Tel: 01438 715050


The West Highland and Royal Deeside


Friday 3 April to Monday 6 April 2020

This tour is now fully booked, but we are keeping a waiting list. Please call the office on 01438 715050 or email info@ukrailtours.com to be added to it!

The pleasure of your company is requested aboard a four-day springtime railway extravaganza. Sit back in our well appointed First Class Dining train and enjoy the very best scenery in Great Britain slip quietly past your wide picture window.

FRIDAY 3 APRIL:

Guests are welcomed aboard at London King’s Cross, Stevenage and Peterborough. Morning coffee and pastries precede the service of a two-course lunch as we head for Scotland. Our route is via the  magnificent Settle & Carlisle Railway, a marvel of Victorian engineering. One spectacular view follows another as we pass notable landmarks such as Ribblehead Viaduct and Wild Boar Fell. This is scenery on a grand scale, setting the scene for the wonderful weekend ahead.

At Carlisle you have the opportunity to step off the train for a few minutes. Very soon we cross the border at Gretna Green, with a four-course dinner enjoyed as we gaze out over the gently rolling countryside of south-west Scotland. Passing the mighty city of Glasgow our train takes us out beside the gradually broadening estuary of the River Clyde and we duly arrive at Dumbarton Central. Here coaches will be waiting for the short transfer to our base for the weekend, the Golden Jubilee Beardmore Hotel. Who could believe that this now peaceful spot was once the home of the famous John Brown shipyards? After check-in at around 20.45 you can relax for the rest of the evening.

SATURDAY 4 APRIL:

We have a fairly early start, with coaches transferring us to the station for train departure at 07.25. What finer backdrop to the Great British Breakfast than the world-famous West Highland Line. Climbing from Helensburgh we soon find ourselves high above the beautiful shores of romantic Loch Lomond, with the wooded glens and braes of the Trossachs reflecting in the tranquil waters.

The little station at Crianlarich is where to West Highland Line splits. We take the Oban line, following charming Glen Lochy at the head of Loch Awe. We then pass through the Pass of Brander, where the scenery is often described as fjord-like, and after skirting the banks of Loch Etive we finally descend to sea level at the picturesque port of Oban.

You will have time to take a stroll here, but our main purpose is to join the CalMac ferry for the 45-minute crossing to Craignure on the Isle of Mull. Fear not, we are in sheltered waters so the crossing is usually smooth; the ship has closed and open decks, a cafeteria and bar. On arrival at Craignure we enjoy a coach tour along the eastern flank of the island and take a break of around an hour and a half in the island’s capital, Tobermory, with its colourful little shops, cafes and cottages looking out over the idyllic harbour.

We return via the coaches and ferry to Oban, and during our journey back to Dumbarton a fine four-course dinner will round off a memorable day as we admire the fabulous West Highland scenery once again. We step off the train at 22.00 to return to the hotel.

SUNDAY 5 APRIL:

As befits a Sunday our train departure is a more leisurely 09.15, so maybe a riverside stroll first thing? Today the Great British Breakfast is served as we head through the lowland belt to Perth, following the Firth of Tay to Dundee. Then it’s on through Arbroath and Montrose, with panoramic views over the North Sea for much of way. At Stonehaven coaches will be waiting for a journey through Royal Deeside, passing Banchory and Ballater to reach Balmoral Castle, the Queen’s Highland residence, open for just a few months each year when Her Majesty is not in residence. You will be able to stroll through the grounds and explore parts of the castle, notably the ballroom and the stables. There is a cafeteria and gift shop available.

The coaches bring us back to Stonehaven and a four-course dinner is savoured on our return journey.

MONDAY 6 APRIL:

It is going home day of course, but there is still plenty to enjoy! Our train leaves Dumbarton at around 09.30 with a light breakfast served as we head for Edinburgh. Here we pause for just over an hour, time to step into Princes Street and sample the vibrant atmosphere of Scotland’s Capital city, maybe picking up a souvenir or two. Our return journey is via the East Coast Main Line, with more fine sea views from the clifftops as a four-course lunch served before we bid our farewells at Peterborough, Stevenage or London King’s Cross.

IMPORTANT – IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU?

We consider that this four-day trip should be within the physical capabilities of most people, but do please bear in mind that we have four fairly long and quite demanding days of train travel, each involving coach transfers and/or tours. We can operate only within the constraints of the railway network and sometimes we have to contend with low platforms, unavoidable flights of stairs and a walk of a few minutes between the train and connecting road coaches. On Friday and Monday you need to be able to carry your own luggage between the train, the coaches, the hotel reception and your room. We have no wish to frighten people away, but neither do we wish to build up hopes that physical constraints prevent us delivering.  If in doubt please email us with your questions.

Places on this tour can be booked on payment of a deposit of £100 per person, with the balance payable eight weeks before the departure date. On these excursions refunds can be entertained up to the date on which the balance is due, less an administrative charge of £25 per person. After then a cancellation fee of 25% of the total cost is payable, but no refunds can be entertained less than three weeks before departure. The booking conditions cannot be varied so we do require all guests to hold appropriate travel and cancellation insurance.

Class PriceAvailability
First Class Dining£895.00Full
First Class Dining - Party of Four at a Table for Four£3450.00Full

These fares are based upon two persons occupying a hotel room, with a double bed. A limited number of rooms with twin beds are available on request.

A very limited number of rooms for single occupation are available for a supplement of £235.

A guaranteed table for two can be booked for a supplement of £95 per person.

Two people can book exclusive use of a table for four for a supplement of £195 per person.

Prices include your reserved First Class seat on our special train, meals on board, three nights in the Beardmore Hotel, coach transfers, the Calmac ferry to Mull and admission to Balmoral Castle.

All timings are provisional and intended only as a guide.

StationDepartArrive
London King's Cross09.2520.50
Stevenage10.0020.10
Peterborough10.5019.15

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