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Cairngorms by Steam at Christmas

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Celebrate Christmas in the Scottish Highlands

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2020 Tour code: 21CGX

Itinerary

Day 1 – Edinburgh

Arrive in Edinburgh where you meet your Tour Manager. After checking into your hotel the rest of your evening is free. Perhaps venture into the city's famed Christmas Market right beside Scott Monument. The market has multiple levels of cheerful stalls, the entire area decked with lights and tinsels. From the bratwurst of Germany and crêpes of Belgium to locally made candles and woodware, the market embodies the festive spirit of Christmas.

Edinburgh
Day 2 – Inverness

Today is Christmas Eve and you travel by train to Inverness through the lush terrains of Cairngorms National Park. The journey is scenic, with the Cairngorm range almost a constant companion, a haze of blue in the distance and green woodland.

On reaching Inverness you embark on a scenic coach ride along the coast of Moray Firth, an inlet of the North Sea. Keep your eyes peeled for its resident bottlenose dolphins as you make your way towards Speyside for some tasting of fine Speyside whisky at the Craigellachie Hotel.

Later, make you way to the Craiglynne Hotel, your home for the next 3 nights. You enjoy welcome beverages and minced pies before a 3-course dinner. Later indulge in some traditional Scottish entertainment with Ceilidh dancing.

Inverness Castle
Day 3 – Christmas Day

Your day begins with breakfast and some Bucks Fizz. There is also time for you to admire your surroundings. Located close to Cromdale Hills and Cairngorms National Park, the hotel gives access to several walking trails for short exploratory trips.

For those seeking to relax, the conservatory is ideal for settling in with coffee and enjoying views of the hotel's manicured gardens fringed with evergreen trees. After a traditional 4-course Christmas lunch, you can gather by the fireplace for the chance to enjoy a Christmas quiz and bingo.You enjoy a visit from Father Christmas before having coffee and mince pies whilst you may like to listen to the Queen's Speech.

Later, cap your celebrations with some traditional Christmas entertainment.

Cairngorms
Day 4 – Balvenie and Ballindalloch Castles

The coach transfers you to Balvenie Castle today, travelling along the River Spey for most part of the journey. A fine example of 13th-century Scottish military architecture, the castle is almost in ruins today. From here, continue to Dufftown, a thriving village community. The residents specialise in whisky making, and the village is known as the 'malt whisky capital of the world'.

Later you see the Ballindalloch Castle and Gardens, a baronial castle built in the 16th century. After a trip to Aberlour, known the world over for its shortbread, you return to the hotel. This evening, you travel to Lossiemouth, a fishing town that is one of the best spots to admire the Northern Lights in Scotland.

Ballindalloch Castle
Days 5-6 – Strathspey Railway & Edinburgh

Transfer to Aviemore for a remarkable journey aboard the steam-hauled Strathspey Railway on their 'Mince Pie' service. The journey takes us through the Highlands past rolling hills and meadows and we enjoy mince pies along the way. Later we return to Aviemore where we board our train to Edinburgh for the night.

On Day 6 after breakfast, you are free to depart Edinburgh in your own time.

Strathspey Railway