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
  • Blair Castle
  • Jacobite Cruise on Loch Ness
  • Urquhart Castle
  • Loch Lomond Cruise   
  • Dalwhinnie Distillery
  • Isle of Bute and Mount Stuart

Tentative Itinerary

We depart for Glasgow.
Upon arrival we transfer to our traditional Highland hotel in Perthshire, on the edge of Blair Atholl village. Tonight we enjoy our Welcome Dinner.
For over 700 years the spectacular Blair Castle has acted as gatekeeper to the Scottish Highlands. During our visit we discover the turbulent history of the castle, which was home to the Duke of Atholl and Britain’s only private army - the Atholl Highlanders. Our next stop is Dalwhinnie Distillery situated in Cairngorm National Park in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, where we learn about their product known as “The Gentle Spirit”. Then we proceed to Alltshellach House for a 7-night stay. This fine highland residence is situated on the dramatic shores of Loch Leven, with magnificent mountain views, excellent accommodation and superb home-cooked meals.
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.
Travelling along the Great Glen, we make our way to Drumnadrochit - one of the most loved villages in the Highlands! Here we board our cruise along the infamous Loch Ness ... sit back, enjoy the commentary and breathtaking scenery, and try to spot the loch’s most infamous resident! We disembark at the foot of Scotland’s most iconic ruin, Urquhart Castle. The castle’s beautiful natural setting and its 1000 years of history offers a taste of the Highlands at their most dramatic
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.
The beauty of Loch Lomond was the inspiration behind a love song that people in Scotland sing at various special occasions, usually at the end of a merry night out. We board our 90-minute cruise along the bonnie, bonnie banks and listen to live commentary about Scotland’s most celebrated outlaw, Rob Roy, while enjoying a complimentary whisky coffee. Tales of Roy’s colourful character bring the hillsides alive as you cruise. We spend our final 2 nights at a lovely hotel situated on the outskirts on Glasgow.
A full and very exciting day as we visit the Isle of Bute, just a short ferry ride across the Firth of Clyde. Bute has a variety of landscapes, from the rolling hills in the heart of the island, to the craggy moorlands of the north, and the delightful sandy beaches along the coast. We will visit Mount Stuart - site of one of Scotland’s most spectacular Victorian Gothic mansions, and then visit the seaside town of Rothesay before ferrying back to the mainland. Tonight at our Farewell Dinner we raise a glass ‘Slàinte’ to our memorable Scottish holiday.
We fly home from Glasgow.

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