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Highland Adventure

4.5 stars(14 reviews)
Small Group

The very best of northern Scotland lies ahead on this international adventure, which uses the water-side city of Inverness as homebase for spectacular mainline and steam railway adventures around the island.

You are viewing the 2023 itinerary. Select your departure year
5 days From $1,395 per person
Travel among a group of like-minded travelers led by a professional tour manager

2023 Tour code: GR-HASA-23

About the tour

The varied landscape of northern Scotland and astounding history of the region draws tourists from all around the world each year; however, those that choose to explore the country using this 5-day tour are in for a treat. Based out of Inverness, this tour begins with free time to get acquainted with the country. Soak in the pub culture, see the sites or enjoy the contrast of the storied city against the lovely waters of the River Ness. It is on the third day that the adventure begins, as travelers make their way along famed rail lines such as the Jacobite Steam Train,  the West Highland Line, the Kyle Line, the Highland Railroad, and the Strathspey Steam Railroad.  While the railways and trains themselves are incredible, it is the stops and views along the way that make this journey magnificent. Enjoy things such as crossing the 21 arches of the Glenfinnan Viaduct (famed for its feature in the Harry Potter films), a tour of the Eilean Donan Castle and a journey through Cairngorm National Park, amongst other stops and excursions. With so much to do and see during this brief journey, travelers have a true chance to immerse themselves in the wonder that is Scotland.



What’s included


Day 1 - Inverness

Our tour begins in Inverness at the Palace Hotel & Spa, which overlooks the River Ness in the center of the city. Perhaps familiarize yourself with the city on a riverside stroll before meeting for this evening's meal. This delightful city is considered to be the capital of the Highlands, and it is crowned by the stunning Inverness Castle.

The history of Inverness dates back well over 2,500 years, and one of the most famous residents, King Mac Bethad Mac Findláich may seem familiar as he is the inspiration for one of Shakespeare's most famous tragedies, Macbeth. Overnight Inverness.

  • Dinner
Day 2 - Jacobite Steam Train

Today we transfer to Fort William, where we join the Jacobite Steam Train* for the return journey to Mallaig, traveling on the magnificent West Highland Line, which is arguably the most scenic railroad journey in the UK. During the journey, the train steams past Ben Nevis, then climbs into the mountains surrounding Glenfinnan, where we cross the 21 arches of the Glenfinnan Viaduct. After time for lunch we return along the West Highland Line to Fort William, from where we continue by coach to Inverness, stopping briefly at the Commando's Memorial and Fort Augustus along the way. Overnight Inverness.

*The Jacobite Steam Train does not operate until mid- April. Earlier departures are booked onto Scotrail.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - The Kyle Line & Eilean Donan Castle

Today we enjoy an excursion to beautiful Eilean Donan Castle, on the tiny island in Loch Duich. Eilean Donan is undoubtedly one of the most striking castles in Scotland. 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 classic film Highlander. Enjoy some time at leisure, perhaps absorbing the magnificent surroundings or taking a short walk by one of the lochs that feed the watery surroundings. After our visit, We return to Inverness on the  Kyle Line, one of Scotland's most scenic railroads, skirting alongside lochs and through wild mountain landscapes. Overnight Inverness.

  • Breakfast
Day 4 - Strathspey Steam Railway

Our excursion today is on the tracks of the historic Highland Railroad. Traveling to Aviemore by rail, we join the nostalgic Strathspey Steam Railroad. From Aviemore through to Broomhill, the train passes moorlands, woods and by the River Spey. Through the large windows of the excellently restored carriages, take in the stunning sights of the Cairngorm National Park. From rolling hills blanketed by purple heather, to the craggy top of Cairngorm Mountain, to mysterious depths of the thick pine forests, pass through some of the most delightful stations in Scotland on this short but rather spectacular journey. The final station on the line, Broomhill, could also be recognisable thanks to its use in the television series 'Monarch of the Glen', where it is used as the station for 'Glenbogle'.

Finally, we travel by coach to Culloden Battlefield and Visitor Center. The atmospheric battlefield was the site of the 1746 Battle of Culloden - the last major battle fought on British soil. In a bid to reclaim the British throne, the Jacobite rising of 1745 faced British troops in what would turn out to be their final confrontation. The tragic battle lasted less than an hour and resulted in around 1,500 deaths, the majority of which were Jacobites. We have the chance to visit the moving battlefield site as well as the fascinating Culloden Visitor Center, which features interactive exhibitions and Jacobite artefacts including weapons and clothing. After some time here we return to our hotel by coach, where we enjoy a final farewell meal together; the perfect opportunity to share stories and reminisce on your adventures. Overnight Inverness.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - Farewell from the Highlands

Your Tour Manager bids you farewell from Inverness and you are free to travel home independently.

  • Breakfast

Additional information

Departure times

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.


Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa, Inverness

Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa, Inverness

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Jacobite Steam Train
The Kyle Line
Strathspey Steam Railway

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4.5 stars4.5 / 5 · 14 reviews

  1. 5 stars
  2. 4 stars
  3. 3 stars
  4. 2 stars
  5. 1 star

W Mary Truman

4 stars

Submitted 3/Jun

My only suggestion is that instead of day trips back to Inverness, it would be nice to have at least one, if not two nights' stay, at the location so we can visit the location, meet the locales, and enjoy some down time. Now it's a rush, rush, not even time to eat at the stops before it's time to board the train/bus and head back. The hotel was fine, food fine, bedding fine. No issue there.

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5 stars

Submitted 31/May

This was a wonderful tour using one hotel as a base and venturing out each day to a different location. The coaches were quite comfortable, and the trains were a unique experience. The only glitch seemed to be with the train schedules. But we were warned to be flexible and in the end the overall tour was quite memorable. However, I would not recommend this for anyone with mobility issues as it does require a deal of walking, and some climbing of steps.

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Bruce Snyder

5 stars

Submitted 30/May

I enjoyed staying in the same hotel each evening and being taken to the train departure sights. The condition of the trains and the rides was very pleasing, however, the bus/coach rides were quite long. I think it might be good to mention the duration/time of the bus/coach rides in your literature. I realize to stay in the same hotel each evening, requires the coach rides, but perhaps setting “expectation levels” would be optimal. Please take this as an observation, and not a complaint. My wife and I saw a lot of The Highlands in a relaxed environment, and we are pleased that we took this trip.

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5 stars

Submitted 29/May

Our guide, Judy Mahone, was fantastic!

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L Baker

3 stars

Submitted 22/May

This trip was not as fulfilling as last year’s Northern Wales adventure.

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5 stars

Submitted 22/May

Wonderful group of folks and tour manager with a fantastic, well done itinerary.

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