Multi-Day Tour | Rail

Grand Taste of the Highlands, Belmond Royal Scotsman (6 days)

Belmond Trains

Spean Bridge, United Kingdom To Dundee, United Kingdom


Day 1
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Spean Bridge, United Kingdom
None Dinner

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 (The Cobbler) with its distinctive peak. Passing Arrochar, you will glimpse your first view of Loch Lomond. The train descends almost to the water's edge at Ardlui, and then has a hard climb up Glen Falloch, whose many waterfalls provide an impressive display.

Continuing north, the train passes through Crianlarich and Bridge of Orchy then onto Rannoch Moor, one of the last really wild parts of Scotland - according to Scots author Robert Louis Stevenson in his novel 'Kidnapped': "A wearier-looking desert a man never saw". An informal dinner is served on the way to Spean Bridge followed by lively entertainment by local musicians in the Observation Car.

Day 2
Bridge of Orchy, United Kingdom
None Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

As the train travels west, passing through Fort William, don't miss the 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 Lochailort, before turning north along this dramatic coastline to Arisaig. Disembark here for a romantic walk along the beautiful Morar Sands, with breathtaking views across the Sound of Sleat to the Isle of Skye with its distinctive Cuillin Mountains.

Back on board, lunch is served as the train retraces its route towards Fort William. Disembark here and enjoy a visit to historic Glenfinnan in the company of our Highlander who brings to life the stories of Scottish heroes. Enjoy afternoon tea in the elegant drawing room at Inverlochy Castle Hotel before returning to Fort William.

Alternatively, a guided hike is available this afternoon (weather permitting). A mountain ranger guides you through the scenic Nevis Gorge to the Steall Waterfall, the second highest in the UK. This is a moderate-grade walk which is steep, rocky and slippery in places, therefore requiring a reasonable level of fitness. It is essential, prior to undertaking this two-hour walk, that you have sturdy walking boots with a good tread and ankle support, a waterproof jacket and suitable trousers. Walking boots and waterproofs can be provided, subject to availability.

Return to the train in Fort William and relax on board before an informal dinner is served as you travel south towards the tiny Argyll village of Bridge of Orchy. Afterwards, enjoy a nightcap whilst listening to the evening entertainment.

Day 3
Kilmarnock, United Kingdom
Bridge of Orchy, United Kingdom
None Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Leaving Bridge of Orchy this morning, savour the dramatic Highland scenery en route 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 that every stone has its tale to tell.

Visit Mount Stuart which is Britain's most spectacular Victorian Gothic house, the architectural fantasy of the 3rd Marquess of Bute and his architect, Sir Robert Rowand Anderson. Contrasting, mysterious interiors reflect the romantic and scholarly Marquess' passion for art, heraldry, astrology, mythology and religion. Mount Stuart also houses what is arguably the finest privately-held collection of family portraits in Scotland.

Following afternoon tea in the Drawing Room, explore this magnificent house, its tranquil Rock Garden, the Wee Garden containing rare plants from the southern hemisphere, the Kitchen Garden and the Victorian Pinetum. The Limetree Avenue leads you to a secluded stretch of coastline and lovely views east towards the mainland.

Return to the train in Gourock where a formal dinner is served on the move to Kilmarnock, our stabling location this evening. Retire to the Observation Car for coffee and traditional Scottish music.

Day 4
Boat Of Garten, United Kingdom
Kilmarnock, United Kingdom
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
None Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After an early departure from Kilmarnock this morning, enjoy a leisurely breakfast 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 and travels north to the 'Fair City' of Perth. Enjoy afternoon tea as the train continues on the Highland line through Dunkeld, Pitlochry and Blair Atholl with its imposing castle.

The rolling hills of Perthshire are replaced by more dramatic peaks and valleys as you travel north into the Highlands towards Aviemore, gateway to the Cairngorms National Park with its outstanding natural beauty and wide range of outdoor pursuits.

Your destination this evening is 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.

Day 5
Boat Of Garten, United Kingdom
Dundee, United Kingdom
None Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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 clay pigeon-shooting, fishing or a guided tour of the estate with one of the Park Rangers. Afterwards, enjoy a warm welcome from your hosts as refreshments are served in their hunting lodge and you discover some of the rich history of this family-run estate.

Return to the train in Carrbridge for lunch before disembarking in Inverness to visit Culloden Battlefield, site of the last major battle fought on British soil on 16th April 1746. Listen to our Highlander as he paints a vivid picture of how this battle changed the way of life in the Highlands forever.

From Nairn on the Moray Firth, travel east towards Keith. Enjoy an early evening visit to 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.

As the track re-joins the coast, enjoy some spectacular panoramas on the way south through Aberdeenshire and Angus. Dinner is formal this evening and afterwards you are invited to enjoy some traditional Scottish music in the Observation Car.

Day 6
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Dundee, United Kingdom
None Breakfast

Breakfast is served as the train leaves Dundee and travels south through the former Kingdom of Fife, crossing the Firth of Forth by means of the magnificent Forth Railway Bridge and arriving in Edinburgh Waverley Station 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 therefore subject to change.

