Highland Railway Tour
Enjoy the scenic beauty of Scotland by rail. The Strathspey Railway – Scotland’s longest stretch of heritage rail - travels across central Scotland on a round trip from Aviemore to Broomhill passing through beautifully restored stations. On the West Highland Line, a modern train takes you on a journey across the wild Rannoch Moor via Crianlarich to Oban. The grand finale is a ride on the Jacobite steam train across the mighty Glenfinnan Viaduct.
- Ride on the Strathspey Railway from Aviemore to Broomhill, the longest heritage line in Scotland
- Enjoy views from Britain’s most scenic railway, the West Highland Railway
- Journey on the steam-hauled Jacobite service to Mallaig
- High-quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our country house
- The guidance and services of our knowledgeable HF Holidays Leader, ensuring you get the most from your holiday
- All transport on touring days on a comfortable, good-quality mini-coach
- All admissions to places of interest that form part of your holiday itinerary, excluding National Trust and English Heritage properties
You're welcome to check-in to your room from 2:30 p.m. onwards (upgraded rooms from 1 p.m.) Please join us for afternoon tea.
Today, we head across the beautiful central Highlands to the Strathspey railway, for a round-trip from Aviemore to Broomhill. This was once part of the Highland main line to Inverness but was bypassed and closed. At 10 miles it’s the longest heritage railway in Scotland and has some beautifully restored stations and beautiful views of the Cairngorms. Monarch of the Glen anyone?
One of the week’s highlights: a ride on the steam-hauled ‘Jacobite’ train from Fort William on the 1901 West Highland extension to Mallaig. The journey is incredibly scenic and takes in the spectacular viaduct at Glenfinnan and outstanding coastal scenery around Arisaig. We’ve time to explore Mallaig, a bustling fishing port.
Our Discovery Points help you make the most out of your free day. There’s plenty of maps and a selection of the best local walking routes, as well as weather forecasts and public transport options – plus details about other places to visit.
Today we'll see ‘The Jacobite’ crossing the swing bridge over the canal. We shall then take a train over the remote and wild Rannoch Moor to Crianlarich, where we change for the picturesque route to Oban. After some free time to explore Oban, we’ll return to the country house via the former railway bridge at Connel Ferry.
We start the day with a cruise along the long, narrow and deep Loch Shiel before dipping into Scottish history at the nearby Glenfinnan Monument, commemorating the 1745 Jacobite rising. The Nevis Range Gondola will take us up the lower slopes of one of Britain’s highest mountains with splendid panoramic views of Fort William, Loch Eil and, on a clear day, maybe even as far as the Inner Hebrides.
Passing spectacular Eilean Donan Castle on our way to Kyle of Lochalsh, we’ll then take the train to Inverness on a railway that was built to carry not only fish but the fishing boats too! On our return, we’ll travel through the rift valley of the Great Glen, parallel to the Caledonian Canal and beside Loch Ness, with plenty of opportunities to look for Nessie, the monster that lurks deep beneath the dark waters.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.
Situated in a stunning location on the shores of Loch Leven, Alltshellach is a stately Scottish house set amid a rugged landscape. The house is a picture of Highland solidity, with spectacular views of craggy mountains and grassy slopes beyond the loch. This pocket of domesticity lets you admire nature at your leisure though, sipping tea or G&T as you watch clouds scud across the sky. In fact, this one-time home of the Bishop of Argyll & the Isles has been recast as a hiker’s hotel, with an air of old-world splendour, excellent accommodation, a generous indoor pool, three lounges and a supremely cosy Highland Bar that’s well-stocked with local beer and whisky, all of which is (almost) enough to distract you from the vast vistas over the waters. But it’s the great outdoors you’re here for and the house is ideally situated for accessing the Mamores, the mountains of Glen Coe and tackling Ben Nevis as well as bagging munros and spotting local wildlife.
At the house
- Excellent boot and drying rooms
- Three lounges
- Multi-purpose ballroom
- Highland bar
- Free WiFi is available in some public rooms
- Range of board games and books
- Heated indoor swimming pool
- Extensive gardens with views and access to Loch Leven
All holidays at our Country Houses are full board accommodation including evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
- Start your day with our extensive breakfast
- Take your fill from our famous self-service picnic lunches
- A relaxed social dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses
Just relax and take it easy, or if you'd like to continue to chat with our guides and fellow guests then why not grab a drink or take part in one of our optional evening activities.
All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.
