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Visit Edinburgh Castle during this epic Scotland Rail journey

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Scotland By Rail

A rail journey through the highlights of mainland Scotland

Discover Scotland by rail. From the buzz of big cities to the tranquillity of vast lochs, from towering mountains in the Highlands, to the beautiful beaches of its far North shores.

Scotland 10 days January - December 42 kg per person
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Explore the culture and heritage of Scotland by rail, taking in an abundance of sights from the modern to the ancient. Your independent low-carbon journey across this celtic country will take you from Edinburgh in the East to Fort William in the West, and all the way to Thurso in the far North, with carefully chosen stopovers along the way.

10 days, zero-hassle and all this included:

  • 9 nights accommodation in 3- or 4-star guesthouses & hotels
  • breakfast daily
  • standard class train travel to each destination*
  • recommendations for all the best things to do / see / eat
  • optional excursions to tailor your tour
  • good transport links at the tour start / end points in Edinburgh / Inverness
  • handy mobile app to keep every trip detail at your fingertips
  • 24/7 telephone support during your adventure
  • 1 native tree planted in our woodland

* journey from Fort William to Inverness is by public bus

Plus flexible booking terms as part of our Adventure Promise, including installment payments to spread the cost of your adventure. 

See the full itinerary in the tab above.

For adventurers who:

Are looking to explore Scotland by rail with their partner, family or friends. This trip can be tailored to make it as rich in culture or as active as suits your individual needs

Day 1, Monday: Edinburgh

Arrive in Edinburgh. Edinburgh is a well-connected city with an International Airport and fantastic train links, making it the perfect place to begin your exploration of Scotland by rail. 

Check into your boutique hotel, before heading out for an evening meal at one of the nearby restaurants. We will provide recommendations on where you can sample your first taste of Scottish cuisine! 

Optional activity: London to Edinburgh train travel

Arriving into London? No worries, we can provide your train travel up to Edinburgh. Simply let us know you require this journey adding when you send an enquiry form with your preferred travel dates.
Cost: on request

Day 2, Tuesday: Edinburgh

After a delicious breakfast at your hotel, it’s time to explore the city sights. Catch the tram into the heart of the city where a world of breathtaking architecture and royal sights await. From the medieval Old Town to the elegant Georgian New Town, Edinburgh’s hill capital is filled with character. Take the opportunity to visit the famous Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace for a taste of history, and explore the many independent cafes and eateries that modern Edinburgh boasts.

If you prefer something a little more energetic and would like an alternative view of the city, pull on your hiking boots and set off for Arthur’s Seat in Holyrood Park, the 640-acre Royal Park adjacent to Holyrood Palace. An ancient volcano sitting 251m above sea level, Arthur’s Seat provides an incredible view of Edinburgh city.

Return to your hotel at the end of the day for a second night’s stay

Optional activity: Private guided city walking tour

Book a private guided walking tour of the city to discover the highlights of the nation’s capital, including the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle. Simply include your request on your date enquiry form.
Cost: £175 per couple

Optional activity: Private guided e-bike tour

An easy-to-ride e-bike is the perfect way to explore the outskirts of Edinburgh, including the beautiful coastal area of Crammond, with your knowledgeable local guide. With a full day of exploring at your disposal, why not head over to the pretty town of South Queensferry and enjoy a delicious lunch stop at one of the lovely eateries or seafood restaurants.
Cost: on request

Day 3, Wednesday: Glasgow

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before making your way to the nearby Haymarket train station and boarding the train to Glasgow city, your next destination. On arrival, drop your bags off at the hotel and set off to explore this bustling city. Famed for its street art and the legacy of John Rennie Mackintosh, there is much to see and do: discover the famous Lighthouse, visit Glasgow Cathedral & Necropolis and look out for the Duke of Wellington statue with his infamous cone!

Your hotel is in a central location, allowing you to make the most of the city’s cafes, restaurants and bars this evening.

