Call to book01904 521 936
Tour Search

Royal Deeside and The Tornado Steam Train


Step back in time with the Aberdonian Tornado Steam Train

You are viewing the 2022 itinerary. Select your departure year
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.


What’s included


Days 1-2 - Edinburgh and the Aberdonian Tornado

We meet at our hotel in the centre of Edinburgh today, where we have dinner together this evening.

After breakfast at the hotel on Day 2, we walk to nearby Edinburgh Waverley Station to embark on a memorable journey aboard the Aberdonian Steam Train, hauled by an iconic Tornado steam engine. Newly launched in 2019 by the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, this nostalgic rail journey transports us back in time to a golden age of rail travel, as it steams through the scenic landscapes of Scotland.

We sit back and relax in our First Class carriages, soaking up ever-changing panoramas from the large windows as we traverse the landscapes between Edinburgh and Aberdeen, passing leafy countryside, rugged cliffs, and charming coastal towns. A particular highlight comes as we cross the dramatic Forth Bridge, a striking red industrial bridge which dates back to the late 1800s and was once voted Scotland's greatest man-made wonder. The pioneering bridge spans Firth of Forth estuary, and was designated UNESCO World Heritage status in 2015 due to innovations made in style, scale and materials during its construction. We are treated to a delicious brunch on board, served at our seats while we take in the passing scenery.

Our extraordinary journey comes to an end as we roll into Aberdeen and transfer by coach to our hotel, the 4-Star Mercure Ardoe House Hotel. Nestled within 30 acres of lush grounds just outside of Aberdeen city centre, this castle-style hotel is located in a beautiful 19th-century mansion house.

  • Day 1 - Dinner
  • Day 2 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 - Royal Deeside Steam train and a whisky tasting

We transfer into the heart of Royal Deeside to join the Royal Deeside Railway for a heritage rail journey alongside the River Dee. From Banchory, we travel in restored vintage carriages on a short but scenic one-mile journey, taking in views of the pretty Scottish countryside. This afternoon, we continue to Ballater on the edge of Cairngorms National Park, pausing at Balmoral Castle. The 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 indulge in a quintessential Scottish pastime - a dram of whisky. We uncover the history behind the famed Scottish drink on a guided tour, before a tasting of an award-winning 12 Year Old Single Malt. Later, we travel to Dundee, our base for the next two nights.

  • Breakfast, 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. Opened in 2018, the V&A is the first museum of its kind in Scotland, and showcases the very best of the country's design heritage.

After time for lunch in Dundee, we visit the coastal town of Arbroath. Arbroath is known for its idyllic harbour, sandy beaches, and famous delicacy, the 'Arbroath smokie' - salted haddock smoked over a wood fire. We find out 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 smoked over wood chips in a whisky barrel. We sample the mouth-watering fish 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.

  • Breakfast
Day 5 - Edinburgh

After breakfast we walk to the station for the train to Edinburgh, where our tour ends. You are free to depart at leisure, or to continue exploring further.

  • 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.


Mercure Ardoe House Hotel

Mercure Ardoe House Hotel, Aberdeen

View hotel

Apex City Quay & Spa, Dundee

Apex City Quay & Spa, Dundee

View hotel

Radisson Blu Edinburgh, Edinburgh

Radisson Blu Edinburgh, Edinburgh

View hotel


Royal Deeside Railway
The Aberdonian Steam Train

Enhance your holiday


UK rail connections
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. When ordering for postal delivery, you will only receive our collection of European holidays. If you are interested in UK holidays, these are available on the website.

Download brochure

Tailor made for you

Customise this tour with Great Rail Journeys Independent

GRJ IndependentEnquire
Royal Deeside and The Tornado Steam Train

Step back in time with the Aberdonian Tornado Steam Train


Luke Simpson
Helen Laverack
Lynne Broadley