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Luxury Highlands & Isle of Skye Rail & Hike

8 Days & 7 Nights 4.5 Read 4 reviews
  • A rail journey across the Scottish Highlands, combined with superb day walks
  • Stay in luxurious and beautifully-appointed lodges and castle-hotels
  • Guided tours showcasing the best of the Isle of Skye and Loch Ness
  • Classic Scottish rail journeys; the remote Kyle Line and West Highland Line
  • Wild vistas witnessed from your first class seat on the Jacobite steam train
World-famous scenic rail journeys combine with luxurious and romantic lodges and castle-hotels on this epic adventure across the best of the Scottish Highlands. 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, before returning to Glasgow. This week-long trip includes a first-class ticket on the Jacobite steam train, the 'Hogwarts Express’, as well travel on the spectacularly remote Kyle Line to Skye. Let the train speed you past mountains, lochs and glens, then set out on foot on hand-picked hikes to ensure you make the most of your time in the Highlands.

What To Expect

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 Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active trip.

Activity:

Rail & Hike | See more of a destination by mixing train travel with walks accessible from the rail-line. Travel inn-to-inn by train & enjoy hikes from each stopping point. Train fare inc- no baggage transfers.

This trip is suitable for:

Solo Travelers

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Elegance & Unique Stays
  • Historical Journeys
  • Special Occasions

Inspiration:

  • Most Popular
  • Classic

Activity Level & Terrain

This trip is graded easy to moderate and includes optional daily walks of up to 12 miles (day 7). 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.

Navigation

The majority of the walks suggested on this trip (with the exception of Skye) are way marked and we supply you with maps and route notes so you can easily find your way.

Accommodations

Included in the trip are 7 nights of accommodation in luxury hand-picked small hotels and lodges, of a 4-5* standard. The properties we normally use are detailed in the itinerary, however these are subject to availability and when they are fully booked alternatives of an equal standard will be offered. Early booking is strongly recommended.

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 holiday 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.

Meals

Breakfast is included each morning and 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.

Included
  • 7 Nights in 4-5* luxury lodges/small hotels
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • 4 Dinners
  • Guided tour of Skye and Loch Ness/Great Glen
  • Train travel Edinburgh-Pitlochry-Inverness-Kyle of Lochalsh and Fort William-Glasgow (second class, 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)
  • Maps and route notes
  • 24/7 Emergency telephone support from our office
Excluded
  • 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
Extras
  • Additional nights along the route (recommended in Edinburgh & Glasgow)
  • Room upgrades

When To Go

This trip is available from the end of April until mid-October. From April 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.

Summer bookings: The properties featured on this tour are extremely popular, and book-up months in advance. The summer months are very 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.

Weather and Climate

The weather is very unpredictable 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

By Air: 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 Buchanan Street Bus Station (city centre) an airport shuttle operates regularly to the airport (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 www.travelinescotland.com 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

Your bags will be transferred for you on day 7 when you walk from Fort William to Spean Bridge. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 18kg per person. On the rail/bus days, we ask that you take all your baggage with you aboard the train/bus. The trip is designed so that during the hikes you are free to walk with just a day pack.

General Information

**Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 - the temptation cruise guided tour of Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle is no longer operating till March 2021 - you will be refunded the cost of this as it is included in the trip** 

Equipment

Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), 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.

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Itinerary

Day 1 Edinburgh to Killiecrankie by train Day 2 Blair Atholl Walks and Castle 10 miles / 16 km Day 3 Train to Inverness, guided visit to Loch Ness/Urquhart Castle** Day 4 The Kyle Line, transfer to lodge on Skye 4 miles / 6.5 km Day 5 Guided Isle of Skye Day Trip Day 6 Travel to Mallaig, Jacobite steam train to Fort William Day 7 Walk the Great Glen Day 8 West Highland Line to Glasgow

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