Call to book01904 521 936
Tour Search
#Favourites

Royal Deeside and The Tornado Steam Train

Save
4.4 stars(24 reviews)
Gallery

Step back in time with the Aberdonian Tornado Steam Train

5 days From £945 per person

2022 Tour code: ATS22

About the tour

We visit two of Scotland's most charismatic cities, immersing ourselves in the local culture of Edinburgh and Aberdeen. Taste local specialties - Arbroath smokies and whisky - explore the V&A Museum of Design, and embark on a First Class journey on the fantastic Aberdonian Tornado Steam Train.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 – Edinburgh

After meeting at our hotel in the centre of Edinburgh, you're free to begin exploring this royal city ahead of a group dinner later this evening.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 – The Aberdonian Tornado

Our day begins with a short walk to Edinburgh Waverley Station for a memorable journey aboard the Aberdonian Steam Train. Hauled by an iconic Tornado steam engine, this nostalgic trip transports us back to a golden age of rail travel. We relax in our First Class carriage, soaking up ever-changing panoramas from the large picture windows as we pass leafy countryside, rugged cliffs and charming coastal towns. A particular highlight comes as we cross the UNESCO-listed Forth Bridge, ahead of a delicious lunch served to our seats. Arriving into Aberdeen, we transfer to our hotel for the night.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 - Royal Deeside Steam train and a whisky tasting

We continue to the heart of Royal Deeside, joining the Royal Deeside Railway for a heritage rail journey along the banks of the River Dee. From Banchory, we travel in restored vintage carriages on a short but scenic one-mile jaunt. Next up is a visit to a Highland coo farm, where we meet a herd of pedigree Highland cattle, take a tour of a working farm with a local farmer and sit down to a traditional lunch of beef stovies. Afterwards, we make our way to Ballater, on the edge of Cairngorms National Park, pausing at Balmoral Castle along the way. This estate has been the Scottish holiday home of the royal family since 1852, and is a splendid example of Scottish Baronial architecture. We transfer to the Royal Lochnagar Distillery to enjoy a quintessential Scottish experience - a dram of local whisky. We uncover the history behind this famed drink on a guided tour before a tasting of an award-winning 12-year-old Single Malt. Later, we transfer to our hotel in Dundee.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 - Dundee, the V&A Museum, and Arbroath Smokies

We discover the coastal city of Dundee on a short walking tour. Dundee has undergone a resurgence in recent years, with the waterfront transformed into a hub of art and culture. Our tour ends at what is perhaps the jewel in the crown of the waterfront, the V&A Museum of Design, which we have some time to explore. After free time for lunch, we visit the coastal town of Arbroath, known for its idyllic harbour, sandy beaches and famous 'Arbroath smokies' - salted haddock smoked over a wood fire. We learn about this traditional Scottish specialty with a cooking demonstration, seeing how the smokies are prepared using methods which date back to the 1800s, before being slowly smoked over wood chips in a whisky barrel. We sample some of this mouth-watering delicacy fresh from the barrel before transferring back to Dundee for a free evening. Dundee is an overlooked treasure with an unpretentious charm and flourishing food and drink scene. There are a number of eateries here you could choose visit, from stylish restaurants to humble cafés and traditional pubs serving typical Scottish fare.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 5 - Edinburgh and home

We return to the Scottish capital by train where our tour comes to an end and you're free to continue your journey home or sightsee further.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Departure Information

For the following departures ATS2202, ATS2204, ATS2206, ATS2208 the running order of you tour is as follows:

  • Day 1 - Dundee
  • Day 2 - Dundee, the V&A Museum, and Arbroath Smokies
  • Day 3 - Royal Deeside Steam train and a whisky tasting
  • Day 4 - Free day in Aberdeen before journey aboard the Aberdonian Steam Train
  • Day 5 - Edinburgh
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

Apex City Quay & Spa, Dundee

Apex City Quay & Spa, Dundee

View hotel

Hotel Indigo, Edinburgh

Hotel Indigo, Edinburgh

View hotel

Norwood Hall Hotel, Aberdeen

Norwood Hall Hotel, Aberdeen

View hotel

Trains

Royal Deeside Railway
The Aberdonian Steam Train

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

UK rail connections

Reviews

4.4 stars4.4 / 5 · 24 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (13)
  2. 4 stars
    (7)
  3. 3 stars
    (4)
  4. 2 stars
    (0)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

R Towner

4 stars

Submitted 05 Oct 2021

We did submit a review a couple of weeks ago. We enjoyed the trip very much, with the exception of the hotel in Dundee. we were asked to be seated for our meal at 7.15, which everyone one was. we were not served until 8.45 and then one person on our table didn't get their dessert. Staff took drinks orders then food and ours was the last table for everything. When the food came it was cold. Also not great choices on the menu. we felt there was an attutide of, Oh Its the party, lets serve everyone else because they are paying full whack, whereas the party will be cheap rate. If only they knew how much the holiday cost! Reception staff couldn't tell us if the rooms would be serviced, so tea and milk could be replenished and just said they didn't know and made no effort to find out. The room staff happened to be passing and said they would be. Not impressed by the Apex. We really enjoyed the day in Dundee with the guide, then free time and then the trip to Arbroath. the Royal Deeside train was nice. trip to Balmoral a bit pointless, as there was little to see. The trip on the Tornado was first Class, thoroughly enjoyable. Our Tour Guide was excellent.

Collected by Trustpilot

Mike

4 stars

Submitted 01 Oct 2021

Highlight of the holiday was the trip on the 'The Aberdonian' from Edinburgh to Aberdeen. Thought the service in the restaurant at the Apex Dundee was poor, perhaps this was due to lack of staff due to Covid.

Collected by Trustpilot

Mr Michael Johnson

3 stars

Submitted 28 Sep 2021

The Royal Deeside was scarcely a steam train journey. Whilst we were pulled by an interesting steam train, the journey was literally one mile each way twice. Additionally the actual carriages were 1960's BR old stock and were shabby in the extreme both internally and externally. This particular 'great train' journey was disappointing. On the contrary, the Tornado Steam Train was what the brochure said and was most enjoyable.

Collected by Trustpilot

A Crowther

5 stars

Submitted 26 Sep 2021

A most enjoyable and varied trip to cities, apart from Edinburgh, that I had not visited before. Highlights must surely be the journeys on The Tornado Steam Train up to Aberdeen and the Royal Deeside train. I was impressed by the overall organisation of our tour and never felt that we were rushed at any point.

Collected by Trustpilot

John Mace

5 stars

Submitted 26 Sep 2021

Great steam train journey especially over the Forth bridge. Good insight into Royal Deeside and Dundee in this mini break

Collected by Trustpilot

N Tointon

5 stars

Submitted 23 Sep 2021

Excellent holiday.

Collected by Trustpilot

Show 6 more reviews
Europe by Rail 2022

Europe by Rail 2022

The definitive guide to our 2022 summer rail holidays to a wide range of destinations in Europe.

Download brochure

Tailor made for you

Customise this tour with Great Rail Journeys Independent

TailormadeEnquire
Royal Deeside and The Tornado Steam Train

Step back in time with the Aberdonian Tornado Steam Train

Call

Enquire
Rhianna Coote
Rhianna
Luke Simpson
Luke
Lynne Broadley
Lynne