Rail itineraries – Scottish East Highlands Adventure

Perth - Inverness & Loch Ness

5 days

An unspoiled wilderness of mountains, glens, lochs and rivers, the Scottish East Highlands have to be seen to be believed. This 5 day Scottish East Highlands Adventure gives visitors a true taste of the rugged Scottish wilds.

For shorter trips, individual rail tickets can be booked in advance through the Trainline. For longer journeys, one of the easiest and most relaxing ways to explore Britain is with a BritRail Pass, which allows unlimited journeys and the freedom to explore. With so many things to see and do, 5 days is the ideal amount of time to experience the area’s unique attractions, while using a BritRail Spirit of Scotland Pass.

Start your journey

The best Highland holidays begin in Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh – a city bound to leave a lasting impression with its fairy-tale architecture and vibrant cultural life. From Edinburgh it’s a quick 1 hour 15 minute train journey to Perth but, if  starting out from London, it is possible to use a BritRail pass to take the overnight Caledonian Sleeper train to Perth or Inverness.

Things to do in Perth

Day 1 & 2

Perth

There are hundreds of years of history to uncover here as this city on the banks of the River Tay was once the capital of Scotland. Today Perth is known for its fantastic food scene, offering everything from pop-up experiences to fine dining feasts. Picturesquely positioned in the heart of the country, it’s also an ideal place from which to see the surrounding countryside.

 

Scone Palace

This splendid palace is integral to Scottish history as it was here that legendary kings of Scotland, Macbeth and Robert the Bruce, were crowned. The number 58 bus from Perth bus station takes just 10 minutes, followed by a 10-minute walk up the drive.

Website: Scone Palace

Balhousie Castle and The Black Watch Museum

Balhousie Castle is home to the treasures of Scotland’s oldest Highland regiment, The Black Watch, and hosts exhibitions exploring different aspects of military history. It is a 15-minute walk from the city centre.

Website: Balhousie Castle and The Black Watch Museum

Days 3-5

Inverness & Loch Ness

An early start is essential on the 2 hour 5 minute journey to Inverness. Some of Scotland’s most iconic attractions are to be found here, from the pretty pink Inverness Castle to the legendary waters of Loch Ness.

The small city is also a great base for adventure lovers, with plenty of opportunities for hiking, climbing and water sports in the mountains and lochs around. A three-night stay will give any visitor plenty of time to fully immerse themselves in all the activities on offer.

Check the times for Stagecoach buses and find the Citylink bus schedule here.

Things to do around Inverness & Loch Ness

Glen Ord Distillery

Just west of Inverness is this famous Scottish distillery, where tours offer the chance to sample its distinctively sweet, malty whisky. The train journey here from Inverness to Muir of Ord takes 20 mins, followed by a 15 minute walk.

Website: the the Glen Ord Distillery

Loch Ness Cruise

The beauty of Loch Ness can best be enjoyed on a cruise of Scotland’s most mystical and legendary lake, taking in the crumbling romantic ruins of Urquhart Castle, and the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition.

Book on the Visit Britain shop

Day trip to Isle of Skye

Taking a 10-hour day trip through the Scottish Highlands to the Isle of Skye is an experience in itself. Passing through glens and rugged mountain scenery, past Loch Ness, Broadford and the ruins of Eilean Donan Castle, before reaching the purple heather-swathed hillsides of Skye, gives the chance to see some of Scotland’s most stunning landscapes. On the way back to Inverness, the journey also gives the chance to see the Isle of Eilean Ban.

Website: Isle of Skye day trip from Inverness

Britrail Pass

For those exploring Britain by train, a BritRail Pass is the easiest and most cost-effective way to travel. For a single fixed price, pass holders can make unlimited train journeys around the whole country or a region of their choice. BritRail tickets are exclusive to overseas visitors so they will need to buy their ticket before they arrive in the UK.

Book on the Visit Britain shop