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The combination of steam locomotion and the incomparable scenery of Scotland is a powerful one

Steam locomotion has an enduring fascination for many of us and combined with the wonderful scenery of Scotland it becomes utterly irresistible. The Jacobite Steam Train, from Fort William to Mallaig, is one of the longest steam-hauled rail journeys available in Britain today, an 84-mile round trip through some spectacular scenery, which features an impressive list of superlatives. It starts nearBritain’s highest mountain, (Ben Nevis), passes its most westerly mainland railway station, (Arisaig), deepest freshwater loch, (Loch Morar), shortest river, (River Morar) and finally arrives next to the deepest seawater loch inEurope, (Loch Nevis). ‘Concrete Bob’ McAlpine’s 21-arch Glenfinnan viaduct is just one of the engineering marvels we encounter on our journey, which is made all the more enjoyable by the sound and fury of the steam locomotive at the head of our train, forging its way along the Iron Road to the Isles.

 

 

A gentler pace is set as we sail ‘Doon ra Watter’ on the world’s last seagoing paddle steamer, the PS Waverley, still elegantly plying her trade on the Clyde. There can be no better way to enjoy the gentle beauty of the Argyll hills and the Kyles of Bute than from the deck of this grand old lady. There is a similar majesty to the SS Walter Scott, one of the last surviving screw steamers, which has graced the calm waters of Loch Katrine since 1900.

Our tour includes a unique boat journey on the Falkirk Wheel, the world’s first rotating boat lift. The Falkirk Wheel is part of the biggest canal restoration project ever undertaken inBritain, as a result of which theUnion and the Forth & Clyde canals, both over 180 years old, are once again linked together and fully operational.

Available departure dates and prices

 

The combination of steam locomotion and the incomparable scenery of Scotland is a powerful one

Day 1

Depart from your chosen pick-up point and travel to the Falkirk Wheel, the world’s first rotating boat lift. We shall start the journey on the water at New Port Downie from where you will sail into the Falkirk Wheel. Enjoy the truly spectacular scenery as the wheel commences its graceful ascent to join theUnionCanal 35m above. We sail along theUnionCanal and under the historic Antonine Wall – the Roman’s most northern frontier – before you enjoy a wander through the Visitor Centre. We continue to our accommodation where dinner will be served on arrival.

Day 2

Today, following an early start, we will journey back in time on the Jacobite steam train and experience one of the most memorable and spectacular railway journeys in the world - the famous Fort William to Mallaig line following The Road to the Isles"The Jacobite" combines the romance of the steam era with the opportunity to drink in the stunning views of this wild and historic part ofScotland. From the slopes of Ben Nevis the line runs through rugged mountains, past sea and inland lochs and onto the shores of theAtlantic at Mallaig. The route takes you over the massive Glenfinnan viaduct overlooking Loch Sheil, where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his standard in 1745.  We return to our hotel for dinner.

 

 

Day 3

Today following breakfast we will head for Helensburgh where we will commence our sail 'Doon ra Watter' on the world's last seagoing paddle steamer - The Waverley. TheWaverley is the last ocean-going paddle steamer plying its trade on the River Clyde. It was built in 1946 to replace the 1899Waverley which was sunk atDunkirk and is an extremely impressive sight with its immense 2100 horsepower steam engine. On board facilities include a self-service restaurant, cafe, bar and souvenir shop. We will leave the ship at Tighnabruaich where our coach will be waiting to take us back to the hotel, over the "Rest and Be Thankful" and through stunning Argyllshire scenery.  Dinner will be served in the evening.

*On our 16 August departure The Waverley on this one goes from Largs to Tighnabruaich instead of Helensburgh to Tighnabruaich.

Day 4

Sadly today we must check out of the hotel and head for home. We still have time to tour through The Trossachs and then have a cruise on the steam ship SS Walter Scott on Loch Katrine. The Sir Walter Scott is the only surviving screw steamer in regular passenger service inScotland. The grand old lady has been sailing majestically on Loch Katrine since 1900. She was launched in 1899 and today retains her original engines, which are powered by steam using smokeless solid fuel. Thereafter we continue to our original departure point.

Included in the price

  • 3 nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at the comfortable Arrochar Hotel, Arrochar (or similar)
  • Comfortable coaching throughout
  • Journeys on P.S. Waverley, SS Walter Scott, the Fort William/Mallaig line on the Jacobite and a visit to the Falkirk Wheel
  • Services of a Brightwater Holidays representative

Not Included (per person)

  • Single room supplement               £60.00
  • Insurance                                    £18.50 (under 65); £37.00 (65-74); £55.50 (75-90)
  • Rail connections and/or overnight accommodation before or after the tour available on request

 

Departure points and times:

Depart Return
Aberdeen (Skene Street) 0800 2000
Stonehaven (Market Square) 0830 1930
Dundee  (Outside Discovery Point) 0930 1830
Perth (Bus stop on Canal Street, Tay Street end) 1000 1800
Stirling (Moto Services, M9) 1045 1715
Edinburgh (Edinburgh Marriott Hotel) 1100 1700

 

Please note that all timings are approximate and subject to change. Final timings and   pick-up points will be confirmed with your joining instructions approximately 10 days prior to departure.

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A superb holiday - thanks Trish the Tour Manager was very helpful and knowledgeable - the free day was a great idea.

Mr and Mrs Somerville

Jimmy the driver was impeccable and fun - his driving skills gave us great confidence on the narrow roads through Royal Deeside.

Bob Guthrie, Broughty Ferry

We thoroughly enjoyed the archaeological tour to the Outer Hebrides, the driver and guide made the holiday a great success

Mr and Mrs Sutherland, Dundee
 
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