Countries, UK

Pan’s People of Dumfries

Ya dancer, as they say in these parts, they’ve only gone and preserved Neverland, thanks to the Pan’s People of Dumfries.

For those living under the misconception that Neverland was a figment of JM Barrie’s (or Michael Jackson’s) imagination.

You might be surprised to learn that the land that time forget is a small historic town in south-west Scotland.

More associated with Scotland’s national poet Robert Burns, who lived and died here.

The House of Pan

House about that? Moat Brae

But it was here at Moat Brae House that Barrie recalled in his own words was ‘the genesis of that nefarious work… Peter Pan.’

Where this son of Kirriemuir, Angus, played as a Dumfries pupil with the schoolchildren of the house.

And explored and made up games in the garden.

Moat House has had a chequered history since Barrie was here, and was almost lost to social housing.

Before a dedicated group of bibliophiles saved it for the next generation of readers.

My wordsmith day job colleague Julie among them.

The shadow of Peter

Or Dumfries: The real Neverland

Moat House is right up our street where fantasy meets reality and Peter Pan was born.

And you can sit at the dining table with Barrie and his school friends.

And help catch Peter’s shadow and even put on a costume and star in a play of your own.

Moat House is also the home of the National Centre for Children’s Literature.

Where programmed events, exhibitions and displays are tied in with new book releases.

Of course the aim is for all children to explore the world as Barrie had,

And at Moat House you don’t have to go far to see it in all its glory.

In the Neverland Discovery Garden.

Where they tease that you might find among the towering trees and flowerbeds crocs, pirate ships, mermaids and more.

Pay a flying visit

Hooked yet: Captain Hook

Now Dumfries, an hour from Edinburgh, is one of Scotland’s hidden literary treasures.

Where a town of just 30,000 boasts heritage from two of Scotland’s, nay the world’s, great storytellers.

Why not pay a flying visit then on your Scottish holiday or short break and become one of Pan’s People in Dumfries?

Moat House is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 4pm.

Adults £10, children £7, toddlers £4, students and senior citizens £8 and garden only entry £3.



Countries, UK

Give it Welly in Banksy’s town

It’s one of life’s great mysteries alongside where does the other sock go but let’s park that to give it Welly in Banksy’s town.

My own wee city Glasgow is just emerging, blinking into the light, from a summer of Banksy at its Gallery of Modern Art.

And Glaswegians reckon Banksy made his own mark when the exhibition wrapped up.

By putting a propeller on the traffic cone on the head of the Duke of Wellington statue outside the GOMA front door.

And another cone under the Chooky’s arm.

Now if it was a Banksy stunt, and he is said to have revealed that the Chooky and the traffic cone is his favourite statue anywhere.

Duke and Duchess: In front of the statue with my Dear Old Mum

Then he is of course merely channeling the high jinx of Glasgow University student freshers.

Who first put a cone on Chooky’s heid back in the day.

Of course, the council couldn’t remove the cone at the rate the students were putting it back on.

And eventually they relented and turned a defeat into a victory.

And branded the Duke and his Cone as a symbol of The Dear Green Place.

Bristol fashion

We heart Banksy: His famous graffiti

Banksy first came to my notice on the walls of New York, a hard concrete jungle to make a mark, with his rats graffiti poking fun at Wall Street.

The artist though is believed to have been refining his skills since the Nineties.

Thousands of miles away in Bristol in the west of England.

And it is there where we are taking to you today by flagging up the Banksy Walking Tour

Well, if he was a citizen of my town I would, wouldn’t you.

Bristolians, who have a lot in common with my own Glaswegians.

Spray it again

Vermeer for the Banksy: The artist’s take

Port city, musical heritage and heritage, built on the Slave Trade (eek), and a love of graffiti and street art.

And long before Glasgow went Banksy mad the spray-paint genius was going mad around Bristol.

Daubing among other masterpieces The Girl With The Pierced Eardrum, Grim Reaper, Well-Hung Lover and The Canteen, Mild, Mild West.

And, of course, the world can only be grateful to Banksy for making graffiti, which has been around since the days of Pompeii and before, cool again.

Dare to bear: Taking on the establishment

While we also fully applaud the Bristolians for pulling down the statue of slave trader Edward Colston and throwing him in the River Avon.

And while we acknowledge that pulling down the 14ft Dundas statue in Edinburgh and hauling it to the Forth is a bit of an ask can we not put a big disclaimer on a stand in front of him?

