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Iona Abbey
Isle of Iona © VisitScotland

West Highlands, Iona & The Jacobite Guided Rail Tour

From £2095 per adult

Departure days

  • M
  • T
  • W
  • T
  • F
  • S
  • S

June — September

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This week-long small group rail tour takes you to some of Scotland's finest Highland and Island locations. Accompanied by an expert tour leader at all time. Maximum of 14 passengers per group. Places strictly limited.

Departure Dates:

18-Jun-2023 - Open for booking

23-Jul-2023 - Open for booking

24-Sep-2023 - Open for booking

Day one – Meet and greet in Glasgow

Arrive in Glasgow at your leisure- perhaps in time to explore the city. We'd be happy to arrange a couple of days in Scotland's largest city - just let us know.

Meet your fellow travellers and tour guide this evening for a welcome dinner held in the heart of the city.

Day two – The West Highland Line & Secrets of Kilmartin

Begin your journey along The West Highland Line from Glasgow. Tall buildings melt into open stretches of water and land. The rail track starts to climb and the scenery becomes distinctly Highland in nature. Less than an hour into the journey and Scotland has transformed.

The train splits at Crianlarich – the rear section disappears into moorland and heather, but your carriage moves westward to the coast, where the final destination is Oban. Alight here to board a minibus to Kilmartin Glen. We’ll take you on a walking tour into Prehistory in the company of an expert local guide. Learn of thousands of years of history in this special place.

Day three – The Atlantic Garden & Journey to Iona

Just a short walk from your hotel, spend the morning exploring Arduaine Gardens accompanied by the head gardener.

Later, return to Oban and board the Calmac ferry to The Isle of Mull. On arrival a small coach, private to the group, will take you to the south of the island and stop at a castle, home to Clan Maclean for generations. End the day with the short ferry ride from Fionnphort to Iona.

Day four – The Remarkable Island

Today you will embark on a boat tour to Staffa Island. Spend an hour wandering through green meadows atop the skerry - if the weather is right, you can also gaze upon the geological prowess of Fingal’s Cave. We’ll also keep a look out for puffins, dolphins and minke whales. Back on Iona, your guide will take you on a walking tour to the Abbey and the grave of Scotland's most misrepresented King.

Day five – Journey into the Highland Heart

Head back to Oban and board the train to Crianlarich. Watch Scotland’s changing beauty through the window while enjoying a packed lunch provided by your guide. From here, board the train to continue along the West Highland Line to Spean Bridge, where each bend in the track reveals a new panorama

Arrive at The Great Glen and take a guided walk with your tour leader to hear of the uprising begun with a bullet and the bagpipes not but a quarter mile from your hotel.

Day six – Princes & Jacobites

Take a morning coach tour of the West Coast. Stop at the Glenfinnan monument to hear stories of an ill-fated prince. Venture onwards to Mallaig, where you have time to explore at leisure before regrouping for your journey on the Jacobite Steam Train. Grab a photo, then hop aboard for what is sure to be a highlight of the trip, passing coastline and lochs before rising into the mountains. The iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct is sure to delight en route.

Day seven – The Final Line

Begin the day with your final trip on The West Highland Line. Spend the day in the company of newfound friends and maybe hear one last story from your guide. Arrive back in Glasgow with much greater knowledge of Scotland’s rich culture and history. Say fond farewells before continuing on with your travel plans. Do let us know if we can help with your onward journey.

The price includes:

  • Six nights in hand-picked accommodation on a B&B basis.
  • A welcome dinner in Glasgow and dinner every other night in each accommodation. One picnic lunch.
  • Rail travel from Glasgow to Oban on the West Highland Line, ferry travel from Oban to Craignure and Fionnphort to Iona, rail travel from Oban to Spean Bridge via Crainlarich, a journey on the Jacobite Express steam train from Mallaig to Fort William and rail travel from Fort William to Glasgow.
  • Walking tours of Kilmartin, Iona and Spean Bridge, a guided tour of Arduaine Gardens, a guided coach tour on the Isle of Mull, a boat tour to Staffa Island and a guided coach tour of Scotland’s West Coast from Spean Bridge to Mallaig.
  • Transfers as described throughout.
  • The services of McKinlay Kidd’s tour leader, accompanying the group and providing expert guiding and assistance throughout.

Not included:

  • Meals other than those described above
  • Drinks
  • Gratuities and tips

All accommodation is carefully-selected and researched by us, predominantly featuring small, family-owned hotels – contact us for more detailed information. We will do our best to accommodate room preferences subject to availability at individual properties.

Contact details

McKinlay Kidd
The Hatrack
144 St. Vincent Street
G2 5LQ
Boat Driver guide Small coach Train Walking
Small Group (1-16)
Castles History Island Hopping Landscapes Photography Walking

Tour prices


  • £2095 Per Adult
Book now

Prices are subject to change depending on season


Tour company information

McKinlay Kidd

Awarded AITO's Tour Operator of the Year in 2019 (Bronze), 2018 (Bronze) and 2016 (Gold), as well as Telegraph Travel's 'Best Specialist Tour Operator 2017' based on customer reviews, McKinlay Kidd has spent years exploring the country. They have stayed in, eaten at, driven through, sailed across, and visited everything they recommend so that your experience of Scotland is as good as it gets. McKinlay Kidd designs tailor-made short breaks, celebratory trips, long excursions, self-drive holidays and small group guided rail tours.

Opening times

Monday - Friday: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Saturday & Sunday: Closed

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