Grand Tour Great Britain
Grand Tour Great Britain, July 2019
Just once a year, the Belmond Royal Scotsman exclusive luxury train leaves Scotland for the 7-night Grand Tour Great Britain with a maximum of 40 guests.
About the Belmond Royal Scotsman
The rich interiors of the Royal Scotsman reflect an Edwardian feel, with elegant lounges, wonderfully comfortable suites; embracing the essence of the Country House weekend.
Here is a plan of the Belmond Royal Scotsman.
Why is the Belmond Royal Scotsman so special? See some reasons here.
Itinerary, Grand Tour Great Britain
Friday 5 July 2019
Belmond Royal Scotsman departs Edinburgh Waverley Station in the early afternoon and travels north over the Forth Rail Bridge and through the Kingdom of Fife on its way to the 'Fair City' of Perth. Enjoy afternoon tea as you continue north-west on the Highland line through the pretty Perthshire towns of Dunkeld, Pitlochry and Blair Atholl with its imposing castle.
Arrive early this evening in the peaceful Highland village of Boat of Garten on the private Strathspey Railway. An informal dinner is served followed by entertainment in the Observation Car.
Depart: 13:21 Edinburgh Waverley Station
Saturday 6 July 2019
Leaving Boat of Garten after breakfast, travel the short distance by coach to Rothiemurchus Estate in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. Rothiemurchus Forest is one of the largest and most important remnants of the native Caledonian pine forest which used to cover most of Scotland. Here you can enjoy a variety of activities including clay pigeon shooting, fishing or a guided tour of the Estate with one of the Park Rangers, followed by refreshments and a warm welcome from your hosts in their hunting lodge.
Return to the train for lunch before disembarking to visit Culloden, site of the last battle on mainland British soil on 16 April 1746. Our Highlander explains how this battle changed the way of life in the Highlands forever.
Continue east, following the Moray coast, and then inland to Keith where you have an opportunity to visit Strathisla Distillery, the oldest and one of the most picturesque working distilleries in the Highlands, and home to the malt which is incorporated into one of Scotland's most famous blends, Chivas Regal.
Return to the train in Keith and enjoy a formal dinner as you travel south through Speyside and Aberdeenshire towards Dundee on the banks of the Firth of Tay. Retire to the Observation Car for coffee and liqueurs followed by evening entertainment.
Sunday 7 July 2019
Travelling south from Dundee this morning, cityscapes give way to rolling hills as the train approaches the Scottish-English border. A leisurely lunch is served as the train crosses into England, past the fringes of the Lake District National Park. Disembark to visit to the beautiful walled city of Chester, founded by the Romans almost 2000 years ago. You can still walk round the city walls, which almost completely surround the city. Join a guided walking tour which includes a visit to the magnificent Chester Cathedral, one of the most complete medieval monastic complexes in the country, or browse the shops in the many quaint cobbled streets and alleys.
An informal dinner is served as the train crosses another border, this time into the Land of the Red Dragon, Wales. The train wends its way through the Welsh valleys to Llanrwst where it stables overnight. Disembark to visit Gwydir Castle in the beautiful Vale of Conwy, in the foothills of Snowdonia. Regarded as one of the finest Tudor houses in Wales, the castle was the ancestral home of the powerful Wynn baronets, descended from the Kings and Princes of Gwynedd and one of the most significant families in Wales during the Tudor and Stuart periods. Famous for its peacocks, the castle is also known for its many ghosts and has the reputation for being one of the most haunted houses in Wales.
Monday 8 July 2019
After a short journey along Wales' scenic north coast, disembark in Bangor for the transfer to nearby Caernarfon with its mighty castle dominating the town. Your steam train awaits to transport you up into Snowdonia National Park with its outstanding mountain scenery. Have cameras at the ready as the Welsh Highland Railway, hauled by one of the world's most powerful narrow gauge steam locomotives, climbs from sea level up to 650ft on the lower slopes of Mount Snowdon, the highest mountain in England and Wales.
After morning coffee on board, disembark in Beddgelert to continue your journey by coach to the Isle of Anglesey, crossing the Menai Strait with its landmark suspension bridge, a triumph of civil engineering completed by Thomas Telford in 1826.