Though height is no guarantee of permanence as evidenced when poor old Admiral Nelson too-ra-loo was blown from his plinth in Dublin back in the day.

Nelly, the symbol of Britannia ruling the ways, got the goat of others around their former empire too with the Bajans removing Irish-born Arthur Wellesley and putting them in the Barbados Museum.






Countries, UK

Darlings of the Fringe

All the greats started out at the Edinburgh Festival… The Python Boys, Not The Nine O’Clock News, Robin Williams, Fleabag and the Forth Stanza, darlings of the Fringe.

The Fab Five: The Forth Stanza

You’ll obviously have heard of us, Martin MacIntyre, award-winning Machair and Edinburgh University Gaelic Writer of Residence.

Douglas Watt, who spawned the 17th century retrospective whodunit John McKenzie series of novels.

Stewart Mercer, Professor of Primary Care and Multimorbidity at Edinburgh University.

Ed McCabe, owner of London’s Ceilidh Club and Kelta Fit dance exercise programme.

And your award-winning Travel writer, globetrotter and friend to the stars.

Phoebe fun: Ms Waller-Bridge as Fleabag

Who 21 years ago this month rocked the international Fringe (well, got a dozen guests each night of our poetry group run).

Fringe benefits

Fiery stuff: The Festival

And that’s the whole thing about the Fringe.

It is open to every wannabe theatrical thesp, coming comic or proselytising poet.

The Fringe wrapped up as all events and shows like to put it today.

And with being just 20 miles from Edinburgh, here in coastal North Berwick, I dodged the crowds to return up the Royal Mile to our venue.

Which, of course, I have done hundreds of times in passing… and still no plaque!

Dara’s darling

Georgie girl: Georgie Greer

Now all of those greats had a dream in common and small beginnings.

As Irish comedian Dara Ó Briain reassured one Fringe act this year when only one person attended their show.

Before with Dara’s endorsement the said act Georgie Greer packed the audiences.

Fringe favourites

Street entertainment: On the Royal Mile

Back when we were wowing the aisle with such social observation as Ken, political wrap as A Wake Up For The People.

And Vasectomy on St Andrew’s Day, Tarraing Sorcha, Poem on a Till Roll and Letting Go.

Social media was in its infancy.

And so as we take a trip back down Memory Lane, or the Royal Mile.

For those who were there, or followed us on our journey, to perform at the Scottish Storytelling Centre further down the Mile.

Or Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on the Isle of Skye.

They can say they saw us when we were just starting out and that we were their Darlings of the Fringe.

America, Countries, Europe, UK

Laugh is a Rollercoaster

And this is the day dedicated to thrill-seekers whose mantra is Laugh is a Rollercoaster.

You know the types who will regale you with how many Gs, angles, speed, twists and turns the new corkscrew has.

We all have Edwin Prescott to thank for patenting the first verticle loop roller coaster on this day in 1898 in Coney Island, New York.

I have, of course, a chequered history with playground attractions.

Probably scarred by being put on a Waltzer when I wasn’t yet 7.

A fright in the North

Whooooaaah: Thrill ride

And then when I did try the oul’ rollercoaster as an ‘adult’ I made the ultimate schoolboy error.

Of getting overlubricated the night before my Irish cousin Danny came to see me in Aberdeen.

And I left the previous night’s dinner outside the Granite City’s beachside park Codona’s.

Munich Fearfest

Scnapps to it: Oktoberfest

How then do some resorts think it a good idea to put bars and beerhalls around rollercoasters?

With perhaps the biggest bacchanalian bev-up of them all, Oktoberfest, boasting rollercoasters to distract revellers from the Hofbrau, Lowenbrau et al.

I was too busy trying to split up fighting football frauleins and ending up in a Munich hospital to loop the loop.

Drink up: O’Briens Hurricanes

I managed to body-swerve the big rides through choosing alternative holiday experiences over the years until Orlando came a-knocking.

Now time, the bright lights of Universal, Pat O’Brien’s frankencocktails and one of those turbocharged American breakfasts do things to a man.

And make him believe he can take on the most winding of rollercoasters at Universal Resort.

But then there was a reason Bruce Banner said: ‘You won’t like me when I’m angry’.

And I came off The Hulk as green around the gills as the Marvel monster.

Muggle magic

Drop of the tops: Drop towers

I’ve boxed clever around the rollercoasters though I wouldn’t have passed a dope test in any competition, taking motion sickness tablets on board.

