5.5 milliontravellers in 2015
75+years of rail travel experience
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Scotland has a well-developed railway network. Trains in Scotland run with diesel or electricity. The organisation in charge of the Scottish rail network is known as Network Rail. Passenger services are carried by companies such as First ScotRail, CrossCountry, First Transpennine Express, East Coast and Virgin Trains.
Steeped in history, Scotland has a rich heritage that’s evident in the many castles, ancient monuments and archaeological treasures which pepper the landscape. In fact, Scotland boasts five UNESCO World Heritage sites, the oldest of which dates back to the Iron Age.
Scotland is also famed as the Home of Golf and the game has been played here for centuries. There are more golf courses per head of population than anywhere else in the world, including some real gems like the world-famous Open championship courses at St Andrews and Gleneagles.
Another of Scotland’s most famous exports is whisky. Scotch whisky has been distilled in the country since at least the 15th century. There are over 100 whisky distilleries to visit around the country. Why not sample a wee dram or two when visiting them? The Speyside region in the Highlands is an area well known for its quality malts.
Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital, can be reached in 4h25 from London or in 1h25 from Newcastle.
Explore Scotland by train and discover a treasure trove of spectacular views, historic castles and great hospitality. From stunning mountain scenery, sparkling lochs and rolling hills to vibrant cities and world-class museums and galleries, there’s a lot to pack in!
Sample some of Scotland’s breathtaking landscapes on a trip by steam train from Fort William to Mallaig - regularly voted one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world - or visit the spectacular Cairngorms National Park, the largest in the UK and easily accessible by rail from Aviemore.
You will love Edinburgh, the lively capital in which you will enjoy year-round festivals. From its two train stations, you will reach easily north-eastern Aberdeen, the third city of Scotland. Here you will discover a thriving port, museums, and castles and so on.
Travelling by train in Scotland is an interesting way to visit this region. In the Highlands, one of the best well-preserved sites in Europe, admire the landscapes and its sheeps and cows. Enjoy the outdoor sports and activities in Inverness, such as paintball or water sports.
The world-known tartan is the indispensable purchase. From the famous kilt to the blanket, tartan is the typical souvenir you must bring back home. You can also go shopping in Glasgow, so take the CrossCountry train (about one hour from Edinburgh), and enjoy the fashion and trendy shops.
Eat & Drink
Try the traditional haggis (sheep’s offal and oatmeal). If you are here the 25th of January, experience the Burns Supper, during which you may eat turnips and mashed potatoes. Cullen Skink (soup) can be savoured in the East Neuk ok Fife. Of course, you can’t leave Scotland without having tasted some whiskies when you’re in Islay.
What about climbing Ben Nevis to reach the highest point of Scotland and of Great Britain (1,344 metres…), so you can have a breath of fresh air!