Castles and Wildlife of Scotland
Harken back to the golden age of rail travel with an overnight journey on the Caledonian Sleeper Train coupled with classic Scottish castles and wilderness exploration.
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Trains, castles and wildlife galore: These are just some of the things you can look forward to on this 7-day small group rail tour through Scotland. Find yourself transported back to the Golden Age of rail travel during your time on the Caledonian Sleeper, which connects London and Inverness. Stay in unique accommodations and immerse yourself in Scotland’s rich history and unique environs with culture and wildlife excursions ranging from a dolphin-spotting cruise along the Moray Firth and a guided tour of Eileen Donan Castle to 4x4 adventures in Alladale Wilderness Reserve, where you can meet the local wildlife.
Highlights and Inclusions
- Rail travel on the Caledonian Sleeper (2 nights on train)
- Scenic rail excursion on the Kyle Line to Kyle of Lochalsh
- Hotel accommodations for 4 nights
- 11 meals
- Dolphin spotting excursion on the Moray Firth
- Tour of Eilean Donan Castle and a visit to Dunrobin castle
- 4x4 wilderness excursion through the Alladale Reserve
- Guided visit of Culloden Battlefield
- Transportation by deluxe motorcoach
- Services of a professional tour manager
Day 1 – London to Scotland aboard the Caledonian Sleeper Train
Meet your Tour Manager and the rest of your small group party at London Euston station this evening, where you'll board the only overnight service running between London and Scotland, the famous Caledonian Sleeper Train. The train's inaugural journey took place back in 1873, and since then it's become a bit of a clandestine institution, something many have heard of but few have experienced. Settling into our comfortable club cabins, we enjoy a night on the rails.
Day 2 – Dolphin Cruise and Tulloch Castle
Following breakfast on the train, we pull into Inverness at the end of a comfortable and relaxed overnight journey. At the station, we are met by a coach that will transport us to the quayside for a magical dolphin spotting cruise along the Moray Firth. After an hour or so at sea, hopefully spent admiring pods of energetic cetaceans, we continue by coach further into the Highlands, making our way to Tulloch Castle, our unique accommodation for the next 2 nights. On arrival, we can expect a warm welcome as well as a talk and guided tour of the historic property. After time to unpack, this evening we meet in the hotel's dining room for a sumptuous meal. (B, D)
Day 3 – The Kyle Line and Eilean Donan Castle
We spend the day discovering Scotland's treasures with an excursion to beautiful Eilean Donan Castle, on the tiny island in Loch Duich. We start with a journey from Inverness on the acclaimed Kyle Line, one of Scotland's most scenic railroad lines. Notable stops en route include Achanalt, where the marshlands surrounding Loch Achanalt have been declared a site of Special Scientific Interest and provide a habitat for several rare and interesting plant and bird species, as well as Achnashellach Forest, reputedly the site of an historic battle between 3 Scottish clans in 1505. We disembark at the end of the line, transferring to Eilean Donan Castle, perched atop a tiny island at the confluence of Loch Duich, Loch Long, and Loch Alsh. This iconic castle has been filmed and photographed numerous times over the years, most famously being featured in the film 'Highlander'. Originally built in the 13th century, the fortress was destroyed 400 years later during the Jacobite rebellions, and we learn more about the property's long and fascinating past during our guided tour. Afterwards we return to Tulloch Castle by coach for dinner. (B, D)
Day 4 – Alladale Wilderness Reserve
We say a fond farewell to Tulloch Castle after breakfast, traveling further north by coach to Alladale Wilderness Reserve. Along the way we stop off at Dunrobin Castle, a turreted stately home set within rolling landscaped gardens, and the seat of the Earl of Sutherland - a member of the Sutherland Clan. There's time to wander round the house and gardens before we complete our journey to Alladale itself, a 23,000 acre Highland retreat. Alladale is one of the largest privately owned members of the re-wilding project in the UK. Regular schemes include tree planting, a captive breeding program for the Scottish Wild Cat, and relocation projects for red squirrels. Surrounded by rugged terrain, woodland dells and heather-tinged valleys, Alladale is a very special destination, offering remote, rural experiences amidst landscapes that have been used in many high-end commercial shoots by the likes of Vogue and Rolls Royce. After checking in, we have some welcome tea and cakes followed by an opportunity to walk around the lodge and into Glen Alladale. Afterwards we enjoy a real treat, dinner cooked by our own private chef who specializes in traditional Scottish cuisine such as wild smoked salmon and locally-caught venison, with a twist. (B, D)
