We will travel back in time three centuries at a private reception inside The Georgian House, beautifully restored by the National Trust for Scotland. Outside of Edinburgh, we see magnificent estates and gardens, and explore the medieval Rosslyn Chapel, where the Knights Templar are said to have convened. Next, Lady Catherine Maxwell Stuart offers an exclusive tour of her 15th-century family home before we head to Scotland’s prestigious first university, St. Andrews, founded in 1413.
Aboard the Royal Scotsman, we will enjoy views of waterfalls, glens, and steep coastlines that visitors can access only from the vantage point of a rail car. We will marvel at the dramatic Isle of Skye, step off to view the legendary Glenfinnan Monument and go inside Mount Stuart, a Gothic Revival mansion with one of the finest privately held portrait collections in the country.
- Pricing from
- Trip Type
- Individual Travel Tour, International Land & Rail Voyages
- Departure Dates
- Sep 14, 2019 - Sep 23, 2019
An optional postlude is offered in Glasgow from September 23–26, 2019.
She is a specialist in the luxury arts of the Middle Ages with a particular focus on travel, trade, and cultural exchange among patrons and artists of the period. An alumna of Smith College and the University of Michigan, she organized the exhibition Pen and Parchment: Drawing in the Middle Ages in 2009 and was guest speaker at the Met’s first TEDTalks conference in 2015. She has been a visiting Museum Scholar at the Getty Research Institute, and has taught at the University of Sussex, the Institute of Fine Arts at NYU, and the Graduate Center at CUNY.
- day 1
Saturday, September 14
Depart for Edinburgh on an overnight flight.
- day 2
Edinburgh, Scotland Sunday, September 15
Arrive at the airport and transfer to the Waldorf Astoria-The Caledonian for early check-in. In the afternoon, stroll along the festive Royal Mile promenade to iconic Edinburgh Castle, where the British Isles’ oldest crown jewels are displayed. See the Royal Apartments of Mary, Queen of Scots and the 12th-century St. Margaret’s Chapel. Gather in the evening for a welcome drink and dinner.
- day 3
Edinburgh Monday, September 16
Visit the 16th-century Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen’s official residence in Edinburgh and the heart of royal Scottish history, best known for the bedchamber of Mary, Queen of Scots, located in the oldest section of the palace. At the Queen’s Gallery, admire rare furnishings, decorative arts, and paintings by the Old Masters. Across the street, see the modernist-style Scottish Parliament Building and its contemporary art collection inside. The afternoon is at leisure to perhaps go sightseeing at one of the city’s many cultural institutions, such as the Scottish National Gallery. Dinner is at a local restaurant. B, D
- day 4
Edinburgh Tuesday, September 17
Travel outside of Edinburgh for a guided visit to one of Scotland’s finest estates, the 17th-century Hopetoun House, surrounded by 150 acres of lush gardens. Have lunch at the Stables Tearoom before returning to Edinburgh for a leisurely afternoon exploring the city’s many pleasures. In the evening, peer into the life of a prosperous 18th-century family during a special private reception at the National Trust for Scotland’s Georgian House, designed by the Scottish Neoclassical architect Robert Adam. B, L, R
- day 5
Edinburgh Wednesday, September 18
Depart for a full day in Scotland’s Borders region. Begin at the magnificent 15th-century Rosslyn Chapel, known for its intricate stonework and ties to the fabled Knights Templar and the Freemasons. Drive to Traquair House, one of Scotland’s oldest inhabited residences, for an al fresco lunch followed by an exclusive tour led by Lady Catherine Maxwell Stuart, whose family has resided here since 1491. Continue to Abbotsford, the baronial estate of writer and poet Sir Walter Scott. Return to Edinburgh in the late afternoon for an evening at leisure. B, L
- day 6
Edinburgh Thursday, September 19
Travel to the V&A Dundee, Scotland’s striking new design museum on the waterfront in nearby Dundee. Then travel to St. Andrews, home to legendary golf courses and Scotland’s oldest university. Lunch is at St. Andrews Castle Course Clubhouse, overlooking the stunning St. Andrews Bay. Return to Edinburgh for dinner and a whisky tasting at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. B, L, D
- day 7
Edinburgh / The Royal Scotsman Friday, September 20
After a leisurely morning, transfer to Edinburgh Waverley railway station to board the Royal Scotsman. Enjoy breathtaking views of the famed Scottish Highlands as the train heads west. Sip afternoon tea while passing the tiny islands of Loch Lomond, and admire the waterfalls of Glen Falloch en route to the village of Spean Bridge, where the Royal Scotsman stops for the night. Gather in the Observation Car for a delicious informal dinner and entertainment. B, T, D
- day 8
The Royal Scotsman Saturday, September 21
Continuing west, catch stunning vistas of Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in the British Isles. Arrive at Arisaig for a stroll along the gleaming Morar Sands, and view the Isle of Skye’s majestic Cuillin Mountains. Eat lunch en route back to Fort William, the largest town in the West Highlands, and gather at the legendary Glenfinnan Monument for a presentation about the area’s history. You may choose to visit Inverlochy Castle for afternoon tea, or stop at Glen Nevis to admire the spectacular Steall Waterfall, second highest in Scotland. Return to the train for dinner and a nightcap while enjoying the entertainment in the Observation Car. B, L, D
- day 9
The Royal Scotsman Sunday, September 22
Today, do some sightseeing on the charming Isle of Bute, enjoying its landscapes, history, and wildlife. Walk through Mount Stuart, a Gothic Revival mansion with one of the finest privately held collections of family portraits in Scotland. A formal farewell dinner is served on board as we travel to Kilmarnock, our stopover destination for the evening. B, L, D
- day 10
The Royal Scotsman / Edinburgh / Return Monday, September 23
Relax during a leisurely breakfast as the train makes its way back to Edinburgh. Transfer to the airport for an afternoon flight back home.
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