To join the 2-day Loch Ness, Fort William & Jacobite Steam Train tour you should arrive at 1 Parliament Square, Edinburgh by 0845h (8.45 am). Here you will meet your driver/guide and board your mini-bus.
Leaving Edinburgh, you’ll head towards the Highlands and stop to photograph the amazing Forth Railway Bridge. There will also be a stop at Dunkeld on the River Tay and you will have the chance to enjoy a woodland walk.
The tour continues through the breathtaking Drumochter Pass, and skirts the stunning peaks of the Cairngorm National Park, before pausing at the historic battlefield of Culloden. Here, in 1745, the Jacobites supporting Bonnie Prince Charlie made a last stand against the forces of the House of Hanover. (Admission to the battlefield site is not included in your tour price.) The Jacobite army was overwhelmingly defeated and Prince Charlie’s hopes of restoring the Stuart monarchy were dealt a fatal blow.
You will travel down the Great Glen and stop at Loch Ness, justly famous all over the world for its beauty and mystery. Here you can opt for a cruise on the waters of the loch (payable direct) or just choose to go ‘monster spotting’ from the shore.
The first day ends in Fort William, and you'll sleep at the Alexandra Hotel in the shadow of Ben Nevis and close to Loch Linnhe. The 3-Star Alexandra Hotel is in a convenient, central location and provides traditional Scottish hospitality. Dinner can be obtained in the hotel restaurant (payable direct) and in the evening you can relax by the warmth of the open fire in the refurbished front lounge areas. There is a lift, family rooms are available and WIFI internet access is available in all public areas on the ground floor of the hotel.
After breakfast (included in your tour price), you will take a short drive to catch the Jacobite Steam Train, and then you're off. This 2-hour journey from Glen Coe to Mallaig is one of the world's great train journeys and will take you past Britain's highest mountain, deepest loch, shortest river and most westerly station.
You'll cross the viaduct featured in the Harry Potter films and pass the Glenfinnan Monument where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his standard at the beginning of the 1745 Jacobite rising.
You can enjoy a delicious seafood lunch at Mallaig on the far west coast (payable direct) before re-boarding your mini-bus for the trip back to Fort William.
At Fort William you will turn south to spooky Glen Coe, site of the terrible massacre of the MacDonalds in the 17th century. Then experience the beauty of Rannoch Moor and Stirlingshire as you head for home.
When you get back to Edinburgh, you will be dropped at the starting point at 1 Parliament Square.