Classic Splendours Aboard the Royal Scotsman
From the moment Belmond Royal Scotsman draws out of Edinburgh’s Waverley Station, you are embarking on a truly unique and
unforgettable experience as you head into a most magical place of history, nature and romance. Life on-board this luxury train is
relaxed and indulgent, with gastronomic dining and the convivial atmosphere of celebrating with friends. Encompassing the best of the Highlands, this four-night journey includes great castles, the picturesque village of Plockton and outdoor pursuits in the Cairngorms National Park.
SEASON: APRIL - OCTOBER
LIFE ON BOARD
THE CABINS Savour the glorious scenery from the comfort of your private cabin. All cabins have an Edwardian air of elegant luxury and include private en-suite facilities with shower.
DINING The mahogany panelling and rich upholstery that adorn the two dining cars, Raven and Swift, set the scene for an unforgettable on-board dining experience. Belmond Royal Scotsman on-board chefs create dishes using the freshest seasonal local produce.
ENTERTAINMENT Enjoy traditional Scottish entertainment after dinner in the Observation Car, including storytelling from a clansman or music from local musicians.
BOUTIQUE The ideal place to purchase a memento of your time on board. The boutique offers a rich variety of traditional Scottish crafts, including tartans and jewellery.
OBSERVATION CAR The splendour of the Observation Car provides the perfect backdrop to Scotland’s stunning scenery. Views may be admired from the comfort of the interior, or from the exhilarating open verandah. Enjoy a drink from the bar, including a choice of over 50 whiskies.
HAYBARN SPA Belmond has partnered with British artisanal brand Bamford to create the first ever pamper carriage, the Haybarn Spa. This sanctuary consists of two interconnecting treatment rooms where guests can enjoy soothing therapies, such as the Bamford Bespoke Facial or Deep Tissue Massage, or spruce up with a manicure or pedicure.
Edinburgh to Keith
Depart 13:45 from Edinburgh Waverley
Belmond Royal Scotsman departs Edinburgh Waverley Station in the early afternoon and 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. An informal dinner is served on board, after which you are invited to the Observation Car to enjoy entertainment with a Scottish flavour.
Keith to 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.
*Please note: On 12Apr, 15Jun, 25Jul, 06Aug, 08Oct, and 14Oct 2018, there will be an alternative itinerary for the afternoon. Guests will enjoy lunch and a tour at Cawdor Castle, before returning to the train for dinner.
Kyle of Lochalsh to 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.
As an alternative to the castle tour, you can choose to play a round of golf on Ballindalloch’s own challenging 9-hole golf course.
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.
*Please note: On 12Apr, 15Jun, 25Jul, 06Aug, 08Oct, and 14Oct 2018, there will be an alternative itinerary. Early-risers will have opportunity to join a short, scenic trip to photograph the famous Eilean Donan Castle before the train heads south to Carrbridge for a tour of Glenlivet Distillery.
Boat of Garten to 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.
Dundee to Edinburgh
Arrive 09:48 at Edinburgh Waverley
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.
- Kyle of Lochalsh & Plockton
- Seal-watching boat trip or Eilean Donan Castle
- Glen Ord Distillery
- Ballindalloch Castle
- Boat of Garten
- Rothiemurchus Estate
- Cairngorms National Park
- Glamis Castle
- Four nights aboard the Belmond Royal Scotsman luxury train
- 24-hour steward service
- All meals aboard the train: full Scottish breakfast, three-course lunch, and four-course dinner including cheeseboard, coffee, tea and petits fours
- All beverages including alcoholic drinks
- A choice between a seal-watching boat trip or a visit to Eilean Donan Castle
- A trip to Ballindalloch Castle
- A visit to Rothiemurchus Estate with a choice of country pursuits
- A guided tour of Glamis Castle and gardens
- Traditional entertainment on board