Holiday inspiration currently loading...

Grand Tour of Scotland by Train

Travel by Rail Along The Spectacular West Highland Line

Best Time To Go

Apr - Oct

Why not...

upgrade to a castle stay in the Scottish highlands?

Prices From


No of Nights


Travel by Rail Along The Spectacular West Highland Line

Grand Tour of Scotland by Train

Best Time To Go

Apr - Oct

Why not...

upgrade to a castle stay in the Scottish highlands?

Prices From


No of Nights


A leisurely self-guided fortnight touring Highlands and islands, featuring spectacular rail journeys & authentic experiences beyond the train line.

This comprehensive and sustainable 14-night rail holiday is carefully designed to allow plenty of two night stopovers. Take in the dramatic beauty of the West Highlands including spiritual Iona, the rugged charm of Skye, the delights of Inverness, the prehistory of Orkney and the magnificent scenery of the Cairngorm mountains. Enjoy the romance of train travel including the Jacobite steam train when possible as well as trips by boat and ferry – after all, even we can’t arrange a railway journey over the sea!

You’ll spend time in the company of expert local guides exploring the Isles of Mull and Iona, plus Skye and Orkney. On your rail journeys you’ll have the chance to interact with locals going about their daily lives – a great chance to get right under the skin of the areas you’re visiting. The places you’ll stay have all been carefully selected by McKinlay Kidd to ensure a hospitable welcome and comfortable rest.

This meticulously planned journey is the ultimate leisurely and stress-free way to experience the Highlands and islands of Scotland. You really do have the best of both worlds: your own independent trip but with the support throughout of our local knowledge and years of expertise.

You could spend a month juggling maps, timetables and guidebooks without coming anywhere near the company’s expertise and astute choice of stopovers, hotels and guest housesIt has been a truly grand “grand tour”.  Stephen McClarence, The Times.

Holiday Details

Expand All

Day One – West Highland Line to Oban

Day Two – Three Isles Tour to Mull, Staffa and Iona

Day Three – West Highland Line to Spean Bridge

Day Four – Find your Highland Soul

Day Five – Glenfinnan Viaduct & Over the Sea to Skye

Day Six – Uncovering Skye in Local Company

Day Seven – Picturesque Plockton

Day Eight – Take the Kyle Line to Inverness

Day Nine – Nessie and More

Day Ten – Venture North

Day Eleven – Ancient & Modern History on Orkney

Day Twelve – Relax on your next Great Rail Journey

Days Thirteen & Fourteen – Highland Perthshire

Day Fifteen – Edinburgh

Sustainable Travel

This holiday is part of our ever-growing collection of public transport based trips, enabling you to reach destinations around Scotland without the need to drive. We feel strongly that true sustainability also means promoting and helping to maintain a way of life in areas where the economic benefit of tourism can make a genuine difference to the local community. That’s why we have selected locally-owned small accommodation and local guides for this holiday.


This car-free tour, based largely on the railway lines which traverse the Scottish Highlands, starts from Glasgow, then heads along the West Highland Line, with stops in Oban and Spean Bridge. Next by ferry to Skye, back to the mainland at Kyle, then via Plockton and Inverness to the far north coast and Thurso for a day-trip to Orkney, before returning South, through the Cairngorm National Park and a final stopover in Perthshire before ending in Edinburgh.

You can also start the tour in Edinburgh, rather than Glasgow. We will be happy to arrange overnight stays in either or both cities for you if desired.


£2895 per person for April & October, £2995 per person from May to September.

All prices based on two adults sharing a double or twin room for 14 nights, and includes 11 nights bed & breakfast, and three nights dinner, bed & breakfast in our hand-picked selection of three and four star small hotels and guest houses. The holiday also includes:

  • Train travel in standard class on the West Highland Line between Glasgow, Oban and Fort William, the North Highland Line between Kyle of Lochalsh and Inverness, return travel on the Far North Line between Inverness and Thurso, and between Inverness, Pitlochry and Edinburgh.
  • First class single journey on the Jacobite Express steam train, from Fort William to Mallaig, subject to availability – alternatively this journey will be by the Scotrail service train, with the difference in cost deducted.
  • Transfers to and from the train at all locations, except for Glasgow, Edinburgh, Oban & Inverness.
  • Ferry travel to Skye and Orkney.
  • Three Isles day-long group tour to Mull, Iona and Staffa from Oban. For October holidays an alternative boat trip will be offered. 
  • A day tour of the Isle of Skye in a small group.
  • A day tour in a small group to Orkney from Thurso.

