Train on the Scotland’s Classic Splendours journey
Bar car service on Belmond Royal Scotsman.
Bedroom with flowers on the Scotland’s Classic Splendours journey
Playing music for guests on the Scotland’s Classic Splendours journey
Bartenders serving drinks on the Scotland’s Classic Splendours journey

Scotland’s Classic Splendours

Europe
5-day Escorted Tour
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Overview

The Highlights

  • Seal-watching boat trip in the scenic bay of the Applecross mountains
  • Private tour of Ballindalloch Castle
  • Visit to Rothiemurchus Estate with a choice of country pursuits
  • Guided tour of Glamis Castle and gardens, childhood home of the late H.M. Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother
  • 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 40 passengers total
  • Highest levels of dining and service on-board
  • Inspiring dramatic and musical events by Highlanders

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.

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Two highlights: a private tour and tasting at Glen Ord Distillery and a personal tour of Ballindalloch, with its magnificent castle and gardens. 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 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.

Scotland’s Classic Splendours map

Countries Visited

  • Scotland

Itinerary

Download itinerary

Day 1: Edinburgh-Keith

The 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 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, it on to Kyle of Lochalsh, one of the most scenic lines in Britain, while lunch is served. The line passes Loch Luichart and the summit and Achnashellach forest, descends to Strathcarron and runs along the edge of stunning Loch Carron.

Disembark in the picturesque fishing village of Plockton, and 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 traditional Highland welcome and a dram or two.

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

*Please note on the following dates you will visit Cawdor Castle instead of Plockton:
13 Apr 2020, 12 June 2020, 22 Jul 2020, 24 Aug 2020, 5 Oct 2020, 11 Jun 2021, 21 July 2021, 23 Aug 2021, 4 Oct 2021 and 10 Oct 2021

Day 3: Kyle of Lochalsh-Boat of Garten

Join your onboard host for an invigorating early-morning walk over the bridge that links the mainland with the Isle of Skye. Alternatively, take a short drive before breakfast to marvel at Eilean Donan Castle, one of Scotland’s most iconic sights. Depart Kyle as breakfast is served and retrace part of yesterday’s route as far as Dingwall. Have your cameras ready for the views of Plockton across the bay to the left, where you can see white-washed cottages with fishing boats and yachts riding at anchor.

Arrive Garve, where you will disembark for a visit to Glen Ord Distillery, one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland, founded in 1838. Situated on the edge of the Black Isle, west of Inverness, Glen Ord continues to malt its own barley and to use the long fermentation and slow distillation methods followed there for generations. During your visit, enjoy a tour of the distillery as well as a private tasting and nosing session.

Back on board we travel south to Carrbridge for a visit to Ballindalloch, one of Scotland’s most romantic castles. The  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.

Options at Ballindalloch include a private castle tour, 9 holes of golf on the castle’s own course or an exclusive look at what is Scotland’s only single estate distillery.

The night is spent on board at Boat of Garten on the private Strathspey Railway. After an informal dinner, our Highlander regales guests with tales and weaponry displays.

*Please note on the following dates we will not visit the Glen Ord Distillery:
13 Apr 2020, 12 June 2020, 22 Jul 2020, 24 Aug 2020, 5 Oct 2020, 11 Jun 2021, 21 July 2021, 23 Aug 2021, 4 Oct 2021 and 10 Oct 2021 

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 have 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.

Dates & Prices

2021 Dates

April 12 - 16

April 19 - 23

April 26 - 30

May 10 - 14

May 24 - 28

June 7 - 11

June 11 - 15 *

June 21 - 25

June 25 - 29

July 12 - 16

July 21 - 25 *

July 26 - 30

August 2 - 6

August 6 - 10

August 16 - 20

August 23 - 27 *

September 13 - 17

September 20 - 24

September 27 - October 1

October 4 - 8 *

October 10 - 14 *

October 14 - 18

*Scotch Malt Whisky Trail tour runs simultaneously on these dates.

  • Prices are in British Pounds.  View approximate exchange rates.
  • Prices are per person.
  • Pricing varies based on availability and date. Prices are subject to change daily. Contact us to confirm pricing and availability for your desired departure.
  • Prices 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.
  • 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.

2022 Dates

April 11 - 15

April 18 - 22

April 25 - 29

May 2 - 6

May 9 - 13

May 23 - 27

June 6 - 10

June 10 - 14

June 20 - 24 *

June 24 - 28

July 4 - 8

July 11 - 15

July 20 - 24

July 25 - 29

August 1 - 5

August 5 - 9

August 15 - 19

August 22 - 26 *

September 12 - 16

September 19 - 23

September 26 - 30

October 3 - 7 *

October 9 - 13

October 13 - 17

*Scotch Malt Whisky Trail tour runs simultaneously on these dates.

  • Prices are in British Pounds.  View approximate exchange rates.
  • Prices are per person.
  • Pricing varies based on availability and date. Prices are subject to change daily. Contact us to confirm pricing and availability for your desired departure.
  • Prices 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.
  • 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.

More

Scotch malt whisky lovers may prefer the Scotch Malt Whisky Trail Tour.

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!