There’s something special about railway trips. They’re a nostalgic way to travel, taking us back to a simpler time when the pace of life was slower and the landscape was unspoiled. This is especially true in Scotland, where the country’s stunning scenery is best appreciated from the windows of a train. Railway trips in Scotland offer you a breathtaking view of the rugged Highlands to the windswept coastline. Scotland can only be explored by train, and that is the best way to do it. However, if you are planning to do something different this time, then you can also head on your journey with the Famous Road Trips in Scotland. I am sure that you haven’t explored these roads till now.
To help you plan your own Scottish rail adventure, we’ve put together a list of the 9 best train journeys in Scotland. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride!
1. The Jacobite
There’s no denying that the Harry Potter films have brought a renewed interest in train travel, and there’s no better way to channel your inner Hogwarts student than by taking a ride on the Jacobite.
This scenic steam train runs for 84 miles through the Scottish Highlands, crossing over the iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct, made famous in the films. The scenic railway journey in Scotland takes you past lochs, forests, and mountains, culminating in a journey through time as the train enters the remote Kyle of Lochalsh.
If you’re looking for a truly magical experience, the Jacobite is not to be missed.
Connecting: Fort William and Mallaig
Best attraction: Breathtaking scenery of Loch Eil, Glenfinnan Viaduct, and Arisaig
Distance: 41 miles
Journey time: 2 hours
2. The West Highland Line
Train journeys are not just about reaching from one destination to another; they are more than that and in Scotland, the West Highland Line, is the perfect synonym to beautiful train journey. It is one of the most scenic train routes in the world with stunning vistas out from your window.
The West Highland Line is one of Scotland’s most iconic railway lines, running for 164 miles from Glasgow to Fort William and then on to Mallaig. The journey takes you through some of Scotland’s most breathtaking scenery, including the stunning Glencoe Valley, and past Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis.
The West Highland Line has been voted one of the greatest railway journeys in the world, and it’s not hard to see why. This is a must-do for any rail fan or anyone looking to experience the best of Scotland’s Highlands.
Connecting: Glasgow – Fort William – Mallaig
Best attraction: Views of a Highland loch, Trossachs National Park, and expansive, movie-like scenery.
Distance: 164 miles
Journey time: 5 hours 15 minutes
3. The Glasgow South Western Line
For those looking to escape the city, the Glasgow South Western Line is the perfect option. This scenic railway line in Scotland runs for 79 miles from Glasgow to Ayr, passing through some of Scotland’s most beautiful countryside.
The most awaited highlights of the Glasgow South Western Line include the picturesque villages of Alloway and Maybole, as well as Culzean Castle – one of Scotland’s most impressive stately homes. Apart from Culzean Castle, there is another beautiful castle in the capital city of Edinburgh, and here is the route guide to reach Edinburgh Castle.
With stunning coastal views and historic landmarks, the Glasgow South Western Line is a great way to explore Scotland by train.
Connecting: Glasgow to Ayr
Best attraction: impressive view of Culzean Castle
Distance: 79 miles
Journey time: 58 Minutes
4. The Inverness-Kyle Line
The Inverness-Kyle Line is one of Scotland’s most scenic railway lines, running for 107 miles through the Highlands from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh.
The journey takes you through some of Scotland’s most stunning scenery, including the picturesque Loch Ness and Glen Affric – one of Britain’s last remaining wilderness areas. With its dramatic landscapes and remote location, the Inverness-Kyle line is Scotland’s most iconic railway and a truly unique way to experience the Scottish Highlands.
Connecting: Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh
Best attraction: Picturesque Loch Ness and Glen Affric.
Distance: 107 miles
Journey time: 2 hours and 30 minutes
5. The Highland Main Line
The Highland Main Line is one of Scotland’s busiest railway lines, running for 118 miles from Perth to Inverness.
Despite its relatively short length, the Highland Main Line packs in a lot of beautiful scenery along its way, including gorgeous loch-side views and passes through some of Scotland’s most picturesque towns and villages. If you’re looking for a taste of the Scottish Highlands without venturing too far off the beaten path, the Highland Main Line is a great option.
Connecting: Perth to Inverness
Best attraction: Panoramic scene of towns and villages along the route
Distance: 118 miles
Journey time: 2 Hours
6. The Edinburgh to Aberdeen Line
Another of Scotland’s busiest railway lines, the Edinburgh to Aberdeen line runs for 98 miles through some of Scotland’s most beautiful countryside. This scenic railway journeys in Scotland features golf courses such as St Andrews and Carnoustie, as well as Pitlochry – a charming Victorian town nestled in Perthshire.
With its mix of countryside and coast, the Edinburgh to Aberdeen line is a great way to see some of Scotland’s best scenery through train in a short amount of time.
Connecting: Edinburgh to Aberdeen
Best attraction: magnificent view of red Forth Bridge.
Distance: 92 miles (148 km)
Journey time: 2 Hour 33 Minutes
7. The Far North Line
For those looking for a truly remote train trip experience in Scotland, the Far North Line is not to be missed. This beautiful but little-known railway line runs for 93 miles from Inverness to Thurso, making it one of Britain’s longest single-track railways.
The Far North Line winds its way through some of Scotland’s most stunning scenery, including mountain passes, loch-side views, and remote moorland landscapes. This is a great option for anyone looking to get off the beaten track and explore some of Scotland’s wildest and most remote scenery.
Connecting: Inverness to Thurso
Distance: 93 miles
Journey time: 3 – 4 Hours
8. The Borders Railway
The Borders Railway is Scotland’s newest railway line, having only reopened in 2015 after being closed for over 40 years. The 35-mile-long railway line runs from Edinburgh to Galashiels and Tweedbank in the Borders region of South East Scotland.
The Borders Railway is one of the best scenic train journeys in Scotland that takes you through some of Scotland’s most beautiful countryside, including rolling hillsides, quaint villages, and lush green valleys. This Scotland train journey is a great option for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and explore some of Scotland’s quieter corners.
Connecting: Edinburgh with Galashiels and Tweedbank
Distance: 35 miles (56.8 km)
Journey time: Approx 1 hour
9. The Caledonian Sleeper
For those looking for a truly unique rail experience, the Caledonian Sleeper is not to be missed. This overnight train service runs from London to Fort William or Inverness, allowing you to experience some of Scotland’s most breathtaking scenery while sleeping comfortably in your own private cabin.
This beautiful train journey in Scotland is a great option for anyone looking to make their journey through Scotland an adventure in itself. With its comfortable cabins and dramatic landscapes out your window, this is sure to be an unforgettable experience.
Connecting: London to Fort Willia
Best attraction: Exotic view of dramatic landscapes
Distance: 418 miles (673 km).
Journey time: 13h 2m
Few things are as quintessentially Scottish as Scotland’s most scenic railway journey through the Highlands. While there are many amazing train journeys to be had in Scotland, these 9 scenic train rides in Scotland are the best of the best.
From the world-famous Jacobite Steam Train – which passes through the stunning Glenfinnan Viaduct – to the Far North Line, which winds its way through the remote and wild Caithness, these railway trips in Scotland offer a truly unique way to see Scotland.
So whether you’re looking for breathtaking scenery, a dose of history or an adventure off the beaten path, one of these 10 best train journeys in Scotland is sure to fit the bill.
Also, don’t forget to share your Scottish train journey experience with us and motivate our readers.