It’s the adventure of a lifetime as you experience the scenic splendour of the mountains, glens and lochs of the Western Isles on this ultimate Scottish travel tour.
You’ll get to Scotland on a fast train in comfortable First Class style travelling through increasingly wild countryside. The remote and tranquil Northwest Highlands beyond Ullapool are a world apart from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and on trips to the Isle of Skye, the Outer Hebrides, and the Northwest Highlands, you’ll visit areas where other tours rarely go. There are sea crossings by ferry to and from the islands, including Lewis and Harris where you’ll discover a culture unique to the British Isles. Cruise on Loch Lomond and journey on ‘The Jacobite’ steam train, one of the great railway journeys of the world. Visit the far northwest of Scotland and see for yourself the glorious appeal of this rugged land. It’s all adventure and more on this outstanding travel tour – definitely one not to be missed!
‘Highland Chieftain’ to Scotland
From the comfort of the First Class Lounge at London’s King’s Cross Station you join the ‘Highland Chieftain’ for the scenic journey to Scotland. This train follows the East Coast Main Line (ECML) via historic connections and through magnificent landscapes. A light lunch will be served at your seat as you speed on in First Class style. Stopping at York to take on passengers who have travelled by service train from Peterborough, the train continues its journey along the ECML via Newcastle and Edinburgh and on to Stirling. From there a coach takes you to The Inn at Inverbeg for dinner and overnight accommodation. The Inn prides itself on excellent customer service and is located in beautiful countryside on the banks of Loch Lomond with stunning views of both the Loch and Ben Lomond. (L D)
Lake Cruise on Loch Lomond
After a leisurely breakfast and perhaps a stroll by the Loch, a road coach takes you the short distance to Tarbet. From here a private cruise on Loch Lomond is scheduled, with a light lunch taken on board. Afterwards you rejoin the coach for the return trip to Arrochar and Tarbet Station to catch a train to Fort William. The route passes through spectacular scenery, crossing the remote Rannoch Moor, to Fort William. The town is located in a prime position on Loch Linnhe with the majestic Ben Nevis, at 4,406 feet Britain’s highest mountain, as its backdrop. Your train arrives late afternoon when you check in to your hotel for dinner and overnight accommodation. (B L D)
‘The Jacobite’ and over the Sea to Skye
A major tour highlight is a trip on ‘The Jacobite’ steam train, which has been described as one of the great railway journeys of the world. The train runs from Fort William to Mallaig through some of the most magnificent scenery that Scotland has to offer. Mountains, glens, streams, lochs and the sea combine to provide an unending collage of outstanding views. En route you cross the world famous 21-arch Glenfinnan Viaduct, built entirely of concrete and featured in a number of films and TV series. You’ll have around two hours in Mallaig to explore the village and fishing port and find lunch, before boarding the ferry for Armadale on the Isle of Skye. You then travel on the road coach, which as always has followed the tour with the luggage, to your hotel in Portree. (B D)
Lewis and Harris in the Outer Hebrides
The Isle of Skye is the largest island in the Inner Hebrides and famous for its mountainous centre dominated by the Cuillin Hills. The Black Cuillin in particular are one of the most dramatic mountain ranges in the country. The coach pauses a few times for photo opportunities as it crosses Trotternish, the northern peninsula of Skye, to Uig. Here you join a ferry for the one and half hour crossing to Tarbert on the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides. Although not an island itself, Harris is the southern and more mountainous part of Lewis and Harris. You travel through the exposed countryside to the island’s capital, Stornoway, and the hotel where you will stay and dine for the next two nights. (B D)
The Isle of Lewis
Today a guided coach tour of the Isle of Lewis awaits you. Lewis has a rich cultural heritage, and places of particular interest include: the Butt of Lewis cliffs and lighthouse; a restored thatched black house, the main housing on the island around 100 years ago; Carloway Broch, a pre-historic round castle; Lewis Bridge; and the Callinish Standing Stones, an impressive stone circle comparable to Stonehenge. Lunch will be taken during the tour. Dinner will be taken at the hotel this evening. (B L D)
This morning you’ll have some free time to explore Stornoway and a choice of visiting Lews Castle and grounds, the impressive war memorial, or the harbour area. Observance of the Christian Sabbath, Sunday, had long been a unique aspect of the island’s culture and until July 2009 there were no Sunday ferry services to or from Stornoway. You’ll then take a ferry across ‘The Minch’, maybe sighting dolphins en route, and return to the mainland at Ullapool. The road coach from Ullapool then goes north to Lochinver, a pleasant village with a beautiful harbour and a magnificent mountain backdrop. You’ll stay at the luxurious Inverlodge Hotel, set on a hillside overlooking the bay, for the next two nights. All rooms present amazing views and deer often appear on the lawns outside. (B D)
North West Scottish Highlands
There’s a day trip by road coach today, to discover the remote and impressive landscape of the North West Highlands. You pass through magnificent mountain scenery with striking lochs and glens, and maybe catch a glimpse of some uncommon wildlife. You begin to notice the wild sea as you travel near to the coast at Scourie. Your destination is Durness on the far north coast of Scotland, an area of unspoilt beaches backed by cliffs. The surrounding coastline is some of Europe’s most isolated and spectacular, where sea birds, seals, porpoises and minke whales may be seen. You stop in the village and take time for lunch. In the afternoon you return by coach to the hotel at Lochinver. (B D)
Dunrobin Castle and Inverness
Today you travel by road coach the breadth of Scotland, mostly along isolated mountain roads. Approaching the east coast you pass through Lairg and Golspie before arriving at Dunrobin Castle. This impressive castle stands on high terraces with wonderful views across its formal gardens to the North Sea beyond. A highlight of the visit is the falconry display. Lunch is provided before transferring to Golspie Station to board a train to Inverness. You then transfer to your hotel for dinner and overnight accommodation. (B L D)
The ‘Highland Chieftain’ to London
After an early breakfast at the hotel you transfer to the railway station to join the ‘Highland Chieftain’ for the return journey to London. You can relax again in First Class seats as you leave Inverness and pass through the wonderful Highlands en route to Perth, Edinburgh, Newcastle, York and London King’s Cross. A light lunch will be served on the journey south. (B L)
All prices shown are per person.
Meals included each day are shown as:
B = Breakfast - L = Lunch - D = Dinner