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A wonderful 7-day Rail Tour which includes some of Scotland's most important cities and includes full-day tours to Alnwick Castle & the Borders and to the famous Isle of Skye!
Upon arrival at Edinburgh airport, a private transfer will take you to your hotel. Check-in and enjoy the remainder of the day is free to spend as you wish making use of your 24 hour Hop On Hop Off Edinburgh Sightseeing Tour ticket which offers 12 stops along its route including at Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile. You'll discover the very best of Edinburgh at your own pace seeing all the key landmarks.
After breakfast at your hotel, your tour begins on a Small-Group tour onboard a minibus seating no more than 16 participants. Following the road that connected Caledonia with Roman Britannia, you'll stop in Kelso, where you can explore this handsome town and what is thought to be Scotland’s largest market square. You'll also see the ruins of Kelso Abbey, a reminder of the many ancient conflicts between Scotland and England. Continuing south, you'll cross the border and travel to Alnwick Castle, an immense fortification that has stood strong for nearly a millennium. It was originally built to assert Norman rule over newly conquered lands. But more recently Alnwick Castle and its perfectly manicured gardens have found fame as one of the settings for the fictional Hogwarts School in the Harry Potter movie series. Book lovers should take the opportunity to explore one of the largest and most impressive second-hand book shops in Britain. After around three hours at Alnwick, you travel north along the Northumberland Coast, one of the UK’s most outstanding areas of natural beauty. You'll stop along the way to admire some of the area’s best-known beaches, castles, and ancient Border towns before returning to Edinburgh around 6:15 in the evening. (B)
This morning you can make your way to Edinburgh's Waverley Station to board your train to Inverness. Arriving in Inverness, known as the capital of the Highlands, make your way to your hotel to check in then perhaps an evening stroll along the banks of the River Ness. As the largest city and the cultural capital of the Scottish Highlands, there is plenty to do and visit. The Old Town features the 19th century Inverness Cathedral and the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery features local and Highland history. (B)
After an early start, you leave the city and travel along the Great Glen Fault Line towards Loch Ness. Here, you have a chance to spot the monster and admire lovely Castle Urquhart from afar. You take a short break in Invermoriston and continue through dramatic Highland scenery to the west coast and Eilean Donan Castle. You can go inside ‘the most photographed castle in Scotland’ or simply enjoy the astounding views. And now, it’s the moment you’ve been waiting for. Because it’s over the sea and onto the Isle of Skye. You travel up the island’s east coast through the stunning Red Cuillin Mountains to Sligachan, where you stop for a photo of the clear mountain waters. Arriving in the town of Portree, you have free time to grab a bite to eat at one of the many delightful local restaurants. After you’ve filled your belly, you explore some of the most famous scenery of the island at the Trotternish Peninsula. The Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock, and the Quiraing are all unforgettably beautiful. You venture to Kyleakin for refreshments and a chance to view the dramatic ruin of Castle Moil or the Skye Bridge and Eilean Ban. Travelling over the bridge, you journey back to Inverness. The route you take back is different from the morning, so you get even more opportunities to enjoy the Highland scenery. Entrance fees are not included and a return to Inverness is planned for around 8 pm. (B)
This morning you'll bid farewell to Inverness as you board your train to Glasgow travelling a scenic route where you can expect to see mountains, waterfalls, deer & mountain hares all from the comfort of your seat. Arrive in Glasgow and make your way to your hotel and the remainder of the day is free. Perhaps enjoy a stroll down Buchanan Street, Scotland's premier shopping area. (B)
Today you can enjoy the sights and sounds of Glasgow, Scotland's friendliest city, by making use of your 24 hour Hop On Hop Off Glasgow City Sightseeing Tour. With 21 stops along the route. You can hop on and hop off at any of the stops to visit one of Glasgow's landmarks, have lunch, and do a bit of shopping or simply a walk in one of the city's many parks. (B)
Today marks the end of your Scotland Rail Tour. At a time to suit your departing flight a private transfer will bring you to Glasgow Airport with ample time to check in and begin your journey home. (B)