Discover the incredibly picturesque Western Highlands and the rugged, breathtaking coastal islands which lie off Scotland's western coast. This tour takes us on some of the world's most scenic railway journeys as part of a truly memorable exploration of the Highlands.
Meet your group and Tour Manager at the Apex Waterloo Hotel in Edinburgh.
We journey along the incredible West Highland Line. At Fort William, we transfer by coach to the nearby village of Ballachulish, situated at the head of Loch Leven. On Day 3 we join the Jacobite Steam Train* for an unforgettable journey to Mallaig on the final leg of the iconic West Highland Line, perhaps the most scenic stretch of track in the UK, en route to Mallaig.
*Please note some early departures may take this journey on the Scotrail scheduled service.
This morning we travel by coach to Oban and onwards to Isle of Mull. Later, we visit Duart Castle. After time to explore the castle's stately rooms and dungeons, we visit Tobermory and then return to check in to Isle of Mull Hotel for 2 nights.
Today we enjoy a spectacular tour by boat around some of the tiny islands west of Mull. Here minke whales and dolphins can sometimes be seen. Later we cruise to Iona.
Leaving Mull, today we return to the mainland by ferry to Oban. Here we visit the Oban Distillery for a "Sensory & Flavours" tour including whisky tasting. After lunch in Oban we continue by coach to Pitlochry, an attractive town in the heart of the Highlands, at the foot of Ben Vrackie, and spend three nights here at the Fisher's Hotel.
Enjoy a free day to relax in Pitlochry with its pretty Victorian centre, or perhaps take advantage of the local railway station to explore a little further afield. If you fancy a serene stroll then Pitlochry has excellent woodland nearby. Faskally Wood is set within Tay Forest Park on the banks of Loch Dunmore. and is only one mile north of Pitlochry. The wood is home to a wide array of tree species, some more than 200 years old. The wood has many well signposted paths which make it an easy area to explore amidst the fantastic views of the area. Loch Dunmore is wonderfully picturesque, it has a boat house and a timber footbridge. The manmade wood was originally used to train new foresters, made in the 19th century in the grounds of Faskally House the wood was home to the Forestry Commission School.
On today's excursion we travel to the Royal Zoological Society of Scotlands' Highland Wildlife Park for a guided tour by coach. You will then enjoy free time at the Newtonmore Folk Museum. This evening, we gather for a final farewell meal at our hotel.
After breakfast, we travel by rail down through the mighty Cairngorms to Edinburgh. Here the tour concludes, and you are free to make your own way home.
Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.
We recommend that for this tour you arrange flights to and from Edinburgh Airport (EDI), which is approximately 8 miles from your base in Edinburgh.
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.
All prices are per person and assume full occupancy of the room.
Please always refer to the website for up-to-date prices and availability.
Our journey between Edinburgh and Inverness and/or Inverness and Edinburgh are on board the London North Eastern Railway service, in either First or Standard Class. (The class of travel will be specified in the tour itinerary.)
Travelling First Class on London North Eastern Railway services means air-conditioned carriages with extra space and larger, reclining seats, each with their own table. Complimentary tea, coffee, mineral water and orange juice are served at your seat and complimentary newspapers are sometimes available.
The wonderful journey on the Jacobite Steam Train takes us along a section of the West Highland Line, which stretches from Glasgow to Mallaig, and takes passengers through some of the most breathtaking mountain scenery in the UK.
We begin in the town of Fort William, spectacularly situated with Ben Nevis as its backdrop. As we leave Fort William we travel along the shores of Loch Linnhe before tackling the increasingly demanding Highland terrain. At Glenfinnan we reach the most scenic and dramatic section of the line, as the train crosses the 21 arches of the Glenfinnan Viaduct: a magnificent feat of railway engineering.
Leaving Glenfinnan, the landscape opens up and we catch our first glimpse of the sea and the small islands close to the shore. During this section of the journey, the Jacobite Steam Train travels across two more viaducts: Gleann Mama and the Borrowdale Viaduct before reaching the small towns of Morar and Arisaig. On a clear, sunny day, the white sandy beaches along this stretch of coastline provide a beautiful contrast with the blue waters of the sea. From here, it is only short distance to our final destination, the busy fishing town of Mallaig.
