Combine a train journey from London with an adventure through the Lake District, a day in Edinburgh, and two nights amongst the landscapes of the Island of Arran.
Ullswater - The second largest lake in the English Lake District is famous for its sublime, tranquil beauty.
Aira Force Waterfall - A lovely stone bridge crosses the fabulously flowing waterfalls.
Windermere - You can choose to wander the shores or put on your sailing hat and go for a cruise.
Edinburgh – Scotland's Medieval capital city boasts spectacular architecture and fascinating history.
Culzean Castle - An 18th-century castle with beautiful grounds and gorgeously elegant rooms.
Robert Burns Country - Discover the locations that inspired Scotland’s most famous poet.
Brodick and Brodick Castle - A quintessential Victorian castle said to be haunted by a ‘Grey Lady’.
Isle of Arran Distillery - There used to be around 50 distilleries on Arran. But now, this is the only distillery keeping the tradition alive.
Machrie Moor stone circles - These prehistoric stone circles are the most famous archaeological sites on the Isle of Arran.
Mull of Kintyre Peninsula - Admire gorgeous coastal views in this hidden away part of Scotland.
This trip teaches you that ‘small is beautiful’.
You take the train from London to the little Lake District. The quaint walled lanes here appear too tiny to be good for anything but beautiful photographs.
After the Lake District, you venture to Edinburgh. This city feels more like a bustling old country town than a capital of a European country.
And finally, you visit Arran. They call this ‘Scotland in Miniature’, because you’ll find everything everyone loves about Scotland squeezed into this wee island.
So, if you like picturesque towns, hidden gems, and the little local things, join this tour and discover the Lake District, Edinburgh, and Arran.
You collect your train ticket at the London Euston Station and head north to the historic Cumbrian market town of Penrith. The town’s uniquely coloured castle played a key role in defending the border from its invading Scottish neighbours.
After arriving in Penrith and meeting your Rabbie’s Guide, you enter the Lake District National Park and travel along the northern shores of Ullswater. This lake is often described as England’s most beautiful lake, and it’s here we give you the chance to take a forest walk and see the mighty Aira Force waterfall.
You then travel towards Keswick, stopping outside the town to visit the mysterious Castlerigg standing stones, thought to have been built over 5,000 years ago and a hub of ancient pagan rituals.
You have a short journey into the lively market town of Keswick where you’re dropped off at your accommodation and free to explore the charming town. (**During July/early August this tour stays in Windermere).
After breakfast, you take in views of Ullswater as we head along country roads to its southern shores.
You continue further south and travel over the narrow and winding Kirkstone Pass towards the wonderful Windermere. Here you have the option to take a leisurely cruise on the Lake or eat lunch while enjoying sublime views of the surrounding scenery.
After lunch, you travel around the southern tip of Windermere and on towards Coniston Water. Your next stop is the picturesque conservation village of Hawkshead, where the poet William Wordsworth attended Grammar School.
After exploring the cosy village, you take the narrow country lanes north towards Grasmere, which Wordsworth described as “the loveliest spot that man hath found”.
There’s free time to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the Wordsworth Daffodil Garden by the River Rothy. In the late afternoon, you return to Keswick.
We pick you up from your accommodation and head for the Whinlatter Forest Park and over the Whinlatter Pass into the most dramatic landscapes the Lake District has to offer.
You journey along winding lanes, past the shores of Crummock Water and Buttermere, and towards the Honister Mountain Pass.
Stopping amongst the mountains you have the opportunity to enjoy the views of the old slate workings, where a small number of Cumbrians continue to make their living.
After refreshments, you continue through the forests of Borrowdale, passing Derwent Water, where there’s free time for lunch and shopping.
Once you’ve eaten lunch, you begin your return journey, heading towards Penrith and north towards the border. After crossing into Scotland you take a stop in the town of Biggar, a royal burgh since 1415.
It’s a leisurely drive through the rolling border hills to Edinburgh where you overnight.
Today is a free day to explore Edinburgh.
