To mark the 10th anniversary of the legendary Tornado steam locomotive, it will embark on an exclusive two-week tour round Britain in October 2018. Baroque Access finds out all the details
Only 38 passengers will enjoy this exclusive rail tour on the celebrated steam locomotive pulling 10 plush carriages belonging to the Belmond Royal Scotsman. The route will take them on an exciting journey to see some of the most famous sights in Britain including special access to some private locations that are usually not open to the public.
The journey, which sets off from Edinburgh on 14 October 2018, stretches for 2,200 miles, covering everything there is to see in this beautiful country, from popular cultural destinations like Stonehenge and Oxford to the resort town of Bath, and everything in between. The Tornado steam train is legendary. It took 14 years to build this coal-fired steam train, the first locomotive to officially reach 100 miles per hour in Britain. Tornado has only ever pulled a sleeper train once before this; that was in 2012, with His Royal Highness Prince Charles on board.
On the upcoming epic journey, Tornado will not be the only steamer train in use. While it will be used for around 2,000 miles, other steam engines, including King Edward I and Royal Scot, will also take the helm. Although Tornado has journeyed on tracks in other countries, this is the train’s UK debut, and it’s setting off to show its lucky passengers the very best that Britain has to offer.
The Belmond Royal Scotsman is undoubtedly the most luxurious train in the country as well as one of the most luxurious in the world, offering luxurious en suite cabins with plush beds and tartan décor. The Edwardian-style carriages were inspired by the old Pullman coaches and include a spa (yes, a spa on a train!), an Observation car and two dining carriages.
Aside from travelling the length and breadth of Great Britain on the train, passengers will also enjoy numerous exciting excursions as well as three black-tie dinners. Starting off in Edinburgh, Scotland, the train heads for the Highlands and a dinner at the 14th Century Cawdor Castle, inspiration for Shakespeare’s Macbeth. That’s just the start of a lavish adventure that includes a ride on a vintage train to enjoy a tour of the J&G Grant’s Glenfarclas Distillery with Scottish whisky tasting and dinner and a visit to Edinburgh Castle to see the Scottish Crown Jewels and a dinner on the castle grounds. In Chester, the passengers will dine at Peckforton Castle and there’s a side trip to North Wales to the Cambrian Coast, over Aberglaslyn Pass to Caernarfon. Passengers then re-join the Belmond Royal Scotsman in Holyhead and travel along the North Wales Coast.
There’s dinner at one of Cornwall’s finest restaurants, an excursion to Salisbury and Stonehenge and finally, a private dinner at the National Railway Museum that passengers also get to explore.
The approximately $40,000 per person tour includes nine nights on board the train, 2 nights at the luxurious Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh and two in St Ives. It’s a wonderful way to explore Britain’s many spectacular highlights while enjoying every possible luxury on board an historic steam train.