“A short break travelling on the West Highland Railway, and spending two nights in Spean Bridge in the Highlands.”
Glasgow | West Highland Railway | Spean Bridge | Glenfinnan | Glenfinnan Viaduct | Fort William
Description of Scotland railway short break, West Highland Line
The West Highland Railway is not only one of Scotlandís finest and oldest routes, with landscapes and lookouts that change every few minutes, it is also considered by many to be one of the most magnificent railway journeys in the world. This Scotland short break, of just three days, starts in Spean Bridge in the Highlands, where you will spend two nights in a hotel with a superb location, with strolls directly out of the hotel that boast views out across Ben Nevis, Loch Lochy and the Great Glen.
Enjoy your first day in Spean Bridge absorbing the landscapes but also the fine hospitality on offer at this small, family-run hotel, where wonderful organic food is par for the course, open fires roar and the kettle is always hot. The second day of this short break is on board the West Highland Railway, which you can catch at Fort William station about a mile from the hotel, so taxis will be arranged if needed. The journey itself, on a steam train, takes in beauties like Ben Nevis, the Britainís westernmost railway station at Arisaig, Loch Morar and Loch Nevis. En route to its final stop in Mallaig, the harbour where boats leave for the Isle of Skye, the train travels over the magnificent Glenfinnan Viaduct, with twenty one arches spanning the valley, and then stops at Glenfinnan village. From here you can gain wonderful perspective out across Loch Shiel, and there is a quaint museum in the station to enjoy as well. For the rest of the journey, look out to sea on a good clear day for views across to beautiful islands of Rum, Muck, Eigg or Canna as well as the world famous silver strands at Morar. Return to Fort William on the 4pm train, where another taxi can be arranged to meet you.
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This trip can be tailor made to suit your requirements between mid May to the end of October
Responsible tourism: Scotland railway short break, West Highland Line
We are continually increasing our range of public transport holidays for those who want to leave the car behind. We grapple with the timetables of trains, boats and buses, and fill-in the gaps with short taxi transfers to make this possible in the more remote, rural areas. Not having a car in tow can transform your experience, especially in the Scottish Highlands Ė exploring the area around your hotel on foot helps you to properly engage with the environment and experience the place at a more appropriate, slower pace.
This particular holiday provides a wonderful highlight of first class train travel on the West Highland Line, and we can add-on rail travel from anywhere else in the UK, so there is no need for a car at all.
The hotel featured in this holiday is committed to protecting the magnificent environment within which it is situated, actively recycling as much waste as possible. Their green policy includes:
1. Composting all kitchen waste 2. Using leftover bread and vegetables for chickens 3. Recycling glass, cans, paper, cardboard and juice cartons 4. Waste oil is recycled by a local firm 5. Using eco-friendly cleaning products 6. Limiting the use of water and electricity through low-voltage bulbs and short wash cycles
The hotel also has a reedbed which purifies waste water before it is returned to the stream in the garden.
We are corporate members of the John Muir Trust, and in this way support their aims to safeguard iconic wild lands such as Ben Nevis, Sandwood Bay and the Red Cuillin on the Isle of Skye, add weight to their campaigns against inappropriate developments in wild places by standing up for wild land, help fund their work in partnership with local communities in wild land areas, thus contributing to the long-term sustainable development of the Trust and making a real difference to wild places by reinforcing John Muirís message that we need wild places for nature and people.
For us, true sustainability means promoting and helping to maintain a way of life in remote, often rural locations, where the economic benefit from tourism can make a genuine difference. Thatís why we work almost exclusively with local, family-run businesses, not with large corporate organisations. We build close and lasting relationships with our business partners, based on mutual trust and an unerring commitment to customer satisfaction. The hotel featured in this holiday fits the bill perfectly - with a strong environmental policy and commitment to serving locally-sourced organic food.
We directly employ a small team of local people in Glasgow. We offer part-time and flexible working. We ensure staff take undertake at least two recce visits in a year so that they have first-hand experience and knowledge of our products throughout Scotland and Ireland. All staff share our values of environmental and sustainable responsibility.
We are members of AITO, the Association of Independent Tour Operators, and adhere to their strict code of conduct.
Reviews of Scotland railway short break, West Highland Line
You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.
I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
It was OK
A bit disappointing really
Reviewed on 14 Oct 2013 by Alison Tucker
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Jacobite steam train and the ben Nevis range cable car and walks at the top.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Look forward to having a great time!
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Yes, all of that.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
Responsible travel were very efficient and all travel went smoothly. The hotel is a superb venue, run by nice people. Clean, comfortable and great food.