We think you should start with our included Edinburgh City Tour to familiarise yourself with the history, geography, and laugh-out-loud tales of the city.
And after that, what you do is up to you; You can venture deep under the city on ghost tours, hike to the lofty heights of Arthur’s Seat, or even just relax in the many beautiful gardens.
Just ensure you relax and prepare for your next part of your adventure.
Today you join a new bus for the continuation of your tour to Arran. With your new companions you travel past Glasgow and the Whitelee Wind Farm, Europe’s largest wind farm.
You then leave the modern landscapes and travel into Ayrshire to visit Culzean Castle. Here you have time to enjoy its dramatic cliff-top setting, beautiful architecture, and elegant living spaces. You can also have lunch in the cafe or take a picnic in the beautiful castle grounds.
Travelling towards Robert Burns’ birthplace, you discover the places from his poems and songs. You stop at the visitor centre in Alloway, where you can find out more about this remarkable man.
You continue to Ardrossan where you catch the ferry to the Isle of Arran. You’re dropped off at your accommodation in Brodick.
Arran is alive with wildlife, mountains, beaches, pubs, and restaurants. Depending on the weather and your group's interest; your driver guide will arrange the best day out for you.
You may explore the mountainous north of the island, some of Arran’s best beaches, Lochranza Castle, and the Arran Distillery.
Arran is also home to many stone circles dating from the Neolithic period and the early Bronze Age. You visit Machrie Moor and its six stone circles; and after exploring this area you travel south through the harbour villages of Blackwaterfoot.
Travelling back to Brodick you see The Holy Isle across the water, owned by the Samye Ling Buddhist Community.
You may make a stop at the Arran Cheese shop, a family-owned business that’s now famous all over the world.
At Brodick, we find Brodick Castle, and situated in the shadow of this imposing red sandstone castle is Arran Brewery. This microbrewery blends naturally with its stunning surroundings, combining the island’s unique water with the finest local ingredients. You can sample this ale in many of the local pubs and restaurants; a perfect way to round off your day!
You return to the mainland on the ferry running between Lochranza and Claonaig. This short 30-minute crossing takes you onto the Kintyre Peninsula.
You travel along the coastal road to the charming fishing village of Tarbert. The village sits on the narrowest strip of land between the two bodies of water, forming a natural harbour.
From Tarbert, you follow Loch Fyne toward the whitewashed village of Inveraray, where you have free time to explore and have lunch.
You continue over the ‘Rest and be Thankful’ mountain pass.
From here, it’s a short drive to Luss and the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond before returning to Edinburgh.
Once you've booked your tour, let us know if you want us to book this evening's Edinburgh accommodation.
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Our Rail & Trail journeys are a combination of two our tours. You have a break between the trips where you spend free time in Edinburgh.
You stay two nights in Keswick*, two nights in Edinburgh, and two nights in Brodick.(*During July/early August this tour stays in Windermere).
When you book online, there’s no option to select Edinburgh accommodation preferences.
But don’t worry, we’ll contact you once you’ve made your booking and give you an option to book Edinburgh hotel rooms with us. You’re welcome to book the accommodation we suggest or arrange your own Edinburgh overnights.
When you book online, we’ll ask you for your accommodation preferences and get to work making reservations on your behalf. You’ll pay your accommodation directly to hosts on tour (excluding Edinburgh). Most don’t accept credit cards, so be prepared to pay cash.
Changes to accommodation cannot be guaranteed and are subject to availability. An amendment charge will apply.
You’ll need to contact us with your accommodation details. Please only reserve accommodation within the overnight towns that your tour stops in. Your driver will drop you off at your chosen accommodation as long as it’s relatively central (excluding Edinburgh).
You may be liable for the cost of your first nights’ accommodation for each separate accommodation booked. If you cancel less than three days before departure, you may be liable for all your accommodation costs.
The prices below are for guidance only and exclude Edinburgh accommodation.
We try to reserve accommodation that’s no more than a 20-minute walk from the town centre. We regularly check our accommodation suppliers to ensure they reach a certain standard.
