Fabled Rail Journeys of WALES, ENGLAND & SCOTLAND Featuring the Royal Scotsman

Fabled Rail Journeys of WALES, ENGLAND & SCOTLAND Featuring the Royal Scotsman



We are thrilled to offer this deluxe itinerary for rail aficionados, combining day trips by historic train in Wales and Yorkshire with the grand finale of a two-night Scottish Highlands journey aboard Belmond Royal Scotsman, one of the most luxurious trains in the world.

Classic, historic hotels reflect the best of Great Britain’s culture and character and provide an exquisite home base throughout: Bodysgallen Hall & Spa, a historic National Trust country house just outside of Llandudno, surrounded by award-winning gardens; the Grand Hotel & Spa in York, housed in former railway headquarters and evocative of the golden age of travel; and The Balmoral in Edinburgh, a five-star 1902 landmark which fittingly enough began life as a grand railway hotel.


Pricing from
Trip Type
Individual Travel Tour, International Land & Rail Voyages
Departure Dates
Oct 1, 2020 - Oct 12, 2020


  • Gordon Turnbull

    Gordon Turnbull

    Gordon Turnbull, PhD graduated with first class Honors from the Australian National University in Canberra,
    taught at the University of Newcastle (New South Wales), then joined Yale as a Fulbright scholar to pursue his doctorate in English Literature. In 1997 he assumed the directorship of the Boswell project, one of Yale’s greatest scholarly enterprises. A lively and witty lecturer and seminar leader, Mr. Turnbull also taught in the Yale-in-London program, and has led numerous trips around the world.


Scottish map


  • day October 1 & 2


    Depart the U.S. on overnight flights to Manchester. Upon arrival on Friday, transfer to Llandudno in Wales, and check in to our classic country house hotel, situated amid meadows and award-winning gardens. Gather for a welcome reception before dinner this evening. BODYSGALLEN HALL AND SPA (R,D)

  • day October 3


    Explore the walled market town of Conwy, including a visit to Plas Mawr, an unusually well-preserved Elizabethan house dating from 1580, as well as the magnificent harbor-side castle, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, “Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd.” Conwy Castle was built in the 1280s by Edward I during his conquest of Wales and is considered one of the most atmospheric medieval castles in Britain, with the most complete set of medieval walls, enveloping both the castle and its tiny town center. After lunch, drive through the beautiful Snowdonia mountain region, stopping at the village of Betwsy-Coed with its stone cottages and cascading waterfalls. Enjoy a special private visit and afternoon tea at Gwydir Castle, hosted by the owners, whose ancient abode is regarded as one of the finest Tudor houses in Wales. Dinner is on our own this evening. BODYSGALLEN HALL AND SPA (B,L)

  • day October 4


    The Ffestiniog Railway is the world’s oldest narrow-gauge railway, built during the Industrial Revolution to transport slate from mountain quarries to the harbor in Porthmadog, where it was then shipped all over the world. Today we visit the Llechwedd Slate Caverns to learn about the heritage of slate production in Wales, then journey down the mountain in a privately reserved vintage carriage aboard the Ffestiniog Railway through pastures and forests and past lakes and waterfalls. Upon arrival at Porthmadog, continue by coach to nearby Portmeirion. This charming Italian-style village was created by British architect Sir Bertram Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975, and has served as the location for numerous films and television shows, among them the 1960s surreal spy drama The Prisoner. BODYSGALLEN HALL AND SPA (B,L,D)

  • day October 5


    Enjoy a scenic drive from Llandudno to York, a walled city at the confluence of the Ouse and Foss Rivers. Stroll along the Shambles, a narrow lane with overhanging timber framed buildings, some of which date back to the 14th century. Once lined with butcher shops, the Shambles and a surrounding maze of ancient, narrow, cobblestoned streets now feature shops, cafes and restaurants. Visit the impressive York Minster, the second-largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe; its rose window dates from around 1500 and commemorates the union of the houses of York and Lancaster. Take a scenic walk along York’s beautifully preserved city walls. At a length of more than two miles, they are the longest medieval town walls in England and offer amazing views. THE GRAND HOTEL & SPA (B,L,D)

