Classic Journey Aboard 'The Royal Scotsman' (2013-14)
Luxury Train Travel: One of the most romantic ways to discover a destination
- Day 1: Edinburgh - Keith
The Royal Scotsman departs Edinburgh Waverley Station early afternoon, and travels north across the Firth of Forth by means of the magnificent Forth Railway Bridge. This is one of the first cantilever bridges, designed and built by Benjamin Baker in the late 1880s. It is considered one of the greatest achievements of the Victorian Age, and known as the eighth wonder of the world.
Enjoy your afternoon tea as you journey through the former Kingdom of Fife and across the Tay Bridge.
Follow the east coast, passing through Arbroath, Montrose and Aberdeen before arriving in Huntly, where you will disembark for a traditional Scottish ceilidh at Strathisla.
You then rejoin the train in market town of Keith for an informal dinner and overnight stabling.The Royal Scotsman | Meals: D
- Day 2: Keith - Kyle of Lochalsh
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast as the train departs Keith and travels west towards Inverness, capital of the Highlands. Travel on to Muir of Ord where you disembark to visit Glen Ord distillery.
Returning to the train, lunch will served as you travel towards Kyle of Lochalsh, on what is arguably the most scenic route in Britain.
You pass through Dingwall and Garve, which lies under the shadow of Cnoc na h-Iolaire. The line passes Loch Luichart and the Torridon mountains, which are so old they contain no fossils. Geologists believe that they were formed before any life began. On through Achnasheen, then the climb to Luib summit and Achnashellach forest before descending to Strathcarron. The train then follows the edge of Loch Carron through Attadale, Stromeferry and Duncraig.
At Plockton you will have an opportunity to become your own guide and explore this picturesque Scottish Highland village. Be at one with nature, as you take a boat trip to see the colony of wild seals, and relish the magnificent views across the Isle of Skye to the Applecross Mountains. There is also a woodland walk, which leads to a viewpoint overlooking the loch. Alternatively visit the local art gallery or simply wander through this charming village. Afterwards rendezvous at the Plockton Hotel, where there is time to enjoy a dram or two before rejoining the motorcoach.
You return to the train in Kyle of Lochalsh for overnight stabling. Dinner this evening is formal and afterwards there is entertainment in the Observation Car. Marvel at the view from the train's veranda as you gaze over Loch Alsh to the Isle of Skye.The Royal Scotsman | Meals: B L D
- Day 3: Kyle of Lochalsh - Boat of Garten
After your breakfast the train departs Kyle and you retrace part of yesterday's route as far as Dingwall. Have your cameras ready for the views of Plockton across the bay to the left, where you can see whitewashed cottages with fishing boats and yachts riding at anchor. Travelling round the edge of the Beauly Firth, you cross the northern end of the Caledonian Canal shortly before reaching Inverness.
The train continues south to Carrbridge where you disembark for your visit to Ballindalloch, one of Scotland's most romantic castles, with wonderful gardens. Set in the magnificent surroundings of the Spey valley, Ballindalloch has been the home of the Macpherson-Grant family since 1546. The family have adapted their castle with the twists and turns of fortune and history into the elegant and comfortable seat at the heart of their working estate that we see today.
You return to the train at Boat of Garten on the private Strathspey Railway for overnight stabling. A formal dinner is served and afterwards you meet a Highlander who brings to life the stories of Scottish heroes. Listening, 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: B L D
- Day 4: Boat of Garten - Dundee
After breakfast you disembark the train at Boat of Garten and take the motorcoach to Rothiemurchus Estate where you can choose from a number of activities which may include fishing, clay pigeon shooting, a guided walk or alternatively, you may simply prefer to relax by the fire at Drumintoul Lodge and admire the stunning scenery while enjoying some time on your own.
You rejoin the train in Kinggussie and enjoy lunch as you journey south through Blair Atholl and Pitlochry to Dunkeld, where you disembark for your visit to Glamis Castle, Seat of the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, and childhood home of the late HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. Not only is the castle steeped in history, it’s beautiful architecture, stunning gardens, legends and myths make it all the more magical.
Rejoining the train in Perth you will enjoy an informal dinner on the move before stabling for the evening at Dundee.The Royal Scotsman | Meals: B L D
- Day 5: Dundee - Edinburgh
After breakfast, the train leaves Dundee and travels through the Kingdom of Fife to Edinburgh and the end of the adventure.Meals: B