Scotland Rail and Hike
Explore The Highlands and Isle of Skye by train and on foot
Experience Scotland by train and on foot, taking in some of the most scenic rail journeys in the world. Starting from the capital city of Edinburgh, travel deep into the Scottish Highlands and across to the Isle of Skye, before heading to vibrant Glasgow. Ride the iconic Jacobite steam train, the ‘Hogwarts Express,’ described as the greatest railway journey in the world; and one of Britain’s most spectacular remote railways and the northernmost railway in the United Kingdom, the North Highland Line. Stretch your legs on some of the most rewarding hikes the country has to offer and still have time to explore castles, ancient battlefields, Loch Ness, distilleries and centuries-old Highland Estates.
2022 Travel Club Trip Dates
May 20-29 $2675
Want Your Own Room? Single Supplement is $920
Days Remaining Till This Trip
- Discover Scotland’s lochs, glens, and mountains on foot and by train.
- Take one of the world’s most scenic train journeys as you travel to The Scottish Highlands on the world-famous West Highland Railway, crossing the Glenfinnan Viaduct, made famous by the Harry Potter films.
- Ride the Jacobite Steam Train, the ‘Hogwarts Express, and the North Highland train, two of the most scenic rail journeys in the world.
- Explore the largest and most northerly island, the Isle of Skye, known for its rugged landscapes, medieval castles, picturesque fishing villages, it’s history and the outstanding scenery.
- Journey through the Scottish Highlands with its many mountain ranges dominating the region, including the highest mountain in the British Isles, Ben Nevis.
Is This Trip Right For You?
- As this trip doesn’t spend much time in Glasgow and Edinburgh at the start and end of the trip, we recommend you arrive a day early and stay an additional night in either city before and after the trip.
- This trip includes options of moderate hikes in The Highlands and Isle of Skye as well as a walk along the Great Glen Way. These activities can be opted out from should you wish not to participate. Your trip leader will be able to facilitate alternative arrangements for you.
- This trip includes public transportation on trains, ferries, and coaches.
- The accommodations included on this itinerary are 3-4 star hotels and guesthouses.
Places We'll Visit
Please note: Adventure People requires all travelers to provide a negative COVID Test 48 hours before departure for all of our small group trips, regardless of country requirements and vaccination status. In addition, we follow the guidelines put in place by The Adventure Travel Trade Association, developed in collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic, using international industry standards, public resources from the CDC, WHO, governments, and tour operators.
- Accommodation for 9 nights in 3-4 star hotel and guesthouses
- Meals: 9 Breakfasts
- All transfers listed in itinerary
- Trip Leader to assist with on-site travel and activities
- Spirit of Scotland Rail Pass
- Luggage transfer from Fort William to Spean Bridge
- Numerous optional hiking opportunities
- Airport taxes and baggage fees
- Travel Insurance
- COVID Tests
- Beverages & Meals not specified
- Optional activities
- Gratuities for your guides and drivers
- Personal expenses
Day 1 (May 20): Arrive in Edinburgh (EDI)Since we will not be spending any time in Edinburgh, we recommend that you arrive a day early to spend some time in this magnificent city on your own. Please let us know at the time of booking if you would like to book an extra night at our starting hotel. Attractions in Edinburgh: Edinburgh Castle, The Real Mary King’s Close, Blair Street Underground Vaults, The Edinburgh Dungeon, National Museum of Scotland, National Galleries of Scotland, Holyrood Palace, The Scottish Parliament, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, The Scotch Whisky Experience, The Royal Mile, St. Gillis Cathedral, The Scott Monument, Grass Market, Princes Street Gardens, Harry Potter Walking Tour, Elephant House Café, Victoria Street, Climb Arthur’s Seat Volcano, Calton Hill INCLUDED: Airport Transfer Overnight in Edinburgh
Day 2 (May 21): Edinburgh to Blair Atholl by trainYour rail and hike adventure through Scotland begins from the historic capital of Edinburgh. Hop aboard the first train (2 hours), which whisks you away into the Highlands to the small, yet delightful, village of Blair Atholl. Settle into your hotel for a two night stay; the ideal base from which to explore. INCLUDED: Breakfast at hotel Taxi to/from Train Station Train from Edinburgh to Blair Atholl Overnight in Blair Atholl
Day 3 (May 22): Blair Atholl Hiking and CastleAfter a hearty Scottish breakfast, explore the wooded grounds of the Atholl Estate. Follow paths that meander through forest and heather-clad hills surrounding Blair Castle & Gardens, the historic home of the Earls and Dukes of Atholl and dating from the 1200s. Alternatively, opt for a lovely riverside walk to the charming Highland town of Pitlochry. After exploring the town, perhaps enjoying an afternoon tea, return to Blair Atholl via the train in just 10 minutes. Blair Castle Grounds Loop: 4.5 mi (moderate); 790 ft elevation gain Blair Atholl and Glen Tilt Loop: 9.2 mi (moderate); 2,608 ft elevation gain Blair Atholl to Pitlochry: 8.5 mi (moderate); 1,092 ft elevation gain INCLUDED: Breakfast at hotel Overnight in Blair Atholl
