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Scottish Highlands Rail and Sail

Scotland
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 Jacobite Steam Train - one of the world's greatest train journeys
   • The West Highland Line
   • 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
   • Jacobite Cruise on Loch Ness, and Urquhart Castle
   • Stirling Castle
   • Loch Lomond Cruise
   • City Tour of Glasgow

Itinerary / Excursions

We depart for Glasgow.
Upon arrival we transfer to the Bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, and embark on a leisurely cruise taking in the legendary beauty of the shores and countryside. Then we proceed to our welcoming, family-run 18th century Inn in the Trossachs.
The spectacular Blair Castle has acted as gatekeeper to the Scottish Highlands for over 700 years. We will 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 Athol Distillery, situated at the gateway to the Highlands, where we learn about their distilling process and enjoy a dram of their famous single malt. Then we proceed to Alltshellach House for a 7-night stay. This fine highland residence sits on the dramatic shores of Loch Leven, with magnificent mountain views, excellent accommodation and superb home-cooked meals.
We board the Strathspey Railway for a round-trip journey from Aviemore to Broomhill. It is the longest heritage railway in Scotland and has some beautifully restored stations and beautiful views.
One of the tour highlights - a ride on the steam-hauled ‘Jacobite’ train from Fort William 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, this journey is known as the railway that took Harry Potter all the way to Hogwarts. There will be time to explore the bustling fishing port of Mallaig.
There are plenty of local walking routes, so you may want to explore the countryside, or use the public transport and head into Fort William for some shopping. Your Tour Manager will suggest and assist.
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 - a 19th century tower reminiscent of the Roman Colosseum.
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 local wildlife. 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 gorgeous Kyle line to Inverness. On our return coach journey we’ll travel alongside Loch Ness and see more of the Caledonian Canal.
We take the scenic route along the Ardnamurchan Peninsula to the wild and beautiful Isle of Mull, where there are 300 miles of dramatic coastline and Duart Castle - ancient home of the Clan McLean (and used in several films). Then we sail to Tobermory - capital of Mull and one of Scotland’s most picturesque ports, with its 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.
Explore the many nearby places to visit.
We travel along the Great Glen to Drumnadrochit - one of the Highland’s most beloved villages. Here we board our cruise on 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, with its beautiful natural setting and 1000 years of history.
We begin with a visit of Stirling Castle - one of Scotland's most historically important sites, it was once the residence of the Stewart kings and queens who held grand celebrations there. In the afternoon we visit The Falkirk Wheel - an engineering masterpiece and the world’s only rotating boatlift. It used to connect the Forth & Clyde and Union canals. We proceed to Glasgow for a 2 night stay
On our city tour we’ll see some of the Glasgow’s famous architecture and the renowned River Clyde. There will be free time in the city. Tonight at our Farewell dinner we raise a glass ‘Slainte’ to our memorable Scottish holiday.
We fly home from Glasgow.
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