Grand Western Scenic Wonders Westbound
Grand Western Scenic Wonders Westbound
About the Belmond Royal Scotsman
Experience the beautiful Scottish Highlands, with ever-changing landscapes of sweeping glens, towering peaks, rugged shores and mirror-calm lochs from aboard The Belmond Royal Scotsman. It is a truly exclusive experience, with just 36 guests, ensuring maximum comfort, personal attention and space to stretch out and relax in sumptuous luxury. The rich interiors reflect an Edwardian feel, with elegant lounges, wonderfully comfortable suites and embraces the essence of the Country House weekend.
Here is a plan of the Belmond Royal Scotsman.
Belmond Royal Scotsman Suites
Itinerary Grand Western Scenic Wonders Westbound
From £9,350 per passenger, note this price is subject to dynamic pricing.
Day One: Edinburgh - Spean Bridge
Belmond Royal Scotsman departs Edinburgh Waverley Station in the early afternoon and travels west through Falkirk, Clydebank and Dumbarton to skirt Glasgow before reaching the northern bank of the Clyde. Near the mouth of the Clyde estuary lies Craigendoran, the starting point for the majestic West Highland Line.
Enjoy afternoon tea as you travel along the edge of Gare Loch. Loch Long comes into sight to your left and, after vanishing for a while, returns with a view of Ben Arthur, whose distinctive outline has earned the 884m peak the nickname The Cobbler. Passing Arrochar, you gain your first glimpse of Loch Lomond, Britain’s largest lake. The train descends almost to the water's edge at Ardlui before embarking on a hard climb up Glen Falloch, whose many waterfalls provide an impressive display.
Continuing north, the train passes through the villages of Crianlarich and Bridge of Orchy, then on to boggy and beautiful Rannoch Moor, one of the last great wildernesses of Scotland. An informal dinner is served on the way to Spean Bridge, after which you are invited to the Observation Car to enjoy lively entertainment by local musicians.
Day Two: Spean Bridge - Bridge of Orchy
As the train travels west, passing through Fort William, keep watch for the stunning views of Ben Nevis, at 1344m the UK's highest peak. Travelling by the side of Loch Eil you then pass Glenfinnan, with its impressive curved viaduct, and the hamlet of Lochailort, before turning north along the dramatic coastline to Arisaig. Alight here for a romantic walk along the beautiful Morar Sands, enjoying breathtaking views across the Sound of Sleat to the Isle of Skye and spectacular Cuillin Mountains.
Back on board, lunch is served as the train retraces its route towards Fort William. Disembark here for a fascinating visit to historic Glenfinnan, where the Jacobite Rising began in 1745. You are joined by our Highlander, who brings to life stories of the great Scottish heroes. Afterwards, enjoy afternoon tea in the elegant drawing room at Inverlochy Castle Hotel before returning to Fort William.
For those who would prefer, a guided hike is available this afternoon (weather permitting). A mountain ranger will lead you through the scenic Nevis Gorge to the Steall Waterfall, the second highest in the UK. This is a moderate-grade, two-hour walk, which is steep, rocky and slippery in places, therefore requiring a reasonable level of fitness. Sturdy walking boots with a good tread and ankle support, a waterproof jacket and suitable trousers are essential. Walking boots and waterproofs can be provided, subject to availability.
Return to the train in Fort William and relax. An informal dinner is served as you travel south towards the tiny Argyll village of Bridge of Orchy. After dinner, indulge in a nightcap while listening to the evening entertainment in the Observation Car.
Day Three: Bridge of Orchy - Wemyss Bay - Kilmarnock
Leaving Bridge of Orchy this morning, soak up the dramatic Highland scenery as you journey south towards Glasgow and the west coast. Board the ferry in Wemyss Bay for the 35-minute crossing to the Isle of Bute. The island embraces a variety of landscapes:
seashore, moorland, farmland and forest. The natural history, geography, geology and ancient history of the island are revealed at every turn. From St Blane's Chapel at the south of the island to the abandoned townships in Glen More at the north, it seems every stone has a tale to tell.
Visit Mount Stuart, Britain's most spectacular Victorian Gothic house and the fantasy of the 3rd Marquess of Bute and his architect, Sir Robert Rowand Anderson. Mysterious and surprising interiors reflect the marquess's passion for art, astrology and mythology, and the mansion is home to one of the finest privately held collections of family portraits in Scotland.
After enjoying afternoon tea in the Drawing Room, you are invited to explore the magnificent house and the grounds, which include a rock garden, kitchen garden, display of rare plants and a Victorian pinetum. Stroll down the limetree avenue to discover a secluded stretch of coastline and lovely views towards the mainland.
Return to the train in Wemyss Bay, where a delicious formal dinner is served on the way to Kilmarnock, our stabling location for the evening. Relax in the Observation Car over coffee, liqueurs and traditional Scottish music.
Day Four: Kilmarnock - Edinburgh
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast on the move this morning as you travel east towards Edinburgh.
Disembark in Edinburgh where you will be escorted to The Royal Yacht Britannia for a guided tour followed by a light lunch on board. Alternatively, enjoy some free time to explore Scotland's vibrant capital city.
