The Lake District, Edinburgh & the Outlander Trail
8 day Rail and Trail Journey

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Hop on a train from London and join adventure through the Lake District, Edinburgh, and Outlander’s most famous locations.

Tour map

Highlights

Film Locations
Palaces
Mountains
Lakes
UNESCO Heritage Sites

Places you explore


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.

Lake 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.

Doune Castle - One of the most filmed castles in Scotland. It stars as Castle Leoch in Outlander, and featured in Monty Python’s ‘Holy Grail’, and the pilot for Game of Thrones.

Loch Ness - Take a chance to go on an optional boat cruise or wander around this alluring and eerie loch.

Culloden - A sad place to visit. It’s the location of a tragic Outlander scene and a catastrophic battle between Jacobites and Government troops.

Culross - This town looks like it never left the 16th century. It was also the setting for the fictional Outlander town, Cranesmuir.

Falkland - This quaint town in the Kingdom of Fife boasts a beautiful palace and a serene setting.


Your journey

So, you’re going to Britain.

This means you need to get out and about and discover the sights.

But in all honesty, you’d rather experience every Outlander episode again and again.

Well, we’ve got the solution for you, because on this tour you can do both.

You first take the quick and comfortable train from London to England’s premier beauty spot, the Lake District. Here, your guide takes you rambling around trickling rivers, quaint cottages, and gorgeous mountains.

And after you spend couple of luxurious nights in Edinburgh, you head on an adventure to where they filmed Outlander’s gory battles, tragic moments, and sultry scenes.

So, forget the couch and combine the Lake District with your favourite TV show on this eight-day tour.

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.
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

Students, 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.
  • Unfortunately we don't carry anyone under 18 years old on this tour
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.


* During July/early August this tour may stay in Bowness-on-Windermere. Please ask us for more information.

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.


* During July/early August this tour may stay in Bowness-on-Windermere. Please ask us for more information.

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

  • Get as close as possible to the 16th century in the well-preserved town of Culross. Or as it’s known to Outlander fans, Cranesmuir
  • Visit beautiful Falkland and explore the setting for 1940s Inverness in Outlander
  • Learn how Highlanders lived at the Newtonmore Highland Folk Museum

Today you join a new bus for the continuation of your tour to the Highlands. With your new companions you leave Edinburgh and begin following the trail of the best-known film locations featured in the Outlander TV series.

Heading north, your first stop is the charming village of Culross. In Outlander, Culross posed as the fictional village of Cranesmuir and the home of Geillis Duncan and her husband, Arthur. Exploring the town’s cobbled streets is like taking a step back in time. Look carefully and you may even find Claire’s herb garden behind the impressive Culross Palace.

You continue to the small town of Falkland to relive the first scenes of the show, where Falkland substitutes for 1940s Inverness. See if you can recognize the familiar sights such as Mrs. Baird’s Guesthouses (The Covenanter Hotel) and the Bruce Fountain, where Claire’s husband Frank sees the ghost of Jamie.

In the early afternoon, you stop at the Newtonmore Highland Folk Museum, which houses replicas of 18th-century turf-roofed Highland crofts. These were used as a setting in the first episode of the show.

Venturing further north, you pass Aviemore, where you may recognise the stunning hilly and wooded area of Tulloch Ghru. This appeared during the journey Claire takes with Jamie and the Highlanders from Craigh na Dun to Castle Leoch.

You arrive in Inverness later in the afternoon.

Day 6

  • Learn about the last battle fought on British soil at Culloden
  • Discover how whisky is made at a distillery in the Highlands

You first travel to Culloden. This site plays an important role in Scottish history and the Outlander books. It’s not far from the battlefield where the couple said their tearful goodbyes before Jamie joined the Jacobite army to fight for the Stuarts. You have the opportunity to explore the visitor centre and site, and pay tribute to those who lost their lives at the last battle fought on British soil.

You then take a short drive to the ancient standing stones at Clava Cairns, which may have been the inspiration for Craigh na Dun.

After lunch, we continue to Castle Leod, “home of the Clan MacKenzie”, where you can enjoy a relaxing walk while your guide tells you the history of the clan and area. The castle resembles how Diana Gabaldon described Castle Leoch, however she had never heard of this building prior to writing Outlander.

A short drive takes you to Beauly, the site of Beauly Priory and the tomb of Lord Lovat in the heart of Clan Fraser lands. Beauly Priory is a beautiful 13th-century ruin and where the Lovat Frasers are buried in Diana Gabaldon’s book.

In the afternoon, you can sample ‘The Water of Life’ with a whisky distillery tour and tasting.

We return to Inverness with time to explore the town and enjoy the city for another evening.

Day 7

  • Wander through the ancient indigenous forests of Glen Affric
  • Explore Inverness, the Capital of the Highlands

Your day starts with a visit to the majestic Glen Affric. Lochs, mountains and pine forests: this is one of Scotland’s most glorious glens. It’s also an ideal spot for Jamie to hide.

You then continue along the entire length of Loch Ness and through the Great Glen before heading to Glenfinnan. The monument here commemorates the beginning of the last Jacobite rising. It stands framed by Loch Shiel and bedside a famous section of the Jacobite Steam Train railway line, famously used as the Hogwarts Express in Harry Potter.

Your overnight stop is in Fort William underneath the shadow of Britain’s tallest mountain, Ben Nevis.

Day 8

  • Be moved by the sheer beauty of Glencoe
  • See two of Scotland’s quintessential castles, Doune Castle and Blackness Castle

You start the day with a magnificent drive through Glencoe and cross the rugged Trossachs area onto Doune Castle. The Castle is an extensive ruin that represents Castle Leoch in the TV programme, home to Colum MacKenzie and his clan in the 18th-century episodes.

Later, you have a photo stop at Blackness Castle on the banks of the Firth of Forth. This was used as the set for Fort William in the show and appears in many other movies because of its beautiful setting and thickly fortified walls.

You return to Edinburgh in the early evening.

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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, two nights in Inverness and one night in Fort William.


* During July/early August this tour may stay in Bowness-on-Windermere. Please ask us for more information.


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. 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

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.

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 - £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).


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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