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The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo


Friday 17 to Monday 20 August 2018

Our long weekend excursions to Edinburgh and the Royal Military Tattoo have become the highlight of the year for so many of our customers. Every year’s tour is different, combining regular favourite ingredients with new ideas, so we’re expecting our 2018 four-day Tattoo extravaganza to be extremely popular.

FRIDAY: Guests are welcomed aboard the train at London King’s Cross. Alternatively you can join at Stevenage or Peterborough. A welcoming glass of Champagne and an early lunch will be enjoyed as we head for Scotland.

Our first stop is at York where we take a leg-stretching stop of a couple of hours. The station is conveniently located right alongside the city walls and the National Railway Museum (free admission). It’s only a short walk to the narrow cobbled streets of the oldest parts of the historic city centre and of course the awe-inspiring York Minster.

Rejoining the train mid-afternoon our journey north continues. We pass Darlington, birthplace of railways, and the service of dinner commences as we pass Durham Cathedral, Antony Gormley’s ‘Angel of the North’and the famous Tyne Bridges at Newcastle.

Soon there are fine views out across the North Sea as we approach the dramatic Royal Border Bridge at Berwick-upon-Tweed and within minutes we will no doubt raise a glass as we cross the border and enter Scotland. We arrive in Edinburgh at around 20.00 and transfer to our hotel for a three night stay.

SATURDAY: This is your free day in Scotland’s fine capital city and breakfast is taken in the hotel. You then have the whole day at leisure, possibly taking a City Sightseeing open top bus tour which includes the former Royal Yacht Britannia, now moored in the Ocean Terminal, where you can gain a vivid impression of Royal life at sea in bygone decades. Retail therapy in classy Princes Street is a must, along with some time enjoying the unique atmosphere of the Royal Mile during the Edinburgh Festival Season. As the options are so limitless we have not included any meals in today’s itinerary, other than breakfast.

In the evening you have plenty of time to wander through the historic streets to Edinburgh Castle and take your reserved seat for the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Please note that an uphill walk is involved and there is no vehicular access, but you have lots of time so a gradual approach is suggested. The performance begins (with a bang!) at 22.30. The Tattoo, staged on the floodlit castle esplanade, is the highlight of the Festival Season, a unique celebration of music, dance and military pageantry performed by almost a thousand musicians, pipers, singers and dancers. The unforgettable spectacle is brought to a poignant close as a lone piper, high on the ramparts, plays a haunting lament. Spectacular fireworks and a rousing chorus of Auld Lang Syne conclude a truly memorable night’s entertainment.

 

OPTIONAL SATURDAY LUNCHTIME RAIL TOUR – THE SALLY FORTH

Some guests may be interested in an interesting mini-railtour via the Forth Estuary and Fife Coast, replacing some of your Edinburgh free time. Departing at around 11.00 we head across the lowland belt to Stirling, where the castle stands gaunt against the skyline. We then travel east through Alloa then along the northern banks of the Forth Estuary, with views of Edinburgh on the opposite back. After a reversal at Townhill, near Dunfermline, our route is via Inverkeithing North, then up the Fife Coast through Burntisland and Kirkcaldy with lots of coastal vistas. Then it’s on via Thornton Junctions, Lochgelly and through Dunfermline again to cross the magnificent Forth Bridge, arriving back in Edinburgh at around 16.00, leaving several hours free before the Tattoo. A four course lunch is served during the trip. Supplement payable.

SUNDAY:  We’re off to the Highlands! We board the train at Edinburgh Waverley at around 09.30 for a day excursion into the Scottish Highlands. The Great British Breakfast is enjoyed as we head towards Perth and into the mountain terrain. Look out for herds of deer as we head for the wild Druimuichdar Summit and gaze in awe at this most inspirational part of Scotland.

We have a number of destination options today. Please make your selection at the time of booking to ensure space is available on the option of your choice:

THE CAIRNGORM FUNICULAR: Alight from the train at Aviemore and join road coaches for the 12-mile journey to the foot of Scotland’s only funicular railway. This takes you through breathtaking mountain terrain to Top Station with panoramic views from over 3,500ft. There is also a  viewing terrace, exhibition, shop cafeteria and the highest post box in the British isles.

A DISTILLERY TOUR: The area is renowned for it’s distilleries and this option gives you a chance to visit either the renowned Tomatin distillery or another nearby and see for yourself how Scotland’s most famous product is produced and its history. The tour concludes with a wee dram. You will alight from the train at Aviemore and rejoin it at Inverness.

THE STRATHSPEY RAILWAY: This is a standard gauge steam railway running from Aviemore (right beside the main line station) deep into the Highlands through Boat of Garten to Broomhill, a remote station that took on the guise of Glenbogle in ‘Monarch of the Glen.’ On the return to Aviemore you will then have free time to explore before rejoining the train.

Alternatively, of course, you can enjoy time at leisure in the ‘Highland Capital’ city of Inverness, or at Aviemore.

While we are off the train exploring, our chefs will have been hard at work creating a wonderful four-course dinner and this will be enjoyed as we make our way back through the dramatic mountain terrain to Edinburgh.

MONDAY: Breakfast is taken in the hotel restaurant after which there are leg-stretching opportunities before joining the train at Edinburgh Waverley station. Our return route is via the East Coast Main Line, with clifftop views out over the North Sea as we head towards the border near Berwick-upon-Tweed. Lunch is savoured as we once again enjoy sights such as the Royal Border Bridge, Holy Island, the Tyne Bridges at Newcastle, Antony Gormley’s ‘Angel of the North’, Durham Cathedral and York Minster.

All good things come to an end and after calling at Peterborough and Stevenage, the train draws to a stop at London King’s Cross.

The price of this four-day excursion is determined by your choice of Saturday activity.

If you choose free time in Edinburgh on Saturday, the all-inclusive price is £1,295 per guest. This includes your journeys on the train on Friday, Sunday and Monday with meals as described, three nights at the Principal Edinburgh Hotel with two breakfasts included, along with your reserved seat at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and off-train Sunday itinerary. The price is based upon two people sharing a twin or double room at the hotel. A guaranteed ‘table for two’ on the train may be reserved for a supplement of £140 (£70 per guest). A ‘table for four’ for sole use by two guests may be reserved for a supplement of £240. A few rooms may be available for single occupancy, price on application.

If you choose to take the ‘Sally Forth’ Saturday rail tour, including lunch, the all-inclusive price is £1,435.

A deposit of £100 per guest secures your booking, the balance being payable eight weeks prior to departure. There are special terms and conditions applicable to tours longer than one day’s duration, please see the Booking Info page of the website.

All timings are provisional and intended only as a guide.

StationDepartArrive
London King's Cross10.1519.10
Stevenage11.0018.25
Peterborough11.4017.35