The Lake District, Edinburgh & the Isle of Skye
7 day Rail and Trail Journey

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See it all on this tour which blends the epic views of Skye with the quaint charms of the Lake District.

Tour map

Highlights

Film Locations
Mountains
Lakes
UNESCO Heritage Sites
Castles
National Parks
Boat Cruises
Nessie

Places you explore


Ullswater - The second largest lake in the English Lake District is famous for its sublime, tranquil beauty.

Aira Force Waterfall - Experience a roaring 65ft waterfall from a charming stone bridge.

Lake Windermere - You can choose to wander the shores or put on your sailing hat and go for a cruise.

Edinburgh – So much to see and do in Scotland’s capital city, probably the most dramatic cityscape in the world.

Eilean Donan Castle – An iconic and gorgeous 13th-century castle that once warded off Viking invasions.

Glencoe – Be moved by the sheer beauty and tragic tale of one of Scotland’s most famous landscapes.

Quiraing Mountain Pass – Skye’s outstanding geological stunner. These strange formations gave Skye its nickname, the ‘Winged Isle’.

The Old Man of Storr - This sharp pinnacle of rock bursts out the land and can be seen for miles around.

Loch Ness – This loch holds more fresh water than all of the lakes in England and Wales combined. But does it also hold the Loch Ness Monster?

Your journey

On this trip, you experience two opposing sides of Britain.

You go to the peaceful Lake District. Where little lanes curve through rolling meadows, sheep bleat to the rustling leaves, and lakes snuggle up to sedate mountains.

And then, after a little time spent in Edinburgh, things become more dramatic.

Because you travel to Skye. Where the western winds carve unbelievable mountains, the shores create sea-loving cultures, and the landscapes bombard your eyes with unforgettable views.

Join this trip and see Scotland and England’s quaint charms and larger-than-life landscapes.


Rail & Trail Journey

Travel from England to Scotland on this trip that combines a one-way train journey with two of our tours. Between the tours, you get free time in Edinburgh. Please see the itinerary for more details.

Tour Details

Starts
09:30 - London Euston Train Station, Kings Cross, London NW1 2DU
*Train times may vary a little. We'll email you your exact departure time before your tour. **Due to events in London this October, we suggest leaving extra time getting to our departure point. Be sure to check for delays to public transport services in advance of your tour.
Finishes (approx.)
19:00
Luggage
You’re restricted to 14kg (31lbs) of luggage per person. This should be one piece of luggage similar to an airline carry-on bag (approximately 55cm x 45cm x 25cm / 22in x 17in x 10in) and a small bag for onboard personal items.
Discounts
  • Children between 5 and 15 (unfortunately, we don't carry children under 5 years old)
  • Students, and seniors over 60
Important information
  • Pack your waterproof clothing and walking shoes
  • After booking your tour, we'll contact you about your train journey
  • This tour combines two of our trips and a free day in Edinburgh. This means you swap your bus and guide during the journey.
  • Accommodation in Edinburgh sells out fast. But don't worry; when you book your tour, you can ask us to reserve everything for you
Tour inclusions
  • Transportation by a 16 seat Mercedes mini-coach
  • Air conditioning as standard
  • The stories and services of an English-speaking driver-guide
  • A one-way train ticket from London to Penrith
  • Edinburgh City Tour
Tour exclusions
  • Entry fees to visitor attractions
  • Tour accommodation

Itinerary

Day 1

  • Take as many photographs as you can at ‘England’s most beautiful lake’, Ullswater
  • Relax in the market town of Keswick

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.


* Please note all tours that depart on the 13th, 16th, 20th, 23rd, 27th and 30th July will stay in Bowness-on-Windermere instead of Keswick

Day 2

  • Stare in wonder at the views on an optional boat trip, Lake Windermere
  • Wander around the cosy village of Hawkshead

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*.


* Please note all tours that depart on the 13th, 16th, 20th, 23rd, 27th and 30th July will stay in Bowness-on-Windermere instead of Keswick

Day 3

  • Set your sights on sweeping views from atop the Whinlatter Pass
  • Learn about the slate mines at the Honister Mountain Pass

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. From here, it’s a leisurely drive through the rolling border hills to Edinburgh.

Day 4

  • Wander over cobbled lanes past medieval window panes and under Gothic spires in Scotland’s stunning capital city, Edinburgh
  • Join our city tour and get to know a few of Edinburgh’s local legends

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.


Day 5

  • Learn about Scotland’s most important battles as we pass Stirling Castle
  • Admire the mountainous splendour of the Five Sisters of Kintail
  • Take an epic photo of the gorgeous Eilean Donan Castle
  • Wander around the cute seaside village of Portree

Today you join a new bus for the continuation of your tour to Skye. With your new companions you leave Edinburgh and travel west. This part of your journey is a history lover’s dream. You pass Stirling Castle, the Wallace Monument, and Doune Castle, before stopping in Callander for refreshments.