  • day October 6


    Explore the National Railway Museum, which tells the story of rail transportation in Britain and its impact on society. This award-winning museum is home to the national collection of 400-plus historically significant railway vehicles, as well as other artifacts and ephemera related to the railways. In the afternoon, drive through the scenic Yorkshire Dales, stopping for lunch at a private country estate, then visit Fountains Abbey, one of the largest and best-preserved Cistercian monasteries in England and part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Studley Royal Park. Dinner is on our own this evening. THE GRAND HOTEL & SPA (B,L)

  • day October 7


    Mix with locals at the weekly market in the Yorkshire village of Kirkbymoorside. Continue to nearby Pickering and ride the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, a heritage railway and one of the busiest steam heritage lines in the world, through moors to the seaside town and port of Whitby. Visit the ruins of Whitby Abbey, located at the top of the East Cliff and where England’s earliest recognized poet, Caedmon, lived. The town itself has been featured in many literary works, including Bram Stoker’s Dracula. THE GRAND HOTEL & SPA (B,L,D)

  • day October 8


    Travel by standard train to Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland since at least the 15th century, and current home of the Scottish Parliament and the seat of the monarchy in Scotland. A center of education, finance and culture, Edinburgh boasts such outstanding historic sites as the Palace of Holyroodhouse and Edinburgh Castle, as well as an Old Town and New
    Town named together as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After lunch, walk along the Royal Mile, Old Town’s main thoroughfare, and learn about the intricate art of tartan weaving from a special guest expert. Dinner is on our own this evening. THE BALMORAL (B,L)

  • day October 9


    Enjoy early entry to Edinburgh Castle for a private tour. This historic fortress has served as both a royal residence and a military barracks. Its many roles today include housing the Scottish regalia, including the Scottish Crown Jewels, and several museums. After lunch, board the Belmond Royal Scotsman and depart for our rail journey among the rolling hills of Perthshire and the dramatic peaks and valleys of the Scottish Highlands. After dinner in one of the dining cars, over a wee dram, meet in the observation car with a local clansman who recounts tales that bring Scottish history to life. Our train remains stationary overnight at the quiet Boat of Garten station to ensure a peaceful night’s sleep on board. BELMOND ROYAL SCOTSMAN (B,L,D)

  • day October 10


    Visit the Rothiemurchus Estate this morning in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. This superb Highland estate offers stunning landscapes, including lochs, rivers and moorlands,
    and one of the largest remnants of the ancient Caledonian forest that once covered most of Scotland. Give claypigeon shooting or fly fishing a try, with the help of qualified instructors as needed, or opt to go on a tour of the estate. Return to our train for lunch, then stop in Inverness to visit Culloden Battlefield, site of the final confrontation of the Jacobite uprising of 1745–46, and the last pitched battle fought on British soil. Heading east toward Aberdeen, stop at the Strathisla distillery, Scotland’s oldest continuously operating distillery. Learn about the craft of whisky making and the art of blending during a tour of this beautiful facility. This evening, celebrate our railway adventure at an elegant formal dinner aboard our train. Our train stables overnight at the train station in Dundee. BELMOND ROYAL SCOTSMAN (B,L,D)

  • day October 11


    Travel by rail south through the former Kingdom of Fife and across the Forth Railway Bridge to Edinburgh. Disembark our train and visit the Palace of Holyroodhouse, historical home of the kings and queens of the Scots since the 16th century, set amid lovely gardens with State Apartments featuring ornate plasterwork ceilings and grand furniture, tapestries and paintings. Check in to our hotel and enjoy time at leisure before a festive farewell dinner. THE BALMORAL (B,D)

  • day October 12


    After breakfast, transfer to the airport for flights home. (B)

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