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From tumbling waterfalls and mirror-still lochs to storied mansions, let yourself be spirited away as you retrace part of the famed West Highland Line.

About Us

Belmond are connoisseurs in the art of luxury travel, curating an iconic global portfolio of trains, rivers cruises, hotels, and safaris. They blend enchanting destinations with vintage carriages, immersive excursions with delectable cuisine, and ultimate comfort with genuine service – you'll never have a greater escape. Their collection includes the first luxury sleeper train in Ireland, Belmond Grand Hibernian, as well as Belmond Royal Scotsman in Scotland; their luxury day train in the U.K., Belmond British Pullman; the Eastern & Oriental Express in Southeast Asia, and, of course, the world-famous Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.

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Reviews and Recommendations for Belmond Trains


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The Orient Express- All that you can imagine it is.

By: John from NJ

Reviewed on: 20 Nov 2013

Our travel on the Orient Express earlier this year was its initial run from Stockholm to Copenhagen, WE had previously ridden its classic run from Paris to Venice in previous years. The carriages are classics, the service impeccable, the food wonderful. If you are wondering if its just like its depicted in the movies it is !
Travel Advisor:  Eleanor Hardy

Highly recommend

By: Not provided

Reviewed on: 20 Nov 2013

I did write a review in this trip and we. Have both spoken to man friends about doing it them selves. The greatest review I I should think Thank you again, Eleanor.
Travel Advisor:  Eleanor Hardy

A great family trip

By: Pompey

Reviewed on: 26 Nov 2013

From London to Istanbul everything was about perfect. All the countryside was amazing, and the train was wonderful.
Travel Advisor:  Eleanor Hardy

Great Tour

By: Harpy3

Reviewed on: 29 May 2014

Our tour from Lima to Cusco to Machu Picchu and back was very good.  Had a wonderful guide, Luis (Dias I think).  Very informative and passionate about his topic.  Arrangements--hotels and train--were very good.  A complaint would be that hotel rooms assigned to us were with 2 beds rather than a double.  We had to upgrade to get that.  We prefer to travel as the couple we are and were never asked in advance about our preference for such arrangements.  (And I'm not aware of any Virtuoso Amenities)
Travel Advisor:  Jackie Berube

A new and very pleasant experience

By: Tas Tiger & Griffin

Reviewed on: 21 Aug 2014

Train delayed for two hours but we were invited to a nice platform restaurant were a meal & beverages were provided. Beverages on board well overpriced considering the cost of the journey
Travel Advisor:  Angela Walker

Belmond Grand Hibernian

By: Amanda

Reviewed on: 31 Jul 2017

We had a lovely time on the Belmond Grand Hibernian. The staff was excellent and the food was incredible. It was a low-stress way to see Ireland (no driving) and the spots selected for each day trip were great. For future travelers I would recommend: if you're on the youngish side of things (we are in our early 40s), I'd bring friends -- the train is pretty much quiet by 10pm after dinner, so we really enjoyed have friends with us to play cards and talk in the bar car at the end of the evening. Also, the trip isn't one continuous loop around Ireland - you do some back tracking each day - it's fine but doesn't give you the feeling of seeing "new" countryside with each leg of the journey.
Travel Advisor:  Laura Bassett


By: PT

Reviewed on: 26 Nov 2017

A journey on The Orient Express is known to be a once in a lifetime experience.......and it certainly was for us.
Travel Advisor:  Kelly Millington

Easy travel

By: Bookie

Reviewed on: 16 Oct 2018

Load your luggage, find your seat and enjoy the ride. This was an easy way to get to. Paris from Bezier.
Travel Advisor:  Jessica Battista

Really the Belmond Journeys in Peru did not see it in the titles

By: Craig

Reviewed on: 01 May 2017

The properties and the tour guides were some of the best we have stayed in the guides were exceptional and very attentive.
Travel Advisor:  Jesse Taylor

Royal Scotsman

By: Pam B.

Reviewed on: 23 Aug 2017

Very elegant. Attended to any request. Food was amazing. Service was remarkable.
Travel Advisor:  Kathy Moran

It was the Royal Scotsman TRAIN - not a ship

By: Indymaru

Reviewed on: 03 Sep 2018

My wife, son, and I spent our first week in Scotland aboard the Belmond Royal Scotsman, a truly luxury train dedicated to touring the Scottish countryside. Our first two nights were spent in the spectacular Balmoral Hotel. We then traveled from Edinburgh up the east coast to the border of the highlands, then crossed to the west coast, then back to Edinburgh. At each stop along the way Belmond took us by luxury bus to see castles, a Scotch distillery. wild countryside, and rustic fishing villages, all with insightful commentary on the area's history and society. Each stateroom boasted its own private shower, which was larger than many found on cruise ships. The food was also excellent aboard the train. Several evenings while stopped, highland story tellers and musicians boarded to entertain us. Altogether there were only 30 passengers, which made for a close and convivial group. My wife, son and I all had a wonderful time, reminiscent travel aboard the Orient Express in the 1930's.
Travel Advisor:  Janice Chieffo