Re-join the train in the early afternoon as it travels north, crossing the Firth of Forth by means of the magnificent Forth Railway Bridge. This is one of the oldest cantilever bridges to be built, designed by Benjamin Baker in the late 1880s and considered one of the greatest achievements of the Victorian Age.
Enjoy afternoon tea as you journey through the former Kingdom of Fife. The train follows the east coast, passing through Arbroath, Montrose and Aberdeen before arriving in the market town of Keith. Enjoy an informal dinner followed by entertainment in the Observation car.
Day Five: Keith - Kyle of Lochalsh
Departing Keith this morning, the train travels west along the Moray Firth towards Inverness, capital of the Highlands.
Lunch is served on the way to Kyle of Lochalsh, on what is arguably the most scenic route in Britain. The line passes Loch Luichart and the Torridon Mountains, which geologists believe were formed before any life began. The train travels onwards through the small village of Achnasheen, before commencing the climb to the breathtaking Luib Summit and Achnashellach Forest. Descending to Strathcarron, it then follows the edge of beautiful Loch Carron through Attadale, Stromeferry and Duncraig.
Arriving at the picturesque fishing village of Plockton, you alight to take a boat trip to see the colony of wild seals and enjoy magnificent views across the bay to the Applecross Mountains. There is also a woodland walk to be discovered and time afterwards to enjoy a traditional Highland welcome and a dram or two in the seafront Plockton Hotel. Alternatively, you can opt to visit one of Scotland’s most iconic sights: Eilean Donan Castle, which perches on an island at the meeting point of three great sea lochs. A medieval stronghold of the clans Mackenzie and Macrae, the castle was largely destroyed in the 1719 Jacobite uprising and lay in ruins for two centuries. Lieutenant Colonel John Macrae-Gilstrap then bought the island and restored the castle to its former glory, also building a footbridge to provide access to the mainland. Since re-opening in 1932 it has become one of the most photographed monuments in Scotland and a visit provides a fascinating journey through the area’s history.
Return to the train in Kyle of Lochalsh, gateway to the mystical Isle of Skye, for overnight stabling. Dinner this evening is formal, and is followed by coffee and liqueurs in the Observation Car.
Day Six: Kyle of Lochalsh - Boat of Garten
Breakfast is served as the train leaves Kyle and retraces part of yesterday's route as far as Dingwall. Have your cameras ready for the enchanting views of Plockton. Across the bay to the left you will glimpse whitewashed cottages with fishing boats and yachts riding at anchor. Disembark in Garve to visit Glen Ord Distillery, which is one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland, founded in 1838. Situated on the edge of the Black Isle, west of Inverness, Glen Ord continues to malt its own barley and practice centuries-old long fermentation and slow distillation methods. Enjoy a tour of the distillery and a private tasting and nosing session.
Rejoin the train in Inverness in time for lunch. You then disembark in Carrbridge for an afternoon visit to Ballindalloch Castle. Located in the heart of the Speyside whisky region, Ballindalloch enjoys a majestic setting, surrounded by hills with the Spey and Avon rivers running through the grounds. The romantic baronial castle, known as the 'Pearl of the North', is the much-loved family home of the Macpherson-Grants, with treasures including a fine collection of 17th-century Spanish paintings, a sumptuous dining room, splendid vaulted hallway and impressive library. Return to the train at Boat of Garten on the private Strathspey Railway. After an informal dinner, make your way to the Observation Car, where our entertaining Highlander paints a colourful picture of Scottish heroes and gives a dramatic insight into Highland life through the centuries.
Day Seven: Boat of Garten - Dundee
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. Choose from a number of activities including fishing, clay pigeon shooting and an estate tour. Afterwards you are warmly welcomed by your hosts in the hunting lodge, where, over refreshments, you can learn about the fascinating history of the estate that has been in the same family for over 400 years.
Return to the train in Kingussie and relax over a leisurely lunch on the journey south through Blair Atholl and Pitlochry to Dunkeld. Here you disembark for a private tour of Glamis Castle and its beautiful gardens. Seat of the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne,
Glamis was the childhood home of the late HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. The multi-turreted, fairytale castle houses many treasures, including rich tapestries, furniture and priceless works of art. Steeped in legend and myth, its dramatic history embraces alleged murderers, monsters and gamblers, stories of whom may be revealed during an illuminating tour. Outside, stunning parkland beckons, including an Italian Garden, nature trail, pinetum and four-acre walled garden.
Rejoin the train in Perth and, as it makes its way to Dundee, prepare for a final formal dinner to mark your last night on board. After your celebratory feast, you may feel inspired by our musicians to partake of some lively Scottish country dancing on the station platform, a fitting finale to your Classic tour.
Day Eight: Dundee - Edinburgh
Breakfast is served as the train leaves Dundee and crosses the Tay Bridge into the former Kingdom of Fife and on to Edinburgh, where your journey ends.
Please note: Belmond Royal Scotsman operates within the constraints of the railway network. As such timings, routes and associated itineraries are subject to change.
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