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Royal Deeside and the Tornado Steam Train

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20242025
5 days From £1,295 £1,145 per person
3.7 stars(38 reviews)
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Discover Scottish heritage aboard the Royal Deeside and Aberdonian Tornado steam trains, exploring culture-rich cities along the way.

Save up to £400

Save up to £400 per booking on July-October 2024 holidays, when you book by 29th February 2024.

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Mobility Rating 2

2024 Tour code: ATS24

About the tour

We visit three of Scotland's most charismatic cities, immersing ourselves in the local culture of Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee. Ride the amazing Aberdonian Tornado Steam Train, indulge in afternoon tea like a royal at Glamis Castle, and journey along the banks of the River Dee aboard the Royal Deeside Railway.

Unforgettable experiences

Aberdonian Tornado Steam Train
Aberdonian Tornado Steam Train
Take an unforgettable First Class journey on the Aberdonian Tornado Steam Train, with lunch served on board.
Royal Deeside Steam Train
Royal Deeside Steam Train
Travel through pretty Scottish countryside on the Royal Deeside Steam Train.
Tour a Highland Cow farm
Tour a Highland Cow farm
Take a tour of a Highland cow farm, enjoying a traditional lunch afterwards.
Lost Loch Distillery
Lost Loch Distillery
Visit the Lost Loch Distillery for a gin tasting and tour.
Dundee and RSS Discovery
Dundee and RSS Discovery
Explore the vibrant streets of Dundee on a walking tour, including a visit to the RRS Discovery.
Glamis Castle
Glamis Castle
Visit the grand Glamis Castle and its beautiful gardens, sitting down to afternoon tea in the regal setting.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 – Lively Edinburgh

We meet our Tour Manager at our hotel in Edinburgh today where our holiday begins. After checking into our hotel this afternoon, you're at leisure to start exploring Scotland's capital before dinner this evening.

The heart of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with the Old Town's Royal Mile and the New Town's award-winning Georgian architecture continuing the contrast between traditional and contemporary. As you wander the streets, it's easy to see why Edinburgh came to be regarded as the 'Athens of the North'.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 – The nostalgic Aberdonian Tornado Steam Train to elegant Aberdeen

A memorable journey aboard the Aberdonian Steam Train awaits us today. Hauled by an iconic Tornado steam engine, we enjoy stunning views of the Scottish countryside from our First Class seats, crossing the UNESCO-listed Forth Bridge and enjoying lunch on board. We soak up ever-changing panoramas as we pass leafy countryside, rugged cliffs and charming coastal towns.

Arriving into Aberdeen, we join our coach to the city's quaint Old Town. The area is characterised by its cobblestone streets and medieval architecture which include iconic landmarks like the 12th-century St. Machar's Cathedral and the picturesque Castlegate, adorned with the Mercat Cross. With some time at leisure, wander through the historic buildings, traditional pubs, and cultural atmosphere that preserve the city's past so well.

Our coach then takes us to our hotel on the banks of the River Dee. Once we've checked in, there's some time to relax in our new surroundings before dinner this evening.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 – The scenic Royal Deeside Steam train, hairy Highland coos, and a taste of Lost Loch gin

This morning we head to the heart of Royal Deeside aboard the Royal Deeside Railway. On a heritage rail journey along the banks of the River Dee, we sit back in restored vintage carriages on a fairly short but scenic jaunt. Snaking through the beautiful countryside of Royal Deeside, stunning views of waving hills, lively woodlands, and the glistening river roll by our windows.

Disembarking the train in Banchory, a fantastic visit to a Highland coo farm is next. Here, we meet a herd of pedigree Highland cattle, tour the working farm with its local farmer, and enjoy lunch in the rural setting.

After our time with the iconic Scottish cows, our coach takes us to the artisanal Lost Loch Spirits Distillery. Built on the banks of the now drained Loch Auchlossan or 'Lost Loch', the distillery draws inspiration from its captivating landscape and historical heritage to produce renowned gins. During a tour and tasting, we discover the stories, flavours, and branding that make it so successful.

On the drive to our next hotel in Dundee, the coach stops outside Balmoral Castle giving us a chance to take a photo outside the royal estate's famous gates. We check into the hotel in time for dinner this evening and enjoy our first night in the coastal city of Dundee.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 – Discovering Dundee and the majestic Glamis Castle

This morning we begin with a guided walking tour of Dundee. Nestled on the eastern coast, the city has some striking architecture, including the iconic V&A Dundee museum, as well as beautiful parks and amazing views of the River Tay.

Our tour finishes at The Dundee RRS Discovery where you can explore at leisure. Stepping aboard the iconic ship, you're transported back to the heroic era of Antarctic exploration and get a glimpse into the life and challenges faced by Captain Scott and his crew. After plenty of time to discover the informative exhibits, interactive displays, and stunning views of the waterfront, we board our coach bound for Glamis Castle.

This magnificent and historic fortress is steeped in rich history and folklore. It's witnessed centuries of noble events, and was the childhood home of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. After our very own Scottish Piper, 'pipes' us inside, we enjoy an exclusive guided tour. With access to rooms the public isn't allowed in, we're taken into the 16th-century chambers, where we enjoy a 'wee dram' before continuing our tour. Afterwards, we go back to the chambers for refreshments and a talk with our guide about this amazing castle.

Tonight we have our final evening meal together as a group.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 5 – Homeward bound

After breakfast this morning, we head back to Edinburgh by rail. On a journey of scenic landscapes, our train crosses the River Tay and travels southward, passing picturesque countryside and charming villages along the way. Our holiday comes to an end in Edinburgh where it's time to say goodbye to newfound friends and make your way home. Or, if you're not ready to leave Scotland behind just yet, you could continue exploring on your own.

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.

Hotels

Norwood Hall Hotel, Aberdeen

Norwood Hall Hotel, Aberdeen

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Apex City Quay & Spa, Dundee

Apex City Quay & Spa, Dundee

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Radisson Blu Edinburgh, Edinburgh

Radisson Blu Edinburgh, Edinburgh

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Trains

Royal Deeside Railway
The Aberdonian Steam Train

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

UK rail connections

Reviews

3.7 stars3.7 / 5 · 38 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (14)
  2. 4 stars
    (9)
  3. 3 stars
    (8)
  4. 2 stars
    (4)
  5. 1 star
    (3)

Stuart

3 stars

Submitted 10 Sep 2023

Tour was ok but not as originally advertised. Steam train trip did not happen as the train has been out of commission for at least a year. Alternative train arrangements were chaotic. Visit to Arbroath to see smokies being produced disappeared from the itinerary without any explanation. It subsequently transpires that they haven't taken groups there since before Covid. Alternative trips were ok. Not up to the usual GRJ standard

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J Bennett

2 stars

Submitted 11 Aug 2023

Disappointing

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Tony Penfold

3 stars

Submitted 09 Aug 2023

While not entirely disappointed with our holiday, we felt that, between first reading the prospectus and actually going on the holiday, a cost cutting exersize had taken place, which did reduce the enjoyment somewhat. This in no way affects our opinion of our tour manager, who we felt was doing a sterling job under the circumstances.

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Consumer

2 stars

Submitted 07 Aug 2023

Too many changes from advertised holiday and itinerary

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MrsKathleenHolmes

1 stars

Submitted 07 Aug 2023

I fell onto the platform and was taken to hospital for treatment. I am going again for treatment to the cuts receved

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Diana Clarke

4 stars

Submitted 07 Aug 2023

Enjoyable trip Not impressed with not getting final holiday details until a week before going Great tour manager David Indge who was very kind and helpful Loved the Highland cattle visit

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