“Bus, Rail & Sail” Tour around Scotland

11th-20th October 2019:


Pricing:
£2,195 per person – based on two people sharing a room, excluding £100 booking fee
£500 deposit (non-refundable) – pay £100 booking fee now to book your spot, you then have 4 weeks to pay £400 deposit to confirm your booking
Remaining £1,795pp due - July 5th 2019
Payment Method - Debit Cards/Credit Cards. One-off payment or monthly smaller instalments accepted
Travel Insurance – Price on demand
Single Room Supplement - £540 per person
Staying before/after tour – quotes can be given and private tours provided by Colm can be arranged after scheduled dates


Costs Include:
- Nine nights’ accommodation on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis: two nights at the four-star Apex City hotel in Edinburgh, two nights at the four-star Best Western Inverness Palace Hotel in Inverness, three nights at a three-star Hotel in Skye and two nights at the four-star Hilton Glasgow Hotel. All rooms have private facilities
- Comfortable coaching throughout
- Rail journeys on the Borders Railway; from Inverness to Wick (single) and Kyle of Lochalsh(single); from Mallaig to Fort William (single) on the Jacobite; from Aviemore to Broomhill (return) on the Strathspey Line
- City tour of Edinburgh and Glasgow by coach
- Visits to Abbotsford House, Rosslyn Chapel, Dunvegan Castle, the Aros Centre and Eilean Ban; return ferry from Sconser to Raasay

Tour Schedule

Day 1 – Friday 11th October 2019

Please make your own way to Edinburgh. We will join our coach and enjoy a brief city tour by coach, after which you are free to explore and sightsee at your leisure in the historic city of Edinburgh. Notable sights include Edinburgh Castle, which sits on top of a rocky crag and dominates the city centre skyline; the Royal Mile, which leads down the hill from the castle past St Giles Cathedral and the controversial Scottish Parliament building to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, where Mary, Queen of Scots once lived and where Queen Elizabeth II still stays on her official visits to Edinburgh; Princes Street, the main shopping thoroughfare; the National Gallery of Scotland, which houses a world-class collection of paintings, and the New Town, with its sweeping terraces of elegant Georgian townhouses where notable Scots such as Robert Louis Stephenson once lived.

Dinner will be served in the evening followed by ‘Colm & Laura Keegan Live in Concert’.

Day 2 – Saturday 12th October 2019

After breakfast this morning we transfer to Edinburgh Waverley railway station and take a train ride on the Borders Railway, which opened in 2015 and follows the alignment of the old North British “Waverley Line” as far as Tweedbank, just south of Galashiels. Here we alight and continue by coach to nearby Abbotsford House, built by Sir Walter Scott following the success of his great novels. There are extensive grounds leading down to the River Tweed, a fine walled garden and a woodland walk, however, it is the house that steals the show. Scott was a passionate collector of armor and weapons – Rob Roy’s gun and Montrose’s sword along with over 9,000 rare volumes are in his library. Scott died in the dining room overlooking the Tweed in September 1832.

On our way back to Edinburgh we visit Rosslyn Chapel, which has enjoyed huge popularity since the publication of The Da Vinci Code, in which it plays a key role due to its reputed links with the Knights Templar. The Chapel was founded in 1446 and has had a chequered history as we will discover in the course of our guided tour.

We return to our hotel in time for dinner.

Day 3 – Sunday 13 October 2019

Following an early breakfast, we check out of our hotel. We travel by coach to Aviemore for a journey on the Strathspey Railway. We will board the maroon-liveried coaches which will evoke memories of train journeys in the 1950s and 60s and the train will be hauled by a lovingly restored steam locomotive from the collection which is housed in the engine shed adjacent to the station here. The line crosses heather covered moorland with the Cairngorm Mountains beyond, scenes which have changed little in the last hundred years. The train stops at Boat of Garten, a village created by the former railway companies that served the area and Broomhill, which doubled as „Glenbogle‟ in the popular BBC TV series, Monarch of the Glen. The train will then return to Aviemore, from where we continue our journey by coach to our accommodation in Inverness.

