Discover the beauty of Scotland by rail
Experience Edinburgh before exploring the lochs, mountains and glens of Perthshire and the Cairngorms on spectacular mainline and steam railways from the pretty Perthshire village of Blair Atholl.
Your Tour Manager greets you in Edinburgh at the Ibis Edinburgh Royal Mile or South Bridge and you are free for the rest of the day to explore this historic city.
There are a myriad of things to do in exciting Edinburgh. The Royal Mile is located right in the middle of the colourful Old Town, and runs between Edinburgh Castle, perched imposingly atop an extinct volcano, and Hollyrood Palace, the official residence of Queen Elizabeth when she is in Scotland. For those who are feeling energetic, why not climb up to the top of Arthur's Seat? From here, there are amazing views of the entirety of Edinburgh and the Firth of Forth beyond.
Enjoy a morning at leisure in Scotland's proud capital from the hotel's fabulous location just off the Royal Mile. In the afternoon you will travel through scenic Perthshire to Blair Atholl for four nights at the Atholl Arms Hotel.
Today's excursion takes you to Queen's View, one of Scotland's most famous lookouts, where you can enjoy the stunning panorama stretching out across Loch Tummel to the Glencoe hills. The view from here is idyllic, as looking out over the verdant countryside, predominantly untouched by humans, it is easy to lose yourself in the calm beauty of Scotland.
Spend lunchtime in one of Perthshire's main tourist destinations, Pitlochry before visiting Blair Castle. This beautiful whitewashed building is famed for being besieged in the Jacobite Rebellion in the 18th century. It's gardens are exquisite, and the rooms inside are perfect examples of Scottish interior design through the ages - including one rooms which is covered in antlers. Recently, the castle has been used as a filming location for the ITV series 'Victoria'.
Join the Jacobite Steam Train* in Fort William for a magnificent return journey on the West Highland Line in restored carriages. The incredible West Highland Line is regularly voted as one of the most scenic railway lines in the world One of the most famous sights that the train passes crosses over is the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct, an utter marvel of engineering with 21 spans that harmonise perfectly with the surrounding rolling countryside. Of course, this viaduct has been used in numerous films, the most famous and recent being in the second 'Harry Potter' film.
After crossing the viaduct, the train continues onward towards the coast, unveiling incredible views of this wild and wonderful corner of the world. After passing through Arisaig, the line then descends towards Mallaig, a sweet fishing port that looks out over to the Isle of Skye.
*Please note: Early departures will make this journey on Scotrail's diesel service
Take a spectacular trip on the Strathspey Steam Railway through the Cairngorms from Aviemore, following the route of the historic Highland Railway. This line is arguably one of the most beautiful in Scotland, with the spectacular scenery of the Cairngorm National Park surrounding you on all sides. As you travel through the countryside, you pass dense pine forests, heathery moors, and the lush green stretches of the golf courses Scotland is so understandably famous for.
On one section, the line follows the route of the River Spey, a glorious glittering ribbon. The turning point is at Broomhill station, which should be recognisable as the station for 'Glenbogle' in the series 'Monarch of the Glen'.
After this nostalgic journey, continue to the Cairngorm Mountain Railway for a thrilling ride to the summit station**. Even from the car park at the bottom of the mountain railway, the views are nigh on unbeatable. The glitter of Loch Morlich, surrounded by verdant forest, is visable, and perhaps you might catch a glimpse of a reindeer from the only domestic herd in the United Kingdom.
As you ascend the mountain railway to the Ptarmigan summit station, more and more of the park is unveiled, and you can see all the way over the distant peaks. On arrival at the station, there is an interactive exhibit on the mountain, as well as a cafe with a viewing platform.
Please Note: For departures 18AHS06 & 18AHS07 the Cairngorm Mountain Railway will be closed for maintenance. Please call for futher details.
Bid farewell to the breathtaking highlands of Scotland, and return by train to Edinburgh where your tour concludes
On many of our UK & Ireland tours, you may check in at the first hotel on your itinerary anytime after 14:00; your Tour Manager will be available between 16:00 and 18:00. However, if you are arriving later, you can meet your Tour Manager before dinner from 19:00.
of travellers would recommend this tour
based on 22 verified reviews
The excellent work of your company and the Tour Manager, Linda Howells was frustrated by some appalling seat booking failures by Scotrail. This was evidenced by the Blair Atholl - Edinburgh journey 11.14 Friday 1st June when all 37 reserved seats were taken by people allowed to board at earlier stations from Inverness onwards. There was also some confusion about reserved seats on the journey from Edinburgh to Newark same day as other people had a claim to the same seats as we thought were ours. Newark to Stevenage was fine. The confirmation sheet from Great Rail was not clear about the first leg.
Well organised trip with a great tour manager. Weather was good all week which always helps. We had a few problems with overcrowding on the Scotrail trains. Partly due to a concert in Glasgow and also it was school half term holiday. I would not choose to travel in school holidays again.
Very pleasant few days. Everything was well organised. The tour guide was excellent.
We enjoyed the travel on both steam and regular services , The station was very handy to the hotel .
Actual travel and rail journeys were much enjoyed. Atholl Arms Hotel however was a bit disappointing. Rooms in desperate need of a makeover but food of a reasonable standard.
The 4 star rating instead of 5 is mainly due to the inclusion of dinners on only two out of five days on which they could have been expected. The planned rail journeys were most enjoyable and the accommodation(room 403) at the Atholl Arms Hotel was very good, the only problems being poor TV reception and difficult shower temperature control. The service and food were excellent.
Day trips were excellent but hotel accommodation wasn't good& hotel needs a lot of upgrading
The holiday was very good, but it could be better if all meals were included
Very much enjoyed the holiday
The overall experience was good.
Discover the beauty of Scotland by rail