In what is set to be one of the railway events of the year, the nation’s favourite steam locomotive Flying Scotsman is returning to some of the most scenic lines in Scotland for the first time since its refurbishment.
The nine-day Highlands & Islands Explorer promises to be a magical tour, taking in some truly spectacular Highland scenery, with long daylight hours, lochs, mountains, sea and islands. With a range of travel, dining and hotel options available, including some of the most luxurious hotels in the Highlands, there are options to suit all budgets. What they all have in common is an ever-changing backdrop of stunning vistas, all seen from the unique perspective of an impressive train of maroon coaches, hauled by a variety of locomotives.
Flying Scotsman steals the show of course, 70 feet and 100 tons of lean, green machine which will be in its element as it powers north over the Royal Border Bridge into Scotland and on into the Highlands. But there are other stars, from the vintage electric train that takes on the run from London to York to the B1 steam locomotive Mayflower that joins us in Scotland, as well as various Black 5s and other types, backed up by trusty diesels.
Once in the Highlands there are a host of optional journeys to enjoy, taking the scenic lines that run west to Kyle of Lochalsh and north to Wick or the famous Jacobite steam train that runs from the slopes of Ben Nevis to the wild Atlantic coast at Mallaig. The marquee day of the tour is an epic and highly scenic rail journey from Inverness south to Stirling, west to Helensburgh then north to Crianlarich and Fort William. On the return journey you can explore the gentler hills of the Lake District.
Hotels & Travel
All hotels on a bed and breakfast basis, transfers to and from the train and train travel on days 1, 2, 5, 7 & 9.
Pullman Style & Premier Dining
Day One: Breakfast and Dinner on board the train.
Day Two: Morning coffee and cake and Dinner on board the train.
Day Three: Optional Trip to Dunrobin Castle. Morning coffee and cake and Dinner on board the train.*
Day Four: Optional Trip to Kyle of Lochalsh: Light Lunch and Dinner on board the train.*
Day Five: Light Lunch and Dinner on board the train. (For those who transfer by coach Dinner will be included in their hotel)
Day Six: Dinner in the hotel.
Day Seven: Light Lunch and Dinner on board the train.
Day Eight: Dinner in the Hotel.
Day Nine: Light Lunch and Dinner on the train.
Passengers will be served complimentary morning and afternoon tea and coffee. There is the opportunity to purchase snacks from the on board menu on all days on board the train (excluding the Jacobite). *Dining passengers not on train excursions will be free to make their own dinner arrangements.
The train operator reserves the right to alter the nominated hotel at any destination provided the alternative hotel is of an equivalent standard. Meal arrangements are dependent on timings, provision of utilities and access to re-stock and may be subject to change. The train operator will use its best efforts to provide steam traction on trips rostered for steam haulage, for the sector(s) advertised as such, but this cannot be guaranteed. On occasion a diesel locomotive may be substituted, mainly due to fire risk, drought, route restrictions or locomotive failure. All steam locomotives are subject to a Fitness to Run (FTR) exam 24 hours prior to running on the main line, which means it is sometimes necessary for a substitute to be made at the last minute.
- Train travel