But they are muggle magic if you want to go whizzing above and around Hogwarts with Harry and Ron.

I went on to find my feet, and my ride, on the Drop Tower Falcon’s Fury at Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay.

And I imagine I’m not alone in being more than respectful of the loops and twirls of big boys and big girl rollercoasters.

A ride for everyone

Green giant: The Hulk

And you know you don’t have to be a hero to stand aside, find your level of ride, and let the G-rides compete with each other.

With even Colin, my old work buddy and one of the hardest footballers I ever faced declining the Hulk’s invitation.

Colin the shots: With my buddie

There is a ride out there for everyone.

And the Velociraptor is just a big softie and just wants to take you on a twirl on his VelociCoaster.

Hey Dino: In Anaheim

So if you’ve got one near you enjoy your day.

Laugh is a rollercoaster, you just gotta ride it.


Countries, Sustainable Tourism, UK

Tree cheers

Now we’d always put the Dark Hedges from Game of Thrones No.1 but as the Woodland Trust reveals its tips for top timber we say tree cheers to these wooden wonders.

The Trust’s panel has shortlisted 12 contenders from across Britain and Northern Ireland for Tree of the Year 2023.

And they’re concentrating on urban which is probably why the Dark Hedges don’t get on it.

It’s strange, of course, that we take for granted the rich landscape under our noses or above our heads.

The cherry blossom whose pink leaves would shed onto our garage roof and driveway in our family home in Glasgow.

Or the Botanical Gardens in our cities.

Ulster says trees

Branch management: The Dark Hedges

And when we would routinely drive through the Dark Hedges en route to my Aunt Breid’s in Ballymoney, Co. Antrim.

So it is important that our green-fingered friends keep feeding the earth and our souls by flagging up trees’ place in our world.

Of course, it was never more timely as the climate change crisis reminds us that without our sustainable rain forests we have no world.

Rain forests, of course, are increasingly sought out for travellers for their itineraries particularly the sustainable adventurer.

By hook or by crook: In Tenerife

And so we have had the wood fortune of trekking through the trees of Tobago and Tenerife and all points in between and around the Eden of Ireland, Powerscourt.

But you can escape to a forested funderland in your own backyard.

Now the Woodland Trust has identified 13 trees for the Great British and Northern Irish public to vote on.

But we’re leafing through a few of them to give you a firry four and let you do the rest of the work.

Green Greenwich

Mighty oak: Greenwich Park

It helps if you’ve got large royal parks to let your trees breathe.

And the 6m sweet chestnut in Greenwich Park, London, has been inhaling for 360 years.

Since Charles II’s gardeners had it built for him.

Its put on the timber over the years and now has a 6m girth.

While its contorted, decomposing trunks have their use for wildlife habitats including invertebrates and fungi.

The Elizabethean Age

Lizzy’s picnic: Surrey

Addlestone in Surrey, south of London (no, us neither) smirks at quite such a young tree… their 7.3m crouch oak is 800 years old.

This giant is also known as the Queen Elizabeth I picnic tree after Good Queen Bess was said to have dined under its great boughs.

John Wycliff gave sermons under the tree in the 1800s, earning it the moniker Wycliff’s Oak.

And popular baptist Victorian baptist Charles Spurgeon preached there in 1872 adding ‘Speakers Corner’ to the list of aliases.

Surviving the Blitz

Cream of Devon: In Exeter

Now you can mess with the people of the West Country in England but they will prevail.

And England’s green and pleasant land stood up to the might of the Luftwaffe in the Second World War.

When 20 bombers hit Exeter and destroyed many a building, among them the Southernhay United Reformed Church on Dix’s Field in the city centre.

But the oak tee, mere feet from the front door somehow survived and still stands strong today as a symbol of hope and strength.

Tree Scotland

Made of Perth: Their pride and joy

Scotland is rightly proud of its rich forests and wildlife but our urban landscapes also boast towering trees.

The Highland Gateway Walnut in the car park of Inveralmond Retail Park on the A9 at Perth is an oasis amid the concrete.

And is at its best in the summer when its boughs offer shade and relief from the hustle and bustle as well as the sun’s rays.




Countries, Europe, Ireland, UK

Ich bin feminine Hamburger

All you single ladies, all you single ladies we bring you the safest cities in Europe… ich bin feminine Hamburger.

All courtesy of Kipling… no, not them but the other ones who make exceedingly good luggage.

