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Take a steam train ride on your holidays in Scotland
There's little more romantic than the sound of a train whistle as you head around the shore of a loch or through a glen. A steam train trip makes holidays in Scotland all that more memorable.
McKinlay Kidd (www.seescotlanddifferently.co.uk) offers breaks based on a steam train trip up the northernmost stretch of the West Highland line, possibly the most scenic stretch of railway anywhere in Europe, and recently voted the world's best rail journey.
You travel on the Jacobite Express from Fort William to Mallaig, passing over the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct, which children will immediately recognise from the long shots of the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter films.
You stay in a small and pretty family-run hotel in the village of Spean Bridge. Take in the views of Loch Lochy, Ben Nevis and the Great Glen, or relax in the lounge with traditional Scottish tea and scone.
Breaks cost £279 per person for May, June and September, £269 per person for October, and £289 per person for July & August. These are based on 2 people sharing for 2 nights on a dinner, bed & breakfast basis. Children sharing a family room start from £130 per child, including children's tea.
Fancy a visit to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo in 2012? Do it in style on the Statesman steam train (www.statesmanrail.com). There are departures from Manchester and towns across the Midlands to Edinburgh for the weekend break, making it one of the most easily accessible steam train holidays in Scotland.
Tickets for the Tattoo are included in the cost of the trip. Stay overnight at a 4-star hotel near Stirling. There is also an optional tours of the Trossachs and Loch Katrine. Prices are £224 for Standard Class, £290 for 1st Class, £380 for Premier Dining and £430 for Pullman Dining.