey through the majestic Cairngorms
- Hotel accommodations for 6 nights
- 15 meals including lunch with Champagne, live music and Scottish dancing on Christmas Day
- Complimentary bar at the hotel, from 7pm to 10pm every evening in Inverness, including house beer, wine and local spirits plus soft drinks
- Excursion to the world-famous Loch Ness on Boxing Day
- Excursion to the majestic Eilean Donan Castle (entrance not included)
- Services of a professional Tour Manager
Day 1 - Arrival in Edinburgh
Your Tour Manager greets you in Edinburgh at the 4-star Radisson Blu Hotel located on the Royal Mile, close to Edinburgh Castle. The rest of your afternoon is at leisure to explore as you please. (D)
Day 2 - Through the Cairngorms to Inverness
Our excursion today takes us by rail across the iconic Forth Bridge and through wild and dramatic scenery to Inverness, passing through Kingussie, Pitlochry and Aviemore on our way through the mighty Cairngorms. On arrival in Inverness, we check in to the 3-Star Palace Hotel before enjoying a drinks reception. (B, D)
Day 3 - Christmas Eve along the famous Kyle Line
Today is Christmas Eve and we enjoy a journey on the exceptional Kyle Line, a quintessentially Scottish railroad journey which treks alongside misty lochs and looming mountains. Eventually we arrive in Kyle of Lochalsh where we visit the ever-impressive Eilean Donan Castle, one of Scotland's iconic buildings. On arrival back at the hotel, we enjoy a Christmas sherry drinks reception with live entertainment. You may wish to enjoy the local Christmas church service this evening. (B, L, D)
Day 4 - Christmas Day in Inverness
Our Christmas morning begins with a full Scottish breakfast accompanied by Buck's Fizz, after which you are free to perhaps take a stroll along the banks of the River Ness, before our sumptuous Christmas lunch at the hotel, including Champagne. Later you can toast the Queen's speech with a dram, and afternoon tea will be served, ahead of a festive buffet dinner this evening. Tonight's entertainment consists of Scottish music and traditional dancing. (B, L, D)
Day 5 - Boxing Day excursion to Loch Ness
After a hearty Scottish breakfast, Boxing Day's excursion takes us along the stunning shores of Loch Ness by coach. Here we visit the acclaimed Loch Ness Exhibition Center. The center details the history and geology of the region - and of course has an exhibition dedicated to the famous monster. Back in Inverness, we enjoy a final evening meal and entertainment in the hotel. (B, L, D)
Days 6-7 - Return to Edinburgh & home
We travel back to Edinburgh today in Standard Class through the Cairngorms to Edinburgh, where we stay a second night at the Radisson Blu Hotel. Your afternoon is free for you to discover the city. There are plenty of options for your day, from an open-top bus ride past the major attractions, to visits to some of Edinburgh's world-class galleries and museums. The heart of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its medieval Old Town, Georgian New Town, and the award-winning modern architecture continuing the contrast between traditional and contemporary. Of course, no trip to Edinburgh is complete without a visit to the famous castle. Later we enjoy a final dinner together at the hotel. After breakfast on Day 7 the tour concludes, and you are free to make your way home at your leisure. (Day 6 - B, D; Day 7 - B)
Train and Hotel Accommodations
Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh
The stylish 4-Star Radisson Blu Hotel is perfectly located on Edinburgh's Royal Mile, half way between Holyrood Palace and Edinburgh Castle. The hotel has a restaurant, a bar and a leisure club with a jet stream pool, a sauna and a gym. The rooms are decorated in a contemporary style and feature individual climate control, a telephone, a television, a minibar, tea & coffee making facilities, a safe and a hairdryer.
Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa, Inverness
The welcoming 3-Star Best Western Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa on the banks of the River Ness is a short walk away from the city center and the perfect place to relax and watch the river flow by. Built over 100 years ago, the hotel is equipped with a swimming pool, leisure club, brasserie and lounge. Rooms include hairdryer and television.
Providing the entirety of mainland Scotland with transport links, Abello Scotrail is a fantastic commuter service that means even the farthest reaches of this wild and wonderful country is easily accessible. Running since 1983 under a variety of operators, this service has numerous lines, including one that stretches from the tip, Thurso, down to Edinburgh.
The lines on the Scotrail service are some of the most scenic in the world. The Kyle Line, the West Highland Line, and the Hadrian's Wall Line are all services by Scotrail trains. The stock that traverses the lines are comfortable and modern, with spacious carriages and seating, as well as large windows through which to see the passing beauty of the Scottish countryside. New trains will be coming soon in the next few years, with more services, power sockets, Wi-Fi, and improved accessibility.
The Kyle Line
The Kyle Line takes us on one of the most scenic rail journeys in the British Isles, traveling between Inverness and Kyle of Lochalsh.
On leaving Inverness, the line hugs the shores of the Beauly Firth before heading north to Dingwall. From here, the line immediately turns inland and climbs over the Highlands. As a result of a dispute with the landowners of the time, the builders of the railroad were forced to make a sharp detour around Strathpeffer. After a steep climb to Black Rock the line descends through beautiful wooded hillsides until it reaches Garve on the shore of Loch Garve. On a still clear day this loch perfectly mirrors the surrounding hills and trees. From Garve station the line climbs up to the broad straths leading to the West Coast before climbing to the summit of the line at Luib.
The line then descends to the magnificent scenery of Loch Carron, where it twists and turns in and out of the loch side inlets. Plockton station and village, with yachts anchored in the shelter of its beautiful bay, is the next passing point, and was the location for the BBC Television series 'Hamish Macbeth'.
The final section of the journey is perhaps the most dramatic (and the most expensive), as it was carved through the solid rock that leads to Kyle Pier. Kyle of Lochalsh ("strait of the foaming lake") sits at the entrance to Loch Alsh, opposite Kyleakin on the Isle of Skye. The two villages were formerly connected by a ferry service, but this was replaced by the Skye Bridge in 1995.
Passport & Visa Requirements
It is your responsibility to check and fulfill the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.
Dates & Prices
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|22nd December 2019||$1,705||Book Now|
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: Departs 22nd December 2019 ($1,705)
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Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.