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Taking in two of Scotland’s most beautiful regions the rugged Highlands and stunningly scenic West Coast the Grand West Highland Journey is easily among the most prestigious and splendid offered by the Belmond Royal Scotsman. Travelling to some of the country’s finest iconic heritage sites and landmarks, it’s a trip of real distinction and one that passengers will never forget from time spent aboard the opulent train, to the many excursions included in the overall itinerary.
Arriving at Edinburgh Waverley station, the Belmond Royal Scotsman train will be ready to depart early-afternoon. Heading west towards Falkirk, you will soon reach Craigendoran, where the West Highland Line begins, along with your journey proper, enjoying an indulgent afternoon tea en route as you catch first sight of Loch Lomond and the iconic peak of Ben Arthur.
Next, the train climbs the waterfall-rich Glen Falloch before heading north on to the village of Spean Bridge- your home from home for the night, where a splendid formal dinner and entertainment will be offered in the Observation Car.
Following breakfast, the train will continue west, passing through charming Fort William, and allowing you to enjoy views of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in all of Britain. Soon you will disembark in Arisaig, the perfect destination for a romantic stroll along the Morar Sands, which boasts incredible views across to the Isle of Skye and its dominant Cuillin Mountains. Rejoin the train for a wonderful onboard lunch as the journey takes you back to the largest town in the West Highlands, Fort William.
Next, a bona fide Highlander will join your select group for a trip to the Glenfinnan Monument, explaining the history, folklore and legend of the area. Or, alternatively, more energetic passengers can opt to walk up to the serene Steall Waterfall, before returning to the Belmond Royal Scotsman for dinner, musical entertainment and an overnight stay at the Bridge of Orchy.
Following breakfast onboard, sights are set for the stunning Isle of Bute, rich in geology, history and wildlife, and one of the most varied landscapes in Scotland. Here you will take the delights of Mount Stuart, a Victorian Gothic pile boasting arguably the most impressive collection of family portraiture in the country, before heading back to Wemyss Bay for a formal dinner and another night onboard the train.
Today the train is bound for Edinburgh, prestigious and historic capital city of Scotland. En route, you will pass through some of the most enchanting scenery in the country, before pulling into Waverley Station. Next, spend some time exploring the iconoclastic streets and buildings of this world-famous town; the Royal Mile, the Castle, the many art galleries, monuments and government buildings. Climbing back aboard the Belmond Royal Scotsman for early-afternoon departure, the next leg of the journey will take you north once more, onto Perth via the impressive Forth Railway Bridge.
Passing through Pilochry and Blair Atholl, and their magnificent castles- viewable from just outside the station- once back aboard the Belmond you will stable at Boat of Garten, where a delightful dinner will be served and musical entertainment can be enjoyed from the comfort of the Observation Car.
After breakfast a coach will be ready to take you to the historic estate of Rothiemurchus the wild side of Scotland. Situated in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, this enchanting setting is the perfect place to indulge in some outdoor pursuits whether that’s clay pigeon shooting or a simple guided walk around the grounds.
Rejoin the Belmond at Aviemore, where you will be served lunch as the journey moves on towards Culloden Battlefield for another historic visit. Then enjoy an evening at Strathisla Distillery, among the oldest in the county and home to one of Scotland’s most famous whiskies, before the Belmond wakes you away from Nairn and east to Keith, with a formal dinner offered as the route redirects south towards Dundee.
Wake up to enjoy a final breakfast as the train heads south through the majestic ancient Kingdom of Fife, crossing the Forth Railway Bridge as Edinburgh draws ever closer. Pulling into the Scottish capital mid-morning, say goodbye to the Belmond Royal Scotsman, leaving you free to enjoy a day in this iconic European city.