Back by popular demand, we offer the chance to combine a memorable coach holiday with a leisurely look at some of Scotland’s finest scenery by rail. We include journey’s on board the “Kyle of Lochalsh”, the “Highland Lines” and a ride on the “Road to the Isles”, described as one of the greatest railway journeys of the world with outstanding scenery all the way.
The 3 star Duke of Gordon Hotel is situated in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, one of the last truly unspoilt parts of the world. The hotel looks out across the picturesque Spey Valley to Ruthven Barracks. Each of the en-suite bedrooms is tastefully furnished and equipped with a flat screen TV and hospitality tray. Public rooms at the hotel include a cosy bar and oak panelled lounge with an open log fire and a welcoming restaurant. The hotel is served by a lift.
Saturday Our door to door service takes you to the waiting coach for the drive north from our home area through North Yorkshire to our overnight hotel close to the Scottish border arriving late afternoon.
Sunday Superb Scottish scenery today as we head north to the Highlands, through Lockerbie to Glasgow. We then travel through rolling Perthshire countryside passing beautiful Stirling and Perth, where we are able to spend time for lunch. Along the Tay Valley to Pitlochry where we make a visit to the shores of Loch Tummel to take in the celebrated ‘Queen’s View’ then on through the Spey Valley beside the rugged Cairngorm Mountains to reach Kinguisse and our holiday hotel, the Duke of Gordon.
Monday This morning we make our way through Aviemore, where we make a short break, before heading into the beautiful Glenmore Forest Park on our way to Cairngorms. Twice the size of the Lake District, the Cairngorms National Park has more mountains, forest paths, rivers, lochs and wildlife hotspots than you can possibly imagine. Here we have the opportunity, weather permitting, to take a ride on the fantastic Cairngorm Mountain Railway, taking us to the top in just 8 minutes. Why not have a delicious lunch in the Panoramic Restaurant and admire the superb views? This afternoon we ride on the Strathspey Railway from Aviemore to Boat of Garten and Broomhill, or ‘Glenbogle’ as views of the hit BBC series Monarch of the Glen may recognise it as. As well as some spectacular views of the mountains, you will also be treated to scenes of heather fields, moors, forestry and more as you travel along the River Spey.
Tuesday After a full Scottish breakfast we depart by coach through the beautiful Scottish Highlands to Kyle of Lochalsh. This land of castles, hills and lochs is the gateway to the Isle of Skye which can be viewed across the water. The town’s shoreline stretches far to the east beyond the pier and carries the railways station. After a little time to explore, we meet at the station and join our train for the journey along the Kyle Line to Inverness. The Kyle Line is one of the world’s most scenic rail journeys. The view from the windows are worth the fare alone, but no matter where you are along its 80 miles, historic Scotland is only a few metres away. We re-join our coach in Inverness and return to the hotel for dinner.
Wednesday Today we travel south west along the shore of Loch Laggan and through Glen Spean to Fort William, the largest town in the Highlands and lies in the shadow of Ben Nevis. Here we enjoy another train journey, this time by steam train on the famous ‘JACOBITE’ along the celebrated West Highland Line to Mallaig. Described as the greatest railway journey in the world, this 84 mile round trip takes you past a list of impressive extremes. This spectacular line passes hidden lochs and inlets, silver sands, and crosses the magnificent 100ft-high Glenfinnan viaduct, famous as the first mass concrete viaduct ever built in the world, now more notable for appearing in several of the Harry Potter films. Mallaig is a major fishing port and we have time to wander around the harbour and explore before we catch the train for the return journey to Fort William, where we re-join the coach for our ride back to Kingussie and our hotel.
Thursday A short stroll brings us to Kingussie station where we catch the train to Inverness. The line takes us through spectacular scenery over the lines summit at Slochd before descending into the Highland Capital, Inverness where we have some time to wander around the quay, partake in some retail therapy or just sit and watch the world go by. We return to the hotel for our final evening’s dinner.
Friday This morning we bid farewell to Kingussie and our hotel, leaving the highlands and retracing our steps south towards Perth, before skirting Edinburgh on our way towards the Lowlands region for our overnight stop.
Saturday After breakfast, we are homeward bound. Travelling along the motorway, we head south through England making a lunch stop during our journey. This afternoon we return to our home area and waiting taxis arriving early evening.
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Fenn Holidays Ltd, Whittlesey Road, March, Cambridgeshire PE15 0AG