Take in a stunning, Unspoilt region by Rail
Breathtaking scenery and fantastic journeys by mainline and steam railways, this tour takes in the very best of northern Scotland from our base in Inverness - the gateway to our Highland adventure.
Our tour begins in Inverness at the Palace Hotel & Spa, which overlooks the River Ness in the centre of the city. Perhaps familiarise yourself with the city on a riverside stroll before meeting for this evening's meal. This delightful city is considered to be the capital of the Highlands, and it is crowned by the stunning Inverness Castle.
The history of Inverness dates back well over 2,500 years, and one of the most famous residents, King Mac Bethad Mac Findláich may seem familiar as he is the inspiration for one of Shakespeare's most famous tragedies, MacBeth.
Today we transfer to Fort William, where we join the Jacobite Steam Train* for the return journey to Mallaig, along what is arguably the most scenic railway journey in the UK. It is easy to see why this journey is so beloved by those who travel on it, as it is the perfect way to view the incomparable beauty of the Scottish Highlands.
During the journey the train steams past Ben Nevis, then climbs into the mountains surrounding Glenfinnan, where we cross the 21-arched Glenfinnan Viaduct. This iconic section of the journey has been shown throughout the world via the media of film and television, including 'Monarch of the Glen' and the 'Harry Potter' film series.
The line also passes by the stunning Loch Eil, a glittering blue loch overseen by the chiefs of Clan Cameron. After time for lunch we return to Fort William, from where we continue by coach to Inverness. En route, we make short stops at Commando Memorial, a monument dedicated to those who served as Commando's in World War II, and Fort Augustus, a small but rather striking village through which runs the famed Caledonian Canal.
*The Jacobite Steam Train does not operate until mid-May. Earlier departures travel on Scotrail's scheduled service.
Today we enjoy an excursion to beautiful Eilean Donan Castle, on the tiny island in Loch Duich.
Eilean Donan is undoubtedly one of the most striking castles in Scotland. Perched atop a tiny island at the confluence of Loch Duich, Loch Long, and Loch Alsh, this iconic castle has been filmed and photographed numerous times over the years, most famously being featured in the classic film Highlander.
Originally built in the 13th century, it was destroyed 400 years later during the Jacobite rebellions. The original owners of the castle and land, Clan Mackenzie, had strong ties to the rebellion, and the castle was used as a stronghold for Spanish soldiers, leading to its destruction by the Royal Navy. 200 years later, and over a period of 13 years, the castle was lovingly restored.
Enjoy some time at leisure, perhaps absorbing the magnificent surroundings or taking a short walk by one of the lochs that feed the watery surroundings. After our visit, We return to Inverness on the Kyle Line, one of Scotland's most scenic railways, skirting alongside lochs and through wild mountain landscapes. We arrive at our hotel ahead of dinner this evening.
Our excursion today takes us on a journey along the tracks of the historic Highland Railway. Travelling to Aviemore by rail, we join the nostalgic Strathspey Steam Railway, continuing through to Broomhill where the train passes moorland, wooded glens and by the River Spey.
Through the large windows of the excellently restored carriages, take in the stunning sights of Cairngorm National Park. From rolling hills blanketed by purple heather and the craggy top of Cairngorm Mountain, to mysterious depths of the thick pine forests; we pass through some of the most delightful stations in Scotland on this short but rather spectacular journey. The final station on the line, Broomhill, could also be recognisable thanks to its use in the television series 'Monarch of the Glen', where it is used as the station for 'Glenbogle'.
Finally, we travel by coach to Culloden Battlefield and Visitor Centre. The atmospheric battlefield was the site of the 1746 Battle of Culloden - the last major battle fought on British soil. In a bid to reclaim the British throne, the Jacobite rising of 1745 faced British troops in what would turn out to be their final confrontation. The tragic battle lasted less than an hour and resulted in around 1,500 deaths, the majority of which were Jacobites.
We have the chance to visit the moving battlefield site as well as the fascinating Culloden Visitor Centre, which features interactive exhibitions and Jacobite artefacts including weapons and clothing. After some time here we return to our hotel by coach, where we enjoy a final farewell meal together; the perfect opportunity to share stories and reminisce on your adventures.
Your Tour Manager bids you farewell from Inverness and you are free to travel home independently.
We recommend that for this tour you arrange flights to and from Inverness Airport (INV), which is approximately 10 miles from your base in Inverness.
It is your responsibility to check and fulfil the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.
You may check in at the first hotel on your itinerary anytime after 14:00; your Tour Manager will be available between 16:00 and 18:00. However, if you are arriving later, you can meet your Tour Manager before dinner from 19:00.
An escorted experience and travel during your tour
Comfortable accommodation in your destination
Delicious meals included
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
of travellers would recommend this tour
based on 82 verified reviews
Excellent tour. Hotel great
Very well planned and organised
Hotel better than expected. Train journeys enjoyable
Even though this was our first visit and it was for a short time, it was a great way to experience Scotland.
Because the hole experience was 5 star the hotel the tour guide food hotel transport everything
Excellent hotel on the banks of Inverness, central location with easy access to Inverness and the Highlands, beautiful scenery made better by beautiful weather, great itinerary, great tour guide.
Probably would have given five had I not done the Castles of Wales last year which was excellent and, from my own viewpoint had more interesting and diverse locations and more interesting trains. Purely a personal choice.
The rail was awesome, as Kay was very good. The trip was well coordinated and we did a lot in the time we had. The only thing I was not impressed with was the food at the hotel.
Great trip, good value. enjoyed hotel, all ran smoothly. liked the people Imet.
A superb, well organised tour.
Take in a stunning, Unspoilt region by Rail