Grand Tour - Golden Galloway & Glorious Grampians

Grand Tour - Golden Galloway & Glorious Grampians

A new Grand Tour designed to experience the golden glow from Galloway to the Grampians in all their autumnal glory. Travel from Scotland's most southerly point to its most northerly point! Imagine the Nith Valley Line, the West Highland Line, the Far North Line, the Kyle Line, the Highland Line, the Strathspey Steam Railway, plus the Tay and Forth Bridges all on one tour! And just to be completist we've chosen three 'Palace Hotels'!

10 days from £1495

 

DEPARTS

Monday 8 October 2018

 

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Relax at Cally Palace in its splendid grounds

  • Visit Scotland’s southern tip at the Mull of Galloway

  • Admire the scenery on the Nith Valley Line

  • Autumn colours galore in the Galloway Forest Park

  • Enjoy the West Highland Line past lochs and over Rannoch Moor

  • Take in the lovely scenery alongside Loch Ness

  • Stay at the original Railtrail hotel, the Palace in Inverness

  • Enjoy Dave’s original ‘Great Railway Journey’ on the Kyle Line

  • Touch the top of the country at John O’Groats & Dunnet Head

  • Experience the Highland Line’s dramatic scenery

  • Take lunch on board the Strathspey Steam Railway

  • Unwind at Atholl Palace, an original Victorian hydro hotel

  • Marvel at Queen’s View

  • Sample a ‘wee dram’ at Edradour Distillery

  • Visit Edinburgh and its Royal Mile

  • Cross the Tay Bridge and the magnificent Forth Bridge

 

 

Also included in your Tour Fare:

  • Dinner every evening, plus 3 light lunches or teas

  • Rail travel & seat reservations from your Home Station to Tour Base (Standard or First Class)

  • Services of experienced Railtrail Tour Manager

  • Hotel Porterage

 

 

DAY 1

For those travelling with us by train, we arrive in Dumfries, transferring by road to Cally Palace for a welcome drinks reception in the ornate Bow Lounge.

D

DAY 2

Today's excursion heads west to the Mull of Galloway, Scotland's southernmost point. Admiring the impressive lighthouse, built in 1830 by Robert Stevenson and now remotely controlled, we relax with tea and cake at the Gallie Craig Coffee House, from where clear days afford views to the Isle of Man and Northern Ireland.

B, T, D

DAY 3

Transferring back to Dumfries, we experience the Nith Valley Line through Dumfries & Galloway's rolling hills to Kilmarnock. Our return to Cally by road takes in the autumn gold of Galloway's National Forest, a habitat for a variety of wildlife from red deer to Golden Eagles and Peregrine Falcons. We halt at lochside Clatteringshaw Visitor Centre where it is possible to see a reconstructed iron age roundhouse discovered when the loch was drained 30 years ago.

B, D

DAY 4

After transferring to Carlisle we join the West Coast Mainline into Glasgow. Here we continue on the most scenic section of the West Highland Line, dubbed one of the world's greatest railway journeys. The first part of the journey is dominated by wonderful watery landscapes, as we skirt the Firth of Clyde, Loch Long and Loch Lomond, before climbing over wild Rannoch Moor to reach Fort William. A coach completes the journey through the golden glory of the Great Glen in autumn, skirting Loch Ness en route to Inverness for three nights at the Palace Hotel.

B, D

DAY 5

The Far North Line completes our journey from south to north, spotting sealife as we travel along the Moray and Cromarty Firths, continuing through stunning coastal Sutherland and into Caithness. We make a brief stop at Dunnet Head, Scotland's most northerly point, before visiting John O'Groats.

B, D

DAY 6

The original of Michael Palin's Great Railway Journeys of the World, the Kyle Line to Kyle of Lochalsh, awaits today. Another journey of a lifetime, the Kyle Line connects Scotland coast to coast across great mountain plateaux before the wonderful coastline emerges, with Skye's brooding Cuillin Mountains in the distance. We take light lunch at the hotel Palin visited, gazing across at Skye, before returning to Inverness.

B, L, D

DAY 7

Travelling due south on the Highland Line, we halt at Aviemore for a whiff of nostalgia on the Strathspey Steam Railway, enjoying light lunch as we steam through the Cairngorm National Park. Continuing to Pitlochry, we check into the splendid surroundings of Atholl Palace Hotel.

B, L, D

DAY 8

We discover more about the Pitlochry area today, with a half day tour featuring the stunning Queen's View across Loch Tummel, plus a tour and 'wee dram' at charming Edradour, Scotland's smallest and arguably most beautifully situated distillery.

B, D

DAY 9

Our final excursion is a round trip by train from Pitlochry, taking a detour via Perth and Dundee in order to cross the tantalising Tay Bridge, a structure nearly three miles long crossing the Tay between Dundee and Fife. Our second bridge of note is shorter, at 1 ½ miles in length, but even more famous. Crossing the Firth of Forth, the Forth Rail Bridge is a UNESCO World Heritage site. We enjoy a free afternoon in Edinburgh before returning to Pitlochry.

B, D

DAY 10

Our grand tour concludes as we make our homeward journeys, our cameras filled with coast to coast adventures.

B

B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, T=Afternoon Tea, D=Dinner

HOTELS

Cally Palace, Gatehouse of Fleet

Our first ‘palace’ is the Cally Palace Hotel on the outskirts of Gatehouse of Fleet on the Solway coast. This 18th century mansion was built for the Murray family and is surrounded by 150 acres of gardens, woods and parkland. Now a 4* hotel, the public rooms ooze period elegance, particularly the Bow Lounge with its gilt cupola ceiling. Leisure facilities include a swimming pool and billiard room, but, above all relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

 

Palace Hotel & Spa, Inverness

Railtrail’s original ‘palace’ hotel and still in the programme 38 years later, the Inverness Palace overlooks the River Ness, a short stroll from the city centre, and boasts its own leisure facilities, including a swimming pool.

 

Atholl Palace Hotel, Pitlochry

Our third ‘Palace’ is the 4* Atholl Palace Hotel in Pitlochry. Dating back to the 19th century trend for health spas, this original hydro hotel stands proudly perched above its own estate with formal gardens, a herb garden, woodland walks and even tennis courts. In keeping with its history, rooms are all different, with quirky original features. The views from the hotel’s restaurant across the Tummel Valley are simply stunning and the hotel even boasts its own museum!

 

FARES

Fare Region

First

Standard

RC (-)

London Out Euston In King's Cross

£1,760

£1,635

-£20

Greater London

£1,795

£1,660

-£25

South of England

£1,800

£1,665

-£25

East Anglia

£1,825

£1,675

-£30

South West

£1,820

£1,675

-£30

Heart of England

£1,735

£1,625

-£20

Midlands

£1,720

£1,605

-£15

Yorkshire

£1,650

£1,590

-£15

North East

N/A

£1,550

-£10

North West

£1,675

£1,585

-£15

South Wales

£1,765

£1,640

-£20

North Wales

£1,705

£1,600

-£15

Scotland

£1,635

£1,565

-£10



 

Join & Leave at Hotels £1495

 

Single Room Supplement £325

 

9 nights’ bed, breakfast & Table d’Hôte evening meal plus 3 light lunches/teas

Rail travel & seat reservations from your Home Station to Tour Base (Standard or First Class)

Rail & coach travel, with transfers as described

All excursions & admissions as detailed

Services of experienced Railtrail Tour Manager

Hotel Porterage

Important – Please select the number of passengers before proceeding to ‘Book Now’

From Price Book Now Call Back Telephone Favourites
08 Oct
2018
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