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Exploring the Delights of Scotland with the West Highland Railway

The West Highland Line is renowned the world over for being a train journey like no other. The trip takes passengers through some of Scotland’s finest scenery, hugging the southern wilderness foothills before gliding elegantly past pine forests and endless moorlands. Passengers are privileged with photo opportunities around every bend, with majestic castles in the distance boasting a backdrop of mist covered mountains, and all this before travelling over an amazing 21 arch viaduct!

Where it All Begins!
The line starts out in Glasgow and meanders its way through villages, towns and beautiful parks connecting the exquisite and often dramatic landscapes of the western highlands with the rest of Scotland. The railway has become one of the major tourist attractions drawing visitors from distant shores but is also serves the people of Scotland with a wonderfully enjoyable way to travel through some of the most scenic areas in the region. The journey travels through the towns of Oban, Fort William and Mallaig which all boast being major tourist attractions in their own right.

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A brief history of Scotland’s islands

To the north of Hadrian’s Wall, Scotland covers a surprisingly large area of the UK. While people tend to think of Scotland as being the small country to the north of England, in reality from the southern border to the northernmost mainland tip, Scotland isn’t that much smaller than its southern neighbour.

Once you take into account the Scotland’s islands that surround its shores, the area that the country covers increases considerably. There are no fewer than 790 offshore islands around Scotland, grouped into the Shetlands, Orkneys, Inner and Outer Hebrides. The islands are diverse in their population and histories with many of the Outer Hebridean Islands owing as much too Norse influence through the years as they do to Celtic and English-speaking travellers.

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7 Good Reasons to Visit Ireland

Ireland is a stunning country, full of contrasts and wonderful activities to help you see the country at its finest.

1. Follow the coast
The Atlantic coast in Ireland offers some stunning views of the coastline and some great opportunities to really be alone with nature. The Wild Atlantic Way is the frontier between Europe and America to the west and is a truly wild, windswept part of the country. Covering some 2,500 km, the coastline has tiny roads and rocky outcrops that jut into the sea that can go from bright blue to crashing grey in just a few minutes as the weather rolls across the waves. It truly is a special place from which to view the country and the ocean.

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British Church Heritage Tour

England and Scotland are steeped in history with religion having played a very important part in the lay of the land. The churches, cathedrals and chapels found all over Scotland and the UK are proof of this with many of them now being heritage sites definitely worth visiting, no matter what religion you happen to be. The architectural grandeur of the churches is truly something to be marvelled at, but then some of the delightful chapels that are often tucked away out of sight are simply stunning too.

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Castle and Garden Tours in Scotland

Scotland really is the land of castles; with many found along the rugged coastlines and when it comes to glorious gardens, Scotland has a lot to offer from formal topiaries to magnificent woodlands and lots in between. Organising a tour to and around some of the most splendid castles and gardens means spending some quality time in a land steeped in history. The myths and legends are as wonderful as the structures, ancient edifices and beautiful gardens found there. Below are just a few of the superb sites to visit when taking time out in Scotland.

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7 Unusual Places to Visit in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is a glorious place, steeped in history, myths and legends, there’s a lot to see and do on a visit there. Organising a trip takes a bit of planning but its well worth it as there’s so much to see, with extraordinary, inspirational locations paired to stunning coastlines and landscapes. Northern Ireland also offers visitors to its shores one of the warmest and friendliest of welcomes ever.

Below are 7 unusual places to visit in Northern Ireland that you should not miss out seeing.

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Whisky Tours and Trails in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland

Scotland is famous for its national drink: whisky. If you’re a fan of whisky and really want to experience it in its home of origin, you should plan a visit to Scotland.

If it’s a real love of yours, the only way to really receive a true whisky education is to go on a whisky trail. Alternatively, if you’re touring round Scotland, participating in a whisky trail is a great way to experience Scotland’s national drink and get a taste of Scottish life.

We take a look at whisky tours and trails in the Highlands and islands of Scotland.

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Clan Tours in Scotland – A Great Scottish Holiday

It is estimated that 40 million people worldwide are of Scottish descent so it may be interesting to discover that Scotland is well equipped with some of the latest family research facilities. With census records, birth certificates, death certificates and much more, it’s easy to find out lots about family history.

Clan tours in Scotland are a very exciting and unusual vacation choice. It involves you touring around various points in Scotland finding out all about your family, or ‘clan’s’, history. It is a great way to spend a few days exploring Scotland, and there are lots of other benefits too. See our standard Scottish Clans and Genealogy package here but we can tailor a holiday specifically for you if you wish.

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Ireland’s Southwest

The Ring of Kerry is one of the most beautiful places in Ireland. It’s a 179km/111 mile long looped route in the south-west of County Kerry and something of a must-see if you’re in the area. As for the highlights on the Ring?


Kilorglin has got to be up there. As well as being a cute village, Kilorglin is home to the Puck Fair, a centuries-old festival where a goat is crowned king for three days. Yes, a goat! But it’s more than that. There’s music sessions, activities and street parties, too.

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South West Ireland

According to the Irish saying, ‘The West is best’ and after this tour, you’re sure to agree. The counties of Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Clare and Tipperary contain some of the last bastions of ‘old-Ireland’ as well as some of the island’s top attractions.

Access to the southwest is easy, with Cork’s international airport bringing you direct to your starting point or come in via Shannon. Coming by sea from Great Britain, the ferry port of Rosslare in Wexford is around two hours and 40 minutes journey time to your start point in Cobh, County Cork. Best of Scotland Holidays can offer you very competitive ferry prices with Stena Line. Check out our package.

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