This exciting tour of the Scottish Highlands will give you a real insight into the history, landscape, legends and people that make the spectacular Highlands of Scotland such a distinctive and romantic place. Discover the natural wonders of the Magical Isle of Skye, including a visit to the fairytale Eilean Donan Castle. Experience a journey on the famed Jacobite Steam Train and enjoy a cruise on Loch Ness. This popular tour will provide the ideal introduction to the history and beauty of the Scottish Highlands.
Take your seats on the ScotRail Inter7City train bound for the Highlands. Soon we leave Edinburgh behind and head for the ancient city of Stirling, where there are views of its magnificent castle and the imposing Wallace Monument.
On leaving Perth, we follow the River Tay, Scotland’s longest, into Highland Perthshire, known as “Big Tree Country” – you’ll soon discover why! As we near Dunkeld, the mountains begin to close in and seamlessly, we enter the Highlands.
After a stop in the Victorian resort of Pitlochry, we arrive in the Pass of Killiecrankie, the scene of a ferocious Jacobite Battle in 1689. We pass whitewashed Blair Castle, the seat of the Dukes of Atholl, a short distance on. After this, the train starts its ascent through Glen Garry to reach lonely Drumochter Summit, the highest point in the UK rail network.
There is more mountain scenery to enjoy as we head through the Spey Valley, then reaching the end of our journey in Inverness.
After a short break, head to Inverness Bus Station to join a tour to Loch Ness. As you drive along the mysterious banks, your local driver/guide will tell you all about the area’s most famous resident, “Nessie”. Later, sail the dark waters of the loch on a short monster-spotting cruise before visiting the majestic ruins of Urquart Castle.
On return to Inverness, the rest of the day is free for you to relax and dine as you wish.
Overnight: Premier Inn Inverness Centre River Ness or similar (3 nights)
Today we point our compass west to the beautiful Isle of Skye. We begin our journey with a drive along the entire length of Loch Ness to reach the little village of Invermoriston to see Thomas Telford’s famous bridge and the rushing falls of the River Moriston below.
Fascinating stories of battles and bloody clan feuds add colour to our trip through Glen Shiel before we stop to view iconic Eilean Donan Castle, which sits on a tiny island at the point where three great sea lochs come together.
A short drive takes us “over the sea to Skye”, where we follow the coastal route, which offers beautiful vistas towards the islands of Pabay and Scalpay. The jagged Cuillin Hills dominate Skye, so we will find the very best vantage point to appreciate them along the way.
The destination for this part of the tour is Portree, the island’s main town. We will stop so you can enjoy lunch and browse the many independently owned shops that can be found off the main square. You might want to take a stroll to admire the attractive harbour surrounded by pastel-painted buildings.
The magnificent rock scenery and breathtaking views of the extraordinary Trotternish Peninsula make it a must-see on our tour. We’ll explore the Quiraing, an area of weird and mysterious rock formations, including the best-known one, Kilt Rock, which resembles the pleats of Scotland’s famous garment.
Back on the mainland, our journey continues with a scenic tour through Glen Carron, stopping to enjoy the panoramic views over Loch Carron. Our return journey to Inverness will take us to Achnasheen then across the Black Isle.
There is an exciting day ahead as we travel through the Great Glen to reach the poignant Commando Memorial, which overlooks Ben Nevis, Britain’s tallest mountain, and the Nevis Mountain Range.
Fort William is next. “The Fort”, as its known locally, makes the most of its stunning location on the banks of Loch Linnhe and is a popular spot with outdoor sports enthusiasts.
More breathtaking views await as we board the famous Jacobite Steam Train (the real Hogwarts Express from the Harry Potter movies).
Our journey on the West Highland Line is claimed to be one of the World’s best rail journeys, but we’ll let you be the judge! Get another view of Ben Nevis, as we leave Fort William then travel over the famous Glenfinnan viaduct, known to “Potterheads” as the Harry Potter Bridge!
Enjoy great views of Loch Eilt before the beautiful sands of Morar stretch out ahead of us as we steam towards Mallaig. There’s free time to enjoy lunch before boarding the coach and taking the scenic road to the Isles to Glenfinnan, where there is a stop to watch the Jacobite Steam Train cross the iconic viaduct.
There is a stop in Fort Augustus, at the southern end of Loch Ness. In the heart of the village, you will find a staircase of locks that lifts boats 13 metres from Loch Ness to the Caledonian Canal.
Later we take the road less travelled along the eastern shores of Loch Ness, stopping to see the Falls of Foyers and the stunning view from Dores Beach. From here we return directly to Inverness.
Our last day starts with a relaxed start. After a leisurely breakfast, enjoy some free time for independent sightseeing or shopping.
Later, join a local guide for a walking tour of Inverness City Centre. First, visit Inverness Castle to see the statue of the Jacobite heroine, Flora MacDonald, who helped Bonnie Prince Charlie escape “Over the sea to Skye”.
From its vantage point overlooking the city, look over the River Ness to see iconic Inverness Cathedral and some of the Ness Islands.
The Gothic splendour of the Town House is next. This impressive building has hosted many important political events, including the first UK Cabinet meeting outside London in 1921. Across the road is the Steeple that was part of the Tolbooth (Prison).
See Abertarff House, the earliest surviving house in the city and Dunbar’s Hospital, built in 1668. Across the street sits the Old High Church, which can trace its history back to the 12th Century. It was the site of gruesome Jacobite executions and body snatching!
Sadly, it’s time to head to the station to board the train bound for the Lowlands and the conclusion of this marvellous Highland adventure.
Visits, Admissions and Experiences
From Waverley Railway Station
Edinburgh EH1 1BB
Check-in: 08:05 hrs
Tour Departs: 08:35 hrs
Tour Returns: 18:27 hrs
Child discount applies to children aged 5 to 15 years inclusive.
We’re sorry but children aged under 5 years cannot travel on
Photo-ID may be requested to confirm discount entitlement.
IMPORTANT: Once booked this tour cannot be changed or cancelled
The price of this tour includes hotel accommodation with en-suite bathroom.
The times shown above are for guidance only. The train times for your journey will be shown on your tickets and itinerary.
Tour documentation including service vouchers and tickets are issued in electronic format. A smart device with IOS or Android operating systems is required.
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