Optional activity: Guided city walking tour

Why not choose to join a walking tour group of the city’s highlights. With a local guide leading the way you’re sure to see all the best sights, from the famous landmarks to the hidden gems. Simply include your request on your date enquiry form.
Cost: £20 per person

Day 4, Thursday: Fort William

Pack your bags and after breakfast it’s time to leave your hotel for the train north to Fort William, the ‘Gateway to the Highlands’. Travelling through Scotland by Rail is a fantastic way to see the country, be sure to take in the scenery as you head into the Highlands. 

On arrival in Fort William, drop your bags off at the hotel and then head out to enjoy an afternoon exploring the town. Fort William attracts outdoor enthusiasts from around the world. As the gateway to the Highlands it is the perfect place from which to base yourself for hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, climbing, fishing and more. Perhaps take a stroll to the Ben Nevis Inn at the foot of Scotland’s most famous mountain for a local beer or a wee dram.

Your hotel or guesthouse will be centrally located, giving you easy access to dining options this evening.

Optional activity: Wildlife boat cruise

Join a 2-hour wildlife cruise on Loch Linnhe this afternoon to understand how the sea and the many lochs influence Scottish wildlife, and how this permeates into the culture and food of Scotland. Simply include your request on your date enquiry form.
Cost: £38 per person

Day 5, Friday: Fort William

Take a free day to relax and continue exploring Fort William and the surrounding area under your own steam. Alternatively you could or choose from these full day optional experiences:

Optional activity: Ride on the Hogwart’s Express

Experience a ride on the famous steam train, as seen in the Harry Potter movies. The Jacobite steam train takes you across the iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct and on to Mallaig on the coast, where you will enjoy free time to explore the town before your return ride to Fort William.

Train tickets sell out quickly so please request this when you submit your date enquiry for the best chance of securing your place.
Cost: £84 per person

Optional activity: Private guided hike up Ben Nevis

Join a professional Mountain Leader for a privately guided hike to the summit of the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis. Standing at 1,345m, this hike is only suitable for those with a good fitness level and appropriate hiking kit.
Cost: £270 per couple

Day 6, Saturday: Inverness

After breakfast it’s time to leave outdoorsy Fort William behind as you hop aboard the bus to the city of Inverness. On the way be sure to enjoy the beautiful views out of the window, passing along the shores of Loch Ness before arriving into Inverness.

Make your way to your accommodation from where you could drop your bags and head out into the city or simply relax at your hotel for the evening.

Day 7, Sunday: Inverness

Enjoy a full day exploring Inverness. With a beautiful riverside walk along the River Ness to begin your day, the walk returns through the city centre giving you an opportunity to see the city’s main sights. Explore the Botanic Gardens, wander through Whin Park, pay a visit to the city’s Cathedral and even discover the art and history of the Highlands at the Inverness Museum & Art Gallery.

Rest your feet after all that walking with a relaxed second evening back at your hotel.

Optional activity: Guided city walking tour

Choose to join a group this morning for a walking tour of the city highlights. Led by a local guide, they’ll share everything you need to know about this riverside city.
Cost: £20 per person

Optional activity: Loch Ness cruise

Join a day excursion to Loch Ness by bus and boat, taking you straight from the city centre to the shores of this famous loch. Sit back and relax as you learn everything there is to know about the stirring past of these famous shores, then hop aboard your large comfortable boat for a cruise across the Loch’s world-famous waters. Includes the return journey to Inverness city centre.
Cost: £56 per person

Day 8, Monday: Thurso

Check out after breakfast and head to the nearby train station. Today’s rail journey takes you all the way up to Thurso on the northern edge of mainland Scotland. Enjoy the views along the way as you continue to experience Scotland by rail.

On arrival in Thurso why not drop off your bags at the hotel before enjoying the rest of the day to explore this legendary surfer’s hangout.

Settle into your hotel this evening, your home for the next two nights.

Day 9, Tuesday: Thurso

After a tasty breakfast at the hotel, you could take today to delve deeper into what Thurso has to offer. Perhaps you feel called to the sea to try your hand at surfing? There are plenty of places to hire a board and wetsuit so you can try to hang ten for yourself. Or for a less energetic option, simply find yourself a cafe with a prime viewing spot and watch the locals show us how it’s done!

