Take a journey through Scotland by train aboard the classic Belmond Royal Scotsman. Travel through the country’s western wilderness then spend a few days on a private adventure in the Highlands with a naturalist guide.
Suggested journey at a glance: 12 days/11 nights including three nights aboard the Belmond Royal Scotsman and overnights in Edinburgh, Auchterarder, and Cairngorms National Park
This suggestion is just one of many ways to see Scotland on your own customized Ker & Downey journey. Our designers are at their best when crafting a journey unique to you; contact us to get started planning, and read on to see one example of what’s possible on our Scotland by Train journey.
Your train journey in Scotland is bookended by stays in Edinburgh, a town you’ll happily return to again. It is one of Europe’s most beautiful cities and it’s filled with history. Edinburgh Castle crowns the city. Underground, there are layers of historical evidence that have intrigued anthropologists and historians for years. The iconic Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a network of alleys and cobblestone streets. A walking tour with a private guide reveals some of the lesser-known sites as well as a tour of the Crown Jewels at Edinburgh Castle. Experience the real Edinburgh with stops at a secret garden and Scotland’s oldest pub.
As you make your way just a little north to the famous Gleneagles Hotel, stop at Stirling Castle, the childhood home of Mary Queen of Scots. Surrounded on three sides by steep cliffs, Stirling Castle is historically and architecturally one of Scotland’s most significant castles. During your stay at Gleaneagles Hotel, spend a day exploring the town of St. Andrews with a private guide. See the 12th-century Cathedral, the famous Old Course, the ancient university campus and castle, as well as the busy medieval streets. An afternoon spent trout fishing on the River Tay is also an unforgettable experience.
Belmond Royal Scotsman
Return to Edinburgh to board the Belmond Royal Scotsman for a four day journey on the timeless train. Enjoy afternoon tea as the train makes its way past Loch Lomond, or sit back into the bucket seats of the Observation Car an take in the scenery as the train heads north.
In the West Highlands, stop for tea at Inverlochy Castle or walk to Steall Waterfall in Glen Nevis. On the Isle of Bute, visit Mount Stuart, a Victorian Gothic house with the finest privately held collection of family portraits in Scotland. In the evenings, enjoy a mix of formal and informal dinners served in the stately dining cars, and nightcaps in the Observation Car while listening to the evening entertainment.
Cairngorms National Park
Cairngorms National Park is in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. It is well known for its mountains and wildlife. The UK’s largest National park has a wealth of activities to match its size, from exploring castles and distilleries to water sports, wildlife watching, and walking and cycling routes. With a private guide, hike to a beautiful loch on the Balmoral Estate, Her Majesty, The Queen’s summer estate. Pass by the Glas-alt Shiel house built by Queen Victoria and take in the views across the beautiful Scottish countryside. For wildlife watching, head out on a Land Rover with a local driver. Keep your eyes open for deer, capercaillie, and golden eagles.
Custom Trips to Northern Europe
Scotland is a fascinating destination with a distinct identity and long history. Our Scotland by Train journey is just one of the ways to see Scotland. Contact a Ker & Downey designer to customize your own journey. Read more about the seasonality, pricing, and the Ker & Downey Difference in Northern Europe.