Step onboard a Belmond train for an unforgettable journey around the UK
The name Belmond is synonymous with extraordinary experiences, operating some of the most famous trains, hotels and river cruises in the world, including Belmond Northern Belle and Belmond British Pullman (sister train to the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express), which take passengers on day trips to exciting destinations across Britain.
Highlights on Belmond Northern Belle – which captures the opulence of 1930s Belle trains and departs from Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester among other regional stations – include historic cities Edinburgh and York, a Mad Hatter’s afternoon tea party and events such as Royal Ascot, while Belmond British Pullman journeys from London go to must-visit gems including Glorious Goodwood and Blenheim Palace. In June 2017, both trains will travel to the new RHS Chatsworth House Flower Show. Set in stunning Capability Brown grounds on the banks of the River Derwent, the show will celebrate past garden designers and the cutting-edge ‘Design Revolutionaries’ of today.
The magic of a journey by steam is enhanced by Belmond British Pullman’s unique flourishes that are reminiscent of the golden age of travel: veneered panels decorated with Art Deco marquetry, brass luggage racks and tables set with linen, silver and crystal. From the tasting menus created by Michelin-starred chefs, to lavish dinners paired with different champagnes and wine, exclusive fine dining is a given and a real draw for foodies (as is one particularly special itinerary: a three-course lunch at Raymond Blanc’s world-renowned Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, followed by two courses of dessert and coffee on the return journey).
For longer trips, Belmond Royal Scotsman is the UK’s only fully inclusive, luxury sleeper train. Likened to a country house on wheels, it takes just 40 guests from Edinburgh on tours of the Scottish Highlands – past pine-clad mountains which are reflected in mirror-still lochs, to discover ancient castles, glorious gardens and famous whisky distilleries. An observation car with richly upholstered armchairs and an open-air veranda provide an ideal vantage point from which to soak up the ever-changing view and trade stories with fellow passengers, while ensuite cabins provide a nostalgic haven in which to relax.
Two sumptuous, wood-panelled restaurant cars – Raven and Swift – offer celebrated fine dining options, expertly created in the onboard kitchen. With game-rich glens, Aberdeen Angus beef, a wealth of seafood and rivers of wild salmon, chefs use locally sourced, sustainable ingredients and regional specialties abound.
Trips range from two days to a week and include a four-night heritage homes and gardens tour of some of Scotland’s most enchanting castles and magnificent estates; a three-night western journey that explores iconic natural wonders such as Loch Lomond, Ben Nevis and the Isle of Bute; and a four-night golf special, where you can tee off at some of the world’s best courses. Meanwhile, whisky connoisseurs can indulge in a four-night journey in association with The Scotch Malt Whisky Society – the world’s foremost malt whisky club – specialists in single cask, single malt whiskies.
Of course, if none of that puts the stuffing in your haggis, you can always choose Belmond Royal Scotsman’s bespoke service and write your own itinerary with private charters and the new ‘Action Stations’ offering – a series of thrilling and adventurous off-board excursions (think whitewater rafting, climbing, mountain biking, clay pigeon shooting, quad biking, river fishing and horse riding). For the really daring, there’s also the option of ‘bridge swinging’ or ascending Scotland’s third highest waterfall near Fort William and Glencoe. But whichever experience or train you choose, one thing’s for sure: you’ll be hard pushed to find a more comfortable way to see the UK in all its glory.
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