The supplement for a single traveller is £1200, based on single occupancy of double/twin rooms.

We would also be delighted to assist with hotel reservations in Glasgow and Edinburgh from our selection of centrally located hotel options.

Before your departure, you will receive personalised holiday information including full directions, recommended routes, and suggestions on places to visit depending on your interests and our local knowledge to help you get the most from your holiday.

As porterage is not included in this largely self-guided holiday, and assistance at train stations is somewhat sporadic, we recommend packing just one manageable suitcase per person. Or speak to us if you require left luggage or baggage transfer services.

All itineraries and room types are presented subject to availability at specific hotels.

We work hard to make sure the unexpected doesn’t affect your trip. On rare occasions, changes or cancellations may occur, affecting accommodation, transport or excursions, including the Jacobite Express Steam Train. We are committed to informing you of any such circumstances and will use our knowledge and resources to offer suitable alternatives wherever possible.

Please note, the Jacobite Express Steam Train service is currently suspended, as of 20th March 2024. We are closely monitoring the situation and will provide travel via the Scotrail service along the West Highland Line as necessary.

You are requesting availability for

Grand Tour of Scotland by Train

This holiday can be arranged from April to October. In 2024, the Jacobite Steam train will run from the 28th March until the 25th October. Outside these dates the same route can be booked, but a standard train service operates.

Should you wish to travel at a different time of year or have specific requests, take a look at our full range of train holidays in Scotland or ask us to tailor-make a rail tour just for you.

Availability is individually checked for a hand-picked selection of smaller hotels, guest houses and other independent businesses, so please bear with us and we will respond in 1-2 working days.

Please note: All fields marked * are required

Your holiday details

Please select a date or 1-2 months if flexible

Number of Travelers*

Room preferences*

Further details
Personal Details

Other Details

To help us reduce spam, please tick the reCAPTCHA field.

If you are happy with the details you have provided above then click ‘Submit Form’ to send us your enquiry

Our Data Promise

We will hold your data securely within our organisation, McKinlay Kidd Limited. We use your data to prepare holiday proposals and to make bookings for you if you choose to go ahead. We also analyse data in order to develop and improve our products and our service in the future.

We only share data with business partners where it is necessary to fulfil our service. We will never share your data with third parties for marketing purposes. We will communicate with you from time to time about our products and services, similar to those currently featured on our website.

We will make it easy for you to opt-out of receiving communications, to check what data we hold on you or to request us to delete your data altogether.

If you only require a specific response to this enquiry and have no interest in receiving occasional information, news or offers from McKinlay Kidd in future, please email . View our Full Privacy Notice

Speak to us

or email us at:

Calling from elsewhere? 

Rail Touring in Scotland Guide

Download our handy guide with useful information and top tips on Rail Touring in Scotland.

Download the McKinlay Kidd 'Rail Touring in Scotland' Guide Download Now

The McKinlay Kidd Guarantee

All our holiday prices include a service charge of £9 per person per night towards the costs we incur in researching, planning and designing your holiday.

We guarantee to refund this service charge if you believe that arranging your holiday through McKinlay Kidd has not met your expectations for value. All we ask is that you write to us within 7 days of your return and explain your reason for claiming the refund. This will ensure that we can improve the experience for all our future guests.

Exploring ancient civilisations in Orkney

Exploring ancient civilisations in Orkney

Last month I was in Orkney for the first time. I have never been that far north before. I flew from Glasgow to Kirkwall, the main town, instead of tak...


Search For Holidays
Your holiday guaranteed Check availability


This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.