There is no more relaxing form of travel than rail, and no better way to enjoy the beauties and sights of a country than through a carriage window, whatever the season. When it came to seeing landscapes, Robert Louis Stevenson thought “none more vivid… than from a railway train”.
Britain has hundreds of attractive rural railway lines offering scenic delights, and access to great walks or picturesque villages and towns. It has more tourist railways than any other country per capita, attracting millions of passengers every year.
This hotel on wheels has become a byword for luxury in train travel. The cabins, all en suite, are generously proportioned for a train carriage, but it is the quality of food and the pitch-perfect friendliness of staff that makes a journey on the Belmond Royal Scotsman such a pleasure.
The small galley kitchen produces refined dishes using the country’s produce wherever possible, and there is a good selection of malts to accompany a chat in the lounge car before or after dinner. The varied tours, from three to eight days, are designed to showcase the finest scenery Scotland has to offer, with some focusing on history, others on food and whisky. An open balcony on the rear coach helps photographers capture the sights; wellness aficionados will appreciate the new on-board Dior Spa, with two tranquil treatment cabins. 2024 will also see the addition of two Grand Suite cabins, featuring Highlands-inspired furniture and design.
The details: From £4,400 per person for its Taste of the Highlands itinerary (0845 077 2222; belmond.com).
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