Fort William & the Road to the Isles

Fort William & the Road to the Isles

A delightful 5 day tour exploring the best of the West Highlands

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A delightful 5 day tour exploring the best of the West Highlands

West Highland Line

From Fort William you’ll hug the bank of Loch Eil for almost six and a half miles before experiencing the iconic curve of the Glenfinnan Viaduct, immortalised by the Harry Potter films as part of the route to Hogwarts.

After enjoying the stark beauty of Lochs Eilt, Ailort and Nan Uamh you’ll find yourself in yet another movie location as Morar’s sandy shores glide into view, home to the characters of Local Hero. And before you know it, you’ll have reached Mallaig where the views to the Isle of Skye where we take the short ferry trip across to the island itself.

Glenfinnan Viaduct

Glenfinnan attracts many thousands of visitors from around the world to experience the stunning scenery but also the special atmosphere. The famous Glenfinnan viaduct carries the railway to Glenfinnan Station across a 1,000 ft span, 100 ft above the ground. The Jacobite steam train runs from here to Fort William and Mallaig in the summer months with regular trains available the rest of the year.

The filming of the second and third Harry Potter books, Harry Potter and the Chambers of Secret and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban took place in this area with the Hogwarts Express calling at Glenfinnan! 

 

Commando Monument

The Commando Memorial is a Category A listed monument dedicated to the men of the original British Commando Forces raised during World War II. Situated around a mile from Spean Bridge village, it overlooks the training areas of the Commando Training Depot established in 1942 at Achnacarry Castle. Unveiled in 1952 by the Queen Mother, it has become one of the United Kingdom's best-known monuments, both as a war memorial and as a tourist attraction offering views of Ben Nevis and Aonach Mor.

Fort Augustus

Fort Augustus, although small, has a lot going on! This is perhaps due to its geography, situated on the shore at the extreme southwestern end of Loch Ness. With a population between six and seven hundred, the village is compact, picturesque and sometimes bustling with activity – especially so with tourists during the high summer period, though it’s never congested. Boats travel north and south along the Caledonian Canal which cuts through the centre of the village as does the road from Fort William to Inverness via a swing bridge. A lovely tourist (and local) pastime is to sit outside a Fort Augustus bar or restaurant with a drink or meal spending a lazy hour or two watching the boats of all shapes and sizes passing through the series of locks on the canal.

 

Oban

Your first view of Oban is one you are unlikely to forget. From the north, you glimpse this bustling port from the top of the 'Bealach-an-Righ'. As you sweep down the hill towards the expanse of the bay, the view opens up before you and one begins to appreciate why Oban has developed into Scotland's most popular west-coast town

Beyond Oban lie the islands of the Inner Hebrides: Kerrera, which protects the town from Atlantic storms, the low, green island of Lismore, majestic Mull and the granite mountains of the Morvern peninsula. Beyond them, the sacred island of Iona, Coll, Colonsay and Tiree.

Oban today is the unofficial capital of the West Highlands - the "Gateway to the Isles". The panoramic views of the mountains, lochs and islands which have captivated artists, authors, composers, and poets for centuries are as striking now as they were when Dunollie Castle, a ruined keep which has stood sentinel over the narrow entrance to the sheltered bay for around six hundred years, was the northern outpost of the Dalriadic Scots.

It is no surprise to find Oban in the 21st Century remains a magnet for travellers from all over the world. The town's present day popularity owes much to the Victorians, and as early as 1812, when the Comet steamship linked Oban with Glasgow, the town played host to intrepid travellers touring Staffa - the inspiration for Mendelssohn's Hebridean Overture - and Iona - home of Scottish Christianity since St Columba stepped ashore in AD563.

Indeed once Oban had the royal seal of approval from Queen Victoria, who called it "one of the finest spots we have seen", the town's destiny as an

endearingly enchanting holiday destination was as firmly set as the lava columns of Fingal's Cave in Staffa.