Next, we venture north through the splendid scenery surrounding Loch Lubnaig and up to the wild desolation of Rannoch Moor.

You continue through the spectacular mountain pass of Glencoe, scene of the great massacre of the Clan MacDonald in 1692. And after lunch, we pass Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, and head into the Great Glen. Travelling west you head past the Five Sisters of Kintail.

You then stop at the famous Eilean Donan Castle, one of Scotland’s most photographed castles. Crossing over the bridge to Skye, you follow the dramatic coastline, towards the island’s capital, Portree.

And after all this breath-taking beauty, you’re dropped off at your accommodation in the early evening with enough time to go out and explore the town.

Day 6

  • Explore the natural wonders of Skye
  • Enjoy spectacular views of the Trotternish Ridge
  • Learn about the legends and battles that shaped the island's culture

Today is a flexible day on Skye; and your driver-guide ensures you take a unique route that suits the weather, the local events, and your group's interests.

You can travel north to the Trotternish Ridge and beyond. Here you find the Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock, and the stunning mountain pass of the Quiraing. Or your guide may take you back in time and teach you about the legends and clan culture surrounding the 13th-century home of the Clan MacLeod, Dunvegan Castle.

You return to Portree in the evening.

Day 7

  • Try and spot the Loch Ness Monster
  • Journey through the pine-clad region of Perthshire

You travel south through the Cuillin Hills and back over to the mainland for stunning views over Loch Duich and the Five Sisters of Kintail.

You visit Loch Ness for lunch and the chance to spot "Nessie"! Heading south through the Grampian mountains along Loch Laggan, famous now as "Monarch of the Glen Country" before passing Dalwhinnie and onwards past Blair Castle.

We stop for refreshments in one of the Perthshire villages before heading past Perth, over the Firth of Forth, and back 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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Accommodation

What are the overnight locations on this journey?

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 Portree**.


* Please note all tours that depart on the 13th, 16th, 20th, 23rd, 27th and 30th July will stay in Bowness-on-Windermere instead of Keswick

** The restaurants can be busy in Portree. So, we advise you to reserve a table for your first evening on tour prior to your departure date. You'll arrive no later than 07:30pm at the overnight destination.


How does the accommodation work in Edinburgh?

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.


How does the accommodation work on tour?

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.


What if I want to change my accommodation booking with Rabbie’s?

Changes to accommodation cannot be guaranteed and are subject to availability. An amendment charge will apply.


I booked my own accommodation is there anything I need to do?

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).


What if I cancel my tour at short notice?

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.


What are the accommodation types?

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 based on shared accommodation. 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 - £60 per person per night based on shared accommodation. A single en suite is £60 - £80 per night.

Hotels

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 based on shared accommodation. A single is £85 - £130 per night.

Hostels

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 - £27 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).


I have more questions, who can help me?

If you have any more questions, you can read our FAQs, call us on +44(0)131 226 3133, or email rooms@rabbies.com.


FAQs

Where does the tour depart from?

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.


How do I get to London’s Euston 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 taxi.


What time does the train depart?

The departure time of your train will vary depending on availability and season. We will email you with details of the exact train departure and arrival times prior to your tour. We recommend that you plan to arrive at the train station at least forty minutes before your train departs. This will allow for travel delays should they occur on the way to the station and give you enough time to collect your tickets, locate your platform and purchase refreshments. It’s important for you to arrive early because if you miss your train, you will be responsible for purchasing new tickets for the next departure.


Where do I collect my tickets?

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.


Do we have reserved seats?

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.


Can I buy food and drink 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.


Which platform does the train leave from?

The platform changes every day. You will be disembarking the train at Penrith Station but the name of your train service on the electronic departure boards will be for Glasgow Central. Please watch these boards to find out your platform number. The correct departure time will be printed on your ticket, and correspond to the time on the departure board. 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’ve seen which platform the train is departing from.


What happens if the train is cancelled?

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.


How long is the train trip?

The train takes three hours from London Euston to Penrith Station.


Where do we meet the tour bus?

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.


How much time do I get off the bus?

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.


Why do you exclude visitor attractions?

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.


Do we need to bring our own lunch?

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.


Should I tip the driver-guide?

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.


What about travel insurance?

We advise you take out travel insurance.

4 reasons to choose Rabbie's

Travel the local way on small group tours of 16 people or fewer

You'll have a guaranteed experience, or your money back

Guaranteed departures: you book, you go

Our eco-friendly tours support local communities



BTA_2017.png Green Tourism Award Scottish Thistle Awards Winner 2015/2016 TC_2018_WHITE_LL_R-112x105.png queens-award.png Scottish Tourist Board 5 Stars
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