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Scottish Highland Railways

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To book this holiday please contact our Sales Team directly on

0330 160 7700
or

Scotland's Scenic Rail Routes

Experience some of the world’s most spectacular scenery as you enjoy journeys on three of Scotland’s most celebrated railways.

Sit back in wonder as you enjoy the breathtaking train journey from Inverness – one of Michael Palin’s "Great Railway Journeys" – to Kyle of Lochalsh. The dramatic 42 miles of the famous West Highland line from Fort William to Mallaig, and a nostalgic trip on the steam-hauled Strathspey Railway complete an unforgettably scenic few days exploring one of Scotland’s most beautiful regions by train.

What does this price include?

  • Four nights' dinner, bed and Scottish breakfast accommodation at either the Carrbridge Hotel, Carrbridge or the Highlander Hotel, Newtonmore
  • Return flights to Scotland
  • Coach travel and transfers throughout

Your Itinerary

View a full breakdown of your holiday to help you plan your trip

  • Fly into Scotland, meet your tour manager at the airport, and board the coach for the scenic journey to your hotel.

    The Carrbridge Hotel is situated on the edge of Carrbridge village, and is close to some lovely local walks (the hotel staff will be happy to point you in the right direction). The famous packhorse bridge, dating back to 1717 and reputed to be one of the oldest in Scotland, is opposite the hotel.

    The Highlander Hotel, in Newtonmore, is just a short walk from the highly acclaimed Highland Folk Museum, and there is a handful of shops and bars at the far end of the village.

    If you decide to arrange your own travel, and book our Tour Only package, you'll need to meet your Tour Manager at the airport in time for the coach transfer to your hotel. (Exact times will be confirmed closer to departure.)

  • Board the coach and travel to Inverness, this morning. Here, you'll board the train for the spectacular 80-mile, two-and-a half-hour journey west to Kyle of Lochalsh, in its idyllic setting opposite the Isle of Skye. From Inverness, the line travels along the south side of Beauly Firth with views back across to the Black Isle, before turning north to the market town of Dingwall. Here it heads west once again, climbing slowly through the remote northern Highlands and offering glimpses (on clear days) of towering Liathach and its Torridon mountain neighbours.

    Probably the most spectacular part of the journey is when the line descends to the magnificent scenery of Loch Carron, and runs alongside the Loch, past Attadale Estate and Plockton, and on to Kyle.

    Once in Kyle you'll have time to explore, and perhaps have a spot of lunch, before heading back to the hotel by coach at the end of a wonderful day.

  • Today you'll head to Boat of Garten for a somewhat shorter, but no less special, rail journey on the Strathspey
    Steam Railway, a reminder of the golden days of steam.

    The nine-and-a half-mile run passes through unspoilt Highland scenery, taking you past great sweeps of the River Spey, through moorland and forest, and ending in the famous Highland resort of Aviemore. After an opportunity to explore the famous resort town, one of Britain’s most famous outward-bound centres, you'll have a chance to enjoy an afternoon visit to Newtonmore’s fascinating Highland Folk Museum.

    Here, Highland life from the 18th Century to the 1950s is vividly depicted, with a number of historic dwellings – some built from scratch on-site and others brought from other locations - and a vast collection of artefacts gathered together in a beautiful setting.

    Those not wishing to visit the museum will have an afternoon free to spend as they wish.

  • Fort William beckons today, as you enjoy your holiday’s final highlight – the journey on the last stretch of the famous West Highland Line, to the tiny fishing village of Mallaig. Voted by readers of Wanderlust Magazine as the world’s best train journey, this is another truly spectacular route.

    As the train pulls out of Fort William, look back and left to see Ben Nevis towering above the town. Minutes later, the train crosses the Caledonian Canal – look out for Neptune's Staircase, a succession of eight locks, to your right. The train then runs alongside Loch Eil before reaching the spectacular, 21-arch, Glenfinnan Viaduct - famously featured in the Harry Potter movies. Other highlights of the journey include island-studded Loch Eilt (considered by many to be the prettiest along the route), Arisaig (Britain’s most westerly railway station) and the white Atlantic sands of Morar.

