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Welcome to Railtrail Tours

A family firm with an ethos of honesty and integrity. Our passion for delivering quality escorted holidays by rail at great value fares along with consistently excellent customer service has stood us in good stead for over 40 years.

Big on Quality, Small Enough to Care

01538 382323
Monday - Friday, 9am to 5pm

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The Grand Tour - Land's End to John O'Groats

Travel coast to coast from Land's End to John O'Groats, including many of Britain's great scenic rail journeys along the way. Explore England, Scotland & Wales on a one off, once in a lifetime, grand rail tour of mainland Britain!

View Dates & Book

12 days from £2949

 

DEPARTS

Thursday 5 September 2024

 

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Relax in Falmouth, Cornwall

  • Visit Land’s End & Cape Cornwall

  • Marvel at the Welsh Highland Railway & the Ffestiniog Railway

  • Enjoy the Llangollen Steam Railway & a Canal Cruise

  • Unwind in the heart of the Scottish Highlands at Bridge of Orchy

  • Steam across Glenfinnan Viaduct on the Jacobite Steam Train

  • Take in the lovely scenery through the Great Glen alongside Loch Ness

  • Stay at the original Railtrail Tours hotel, the Palace in Inverness

  • Enjoy Sir Michael Palin’s original ‘Great Railway Journey’ on the Kyle Line

  • Touch the top of the country at John O’Groats

 

Also included in your Tour Fare:

  • Dinner every evening plus 1 light lunch

  • Rail travel & seat reservations from your Home Station to Tour Base (Standard or First Class)

  • Services of experienced Railtrail Tour Manager

  • Hotel Porterage

 

 

DAY 1

We arrive in Cornwall in Falmouth for three nights at the fabulous Royal Duchy Hotel. Here we check in and relax ahead of dinner together.

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DAY 2

We begin our excursions by travelling through charming, unspoilt Cape Cornwall en route to Land's End, the westernmost point of Cornwall and England. Our round trip then continues, calling in at the lovely fishing village of Mousehole, before returning to Falmouth.

B, D

DAY 3

A leisurely day allows you to relax in Falmouth.

B, D

DAY 4

We head to Falmouth station which marks the beginning of our adventure northwards. Travelling in the class of your choice once we reach the main line, we cross through Cornwall into Devon, cruising by rail alongside the famous sea wall at Dawlish. Heading through the Southwest, we travel through the beautiful Heartland of England changing trains at Birmingham New Street. At Chester we make our way to the lovely Mill Hotel & Spa where we will be based for three nights.

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DAY 5

Our coach transfers us along the North Wales Coast to Caernarvon, where we board the magnificent Welsh Highland Railway for a steam hauled rail journey climbing into Snowdonia, twisting around forests to Beddgelert and through the much treasured beauty of the Aberglaslyn Pass. At Porthmadog we enjoy some free time for lunch before we embark on the Ffestiniog Railway for a narrow-gauge steam adventure, climbing inland to the unique landscape of Blaenau Ffestiniog.

B, D

DAY 6

We make the short journey by road to the Llangollen Canal, where we take a breathtaking aerial cruise across one of the 'Seven Wonders of the Canals', the spectacular Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Crossing 126 ft above the River Dee, it is the highest and longest aqueduct in Britain and a World Heritage site. We continue to Llangollen for a little free time to look around the delightful town before a heritage diesel train ride along the beautiful Dee Valley.

B, D

DAY 7

Our journey north continues in the class of your choice via the West Coast Mainline into Glasgow. Here we continue in Standard Class on the first section of the West Highland Line, dubbed one of the world's greatest railway journeys. The first part of the rail journey is dominated by wonderful watery landscapes, as we skirt the Firth of Clyde, Loch Long and Loch Lomond, before climbing into the western Highlands to Bridge of Orchy, where we spend two nights at the beautifully renovated Bridge of Orchy Hotel.

B, D

DAY 8

We transfer to Fort William to join the famous "Harry Potter" Jacobite Steam Train to Mallaig. Glenfinnan Viaduct, Bonnie Prince Charlie's monument and Loch Shiel are viewed before bursting out onto the Atlantic coastline of golden white sands with distant views of Rhum an Eigg. Enjoy time in Mallaig with views across the sea to Skye.

