A Royal Day Exploring Castles of Scotland | Kyle of Lochalsh to Boat of Garten, Scotland | So this was our day number three onboard the Belmond luxury train “The Royal Scotsman“. This section of the trip went from Kyle of Lochalsh to Boat of Garten. This morning, join a group of keen early-risers on a short trip to photograph the famous Eilean Donan Castle, one of Scotland’s most iconic images. And so we woke up around 7AM and got ready for an experience which, despite being short and quick, was very much indeed worth it.
After this lovely experience we departed Kyle as breakfast was being served and re-trace part of yesterday’s route as far as Dingwall. Have your cameras ready for the views of Plockton across the bay to the left, where you can see white-washed cottages with fishing boats and yachts riding at anchor.
Traveling round the edge of the Beauly Firth, the route takes you across the northern end of the Caledonian Canal shortly before reaching Inverness. Lunch was served, yes believe it or not we were starving, on the way south to Carrbridge. We disembarked, this time to visit Ballindalloch Castle, one of Scotland’s most romantic castles, with its wonderful gardens. Set in the magnificent surroundings of the Spey valley, Ballindalloch, also known as The Pearl of the North, has been the home of the Macpherson-Grant family since 1546.
The family has adapted their castle through time into the elegant and comfortable working estate that we’ve got to explore and enjoy, introduced directly by Mrs. Clare Nancy Russell, Lord Lieutenant of Banffshire, appointed by Her Majesty The Queen. For those interested in golfing, there was also an opportunity to play a round of golf on the castle’s own 9-hole golf course in place of the castle visit, but of course I was much more keen to spend the afternoon with my new Royal friend Mrs. Russell having tea with scones and gossiping about the Royal Family.
After almost two hours, we headed back to the train at Boat of Garten on the private Strathspey Railway. Just in time to get relax, even more ha ha ha, and get ready on my formal Scottish KILT, which BTW took a while to figure out how to wear it. We enjoyed yet another splendid formal dinner. Afterwards we all gathered at the observation car, to meet a Highlander who paints a colourful picture of Scottish heroes and gives you a true sense of the ways in which life in the Highlands has dramatically changed over the centuries. Day four was yet to come onboard the Belmond “The Royal Scotsman” from Edinburgh and across the Highlands. Read my post on Life onboard The Royal Scotsman. Carlos Melia Luxury Travel Curator – www.carlosmelia.com
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