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Edinburgh & the Highlands by Steam

3.9 stars(57 reviews)

Discover the beauty of Scotland by rail

You are viewing the 2021 itinerary. Select your departure year
6 days From £699 per person

2021 Tour code: 21AHS

About the tour

Enjoy the majesty of Edinburgh before exploring the lochs, mountains and glens of Perthshire and the soaring Cairngorm Mountains aboard Scotland's spectacular railways.


What’s included


Day 1 - Edinburgh

Your Tour Manager meets you in Edinburgh at your hotel. The rest of your day is free to get settled in, or perhaps to explore the city. You could take a stroll along the Royal Mile, located in the heart of the colourful Old Town, running between Edinburgh Castle - perched atop an extinct volcano - and Hollyrood Palace, an official residence of the Queen. Here, you'll find an enticing array of shops, cafés, and pubs to visit.

Day 2 - Edinburgh & Blair Atholl

Today, you take the train through scenic Perthshire to Blair Atholl, where we spend four nights at a traditional Highland hotel, The Atholl Arms Hotel.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Queen’s View

Today's excursion takes you to Queen's View, one of Scotland's most famous lookouts. Enjoy the stunning panoramas stretching out across Loch Tummel to the Glencoe Hills and take a gentle walk, with views of Schiehallion, also known as the 'fairy hill of the Caledonians' and the 'Matterhorn of Perthshire'. Continue to Pitlochry, set against the backdrop of Ben Vrackie whose summit sits 2,757 feet above sea level, before returning to Blair Atholl for a tour of its Castle and gardens. Blair Castle is one of Scotland's premier stately homes, and the last castle in Britain to be besieged during the final Jacobite uprising.

The castle's gardens are exquisite and the interior rooms are perfect examples of Scottish design through the ages. Recently, the castle has been used as a filming location for the ITV series 'Victoria'

  • Breakfast
Day 4 - Jacobite Steam Train

Join the Jacobite Steam Train* in Fort William for a magnificent return journey on the West Highland Line in restored carriages. The incredible West Highland Line is regularly voted as one of the most scenic railway lines in the world One of the most famous sights that the train passes crosses over is the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct, an utter marvel of engineering with 21 spans that harmonise perfectly with the surrounding rolling countryside. Of course, this viaduct has been used in numerous films, the most famous and recent being in the second 'Harry Potter' film.

After crossing the viaduct, the train continues onward towards the coast, unveiling incredible views of this wild and wonderful corner of the world. After passing through Arisaig, the line then descends towards Mallaig, a sweet fishing port that looks out over to the Isle of Skye.

*Please note: Steam-hauled where possible - some departures use the ScotRail scheduled service

  • Breakfast
Day 5 - The Strathspey Steam Railway

Take a spectacular trip on the Strathspey Steam Railway today. Travelling through the Cairngorms from Aviemore, follow the route of the historic Highland Railway, passing through the spectacular scenery of the Cairngorm National Park. Disembarking, continue by coach to the Highland Wildlife Park. Operated by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, it boasts a diverse range of wildlife in an incredible Highland setting. Enjoy a fascinating guided drive as you marvel at and learn about Scotland's native species, as well as rare and endangered animals from around the world such as polar bears, tigers, wolves, and snow leopards. Return to the hotel by coach, where you enjoy a leisurely afternoon ahead of a delicious three-course dinner.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 - Edinburgh & home

Depart Blair Atholl this morning, and take the train back to Edinburgh. From here, you're free to continue your journey home.

  • Breakfast

Additional information

Departure times

On many of our UK & Ireland tours, you may check in at the first hotel on your itinerary anytime after 14:00; your Tour Manager will be available between 16:00 and 18:00. However, if you are arriving later, you can meet your Tour Manager before dinner from 19:00.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.


Atholl Arms Hotel, Blair Atholl

Atholl Arms Hotel, Blair Atholl

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Jacobite Steam Train
Strathspey Railway
West Highland Line

Enhance your holiday


Rail travel to and from Edinburgh
Door to door luggage from £50
Extend your UK & Ireland holiday


3.9 stars3.9 / 5 · 57 reviews

  1. 5 stars
  2. 4 stars
  3. 3 stars
  4. 2 stars
  5. 1 star

Mr John Fuller

3 stars

Submitted 19/Jun

This was our first experience of a rail holiday and we were somewhat under-whelmed by the whole holiday. The group at 38 was too large. Accepting that current restrictions meant that getting to know other members was difficult, more creative solutions could have been tried. Some hotel staff seemed stressed and were off-hand and insistent on measures that were unnecessary for covid compliance. The trips out involved long coach journeys to reach the 2 steam train stations. The steam journey to Mallaig was the highlight of the holiday. The coach drivers though were informative, friendly and helpful. The return journey to Edinburgh from Pitlochry was a potential covid disaster. The train was over-crowded and it was impossible to social distance . I and many others were standing to Perth and some of our disabled party were left on the platform. Very unsatisfactory. Overall, a disappointing experience.

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Sylvia James

4 stars

Submitted 19/Jun

Weather was kind, scenery beautiful, hotel was comfortable but needs some updating once the visitors roll in. Coach travel took up a lot of time and each day made it rather tiring. Wold have appreciated First Class on the steam trains to make it extra special. Not your fault , but the train from Pitlochry to Edinburgh was a nightmare. No social distancing, every seat taken up when we boarded and bikes clogging passage up. Fortunately a young person offered me her seat, otherwise I might have had to stand right to Edinburgh!!

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S Zalcman

1 stars

Submitted 19/Jun

Did not live up to expectations. Accommodation in Blair Athol of poor standard in food, service & comfort. Some staff members rude & bossy & not interested in pleasing customer at all. Tours not well thought out & too much time spent on coaches. No tour of Edinburgh as expected, so cannot justify name of tour! Very disappointing!

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Pete Kerry

3 stars

Submitted 19/Jun

This could have been a great holiday with a bit more planning. The Edinburgh hotel was a rabbit warren, but okay. Some suggestions as what to do on Monday morning would have been helpful. The hotel in Blair Atholl had seen better days and the sound d insulation between rooms was poor. It would have been helpful if information on dining and walks around h

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5 stars

Submitted 18/Jun

Great tour well organised. Good mix of organised tours and free time. Only issue was return rail journey to Waverley - train was very full and no seats had to stand for part of journey.

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3 stars

Submitted 14/Jun

Disappointed with tours. Weather didn't help! Very concerned that return train to Edinburgh was full before we boarded putting all at risk!

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Europe & UK Escorted Holiday by Rail 2021

Europe & UK Escorted Holiday by Rail 2021

The definitive guide to European, Worldwide and Cruise rail tours and holidays by rail.

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Edinburgh & the Highlands by Steam

Discover the beauty of Scotland by rail


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