B, D

DAY 9

Leaving Bridge of Orchy behind, we transfer through the dramatic Great Glen, alongside serene Loch Ness, on our way to Inverness for a three night stay at the Palace Hotel.

B, D

DAY 10

This morning's excursion completes a wonderful coast to coast odyssey, travelling northwards through stunning coastal Sutherland and into Caithness for a visit to John O'Groats, the furthest inhabited place on mainland Britain from Land's End, which lies some 874 miles away. Today we also visit a traditional Highlands distillery before returning by road to Inverness to reflect on a tour crossing three countries between the two farthest points, with a host of new and exciting experiences in between.

B, D

DAY 11

Our final excursion, the original of Sir Michael Palin’s "Great Railway Journeys of the World", the Kyle Line to Kyle of Lochalsh, awaits today. Another journey of a lifetime, the Kyle Line connects Scotland coast to coast across great mountain plateaus before the wonderful coastline emerges, with Skye’s brooding Cuillin Mountains in the distance. Here we enjoy a light lunch at the Kyle Hotel before retracing our steps to Inverness.

B, L, D

DAY 12

Today our Railtrail grand tour concludes as we make our homeward journeys, our cameras filled with coast to coast adventures.

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B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

HOTELS

Royal Duchy Hotel, Falmouth

Set on landscaped grounds with panoramic views of Falmouth Bay, this chic hotel was built in 1893 and is one of Falmouth’s first hotels. The en-suite rooms here all feature free Wi-Fi, flatscreen TV, dressing gowns, and tea/coffee making facilities. You may wish to unwind in the hotels indoor heated pool or sauna.

 

Mill Hotel & Spa, Chester

Situated along the side of the Shropshire Union Canal, the Mill Hotel is a comfortable hotel. Guest rooms offer amenities such as a flat screen TV, private bathroom with shower/tub, complimentary toiletries, hair dryer, and free Wi-Fi. The hotel also has a gym, swimming pool, spa facilities, and guests can enjoy dining in the restaurant or relax in bar & lounge.

 

Bridge of Orchy Hotel, Bridge of Orchy

Situated on the West Highland Way, overlooked by mighty Beinn Dorain mountain, the recently renovated Bridge of Orchy Hotel occupies a position of remote, untouched beauty. The hotel has 32 comfortable bedrooms (some of which are located in an annex building), an elegant restaurant, a traditional bar, and a library lounge.

 

Palace Hotel & Spa, Inverness

Overlooking the River Ness, just a short stroll from the city centre, this hotel has well-appointed bedrooms with hospitality tray, radio, TV, and free Wi-Fi. The hotel offers a stylish bar and restaurant, relaxing lounge and superb newly refurbished leisure club with indoor swimming pool, sauna, steam room, jacuzzi, and gymnasium.

 

FARES

Fare Region

First

Standard

London: Out - Paddington, Rtn - Kings Cross

£3,205

£3,105

Greater London

£3,225

£3,115

South of England

£3,249

£3,129

East Anglia

£3,259

£3,135

South West

£3,239

£3,105

Heart of England

£3,269

£3,135

Midlands

£3,269

£3,115

Yorkshire

£3,309

£3,129

North East

£3,305

£3,139

North West

£3,269

£3,119

South Wales

£3,415

£3,149

North Wales

£3,299

£3,135

Scotland

£3,315

£3,139


*Please note: Some local and regional train services are Standard Class only, so First Class ticket holders will travel in standard class accommodation for these sections of journeys.

 

£10 tour discount for holders of National Railcards

 

Join & Leave at Hotels £2,959

 

Single Room Supplement £699

 

First Class Supplement for standard and tour base passengers (for rail during the tour where first class seating is available) £149

 

11 nights’ bed, breakfast & table d’hôte evening meal plus 1 light lunch

Rail travel & seat reservations from your Home Station to Tour Base (Standard or First Class)

Rail & coach travel, with transfers as described

All excursions & admissions as detailed

Services of experienced Railtrail Tour Manager

Hotel Porterage

 

Important – Please select the number of passengers before proceeding to ‘Book Now’

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Railtrail Tours Limited
21 The Smithfield Centre, Leek
Staffordshire Moorlands, ST13 5JW
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