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Grand Tour of Scotland

(Tour code: SHP17)Immerse yourself in the culture and majesty of the Scottish Highlands

Immerse yourself in the culture and majesty of the Scottish Highlands. You take in the rugged landscapes on two of the UK's most famous train lines; the West Highland Line and the Jacobite. You also visit Loch Ness and castles that transport you through the history of this region. Our hotels are a highlight too, especially the 5-Star Fairmont St Andrews.

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Tour Highlights
  • Loch Ness
  • Armadale Castle and Gardens
  • Talisker Distillery
  • Dunvegan Castle
  • Eilean Donan Castle
  • Glamis Castle
  • West Highland Line
  • Jacobite steam train
  • Stay at Inverlochy Castle
What’s Included (Full details)
  • Standard Class Rail
    Heritage Rail Excursion
  • 4-5* Accommodation
    Breakfast Every Day
    Selected Evening Meals
  • Optional Bag Concierge

Itinerary & Map

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Departure Times

On many of our UK & Ireland tours, 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.

Edinburgh
Day 1

Arrival in Edinburgh

Today you arrive in Edinburgh to meet your Tour Manager and fellow travellers in your hotel, the Apex Waterloo Place. This evening we enjoy dinner together at the hotel.

Includes:
  • Dinner
The West Highland Line
Day 2

The West Highland Line

We make our way to the train station today to take a ride on the world-famous West Highland Line, your service today includes a convenient luggage transfer. The West Highland Line is also known as the 'Iron Road to the Isles' and takes passengers through some of the UK's most rugged and spectacular scenery. We travel through an idyllic, remote and untouched landscape. The incredible journey passes charming isolated villages, skirts the shores of lochs and crosses wild Rannoch Moor - a dramatic region only visible from the train; there are no roads and the only inhabitants are the wild animals and birds living among the heather and gorse. The mighty Grampians provide an imposing backdrop to our journey as we approach Fort William, nestled at the foot of Ben Nevis. On arrival we transfer to our hotel, Inverlochy Castle. Our fantastic hotel sits amid the West Highland scenery and boasts a 5-Star rating, offering guests the ideal backdrop from which to enjoy this idyllic area of the Highlands.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • West Highland Line
Loch Ness
Day 3

Loch Ness

We begin the day by transferring by coach to Loch Ness, one of Scotland's most recognisable places. We enjoy a splendid cruise across this great expanse of water fabled for containing the elusive Loch Ness Monster. As we cruise across the serene waters of this beautiful lake we come across Urquhart Castle, and take time to moor here. The castle ruins date back as far as the 13th century and in the 14th century played a role in the Wars of Scottish Independence as a seat of power. Our admission to the castle is included, giving you time to stroll around the picturesque ruins and enjoy the vistas of the Loch from a different angle.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Cruise across Loch Ness
  • Urquhart Castle
Jacobite Steam Train
Day 4

Jacobite Steam train and Skye

Today we begin by transferring to the train station to connect with the mighty Jacobite steam train for a magical journey through the Scottish landscape towards Skye. We travel in First Class from Fort William to Mallaig, we then transfer to Armadale Castle and Gardens, home to the Clan Donald Centre. This 20,000 acre estate in southern Skye was once home to the Donald Clan and was purchased in 1971 by the Clan Donald Lands Trust. The Trust's main role is to promote and restore the estate for the benefit of guests.

The estate is home to a number of scenic walks which take in the surrounding landscape and the wonderfully restored historic gardens. The on-site museum showcases a library and study centre and was opened in 2002. The estate is also home to a variety of wildlife including many of Scotland's most well known species, such as the roe deer, otters and a range of birds including the majestic golden and sea eagles. Following our time here we check in to our new hotel, the Skeabost - a magnificent country house retreat.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Jacobite Steam Train
  • Armadale Castle and Gardens
Talisker Distillery
Day 5

Talisker Distillery & Dunvegan Castle

The Talisker Distillery is our first stop today, the oldest working distillery on the Isle of Skye. The distillery is set in a customarily idyllic location that isn't uncommon on Skye. We take an enjoyable tour of the premises and learn how the whisky is made. We also have chance to sample the produce. After our time here we continue on to our next stop, Dunvegan Castle. The castle is the oldest continually inhabited castle in Scotland and for 800 years has been the seat of the MacLeod Clan. We take a tour of this history rich building and its gardens.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Talisker Distillery
  • Dunvegan Castle
Eilean Donan Castle
Day 6

Eilean Donan Castle & The Kyle Line

Today we visit another spectacular Scottish castle, the Eilean Donan. Set on a tiny island in Loch Duich, joined to the mainland by a small, elegant bridge. The island was part of the Macrae Clan's territory and in the 13th century they built Eilean Donan Castle, which occupies almost all of the land space. It was initially designed to defend the clan's land from invading Vikings, who had previously seen the site - at the meeting point of three sea lochs - as a weak spot. Eventually the castle saw more battles between the warring Scottish clans. Later we take a ride on the historic Kyle Line, first laid down in 1870 and taking twenty-seven years to complete.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Eilean Donan Castle
  • The Kyle Line
Inverness Castle
Day 7

At leisure in Inverness

Enjoy a day at leisure in Inverness, the capital of the Highlands with a relaxing stroll along the River Ness, or take the opportunity to explore further afield. Your options include a visit to Culloden, the Battlefield where Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Jacobite forces were defeated in the last pitched battle to be fought on British soil. A fascinating visitor centre stands by the site of the battlefield, which has largely been preserved as it was on the day the battle was fought. Alternatively, the mountain resort of Aviemore is a short distance away by train, as are the Speyside whisky towns, Keith and Elgin

Includes:
  • Breakfast
  • Free Day
To St Andrews
Day 8

To St Andrews

We travel by rail to Perth where we change to coach for the short transfer to St Andrews today, on arrival we check in to our 5-Star hotel, the Fairmont.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Glamis Castle
Day 9

Glamis Castle

Glamis Castle is our main stop today, this beautiful castle was the former childhood home of the Queen Mother and proves to be an enjoyable visit with history and fine architecture in abundance. Later you have time to explore St Andrews under your own steam.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Glamis Castle
Tour Group
Day 10

Departure day

Following breakfast we transfer to Dundee for our rail service to Edinburgh where the tour concludes, and your Tour Manager bids you farewell. You are free to begin your journey home or enjoy more time sightseeing independently.

Includes:
  • Breakfast
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