Sir Walter Scott on Loch Katrine
Sir Walter Scott on Loch Katrine

A Classic Scottish Steam Break With Carol Kirkwood

Latest News: The Waverley Appeal Fund has reached its £2.3 million target and the ship is now berthed in the James Watt Dock for her boiler refit to begin. Waverley is therefore on track to re-enter service in time for the 2020 summer season.

Steam locomotion has an enduring fascination for many of us and combined with the wonderful scenery of Scotland it becomes utterly irresistible. The Jacobite Steam Train, from Fort William to Mallaig, is one of the longest steam-hauled rail journeys available in Britain today, an 84-mile round trip through some spectacular scenery, which features an impressive list of superlatives. It starts near Britain’s highest mountain, (Ben Nevis), passes its most westerly mainland railway station, (Arisaig), deepest freshwater loch, (Loch Morar), shortest river, (River Morar) and finally arrives next to the deepest seawater loch in Europe, (Loch Nevis). ‘Concrete Bob’ McAlpine’s 21-arch Glenfinnan viaduct is just one of the engineering marvels we encounter on our journey, which is made all the more enjoyable by the sound and fury of the steam locomotive at the head of our train, forging its way along the Iron Road to the Isles.

Our other steamer comes in the elegant form of the SS Sir Walter Scott, one of the last surviving screw steamers, which has graced the calm waters of Loch Katrine since 1900. We also enjoy a relaxed yet informative cruise on nearby Loch Lomond on the trail of the infamous outlaw ‘Rob Roy’, who frequented these bonnie, bonnie banks in the early 18th century, before visiting historic Inveraray Castle on the shores of Loch Fyne.

Our tour includes a unique boat journey on the Falkirk Wheel, the world’s first rotating boat lift. The Falkirk Wheel is part of the biggest canal restoration project ever undertaken in Britain, as a result of which the Union and the Forth & Clyde canals, both over 180 years old, are once again linked together and fully operational.

Exclusive Event

We will be joined on this tour by BBC Weather Presenter Carol Kirkwood who was born in Morar and whose grandfather helped build the Fort William to Mallaig railway line, which opened in 1901. Carol will give us a talk on her grandfather’s experiences of the railway and will then join us on our excursion on the Jacobite.

What's included?

  •  Flights
  •  Accommodation
  •  Services of a professional tour manager
  •  Comfortable coach travel throughout
  •  Meals - as per the itinerary

Today's Price
£1,175

Deposit: £200 Single supplement: £120

Tour highlights:

  • Take a spin on the Falkirk Wheel boat lift
  • Enjoy a talk from Carol Kirkwood on the Jacobite steam train
  • Take a boat trip on Loch Lomond including a visit to Inveraray Castle
  • A captivating sailing on Loch Katrine aboard the SS Walter Scott

Tour details

Dates 12 June 2020 - 15 June 2020
Duration 4 days
Cost
Today's Price
£1,175
Deposit: £200 Single supplement: £120 Balance due by 20 March 2020
Activity Level
Tour code BSTC200612

Call for availability

12 June 2020: Itinerary

Depart this morning from London Stansted Airport on a morning flight to Edinburgh (regional flights from other airports and/or overnight accommodation before or after the tour are available on request. There is a discount of £100pp if you make your own way to the pick-up point at Edinburgh Airport or to the Falkirk Wheel).

On arrival at Edinburgh Airport we are met by our coach and guide and travel to the Falkirk Wheel, the world’s first rotating boat lift. We shall start the journey on the water at New Port Downie from where you will sail into the Falkirk Wheel. Enjoy the truly spectacular scenery as the wheel commences its graceful ascent to join the Union Canal 35m above. We sail along the Union Canal and under the historic Antonine Wall – the Roman’s most northern frontier – before you enjoy a wander through the Visitor Centre, where lunch is available (not included).

We continue to the historic Winnock Hotel in the village of Drymen in the Trossachs, where we will enjoy a refreshing glass of champagne before dinner with wine. After dinner Carol Kirkwood will give a talk on her grandfather’s experiences in helping to build the Fort William to Mallaig railway.

Meals include: Dinner

Hotel: Winnock Hotel, Drymen

Today, following an early start, we will journey back in time on the Jacobite steam train and experience one of the most memorable and spectacular railway journeys in the world - the famous Fort William to Mallaig line following The Road to the Isles. We will be joined on the excursion by Carol Kirkwood. "The Jacobite" combines the romance of the steam era with the opportunity to drink in the stunning views of this wild and historic part of Scotland. From the slopes of Ben Nevis the line runs through rugged mountains, past sea and inland lochs and onto the shores of the Atlantic at Mallaig. The route also takes us over the massive Glenfinnan viaduct overlooking Loch Sheil, where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his standard in 1745. There is time to enjoy lunch (not included) in Mallaig, whether you choose fish and chips, crab sandwiches or freshly landed lobster. On arrival in Fort William we return by coach to our hotel.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Winnock Hotel, Drymen

Today following breakfast we will be joined by Carol Kirkwood once again as we head for Tarbet on the banks of Loch Lomond, Britain’s largest inland body of water, and depart on a 90-minute ‘Rob Roy Discovery Cruise’ with full commentary. As we cross to the far side of the loch we hear the story of ‘Rob Roy’ MacGregor who was born by Loch Katrine in the 17th century and lived at Inversnaid here on the banks of Loch Lomond. After fighting in the Jacobite Rising he became a respected cattleman but defaulted on a loan and was branded an outlaw - legends abound of his secret prison and hiding place in local caves.

We then cross the mountain pass known as the ‘Rest and Be Thankful’ and descend to the shores of Loch Fyne, a long fjord-like sea loch.

This afternoon we visit Inveraray Castle, which has been the seat of the Duke of Argyll, chief of the Clan Campbell, since the 17th century. The house is a mostly mid-18th century neo-Gothic design. Designers who worked on the house include Sir Matthew Digby Wyatt and Robert Adam; the interior includes a number of neoclassical rooms created for the 5th Duke by Robert Mylne.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Winnock Hotel, Drymen

Following breakfast we check out of the hotel and depart for a cruise on the steam ship SS Sir Walter Scott on Loch Katrine. The Sir Walter Scott is the only surviving screw steamer in regular passenger service in Scotland. The grand old lady has been sailing majestically on Loch Katrine since 1900. She was launched in 1899 and today retains her original engines, which are powered by steam using smokeless solid fuel.

Following our cruise we continue through The Trossachs to Callander, where there will be an opportunity for lunch (not included). Thereafter we return to the airport or make onward connections.

Meals include: Breakfast

12 June 2020: Additional Info

12 June 2020: Accommodation

The Winnock Hotel dates back to the late 1700's and throughout history has always offered lodging to weary travellers passing through by Loch Lomond and the Trossachs areas.

Formerly a coaching inn, The Winnock hotel has been lovingly restored and tastefully extended to its present day form. Offering 73 bedrooms, cosy lounges; many with open log fires, a characterful restaurant, function room and public lounge bar, the hotel has many things in common with its historic counterpart with one striking similarity - friendly, welcoming service.

Guests take time to savour the fine food, wines, ales & whiskies on offer from our Merlin Restaurant and Ptarmigan bar, idling the time away planning their days adventure in the light and airy Conservatory or snuggled up by one of our log fires. Many past guests have joined in the revelry of one of our Ceilidh or Scottish nights in the Capercaillie Room, dancing away into the wee small hours.

12 June 2020: Enquiries

Enquiry Form

Contact Us

I agree to my data being processed in accordance with the Brightwater Holidays

Newsletter