This April, the train kicks off its 2013 season of rail journeys and introduces two NEW itineraries: Classic Whisky and Classic Golf, and back by popular demand reintroduces the Country Homes & Gardens itinerary.
The 2013 schedule offers a variety of all-inclusive short breaks right into the heart of the Scottish wilderness. Operating from April to October, The Royal Scotsman offers rail journeys from two to seven nights and travels the length and breadth of the country showcasing the best scenery, food, drink and hospitality, offering a truly unforgettable experience of Scotland.
Highlights of the 2013 schedule include:
NEW Classic Whisky Journey – 21st April
Duration: 4 nights
Highlights: The Royal Scotsman has partnered with The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, the world's foremost specialist in single cask, single malt whiskies. An Ambassador from the Society will travel onboard, leading guests through several tastings of rare and exclusive malts. The group will visit Glenlivet, Glen Ord (one of the country's oldest), and Tullibardine distilleries. Other activities include:
* Fly-fishing at Rothiemurchus Estate
* Scenic boat trip in the village of Plockton to see wild seals
* Round of golf at a private course in Ballindalloch
* Tour of Glamis Castle, the childhood home of the late HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother
Price: £4330 per person
NEW Classic Golf Journey – 17th September
Duration: 4-5 nights
Highlights: Golf enthusiasts will have the chance to combine a leisurely rail experience and play three of Scotland's most prestigious courses. There is also an optional stay at The Gleneagles Hotel, host of the 2014 Ryder Cup. Non-golfers can also enjoy a fun-packed itinerary, visiting great Highland attractions such as Dunrobin and Ballindalloch castles, whisky distilleries and historic Pitmedden Garden. Along the way, all guests are treated to stunning scenery, lively on-board entertainment and delicious, seasonal cuisine. Golf courses visited include:
* Royal Dornoch Golf Club, the northernmost championship course in the UK
* Castle Stuart Golf Links, host venue of the Scottish Open 2011-2013, a stunning new championship links course with panoramic views across the Moray Firth
* Cruden Bay Golf Club, situated in a beautiful location, next to the North Sea, and one of the world's most highly rated golf courses. Beautiful swathes of fairway amid the giant sand dunes, combined with excellent firm and subtly contoured greens, offer a memorable golf experience.
Price: £5350 per person
REINTRODUCED Country Homes & Gardens Journey – 7th June
Duration: 4 nights
Highlights: Back by popular demand, acclaimed British gardening writer Sue Chivers and photographer Patsy Floyd will take guests on private, VIP tours of some of the finest homes and gardens in Scotland, including the following:
* Brechin Castle Gardens, one of the UK's most acclaimed private gardens
* Foulis Castle, seat of the Clan Munro and overlooking Cromarty Firth
* Attadale, a 30,000-acre estate in the Northwest Highlands with spectacular West Coast gardens offering views of the sea and Skye, and ancient paths which wind through 20 acres of rhododendrons and rare trees
* Clan Donald Estate on the Isle of Skye with its restored historic gardens, and beautiful walking trails threading through 40 acres of woodland around Armadale Castle
* Ballindalloch Castle, one of the few castles still privately-owned and to have been lived in continuously by its original family
Price: £4660 per person
The Grand Tour of Great Britain – 5th July
Duration: 7 nights
Highlights: Unwind for a whole week touring the most renowned historic sites and cities in the UK. The Grand Tour of Great Britain circles the entire island and pauses for tours and excursions in Scotland, Wales, and England. After travelling through Scotland, the train heads south into England, passing the Lake District, and then into Wales, where guides will lead a tour through Gwydir Castle. On the fifth day, visit the Roman baths in Bath, and finish the week long journey with stops in Oxford, Cambridge, and York, before returning to Edinburgh.
Price: £8930 per person
The Royal Scotsman has the lure of a country house party, accommodating just 36 guests in comfortable, Edwardian-style carriages with private en-suite facilities. Glide past sweeping glens, towering peaks, and black-mirrored lochs as the welcoming staff serve critically-acclaimed dishes that showcase the finest Scottish ingredients and hand-selected wines.
Rail voyages range from two to seven nights on The Royal Scotsman. The two night ‘Highland' gives guests a taste of Scotland's rich heritage, while the four night ‘Classic' itinerary which is a quintessentially Scottish experience and a reminder that there is no need to travel across the world to find spectacular scenery, cultural inspiration and moments of tranquility. The seven night ‘Grand North Western', is an opportunity to really savour experience and the beauty of Scotland to the full.
Sleeping in a cosy cabin whilst the train is stabled overnight in a remote station, viewing the ever- changing landscapes from the open veranda of the train's Observation Car, exciting off-train excursions, many with unique access, and hearty Scottish cuisine are all highlights of a journey onboard The Royal Scotsman.
Prices start from £2,350 per person, including all meals, drinks, accommodation and excursions. The Royal Scotsman is also available for private hire for journeys of one night or more for up to 36 people, inclusive of all meals, drinks, and personalised excursions. Prices for group bookings and charters are available on request.
The Royal Scotsman season runs from 21st April to 15th October 2013. Further information can be found on the website www.royalscotsman.com.