Discover a unique way to explore Scotland’s picturesque highlands via train. Visit Loch Ness and the Isle of Mull. Journey on one of the world’s most incredible railway lines, the West Highland Line. Taste traditional Scottish fare and listen to a chorus of bagpipes and drums during a Scottish-themed evening. Embark on a breathtaking rail journey on the Kyle Line from the east to the west of Scotland.
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Your holiday begins when you are picked up from home by private vehicle and transferred to the airport. Meet your fellow passengers and Kings Tour Manager and board your overnight flight to London. Upon arrival in London we will be met by our coach driver who will transfer us to our hotel. Tonight enjoy a welcome dinner at the hotel.
Hotel: Thistle Trafalgar or similar for 3 nights
This morning we enjoy a truly unique tour of London on a vintage open top London bus tour and then sail along the River Thames while enjoying a luxurious afternoon cream tea at Harrods, simply a London experience that cannot be missed!
Today we take a flight on the London Eye, a visually striking structure and the world’s largest cantilever observation wheel while you take in the amazing views of the city with a glass of Champagne.
We board the direct train service from Kings Cross to Edinburgh Waverley. Sit back and relax as the train glides up the East Coast of England, taking in majestic Durham Cathedral as well as the beautiful Northumberland Coastline as you cross the border into Scotland. Upon arrival into Edinburgh we are transferred to our hotel.
Hotel: Apex Hotel Waterloo Place for 2 nights
Today has been left as a free day for you to discover all that Edinburgh has to offer.
All aboard for Glasgow this morning, before changing trains for a journey on one of the world’s most incredible railway lines, the West Highland Line. Travel along a hillside ledge overlooking Gare Loch before entering the spectacular Highlands, an idyllic, remote and untouched landscape. The incredible route skirts the western banks of Loch Lomond and climbs quickly from Crianlarich to Upper Tyndrum and wild Rannoch Moor, a dramatic region of peat bogs, streams and ancient forests that are only visible from the comfort of your train. Mighty mountains provide an imposing backdrop to the journey on the approach to Fort William. On arrival, transfer to the nearby village of Ballachulish.
Hotel: Isles of Glencoe Hotel or Ballachulish Hotel for 3 nights
Venture to the town of Oban where you’ll board a ferry and cruise to Craignure on the Isle of Mull. Heading through the small islands and across to Mull, the incredible picture-postcard views are truly awe-inspiring. Think rugged coastline; hills rising sharply from the water’s edge, endless greens, purples and browns of the moorland; and jagged, exposed rock faces. On approach to the island, you’ll notice a lonely castle above the sea cliffs. This is Duart Castle, ancestral home of the Maclean Clan. Visit the castle, taking in its eclectic rooms and stunning views. Later, return to Ballachulish.
We travel by coach to explore Neptune’s Staircase, an impressive flight of eight locks operated by a team of at least three lock keepers. Situated on the Caledonian Canal, the 22-ton lock gates were originally hand-powered, but are now operated by hydraulics. It takes approximately one-and-a-half hours to pass from one end of the staircase to the other, where water overcomes gravity and nature to climb the hillside. Pass the stunning mountain landscapes of Glencoe before returning to your hotel. Tonight enjoy a traditional Scottish dinner.
Departing from Fort William, join the Jacobite Steam Train for a journey to Mallaig on the final leg of the West Highland Line. Your train will steam past Ben Nevis before climbing into the mountains around Glenfinnan. At Glenfinnan, reach the line’s most picturesque section and one of Britain’s most iconic engineering works – the 21-arched Glenfinnan Viaduct. As you head towards Mallaig, we drop down to the sea’s edge and the landscape opens up with the first views of the rugged ‘Small Isles’ – Rum, Eigg and Muck – which hang close offshore and tease in and out of view near the journey’s end. After a lunch stop, it’s time to return to Fort William. From there, you’ll then continue by coach through the picturesque countryside to the city of Inverness, capital of the Highlands.
Hotel: Inverness Palace Hotel and Spa for 3 nights
This morning enjoy some time at leisure to familiarise yourself with Inverness. This afternoon you will travel to the tranquil waters of Loch Ness, as famous for its ‘monster’ as much as its beauty. During a cruise, soak up the myth and mystery of Loch Ness and its monster before disembarking at the picturesque 13th century ruins of Urquhart Castle. Later we return by coach to Inverness.
Enjoy one of the most breathtaking railway journeys in Europe, the Kyle Line. Enjoy countless photo opportunities as your train winds through wooded hillsides and over sparse moors, climbing over the highlands and past charming loch-side and seaside towns. Arrive at Kyle of Lochalsh, the end of the line, located across a short stretch of water from the Isle of Skye. Afterwards, make a visit to Eilean Donan Castle, situated on a tiny island in Loch Duich.
Leaving Inverness behind this morning, you’ll travel south by rail through the Cairngorms and via the towns of Aviemore and Kingussie, as well as the burgh of Pitlochry, before arriving back in Edinburgh. Transfer from the railway station to your hotel then enjoy the opportunity to try some traditional Scottish fare for dinner (haggis, anyone?). You’ll also listen to a chorus of bagpipes and drums during a Scottish-themed evening to mark the end of your journey.
Hotel: Radisson Blu Hotel for 1 night
Enjoy your last morning in Scotland at leisure, picking up those final souvenirs before we transfer to Edinburgh International Airport for our flight home to Perth. Upon arrival in Perth, your driver will be waiting to take you home.