We are delighted to announce that our popular Highlands Explorer will be running from Thursday 5th – Friday 13th May 2022. With delicious food on board, specially selected hotels in some of Scotland’s most sought-after locations and impressive steam locomotives, all with the backdrop of snow-capped peaks and bright sunshine, this holiday promises to be unforgettable.
Read on for details of the full itinerary and fill in a form here to request a holiday quote for The Highlands Explorer 2022.
Thursday 5th – Friday 13th May 2022
Itinerary: 2 nights in Edinburgh, 3 nights in Inverness, 2 nights in Turnberry or Troon, 1 night in Skipton
Fares from £1,795
Day 1 – London to Edinburgh via York
We leave London Victoria behind a vintage diesel locomotive for a quick run to York, where we will be joined by B1 Mayflower. From here, the scenery just gets better and better. From far-reaching views over the Cathedral City of Durham, the Angel of the North to the Royal Border Bridge at Berwick and the cliffs of the North East coast, the backdrop of our first day sets the tone for the rest of the holiday.
Day 2 – Day at leisure in Edinburgh
After a leisurely breakfast in your hotel you are free to explore this beautiful city which holds two
UNESCO designations. Edinburgh is home to many interesting attractions from its iconic medieval
castle, to an extinct volcano, to Scotland’s crown jewels. Activities range from sipping whisky, hiking up Arthur’s Seat or going underground to explore some of the city’s medieval past. Alternatively, join us on an organised excursion. Excursions are likely to include coach trips to Stirling Castle, Culross Palace and the Royal Yacht Britannia.
Day 3 – Edinburgh to Inverness via The Highland Main Line
After breakfast in our hotels, we set out mid morning over the Forth Railway Bridge. Our route from here will take us via the scenic Highland Mainline to Inverness, arriving in the early evening.
Over the next three days you will have a chance to sample some of the most scenic lines in Europe – Inverness to The Kyle of Lochalsh, Inverness to Dunrobin via the Far North Line, the journey south via the Highland Main Line and finally along the Firth of Clyde.
Day 4 – Kyle of Lochalsh with B1 Mayflower
Today you have the chance to enjoy one of the great railway journeys of the world across the Highlands from the West Coast to the Kyle of Lochalsh as breath-taking scenery follows breath-taking scenery. Passengers will have the option to visit the iconic Eilean Donan Castle (depending on timings) before rejoining the train for the return journey to Inverness.
Day 5 – Inverness to Dunrobin Castle or day at leisure
We will depart steam hauled for our optional day trip north from Inverness across the beautiful scenery to the famous castle of Dunrobin. The small station is just a 500-yard walk from the castle that it serves having originally been built as a private halt by the 3rd Duke of Sutherland. There will be a short time to explore the magnificent castle and grounds, ancestral home of the Earls of Caithness. Alternatively, passengers can stay on the train to Brora, a small fishing village.
Passengers who opt to remain for a day at leisure in Inverness will be offered a choice of excursions which will probably include a trip to Cawdor Castle, Culloden Battlefield or a boat trip on Loch Ness.
Day 6 – Inverness to Ayr via the Highland Main Line
After breakfast in our hotels we depart, steam-hauled, along one of the most scenic lines in Scotland. The first part of the route takes us through the Cairngorms National Park, which even in May will see a dusting of snow on the highest peaks.
Our locomotives will be working hard as we head through the spectacular Drumochter Pass, home to Drumochter Summit, the highest point on the UK Rail way Network. As we continue south, the dramatic mountain scenery is replaced by picturesque forest and rivers. Keen eyes will be able to spot the Wallace Monument and the Falkirk Wheel as we head towards the outskirts of Glasgow and through the Lowlands to Ayr.
Day 7 – Day at leisure at Troon or Turnberry.
Here you can enjoy the stunning scenery and coastline as we travel along the Firth of Clyde to Stranraer, with views of The Cumbraes and The Isle of Arran, or enjoy a round of golf at one of the prestigious local courses.
Day 8 – Ayr to Skipton via the Cumbrian Coast
After breakfast, all passengers will set off steam-hauled through the lowlands of Scotland and cross the border to Carlisle for a short lunchtime break.
In the afternoon, we travel along the stunning Cumbrian Coast route, rarely used for steam charters, with nearly 100 miles of stunning views as the railway line hugs the narrow strip between The Irish Sea and the Lakeland Fells. On a clear day you can see distant vistas of the Isle of Man and the Scottish Coast. As the sun starts to set, we head towards the Dales and the area known as Brontë Country where we will be spending the final night of this holiday.
Day 9 – Skipton to London
The last day of our trip dawns, and after breakfast in our hotels we will head South travelling through the heart of England along the Midland mainline, which is an unusual route for Steam Dreams. Once we have passed through the edge of Leeds and Sheffield we pass through the town of Chesterfield with its famous bent spire visible from the train, through the East Midlands and then over the world famous Harringworth Viaduct between Melton Mowbray and Corby before finally arriving at our destination, London Victoria, as the rush hour ends.
For more information, or to book, please call the Booking Office on 01483 209888 or fill in the form below to register your interest in this holiday.