Discover the scenic splendour of the mountains, glens and lochs of Northwest Scotland and the Western Isles on this unique Scottish travel tour.
After a high-speed journey north and an overnight stay next to Loch Lomond, you’ll enjoy a lake cruise on the loch and an excursion on ‘The Jacobite’ steam train, one of the great railway journeys of the world, before heading north to Fort William. There’s a sea ferry transfer and a coach tour of Skye to savour before you visit Lewis and Harris in the Outer Hebrides for a two-night stay. You’ll also explore the North West Highlands with a ride to Durness on the far north coast, followed by a road trip east to Dunrobin Castle. Other tour highlights include a falconry display, a tour of Lewis, dolphin sightings and photo opportunities galore! With comfortable accommodation guaranteed, excellent cuisine and relaxed first class travel wherever possible, why not see for yourself the glorious appeal of this unique and rugged land as you visit areas other tours rarely go. It’s the ultimate Scottish 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, following the East Coast Main Line (ECML) through increasingly spectacular landscapes. A light lunch will be served at your seat as you speed on in sumptuous First-Class style. Stopping at York to take on passengers who have travelled by service train from Peterborough, you continue your journey along the ECML via Newcastle and Edinburgh and on to Stirling. From there a coach takes you to your hotel for dinner and overnight accommodation, 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; north to Fort William
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 north to Fort William. The route passes through spectacular scenery, crossing the remote Rannoch Moor. Fort William is located in a prime position on Loch Linnhe with the majestic Ben Nevis, which at 4,406 feet is Britain’s highest mountain, as the 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. This unforgettable 42-mile route 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 has followed the tour with the luggage, to your hotel in Portree, the island’s main town and well known for its picturesque harbour. (B D)
Coach tour of Skye; Lewis and Harris in the Outer Hebrides
This morning you explore the fascinating Isle of Skye by road coach. Skye is the largest island in the Inner Hebrides and the island’s peninsulas radiate from a mountainous centre dominated by the Cuillin, the rocky slopes of which provide some of the most dramatic scenery in the country. The Black Cuillin mountain range is the only truly alpine environment in Britain and has twelve summits above 3,000 feet. Your 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)
Guided tour of The Isle of Lewis
Today a guided coach tour of the Isle of Lewis awaits you. The Isle of Lewis is at the North west corner of the Hebrides and has a rich cultural heritage. From the neat Victorian homes lining the streets of Stornoway, to the stretching white sands of Bosta on Great Bernera in the east, where the clear Atlantic waters sound the evocative toll of the Time and Tide Bell, Lewis is an island of exciting contrasts and diverse experiences. Places of particular interest include the Butt of Lewis cliffs and lighthouse, Carloway Broch, Lewis Bridge and the Callinish Standing Stones, an impressive stone circle comparable to Stonehenge. Lunch will be taken during the tour and dinner will be served at your hotel this evening. (B L D)
Free time in Stornaway; ferry to Ullapool; north to Lochinver
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)
By road to the 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 east by road coach along isolated mountain roads passing through Lairg and Golspie before arriving at Dunrobin Castle, the family seat of the Earl of Sutherland, on the east coast. This impressive castle stands on high terraces with wonderful views across its formal gardens to the North Sea beyond. There’ll be time to enjoy the castle and its grounds, including a falconry display, before lunch after which you transfer 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