Arrive at Plas Cadnant Hidden Gardens in time for a light lunch featuring local Welsh specialities. Described as North Wales' best kept secret, Plas Cadnant Estate is steeped in 900 years of colourful local history. The cascading glories of Plas Cadnant lay amid overgrown ruins until an ex-farmer took on the challenge of a restoration that is still going on. Learn about the history and restoration as the owner takes you on a private guided tour.
Return to the mainland and re-join Belmond Royal Scotsman in Bangor in time to relax before cocktails and an informal dinner are served. Your evening journey takes you back into England through the counties of Cheshire and Shropshire en route to Gloucester where the train stables overnight.
Tuesday 9 July 2019
The train departs Gloucester in the early hours of the morning travelling south through Bristol and Taunton and on to Newton Abbot in Devon before heading north again. Be sure not to miss the journey along the legendary Dawlish Sea Wall just before breakfast, one of the UK's most scenic railway lines, before arriving in the city of Bath. This World Heritage site has some of the most magnificent Georgian buildings anywhere in the UK. Visitors flock to Bath from all over the world to see its Roman Baths, built around the only hot spring in Britain, and to photograph the iconic Royal Crescent. Bath also boasts a superb, varied range of museums as well as excellent shopping in its compact city centre.
Return to the train in time for a light lunch, with time to relax before disembarking for dinner at one of the UK's finest country house hotels, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons. Nestled in the picturesque Oxfordshire village of Great Milton, the hotel is renowned as one of Britain's finest gastronomic experiences created by celebrated chef Raymond Blanc. The hotel has been delighting guests since 1984. A year later it was awarded two Michelin stars, which it has now held for a remarkable 33 years.
Re-join the train in Oxford and relax with an after-dinner drink as you travel south through Berkshire and then through the outskirts of London before heading north to the private Nene Valley Railway near Peterborough where the train stables overnight.
Wednesday 10 July 2019
Enjoy a relaxing morning on board the train as you travel south to Cambridge, home to one of the world's most famous academic establishments, the 800-year-old University of Cambridge.
Visit historic King's College, one of the most famous of the university's 31 colleges, founded in 1441 by King Henry VI. The beautiful college chapel with its fine medieval stained glass windows is not to be missed. Enjoy an exclusive look inside the Parker Library, the rare book and manuscripts library of Corpus Christi College. Parker Library is known throughout the world due to its invaluable collection of over 600 manuscripts, particularly medieval texts, the majority of which were bequeathed to the College by Archbishop Matthew Parker.
Experience first-hand a wonderful Cambridge tradition as you take a leisurely punt on the River Cam. Discover from your knowledgeable private guide how the city has evolved from medieval market town to world-class centre for education. Enjoy the impressive views along the route of the majestic university colleges and look out for the historic Bridge of Sighs, the covered bridge named after the Bridge of Sighs in Venice and one of Cambridge's most famous landmarks.
Belmond Royal Scotsman departs Cambridge in the early evening as you prepare for an informal dinner on board en route to Scarborough on the east coast, where the train stables overnight.
Thursday 11 July 2019
Breakfast is served as the train travels west to the Roman walled city of York, which early in the third century served as the capital of the entire Roman Empire for two years.
Join a guided tour or enjoy some free time to explore this historic city. Take in the splendour of York Minster, the largest Gothic Cathedral in Northern Europe, and see the 700-year-old timber-frame houses on The Shambles, Europe's best-preserved medieval street. Railway enthusiasts can enjoy a visit to the National Railway Museum, home to the UK's rail collection, including Stephenson's Rocket, the Mallard and perhaps the most famous engine of all, the Flying Scotsman.
Back on board, sit back and relax as the train continues north to Alnmouth, where you disembark early evening for an exclusive viewing and a celebratory dinner at Alnwick Castle, the 'Windsor of the North', whose history lacks nothing in drama and intrigue. Alnwick Castle is the second largest inhabited castle in England, and has been the home of the Percys, Earls and Dukes of Northumberland since 1309. The breathtaking setting provides the ideal backdrop for the grand finale of your week on board Belmond Royal Scotsman. Back on board, farewell drinks are served in the Observation Car as the train makes its way to Newcastle to stable overnight.
Friday 12 July 2019
Enjoy your final morning on board as you leave Newcastle behind en route to Edinburgh Waverley Station and the conclusion of your Grand Tour of Great Britain.
Arrive: 10:00 Edinburgh Waverley Station
Please note: Belmond Royal Scotsman operates within the constraints of the railway network. Timings, routes and itineraries are subject to change.
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