Greatest Scottish Railway Journeys

You’ll find some of the world’s most iconic railway journeys and train tours in Scotland. And a Scottish railway journey is one of the best ways to take in the stunning landscapes.

From scenic train routes through the Scottish Highlands to short steam train rides, Scotland's railway journeys can offer unforgettable journeys with great service and amazing views.

  1. West Highland Line Glasgow to Oban or Mallaig

    Image: A Scotrail 156 Sprinter crossing Loch Awe near Dalmally

    © Scotrail / Tony Hardley

    Time: 5h 15mins

    Look out for: the Jacobite steam train and its Harry Potter connections

    The West Highland Line is described as one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world.

    It runs from Glasgow up north to Crianlarich. One route then goes west past Loch Awe to Oban or continues north through Rannoch Moor to Fort William and Mallaig. Or you can do both!

    This route is known to millions for taking Harry Potter from Platform 9¾ all the way to Hogwarts.

    As the train heads west, it passes over the iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct and offers breath-taking views of locations such as Loch Shiel, Loch Eilt and Ben Nevis, many of which can also be seen in the films.

  2. The Far North Line Inverness to Thurso or Wick

    Image: Aberdeen beach

    Time: 4h 30 mins

    Look out for: varied coastline, pleasant farmland, traditional distilleries

    The far north of Scotland is home to unspoiled landscapes perfect for a relaxing break, but it's still easy to get there by train. Trains run north from Inverness to Thurso and onto Wick in just four and a half hours.

  3. The Kyle Line Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh

    Image: Aberdeen beach

    Time: 2h 30 mins

    Look out for: the magnificent rocky shoreline, wild mountain vistas, red deer

    Travel along the Kyle Line between Inverness and Kyle of Lochalsh for amazing views of mountains, forests and lochs. You’ll also pass by charming Highland villages, such as Achnasheen and Plockton.

  4. The Borders Railway Edinburgh to Tweedbank

    Image: A couple admiring the Borders steam train from the platform at Tweedbank

    Time: 1h

    Look out for: rolling countryside, historical gems, engaging family attractions

    The Borders Railway will take you through the engaging landscapes of Edinburgh, Midlothian and the Scottish Borders, giving you easy access to some rich history and thrilling outdoor activities.

  5. The Forth Rail Bridge Edinburgh to North Queensferry

    Image: The Forth Bridge in South Queensferry at sunset

    © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam, all rights reserved

    Time: 20 mins

    The Forth Bridge is an iconic structure which connects Edinburgh with Fife across the Firth of Forth. It is a recognised UNESCO World Heritage site.

    Enjoy amazing views of the Firth of Forth and the other bridges as you speed across on the train. You can take the train from Edinburgh and get off at either Dalmeny or North Queensferry to admire the bridge from below.

  6. The Strathspey Steam Railway Aviemore to Boat of Garten and Broomhill

    Image: VisitScotland logo

    Time: 1h 45 mins

    Perfect for: a fun family day out, vintage steam train trips, wild birds of prey

    See the majestic Cairngorm mountains from the comfort of a plush carriage on a trip along the Strathspey Steam Railway. Tuck into afternoon tea or a three-course Sunday lunch on board the train or stop off at Boat of Garten to spot ospreys and other wildlife at the nearby RSPB reserve.

  7. The Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway Bo-ness to Kinneil, Birkhill and Manuel Junction, Whitecross

    Image: The Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway

    Time: 1h 10 mins

    The route passes by the local nature reserve, estate and museum at Kinneil and the charming vintage railway station at Birkhill. Book aspecial trip with Thomas the Tank Engine for young kids, while all the family can climb aboard heritage locomotives at the Museum of Scottish Railways in Bo'ness after the trip.

    Key facilities
    • Pets Welcome
    • Accessible Parking Or Drop-off Point
    • Accessible toilets
    • Level Access
    • Parking
    • Cafe or Restaurant
  8. The Royal Deeside Railway Milton of Crathes

    Image: The Royal Deeside Railway

    Time: 20 mins

    Look out for: the award-winning Victorian station and railway carriage tearoom

    Take a journey through the beautiful Royal Deeside countryside, as this heritage railway runs for a mile alongside the River Dee. Explore the Milton of Crathes complex for craft shops, a restaurant and art gallery.

  9. Leadhills and Wanlockhead Railway Leadhills

    Image: Leadhills And Wanlockhead Railway

    Time: 30 mins

    This railway runs between Scotland’s highest villages, Leadhills and Wanlockhead in Dumfries & Galloway. This round trip takes you through the mining area. You can request to get off at Glengonnar Halt and walk into the village of Wanlockhead to visit the Museum of Lead Mining.

    Key facilities
    • Pets Welcome
    • Accessible Parking Or Drop-off Point
    • Parking
  10. Keith and Dufftown Railway Dufftown to Drummuir, Towiemore, Keith Town

    Image: Keith Town Station

    Time: 40 mins

    This heritage railway runs for 11 miles through dense pine forests, the valley around the River Isla and rolling fields. Try and spot the local wildlife from the window including red squirrels, deer, buzzards and other birds of prey.

    Key facilities
    • Pets Welcome
    • Accessible Parking Or Drop-off Point
    • Accessible toilets
    • Level Access
    • On Public Transport Route
    • Parking
    • Cafe or Restaurant
  11. The Belmond Royal Scotsman Starts from Edinburgh

    Image: VisitScotland logo

    Perfect for: luxury travel, stunning scenery, first-class service, exquisite food and drink

    If you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure on a luxury train in Scotland, then treat yourself to a trip aboard the truly glamorous Belmond Royal Scotsman. This ultra-exclusive train offers fine-dining and 5-star hospitality as guests are whisked away on luxury breaks around the country, stopping off along the way for unforgettable experiences and excursions.

  12. The Aberdonian Edinburgh to Forth Bridge, Perth, Dundee, Aberdeen

    Image: The Aberdonian Steam Train

    Time: All day

    This train runs along the coast of Fife before heading up to Perth and along the coast again to Dundee, through Angus and up north to Aberdeen. There are bookable off-train excursions to a castle or whisky tasting. You can enjoy fine Scottish produce on-board served by a friendly team.

  13. Museum of Scottish Railways Bo'ness, near Falkirk

    Image: Museum of Scottish Railways

    Not a train tour, but a chance to find out more. 

    Railway locomotives, carriages and wagons – there’s plenty to keep all explorers entertained at the fascinating Museum of Scottish Railways at Bo’ness, near Falkirk.

    Key facilities
    • Pets Welcome
    • Accessible Parking Or Drop-off Point
    • Accessible toilets
    • Level Access
    • Parking

Find more

See all of our train tours in Scotland

General tickets and travel information

There are a variety of tickets available for national railway routes through Scotrail.

Buy train tickets

Look out for the Spirit of Scotland Travelpass, which gives you:

  • 4-days unlimited travel over 8 consecutive days for £149
  • 8-days unlimited travel over 15 consecutive days for £189

Buy the Spirit of Scotland Travelpass

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