Heritage and tradition surround you as you experience the charms of Scotland aboard iconic trains, such as the Caledonian Sleeper, the West Highland Line and the Jacobite Steam Train.
About the Tour
From journeys on the West Highland Line and discovering previously hidden streets in Edinburgh, to exploring the history of some of Scotland's famous clans, the heritage of Scotland is fascinating. On a small group tour, you have the benefit of enjoying more exclusive entrances and special experiences such as the fantastic Mary King's Close and Armadale Castle, both of which are closed off to larger groups.
- Overnight journey aboard the Caledonian Sleeper (2 nights on train)
- Rail travel on the Scotrail network
- Hotel accommodations for 6 nights
- 11 meals
- Historic underground tour of Real Mary King's Close in Edinburgh
- Clan heritage tour and talk at Clan Cameron Museum Achnacarry
- Visit to Armadale Castle, with Afternoon Tea
- Tour of Glencoe
- Travel by deluxe motorcoach
- Services of a professional tour escort and knowledgeable local guides for touring
Day 1 – The Caledonian Sleeper Train to Edinburgh
Arrive in London today, and transfer to London Euston train station to meet your Tour Manager. Together with your fellow travelers, board the Caledonian Sleeper Train for an overnight journey to Edinburgh. Settle into your onboard accommodations, and enjoy the passing scenes as the big city lights fade into the distance. Overnight train.
Day 2 - Arrive in Edinburgh
Awake to the beauty of Scotland as the train approaches Edinburgh. Upon arrival this morning, take the day at leisure to get acquainted with the immense history and culture of the city. You may wish to explore medieval Old Town or to meander through the Georgian buildings of New Town. The National Museum of Scotland is filled with amazing exhibits, and the Scottish National Gallery houses a fine collection of Scottish artwork. Edinburgh Castle, the crowning jewel of the city, and the Palace of Holyroodhouse offer a step back in time through their tours. This evening, we reconvene at the hotel for a welcome dinner. Overnight Edinburgh. (B, D)
Day 3 – Historic Edinburgh
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel, then take the morning at leisure to continue your explorations of Edinburgh. Princes Street is a place to explore the city’s retail offerings - yet is also a hub for history and natural beauty. Peruse the shops, or wander through the lush surroundings of the Princes Street Gardens. Alternatively, you may wish to hike up to Arthur’s Seat. This stunning area boasts panoramic views of the city, as well as ancient structures - one of which dates back to 600 A.D.
This afternoon, we head into Edinburgh’s underground with a guided tour at the Real Mary King's Close. The birthplace of legends and lore and notoriously one of Scotland’s most haunted destinations, this network of underground streets, passageways and homes date back to the 1600s. In fact, the Close is the only preserved 17th-century street in all of Edinburgh. Mary King's Close had been closed to the public since the 18th century and has only been recently opened for tours. Back on the surface, you are at leisure to discover Edinburgh by night; why not take a stroll up the lively Royal Mile, which is right above Mary King’s Close? Overnight Edinburgh. (B)
Day 4 - The West Highland Line
Find yourself surrounded by the beauty of the Scottish countryside as we travel inland by train to Glasgow today. Hills and moorlands dot the tracks as we make the hour-long journey. In Glasgow, we board the iconic West Highland Line bound for Fort William. This award-winning rail journey is regularly voted as one of the most scenic in the world and presents the unique splendor of the Scottish Highlands effortlessly. We pass through horseshoe curves and across lovely bridges; the train navigates past lochs and moors and stops at charming, remote train stations. Mountain views enhance the picture-perfect panoramas. Traveling at a leisurely pace, the train covers nearly 125 miles in just under 4 hours. As we arrive in Fort William, we are transferred to our hotel in Roybridge. Dinner is served at the hotel and following, we enjoy a Scotch whiskey tasting experience, complete with information about the production of this beloved drink. Overnight Roybridge. (B, D)
Day 5 - To Spean Bridge and Historic clans of Scotland
We delve into the rich history of Scotland and its clans today during our visit to the Clan Cameron Museum in Achnacarry. This clan dates back to the 14th century and was involved in the 1745 Jacobite Uprising. During our time at the museum, we enjoy a clan heritage tour and talk and have a chance to explore the interesting exhibits, which include historical clothing, old photographs and paintings, ancient weapons and household artifacts. We enjoy some free time for lunch before continuing to the West Highlight Museum in the center of Fort William. This quaint museum includes eight rooms of artifacts and history. See treasure from a shipwreck, 14th-century bagpipes, weapons, costumes, Victorian money and many other hints of the past. Overnight Roybridge. (B, D)
Day 6 – Isle of Skye & Armadale Castle
Savor a hearty Scottish breakfast at the hotel this morning ahead of our journey to the Isle of Skye via the Skye Bridge. During our route, we make a stop at Eilean Donan Castle for a photo opportunity and to explore the visitor’s center, which includes a coffee shop, information about the castle and gifts from the Clan Macrae Society. Back on the road, our route continues to the Isle of Skye, where we visit Armadale Castle. Home to the Clan Donald, the Armadale Castle was built in the 18th and 19th centuries; however, it fell to ruin in 1925. What remains is exquisite, with its ivy-draped walls and ruined stone walls. Beautiful gardens and wooded trails surround the castle grounds. In addition to exploring the ruins, we also enjoy afternoon tea at the castle.
