For fans of the popular television series “Outlander,” train travel is one of the easiest ways to soak up the sites of the Scottish Highlands.
Since the show’s debut in 2014, the number of visitors to the mostly rural northern part of Scotland has increased so much that the rise in tourism is called the “Outlander Effect.”
Come April, fans of the show — or the books on which it’s based — can tour the area in style when the Belmond Royal Scotsman begins operating train trips again. Though still months away, many of the early journeys are sold out, while others have only one carriage open.
Privacy on the Belmond Royal Scotsman
While the train first launched in 1985, its original carriages were replaced with 22 Edwardian-style cabins for journeys ranging from one to seven nights.
The mahogany-paneled dining cars on the Belmond Royal Scotsman.
Courtesy of Belmond Royal Scotsman
The Royal Scotsman has capacity for just 40 guests, which may be preferable for anyone feeling nervous about traveling with larger numbers of people. Single, twin and double bed cabins with en suite facilities are designed to ensure passengers’ privacy.
In the train’s observation car, guests can go on the open veranda to get an outside glimpse of the passing scenery. They can hear after-dinner storytelling from a Highland clansman, or local music, with a glass of one of the more than 50 different whiskies from the observation car bar.
The first ‘spa on rails’