Alternatively, check out these optional extras and let us know in your date enquiry if you would like to book either:

Optional activity: Private driving tour to Dunnet Head

Join a private guided tour of the area this morning, including a drive out to the most northerly point of mainland Britain at Dunnet Head, as well as the famous John O’Groats. With epic views, stunning sea cliffs and wildlife spotting along the way, we highly recommend this to experience the wilds of Scotland’s most northerly mainland location.
Cost: £300 per couple

Optional activity: Whisky distillery tour & tasting

Is any tour of Scotland complete without a whisky tour and tasting? Why not spend your afternoon at the local distillery where you can experience a tour and tasting, especially when Wolfburn is the most northerly distillery in Scotland!
Cost: £22 per person

Day 10, Wednesday: Depart

Pack your bags and get ready to depart after breakfast. Catch the train from Thurso back to Inverness. This well connected city provides great options for your onward travel home via train, air or road.

Optional activity: Inverness to London train travel

If you require assistance with onward travel or would like additional accommodation to extend your stay, please let us know when you send your date enquiry. We can arrange transfers to Inverness Airport, or why not continue your travels in the UK and head to London with an overnight journey on the Caledonian Sleeper.
Cost: on request

What's Included

  • 9 nights accommodation in 3- or 4-star guesthouses & hotels
  • breakfast daily
  • standard class train travel to each destination*
  • recommendations for all the best things to do / see / eat
  • optional excursions to tailor your tour
  • good transport links at the tour start / end points in Edinburgh / Inverness
  • handy mobile app to keep every trip detail at your fingertips
  • 24/7 telephone support during your adventure
  • 1 native tree planted in our woodland

* journey from Fort William to Inverness is by public bus

Supercharge your adventure

Even more ways to take your adventure to the next level! Simply let us know which experiences you’re interested in when you send your date enquiry through:

  • immerse yourself in the rich history and vibrant culture of Scotland’s major cities with walking tours available in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Inverness
  • experience the enchanting Jacobite Steam Train as it chugs through the picturesque Scottish countryside and crosses the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct
  • discover the wildlife of Loch Linnhe with a boat cruise from Fort William
  • embark on a guided hike up Ben Nevis, Scotland’s highest peak, and be rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding Highlands
  • discover the mysterious allure of Loch Ness on a captivating boat tour that combines natural beauty with medieval history
  • experience a scenic driving tour from Thurso to explore the rugged beauty of Dunnet Head and the iconic John O’Groats
  • Enjoy a tour and tasting at one of Scotland’s most northerly whisky distilleries

What you need to bring

  • appropriate clothing for Scotland during your season of travel (kit list will be provided)
  • any specific kit for your chosen optional experiences 
  • waterproof jacket (trousers also recommended)
  • day backpack for carrying snacks / water / suncream etc

What you need to know

  • dates are booked to suit you – please use the enquiry form to request availability of your preferred dates
  • this is your adventure and you’re in control – if you’d like any additional experiences or an extended stay, simply let us know when you submit your enquiry
  • we’ll manage all the bookings and arrangements to make your experience perfect
  • suitable for families
  • enjoy the reassurance of flexible booking terms, part of our Adventure Promise
  • spread the cost of your adventure with instalment payments
  • check in is from 15:00 on your arrival day

Getting Here

By Air

  • The closest international airport to the rail tour start point in Edinburgh is Edinburgh Airport
  • It is approximately a 25 minute tram ride from Edinburgh Airport to your first hotel 
  • Your journey ends in Inverness with air connections around the UK

By Rail

  • The closest train station to your first hotel is Haymarket Station
  • From Haymarket Station your first hotel is approximately a 10 minute walk
  • Your journey ends in Inverness with good rail links to the rest of the UK, including the Caledonian Sleeper to London

By Road

  • Edinburgh is approximately 1 hour from the M74
  • Your journey ends in Inverness with connections south via the A9

At Adventure Tours UK, we set out to create the kind of breaks people like us go wild for. People who get their thrills in the outdoors and want to care for it too. Who want to disconnect from the daily grind and reconnect with nature. If you’re in search of adventure, you’ll find it with us.

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