A ferry takes us back to the mainland, and as we dock in Mallaig, we transfer by coach to our hotel in Glencoe. Overnight Glencoe. (B, D)
Day 7 – The Jacobite Steam Train*
Another of one Scotland’s legendary railway journeys lies ahead as we travel by coach to Fort William this morning and board the Jacobite Steam Train. One of the United Kingdom’s most famous steam trains and arguably one of the best rail journeys in the world, this train follows an 84-mile round-trip route through the magnificent Highlands to Mallaig. The journey is one of extremes, featuring Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain; Loch Morar, the deepest freshwater loch in Britain and the deepest saltwater loch in all of Europe, Loch Nevis. One other particular highlight of the journey is crossing the Glenfinnan Viaduct, an enormous 21-spanned concrete structure that was featured in the “Harry Potter” movies.
On arrival in Mallaig, enjoy some free time for lunch and to take in the charming atmosphere of this port town. The return train ride to Fort William features just as much grandeur. Our coach takes us back to Glencoe upon arrival, and we enjoy one final dinner in Scotland. Overnight Glencoe. (B, D)
*Please note on some departures this journey may be operated by schedule Scotrail service
Day 8 - Glencoe/Caledonian Sleeper Train to London
We enjoy a leisurely morning stroll along the West Highland Way this morning, Scotland’s most beloved long-distance walking path. Enjoy views of the Highlands as we head toward the Glencoe Visitor’s Center. Not only does the center provide fascinating information about the history, flora and fauna of Glencoe, there is also a scenic lookout point that overlooks the imposing glen. Back at our hotel, we travel by coach to Fort William for an afternoon at leisure. Maybe check out the offerings of Ben Nevis Distillery, one of the oldest licensed distilleries in the country, or take in the beautiful architecture throughout the city, including Saint Andrew’s Church. Tonight we board the Caledonian Sleeper Train headed back to London. Overnight train. (B)
Day 9 - Glencoe and return to London
Breakfast is served aboard the train this morning ahead of our arrival at London Euston train station. As you disembark the train, your Scottish adventure comes to a close. (B)
Hotel du Vin, Edinburgh
Situated just minutes from the National Museum of Scotland in the heart of Edinburgh is the Hotel du Vin. This luxury hotel sits just off the Royal Mile in Old Town and is located within a building that dates back to 1743. In the past 250 years, the building has worn many hats, including poor house, asylum and science lab. The hotel is handsomely adorned with timeless decor, including custom-made wooden sleigh beds and lovely Scottish tartan accents. The restaurant and bar offer welcoming environments for guests, and there is a central courtyard that transforms into an outdoor eating space in the summer. In the guest rooms, free Wi-Fi, flat-screen televisions and luxurious linens add the comforts of home. Breakfast is available for a surcharge.
Glenspean Lodge Hotel, Roybridge
Originally a hunting lodge from the late 1800s, the Glenspean Lodge hotel enjoys a dramatic location in the Scottish Highlands surrounded by 5 acres of woodland gardens. The hotel has been delightfully refurbished to include a sauna, a jacuzzi, and a fitness center, as well as a snooker room and an AA Rosette award-winning restaurant that serves traditional fare made of high-quality local ingredients. There is also a lounge bar on site that features an extensive drink menu. All of the en-suite guest rooms come complete with television, hairdryer, complimentary Wi-Fi and tea- and coffee-making facilities.
Kingshouse Hotel, Glencoe
The legendary Kingshouse Hotel is purportedly the oldest inn in Scotland, dating back over 250 years. While the hotel has been updated and features comfortable modern decor, there are is no shortage of history and lore at the Kingshouse. Some of the most famous guests to enjoy this mountainside retreat include Charles Dickens and William Wordsworth. The stunning backdrop of Glencoe is displayed through the hotel’s large picture windows as guests dine in the onsite restaurant or have a drink in the bar. Being located in an area of great natural beauty, the Kingshouse features a drying room for wet outdoor gear. All of the guest rooms feature en-suite bathrooms, flat-screen televisions, coffee- and tea-making facilities and hair dryers.
Caledonian Sleeper Train
Traveling between the United Kingdom and Scotland, the Caledonian Sleeper Train is one of the best ways to see fantastic cities and beautiful destinations in the Highlands. Passengers have two options for onboard accommodations: First Class cabins, which are single berth, and Standard Class cabins, which are twin berth. Each cabin is air-conditioned and includes lighting and convenient bedside controls. Concealed water basins are also found within the cabins. Guests share toilet facilities at the end of each coach. In addition to cabins, guests can relax in the Lounge Cars, which serve light snacks and drinks from the bar.
West Highland Line
Kicking off its journey in Glasgow, the West Highland Line offers an amazing excursion through the Highlands. The train travels to destinations such as Mallaig, Fort William, and Oban and presents incredible scenes along the way. The rail journey is often referred to as being one of the most scenic in the world, and it is no wonder with its views of lochs, moors mountains, and coastline. Traveling the entirety of the 164-mile route from Glasgow to Mallaig is accomplished in just under 6 hours.
Jacobite Steam Train
Another railway journey often referred to as being one of the greatest in the world, the Jacobite Steam Train travels approximately 84 miles round-trip route from Fort William to Mallaig. As the train winds through the Scottish Highlands, some of the wondrous sites include Ben Nevis, River Morar, the Glenfinnan Viaduct and Loch Nevis, amongst others. There are charming little villages along the route and some of the most picturesque views one could imagine.
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