Luxury minibreak in the Scottish Highlands
Take the new overnight sleeper train from London to the beautiful West Highlands for a long weekend based in an award-winning hotel. Explore the historic culture and dramatic landscape of Britain’s last wilderness with Lord Gray, our expert driver-guide.
Travelling from London to the Highlands of Scotland with the Caledonian Sleeper recalls the romance of travel from a past era; it is a great way to make the journey and more like an extra part of your break than the hassles of the airport experience.
The Sleeper departs from London's Euston Station. Departure time is at a civilised hour (just after 9.00 pm with facility to board half an hour before that). You can enjoy a nightcap or a late supper in the saloon car after boarding.
The new generation of trains offers comfortable en-suite accommodation options and all you need to do is book your wake-up call from the attendant early if you want breakfast on board.
Alight at Upper Tyndrum, one of those unique stations seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Our expert driver-guide Andrew Gray (Lord Gray) will be there at 8.00am to meet you. You will travel during your visit in a comfortable people-carrier. The road you follow climbs to the bleak expanse of Rannoch Moor, a vast area of moorland, lochans and peat bog, some 1,000 feet above sea level. Then, as craggy peaks appear ahead, you drop down into dramatic Glen Coe. This mountainous glen is forever associated with the bloody massacre of the Macdonalds. Emerging at the edge of Loch Leven, you take the coast road past lonely Castle Stalker to your hotel where you can relax, explore and enjoy the afternoon and evening.
"That man is little to be envied, whose patriotism would not gain force upon the plain of Marathon, or whose piety would not grow warmer among the ruins of Iona" said Samuel Johnson, and you follow his footsteps to the sacred isle, celebrating this year the 1,500th anniversary of St Columba.
The Abbey of Iona and St Oran’s Chapel
Your guide collects you at 10.00, for the short drive to the nearby fishing port of Oban. There you take the ferry for Mull, and admire the glens and lochs of this scenic Hebridean island on your way to Fionnphort and the passenger ferry to Iona.
The monastery and celtic crosses overlook the graves of ancient kings and the Lords of the Isles, set on its own island, fringed by white sand beaches. Lunch in the village overlooking the Atlantic, and then, on the way back to the mainland and your hotel, a visit to Castle Duart, ancient seat (and still home) of the chiefs of Clan Maclean.
A day exploring the remote and magical West Highlands. You guide collects you at ten and you make your way north and west, across the Corran Ferry and into the remote ‘Rough Bounds’ of Moidart and Ardnamurchan, the most westerly part of mainland Britain.
There you visit the impossibly romantic Castle Tioram on its half-island, burnt and ruined by its own Macdonald chief as he went off to war, never to return. Then you take to the water: a boat trip up Loch Shiel in the heart of the mountains. There are no people here – just eagles, long abandoned crofting villages, and the mysterious burial island of St Finnan.
Bonne Prince Charlie took this route and, like him, you arrive at Glenfinnan, where the monument still stands to his doomed rebellion.
Your guide collects you from the pier and from there it is a short drive to Fort William. The sleeper awaits you at the station there on the loch below Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain. Departure is at 7pm – time for dinner and a relaxed evening on board.
Arrive at Euston at 7.50 am to make your way to home or office in good time.
Price, Transport, Guide, Accommodation and Shopping
NB: Prices & availability for tours / sleeper / accommodation are subject to availability. Costs and itinerary can be adjusted to suit availability of tickets, accommodation and time available. The itinerary ideas outlined here are optional. The break is fully flexible and can be made longer or shorter, with more or less time allocated for exploring.
Your guide will be Andrew Gray (Lord Gray). A driver-guide with 15 years experience of touring, Andrew has a deep knowledge of Scottish history (including his own family history, whose Scottish Peerage dates back to 1445). He has a wide-ranging interest in the culture, people and history of Scotland. He has designed and put together this tour.
Breakfast is included throughout; lunch and dinner is not included. Luggage: we suggest a medium sized case plus hand luggage for easy access at your seat.
There will be plenty opportunity to buy souvenirs but this is not really a tour for serious shopping!
- Train fares
- Boat trip
- Bed and Breakfast for 2 nights (plus 2 on the Caledonian Sleeper) in a top hotel
- Services of lead tour guide and driver/guide for 3 days
- Entry to key cultural sites
- Trip insurance.
We ask for a non-refundable deposit of GBP £250 per person which represents the costs of arranging the tour.
The balance is payable thirteen weeks prior to the start of the tour.
We strongly recommend that you take out trip insurance in case of unforeseen circumstances. Special arrangements for Covid related cancellations on request. Clans and Castles is registered under the official 'Good to Go' scheme. For more details on our terms and conditions please click here.
If you would like to know, more about the trip then send an email to me, Diana Gray.
If you would like to go ahead and book a place, you can make your non refundable deposit of GBP 250 below.
Note - please use Ref: 'SLP'