4 of the best Scottish railway holidays

IF you have missed out on tickets for The Flying Scotsman as it tours Fife and Edinburgh this weekend, then why not book an all inclusive trip on one of these scenic routes around Scotland?

Steam train crossing the Forth Rail Bridge Picture: TSPL

Great Rail Journeys

Spend seven days discovering the west of Scotland with this inclusive tour, which runs from late May until early October. Starting in Glasgow, the route will take guests on to Stonefield Castle via the West Highland line to Oban. After a refreshing four nights here, the tour continues to Bowmore and Islay where you can look forward to sampling a few drams at the distillery before embarking on a short ferry trip to the Isle of Bute and a visit to historical Mount Stuart where afternoon tea is served. Finally Inveraray Castle awaits, and an excursion to Arduaine Gardens, before the return journey to Glasgow.

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All meals, transfers and accommodation is included.

West Highland Steam Train, The 'George Stephenson' between Bridge Of Orchy and Tyndrum. Picture: TSPL

Rail Trail

Combine a rail holiday with a drink or two on this five day Steam Rail and Ale tour. Departing from Stirling on the 19th October after a night in the Stirling Highland Hotel, travellers will embark on a trip to the Falkirk Wheel before returning to Stirling via the Harviestoun Brewery for a talk and tastings. The next day is taken up by a journey on one of Scotland’s best railways, from Stirling via Perth to Aviemore. The scenery here is beautiful due to the views of the Cairngorms, woodland and wild moors. On arrival to Aviemore guests will transfer to the Strathspey Steam Railway on a return trip to Broomhill to enjoy further Highland sights. Back in Aviemore a visit to a small local brewery is scheduled. On day four guests will travel to Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway Steam Gala before ending the day with a tasting session of the local ale at the Corbie Inn.

Accommodation, tastings, transfers and excursions are included in this tour.

Newmarket Holidays – Highland Tour

West Highland Steam Train, The 'George Stephenson' between Bridge Of Orchy and Tyndrum. Picture: TSPL

Enjoy five days experiencing three of Scotland’s railways with this Highland journey. After an overnight stay in Edinburgh, you will board your first train to Inverness before carrying on to Kyle of Lochlash. Views of the Black Isle, Torridon Hills and Loch Carron can be seen on this stretch so don’t forget your camera. On day three a trip to Aviemore on the famous Strathspey Steam Railway awaits. Once here guests can opt for an excursion on the funicular Cairngorm Mountain Railway. Day four saves the best till last – a 42 mile trip along with West Highland Line to Mallaig, which includes the Glenfinnan viaduct crossing. On a clear day you can see the Isle of Skye and white sands of Morar. After a day and night in Mallaig, guests will return to Edinburgh on day five.

The tour includes rail travel, return flights from a chosen UK airport to Edinburgh, coach travel and four nights accommodation.

McKinlay Kidd – Grand Tour

This trip isn’t called the Grand Tour of Scotland for nothing. The comprehensive 14-night break has been designed to include two-night stopovers so that guests can enjoy each location, and features a first class trip on the iconic Jacobite Steam Train from Fort William over the Glenfinnan Viaduct (Harry Potter fans rejoice) to Mallaig. Leaving from Glasgow, the journey takes in the sights of Loch Lomond, Loch Ness, Isles of Eigg, Muck and Rum, Skye, Plockton, Inverness, Thurso, the Orkney Isles and Pitlochry to name a few!

The tour is running from now until October and includes accommodation, transfers and train travel, excursions and day trips.