Scottish Highland Rail and Sail

Scottish Highland Rail and Sail

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

Day 1: Depart

We depart for Glasgow.

Day 2: Fort William

Upon arrival we transfer, via Glen Coe - one of Scotland’s most dramatic and historic Glens - to our fabulous Country House hotel (our home for the next 11 nights). Alltshellach House is a fine highland residence situated on the dramatic shores of Loch Leven. The hotel boasts magnificent mountain views, excellent accommodation and superb home cooked meals.

Day 3: Strathspey Railway

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.

Day 4: The Jacobite

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.

Day 5: The West Highland Lines

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.

Day 6: At Leisure

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.

Day 7: Boats, Lochs and Views

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.

Day 8: The Kyle Line

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.

Day 9: Isle of Mull / Tobermory

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 free time to explore on your own. We then return to the mainland from Fishnish to Lochaline.

Day 10: At leisure

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.

Day 11: Blair Atholl / Pitlochry

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.

Day 12: Loch Ness

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.

Day 13: Loch Lomond / Paisley

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 arrive in Paisley where we enjoy our last evening, featuring local Scottish entertainment, in Bonnie Scotland!

Day 14: Home

We fly home from Glasgow.

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Tour Dates & Prices
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Cost per person: $5197
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See what our value added tours include!
Home pick-up and drop-off (from most Canadian cities).
All airfare and all airport taxes. (Airline baggage fees not included).
Carefully selected accommodations).
All gratuities (for hotels, drivers, guides & cruise staff).
Most meals.
Insurance for cancellation and health while outside Canada.
Services of one of our cheerful experienced Tour Managers.
All prices guaranteed in Canadian funds.
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