First-Class Short Tour of the Scottish Highlands

Expert guided tour of many highlights of the Highlands, including Culloden, Clava Cairns and a cruise on Loch Ness, with two nights in a charming and historic country house hotel in Strathpeffer. Travel from Edinburgh by first-class train.


  • Travel in style with first-class train journeys through stunning Highland scenery, accompanied by an expert guide

  • Stay in a carefully chosen country house hotel steeped in history, with luxurious grounds and gardens to explore on the edge of the Scottish wilderness

  • Dive into the history and stories that mark these lands, from Bronze Age settlements to one of the most brutal battles of the Jacobite Risings at Culloden

  • Cruise across Loch Ness and visit Urquhart Castle


Looking for a short trip to the Highlands from Edinburgh with comfortable travel and no long periods in a coach? We've put together a 2-night tour, travelling by direct train in 1st class from Edinburgh to Inverness, to reduce the amount of time in the mini coach. 

Meet your Scottish guide at Waverley Station, Edinburgh. Relax in the 1st class passenger lounge before boarding a direct train to Inverness, accompanied by your expert guide. Check into a welcoming Highlands hotel for two nights including dinner, situated close to the sites to visit the next day. Travel by mini coach for the full day in the Highlands, led by our knowledgeable Scottish Tourist Guide, who will introduce you to stories of Scotland's history and 'must-see' locations, including the famous Culloden Battlefield and Visitor Centre, the Bronze Age burial site of Clava Cairns.  Later, enjoy an afternoon cruise across Loch Ness, and visit Urquhart Castle.

With a small group of fellow travellers, enjoy slow travel in style.

Tour Map

Tour Map


Day 1 – First-class Train to the Highlands


Meet your Scottish tourist guide and companions at Waverley Station in Edinburgh in time to board the 10.33 direct train to Inverness.

Accompanied by your Scottish guide, relax and enjoy the scenic journey, passing through beautiful landscapes and Highland towns such as Stirling, Pitlochry, Dalwinnie and Aviemore.  The train journey takes just under four hours, arriving at Inverness at 14.15. 

From Inverness, the group will take a short tax ride to Coul House Hotel, a splendid Georgian country house featured in the Good Hotel Guide and with links back to the Jacobite rebellion.

  • Check into Coul House, Strathpeffer, for the next two nights
  • Group dinner

Day 2 – Culloden to Loch Ness: Battles, Burials and Beasts

Cruise across Loch Ness

The day starts with a visit to Culloden, the site of the final battle between the British Government troops and the supporters of Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1746. Take a private tour of the battlefield with your Scottish tour guide.

Next, your guide takes you back about 4,000 years to a Bronze Age burial site. Clava Cairns is an exceptionally well-preserved example of Scotland's early civilisations.

After a light lunch, cruise across the legendary waters of Loch Ness. It was formed along an ancient geological fault; we can’t be sure when the Loch Ness monster arrived! You’ll take in iconic views of Great Glen, Aldourie Castle, Bona Lighthouse and visit the spectacular Urquhart Castle, as your guide regales you with stories about these famous places.

  • Return to Coul House in the late afternoon
  • Final group dinner

Day 3 – Return to Edinburgh

Coul House Hotel

Linger over your last breakfast of the tour at Coul House, then transfer with the group by taxi to Inverness station to catch the 1050 train to Edinburgh. Share your tour memories as you travel first class. Your tour ends when you arrive back in the Scottish capital at 14.29.


Coul House Hotel

Linger over your last breakfast of the tour at Coul House, then transfer with the group by taxi to Inverness station to catch the 1050 train to Edinburgh. Share your tour memories as you travel first class. Your tour ends when you arrive back in the Scottish capital at 14.29.


Single Supplement

There is a charge of £205 / $260 for solo travellers.

Activity Level and Transport

The activity level is rated as EASY (see our definitions here) and is suitable for occasional walkers. September in this corner of Scotland is typically mild, with daytime highs of 15-18°C (60-65°F) and night-time lows of 5-7°C (40-45°F). Rain is always possible, and participants should be prepared with warm and waterproof clothing.

Transport will be by small coach and first class rail.

The Tour Includes & Excludes

The Tour Includes:

  • The services of your Tour Guide from start of rail journey to Inverness on Day 1 through to breakfast the following morning.
  • Transportation costs from the start to the end of the tour, including taxi journeys from hotel to Inverness Station
  • Accommodation costs for the two nights, assuming double occupancy rooms (single occupancy - small surcharge)
  • All breakfasts, lunch on Day 2, and dinners on Days 1 & 2
  • Entry fees, local guide fees and activity fees, where arranged as part of the tour
  • All service charges and most gratuities

The Tour Excludes:

  • Extra or optional activities not described in the tour
  • Personal expenditures, any alcoholic drinks with meals, and extras at the hotel
  • Transportation to the start venue or from the end venue of the tour. However, at extra cost we can arrange pick up from Edinburgh airport.  Please contact us for details
  • Passport and visa fees

Participants are required to carry their own health and travel insurance in case of accident or unforeseen circumstances.


A stunning Georgian building with wonderful grounds’, this 1820s mansion has been run as a hotel by ‘lovely, friendly’ hosts Susannah and Stuart Macpherson since 2003 - Good Hotel Guide (46th edition)

Note: If required for reasons beyond our control, GeoCultura reserves the right to substitute alternate accommodations of equal or higher quality.

Deposit and Payment Terms

Deposit: A deposit of 10% of the tour price is due upon registration for a tour.

Final Payment: Full payment is due 60 days before a tour begins, or upon registration if within the 60-day window.

Cancellation by Participant: A participant may cancel a registration after securing a confirmed place on a tour for any reason.  The following refund terms will apply:

  • Greater than 60 days before tour begins: Any monies paid plus half of the deposit will be refunded
  • 30 to 59 days before tour begins: 35% of tour price will be refunded
  • 15 to 29 days before tour begins: 25% of tour price will be refunded
  • Within 14 days of tour or during the tour: No monies will be refunded

Cancellation by GeoCultura: GeoCultura reserves the right to cancel any tour due to low enrolment, inability to run the tour or concerns about the safety, health or welfare of participants.  If a tour is cancelled before it begins, all monies paid will be refunded (including any deposit).

Please refer to our Terms and Conditions for additional details.

Alison Motion

Accredited by the Scottish Tourist Guide Association

Alison Motion

Being outdoors and telling people about the amazing history of Scotland has been my career.  I am a Scot, a qualified member of the Scottish Tourist Guide Association (STGA) and a Blue Badge Guide. I lead tours all over Scotland to capture the past and present treasures of the country. My previous work as a teacher, play professional, food and farming educator, and my management experience have all fed into my passion for guiding curious travellers around Scotland.  it seemed an obvious thing, to tell engaging stories of Scotland's dramatic past, after a degree in Cultural History! I can take you to some of my favourite, but often little known, places; be they beaches, rocks, mountains, glens, cities or towns. I look forward to telling you the special stories of Scotland now, and Scotland past.




2025 dates to be announced soon.
Contact us to express your interest

Vertical Map