Day 4 (May 23): Train to Inverness w/ optional visit to Loch Ness/ Culloden Battlefield/ Distillery TourAn early start today (1h30 train ride) will give you plenty of time to discover Inverness. This friendly city has several of Scotland’s star attractions close by. Visit Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle on an optional day trip, a tasting tour of the Glen Ord Distillery, or the Culloden Battlefield exhibition, scene of the last Jacobite uprising in 1745, is an easy bus ride away. INCLUDED: Breakfast at hotel Taxi from train station to hotel Train from Blair Atholl to Inverness OPTIONAL: Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle ($50) Bus to Culloden Battlefield Exhibition ($15) Glen Ord Distillery Tour ($12 to $14) Overnight in Inverness
Day 5 (May 24): North Highland Line to PortreeSit back and relax as you depart Inverness on the iconic North Highland Line, a stunningly scenic journey alongside remote lochs, glens and mountains to the seaside station of Kyle of Lochalsh (2h30). Here you’ll board a bus which will carry you over the Skye bridge to the isle itself and on to Portree (1hr), your base on the Isle of Skye. INCLUDED: Breakfast at hotel Taxi to/from train station North Highland Line Train from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh Bus from Kyle of Lochalsh to Portree Overnight in Portree
Day 6 (May 25): The Storr, Portree Coastal Walk or Optional Day TripThe colorful waterfront houses of Portree harbor adorn many picture postcards. Today, you’re free to wander around this delightful Highland town, or you could take a bus journey (25 mins) to The Storr, a rocky hill on the Trotternish peninsula. From here, it’s a rewarding 7-mile hike along the coast back to Portree. Alternatively, take a day trip around the Isle of Skye, taking in the brooding black and red peaks of the Cuillins, Talisker Distillery, and the rock pinnacle of the Quiraing. Calmac also operates a ferry service from nearby Sconser to Raasay if you prefer to explore one of the islands. INCLUDED: Breakfast at hotel OPTIONAL: Bus to The Storr, hike back to Portree Day trip around the Isle of Skye ($75) Calmac ferry from Sconser to Raasay Overnight in Portree
Day 7 (May 26): Travel to Mallaig, Jacobite steam train to Fort WilliamToday will be a travel day you won’t forget! First, take a scenic bus ride (1hr) to Armadale, where you catch the Calmac ferry (30 mins) to Mallaig. Arriving back on the mainland, you’ll board the Jacobite steam train, described as the greatest railway journey in the world. The ’Hogwarts Express’ winds its way past pristine beaches and mountain panoramas, passing over the Glenfinnan viaduct to arrive at the Lochside town of Fort William (2h50), the largest town in the Highlands and situated at the southern end of the Great Glen. INCLUDED: Breakfast at hotel Taxi to Bus Station in Portree Bus from Fort William to Armadale Calmac Ferry from Armadale to Mallaig Jacobite Steam Train/ Hogwarts Express from Mallaig to Fort William Taxi from train station to hotel Overnight in Fort William
Day 8 (May 27): Walk to Spean BridgeEnjoy a lovely walk today, with views of Britain’s tallest mountain, Ben Nevis, and you’ll also enjoy the impressive eight locks of Neptune’s Staircase along the Caledonian Canal. Take in the impressive panorama of the Commando memorial, as you make your way to Spean Bridge. The trail begins with an easy walk along the canal, heading up the Great Glen and through woodland that is home to red squirrels. Fort William to Spean Bridge: 11.75 mi (moderate); 620 ft elevation gain Note: For those who don’t want to do the walk, there is the option to take the train to Spean Bridge INCLUDED: Breakfast at hotel Luggage Transfer Overnight at Spean Bridge
Day 9 (May 28): West Highland to GlasgowGet ready for yet another of Britain’s most scenic railway journeys as you travel south on the classic West Highland Line. Soak up the last of the Highland scenery from your seat as you speed through the fertile Great Glen to Rannoch Moor, a remote plateau at 985 ft above sea level. This is a wild landscape of peat bogs, lochans and ancient forests, home now to herds of red deer. Your delightful 3h30 journey ends in the vibrant city of Glasgow, the most populous city in Scotland situated along both banks of the River Clyde. INCLUDED: Breakfast at the guest house Taxi to/from train station West Highland Line train to Glasgow Overnight in Glasgow
Day 10 (May 29): Depart Glasgow (GLA)Today is departure day and there are no scheduled activities. At the appropriate time, you will be transported to the airport for your onward journey. Since we will not be spending any time in Glasgow, we recommend that you extend your trip by a day to spend some time in this magnificent city on your own. INCLUDED: Breakfast at hotel Airport Transfer
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