And that party city jewel of the North Sea, Hamburg, comes top of their crop for single ladies to go a-travelling.

Power to your Elbe

Looking up: Hamburg

The Solo Female Traveller City Index tells us that Hamburg scores for group activities, attractions, accommodation and more.

They tell us the best ways to explore Hamburg is by foot or bicycle along its picturesque canals.

And if you really want to be ein Hamburger.

Then walk or bike through the Old Elbe Tunnel, the most visited attraction in Germany’s second city.

Speicherstadt is the world’s largest warehouse district and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Where my own fraulein was happy to be on the other side of the lens for once.

Blankenese is recommended as a non-touristy spot.

A charming village spot to spend a few hours exploring solo.

And spotting fishermen’s houses, seaside view restaurants and outdoor theatre shows.

Munich Shefest

Cheerfest: And there were women too

Now I can vouch for the second city on the list, also German, as I set off on my own for Oktoberfest in Munich.

And was taken under der wing of a busload of Aussies and Kiwis.

Out of Oktoberfest Munich is still, probably more, an easy city to get around.

With a network of trams and buses with the average one-way trip costing £3.11.

Making it straightforward to visit the city’s iconic spots, including Munich’s iconic Nymphenburg Palace or New Town Hall.

Queen of Scots

Sky’s the limit: Edinburgh

Our own wee capital city, Edinburgh, in our own wee Scottish country is also highlighted by Kipling.

They quite rightly want you to get your walking shoes on and hike up Arthur’s Seat for stunning views.

Wandering through the UNESCO heritage site of New Town.

Or take a stroll through the world-leading Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh for 72 acres of beautiful scenery.

Of course my girls, one an adopted Scot and Daddy’s Little Girl, a native Edinburgher, join me in talking up our wee home.

So Faro, so good

Jewel of Algarve: Faro

Now most of us will just see Faro in the Algarve fleetingly, zipping through the airport.

Thankfully my Portugalophile friends Surinder and Carole are always quick to remind me of Faro’s charms.

Faro promises beautiful beaches, a buzzing nightlife and historic sites to explore, including its charming Old Town.

One of Faro’s best-kept city secrets is The Capela dos Ossos, ‘the Bone Chapel’, an ancient building made from the skeletons of 1,200 monks.

Travellers wishing to learn more about Faro’s history can also explore the Municipal Museum which features a range of archaeological attractions.

For a bit of beach time, head to Praia Da Ilha Deserta for 6km of unspoiled sands.

And because all women love to shop (or is that just my Scary One?) then the Forum Algarve or Rua de Santo Antônio is the place to go.

Dublin’s femme city

Best bar none: Dublin

And we all know that it in Dublin’s femme city the girls are so pretty.

And Kipling agree and this is what they say about our old stomping ground.

Well, they want us to get on your guided bike and take in the castle… well, every good city has one.

Trinity College and the Guinness Storehouse are also must-visit destinations.

While they also suggest the Archaeology Museum, Natural History Museum and Museum of Decorative Arts.

In fact we’ll take it from here and point you to the definitive guide to Dublin… that’ll be us here.

Exceedingly good Prague

On the King Charles Bridge in Prague

You can find the other Solo Female Traveller top tips right there on Kipling.

And we’re glad to see our favourite Prague is on there… and we’d recommend good walking boots and a spare liver.

But here’s an idea, work your way through the list… starting with Ich Bin Ein Hamburger.

Countries, UK

Looking for Nessie

It was needle in the haystack time with all those glove toys on the one table… we were looking for Nessie.

Or more specifically the Son and Heir’s personal Nessie.

He had brought it in with him and helpfully put down on the table!

With all the other Nessies.

Of course those who question the existence of Nessie obviously have never been to Scotland.

And certainly not his home in Loch Ness, near Inverness in the Highlands.

Where the sea monster is in every shop window.

Loch at us now

The Loch Ness Centre will have gone through many a refurb since we visited the Highlands way back then.

Yes, even after our repatriation to Scotland a couple of years ago.

The latest iteration of the base has been at a £1.5m cost and comes with a brand new tour.

Columba’s cross

The Loch Ness Centre tracks Nessie’s 1,500-year history which we can trace back to Saint Columba of Iona, no less.

Or more accurately Irish author’s Adomnán’s Life of St Columba who regales us with how St Columba combatted the monster.

And told Nessie to leave his follower Luigne moccu Min who was swimming in the River Ness alone.

