Bookings for luxury Edinburgh to Arygll train trip 'soar' due to A Very British Scandal

Bookings for a luxury train trip to Inveraray Castle soared this week after the BBC screened “A Very British Scandal”.

The three-part series, about the 11th Duke and Duchess of Argyll’s sensational divorce, starred Claire Foy as the champagne-swigging “dirty duchess”, who was alleged to have cheated on her husband with more than 80 different men.

Their divorce hearing shocked the nation in 1963 when the Duke produced the infamous “headless man” photo which showed her performing a sex act on an unidentified lover.

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Now bosses of the Northern Belle train have been stunned as “the phones went crazy” with bookings for the £375-a-head August trip from Edinburgh, within minutes of the programme ending.

Bookings for the August trip have 'soared' due to the popularity of the TV show.
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A spokesman said: “We were astonished by the response. We didn’t know about the TV programme when we arranged the trip and hadn’t expected anything like this.

“The Argyll’s family home is set in a beautiful spot next to Loch Fyne and is always a popular destination because it featured in TV’s Downton Abbey.

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“But now everybody is talking about the ‘dirty duchess’ and wants to find out more about her antics. Her behaviour scandalised the nation during the rather straight-laced 1960s.”

The Duchess, who never revealed the identity of the man she was photographed with, died penniless aged 80 in 1993. Her former husband’s grandson Torquhil has now inherited his title.

On the trip passengers will be welcomed aboard the Northern Belle, once part of the iconic Orient Express, at Edinburgh Waverley station with a glass of champagne at 8am on Friday August 26.

Then they will be served a thee-course brunch on the way to Argyll. After touring Inveraray Castle, they will tuck into a five-course dinner during the journey home.

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The train has seven carriages, each bearing the name of a great British castle or stately home. Each carriage has been restored by some of the country's top craftspeople, including marquetry experts, muralists and mosaic artists.

For more details of this trip and the Northern Belle train plus other 2022 planned trips and how to book, phone 01270 899681 or visit the Northern Belle website.