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Highlands and History: Riding the Rails through Scotland


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A 12 day journey in June 2009 around Scotland by train made a special mother / 18 year-old daughter trip. Going by train allowed us to experience of the beauty and history of Scotland at a slower and relaxed pace. The time in Scotland was a combination of cities and countryside, staying in four places; two cities full of history and beautiful castles (Stirling and Edinburgh) and two places in the highlands with stunning scenery (Fort William and Aviemore, near Inverness and within Cairngorms National Park).

Even at our destinations we used the train passes to see more. We took a 90 minute train ride and then a ferry journey as a day trip from Fort William to the Isle of Skye, and another day hopped on a 40 minute rail trip from Aviemore to Inverness for a stroll along the River Ness and a dinner in town before returning in the evening. So we were able to see a wide variety of Scotland during the time we were there.

Day

Date

Location/Activities

1

10 June 2009

Fly from LA to Chicago; change for evening flight to Manchester, England

2

11 June 2009

Arrive in Manchester early in the morning; take four trains to Aviemore, Scotland, arriving in the late afternoon

3

12 June 2009

Day hike in Cairngorms National Park near Aviemore

4

13 June 2009

Train from Aviemore to Stirling via Inverness and Aberdeen

5

14 June 2009

Sightseeing in Stirling, including visits to Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument

6

15 June 2009

Take train from Stirling to Fort William via Glasgow

7

16 June 2009

Day hike in Glen Nevis to a meadow and waterfall; lake boat trip with views of Fort William and Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the UK

8

17 June 2009

Train day trip from Fort William to Malaig and ferry ride to the Isle of Skye; castle and garden sightseeing

9

18 June 2009

Final train journey to Edinburgh, via Glasgow; sightseeing in the old town

10

19 June 2009

Edinburgh sights: castle, Royal Mile, museums and new town shopping

11

20 June 2009

Flight from Edinburgh to Manchester, England; shopping in the late afternoon

12

21 June 2009

Fly from Manchester to Los Angeles, with a change of planes in Chicago