B&B (Bed and Breakfast) Standard
The toilet and showering facilities are shared with at least one other room in the house, and the price includes breakfast. The cost is £35 - £40 per person per night. A single standard room is £40 - £60 per night.
B&B En suite
The showering and toilet facilities are private, and breakfast is included in the price. The cost is £45 - £55 per person per night. A single en suite is £60 - £80 per night.
Hotels have a bar or restaurant and provide evening meals. Breakfast is included in the price. The cost is £70 - £85 per person per night. A single is £85 - £130 per night.
A hostel consists of dormitory rooms with 4 to 16 bunk beds. The bathroom facilities are a short distance from the dorm room. Kitchen facilities are equipped so you can make your own meals. The cost based on dorm beds is £19 - £25 per person per night.
Please note that SYHA hostels only offer same gender dorms. Some independent hostels will offer mixed rooms (males and females together).
Unlike our other London departures, you depart from London’s Euston Station. You’re then met by a Rabbie’s driver-guide and tour bus at Penrith Station.
Depending on where your London
accommodation is located, there are several ways to get the station. You can
easily access the station using the underground network, local buses, or a
Your train departs London’s
Euston Station at 9.30am. We recommend that you arrive at 8.45am. Whilst
London’s transport system is fantastic, it’s not immune to issues that cause
delays or cancellations. Trying to arrive early also gives you time to collect
your tickets and purchase refreshments before you board the train.
Your ticket is only valid on the 9.30am departure. If you miss this train, you will be responsible for purchasing new tickets for the next departure. The cost of a ticket on the day is over £100 per person.
Simply insert any credit or debit card into a ticket machine within the train station and enter your ‘collection reference’ number. We send you this number shortly after you book your tour.
If you have problems, please go to a ticket window with your booking confirmation and ask for help. You can also call the Virgin Business Helpdesk on 0121 2990259 for more information.
Station opening hours can be checked at http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/.
Please allow at least 20 minutes for ticket collection at stations.
In most cases, yes you have pre-assigned and reserved seats. The details of the seating reservation are provided in the ticket wallet. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask any of the Virgin Trains team for help.
If you booked your ticket within one week of departure, you may not have a seating reservation. If this is the case, you can choose from any of the unreserved seats on the train.
Yes, you can. Each train has a café on board which provides a limited selection of hot and cold drinks as well as snacks and light meals. If you require anything in particular, we recommend you pick up what you need from one of the various food and beverage outlets at Euston Station.
The platform changes every day. Please keep an eye on the departure boards in the main terminal. Your train is the 9.30am Glasgow Central train. The platform will be announced about 15 – 20mins before departure. The departure gates close five minutes before the train leaves, so please make your way to the train once you have seen which platform the train is departing from.
If your train is cancelled, your ticket is valid on the next departure at 10.30am, however you’ll not have reserved seats. If this happens, please contact the Rabbie’s customer service team on +44(0)131 226 3133, so we can advise the guide and ensure they’re there to pick you up at the new time.
The train takes three hours from London Euston to Penrith Station.
Your Rabbie’s driver-guide meets you at Penrith Station with other guests who started the tour in Edinburgh. Penrith Station is small and your guide will be easy to find. Due to traffic and unforeseen circumstances, the guide may be unable to meet you there immediately. But don’t worry, they’ll be there as soon as possible.
We want you to enjoy Britain and Ireland. And we believe the best way to do this is to get you off the mini-coach and out exploring. So, we give you plenty of time to take photos, go walking, and explore ancient ruins.
We exclude visitor attractions in your tour price because it lets you travel your way. It means you can pamper yourself with a luxury lunch or skip an attraction whenever you feel like it.
You don't need to. We stop in small towns, villages, and rural eateries where you can choose whatever meal pleases both your taste buds and your budget.
Let's be honest, our driver-guides would never refuse a cheeky bonus. But it's up to you, and the amount is entirely at your discretion.
We advise you take out travel insurance.
Travel the local way on small group tours of 16 people or less
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