Woman staring out the window on the Grand Tour of Great Britain journey
York Minster on Grand Tour of Great Britain.
Dining room on the Grand Tour of Great Britain journey
Coffee cup on the Grand Tour of Great Britain journey
Man playing bagpipes on the Grand Tour of Great Britain journey

Grand Tour of Great Britain

Europe
8-day Escorted Tour
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Overview

The Highlights

  • Visit the estate at Rothiemurchus for clay pigeon shooting or a nature tour guided by a park ranger
  • Strathisla Distillery tour and whisky tasting
  • Walking tour of the walled city of Chester, followed by a cocktail reception at Chester Cathedral
  • Tour Gwydir Castle with the owners for insight to the castle’s history and “hauntings”
  • Steam train journey to Snowdonia National Park onboard the Welsh Highland Railway
  • Leisurely morning in the spa city of Bath, a World Heritage Site
  • Savor dinner at the two Michelin-starred Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons
  • Tour Cambridge, including a private visit to Parker Library and a punt on the River Cam
  • Guided walking tour of York, including York Minster
  • Private tour of Alnwick Castle followed by an exclusive farewell dinner
  • Enjoy afternoon tea, drinks in the observation car and elegant meals aboard the Belmond Royal Scotsman train

The Tour

The Grand Tour of Great Britain features bountiful Scottish dinners, outstanding service, and fascinating history — all while on one of the world’s most luxurious trains: Belmond Royal Scotsman.

There’s no finer way to see the splendid British countryside.

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The Belmond Royal Scotsman, making a rare cross-border foray, will be your home for a 7-night exclusive, memorable journey around Scotland, Wales and England—exploring the very best of Great Britain, including exclusive after-hours visits.

IRT Insights: Click here to read about IRT’s most recent experience aboard the Belmond Royal Scotsman.

IRT Exclusive: Click here to see our video of Society President Eleanor Hardy’s trip on the Royal Scotsman.

Grand Tour of Great Britain map

Countries Visited

  • England
  • Scotland
  • Wales

Itinerary

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Day 1: Depart Edinburgh

The Belmond Royal Scotsman departs Edinburgh early afternoon and heads west to Perth. Enjoy afternoon tea as you continue north on the Highland line to Aviemore. Arrive early evening in the peaceful Highland village of Boat of Garten. Cocktails are served followed by an informal dinner.

Day 2: Rothiemurchus; Strathisla

Spend the morning at Rothiemurchus, with various options including clay pigeon shooting and wildlife walks.

Rejoin the train and head north to Inverness, soon arriving Culloden Battlefield, where the last battle on mainland British soil took place in 1746, for a visit.

This afternoon, whisky connoisseurs can visit Strathisla Distillery, home of one of Scotland’s most famous malts, Chivas Regal, for a tasting and tour. Dinner on board and overnight stabling in Dundee.

Day 3: Chester; Llanrwst

Enjoy breakfast and lunch on board as the train rolls into England, past the fringes of Lake District National Park, with its stunning scenery and abundant wildlife. Afternoon walking tour of the beautiful walled city of Chester, ending with a drinks reception at the magnificent Chester Cathedral.

Rejoin the train and cross another border, this time into the Land of the Red Dragon: Wales. While dinner is served, the train wends its way through Welsh valleys to Llanrwst, where you disembark for a visit of Gwydir Castle, a fine example of a Tudor courtyard house, built around 1500.

Day 4: Snowdonia National Park

Visit the walled town of Caernarfon, with its picturesque castle. Here your steam train awaits to transport you up into Snowdonia National Park, with its outstanding mountain scenery. The Welsh Highland Railway, hauled by one of the world’s most powerful narrow-gauge steam locomotives, climbs from sea level up to 650 feet on the lower slopes of Mount Snowdon, the highest mountain in England and Wales.

Travel to the Isle of Anglesey for a private tour of Plas Cadnant Estate, one of North Wales’ best-kept secrets.

Return to the mainland and re-join the train in time for dinner.

Day 5: Bath; Oxford

Breakfast is served as the train heads south to the spa city of Bath. This UNESCO World Heritage site has some of the most magnificent Georgian buildings anywhere in the UK. Take a guided tour around the Roman Baths, built around Britain’s only hot spring. Free time to wander around the city and indulge in some of the stylish shops.

Rejoin the train for a light lunch, with time to relax before disembarking in Oxford for dinner at one of the UK’s finest country house hotels, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons. This gorgeous manor house is also home to one of the UK’s best restaurants, under the watchful eye of chef/ patron, the renowned Raymond Blanc. Return to the train for after-dinner drinks.

Day 6: Cambridge

Morning exploration of Cambridge, home to the historic Corpus Christi college, including the Parker library, with its medieval and Renaissance manuscripts. Enjoy a leisurely punt on the River Cam. Overnight stabling in Scarborough.

Day 7: York

Breakfast is served en route to the Roman walled city of York, where you have a guided tour or free time to explore. Take in the splendor of York Minster, the largest Gothic Cathedral in Northern Europe.

Re-join the train as we travel up through Northumberland into Alnmouth, where we disembark for a private viewing of Alnwick Castle followed by an exclusive farewell dinner. Alnwick Castle was first built over 900 years ago, to keep the Scots out of England. Thankfully today’s proprietors are more welcoming! Rejoin the train for your final night on board.

Day 8: Edinburgh

After breakfast, return to Edinburgh mid-morning.

Dates & Prices

2022 Dates

September 26 - October 3 *

*2022 tour is waitlist only.  Contact us to be added to the waitlist.

  • Please note prices are in British pounds. View approximate exchange rates.
  • Prices are per person.
  • Please note there are a limited number of single cabins (without single supplement) on every Belmond Royal Scotsman departure.
  • Pricing varies based on availability. Prices are subject to change daily. Contact us to confirm pricing and availability.

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Note: Prices are per person and include all table d’hôte meals, all alcoholic and other beverages, all sightseeing excursions as shown in the itinerary and accommodation on board based on two people sharing a twin compartment or one person in a single.

This very special tour only runs once annually, and is limited to 40 guests. Book early to avoid disappointment!