This dreamy trip explores the Scottish Highlands by steam train and boat

·2-min read
Photo credit: Shutterstock
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Always wanted to experience the Highlands' most awe-inspiring sights on a steam train in Scotland?

The Scottish Highlands are a mystical place, where majestic mountains sit next to tranquil lochs, possessing an undisturbed beauty that has inspired poets, artists and musicians for centuries.

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It's for this reason that Country Living is bringing you an unforgettable trip through some of its most beautiful locations via a Scotland steam train experience this summer.

What can you expect from the 2021 trip?

Sail to the Falkirk Wheel, the world’s first rotating boat lift

Beginning at New Port Downie you will sail to the Falkirk Wheel, the world’s first rotating boat lift.

Photo credit: Shutterstock
Photo credit: Shutterstock

A marvel of modern engineering, first opened by the Queen in 2002, it will raise you gracefully from the Forth & Clyde to the Union Canal in just four minutes.

Travel down the Union Canal to a lovely spa hotel

After sailing down the Union Canal you will arrive at your accommodation for the next three nights, the stately, four-star Macdonald Forest Hills Hotel & Spa.

Photo credit: Adrian Wroth
Photo credit: Adrian Wroth

Pamper yourself in the hotel’s spa or relax on the terrace, and enjoy one of the finest views in the country, gazing across Loch Ard to Ben Lomond. As well as breakfast, you can also look forward to dinner served with wine each evening in the hotel’s impressive dining room.

Jacobite steam train from Fort William to Mallaig, via Glenfinnan viaduct

One of the highlights of this steam train holiday to Scotland is taking the Jacobite train from Fort William. You'll pass by the slopes of Ben Nevis and over the spectacular Glenfinnan Viaduct (as seen in the Harry Potter films), to Mallaig, a quaint harbour town where you can enjoy a seafood lunch at one of its charming portside eateries.

Photo credit: Hans Georg Eiben - Getty Images
Photo credit: Hans Georg Eiben - Getty Images

Be sure to leave room for dessert though, as champagne and chocolates will be served on your return journey aboard the Jacobite.

Climb aboard the SS Waverley

The final two days of the trip will be spent on water, first aboard the SS Waverley – the last ocean-going paddle steamer plying its trade on the River Clyde. Built in 1946, the boat is powered by an immense 2100 horsepower steam engine and is a truly unique way to explore this corner of Scotland.

Photo credit: Brightwater
Photo credit: Brightwater

The following day will be whiled away on Loch Katrine, crossing its peaceful waters on the steam ship Sir Walter Scott, taking in the serene and unspoiled landscapes from its deck.

How to experience a steam train holiday in Scotland

Travel on the Jacobite train and experience your own Highland adventure this summer with Country Living.

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Alternatively, you can join weather presenter Carol Kirkwood on a Scottish steam adventure in the Highlands this October.

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