    Mallaig is a delightful, thriving place, with a working port, and is well worth exploring. You may like to head into the hills above, where you’ll be rewarded with some wonderful views, explore the Heritage Centre or visit the Smokery where you can arrange for kippers to be sent anywhere in the world. We return to the hotel by coach.

  • Bid farewell to the Highlands today, and travel to the airport to board your flight home.

Dates & Prices

To book this holiday please contact our Sales Team directly on

0330 160 7700
or
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Hotels

Carrbridge Hotel, Carrbridge

Set on the banks of the River Dulnain, and boasting spectacular views of the Cairngorm Mountains, this hotel was originally established in 1803 as an inn for travellers. It has been extended and refurbished over the years, and now has 100 bedrooms.

View Hotel
Highlander Hotel, Newtonmore

We're sure that you will be delighted with the friendly service and warm hospitality that are the hallmarks of a stay at the Highlander, which is always popular with Newmarket guests.

View Hotel

Further Information

  • The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately three hours from Edinburgh airport and one hour from Inverness airport.

  • We sometimes need to combine transfers to and from your hotel. We always try to keep any wait to a minimum, but you may be asked to wait at the airport for up to an hour, while other incoming flights arrive, before the transfer to your hotel. Similarly, we may need to transfer you back to the airport up to three hours before your flight home departs.
  • Please note, the West Highland and Kyle lines are both scheduled ScotRail services, and use diesel-powered engines. In the unlikely event of a steam locomotive breaking down on the Strathspey Railway, we reserve the right to substitute the engine with a diesel locomotive. All train journeys are single journeys.
  • If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
  • The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
  • Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
  • An Airport Development Fee has been introduced at a few UK Airports. You will be required to pay this charge at the following airports prior to checking in for your flight: Blackpool, Durham Tees Valley, Newquay and Norwich. The amount varies from airport to airport, but it is generally between £5 and £10 per person. Please visit the airport's website for further information.
  • New rules apply when travelling to European Union countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The following are useful guidelines which will help you prepare for your next adventure. Note that these new rules do NOT apply when travelling within the United Kingdom or to the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland. You do require government issued ID when travelling by air though.

    Passport

    British passport holders need to have at least six months validity left on their passport and it needs to be less than ten years old; passports which have a longer validity than ten years are not valid for travel once the tenth anniversary of issue has passed. These rules do not apply to travel to Ireland where you can continue to use your passport as long as it’s valid for the length of your stay.

    Visa

    If you’re a tourist, you do not need a visa for short trips to most EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. You’ll be able to stay for up to 90 days in any rolling 180-day period. Different rules will apply to Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania; if you visit these countries, visits to other EU countries will not count towards the 90-day total. Travel to Ireland will not change and stays there will not count towards the 90-day total.

    European Travel Information & Authorisation System (ETIAS)

    Towards the end of 2022, it is likely that non EU citizens will be required to apply online for an authorisation to visit most European countries. The current details suggest there will be a charge of €7 per person and the authorisation will be valid for all trips made to the EU in a three year period from issue. We will advise you of confirmed details prior to your tour’s departure.

    Border Control

    At border control, you may need to show proof of your return journey - your travel documentation issued by us will be sufficient for this. You will also need to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens if manual checks are required.

    Healthcare Cover

    You should always get appropriate travel insurance with healthcare cover before you go abroad which covers pre-existing conditions. You should understand the terms and conditions of your travel insurance and be happy with its cover for healthcare and travel disruption. Newmarket sell a comprehensive travel insurance policy. Ask our travel consultants for more information.

    You should also apply for a UK Global Heath Insurance Card (GHIC) which lets you get urgent state healthcare in Europe at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. Note GHIC is only valid in EU countries and not in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

    Mobile Roaming

    Roaming charges have been re-introduced by some UK providers when visiting the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Prior to travel, please do check with your phone operator for the most up to date information.

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