Experience the spectacle of the Edinburgh Tattoo, with pipes and drums resonating from the castle's elevated setting. Complimenting the trip, travel by heritage railway and rotating boat lift as we explore the River Forth and Stirling Castle.
Your tour begins in Scotland's cosmopolitan capital, where you meet the rest of your group and Tour Manager at the 4-Star Doubletree by Hilton Edinburgh Queensferry. Take some time to settle in, or explore Edinburgh at leisure before we meet for dinner in the hotel.
We set out by coach for the Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway for our trip on one of the lovingly-restored locomotives. The line takes us along the shore of the Forth and climbs into the hills, before pulling into Birkhill, a picturesque town set on a wooded incline.
We return to Edinburgh, where we have free time to explore further before settling into our seats for the highlight of our trip, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. This musical spectacular, featuring the massed pipes and drums of the Scottish regiments, is set against the magnificent backdrop of Edinburgh Castle, perched high above the ancient city.
After a leisurely morning, we transfer to Falkirk for a journey on Falkirk Wheel, an incredible, rotating boat lift, and amazing piece of engineering, which connects the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal. We continue to Helix, passing en route the iconic Kelpies sculptures for a photo opportunity.
This afternoon we journey to the city of Stirling to visit imposing Stirling Castle, which sits perched on a dramatic hilltop overlooking the city. Once the childhood home of Mary Queen of Scots, this stunning castle is a fine example of Renaissance architecture. You have time at leisure to explore the grandeur of its interiors, including the impressive Great Hall, pretty chapel, and fascinating kitchens, as well as the splendid landscaped gardens before returning to our hotel for a final dinner together.
After breakfast this morning your tour concludes, and you are free to say your goodbyes and make your way to the airport for your flight home.
We recommend that for this tour you arrange flights to and from Edinburgh Airport (EDI), which is approximately 12 miles from your base in Edinburgh.
It is your responsibility to check and fulfil the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.
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Our journey on the atmospheric Bo'ness & Kinneil Railway allows us to relive a bygone era of steam-powered rail travel. Unlike many other heritage railways though, the Bo'ness & Kinneil has actually been rebuilt in a similar area to the original line, with buildings sourced from around the country, rather than a preserved line where the original stations were left intact. The train leaves from the station at Bo'ness, and runs alongside the vast Firth of Forth as it continues westwards. Across the clear blue waters, there are views out to the Ochil Hills. We then arrive at Kinneil Halt, a small station overlooked by green woodlands.
Providing the entirety of mainland Scotland with transport links, Abello Scotrail is a fantastic commuter service that means even the farthest reaches of this wild and wonderful country is easily accessible. Running since 1983 under a variety of operators, this service has numerous lines, including one that stretches from the tip, Thurso, down to Edinburgh.
The lines on the Scotrail service are some of the most scenic in the world. The Kyle Line, the West Highland Line, and the Hadrian's Wall line are all services by Scotrail trains. The West Highland Line, stretching between Glasgow to Mallaig, stopping off at Fort William and with an offshoot line to Oban, is arguably the most famous of this line. There are numerous stunning sights to look out for on this route - from the breathtaking wilds of the highlands, to the peaks of the craggy mountains, to the iconic 21-spans of the beautiful Glennfinnan Viaduct.
Another famed line that we utilise on the Scotrail network includes the Kyle of Lochalsh line, running 63 miles between Dingwall and Kyle of Lochalsh. With spectacular views of the Isle of Skye as you come towards the pretty Kyle of Lochalsh, this particular line is certainly a glorious introduction to both of the Highlands of Scotland and the Hebrides. Other particularly beautiful places that the network explores include the Cairngorm National Park, on the Inverness to Edinburgh line, which passes through magnificent and verdant pine forests, as well as nearby the iconic Cairngorm Mountain.
The stock that traverses the lines are comfortable and modern, with spacious carriages and seating, as well as large windows through which to see the passing beauty of the Scottish countryside. New trains will be coming soon in the next few years, with more services, power sockets, Wi-Fi, and improved accessibility.
Also known as 'the Iron Road to the Isles', a journey on the West Highland Line is an epic rail adventure that takes passengers through some of the world's most beautiful and dramatic landscapes. In fact the line has twice been voted the world's best rail journey by readers of Wanderlust magazine.
Running from Glasgow's Queen Street station, the train runs through the city's outskirts and on to Helensburgh. From here the train begins its ascent into the famous Highlands.
Soon the train skirts the beautiful Loch Long, followed by the immense Loch Lomond, as it makes its way up the ever-increasing gradients. The journey continues alongside the Loch - Britain's largest body of inland water - whilst winding through pretty wooden slopes.
Continuing northward through charming isolated villages, the train then climbs more than 500 feet (150 m) in just five miles, before arriving at the tiny hamlet Crianlarich. Here the West Highland Line splits into two branches. One continues to Fort William and Mallaig, the other heads west to Oban.
Doubletree by Hilton Edinburgh is an expansive 4-Star estate between Queensferry Crossing and Forth Road Bridge on the north shore of River Forth. The rooms provide all modern amenities including climate control facilities, Wi-Fi, desk and chair, television set, and en suite provisions. Guests have complimentary access to the gym. The restaurant has an inhouse restaurant specialising in Scottish menus, especially grill and fish. Dining experience in this restaurant comes with complimentary views of the breathtaking Forth River and its impressive bridges.
We offer a selection of upgrades and 'add-ons' designed to help you make the most of your holiday - and make it even easier!