- Fire procedure is displayed in each room and explained to guests on arrival. Guests requiring assistance at an evacuation are identified at this time and door hanger cards are issued on request
- A small fridge is available for storing medication Good signage for fire escape routes
- One bedroom key issued per room (second key available on request)
- Assistance dogs accompanying visually or hearing impaired guests are welcome; dogs must be kept on a lead or harness at all times
- Information can be provided in large print
- Staff has had disability awareness training
Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi
There are 38 comfortable bedrooms, all in the main house, with a range of ‘Good’, ‘Better’ and ‘Best’ options to choose from. Rooms radiate cosiness thanks to little touches – a remedy for even the dreichest day. Those with a view are worth the extra spend, as you’ll be overlooking the gardens and loch. The Best rooms include Room 21, a spacious corner room with lovely views of Loch Leven, while Room 23 is a stately showstopper that was once the official Bishop’s bedroom, complete with original features and cracking views.
All ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ and ‘Best’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress, larger television, enhanced toiletries and a fluffy bathrobe & slippers – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-20 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply
Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, extensive gardens, heated indoor swimming pool, multi-purpose ballroom, library and board games to borrow
After a day exploring, return to the house and its specially tailored walkers’ facilities. Stroll the gardens that dip down to the loch. The small peninsula at the bottom of the lawns is called An Dunan and often becomes an island at high tide – look for prehistoric rock art cut into the slabs on its side. Make time too to plunge into the heated indoor swimming pool and do a couple of lengths under the watchful eye of the mountains through the panoramic windows. Inside the house, head for one of the communal areas: you’ll have three to choose from and can kick back, relax and catch up with other guests. Later, stop in the Highland Bar for a nip of whisky or a nightcap – the comfy seats make a fine spot for a dram and there’s a range of good single malts to choose from that’ll have you believing you’re living a laird’s life.
Food & Drink
As at all of our country houses, holidays are full board, from afternoon tea served as a welcome treat through that evening’s meal to a hearty breakfast on the day of departure. Lunch is a chance to stock up on our famous picnic snacks. Food at Alltshellach is full of Scottish flavours and focusses on locally sourced and seasonal produce. Once a week the dining room hosts a Local Food Night, when you might be treated to Cullen Skink Soup and a trio of smoked salmon, mackerel pate and steamed mussels with Highland oat cakes, while mains may include Highland game and ‘Barlotto’, a type of nutty risotto made from barley instead of rice. Finish off with a spoonful of Iron Brew Ice, chocolate and marmalade mouse and Atholl brose, a luxurious blend of honey, whisky and carefully selected herbs for a flavour of the Highlands.
For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865
What to Bring
To enjoy your holiday comfortably and safely, it’s essential that your clothing and footwear is suitable for the conditions likely to be encountered. Changeable weather is possible throughout the year, so our advice is to come prepared for all eventualities – hot, cold, wet or dry.
All of our Heritage Tours involve active sightseeing and you should, therefore, be prepared for walking between the sights and wear flat, comfortable shoes. In the evening most guests wear casual clothing. You will probably find a small rucksack or cross-body bag useful for carrying spare clothing, a camera, sun protection, and drinks during the day.
Please be sure to bring your National Trust or English Heritage membership cards if you have them - admissions to sites owned by these two organisations are not included in the price of your holiday. If you are a member of an organisation which has reciprocal arrangements with National Trust or English Heritage, do be sure to bring your membership cards too.
Chrissie Le Marchant
Chrissie grew up in Yorkshire and spent her early years exploring the North York Moors. Having obtained a degree in Geology and Geography, she spent the next few years working for an international mining company, prospecting in the West Country and gold mining in Africa, driving home overland from Johannesburg via India.
She spent the next few years raising children and working for two National Parks, Snowdonia and Dartmoor. After training as a teacher of design technology she returned to civil engineering building roads. Eventually she became a Blue Badge Tourist Guide and has worked in the West Country and southern England and all over Europe as a guide and tour manager.
As a ‘Deviationist’ on the Ffestiniog Railway she drove trains, tipped wagons and appeared on Blue Peter and has been leading railway holidays for several years.
Chrissie was superb and made the week memorable. She was super and very knowledgeable about everything.
Keith has been leading HF Holidays since 1998 in Britain and Europe. His interests include the landscape, geology and history of the areas he visits.
He has travelled extensively in Britain and Europe by train, visiting on his travels restored railways and navigable waterways.
He owns his own canal narrowboat and has cruised it on all the connected navigable waterways in England and Wales, as well as being involved in the canal restoration movement.
He looks forward to sharing his experiences with you.
All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £10 per person.
|Date (Start - End)||Nights||Itinerary||Price||Status||Trip Notes||Book|
06 Jun - 13 Jun
|7||Heritage Tour||£999 £939||Unavailable to Book Unavailable||Trip Notes|
13 Jun - 20 Jun
|7||Heritage Tour||£999 £939||Save £60 Per Person||Trip Notes||Book Now|
29 Aug - 05 Sep
|7||Heritage Tour||£999||Available||Trip Notes||Book Now|
7 nights from £999pp £939pp
...or call 020 3974 8865