Full Steam Ahead
A holiday close to home, how about an adventure by rail? Forget signal failures and leaves on the line, this is train travel like it used to be, with the romance of steam engines and historic railways offering an amazing experience!
This break in the Scottish Highlands is packed with treats. For starters, you’ll stay in a hotel just steps from the shores of the River Ness, so a trip to Loch Ness to search for the fabled monster is within reach. You’ll travel along what is considered one of the greatest railway journeys in the world across the spectacular Glenfinnan viaduct. And what’s more you’ll do it on board the Hogwarts Express – in real life, the Jacobite Steam Train. You’re on track for more incredible scenery as you travel to the Kyle of Lochalsh on Scotland’s west coast, and you’ll also take a nostalgic trip on the Strathspey Steam Railway. Fans of ‘Monarch of the Glen’ will recognise Broomhill, which had a starring role as the village of Glenbogle in the BBC drama.
So, you’ve decided to cross the Irish Sea to the delightful Isle of Man, famous for its tailless Manx cat and the prestigious motorcycle TT Races. An extensive coastline, outstanding landscapes and thousands of years of history also draw visitors to its shores. The best way to get around the island is by its steam and electric railways, and a great base is its capital Douglas, where the seafront is lined by grand Victorian style hotels.
Port Erin is a lovely seaside town which you can reach via a nostalgic steam train journey. From here take a further trip to Castletown, which sits on the site of an ancient volcano and is one of the oldest towns in the British Isles.
Try another form of rail travel – the Manx Electric Railway – and then board the Great Laxey Mine Railway, which once transported metal ores from the mines. A further electric train journey, and one not to be missed, is on the Snaefell Mountain Railway. What views you’ll see from the summit – all the way to England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales on a clear day.