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Highland Adventure

4.4 stars(67 reviews)
Small Group

Take in a stunning, Unspoilt region by Rail

You are viewing the 2021 itinerary. Select your departure year
5 days From £695 per person
Flexible Booking

Book your 2021 holiday before 31st May and you can transfer your holiday for free - no questions asked. T&C's apply

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2021 Tour code: HAS21

About the tour

From Inverness, the gateway to our Highland adventure, we discover the very best of northern Scotland. Soak up breathtaking scenery, step back in time at historic castles and battlefields, and enjoy wonderfully scenic journeys by both mainline and steam railways.


What’s included


Day 1 - Inverness

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.

  • Dinner
Day 2 - Jacobite Steam Train

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.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Jacobite Steam Train
Day 3 - Eilean Donan Castle and The Kyle Line

Today we visit Eilean Donan Castle, 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 was featured in the film 'Highlander'. Originally built in the 13th century, it was destroyed during the Jacobite rebellions and restored 200 years later. Enjoy some time here, perhaps absorbing the magnificent surroundings or taking a walk by one of the lochs. 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 a free evening. Perhaps use this opportunity to enjoy dinner at one of the city's pubs or restaurants; sampling Scotland's national dish, haggis.

  • Breakfast
Eilean Donan Castle
Day 4 - Strathspey Steam Railway and Culloden Battlefield

Our excursion today takes us along the tracks of the historic Highland Railway. Travelling to Aviemore by rail, we join the nostalgic Strathspey Steam Railway, through the large windows of the restored carriages, we take in the stunning sights of Cairngorm National Park as we wind alongside the River Spey; from rolling hills blanketed by purple heather and the craggy top of Cairngorm Mountain, to the mysterious depths of the thick pine forests and wooded glens that line the tracks. Finally, we travel by coach to Culloden Battlefield. The atmospheric battlefield was the site of the 1746 Battle of Culloden - the last major battle fought on British soil. We have the chance to visit the battlefield site as well as the Visitor Centre, which features interactive exhibitions and Jacobite artefacts. We return to our hotel by coach, where we enjoy a final farewell meal together

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Strathspey Steam Railway
Day 5 - Farewell from the Highlands

Your Tour Manager bids you farewell from Inverness and you are free to travel home independently.

  • Breakfast
Inverness Castle

Additional information

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.


Palace Hotel Inverness, Inverness

Palace Hotel Inverness, Inverness

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Jacobite Steam Train
The Kyle Line
Strathspey Steam Railway

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UK rail connections


4.4 stars4.4 / 5 · 67 reviews

  1. 5 stars
  2. 4 stars
  3. 3 stars
  4. 2 stars
  5. 1 star

Mr Richard Sykes

3 stars

Submitted 26 Oct 2020

For me, there was too much travelling. I realise journeys take a long time but most of Day 1 (7.30 am to 6.30 pm) was spent on a bus. Most of the hotel food was good but I had some issues with the coffee. I complained to one of the staff who said she thought it had been left on all night!

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mrs Christine Saunders

5 stars

Submitted 25 Oct 2020

Our holiday was excellent and very safe.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mrs Marianne Howell

5 stars

Submitted 16 Oct 2020

All the arrangements worked very well in difficult circumstances. The tour manager was excellent, and the hotel and all the excursions were very good.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Miss Anne Harbour

5 stars

Submitted 11 Oct 2020

Good places to visit; iconic steam train journeys; beautiful scenery.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mrs Roseanna Neall

5 stars

Submitted 08 Oct 2020

the hotel, tour manager were excellent, the programme was manageable. but it was sad that covid ruined the experience of being able to mix with others. and seeing the culture. everywhere was shut, including public toilets. there were so many interpretations of the rules, by councils etc that it was frustrating so put it mildly.the steam trains were as to be expected. well run and scenery beautiful.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr Christopher Cole

4 stars

Submitted 03 Oct 2020

We enjoyed the holiday very much but of course it was affected by the dreaded COVID restrictions. In particular, it was annoying (not your fault) that we couldn't go on the Strathspey railway, have a guided tour of the Culloden Battlefield or go in the Eilean Donan Castle. It was also annoying that the coach driver didn't find out that the road alongside Loch Ness had major roadworks which caused us to miss the steam train from Fort William to Mallaig.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

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Europe & UK by Rail 2021

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Highland Adventure

Take in a stunning, Unspoilt region by Rail


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