It starts with the tip of a hat of a smiling conductor, and the classic comforts of a luxury train car. A rich single malt whisky paired with the exhilarating stories of a Scottish highlander. The rousing notes of a local fiddler and the soothing rhythm of a gliding train. The Belmond Royal Whisky Journey is a voyage marked by moments of awe and indulgence. It’s a four-night escape through the Scottish Highlands, and into an era of the past.
Landscapes & Seascapes
The Belmond Royal Scotsman train follows historic railway lines through rolling hills and fishing villages along the coast of the Kingdom of Fife, past Kyle of Lochalsh and the Torridon Mountains, and through the heart of the Speyside whisky region.
A Cast of Characters
From the knowledgeable Whisky Ambassador to the local highlander, a cast of lively Scots provide nightly entertainment. The tartan-clad crewmembers have been known to pull guests to their feet for a round of Scottish traditional dance at the Dundee Station.
Whisky Through the Ages
It’s no coincidence that this Belmond journey is partnered with the Scotch Malt Whisky Society – specialists in single cast, single malt whiskies. The trip is demarcated by a welcome dram at the Balmoral Hotel before departure, and a visit to the Scotch Malt Whisky Society headquarters to finish the journey. In between, tastings and tours at the iconic Glen Ord, Glenlivet and Tullibardine distilleries offer an experience to remember for whisky aficionados and apprentices alike.
Enchanting meals, accompanied by a range of fine wines, liqueurs and (of course) whiskies, are more than just an inclusion in this trip. They are a foundation for the experience of luxury train travel. Meals are served in the elegant Dining Car and abound in cultural inspiration, whether it’s Scottish breakfast, Mallaig scallops, Aberdeen Angus Beef or orange shortbread.
The Whisky Journey is about more than just whisky. The trip includes multiple opportunities to detrain and explore the countryside. Perhaps the most unique of these escapades is a visit to the Rothiemurchus Estate in Cairngorms National Park. Enjoy a tour of the estate, or try your hand at the traditional Scottish pastime of clay pigeon-shooting.
Observe & Unwind
The delightful Observation Car, with its inviting ambience and open-air veranda, is the perfect spot from which to take in the hills and lochs of the Scottish Highlands. A word of warning – once you’re settled in, you may find it tough to leave…especially when the clock rolls round to the hour for aperitifs!
With only 40 guests on board, it doesn’t take long for passengers to become friends. Take a shared passion for adventure and add fine whisky and live entertainment, and you’ll end up with memories to last a lifetime. After all, experiences are best shared.
A place to pause during the day for a moment of reflection; to refresh before an evening of delectable fare; to rest in comfort when the train is stabled in a quiet siding or station overnight.
Rejuvenation on the Rails
The train’s brand new Bamford Haybarn Spa is literally one of a kind. The spa’s serene décor is inspired by the Scottish countryside and designed with sustainability in mind. Choose from a collection of planet-friendly Kure Bazaar polishes - made of 85% natural ingredients - that will remind you of a spa getaway unlike any other.
An Iconic Travel Experience
Like the Scotch whisky on board, the Belmond Whisky Journey is steeped in the wild history of the Scottish Highlands. Let the Royal Scotsman carry you back to a time when travel was a luxurious novelty; not so much about the destination, but the journey itself.
All images courtesy of Belmond.
More Like This
Exploring Iceland's Westfjords by Campervan
I’m lying flat on my belly, spreading my weight evenly over the unstable ground at the edge of the cliff, the ocean raging violently below. The fierce Icelandic wind tugs at me as if it wants to throw me off the cliff, swirling in every direction, but I don’t budge.