Western Aboard 'The Royal Scotsman' (2013-14)
Luxury Train Travel: One of the most romantic ways to discover a destination
- Day 1: Edinburgh - Spean Bridge
The Royal Scotsman departs from Edinburgh early afternoon and heads west through Falkirk, Clydebank and Dumbarton to skirt Glasgow and so reach the northern bank of the Clyde.
Near the mouth of the Clyde estuary lies Craigendoran, the starting point for the majestic West Highland Line.
Enjoy afternoon tea as you travel along the edge of Gare Loch. Loch Long comes into sight to your left, and after vanishing for a while, returns with a view of Ben Arthur (The Cobbler) with its distinctive peak.
Passing Arrochar you will get your first view of Loch Lomond. The train descends almost to the water's edge at Ardlui, and then has a hard climb up Glen Falloch, whose many waterfalls provide an impressive display.
As you continue north you will pass through Crianlarich and Bridge of Orchy. There are spectacular views of Rannoch Moor before arrival in Spean Bridge where the train stables overnight. After a formal dinner you meet Ray Owens, a Highlander who brings to life the stories of Scottish heroes. Listening to Ray, you will gain a true sense of the past and learn how life in the Highlands has changed over the centuries.The Royal Scotsman | Meals: D
- Day 2: Spean Bridge - Bridge of Orchy
Breakfast is served as your journey continues west, passing through Fort William with views of Ben Nevis (Britain's highest mountain). Travelling by the side of Loch Eil you then pass Glenfinnan and Lochailort, before turning north along this stunning coastline until reaching Arisaig. Here you can disembark for a romantic walk along the beautiful Morar Sands, a magnificent expanse of gleaming white sand, where you can enjoy excellent views across the Sound of Sleat to the beautiful Isle of Skye with its awe-inspiring Cuillin Mountains.
Rejoining the train, your lunch is served as the train retraces the route towards Fort William. Here you will disembark and enjoy a relaxing boat cruise on Loch Linnhe. While taking in the breathtaking scenery you may also spot some of the local wildlife.
After your leisurely boat cruise you will return to the train and enjoy an informal dinner as you head south towards Bridge of Orchy where the train stables overnight.The Royal Scotsman | Meals: B L D
- Day 3: Bridge of Orchy - Wemyss Bay
Leaving Bridge of Orchy this morning enjoy breakfast en route south towards Glasgow and Gourock. At Wemyss Bay, board the ferry across to the Isle of Bute. The island embraces a variety of landscapes; seashore, moorland, farmland and forest. The natural history, geography, geology and ancient history of the island are revealed at every turn. From St Blane's Chapel at the south of the island to the abandoned townships in Glen More at the north, it seems that every stone has its tale to tell.
Mount Stuart is Britain's most spectacular Victorian Gothic house. This was the architectural fantasy of the 3rd Marquess of Bute and his architect Sir Robert Rowand Anderson. Stunning, mysterious interiors reflect the romantic and scholarly Marquess' passion for art, heraldry, astrology, mythology and religion. At Mount Stuart, there is arguably the finest privately held collection of family portraits in Scotland.
Following your afternoon tea, you will have time to explore this magnificent house, its tranquil Rock Garden, the Wee Garden containing rare plants from the southern hemisphere, the Kitchen Garden and the Victorian Pinetum. The Limetree Avenue leads you to a secluded stretch of coastline and one of the most beautiful beaches in Scotland.
You return to the mainland and rejoin the train in Wemyss Bay where a formal dinner is served and the train stables for the night.The Royal Scotsman | Meals: B L D
- Day 4: Wemyss Bay - Edinburgh
You depart Wemyss Bay this morning and enjoy breakfast as you travel east towards Edinburgh where your journey ends.Meals: B