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Welcome to Railtrail Tours

A family firm with an ethos of honesty and integrity. Our passion for delivering quality escorted holidays by rail at great value fares along with consistently excellent customer service has stood us in good stead for over 40 years.

Big on Quality, Small Enough to Care

01538 382323
Monday - Friday, 9am to 5pm

<img src="balmoral©shutterstock.jpeg" alt="Balmoral Castle"/>

Royal Deeside Explorer

This tour celebrates the diversity of the east coast of Scotland from royal life at stunning castle retreats to iconic waterfronts, from wildlife cruises to heritage transport, this nostalgic tour has something for everyone and is perfectly combined with a couple of wee drams!

View Dates & Book

8 days from £1269



Tuesday 23 April 2024

Tuesday 2 July 2024



  • Visit Balmoral, the Scottish home of the Royal Family

  • Sample a wee dram at the Royal Lochnagar Distillery

  • Discover the ‘Granite City’ of Aberdeen on a guided tour

  • Enjoy dolphin spotting on a harbour cruise

  • Meet Highland cattle on a working farm visit

  • Visit Crathes Castle, a classic Scottish tower house with glorious gardens

  • Enjoy railway nostalgia at the Royal Deeside Railway

  • Admire wonderful coastal scenery on the rail journey from Aberdeen to Dundee

  • Visit Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre, Britain’s first military airfield

  • Take a trip on the Caledonian Railway

  • Stroll around Dundee’s redeveloped waterfront including the V&A Museum of Design

  • Enjoy a guided tour of Glamis Castle, the childhood home of Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother

  • Experience gin tasting in the picturesque village of Glamis


Also included in your Tour Fare:

  • Dinner every evening

  • Rail travel & seat reservations from your Home Station to Tour Base (Standard or First Class)

  • Services of experienced Railtrail Tour Manager


We arrive in Aberdeen where our hotel for four nights is the Station Hotel, conveniently located directly opposite from the train station. Tonight, we enjoy our first evening meal together.



This morning we travel by private coach to Balmoral, the Scottish home of the Royal Family. We discover the castle’s fascinating history, famous residents and visitors, exploring the largest room in the castle, the Ballroom, as well as the exhibitions, grounds, and gardens. Following our visit, we enjoy free time in the nearby Deeside village of Ballater and can visit the Old Royal Station complete with Royal Carriage and Royal Waiting Room. Our day concludes with a tour at the Royal Lochnagar Distillery and a wee dram of one of Scotland’s most exclusive whiskies.

B, D


Today we begin with a guided tour of the ‘Granite City’ of Aberdeen. We see the historic Old Town, the castellated Citadel at The Castlegate, and the striking gothic Marischal College, the world’s second largest granite structure, which are all fine examples of the city’s most famous export. Following our tour, we enjoy free time to explore the city’s many attractions including Provost Skene’s House, the Aberdeen Maritime Museum, and the famous shopping ‘Granite Mile’. In the afternoon we enjoy a 1-hour harbour and dolphin cruise with a talk on the history of the port and sail into Aberdeen Bay to spot dolphins and wildlife.

B, D


This morning we travel by private coach to the Lochton of Leys Farmhouse, the home of Aberdeenshire Highland Beef. Here, we meet the herd of pedigree Highland cattle up close and learn about the history of this native breed and how they are farmed today on a 1-hour guided tour followed by tea/coffee served with shortbread. We then continue to nearby Crathes Castle where turrets, gargoyles, and the ancient Horn of Leys are just a few of the fascinating features we discover at this classic Scottish tower house. We can stroll around the castle’s beautiful walled garden with pools, fountains, and themed borders. Following our visit, we make our way to the Royal Deeside Railway at Milton of Crathes train station where we board our train for a two-mile journey. The Royal Deeside Railway is unique in having served all British Monarchs, from Queen Victoria to Queen Elizabeth II. After our return journey we enjoy free time in the nearby town of Banchory before returning to our hotel.

B, PL, D


After breakfast we travel to Montrose by rail, enjoying magnificent views of the coast during our 45-minute scenic journey. On arrival, we transfer the short distance by coach to visit the Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre, home of Britain’s first operational military airfield and dedicated to aviation history dating back over 100 years. Following our visit, we continue to the Caledonian Railway for a return journey along the four-mile branch line between the town of Brechin to the Bridge of Dun which dates back in 1848. After our fascinating day of heritage trains and planes we continue our journey to Dundee by rail and arrive at our base for the next three nights, the Malmaison Hotel, where our luggage is waiting for us.

B, D


Today we enjoy a day at leisure in our new base of Dundee. We can visit the city’s many attractions including Discovery Point, an award-winning attraction which tells the story of RRS Discovery and Captain Scott’s remarkable Antarctic expedition, Verdant Works, an original jute mill, the impressive V&A museum (free of charge although some exhibitions carry a separate charge), the Dundee hop-on, hop-off bus, The McManus Art Gallery & Museum or take a stroll and find the statues of famous Beano and Dandy characters dotted around the waterfront city.

B, D


This morning we journey by private coach to Glamis Castle, renowned for being Scotland’s most beautiful castle. During our guided tour we learn about the castle which is famous for being the legendary setting of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the childhood home of HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, and the birthplace of Princess Margaret. Following our visit, we spend some time in the quaint village of Glamis and enjoy a talk and gin tasting at the characterful Gin Bothy before returning to our hotel in the afternoon.

B, D


We bid farewell to Dundee as we make our way home.


B=Breakfast, PL=Packed Lunch, D=Dinner


Station Hotel, Aberdeen

We have booked superior bedrooms in this 3-star historic hotel ideally located opposite the train station and in the heart of the Granite City. The hotel has a brasserie restaurant and comfortable bar. The superior bedrooms have contemporary décor and modern furnishings and offer a TV, tea/coffee making facilities, and free Wi-Fi. Single travellers have sole occupancy of a double room.


Malmaison Hotel, Dundee

A beautiful Victorian 4-star hotel that boasts many original features. Located in the heart of Dundee, just across the road from the station and close to the city’s many attractions. The stylish well-appointed bedrooms have a TV, tea/coffee making facilities, and free Wi-Fi. The hotel has a contemporary restaurant and bar. Single travellers have sole occupancy of a double room.



Fare Region



London: Kings Cross



Greater London



South of England



East Anglia



South West



Heart of England









North East



North West



South Wales



North Wales






*Please Note: Some local and regional train services are Standard Class seating only and First Class ticket holders will travel in standard class accommodation for these sections of their journey.


Join & Leave at Hotel £1,279


Single Room Supplement £315


July Departure Supplement £60


£10 tour discount for holders of National Railcards


7 nights’ bed, breakfast & table d’hôte evening meal

Rail travel & seat reservations from your Home Station to Tour Base (Standard or First Class)

Rail & coach travel, with transfers as described

All excursions & admissions as detailed

Services of experienced Railtrail Tour Manager


Important – Please select the number of passengers before proceeding to ‘Book Now’

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Contact Us
Railtrail Tours Limited
21 The Smithfield Centre, Leek
Staffordshire Moorlands, ST13 5JW
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