West Highlands guided rail tour in Scotland
Description of West Highlands guided rail tour in Scotland
A guided rail journey is a great way to soak up the beauty of the Scottish Highlands and appreciate their sweeping scale. This trip takes you along the famous West Highland Line, before using ferries to take you beyond the train track and onto the islands of Mull and Iona. All accommodation has been hand-picked by local experts, to ensure your absolute enjoyment.
Your trip starts in Glasgow with a welcome dinner – fuel up, because tomorrow you’ll be going north. The next day, you’ll plunge straight up the West Highland Line to Oban. Here, you’ll discover the standing stones and strange stories surrounding Kilmartin Glen and spend a morning with the head gardener of Arduaine Gardens.
A ferry takes you over to the islands: from the Isle of Mull you’ll cross to Iona, and then take a day trip to Staffa Island, whose curious basalt rock formations are reminiscent of Giant’s Causeway.
Back on the mainland, you have unfinished business with the West Highland Line – take it to Spean Bridge, which sits in the shadow of Ben Nevis – Scotland’s highest mountain. Wonderful walking abounds in this area, the true heart of the Highlands. The highlight by train is the Jacobite Steam Train, which you’ll board at Mallaig and take across the Glenfinnan Viaduct.
The tour ends back in Glasgow, after a final meander down the West Highland Line.
• Six nights in hand-picked three & four star small hotels on a Dinner, Bed & Breakfast basis.
• One picnic lunch.
• Rail travel from Glasgow to Oban on the West Highland Line, ferry travel from Oban to Craignure and Fionnphort to Iona, rail travel from Oban to Spean Bridge via Crainlarich, a journey on the Jacobite Express steam train from Mallaig to Fort William and rail travel from Fort William to Glasgow.
• Walking tours of Kilmartin, Iona and Spean Bridge, a guided tour of Arduaine Gardens, a guided coach tour on the Isle of Mull, a boat tour to Staffa Island and a guided coach tour of Scotland’s West Coast from Spean Bridge to Mallaig.
• Transfers as described throughout.
• The services of the tour leader throughout.
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PlanetThis guided tour encourages travellers to take low carbon and sustainable modes of transport, with the vast majority of travel being by train throughout the holiday.
This guided tour takes you beyond the end of the train lines, through the careful addition of short journeys by mini-coach to provide a tour of the area or a transfer. These modes of transports are only added when locations cannot be accessed by train. Travel to the Isles of Mull and Iona are by ferry.
We are corporate members of the John Muir Trust, an organisation committed to protecting the Scottish Highlands and islands. We are also members of AITO, The Specialist Travel Association, and adhere to their strict code of conduct.
We are continually increasing our range of public transport holidays for those who actively choose low-carbon transport. We use our years of expertise with the timetables of boats and trains to ensure guests can access remote areas without the need for a car.
This guided tour has been carefully-designed to allow you to explore much of Scotland, travelling from Glasgow to Oban, Oban to Spean Bridge via Crainlarich and Fort William to Glasgow by train. An excursion on the Jacobite Steam train from Mallaig to Fort William is also included.
The meals included in this tour are in locally owned accommodation or restaurants. Each menu focuses on local produce and cuisine, with ingredients coming from in and around Scotland as much as possible.
The locally-managed hotel in Glasgow and the small family-run hotels near Oban, on Iona and in Spean Bridge all have excellent credentials in designing breakfast and dinner menus to make the most of the best local ingredients. There is a particular emphasis on free-range and organic produce at the Spean Bridge accommodation where dinner is included on two nights.
We predominantly market our holidays via the internet. We produce very little printed marketing material. We provide tour documentation via an app rather than printed hard copy whenever possible. We ensure any leftover marketing materials are recycled.
PeopleWe strive wherever possible to promote and maintain the way of life in remote and often rural locations throughout Scotland and our other destinations. We always prefer, where possible, to work with locally-owned and managed businesses in order to provide an authentic experience in each destination. We strive to create long-lasting relationships with local suppliers where possible to help support the local community long-term.
We carefully design our tours to ensure that interaction with the local community is always at the heart of the experience. Our walking tour of Kilmartin Glen, the guided tour of Arduiane Gardens, the guided mini-coach tours of Mull and the West Coast and the boat tour to Staffa are all run by local companies and guides, both to support the community and to ensure the experience is as authentic as possible.
We directly employ a small team in Glasgow, who share our values of environmental and sustainable responsibility.