You are welcomed aboard by respected gardening writer Sue Chivers and photographer Patsy Floyd before an early-afternoon departure. Head north, crossing the splendid Forth Railway Bridge. Disembark at Montrose for Edzell Castle, an enchanting ruin with a delightful walled garden, which was the seat of the Lindsays for several generations. Rejoin the train at Stonehaven and continue into Speyside, stopping at Keith for an informal dinner and overnight stabling.
During a leisurely breakfast, the train makes its way to Inverness and north to Invergordon, where guests alight for a visit to the 18th-century Foulis Castle, seat of the Clan Munro for 700 years. Mrs Munro of Foulis and her son, Hector, the Clan Chief, welcome you, after which you can explore the grounds and courtyard garden. Return to the train for lunch as you travel towards Kyle of Lochalsh on the sublimely scenic line past the Torridon mountains, Achnashellach forest and Loch Carron. Disembark at Plockton for a visit to Attadale on the west coast. Home to the Macpherson family since the 1950s, this magnificent estate boasts a Water Garden, Japanese Garden and Sunken Garden among other treasures. The night is spent in Kyle of Lochalsh, where a lavish dinner is followed by entertainment in the Observation Car, where you can also gaze across Loch Alsh to Skye.
The day begins by travelling back to Dingwall, skirting the Beauly Firth and crossing the northern end of the Caledonian Canal to Inverness. You leave the train at Carrbridge to visit Logie House, owned by Mr and Mrs Alastair Laing, who escort you round their lovely home and gardens. Rejoin the train at Boat of Garten for a formal dinner, then be regaled with entertaining stories of Scottish heroes.
A coach takes you to the Rothiemurchus Estate, where you can tour the hunting lodge and parkland or enjoy some of the many outdoor activities on at this breathtakingly beautiful site beneath the Cairngorm Mountains. After reboarding the train at Aviemore, you journey south to Dunkeld and alight for a visit to Pitmuies Garden, near Forfar, with its two semi-formal walled gardens, a long border of herbaceous perennials, old-fashioned roses and many rare plants. Return to the train in Dundee for dinner and a final night on board.
Depart Dundee in the morning and return to Edinburgh.
The Royal Scotsman departs Edinburgh at 1.42pm on day one and arrives back in Edinburgh at 9.46am on day five.
Itineraries are subject to change and all timings shown are for your guidance only. Confirmed itineraries and timings will be supplied with your travel documents.