Venturing out over the Scottish Highlands on riverside tracks and 19th-century viaduct icons, this is the ultimate way to see Scotland. Along the way, you’ll pause for views of Ben Nevis and tea in castles, taken on a full range of included off-train touring. Then, back on board, you’ll be treated to an all-inclusive spread of Michelin-standard dining and bar-car fineries. The nightly entertainment is equally considered, with atmospheric local music among the highlights. It all begins with a night in one of Edinburgh’s most luxurious hotels, complete with a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Beginning among Edinburgh’s rich history, you’ll enjoy a night in one of its finest accommodations – The Balmoral Hotel. Appropriately it was originally built by the North British Railway back in 1902 as the company’s flagship property.
Today, its grand clock still dominates the skyline, while its Victorian architecture houses marbled rooms, spa treatments and a Michelin-starred restaurant. You’ll also have all of Edinburgh’s delights on your doorstep, from the Scottish Parliament to that great icon – the city’s hilltop castle.
After a morning at leisure, you’ll board the Belmond Royal Scotsman at the glass-domed Waverley Station – found just opposite your hotel. Stepping on board, you’ll arrive into a world of wood-panelled corridors and intricate marquetry, perhaps heading to the lounge car for a glass of something bubbly. For the best views, make use of the open-air observation verandah to watch as the city limits fade into rural Scottish beauty.
You’ll also begin your menu of full-board meals with an afternoon tea as you gaze out over Loch Lomond. Then, climbing up the waterfall-dappled Glen Falloch, you’ll enjoy the first of your four-course dinners, capped with live entertainment in the open bar car.
Breakfast & Dinner included
Following a full Scottish breakfast, the train continues west, passing through Fort William to views of Ben Nevis itself. You’ll also enjoy the chance to stretch your legs with a stroll along Morar Sands, marvelling at the Isle of Skye’s majestic Cuillin Mountains. A three-course lunch is then served as the train retraces its route to Glenfinnan Monument.
Framed by spectacular Highland loch scenery, it’s a poignant tribute to the Jacobite Risings – something brought to life by your expert guide. You’ll then be treated to tea at Inverlochy Castle, where you’ll admire the rich detailing and artwork of this 19th-century stately home. The entertainment and dining continue back on board with dinner, followed by drams of whisky in the bar car. There are over 30 fine options on offer.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included
Today, after breakfast, you’ll wind on to the Isle of Bute, enjoying the view from your private, polished-wood cabin – complete with en-suite facilities. Remember, you’ll enjoy 24-hour steward service, whether you’d like a hot drink or your double bed made up.
Then, arriving on the spectacularly cragged island, your included touring will continue with a visit to Mount Stuart – a Victorian Gothic house that hosts arguably Scotland’s finest privately held collection of family portraits. Back on the train, you’ll then cap things off with a formal dinner. You might even want to book onto a treatment in the spa carriage to get ready.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included
Arriving into Edinburgh Waverley Station after a final indulgent breakfast, you’ll disembark to continue your onward journey.
"Although they serve my absolute favourite Scotch whisky onboard, I've chosen this itinerary because of its excellent routing. You really do need those extra few days to truly relax on the train and get further into the Scottish Highlands. It's the chance to take in remote castles and some of Scotland's most sublime scenery."