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The Outer Hebrides & The Highlands

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4.2 stars(19 reviews)
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Enjoy the natural beauty of the Scottish Highlands and the Outer Hebrides

8 days From £1,349 per person

2021 Tour code: 21OHS

About the tour

Soak up the spectacular natural beauty of the Scottish Highlands and the Outer Hebrides on a holiday that takes in breathtaking rugged scenery and features a journey aboard the iconic Jacobite Steam Train.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive in Glasgow

Arrive in Glasgow and meet your Tour Manager. You are free to explore for the rest of the day. Glasgow is filled with incredible examples of Victorian architecture, having undergone a massive period of growth during the industrial age. The stunning buildings stand alongside some truly incredible examples of modern design, including 'the Armadillo' and the Glasgow Science Centre.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 - The West Highland Line

Transfer to the train station for a scenic ride on the West Highland Line to Fort William, travelling through stunning mountain and forest scenery. Easily one of the most scenic routes in Britain, the route is often hailed as one of the best rail journeys of the world. Highlights include the Clyde Estuary, Ben Lomond, and the Falls of Falloch. Discover Fort William at your own leisure, perhaps exploring Old Inverlochy Castle, located about 1 mile from the city centre. You could also visit the West Highland Museum that details the history of the Scottish Highlands and Islands.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - The Jacobite Steam Train

Take the famous Jacobite Steam Train* today, from Fort William to Mallaig. One of the most beautiful train lines in the world, a highlight of the route comes as you cross the 21 dramatic arches of Glenfinnan Viaduct, famously a filming location for Harry Potter. You have free time in Mallaig before moving on to the Glenfinnan Monument by coach. This afternoon, visit the Ben Nevis Distillery, where a whisky tasting is included.

*Steam-hauled when possible. Some departures will make this journey on Scotrail's diesel service.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 4 - To The Outer Hebrides

Travel by coach from Fort William to Uig today, on a drive through the scenery of Skye. Pause along the way at Eilean Donan Castle, a 13th-century castle that occurs frequently in pictures and television shows because of its stunning location, and Portree, a fishing village on the east side of Skye. You have time to take photographs before boarding the ferry to Tarbert, one of the main harbours of the area. On arrival, your coach will deliver you to your hotel in Stornoway.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - Isle of Lewis

Today, enjoy a full-day guided sight-seeing tour. Depart Stornoway by coach and drive north to see the Butt of Lewis and the Port of Ness. You then return south to Barvas, visiting the Gearrannan Blackhouse Village and the Callanish Standing Stones. This circle, comprising 13 stones, was erected in the late Neolithic era and was used for rituals during the Bronze Age. The stones enjoy a prominent position in popular culture, including the television series Outlander. Enjoy lunch at the Doune Braes Hotel before taking a scenic tour of the Uig District of Lewis. Enjoy the stunning views over Uig Bay as you walk along the pier.

Back at the hotel your time is at leisure, and there is authentic Scottish entertainment, including bagpipers and Ceilidh dancers before dinner.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 - Stornoway

Enjoy a morning exploring the town of Stornoway and Garry Beach on a guided sightseeing tour. Stornoway is home to an arts and cinema centre, and Tasglann nan, a small but interesting museum.

From here, visit the golden sands of Garry Beach, taking a scenic walk along its heritage trail. Take the ferry from Stornoway harbour to Ullapool, a quaint Scottish village. You are free to explore this Highland destination, nestled on the shores of Lochbroom. You can visit the museum, where local historical artefacts from different eras are on display, and the community-run gallery that promotes works by Highland artists. Perhaps stop at one of the waterfront pubs where beautiful views and traditional Scottish music await. To the west of Ullapool is Inverpolly National Nature Reserve, home to some unique Scottish wildlife.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 - Edinburgh

Journey from Ullapool to Inverness by coach, then continue to Edinburgh by rail for the night. 

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 - Home

Today, you are free to depart at your leisure.

Includes
  • 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.

