Scotland’s Classic Splendours

5-day Escorted Tour


The Tour

Belmond Royal Scotsman Scotland’s Classic Splendours Tour is one of the best in the world. From the bagpipes and intimate musical events, to the grand sweep of the moors and the gorges, the Belmond Royal Scotsman’s Classic Splendours Tour is a journey straight to the heart of the Scottish Highlands.

Life on the train is relaxed and indulgent, with the freshest, finest local produce served in the dining cars. From Edinburgh, the train follows the east coast up to Keith, then journeys to the picturesque west coast village of Plockton, thence to Inverness and south to Perth.

Two highlights: a private tour and tasting at Glen Ord Distillery and a personal tour of Ballindalloch, with its magnificent castle and gardens. Other activities include clay pigeon shooting or guided walking along Caledonian pine forest trails.  Life on the train is relaxed and indulgent, with the freshest, finest local produce served in the dining cars and nights in the all en-suite sleeping cars spent at quiet sidings.  This is one of IRT’s favorite train experiences — and once aboard, you will see why.  Combine it with the Western Scenic Wonders Tour, and you have one of IRT President Eleanor Hardy’s favorite journeys of all time.

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

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“Everything was wonderful—food, service, train, off-train activities—even the weather

— R. Temple, Royal Scotsman Classic Tour, 2010

The Itinerary

Day 1: Edinburgh-Keith
Belmond Royal Scotsman departs Edinburgh in the early afternoon, traveling north across magnificent Forth Railway Bridge—one of the first cantilever bridges, completed in 1890. Enjoy afternoon tea as you journey through the former Kingdom of Fife.

The train follows the east coast, passing through Arbroath, Montrose and Aberdeen before arriving in the market town of Keith. An informal dinner is served on board, after which you are invited to the Observation Car to enjoy entertainment with a Scottish flavor.

Day 2: Keith-Kyle of Lochalsh
A leisurely breakfast is served as the train travels west along the Moray Firth towards Inverness, capital of the highlands. From there, enjoy lunch as the train continues on to Kyle of Lochalsh, one of the most scenic lines in Britain. The line passes Loch Luichart and the summit and Achnashellach forest, descends to Strathcarron and runs along the edge of stunning Loch Carron.

At Plockton, head out on a boat trip to view seals and admire the magnificent views across the bay to the Applecross Mountains. After, take a walk through the woodlands to a viewpoint overlooking the loch. Return to Plockton Hotel for a dram or two.

Alternatively, you have the option to visit one of Scotland’s most iconic sights: Eilean Donan Castle, which perches on an island at the meeting point of three great sea lochs. A medieval
stronghold of the clans Mackenzie and Macrae, the castle was largely destroyed in the 1719 Jacobite uprising and lay in ruins for two centuries. Lieutenant Colonel John Macrae-Gilstrap then bought the island and restored the castle to its former glory, also building a footbridge to provide access to the mainland.

Back on board the train, a formal dinner is followed by entertainment in the observation car.

Day 3: Kyle of Lochalsh-Boat of Garten
Breakfast is served as the train departs Kyle and retraces part of yesterday’s route to Dingwall. From there, it heads to Garve, where you will disembark for a visit to Glen Ord Distillery, one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland. Enjoy a tour of the distillery and a private tasting and nosing session.

Rejoin the train in Inverness, just in time for lunch, as it heads to Carrbridge for a visit to Ballindalloch, one of Scotland’s most romantic castles. The romantic baronial castle, known as the “Pearl of the North,” is the much-loved family home of the Macpherson-Grants, with treasures including a fine collection of 17th-century Spanish paintings, a sumptuous dining room, splendid vaulted hallway, and impressive library.

Golfers can play on the estate’s course; clubs are available for rent. Return to train at Boat of Garten on private tracks of Strathspey Railway for overnight stabling.

After an informal dinner, a Highlander brings Scottish heroes to life as he regales you with stories of local heroes and their derring-dos, even demonstrating some authentic weaponry.

Day 4: Boat of Garten-Dundee
The day begins with an excursion to Rothiemurchus Estate, where you may choose from activities such as fishing, clay pigeon shooting or a tour of the estate.

Rejoin the train at Kingussie and lunch while traveling south to Dunkeld. Disembark and visit Glamis Castle, Seat of the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, and childhood home of the late H.M. Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. Save time in your tour to visit the gorgeous gardens. Rejoin the train in Perth for a final formal dinner on board.

Day 5: Dundee-Edinburgh
Breakfast is served as the train leaves Dundee and crosses the Tay Bridge into the former Kingdom of Fife and on to Edinburgh, where your journey ends.

2020 Dates:

April 13*, 17, 24
May 4, 11, 22, 26
June 8, 12*, 22, 26
July 13, 22*, 26
August 3, 7, 17, 24, 31
September 14, 21, 28
October 5*, 11*, 15, 19
*Scotch Malt Whisky Trail tour runs simultaneously on these departures.

2021 Dates:

April 12, 19, 26
May 10, 24
June 7, 11, 21, 25
July 12, 21, 26
August 2, 6, 16, 23
September 13, 20, 27
October 4, 10, 14

The Prices

Please note prices are in British pounds.

For approximate exchange rates, visit

2020 & 2021 pricing
From £5,200
From £5,200

Prices are per person.

Please note there are a limited number of single cabins (without single supplement) on every Belmond Royal Scotsman departure. Contact us for pricing for sole occupancy of twin cabin.

Pricing varies based on availability and date. Prices are subject to change daily. Contact us to confirm pricing and availability for your desired departure.


Note: All 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.

The Society of IRT highly recommends extending your stay with our Virtuoso preferred hotel The Balmoral.  We get special rates and amenities for our passengers there – and it’s especially handy because it’s right at the train station — just an escalator down to the tracks. We also have wonderful guides and drivers at our fingertips. Please inquire if you wish this concierge service.

Greater Savings on Longer Tours: Book the Grand Western Scenic Wonders  (combines Classic and Western itineraries) and save!

Booking at the last minute? Ask us about special offers on selected dates.

Golfing Option: Golf is available as a private tour, at an additional cost. Contact us for more details.

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The Highlights

  • A choice between a seal-watching boat trip or a visit to Eilean Donan Castle
  • A trip to Ballindalloch Castle
  • A visit to Rothiemurchus Estate with a choice of country pursuits
  • A guided tour of Glamis Castle and gardens
  • Before-dinner drinks in the cozy lounge car, all included
  • Wind-in-your-face viewing from the open-air platform
  • Breathtaking views of the moors, mountains, lakes, and sea
  • Intimate setting with just 36 passengers total
  • Highest levels of dining and service on-board
  • Fabulous off-train tours to distilleries and castles, often with the owners as tour guides
  • Inspiring dramatic and musical events by Highlanders
The Royal Scotsman at Boat of Garten. (IRT Photo by Angela Walker)
The Royal Scotsman at Boat of Garten. (IRT Photo by Angela Walker)
A twin-bedded cabin on the Royal Scotsman. (IRT Photo by Angela Walker)
A twin-bedded cabin on the Royal Scotsman. (IRT Photo by Angela Walker)
Musicians serenade guests in the lounge car. (IRT Photo by Angela Walker)
Musicians serenade guests in the lounge car. (IRT Photo by Angela Walker)
The attentive staff aboard the Royal Scotsman pours glasses of Champagne for guests.  (Photo by Angela Walker)
The attentive staff aboard the Royal Scotsman pours glasses of Champagne for guests. (Photo by Angela Walker)