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refl ected in mirror-still lochs. Just 36 guests travel through Scotland’s fi nest countryside in private cabins, with an open-deck observation carriage behind. Life on board this luxury train is relaxed and indulgent, with gastronomic dining and the conventional atmosphere of celebrating with friends. Part of the Orient Express group, T e Royal


Scotsman originally launched in May 1985. However the train in its current form dates from May 1990. T e owners put together a set of carriages which were called T e Royal Scotsman. A second set of carriages was designed in 1990 with many improvements including electric heating and more seating in the Observation and Dining Cars. T e capacity moved from 28 to 32 and in 1997 further increased to 36. I had heard great things about T e Royal

Scotsman experience and my partner and I couldn’t wait to fi nd out for ourselves. We took a fl ight with BMI from Manchester to Edinburgh were our four day highland journey was to begin. T e Scotsman off ers between two


journey on T e Royal Scotsman takes you straight to the heart of the Highlands, through landscapes of towering, pine-clad mountains


and seven day journeys throughout Scotland and our four day option was called T e Classic. Whilst we waited for our fellow passengers to arrive we were treated to tea, coff ee and biscuits. When all 36 of us were assembled we were led by a traditional piper to the train were we walked down a red carpet to board. A lot of the other passengers were American or European tourists who wanted to explore all that Scotland has to off er whilst still receiving the fi ve star luxuries you would expect from a top class hotel. With there being just 36 of us, it wasn’t long before we knew most by name and the whole experience felt very intimate and friendly. We were shown to the Sleeping Car which

provides 14 twin, two double and four single State Cabins. Our double cabin was beautifully fi tted out in rich marquetry, providing us with an intimate and comfortable area from which to relax and enjoy the stunning scenery of Scotland. Each cabin has its own private bathroom with shower, wash-basin and toilet, constant hot water and fresh towels daily. T ere was also a dressing table, full-length wardrobe, hairdryer, cooling fans, opening windows and a cabin service call button. T e train is stabled at night in a quiet siding or station so all guests are assured a good night’s sleep.


Encounter Scotland's ever-changing landscapes with a journey on T e Royal Scotsman, regarded as one of the world's great travel experiences

T e train pulled out of the station and

travelled north, crossing Firth of Forth via the magnifi cent 1.5 mile long Forth Railway Bridge. We then proceeded through Fife and across the Tay Bridge, during which time we were served a delicious afternoon tea. We fi nished off the day passing through Arbroath, Montrose and Aberdeen before arriving in the market town of Keith. Dining on T e Royal Scotsman is an exquisite experience. T e Dining Cars are beautifully decorated, mahogany-panelled rooms with luxurious fabrics. T e Victory Car provides 16 elegant settings grouped in twos and fours, whilst the Raven Car has larger tables of six or eight. T ere are formal

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