Providing the entirety of mainland Scotland with transport links, Abello Scotrail is a fantastic commuter service that means even the farthest reaches of this wild and wonderful country is easily accessible. Running since 1983 under a variety of operators, this service has numerous lines, including one that stretches from the tip, Thurso, down to Edinburgh.
The lines on the Scotrail service are some of the most scenic in the world. The Kyle Line, the West Highland Line, and the Hadrian's Wall line are all services by Scotrail trains. The West Highland Line, stretching between Glasgow to Mallaig, stopping off at Fort William and with an offshoot line to Oban, is arguably the most famous of this line. There are numerous stunning sights to look out for on this route - from the breathtaking wilds of the highlands, to the peaks of the craggy mountains, to the iconic 21-spans of the beautiful Glennfinnan Viaduct.
Another famed line that we utilise on the Scotrail network includes the Kyle of Lochalsh line, running 63 miles between Dingwall and Kyle of Lochalsh. With spectacular views of the Isle of Skye as you come towards the pretty Kyle of Lochalsh, this particular line is certainly a glorious introduction to both of the Highlands of Scotland and the Hebrides. Other particularly beautiful places that the network explores include the Cairngorm National Park, on the Inverness to Edinburgh line, which passes through magnificent and verdant pine forests, as well as nearby the iconic Cairngorm Mountain.
The stock that traverses the lines are comfortable and modern, with spacious carriages and seating, as well as large windows through which to see the passing beauty of the Scottish countryside. New trains will be coming soon in the next few years, with more services, power sockets, Wi-Fi, and improved accessibility.
Also known as 'the Iron Road to the Isles', a journey on the West Highland Line is an epic rail adventure that takes passengers through some of the world's most beautiful and dramatic landscapes. In fact the line has twice been voted the world's best rail journey by readers of Wanderlust magazine.
Running from Glasgow's Queen Street station, the train runs through the city's outskirts and on to Helensburgh. From here the train begins its ascent into the famous Highlands.
Soon the train skirts the beautiful Loch Long, followed by the immense Loch Lomond, as it makes its way up the ever-increasing gradients. The journey continues alongside the Loch - Britain's largest body of inland water - whilst winding through pretty wooden slopes.
Continuing northward through charming isolated villages, the train then climbs more than 500 feet (150 m) in just five miles, before arriving at the tiny hamlet Crianlarich. Here the West Highland Line splits into two branches. One continues to Fort William and Mallaig, the other heads west to Oban.
At Ballachulish we stay at the 3-Star Ballachulish Hotel, a baronial-style hotel on the shores of Lochs Linnhe and Leven. This traditional Scottish hotel features a lounge, library, restaurant and bar. Rooms include television, hairdryer and tea/coffee making facilities.
The 4-Star Apex Waterloo Place Hotel is ideally located at the eastern end of Princes Street, close to Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station. The rooms feature a television, fridge, safe, tea and coff ee making facilities, luxury toiletries and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Standing on the seafront in the heart of Craignure Bay, the Isle of Mull Hotel & Spa enjoys remarkable views across to Morvern and the stunning west coast of Scotland. The hotel's excellent facilities include an indoor heated swimming pool, a sauna, steam room and foot spa. There is also a range of treatments available (payable locally) at the on-site Sonjas Spa. The hotel has a restaurant, bar and the Observatory Lounge, which has superb views across the bay. Room facilities include a TV, hairdryer, complimentary toiletries and tea/coffee making facilities.
In Pitlochry, we stay at the centrally located 3-Star Fisher's Hotel. The hotel is situated a short walk from the Pitlockry Golf Club, an 18-hole golf course surrounded by the dramatic mountain scenery typical of the Scottish highlands. The hotel offers a restaurant, a whiskey bar, and a coffee lounge. The rooms here are all en-suite, and amenities include a television and tea & coffee-making facilities.
An escorted experience
Comfortable accommodation in your destination
Delicious meals included
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
We offer a selection of upgrades and 'add-ons' designed to help you make the most of your holiday - and make it even easier!