The Waverley
The Waverley

A Classic Scottish Steam Break with The Times

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.

The SS Sir Walter Scott, one of the last surviving screw steamers, has graced the calm waters of Loch Katrine since 1900. One of the delights of a cruise on this little vessel is peering down into the engine room and watching the triple-expansion steam engine at work.

It is hoped that in 2020 the PS Waverley will return to service after having a new boiler fitted and if so we will enjoy a cruise on the Firth of Clyde aboard this elegant paddle steamer dating from 1949. Should the Waverley not be available we will instead take a boat trip in the majestic surroundings of Loch Lomond, during which we learn of the life and times of the outlaw Rob Roy, and visit impressive Inveraray Castle, the Duke of Argyll’s family seat on the shores of Loch Fyne.

Our tour also 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.

What's included?

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

Today's Price
£1,025

Deposit: £200 Single supplement: £90

Tour highlights:

  • Taking a spin on the Falkirk Wheel boat lift
  • Stunning views on the Jacobite steam train
  • Cruise the Firth of Clyde aboard the PS Waverley (or enjoy a boat trip on Loch Lomond and visit to Inveraray Castle)
  • A captivating sailing on Loch Katrine aboard the SS Walter Scott

Tour details

Dates 3 July 2020 - 6 July 2020
Duration 4 days
Cost
Today's Price
£1,025
Deposit: £200 Single supplement: £90 Balance due by 10 April 2020
Activity Level
Tour code BSTT200703

Book Now or call 01334 657155 if you have any questions

3 July 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 4-star Airth Castle Hotel & Spa where Champagne will be served on arrival followed by dinner with wine.

Meals include: Dinner

Hotel: Airth Castle Hotel & Spa, Airth

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"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, but do leave room for a special treat as we enjoy Champagne and Chocolates on the return journey. On arrival in Fort William we return by coach to our hotel for dinner.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Airth Castle Hotel & Spa, Airth

Today following breakfast we will head for Helensburgh where we will commence our sail 'Doon ra Watter' on the world's last seagoing paddle steamer - The Waverley,* the last ocean-going paddle steamer plying its trade on the River Clyde. It was built in 1946 to replace the 1899 Waverley which was sunk at Dunkirk and is an extremely impressive sight with its immense 2100 horsepower steam engine. On board facilities include a self-service restaurant, cafe, bar and souvenir shop. We will leave the ship at Tighnabruaich where our coach will be waiting to take us back to the hotel, travelling over the "Rest and Be Thankful" and through stunning Argyll scenery. Lunch is included today and dinner will be served at the hotel in the evening.

*Subject to confirmation of the Waverley’s sailing schedule and re-introduction to service. Should the Waverley be unavailable we will offer an alternative excursion featuring a cruise on Loch Lomond and a visit to Inveraray Castle.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Airth Castle Hotel & Spa, Airth

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

3 July 2020: Additional Info

3 July 2020: Accommodation

In Falkirk’s countryside, 14th-century Airth Castle Hotel enjoys a peaceful setting. Once owned by the family of Robert the Bruce, it has a luxury spa, an elegant restaurant and stylish rooms.

The Castle's former stable block now houses modern guest rooms, some overlooking the courtyard. All rooms have a flat-screen satellite TV, free tea and coffee and ironing facilities.

The award-winning spa features a pool, sauna, hot tub, steam room and beauty treatments. The gym equipment includes touch-screen TVs and iPod docks.

The Glasshouse Restaurant and Piano Bar serve local, seasonal food beneath a pyramid of glass. The Castle’s Business Lounge offers a light menu and drinks.

3 July 2020: Enquiries

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