West Highland Line Experience

  • Jacobite-Glenfinnan-viaduct

    The Jacobite Express, more famous for some as the "Hogwarts Express"!

  • WCRC2

    The West Highland Line was voted world's best rail journey by 'Wanderlust' magazine

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    Your train journey passes the silvery beaches used in the films 'Local Hero' & 'Highlander'

  • RK-Jacobite-Express--2

    Enjoy a first class return trip to Mallaig

  • VS-ES_11779

    Sample magnificent west coast scenery

  • KDL-Old-Pines-2015

    The welcoming family-run hotel

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    Magnificent scenery throughout the journey

The West Highland Railway Line is renowned world over for its engineering and glorious scenery, with a route that brings new and stunning views at every turn.   Indeed the line from Glasgow to Mallaig has recently been voted the World's best rail journey, by readers of the travel Magazine "Wanderlust".

Our unique holiday combines a fabulous day trip in first class on the Jacobite Express steam train, that runs on the final section of the line, from Fort William to Mallaig, with two nights at a small, family-run hotel in the highland village of Spean Bridge.

This holiday is a great way to celebrate special occasions, such as landmark birthdays or anniversaries.

Your Hotel

With views toward Ben Nevis, your hotel has a popular restaurant serving organic, home-cooked food and has comfortable but informal accommodation.  On arrival, you will be greeted with fresh tea and home-made scones.  Settle into your room to unwind, or take a stroll down the quiet country lanes for amazing views of Ben Nevis, Loch Lochy and the Great Glen and work up an appetite for dinner.  There are comfy sofas and cosy corners in the sitting rooms, with a library of books begging to be looked at and, when the need arises, real fires to warm your toes.  This is a perfect haven for a relaxing break whatever time of year, where the pace of life slows the minute you arrive.

The hotel is around a mile from the rail station - and we will arrange both pick up and drop off for you as required.  There are many walking trails close to the hotel, including the Great Glen Way, as well as the famous and impressive Commando memorial.  Fort William is only 17 minutes away by train.

Steam Train Trip

You will need to catch the morning train from the small local station to catch the special steam train departure, and can return to your hotel by train at the end of the day.

Regularly described as one of the great railway journeys of the world, this 84 mile round trip takes you past a list of impressive sites.  It starts near the highest mountain in Britain (Ben Nevis), visits Britain's most westerly mainland railway station (Arisaig), then passes close by the deepest freshwater loch in Britain (Loch Morar), and the shortest river in Britain (River Morar) and finally arrives next to the deepest seawater loch in Europe - Loch Nevis.  The train leaves Fort William at 10:15 am and returns to Fort William at 4:00 pm with an hour and a half in Mallaig.  It's a great way to spend the day!

The train stops en route to Mallaig at the village of Glenfinnan where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his standard in 1745. After crossing the world famous 21 arch Glenfinnan viaduct - used in the Harry Potter movies - there are wonderful views down Loch Shiel.  The stop here is long enough for you to stretch your legs and visit the museum in the station buildings.

Beyond are the villages of Lochailort, Arisaig, Morar and Mallaig.  On a clear summer's day from Arisaig you can see the "Small Isles" of Rum, Eigg, Muck, Canna and the southern tip of Skye.  The train passes Morar and the silvery beaches used in the films "Highlander" and "Local Hero".

The final destination is, of course, Mallaig - not only an access point to the Isle of Skye by ferry but also a thriving fishing community.  There is plenty to see and do while in the village and you have time to explore before the return journey to Fort William.

This holiday is based just outside the West Highland village of Spean Bridge, and you can choose to travel here by road, or follow the length of the West Highland Rail Line, starting at Glasgow.

Indeed you can also take the Caledonian Sleeper Service from London.

We can arrange train tickets from any UK mainline station as well transfers between the station and hotel.


£290 per person for May, June & September, £280 per person for October, and £300 per person for July & August.  These are based on 2 people sharing a double/twin room ensuite for 2 nights on a dinner bed & breakfast basis. Children sharing a family room start from £135 per child, including children's tea.  The supplement for a single traveller, in a double room on single occupancy is £15 per night.

Price includes a first class day return on the Jacobite Steam train.  We can also arrange for return rail travel on the West Highland Line from Glasgow to Spean Bridge for an additional £65 per person.

You can also choose to stay an extra night at the hotel and explore more of the local area for £68 per person per night (BB).

All our touring holidays include a map of Scotland with recommended routes from your specified starting point, suggestions on places to see and visit depending on your personal interests and our expertise to help you get the most from your holiday.

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

The McKinlay Kidd Guarantee

All our holiday prices include a service charge of £8 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.

Check availability for: West Highland Line Experience

In 2016, the Jacobite steam train operates from 9th May until late October, Monday to Friday, and at weekends from 18th June to 18th September.
The last departure date for this holiday in 2016 will be Sunday 23rd October.
First class always sells out and the whole train is often fully booked in advance, so please do contact us as soon as possible to secure your seats for this wonderful trip.

To check the latest availability for this holiday complete the form below or call us on 0141 308 8009 from the UK, or toll-free from USA & Canada 1 866 922 8538 and +44 141 308 8009 for all other countries.

We will respond to you within one working day. Please note that we do not offer online availability because all our holidays are planned and booked individually.

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  • Perfect. Wonderful service and experience from beginning to end. The information provided in advance by the Company was very helpful and accurate.

    - Janet, John & Marion, London
  • McKinlay Kidd took care of everything. We did not have to worry about a thing. The location of the hotel is perfect with something to see, visit and explore in every direction. We will certainly see what McKinlay Kidd have to offer the next time we are looking for a short break in Scotland.

    - Kathleen & Robert, Galashiels
  • Thank you McKinlay Kidd for all your arrangements, especially Victoria.

    - Sandra & John, Kilmarnock
  • Everything worked out exactly as described in the itinerary. The hotels were excellent, the train journeys were well planned the information given and the maps were very useful and informative. The timings and the literature to go with the holiday were excellent, everything happened as it was written including the train seats. Brilliant.

    - Angela & Khurshid, Warwickshire
  • I would recommend this trip to anyone and everyone and I hope to do it again, but I'm not waiting that long again. Every single aspect made this trip so very special and memorable.

    - Malcolm & Catherine, Airdre
  • The pre-trip pack was exceptional. Every detail was sorted. "Robert's tips" for the day at leisure were very helpful.

    - Nina & Mike, Derby
  • Very impressed with the way you took our requirements on board and gave us a personal itinerary.

    - David, Hampshire
  • Very impressed. Liked travel pack of documents especially.

    - Julie, Gloucestershire
  • Just to say thank you so much for arranging such an excellent holiday for me. It all went exactly to plan and the information you sent me was excellent. As is often the case, it was the attention to detail that made all the difference - I'll definitely be coming back.

    - Annette, Jersey
  • The steam train journey first class carriage was incredible. Unbelievable scenery. Magical experience

    - Barry & Jennifer, Cumbria

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