Day 4 – Monday 14 October 2019

Today following breakfast we will board the morning scheduled diesel train service from Inverness to Wick. The line takes us along the shores of the Cromarty and Dornoch Firths, looping round by Lairg and back to the coast, passing the former junction with the Dornoch branch at The Mound. From Golspie the line follows the spectacular coastline as far as Helmsdale, where it turns inland, pausing at remote stations such as Forsinard and Altnabreac, before reaching Georgemas Junction, the most northerly railway junction in Britain. The driver changes ends here to take the train to Thurso before we continue to the terminus at Wick. On arrival here we will re-join our coach and return to our hotel by the more direct but equally scenic coastal route. Dinner will be served in the evening.

Day 5 – Tuesday 15th October 2019

After breakfast, we check out of our hotel. We return to the station at Inverness, this time heading west to Kyle of Lochalsh on the scheduled diesel train service. Our route takes us through Strath Bran and the isolated little station at Achnasheen, on into Strath Carron to the head of Loch Carron, passing Stromeferry, the one-time terminus of the line, before we reach the current terminus at Kyle of Lochalsh. We have time here to stretch our legs and enjoy the views across Loch Alsh to the Isle of Skye before re-joining our coach for the short journey to Skye.

Dinner will be served at our hotel in the evening.

Day 6 – Wednesday 16 October 2019

After breakfast, we depart for Dunvegan Castle, the ancient home of the chiefs of the Clan MacLeod. Following our visit here we take a scenic drive around Trotternish, Skye‟s most northerly peninsula, which contains within its narrow confines a barren, haunting environment studded with fantastic basaltic formations and ancient settlements. We then spend some time in the island‟s chief town and port, Portree. White and colour-washed houses ring the harbour to create the epitome of a Hebridean port. We also visit the Aros Centre, an arts and heritage centre with information, shops and forest walks.

We return to our hotel where dinner is served.

Day 7 – Thursday 17 October 2019

After breakfast, we take a short ferry crossing from Sconser to the island of Raasay. We begin with a tour to the northern end of the island: highlights include the picturesque ruin of 15th century Brochel Castle, once an impressive structure which was impregnable from the sea. We take the ferry back to Sconser, before stopping in Kyleakin where we are met by a key holder to Eilean Ban, the last home of author and naturalist Gavin Maxwell – is now a museum with many interesting mementoes of his time spent there.

Dinner is served in our hotel this evening.

Day 8 – Friday 18 October 2019

Following breakfast we check out of our hotel. We board the ferry from Armadale to Mallaig where we have the opportunity for lunch (not included) before joining ‘The Jacobite’ steam train and experience one of the most memorable and spectacular railway journeys in the world. “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. The line runs through rugged mountains, past sea and inland lochs and over the massive Glenfinnan viaduct overlooking Loch Sheil, where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his standard in 1745. On arrival in Fort William we will join our coach for the journey to Glasgow where we expect to arrive at approximately 19.00hrs.

Dinner will be served at our hotel in the evening.

Day 9 – Saturday 19 October 2019

After breakfast we will enjoy a city sightseeing tour by tour featuring many of the impressive buildings designed by architects such as Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Alexander „Greek‟ Thomson (exterior views only). We then enjoy free time for shopping or sightseeing with the opportunity to visit some of the places seen on the tour. Also recommended are the Kelvingrove Museum and the Riverside Transport Museum – coach transfers will be offered to these venues and admission is free.

At an agreed time we return to our hotel where we will enjoy a farewell dinner.

Day 10 – Sunday 20 October 2019

After breakfast we check out of the hotel where our bus will bring you to the airport to fly home.

Tour Gallery

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Place Booking Fee* : GBP 100 ( * booking fees are non-refundable )
Passengers have 4 weeks after placing booking fee to pay £400 deposit per person and confirm place on tour