Day 5 – Wilderness Exploration
This morning, we fortify ourselves with a hearty breakfast ahead of our full-day excursion. After being collected from Alladale's main lodge by expert rangers, we embark on a 4x4 adventure through the winding valleys and craggy peaks as our guides try to get us up close and personal with some of the native wildlife. Watch out for herds of red deer roaming the lush terrain and eagles catching a ride on the thermal currents high above us. On our return to the lodge, we enjoy coffee, tea, and cake as we participate in a talk about the history of the reserve, their re-wilding projects, and surrounding area. (B, L, D)
Days 6-7 – Inverness, Culloden Battlefield and return to London
We have a little time at leisure this morning; perhaps unwind in Alladale's cozy surroundings or head back into the wild for a short walk before we make the trip back to Culloden Battlefield by coach. After a guided visit of the famous Battlefield, we transfer back to Inverness. There's some free time here before we board the Caledonian Sleeper Train back to London Euston, where our vacation comes to an end. (Days 6 & 7 - B)
Train and Hotel Accommodations
Dating back to the 12th century, Tulloch Castle still boasts many original features, including its 250-year old Great Hall. With just 20 rooms on site, it has never been possible for us to book this incredible hotel for our customers before, so join us and marvel at the history that surrounds you as you soak up the snug ambience of the Highland lodge décor. The en-suite guest rooms are all individually designed with period features, and come with a television, iron, seating area, and tea & coffee making facilities.
Alladale Wilderness Reserve
Enjoying an isolated location in the heart of the diverse Scottish Highlands, surrounded by wild and rugged natural terrain, Alladale Wilderness Reserve offers accommodation like no other. With no other buildings for miles around this is a haven for wildlife and nature lovers alike and on this tour we will have the lodges all to ourselves. This includes a private chef and even an escorted wilderness excursion in all terrain 4x4s.
The Caledonian Sleeper offers two options: First Class cabins which are single berth and Standard Class cabins which are twin berth. All cabins are non-smoking and are equipped with air conditioning, lighting and bedside controls, a concealed wash basin, shaver point and hand towel. Toilet facilities are situated at the end of each coach. All Caledonian Sleeper services have a Lounge Car, where you can relax in a pleasant atmosphere and purchase light snacks or a drink at the bar. At very busy times the Lounge Car may be restricted to First Class ticket holders.
The Kyle Line
Travel from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh aboard the Kyle Line. This iconic train is a single track railway that completes its full route in just under 3 hours. The train runs through moors and mountains, quaint towns and some of Scotland’s more populated areas. It is not uncommon to see animals grazing through the countryside, and as the train reaches its final destination, views of the Isle of Skye are simply breathtaking.
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
Select from the packages below to view prices for this tour.
|24th April 2020||$2,235||Book Now|
|26th April 2020||$2,305||Book Now|
|15th May 2020||$2,385||Book Now|
|17th May 2020||$2,385||Book Now|
|12th June 2020||$2,455||Book Now|
|14th June 2020||$2,455||Book Now|
|2nd October 2020||$2,305||Book Now|
|4th October 2020||$2,285||Book Now|
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: Departs 24th April 2020 ($2,235), 26th April 2020 ($2,305), 15th May 2020 ($2,385), 17th May 2020 ($2,385), 12th June 2020 ($2,455), 14th June 2020 ($2,455), 2nd October 2020 ($2,305), 4th October 2020 ($2,285)
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