Royal Scotsman Luxury Train Tour Of Scotland
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One of the most exciting destinations in the world is Scotland, with its gorgeous coast, rugged hills, open sky, its history and culture, they're all the makings of legend. And what better way to experience this grand land than on The Royal Scotsman, a five-star luxury train? This Grand Classic Tour begins at Edinburgh's Waverley Station where you are welcomed aboard to the familiar tune of the bagpipe.
Travel across the magnificent Forth Railway Bridge, one of the first cantilever bridges in the world, visit Strathisla Distillery--home of Chivas Regal, and explore Ballindalloch, one of Scotland's most romantic castles. The sheer luxury of the train itself is overwhelming, with its spacious cabins and lovely dining rooms, open-air observation platform and impeccable staff. The food and wine are famous around the world for their tasty perfection. The train takes a maximum of 36 pampered passengers.
Day 1: Edinburgh-Keith. The Royal Scotsman departs Edinburgh Waverley Station at 14.25, and travels north across the Firth of Forth by means of the magnificent Forth Railway Bridge. This is one of the first cantilever bridges, designed and built by Benjamin Baker in the late 1880s. It is considered one of the greatest achievements of the Victorian Age, and known as the eighth wonder of the world.
Enjoy your afternoon tea as you journey through the former Kingdom of Fife and across the Tay Bridge. Following the east coast, passing through Arbroath, Montrose and Aberdeen before arriving in Keith, where you will disembark for a traditional Scottish ceilidh at Strathisla Distillery - the Home and Heart of Chivas Regal. You then rejoin the train at Keith for an informal dinner and overnight stabling. Included: (D)
Day 2: Keith-Kyle of Lochalsh. Breakfast is served this morning as we depart Keith and travel west towards Elgin. We disembark in Elgin where our motor coach is waiting to take us to the Glen Grant distillery. Founded by James and John Grant in 1840, the distillery is set around a small courtyard with turreted and gabled offices in the "Scottish Baronial" style. We return to the train before heading west to Inverness, the capital of the Highlands. Afterwards we continue westwards towards Kyle of Lochalsh, on what is arguably the most scenic route in Britain.
Lunch is served as we pass through Dingwall and Garve, which lies under the shadow of Cnoc na h-Iolaire. The line passes Loch Luichart and the Torridon mountains, which are so old they contain no fossils. Geologists believe that they were formed before any life began. We pass through Achnasheen, and climb to Luib summit and Achnashellach forest before descending to Strathcarron. We then follow the edge of Loch Carron through Attadale, Stromeferry and Duncraig.
In the afternoon we disembark in Plockton. Here you have the opportunity to choose how you wish to explore this Scottish Highland village. You may wish to take an exclusive boat trip to see the seals at one with nature and relish the magnificent views across the Isle of Skye to the Applecross Mountains. There is a woodland walk, which leads to a viewpoint overlooking the loch. Alternatively, visit the local art gallery or simply wander through the charming village. Afterwards we rendezvous at the Plockton Hotel, where there is time to enjoy a dram or two before rejoining the motor coach. We return to the train in Kyle of Lochalsh where we stable overnight. Dinner this evening is formal and afterwards we enjoy entertainment in the Observation Car. Included: (B) (L) (D)
Day 3: Kyle of Lochalsh-Boat of Garten. After breakfast there is time to visit Eilean Donan Castle, the most photographed in Scotland. The castle stands on a rocky promontory at the meeting point of three sea lochs, and its beginnings reach back to the Picts (Scotland's ancient race). It survived many bombardments, until in 1719 it was razed to the ground during the Jacobite rebellion. Two hundred years later it was restored to its former glory.
We depart Kyle and retrace part of yesterday's route as far as Dingwall. Have your cameras ready for the views of Plockton across the bay to the left, where you can see whitewashed cottages with fishing boats and yachts riding at anchor. Traveling round the edge of the Beauly Firth, we cross the northern end of the Caledonian Canal shortly before reaching Inverness.
We continue south to Carrbridge where we disembark for our visit to Ballindalloch, one of Scotland's most romantic castles. Set in the magnificent surroundings of the Spey valley, Ballindalloch has been the home of the Macpherson-Grant family since 1546 and exemplifies the elegant and comfortable country house so beloved of Victorians in the Highlands. We return to the train at Boat of Garten on the private Strathspey Railway for overnight stabling. After our formal dinner we meet Ray Owens, a Highlander who brings to life the stories of Scottish heroes. We gain a true sense of the past and learn how life in the Highlands has changed over the centuries. Included: (B) (L) (D)
Day 4: Boat of Garten-Stirling. We depart the train at Boat of Garten where you can choose from a number of different options. Golfers can enjoy a round at Boat of Garten Golf Club, a demanding test of sporting skill and a magnificent Highland setting. For those wishing to explore the surrounding countryside, there is a guided woodland walk with a countryside ranger. There will be an opportunity for fishermen to try their hand on the River Spey or alternatively, enjoy some time on your own in this beautiful Highland environment.
We rejoin the train and enjoy lunch as we continue south through Blair Atholl and Pitlochry to Perth, where we disembark for our visit to Glamis, Seat of the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, and childhood home of the late H.M. Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. The Bowes-Lyon families have lived at Glamis since 1372, when King Robert II granted Sir John Lyon the thaneage of Glamis. Since then the castle has been visited and lived in by many members of the Scottish and British Royal Families. We rejoin the train in Perth and enjoy an informal dinner as we travel to the historic town of Stirling, dominated by its magnificent royal castle, where we stable overnight. Included: (B) (L) (D)
Day 5: Stirling-Edinburgh. After breakfast we leave Stirling and return through Larbert and Linlithgow to arrive in Edinburgh at 9:43 a.m. Included: (B).
Minimum Per Person Price: 5720 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 5720 US Dollar (USD)
Airfare is not included in the tour price. Other itineraries also offered on this train, from two days to eight days. Please inquire for information.