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Scottish Highland Rail and Sail

Tour Highlights

This exciting new tour will take in some of the Scottish Highlands best rail journeys and Loch cruises.
More than just a matter of getting from point A to point B, a train journey around Scotland can be one of the best (and most comfortable) ways of admiring the stunning landscapes around the country - hundreds of miles of misty mountains, glittering lochs, quaint villages and even elegant mansions - all to be enjoyed with a cup of tea in hand and no chance of getting caught in the rain!

Sailing, whether on one of Scotland’s many Lochs or getting from the mainland to one of the islands, is another true Scottish experience. These cruises provide great opportunities to relax and take in the magnificent and historical scenery, and perhaps even a chance of seeing the elusive Loch Ness monster!

*** Those joining any of our tours to Europe must be able to walk fairly long distances and climb stairs easily.

Tour Highlights:

  • Strathspey Railway - 40 years of Steam Rail Travel in the Highlands
  • The West Highland Line
  • The Jacobite Steam Train - one of the world's greatest train journeys
  • The Kyle Train Line, linking Inverness to the Isle of Skye
  • Loch Sheil Cruise
  • Tobermory, on the Isle of Mull
  • Blair Athol Castle and Distillery
  • Pitlochry  
  • Jacobite Cruise on Loch Ness
  • Urquhart Castle
  • Loch Lomond Cruise

Tentative Itinerary

We depart for Glasgow.
Upon arrival in Glasgow we head to the Bonnie bonnie banks of Loch Lomond! Here we enjoy a leisurely cruise which tells stories of this famous loch and its even more famous song, a lament for a lost love. Afterwards we arrive at our village hotel in the Trossachs National Park.
Blair Atholl is a lovely village in the Perthshire Highlands, and is home to Blair Castle. For over 700 years this spectacular castle has acted as gatekeeper to the Scottish Highlands. Discover the turbulent history of this home to the Duke of Atholl and Britain’s only private army - the Atholl Highlanders. Next we visit Blair Athol Distillery, one of the oldest working distilleries in Scotland. After enjoying a tour, you can enjoy a dram of 12-Year-Old Blair Athol! After some free time in Pitlochry we return to our Country House hotel.
We head across beautiful central Scotland to the Strathspey Railway for a round-trip journey from Aviemore to Broomhill. This was once part of the Highland main line to Inverness, but was bypassed and closed. At 10 miles, it's the longest heritage railway in Scotland and has some beautifully restored stations and beautiful views.
One of the week's highlights - a ride on the steam-hauled "Jacobite" train from Fort William on the West Highland extension to Mallaig. The journey is incredibly scenic - taking in the spectacular viaduct at Glenfinnan and outstanding coastal scenery around Arisaig. Widely regarded as one of the world's greatest train journeys, the West Highland Line is known to millions as the railway that took Harry Potter all the way to Hogwarts. There will be time to explore Mallaig - a bustling fishing port.
We take a West Highland train over the remote and wild Rannoch Moor to Crianlarich, where we change lines for the picturesque route to the harbour town of Oban - "Gateway to the Isles", with free time to explore its horseshoe bay. If you feel energetic you can climb to McCaig's Folly - an iconic 19th century tower reminiscent of the Colosseum in Rome. Later we return to our Country House via the former railway bridge at Connel Ferry.
With plenty of maps and a selection of the best local walking routes, you might want to get out and explore the countryside, or you may want to use the public transport and head into Fort William or other nearby places to visit.
We take a cruise on Loch Shiel to see "The Jacobite" crossing Glenfinnan Viaduct. We'll be surrounded by magnificent Highland scenery and hopefully spot some of the wildlife for which this area is known. Weather permitting, we'll also travel on Britain's only ski-slope mountain gondola at Aonach Mor - Britain's 8th highest mountain.
Our coach takes us through spectacular Highland scenery to Kyle of Lochalsh - gateway to the Isle of Skye. We'll then take the train along the whole 82 miles of the gorgeous Kyle line to Inverness. On our return coach journey we'll travel alongside Loch Ness and see more of the Caledonian Canal.
Driving the Ardnamurchan Peninsula is probably the most scenic way to get to Mull. Mull is wild and beautiful, with 300 miles of dramatic coastline, excellent beaches and Duart Castle - ancient home of the McLean Clan (and used in several films). We sail from Kilchoan to Tobermory - capital of Mull and one of Scotland's prettiest ports, thanks to the colourful houses and a sheltered bay where, legend has it, one of the Spanish Armada ships sank in 1588 carrying gold bullion. There will be time to explore on your own. We then return to the mainland from Fishnish to Lochaline.
With plenty of common rooms, an indoor swimming pool and fabulous grounds, you may want to just relax and enjoy the amenities of the house.
Travelling along the Great Glen, we make our way to Inverness where we board our cruise along Loch Ness, which is not only home to its infamous resident but also happens to offer breathtaking scenery! We disembark at the foot of Scotland most iconic ruin, Urquhart. With its wild natural beauty and 1000 years of history, Urquhart Castle offers a taste of the Highlands at their most dramatic. Tonight we enjoy our last meal at Alltshellach House.
We bid farewell to the Highlands and travel through Glen Coe, the Valley of the Weeping and The Rannoch Moor before reaching our hotel in Paisley. We enjoy an evening of Scottish entertainment with our farewell dinner.
We fly home from Glasgow.

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