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West Highlands & Skye

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World class rail journeys in a stunningly beautiful region

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2019 Tour code: 19HSS

Itinerary

Day 1 - Glasgow

Your tour begins in Glasgow where you meet your Tour Manager at your hotel. After settling in, you are free to explore. This fantastic city is the largest in Scotland, and has gone through a fantastic renaissance in the last few decades, and is therefore an absolute delight to explore.

Glasgow is utterly filled with incredible examples of Victorian architecture, having undergone a massive time of growth during the Industrial age. This style of architecture now has the name 'Glasgow style', and was initially developed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh Now, the stunning buildings stand along some truly incredible examples of modern architecture, including 'the Armadillo', named due to it's likeness to the eponymous creature, and the wonderful Glasgow Science Centre.

Glasgow
Day 2 - West Highland Railway

Today, embark on the magnificent West Highland Line, one of the first railway journeys of your trip. One of the sights we see is sparkling Loch Lomond which the line runs alongside for a time. This is one of the most iconic sights in Scotland, and is considered the natural boundary between central Scotland and the stunning Highlands. From here, you can inspect to see some truly spectacular and atmospheric scenery as you begin your journey through the dramatic Highlands.

As you travel on to your destination, you pass under the gaze of mighty Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles. People are unsure of the true meaning of it's name, with Ben Nevis being an Anglicised version of the original Gaelic, but some believe that it means 'mountain of Heaven'. It is understandable how the mountain got this name, as it overlooks some truly magnificent views, including spectacular Glen Nevis.

After a while, and towards the end of your travel, it should be possible to see over the sea to Skye. A truly dramatic view, this unveils itself in full glory as you approach. Upon arrival at the station you transfer by coach for a three night stay at the Morar Hotel.

Please note: on some departures, this journey is done by coach. Please call for more details.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
West Highland Line
Day 3 - Jacobite Steam Train

Hailed as one of the great railway journeys of the world, the Jacobite Steam Train† travels between Fort William and Mallaig, passing lochs, rivers, mountains, silvery beaches and beautiful villages along the way. The Jacobite is one of the most beloved locomotives in the world, and riding on it gives the already wonderful West Highland Line an extra touch of magic.

An undoubted highlight of this journey is the Glenfinnan Viaduct, a 21-span feat of engineering made up nearly entirely of concrete. This pale beauty curves gently with the landscape as it crosses the valley below, but it does so in such a way that it blends seemlessly with the surrounding verdant moorland and nearby loch.

Later there is time to explore the Station Museum, dedicated to the history of this line, which also serves as a popular Hollywood filming location, serving as part of the set for several of the Harry Potter films.

**Due to the Jacobite Steam Train timetable, the itinerary of this day depends on your departure date. Departures before mid May will likely be by coach and diesel train. Certain departures where the afternoon Jacobite Steam Service isn't running will travel by Jacobite Steam from Glenfinnan to Fort William

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Jacobite Steam Train
Day 4 - Isle of Skye

The incredible Isle of Skye is a short ferry crossing away this morning. On arrival, enjoy a panoramic coach tour taking in the jagged peaks of the Cuillin Hills, which are almost alpine in their craggy and often snow capped appearance. We also see the wild moors, sheer sea cliffs and tranquil lochs that have made Skye famous. This incredible island was the shelter of Bonnie Prince Charlie, smuggled over to the island by Flora MacDonald after his defeat at Culloden.

You travel all the way to the North West corner of Skye to visit Dunvegan Castle & Gardens. An ancient site, with roots tracing back to Norse settlements, this castle has been the seat of the MacLeod clan since the 13th century. The castle underwent a transformation in the 19th century, turning it into a more Baronial mansion than the fortress it once was.

The incredible gardens are a delight to explore. The walled garden is an incredible verdant oasis, reminding visitors of stately country gardens, whereas the beautiful Round Garden overlooks the wild beauty of the rest of Skye.

 

Please note: Departure 19HSS17 will visit Eilean Donan Castle, the most iconic in Scotland, as an alternative to Dunvegan Castle, which will be out of visiting season on this departure date.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
The Isle of Skye
Days 5-6 - West Highland Railway

Travel back along the West Highland Line to Glasgow, enjoying the wild, unspoilt areas of natural beauty. This is your final railway journey, and it is wonderful to be able to see this spectacular route from a different perspective. It is also the perfect way to ease back into the lowlands, as the dramatic peaks of the Highlands gently give way to the undulating hills.

After breakfast on Day 6, you are free to depart at your leisure

Includes
  • Day 5 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 6 - Breakfast
Glasgow
Day 6 - Homeward bound

After breakfast the tour concludes and you are free to depart at your own pace.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Glasgow