‘Go no further. Do not touch the man. Go back at once,” Col exhorted, with his sign of the cross doing the trick.

The saint had clearly scared the bejaysus out of Nessie because there were no further sightings of Nessie until the 1870s.


Scooby doobie do: How are you?

While there was a spate of finds in the Thirties with Hugh Gray’s 1933 photo credited with the start of Nessiemania.

Which has seen 11 films either about Nessie or with references to her or with her as the central character.

With Scooby-Doo even getting in on the act.

And even that confounded the Mystery Machine Mob with Velma accepting that ‘maybe some mysteries are best left unsolved.’

Today’s Loch Ness Centre is in the location of the the old Drumnadrochit Hotel where Mrs Aldie MacKay reported seeing a ‘whale-like fish’ or ‘water beast’ in the waters of Loch Ness.

Plain cruising

In the deep: Loch Ness Centre, Drumnadrochit

Of course what we all want to do is get out on the water and the Loch Ness Centre have a man who knows it like the back of his hand.

Captain Alistair Matheson will take you out on his vessel, Deepscan, named after the 1987 Operation Deepscan expedition of the loch.

You and your other 11 guests will take a journey through the past 40 years of scientific research.

And while you’re scanning the waters for Nessie, you’ll always have the breathtaking beauty of Urquhart Castle in your sights.

Standard tickets for the one-hour immersive tour at Loch Ness Centre is £13.95 for adults and £10.95 for children.

For the one-hour cruise it is £216 for the dozen of you, £19 per adult and £16.95 for children.

And seeing you’re asking, no I’ve got no more a Scooby than Velma, but we’ll be back, looking for Nessie.

One hump or two? The Loch Ness Lodge Hotel

Loch Ness is a half-hour’s drive from Inverness which can be reached by air from major airports.

Stay at the Loch Ness Lodge Hotel for £127.30 for a standard twin for two for the night.


Countries, Europe, Music, UK

Nice one Wirral

Nice one Wirral as they say in these parts, but what more can we tell you about the Mersey peninsula where the Open Golf Championship is being played?

And where we spent our first night on Merseyside, in New Brighton, ahead of a year working in Liverpool, where I also penned a golf column.

It was while there that I got a call one day from friends at Royal Liverpool, Hoylake, to tell me that a golf legend had shown up.

And whether I wanted to interview the legendary Gary Player, who was completing a round for a Japanese television show.

Twas ahead of the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Georgia, and we spoke of his fellow South African Ernie Els’s chances.

Gary was in good company in the peninsula, a magnet for sporting celebrities with Liverpool footballer and golf fanatic Ian Rush owning half of the Wirral.

New Brighton new wave

Beacon of hope: Old New Brighton lighthouse

And so back to New Brighton, where we started this Wirral odyssey.

And a reinvented holiday resort for those from the big city and further afield.

New Brighton has touches of the Brighton on the south coast, tower, ballroom and pier.

And an artsy Victorian Quarter with New Brighton priding itself on its street art.

Quick on the draw: New Brighton’s street art

While the 800-seat Floral Pavilion on the prom regularly hosts comedy shows, performances, pantomimes and plays.

And if you’re lucky you might see local comedians John Bishop and Jason Mumford.

Prize guy: with the Claret Jug in Belfast

While there’s everything from mermaids to military history and tunnels on the Hidden Wirral Myths & Legends Tours.

For the Three Gen day troupers.

And New Brighton is just for starters.

Sunlight of our life

Water display: Port Sunlight

For those who want to go back in time then Port Sunlight is a living heirloom.

And a reminder that there was a day when employers looked after their staff, in and out of work.

With Lord Lever setting up a village for his workers at his soap factory, Lever Brothers, which eventually became Unilever… the lucky suds.

And also enlightening them and us, or Sunenlightening if you will, in the arts through the Lady Lever Art Gallery

Soap opera: Port Sunlight Museum

While Port Sunlight also boasts pop musical history which you can learn about in the Port Sunlight Museum and Garden Village.

And how the Fab Four, with Ringo Starr newly ensconced, played their first gig together.

While fans of Peaky Blinders will recognise the village as Auntie Polly’s home.

Starr billing: The Beatles

So if the commentary around the Open Golf Championship at Hoylake has piqued your interest in the Wirral.

Why not make it a day trip from Liverpool or better still stay there.

Polly, put the kettle on: Polly’s home in Port Sunlight

You will want to do both anyway as you’ll be boarding the Ferry across the Mersey of course.

