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Highlands and Isle of Skye Rail & Hike In Style

8 Days & 7 Nights 4.5 Read 8 reviews
  • Classic rail journeys through the Scottish Highland's dramatic landscapes
  • Overnight in stylish castle hotels and beautifully-appointed lodges
  • Guided tours showcasing the best of the Isle of Skye and Loch Ness
  • Wild vistas witnessed from your first class seat on the Jacobite Steam Train
  • Experience gourmet dinners, castles, stunning walks and whisky distilleries
World-famous scenic rail journeys through dramatic Scottish Highland landscapes combine with upscale romantic lodges and sumptuous castle-hotels on this epic adventure which is full of discovery. Packed with highlights, you’ll visit Edinburgh, Blair Atholl, Inverness and Loch Ness, as well as the wild and magical Isle of Skye and famed Great Glen. This week-long trip includes a ride on the iconic Jacobite Steam Train, the 'Hogwarts Express’, past mountains, lochs and glens. You can also set out on hand-picked hikes to ensure you also explore the countryside in depth. Take in Scotland's most fascinating history and unique culture. Enjoy gourmet dinners, visits to castles such as Dunvegan, Urquhart and Blair, with some time also dedicated to tasting some fine Scottish whisky in a distillery or two!
Scenic rail journeys and luxurious properties combine on this fabulous trip through the remote and rugged Scottish Highlands. Relax and let the train take the strain as you watch the world go by, drinking in some of the very best scenery the British Isles has to offer. This trip will appeal to those with a taste for the finer things in life, who also enjoy the good old-fashioned charm of travelling by train.

Tour Type:

In Style | After a day of exciting adventures and soaking up unbeatable scenery, retreat to stylish accommodations and unwind with fine food and wine. This trip type is for those who like sophisticated places to stay and are looking for active routes but still want the holiday to feel special.


Rail and Hike | Perfectly planned itineraries discovering the best of a destination both by train and on foot.

This trip is suitable for:

Solo Travellers

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Foodie
  • Islands
  • Whisky
  • Coastal Walking
  • Accessible by Rail

Activity Level & Terrain

This trip is graded easy to moderate and includes optional daily walks of up to 12 miles/19km (Day 7), but most are shorter. As all walks are self-guided, you will be responsible for navigation, decision-making and safety during your trip. The terrain may be rugged underfoot with some hills but not too strenuous. You should enjoy a good level of fitness to make the most of this trip.

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes.


The majority of the walks suggested on this trip (with the exception of Skye) are way marked. These walks are also in the Macs Adventure Smartphone App and we highly recommend that you use this to navigate. Details of how to download the app and then follow the route are listed in your information pack. 


Included in the trip are 7 nights of accommodation in upscale and stylish hand-picked small hotels and lodges.  

You can add extra nights at any point during your stay. We particularly recommend doing so in Edinburgh and Glasgow as there is so much to see and do — please contact us for details.

Accommodation Location

We will always try and accommodate you at the properties and locations detailed in your itinerary. Occasionally, because of limited availability, there is the option to be accommodated at an alternative location. In the unlikely event that we have to accommodate you elsewhere we will advise you of this before confirming your booking. In this case you can opt to change your dates, or we can arrange transfers to and from an alternative overnight accommodation (supplement payable for transfers).

Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

This tour is available to solo walkers, although a solo supplement is payable. If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate your request, although it is not generally possible to secure more than three single rooms in a party. A single room supplement is payable.


Breakfast is included each morning. 4 Dinners are also included. Lunch and your other dinners are not included so you are free to choose from the available options. Your accommodation may be able to provide a packed lunch on request and this can be booked on arrival. Alternatively, you can stop at local shops and convenient lunch stops on the way. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or nearby pubs and restaurants.

  • 7 Nights in upscale and elegant lodges and castles hotels
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • 4 Dinners
  • Guided tours of Skye and Loch Ness/Great Glen
  • Train travel, standard class, on Days 1, 3, 4 & 8
  • Ferry from Armadale to Mallaig
  • Jacobite Steam Train from Mallaig to Fort William
  • Transfers as per itinerary (Days 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8)
  • Information pack, maps and route notes in the Macs Adventure Smartphone App
  • 24/7 Emergency telephone support from our office
  • Travel to Edinburgh / from Glasgow
  • Travel if required on Day 2
  • Taxi transfers in Inverness (Days 3 & 4)
  • Dinners on Days 3, 6, 7
  • Lunches, drinks & snacks
  • Entrance fees to museums/castles (payable locally)
  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Personal equipment
  • Additional nights along the route (recommended in Edinburgh & Glasgow)
  • Room upgrades

When To Go

This trip is available from May until mid-October. From May to late September you can start this trip on any day of the week. From September to mid October, you can begin on a Wednesday-Sunday due to a limited Jacobite Steam Train timetable. There is a national rail service available outside of the above months/times; please contact your destination specialist to discuss this option, if you are not able to be flexible with your start date.

Bookings: The properties featured on this tour are extremely popular, and book-up months and even years in advance. The summer months are particularly busy and we would urge you to get in touch with us as soon as possible if you are considering booking. If you are flexible with your dates, then this will assist us in finding you the best possible arrangements. Thank you for your understanding.

Please also note that because of limits on participant numbers on the Skye Guided tour we cannot take bookings of more than 7 people in a group. If you do not wish to take the Skye Guided tour then we can book a group of 8 or more if there is availability. 

Weather and Climate

The weather in Scotland is generally very variable all year, so it is imperative to be prepared for wind, rain, cold, warmth and sunshine! Conditions (and forecasts) can vary substantially from one day to the next, so do anticipate a variety of weathers, and embrace them as the Scots do (with a good waterproof and windproof jacket on).

Getting to the Start

Both Edinburgh and Glasgow Airports are well-served by low-cost and scheduled airlines. From Edinburgh Airport you can travel by tram or airport shuttle bus to the city centre (approx. 30 mins). From Glasgow Airport an airport shuttle operates regularly to Buchanan Street Bus Station (approx. 30 mins). Alternatively, you can book a taxi to Glasgow Airport with some taxi companies for a fixed rate - the journey from the city centre to the airport takes approx. 25 mins. Further information will be detailed in your pre-departure information pack.

Public Transport: The website is handy for researching train and bus timetables throughout Scotland. Your trip includes second class travel on Scotrail train services as detailed in your itinerary. These are 'anytime' tickets that can be used at any time during the specific date of travel. Full details can be found in your pre-departure information pack.

Luggage Transfer

Luggage transfers aren't necessary on this trip as you'll be able to bring your bags with you on travel days on the train, in taxis, and on the ferry. The trip is designed so that during the hikes you are free to walk with just a day pack.


Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and trousers), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.

How fit do I need to be?
How far in advance do I need to book?
What personal equipment do I need?
When is the best time of year?
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Do you move the bags from place to place or do we?


Day 1 Edinburgh to Pitlochry by train and overnight Day 2 Pitlochry and Blair Atholl Walks & Castle 9 miles / 14 km Day 3 Train to Inverness, and guided visit to Loch Ness/Urquhart Castle Day 4 The Kyle Line train journey and transfer to Skye Day 5 Private guided day tour of Skye Day 6 Travel to Mallaig, and Jacobite Steam Train to Fort William Day 7 Walk the Great Glen from Gairlochy to Fort William 10.5 miles / 17 km Day 8 West Highland Line to Glasgow and onward travel

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