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Train tours.

I reserved 5 days with Vacations by Rail -Highland Adventure. Starts in Inverness, day trips on the Jacobite Steam Train, The Kyle Lin, & Strathspey Steam Railway. I love old trains. Many scenes look like Harry Potter locations. This is not a recommendation, just a suggestion.

Posted by
13666 posts

Oh my. I've seen this company discussed often on the Trip Advisor Train Travel forum and the comments are usually complaints. They are, generally, complaints about rail packages within the US and perhaps your trip will be fine since it's Scotland and the parent company is a UK company, Great Rail Journeys. They were not good to their customers during the pandemic according to the complaints. I do not have personal experience with them.

If you've just booked, I'd be sure to read the fine print in your contract regarding cancellations, what they do in the event of train strikes (do the day trips by coach??), another pandemic, etc.

I'm not wanting to burst your bubble of excitement but just want you to make sure you know what you are getting.

Posted by
1771 posts

Pam - Reviews of the company on Trust Pilot are a lot more positive than the thread I read on Trip Advisor and have much more recent reviews too. Many of the trip Advisor comments were written during the Covid lockdowns when conditions were very different to now. I also wonder how many of the 1 or 2 posters had taken out travel insurance?

I don't understand the comments about stopping in the same place... Inverness is within easy reach of all three railways mentioned and I can't see the point of changing hotels just for the sake of it...

The Strathspey Steam Railway is a heritage railway and won't be affected by rail strikes. The Jacobite Steam Train is run by West Coast Railways, who run stream specials.

Sounds a great trip to me and the Kyle Line is specatacular, as is the trip by road. Don't let the gainsayers put you off!

Posted by
32272 posts

Hardly a tour stopping in one place.

Is Rick Steves Best of London Tour not a tour? Or the Best of Paris Tour not a tour?

Interesting view

Posted by
49 posts

Sounds like a lot of fun! I would do this on our 2023 trip if we had more time in Scotland. We are doing the Jacobite train one day, though. Can't wait!

Have fun!

Posted by
15 posts

After looking at the comments: I want to add it is daughter's 1st trip to Europe. She only gets 2 weeks off work. What to do in such a short time? Decided on Edinburgh & the Rail Vacation Tour. My husband & I have made many trips to U.K. best was motorcycling in the Highlands. We froze, it rained, learned about black ice. is also one of our favorite destinations. I am also 83 years old widower, not as easy to get around.

Posted by
1771 posts

Don 't be put off by negative comments - it sounds an ideal tour. In fact I'm doing something very similar this summer using a local coach company but stopping in Newtonmore. Steam mad grandson is VERY envious!

Posted by
89 posts

I was just looking at this tour today as my husband and I have 5 days to spend in Scotland next year and we have heard driving there is not recommended….interested to see the comments on this as well. :)

Posted by
2938 posts

Looks like an adventure to me. Different strokes for different folks.

On a related note, we also sometimes base ourselves in a hotel and daytrip out. Iceland was ideal for that. I don't know, but it's nice once in awhile not to haul luggage around every day.