Day 1

A morning departure from Cumbria as we head north via Moffat and Glasgow to Loch Lomond, time at leisure for lunch before continuing past Tyndrum, beautiful Glencoe and Ballachulish on our way to Fort William and the Alexandra Hotel. Dinner in the hotel tonight. 3 complimentary drinks vouchers per person.

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Day 2

Following breakfast in the hotel, we join the Scotrail train in Fort William for a return journey to Mallaig on what is arguably the most scenic railway journey in the UK. We follow in the footsteps of Harry Potter and the Hogwarts Express, as we pass the Glenfinnan monument, cross over the famous 21 arch Horseshoe viaduct, and see the picturesque silver sands of Morar before arriving in the busy fishing port of Mallaig. Time for our included packed lunch before we catch the return train to Fort William. Dinner and entertainment at the Alexandra Hotel. 3 complimentary drinks vouchers per person.

B, L, D

Day 3

Morning free in Fort William. Light lunch in the hotel. Afternoon visit to Spean Bridge, with the Commando Memorial and Fort Augustus, where the Caledonian Canal meets Loch Ness. Dinner at the Alexandra Hotel. 3 complimentary drinks vouchers per person.

B, L, D

Day 4

Today we follow the shores of Loch Linnie south to Oban the unofficial capital of the West Highlands and acclaimed as the ‘Gateway to the Isles’. The mountains, lochs and islands have captivated artists, authors and poets for centuries. Time for our included packed lunch before we return to the hotel via the pass of Brander. Dinner and entertainment in the hotel. 3 complimentary drinks vouchers per person.

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Day 5

Breakfast in the hotel prior to leaving for the return journey to Cumbria, arriving home early evening.

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B=Breakfast Included, L=lunch Included, D=Dinner Included

Alexandra Hotel

Part of the very fabric of Fort William since 1876, the Alexandra Hotel provides traditional Scottish Hospitality at its best. Situated in a great location everything is close by and whether it’s shopping in the High Street, catching a bus or taking a train to explore the spectacular local area, you’ll find the Alexandra Hotel is the perfect choice.

The Alexandra Hotel is home to two restaurants as well as a large and comfortable bar and several individual lounge areas. The menu gives you a wide variety of dishes to choose from using the best of local produce, from hearty steaks supplied by ‘Lochaber Game’ to delicious seafood landed at the West Coast Port of Mallaig, you’re sure to find something to tempt your palate. Low fat dishes for the health conscious are available as well as tasty desserts to tempt! 

The hotel has 93 bedrooms and due to the age and nature of this grand old building all bedrooms are individual in size and shape but all have as standard – en-suite bathrooms, television, hairdryer, direct dial telephone and tea and coffee making facilities. There is a large selection of room types available and some of the rooms even have a view of Loch Linnhe.

 

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Name Address Contact Details
Appleby The Sands Appleby
Aspatria Car Park beside Spar Aspatria
Brough Monument Bus Shelter Brough
Carlisle Entrance to Sands Centre Car Park Carlisle
Cockermouth Monument Main Street Cockermouth
Dearham Commercial Corner Dearham
Distington Outside Prospect Works Distington
Egremont Conservative Club Egremont
Flimby Railway Station Flimby
Harrington Galloping Horse bus stop Harrington
High Hesket Palmerstons Furniture Store
Keswick Bell Close Car Park Keswick
Kirkby Stephen Market Square Kirkby Stephen
Maryport Outside Coop Maryport
Penrith Sandgate Bus Station Penrith
Thursby Bus Stop Thursby
Waverton Bus Stop Waverton
Whitehaven Old Bus Station Whitehaven
Wigton Old Bus Station Wigton
Workington Lay By opposite Grahams Travel Jane St. Workington
From Price Call Back Telephone Favourites

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Brochures

Autumn Spring 2018 2019
Summer Brochure 2019
Autumn Spring 2019 2020