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Highland Adventure

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5 days From £945 £895 per person
4.2 stars(269 reviews)
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A holiday filled with stunning nature and captivating history as we explore the wonders of the Highlands aboard magnificent railways.

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Save £50pp on selected British Isles 2024 last-minute holidays, when you book by 31st July 2024.

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Mobility Rating 2

2024 Tour code: HAS24

About the tour

From Inverness, the gateway to our Highland adventure, we discover the very best of northern Scotland. Soak up breathtaking scenery as we travel aboard magnificent mainline and steam railways, including the legendary Jacobite Steam Train and charming Strathspey Steam Railway.

Along the way, we marvel at the towering mountains, shimmering lochs, and emerald forests that make up the Scottish landscape. Step back in time with visits to iconic landmarks such as the Eilean Donan Castle and the Culloden Battlefield, where we delve into Scotland's fascinating heritage and rich history. This scenic adventure lets you lose yourself in Highland treasures and the rugged beauty of the Scottish landscape.

Unforgettable experiences

Loch Ness
Loch Ness
Witness the famous Loch Ness, where the possibility of catching a glimpse of the legendary Loch Ness Monster awaits.
Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan Castle
Visit the stunning 13th-century Eilean Donan Castle, amidst the serene surroundings of Loch Duich.
Kyle Line
Kyle Line
Journey on the picturesque Kyle Line gazing at the shimmering lochs, idyllic villages and wooded hillsides that pass by.
Strathspey Steam Railway
Strathspey Steam Railway
Experience the nostalgic Strathspey Steam Railway through the scenic beauty of the Cairngorms landscape.
Culloden Battlefield
Culloden Battlefield
Unearth the poignant tales of Scotland's past at the Culloden Battlefield, the site of the final battle of the Jacobite Rising in 1746.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 – Cheerful Inverness

Our holiday begins today as we meet in Inverness at our partner hotel - the Palace Hotel & Spa. This popular hotel is the base for our adventure and overlooks the River Ness in the centre of the city. With some time before dinner, you could familiarise yourself with the city on a beautiful riverside stroll, delighting in the babbling river, verdant forests, and local wildlife.

This vibrant city is considered the cultural capital of the Highlands,and is crowned by the stunning Inverness Castle. Its most famous resident, King Mac Bethad Mac Findláich, may seem familiar as he was the inspiration for one of Shakespeare's most famous tragedies, Macbeth.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 – The enchanting Jacobite Steam Train

After breakfast, we begin the first full day of our holiday and head to Fort William by coach. The drive to Fort William showcases stunning Highland scenery of breathtaking mountains, rolling hills, and rugged terrain. Arriving in Fort William, we board the wonderful vintage carriages of the Jacobite Steam Train ready for our journey to Mallaig, one of the most scenic stretches in the UK.

Pulling out of the station, Ben Nevis, the UK's highest mountain, passes by our window followed by fishing boats bobbing on shimmering lochs, beautiful heathers and the seasonal colours of Scotland. We could even spot some of the local wildlife, such as red deer, grazing on the hillside.

The railway is famous for its role in the Harry Potter movies, and you'll immediately recognise it as we cross the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct. Continuing through charming Scottish villages and past historic landmarks, our train journey ends in Mallaig.

With some time at leisure, you can explore the village's shops, cafes, and restaurants or simply roam the charming streets admiring the colourful architecture. We then board the coach back to our hotel, pausing enroute at the Commando Memorial, a World War II monument, and Fort Augustus, a small village which the Caledonian Canal runs through. We also pass the famous Loch Ness, known for its legendary monster, Nessie.

Keep your eyes peeled for a glimpse of the elusive creature - evidence of its existence is said to be worth £1 million.

On early/late season departures the Jacobite Steam Train excursion is replaced by the scheduled Scotrail service.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 – The iconic Eilean Donan Castle and the beautiful Kyle Line

This morning, 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 fortress has played a role in several films.