Hotels

Ibis South Bridge, Edinburgh

Ibis South Bridge, Edinburgh

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Ben Nevis Hotel

Ben Nevis Hotel, Fort William

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Holiday Inn Express Glasgow City Centre Riverside, Glasgow

Holiday Inn Express Glasgow City Centre Riverside, Glasgow

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Caladh Inn

Caladh Inn, Stornoway

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Royal Hotel Ullapool

Royal Hotel Ullapool, Ullapool

View hotel

Trains

Jacobite Steam Train
West Highland Line

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

Rail travel to and from Edinburgh
Rail travel to and from Glasgow
UK rail connections

Reviews

4.2 stars4.2 / 5 · 19 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (9)
  2. 4 stars
    (6)
  3. 3 stars
    (3)
  4. 2 stars
    (0)
  5. 1 star
    (1)

Mr Michael Edwards

5 stars

Submitted 2/Jun

This holiday was a delight. Covid 19 caused last minute changes but they managed to make them work so well that we saw more than originally promised. Worth every penny

Collected by Trustpilot

J Lang

5 stars

Submitted 30/May

Excellent holiday, good hotels, excellent tour manager who added extra items and quiz`s etc . This was our 11th trip with Rail Discoveries and we have 2 more booked this year. They are excellent holidays with excellent tour managers

Collected by Trustpilot

Mrs. Jacqueline Atkins

5 stars

Submitted 28/May

Brilliant tour across Scotland to the Outer Hebrides including the best train journeys and stunning scenery. Very good hotels, good food, excellent tour manager and lovely friendly people. Unfortunately due to restrictions we had to start our tour in Edinbugh then catch the West Highland line from Dumbarton. Our creative tour manager Graham cleverly arranged for us to visit 2 Scottish highlights not listed on the tour, the Kelpies and the Falkirk wheel. This was a stroke of genius so we didn't mind about the extra coach trio to meet fhe train. Our stay at Fort William included a visit to the Ben Nevis distillery. We had an excellent guide there who gave us many different whiskies to sample which was enjoyed by all as the quality of the products needed to be compared. I think they did well with sales! We also saw Ben Nevis and the breathtaking scenery from the Jacobite steam train ride to Mallaig. Unfortunately we couldn't do the ferry crossing from Skye to Harris as the passenger ferry was closed. This meant we had to be coached to Ullapool to get the ferry to Stornaway and return the same way missing Skye completely. This was a shame but something we had no control over. The tour guide on Lewis, Chris, was very informative and enthusiastic about the island and could answer any question. We were blown away by the standing stones and beautiful beaches yet amazed by the remoteness there. The prevention of covid infection on Lewis was very strict and we had our hands squirted with sanitizer every time we got on the coach. The islanders want tourists there but not disease and you can't blame them as the environment is unique and a covid outbreak would devastate such a small community. Everyone we met in Scotland was very welcoming, friendly and helpful and we rated this as a first rate trip.

Collected by Trustpilot

Malcolm Boulter

5 stars

Submitted 28/May

This was a well organised tour with covid forced changes. In our view these changes enhanced our tour. Starting and ending the tour in Edinburgh instead of starting in Glasgow was much more convenient and permitted our excellent tour manager to include a visit to The Kelpies and The Falkirk Wheel - an added bonus. Being unable to visit Skye due to ferry difficulties was a disappointment. Our only concern was travelling on over busy Scotrail trains.

Collected by Trustpilot

A Felston

5 stars

Submitted 28/May

Excellent tour especially considering the changes that had to be made at the last minute. In fact starting and finishing at Edinburgh improved the tour as we were able to visit the Kelpies and the Falkirk Wheel The tour manager could not have been better and the group was very friendly. The hotels were generally excellent although the Nevis Bank needs to include a vegetarian option on its menu

Collected by Trustpilot

Peter Rutland

5 stars

Submitted 28/May

Excellent trip wonderful and informative guide. Sad we missed Skye but the Kelpiies and the Falkirk wheel should be a permanent addition as should a visit to the Blackhouse bakery for Scotch pies. The distiller was great but a few seats on the way round for the less abled would be good. We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday.

Collected by Trustpilot

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Europe & UK Escorted Holiday by Rail 2021

Europe & UK Escorted Holiday by Rail 2021

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The Outer Hebrides & The Highlands

Enjoy the natural beauty of the Scottish Highlands and the Outer Hebrides

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