So Nice One Wirral and remember…

People around every cornerSeem to smile and sayWe don’t care what your name is, boyWe’ll never turn you away.



Countries, Music, UK

Musical Thames

They’re the musical Thames we live in, played out in London’s West End, and brought to you by Keith Browse Attractions,

And Mamma Mia (see what we’ve done there) does Keith have some all-singin’, all-dancin’ treats in store for us.

Keith will get you into the Skopelos spirit (ours is an ouso efcharisto).

Forever Young: Abba Voyage

With dinner at Nikos Taverna and, of course, two nights hotel accommodation for travel in September from €379pps.

Which, of course, leads us nicely into the show they’re all talking about this year, Abba Voyage.

Keith will give you two nights in a central London hotel from €365pps.

Give in to Temptation

Hands up: Ain’t Too Proud

Now, everybody loves Motown too, right?

And no, it’s not just my imagination running away with me.

It’s many a moon ago but I well remember catching the legendary combo in a cabaret in Ibiza on a Western Med cruise.

The next best thing is the musical, Ain’t Too Proud following their journey.

Hamilton’s a rap

You dancer: Hamilton

One odyssey we all go back again for is Hamilton the Musical, whose home, of course, is New York.

But as a half-Scot, by his own admission, a Hamilton production in Britain is a coming home of sorts.

Although for those of a Scottish variety then we’ll be looking put for Miranda’s masterpiece coming north.

Keith pairs the London show with two nights in a nearby hotel, from €309pps.


Countries, Deals, UK

Steamin’ in Edinburgh

And take it from an expert it’s a great idea to get steamin’ in Edinburgh.

I must admit I’m more of a Fleein’ Scotsman than a Flying Scotsman.

And that I have a conflicted relationship around Britain and its trains and their costs and efficiency.

And, in truth, back in my youth we used to run our trains better.

While truly the wonder years for railways was when we all got steamin’.

Full steam ahead…

Wee white nose: With Greyfriars Bobby

Which is what The Steam Dreams Rail. Co, want too.

Steam Dreams have launched a four-day Edinburgh Christmas Market holiday.

Which only departs on a very auspicious day when your favourite blogger first drew breath.

On November 23, a Thursday, at 9am, returning on Sunday, November 26 at 9pm.

Restored vintage carriages will be hauled by a Deltic Diesel locomotive from London to York.

Steel yourself: For the Forth Railway Bridge

Where the train will meet the steam loco 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley and complete the journey at a more relaxed pace.

This blue livery locomotive will steam over the viaducts above Durham with views down onto the city.

And and then further north cross the Tyne at Newcastle and upwards to the Scottish capital for two full days.

Market leader

White Christmas: The city skyline

Where the Christmas Market fun can begin and National Geographic voted Edinburgh’s the best in Europe in 2021.

For those seeking an extra steam train journey passengers there is an optional lunchtime tour on the Saturday across the Forth Bridge.

Around the Fife Circle to Alloa and on to Stirling before making our way back to Auld Reekie.

Tickets include three nights hotel B&B from £598pp.

Guests can also opt to book a travel only option and book their own accommodation from £349pp.

Your carriage awaits

Dramatic: Calton Hill in Edinburgh

Visitors can choose to travel in one of three classes of travel: Pullman Style Dining, First Class and Premium Standard.

Pullman Style Dining, offers the highest level of steam train bells and whistles hospitality

With passengers also able to book their accommodation independently.

Or with Steam Dreams and stay at the 5-star Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Princes Street.

First Class offers a lighter option while seated in the same luxurious carriages.

First Class passengers can stay at the 4-star Hilton Carlton Hotel or at the Radisson Blu Hotel on the Royal Mile.

While Premium Standard is the standard Steam Dreams service but with comfort at the fore and prime vistas.

Passengers will stay at the Premier Inn on the Leith Waterfront.

Deal us in

Let’s parley: The Scottish Parliament

Train Only Fare fares: Pullman Style Dining (£799pp), First Class (£399pp) and Premium Standard (£349pp).

Train and hotel fares: Pullman Style Dining (from £1548pp*), First Class (from £898pp*) and Premium Standard (from £598pp*) *Three nights bed and breakfast, supplement applies for sole occupancy of double room.

Forth Bridge Lunchtime Tour: Pullman Style Dining (£259pp), First Class (£159pp) and Premium Standard (£109pp).

So if your experience of the train is only strain then take our advice and get steamin’ in Edinburgh.