We depart from Inverness and begin the journey south, stopping for a quick stop at Loch Ness
. Loch Ness is the largest body of water in Britain by volume, incredibly, all lakes and rivers of England and Wales would fit in it. With these dimensions, it’s not surprising that a monster is believed to live in the depth of the Loch. The famous "Nessie
" was first seen by St. Columba in the mid-6thcentury. But it wasn’t until the 1930s that the mysterious creature came to widespread notice when it was seen again by an American couple. Since then there have been thousands of sightings and who knows, maybe you will be the next to spot it?
The commando memorial and the mountain in the clouds…
Leaving Loch Ness behind, we will continue our journey south to visit the Commando Memorial
. This memorial was erected in 1952 and dedicated to the remembrance of the Royal Marine Commandos who trained here during WWII. Whilst here we may perhaps spy Ben Nevis
, UK’s highest mountain at 4,413 feet (1,345 metres), through the clouds. This magnificent mountain was once an active volcano, which exploded and collapsed in on itself, many years ago. From here, we’ll then begin our journey to the meet the main event of this tour, the Jacobite Steam Train.
The Hogwarts Express...
Continuing on from the mountains, our next stop of the day is the impressive Glenfinnan Viaduct
, made famous by the Harry Potter films, and Monument where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his standard at the beginning of the 1745 Jacobite rising. We will travel past the stunning Arisaig
as we make our way to Mallaig
, a quaint west coast fishing town and the end of the line, where we will have lunch. Mallaig, 'Mel Vik' in old Norse, means sand dune bay, the perfect description for this vibrant port, the end to the 'Road to the Isles'. Spend some time learning about Mallaig's fascinating historical past at the Mallaig Heritage Centre, or sample some of the freshest seafood Scotland has to offer. After a delicious lunch, it’s finally time to board the Hogwarts Express
. This is one of the world’s greatest train journeys which will take you past Britain’s highest mountain, deepest loch, shortest river and most westerly station, views not to be missed.
Our journey home...
After breath taking train journey, you’ll arrive into Fort William
, from here we’ll depart the train leaving the Hogwarts Express behind. Back onto the bus we go, and our journey home begins as we head across the Laggan Road, stopping for photographs at the Laggan Dam. Built in 1934 to harness the power of water flowing out of Loch Laggan, the dam stretches across the River Spean at the western end of Loch Moy. In building the dam, it increased the loch’s length, a very impress sight. Our final stop of the day will be in Aviemore
, in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, where you’ll have the chance to stretch your legs. From here, we’ll then make our final short journey back to Inverness.