Four classic journeys and some stunning scenery combine to provide an unforgettable Scottish travel experience.
Steam locomotion has an enduring fascination for many of us and combined with the wonderful scenery of Scotland it becomes utterly irresistible. The Jacobite Steam Train, from Fort William to Mallaig, is one of the longest steam-hauled rail journeys available in Britain today, an 84-mile round trip through some spectacular scenery, which features an impressive list of superlatives. It starts near Britain’s highest mountain, (Ben Nevis), passes its most westerly mainland railway station, (Arisaig), deepest freshwater loch, (Loch Morar), shortest river, (River Morar) and finally arrives next to the deepest seawater loch in Europe, (Loch Nevis). ‘Concrete Bob’ McAlpine’s 21-arch Glenfinnan viaduct is just one of the engineering marvels we encounter on our journey, which is made all the more enjoyable by the sound and fury of the steam locomotive at the head of our train, forging its way along the Iron Road to the Isles.
A gentler pace is set as we sail ‘Doon ra Watter’ on the world’s last seagoing paddle steamer, the PS Waverley, still elegantly plying her trade on the Clyde. There can be no better way to enjoy the gentle beauty of the Argyll hills and the Kyles of Bute than from the deck of this grand old lady. There is a similar majesty to the SS Sir Walter Scott, one of the last surviving screw steamers, which has graced the calm waters of Loch Katrine since 1900.
Our tour includes a unique boat journey on the Falkirk Wheel, the world’s first rotating boat lift. The Falkirk Wheel is part of the biggest canal restoration project ever undertaken in Britain, as a result of which the Union and the Forth & Clyde canals, both over 180 years old, are once again linked together and fully operational.
- A journey on the P.S Waverley
- A journey on SS Sir Walter Scott on Loch Katrine
- A journey on the Jacobite from Fort William to Mallaig with the route taking you over the impressive Glenfinnan viaduct overlooking Loch Sheil
- A visit to the Falkirk Wheel
- Return coach travel with regional pick-ups available from Aberdeen, Stonehaven, Dundee, Perth, Stirling or Edinburgh
- 3 nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at the comfortable Arrochar Hotel, Arrochar (or similar)
- Comfortable coaching throughout
- Journeys on P.S. Waverley, SS Walter Scott, the Fort William/Mallaig line on the Jacobite and a visit to the Falkirk Wheel
- Services of a Holidays representative
Connecting air/rail transfers can be packaged on request, for those outwith the pick-ups points. Please call us on 01224 338004 to discuss.
Single supplements apply. Subject to availability. Some pick-up points are subject to minimum numbers being achieved.
Depart from your chosen pick-up point and travel to the Falkirk Wheel, the world’s first rotating boat lift. We shall start the journey on the water at New Port Downie from where you will sail into the Falkirk Wheel. Enjoy the truly spectacular scenery as the wheel commences its graceful ascent to join the Union Canal 35m above. We sail along the Union Canal and under the historic Antonine Wall – the Roman’s most northern frontier – before you enjoy a wander through the Visitor Centre. We continue to our accommodation where dinner will be served on arrival.
Today, following an early start, we will journey back in time on the Jacobite steam train and experience one of the most memorable and spectacular railway journeys in the world – the famous Fort William to Mallaigline following The Road to the Isles. “The Jacobite” combines the romance of the steam era with the opportunity to drink in the stunning views of this wild and historic part of Scotland. From the slopes of Ben Nevis the line runs through rugged mountains, past sea and inland lochs and onto the shores of the Atlantic at Mallaig. The route takes you over the massive Glenfinnan viaduct overlooking Loch Sheil, where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his standard in 1745. We return to our hotel for dinner.
Today following breakfast we will head for Helensburgh where we will commence our sail ‘Doon ra Watter’ on the world’s last seagoing paddle steamer – The Waverley. The Waverley is the last ocean-going paddle steamer plying its trade on the River Clyde. It was built in 1946 to replace the 1899 Waverley which was sunk at Dunkirk and is an extremely impressive sight with its immense 2100 horsepower steam engine. On board facilities include a self-service restaurant, cafe, bar and souvenir shop. We will leave the ship at Tighnabruaich where our coach will be waiting to take us back to the hotel, over the “Rest and Be Thankful” and through stunning Argyllshire scenery. Dinner will be served in the evening.
Sadly today we must check out of the hotel and head for home. We still have time to tour through The Trossachs and then have a cruise on the steam ship SS Sir Walter Scott on Loch Katrine. The Sir Walter Scott is the only surviving screw steamer in regular passenger service in Scotland. The grand old lady has been sailing majestically on Loch Katrine since 1900. She was launched in 1899 and today retains her original engines, which are powered by steam using smokeless solid fuel. Thereafter we continue to our original departure point.