Scotland excels at scenic railway journeys, and the route taken by the Jacobite Steam Train along part of the West Highland Railway and the Mallaig Extension Railway is widely regarded as one of the finest. Recapturing a golden era of steam rail travel for a new generation of visitors and enthusiasts, the Jacobite Steam Train was introduced in 1984. Since the earliest days of the railway, powerful locomotives have been required to negotiate the demanding gradients presented by the Highland terrain.
Today, four beautifully restored steam locomotives take turns to make the eighty-two mile return trip from Fort William to Mallaig and back: the Lancashire Fusilier and its sister engine the North Briton; the Lord of the Isles, and the Sherwood Forester. These magnificent locomotives haul original British Rail First and Standard Class carriages which were originally in use in the 1960s and now bear a distinctive maroon livery.
Breathtaking scenery and fantastic journeys by mainline and steam railways; this tour takes in the very best of northern Scotland from our base in Inverness- the gateway to your Highland adventure
Majestic lochs and glens lie in wait as we cross Edinburgh and the Highlands and visit historic castles and the Isle of Mull. We travel through the West Highlands and Cairngorms on this fabulous round trip climaxing with a 'Scottish Evening' on Edinburgh's stately Royal Mile.
Discover the incredibly picturesque Western Highlands and the rugged, breathtaking coastal islands which lie off Scotland's western coast. This tour takes us on some of the world's most scenic railway journeys, on a cruise to spot wildlife in the Atlantic, and finishes in Pitlochry as part of a truly memorable exploration of the Highlands.
A Journey of Outstanding Beauty
Despite its relatively short route, the Jacobite Steam Train presents passengers with an abundance of scenic highlights. The journey begins in Fort William, the largest town in the Highlands.
Fort William lies in the shadow of Ben Nevis, the UK's highest mountain, and the dramatic beauty of this region has resulted in its use in many films and television programmes.
The train follows the shore of scenic Loch Eil and begins its ascent toward the village of Glenfinnan. To get there, the train crosses the spectacular Glenfinnan Viaduct, built between 1897 and 1901. One of the first railway viaducts constructed entirely from concrete, it features twenty-one arches and rises up to thirty metres from the valley floor to provide superb views of Loch Shiel.
The sea, in the form of the Sound of Arisaig, is visible around the village of Arisaig which lays claim to the UK's westernmost railway station. Here, the rugged coastline and the shore of Loch nan Ceall, on which Arisaig is situated, afford further unforgettable views. Mallaig is a traditional and picturesque Scottish fishing port, and gateway by ferry to the islands of Skye, Muck Eigg and Rum. No visit to Mallaig can be considered complete without sampling the freshly-caught fish and seafood offered by the village's restaurants.
Jacobite Steam Train operates every morning from Monday to Friday between May and October each year, with additional weekend and afternoon services added in Summer between June and August. The historic Glenfinnan Viaduct featured in three of the Harry Potter films and is an extremely popular point on the journey at which to take photographs from the train; taking up an appropriate position at the window well in advance is recommended.