Scotland Railway Experience
United Kingdom, 9 Days From $ 1,750 per person Themes
Traveling by train through Scotland combines the romance of the railways with the enjoyment, in comfort, of overwhelming natural beauty. Allow yourself to be captivated by the enchantment as slowly rising mists reveal the romantic scenery of isolated glens. Discover the landscape, from the wild flower meadows of the island valleys to the fascinating world of mountain and waterfall in the northern Highlands. Rail travel in Scotland has a romance all its own.
The special charms of a train journey through Scotland are the distant views of tremendous cliffs and ancient castles, of empty moorland and misty peaks, of lochs and glens, giving way to isolated beaches of white sand and dreamy vistas over the Hebridean islands, or to a picturesque fishing village. Be astonished by the achievements of pioneering engineers, such as the world-famous Forth Railway Bridge and the bold viaducts of the West Highland Line.
Encounter the impressive monuments of Scotland's eventful history as you follow winding railtracks through deep glens. The capital city, Edinburgh, with its abundant choice of cultural activities, and a flexible and varied sightseeing program which includes castles, distilleries, woollen mills, cosy little Highland towns and many other attractions complement a successful discovery tour of Scotland.
As a variation, the self guided walking tours will give you a choice of idyllic shorter walks, rewarding longer walks and demanding all day hikes all described in detail. After booking you get a detailed itinerary with a precise and easily to follow timetable and a very comprehensive program of possible activities. The great variety of cultural, historic, sporting and creative opportunities and the accompanying wealth of sightseeing possibilities will make your choices far from easy. The trains all have open plan carriages with large windows and comfortable seats, normally in double rows or single seats facing rearward as well as forward. There are many tables for four people. All trains have drinks and snacks available, generally served from a small trolley which is pushed through the compartments.
Weekly from March to October, further departures on request, including throughout the winter.
History & Culture
Why Authentic Ecotourism?
The company is:
- Committed to sustainable tourism and to preserving Scotland's natural wildlife, environment and unique cultures for future generations to enjoy.
- Pioneered an Eco Scheme where you can make an optional £2 donation when booking any tour. We will match every £1 you donate, with proceeds going to two leading Scottish environmental charities, the John Muir Trust and Trees for Life. The John Muir Trust is the UK's leading wild land conservation charity, owning and caring for some of Scotland's finest wild landscapes. Trees for Life is a Scottish charity dedicated to restoring 600 square miles of selfsustaining, Caledonian forest. In the last few years we have raised thousands of pounds in support for both these charities.
- Trees for Life ais an award-wining charity working to restore the Caledonian Forest in the Highlands of Scotland. The charity has funded the protection of a number of existing forest remnants and have so far planted over half a million trees.
- Joined the Edinburgh ECOSTARS scheme and have become the first to attain 5 stars. ECOSTARS is a European-wide voluntary scheme to provide recognition and guidance on environmental best practice to Operators of goods vehicles, buses and coaches. The scheme uses a star rating system to grade individual vehicles and recognise operational and environmental performance. It aims to reduce the energy used by all types of transport fleets by encouraging more efficient operations in reducing fuel costs and emissions.
- Joined the Travel Corporation (TTC) family of brands called TreadRight; a not for profit organisation working to ensure that the environment and communities we explore remain vibrant for future generations. TreadRight is The Travel Corporations hub for all corporate social responsibility efforts, and manages a long-standing grants program that benefits sustainable tourism projects. To date, TreadRight has donated more than USD 1.5 million to projects worldwide, and encourages industry best practice through our support for the World Travel & Tourism Council's Tourism for Tomorrow Awards.
Day 1 - Edinburgh
Arrive in Edinburgh. Transfer from airport to hotel or B&B as booked.
Day 2 - Edinburgh
Discover Edinburgh with a city tour; a visit to the city's castle, museums, Calton Hill and galleries; a hill walk on Edinburgh's mountain and Arthur's Seat or a day trip to St. Andrews (the golfer's Mecca) or Berwick Upon Tweed. Overnight in Edinburgh.
Day 3 - Glasgow
Travel by rail to Glasgow. You ca either stopover in Glasgow or travel directly on to Crianlarich. Here, you are in the historic and scenic land of "Movie Scotland" where the movies "Highlander", "Rob Roy", and "Braveheart" were filmed. In other words, you are in the Western Highlands. Nature lovers will find this an ideal center for hiking, canoeing, fishing etc. The famous long distance footpath, the West Highland Way, is right beside the hotel. Or, you can just indulge yourself in the hotel's excellent four star accommodation.
Day 4 - Crianlarich
One of the world's beautiful railway journeys: the West Highland Line is the "Road to the Isles" from Crianlarich over wild, romantic Rannoch Moor and along the Atlantic coast to Mallaig. Use the time for idyllic short walks before departure, or from stops along the route, or from Mallaig. Today you could even climb Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis. Alternatively, you can take a break at Fort William and Glenfinnan for museums and boat trips, cycle rides and shopping. Lastly, you could visit the historic monuments of famous Glenfinnan or spend the day on the white sandy beaches, swimming and relaxing.
Days 5 & 6 - Mallaig
Wander through the small coastal town of Mallaig and its harbour. Do you fancy a day trip to the seat of Clan Macdonald? Armadale Castle will charm you with its magnificent garden on the Isle of Skye. Or you can take a picnic to the Small Isles of Rum, Eigg or Muck. Experience an idyllic stroll or a breathtaking longer hike beside Europe's deepest lake, Loch Morar, or in the walkers' paradise of wild Knoydart. The warmth of the Gulf Stream tempts you to bathe. Hire a bicycle or a car for a day, or play golf on Arisaig Links. Daily in July and August, an historic steam train travels to Fort William.
Day 7 - Skye
The Wild, Wild West. You have a choice of either a romantic ferry trip over the sea to Skye followed by a scenic bus journey across the island and over the famous Skye Bridge back to the mainland at Kyle of Lochalsh. Then, some free time in the little port, before a wonderful rail journey through the lonely north-west of Scotland to Inverness. Or, taking the train from Mallaig to Fort William and public bus through the Great Glen to Inverness. You can comfortably explore the small Highland capital on foot. From there, you continue your train journey to Pitlochry in the heart of the Central Highlands.
Day 8 - Pitlochery
Enjoy the attractive scenery of the Central Highlands mountains, waterfalls and lochs. There is wonderful walking on Ben Vrackie or beside the River Tummel with the Pass of Killiecrankie and the Queen's View. Visit the imposing ducal seat of Blair Castle and its grounds or the famous salmon ladder. A particular favorite is the tour of Scotland's smallest whisky distillery.
Day 9 - Edinburgh Return
Rail journey to Edinburgh for an airport transfer or onward journey
Please inquire about departure dates for guided tours, which carry an supplemental charge.
8 nights in room with bath/shower and WC in three and four star hotels, 8 full Scottish breakfasts, 7 three-course dinners with coffee except on Day 3, all train, ferry and bus journeys in the itinerary, Edinburgh City Tour, welcome drink, maps, vouchers and comprehensive information package for clients, airport transfers by bus, transfers from station to hotel whenever the hotel is more than 3 minutes on foot from the station, 24 hour telephone service.