After exploring the castle's history and amazing views, we return to Inverness on the Kyle Line - one of Scotland's most scenic railways. Skirting alongside lochs and through wild mountain landscapes, we admire the cascading waterfalls, mesmerising nature, and towering peaks that roll by the windows.

This evening you're at leisure in Inverness. There's no scheduled dinner at the hotel tonight giving you the perfect opportunity to enjoy a meal at one of the many pubs or restaurants the city is known for.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 4 – The charming Strathspey Steam Railway and famous Culloden Battlefield

Travelling to Aviemore today, we join the nostalgic Strathspey Steam Railway for a trip through the stunning sights of Cairngorms National Park. The carriages are beautifully restored, with comfortable seats and large windows, which let us marvel at the breathtaking scenery.

Snaking our way alongside the River Spey, we enjoy views of rolling hills blanketed by purple heather, the craggy top of Cairngorm Mountain and the thick pine forests and wooded glens which line the tracks.

After leaving the train at Broomhill station, we meet our coach and head to the renowned Culloden Battlefield - where the final battle of the Jacobite Rising took place in 1746.

We experience a private guided tour of the battlefield where we learn about the history of the site and the sacrifices made there. Following the tour, we have access to the visitor's centre, where we can join the 360-degree battle immersion theatre, view unique weapons and artefacts on display, and appreciate panoramic views of the battlefield from the roof garden.

We return to our hotel for the final evening of our holiday and reminisce over dinner.

*For departure 24/03/2024 due to the Strasthpey railway not running on this day, we instead will visit the Loch Ness Centre for an interactive experience

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 – Homeward bound

After breakfast this morning, it's time to say goodbye to new friends and fellow travellers. Our holiday comes to an end and you can make your way home, taking new, fantastic memories with you.

Includes
  • Breakfast

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.

Hotel

Best Western Palace Hotel & Spa, Inverness

Best Western Palace Hotel & Spa, Inverness

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Trains

Jacobite Steam Train
The Kyle Line
Scotrail
Strathspey Steam Railway

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

UK rail connections

Reviews

4.2 stars4.2 / 5 · 269 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (138)
  2. 4 stars
    (84)
  3. 3 stars
    (28)
  4. 2 stars
    (12)
  5. 1 star
    (7)

J Garner

2 stars

Submitted 17/Jul

We felt that we spent to much time in the coach! Steam train was fantastic but only 2 short trips! Very little content to the day! The days could have been filled better! The hotel was very good with a excellent breakfast the evening meal was a little school dinner ish being fed in a very short period of time not allowed to enjoy the most important event of the day!

Collected by Trustpilot

John Leadbetter

5 stars

Submitted 13/Jul

Gr8 tour guide

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Marlies Matthews-Williams

5 stars

Submitted 13/Jul

Extremely well organised. The accommodation was superb, the tour guide was entertaining, friendly and very competent, and the scenery was breathtaking.

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Lesley Haigh

5 stars

Submitted 9/Jul

Extremely well organised. Fabulous, contrasting rail journeys with amazing scenery. Good hotel. I will be looking to book another trip soon.

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Miss Helen Daniell

4 stars

Submitted 5/Jul

It was a great trip and we met some lovely people. My friend gave us this trip as a gift.

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Peder

5 stars

Submitted 30/Jun

The tour was very well organized, and our guide Garth Long was very helpful and considerate of all in the group. There was quite a bit of coach traveling involved, the busses were modern and comfortable though, and they made it possible to visit the heritage railways not always close by. The Palace Hotel in Inverness was very nice, the staff friendly and the meals good. They even had haggis and black pudding, which I had to try, visiting Scotland for the first time. Against all odds I actually liked both ;-) The hotel has a very nice and spa and fitness with a large indoor swimming pool. It's free of charge and offers a nice opportunity to relax before dinner after a long 'on the rails'. The office staff of Great Rails has been very helpful in organizing the tour for us. We probably required a little more explanation of how things work, not being from the UK. Five stars to the sales office as well!

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