This two-centred tour allows you to experience three remarkable rail journeys – the Strathspey Railway from Aviemore, the Kyle Line from Dingwall to the Kyle of Lochalsh and a return journey on the world-famous Jacobite Steam Railway. Join us as we take to road and rail through the breathtaking scenery of the Highlands
Day 1 Leaving the south coast early in the morning we make our way north to Gretna for our overnight stay.
Day 2 We cross the border and continue via the motorways around Glasgow and onto Stirling for our lunch stop. The spectacular castle perches high above the city, and the Old Town boasts beautifully preserved medieval and Renaissance churches and mansions, cobbled streets and pleasant shops and cafés. We then continue past Perth and Pitlochry, through the wonderful scenery of the Grampian Mountains and on to the Duke of Gordon Hotel in Kingussie, for a four-night stay.
Day 3 Leaving Kingussie after breakfast, we travel by coach to Fort William to board the Jacobite Steam Train to enjoy one of the most remarkable rail journeys in the world, and made even more famous as the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter films. Beginning in the shadow of Ben Nevis, the train travels along the West Highland Line extension along the shores of Loch Eil and over the 21 arches of the dramatic Glenfinnan Viaduct. Enjoy unforgettable views across Highland terrain as we approach the coast and the busy fishing town of Mallaig. We have some free time in the town before hopping back aboard the train to see the journey from an entirely different perspective on the return journey. We return to our hotel by coach.
Day 4 Today is free to enjoy the scenery around our hotel. There are some lovely walking routes close by, and two miles away is the Highland Folk Museum. The lounge bar of our hotel is open for purchasing lunch if you wish. Alternatively, you could take the train or bus to Aviemore or Inverness for your own exploration.
Day 5 After a leisurely breakfast, we take the short drive to Aviemore, a charming town in the centre of the National Park. After some time to explore and get some lunch, we enjoy a heritage railway journey along the Spey Valley on the Strathspey Railway to Broomhill. Our final visit is to Grantown-on-Spey for some tea and cake before we return to our hotel.
Day 6 Another day of stunning scenery as we take a meandering route to our next hotel. We drive south west past Loch Laggan and along Glen Spean before heading north along the shores of Loch Lochy to the Caledonian Canal and Fort Augustus at the southern tip of Loch Ness. Travelling along the western shore, we have views of Urquhart Castle and time to spot Nessie. We spend a little time in the afternoon in Inverness, before reaching Beauly and The Priory Hotel, for a two-night stay.
Day 7 Today we enjoy one of the world’s finest coast to coast rail journeys as we travel from Dingwall to the Kyle of Lochalsh on a two-hour journey through some of Scotland’s most rugged and spectacular scenery. Keep an eye out for Ben Wyvis just after Dingwall and before the wild mountainscape between Lochs Luichart and Carron. Then through Plockton and on to the Kyle of Lochalsh with the Isle of Skye just over the water. After some free time, we are met by our coach for an equally picturesque journey back to Beauly through Glen Sheil and Glen Moriston, and along Loch Ness.
Day 8 Leaving Beauly after breakfast, we travel south passing Pitlochry and Perth on our way to Edinburgh. We enjoy a few short hours in this remarkable town before continuing across the border, through Northumbria to our overnight hotel in the Newcastle area.
Day 9 After breakfast we continue southwards making suitable refreshment stops along the way. We reach the local area early evening and meet our taxis for the last leg of the journey home.
Our three-star hotel is ideally located to the west of Inverness along the shores of the Beauly Firth, in the attractive town square of Beauly. It is a traditional building but has been tastefully modernised and has a pleasant open plan dining area and a lift. Bedrooms are equipped with TV, telephone, WiFi, hairdryer and hospitality tray.
With origins in the 18th Century, our three-star hotel in kingussie was once visited by Queen Victoria, and prides itself on excellent dining and a relaxing atmosphere in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. Bedrooms have TV, telephone, WiFi and hospitality tray. The hotel has a lift to some rooms.