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Overview

An awe-inspiring journey

Railroads have a special place in Stanford’s history. The University’s founder, Leland Stanford, was one of the “Big Four” who spearheaded the building of America’s first transcontinental railroad and the man who, in 1869, drove home the ceremonial Golden Spike where the east and west rail lines met in Utah Territory. We’re delighted to announce this unique program that includes an exciting mix of rail travel through some of Great Britain’s most beautiful countryside and into several of its storied cities.

During day trips on two historic private railways (including narrow-gauge and steam trains) in England and Wales and a two-night journey aboard the luxurious Belmond Royal Scotsman through the Scottish Highlands, we’ll discover the glens, forests, ruins and ancient city centers that make Great Britain so enchanting.

Dates

June 21–July 1, 2022

Duration

11 days

Price

From $13,795 per person

Trip size

34 participants

Minimum age

18 years

Faculty leader

A different kind of classroom

With renowned Stanford faculty and scholars leading the way, every Travel/Study trip is a one-of-a-kind educational experience.

Elaine Treharne

English

Professor Treharne researches medieval British literature, manuscript studies and the history of text to recover the stories and literary traces of those who have gone before us.

Itinerary

A rail journey through Wales, England and Scotland

Observe and engage in a variety of robust Scottish pastimes, including clay-pigeon shooting, tartan weaving and whisky tasting. In Wales, birthplace of the Arthurian legend, explore medieval Conwy Castle.

  • Manchester, England / Llandudno, Wales

    Depart the U.S. on overnight flights to Manchester. Upon arrival on Tuesday, transfer to Llandudno and check in to our classic country house hotel, situated amid meadows and traditional gardens. Gather for a welcome reception before dinner this evening.

    Accommodations:

    Bodysgallen Hall And Spa

    Included meal: Dinner
  • Conwy, Wales / Snowdonia

    Explore the walled market town of Conwy, including a tour of Plas Mawr, an unusually well-preserved Elizabethan house dating from 1585, and a magnificent harborside castle, part of the UNESCO World Heritage site Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd. Conwy Castle was built in the 1280s by Edward I during his conquest of Wales and is considered one of the most atmospheric medieval castles in Britain; it has the most complete set of medieval walls, enveloping both the castle and its tiny town center. After lunch drive through the majestic Snowdonia mountain region, stopping at the village of Betws-y-Coed, with its stone cottages and cascading waterfalls. Enjoy a special private visit and afternoon tea at Gwydir Castle, hosted by the owners, whose ancient abode is regarded as one of the finest Tudor houses in Wales.

    Accommodations:

    Bodysgallen Hall And Spa

    Included meals: Breakfast and lunch
  • Ffestiniog Railway, Wales / Porthmadog

    The Ffestiniog Railway is the world’s oldest narrow-gauge railway, constructed during the Industrial Revolution to transport slate from mountain quarries to the harbor in Porthmadog, where it was then shipped all over the world. Today at the Llechwedd Slate Caverns, we learn about the heritage of slate production in Wales, then journey down the mountain in a privately reserved vintage carriage aboard the Ffestiniog Railway through pastures and forests and past lakes and waterfalls. Upon arrival at Porthmadog, browse the railway’s engineering sheds.

    Accommodations:

    Bodysgallen Hall And Spa

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Llandudno, Wales / York, England

    Enjoy a picturesque drive from Llandudno to York, a walled city at the confluence of the Ouse and Foss Rivers. Admire the impressive York Minster, the largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe; its rose window commemorates the union of the houses of York and Lancaster in the late 15th century. Stroll along the Shambles, a narrow lane with overhanging timber-framed buildings, some of which date to the 14th century. Once lined with butcher shops, the Shambles and a surrounding maze of ancient, narrow, cobblestone streets now feature shops, cafés and restaurants. Take a scenic walk along York’s beautifully preserved city walls. At a length of more than two miles, they are the longest medieval town walls in England and offer amazing views.

    Accommodations:

    The Grand York

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Pickering, England / Whitby

    Mix with locals at the weekly market in the Yorkshire village of Pickering, which lies at the foot of Norman castle ruins. From Pickering ride the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, a heritage railway and one of the busiest steam heritage lines in the world, through moors to the seaside town and port of Whitby. Wander around the ruins of Whitby Abbey. Located at the top of the East Cliff, this abbey was once the residence of England’s earliest recognized poet, Caedmon. The town itself has been depicted in many literary works, including Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

    Accommodations:

    The Grand York

    Included meals: Breakfast and lunch
  • York, England

    This morning explore the National Railway Museum, which tells the story of rail transportation in Britain and its impact on society. This award-winning museum displays the national collection of 400-plus historically significant railway vehicles, as well as other artifacts and ephemera related to the railways. Drive through the lush Yorkshire Dales and stop for lunch at a private country estate. In the afternoon visit Fountains Abbey, one of the largest and best-preserved Cistercian monasteries in England and part of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Studley Royal Park.

    Accommodations:

    The Grand York

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • York, England / Edinburgh, Scotland

    Travel by standard train to Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland since at least the 15th century, and the current home of the Scottish Parliament and seat of the monarchy in Scotland. A center of education, finance and culture, Edinburgh boasts several outstanding historic sites: the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh Castle, and the Old Town and New Town, named together as a UNESCO World Heritage site. After lunch walk along the Royal Mile, Old Town’s main thoroughfare, and attend a private demonstration of the intricate art of tartan weaving. Dinner is on our own this evening.

    Accommodations:

    The Balmoral

    Included meals: Breakfast and lunch
  • Edinburgh / Embark / Boat of Garten, Scotland

    Take advantage of early entry to Edinburgh Castle for a private tour. This historic fortress has served as both a royal residence and a military barracks. Its many roles today include housing the Scottish crown jewels and several museums. After a special presentation on the Scottish accent and Scottish slang, board the Belmond Royal Scotsman and depart for our rail journey among the rolling hills of Perthshire and the dramatic peaks and valleys of the Scottish Highlands. After dinner in one of the dining cars, over a wee dram, meet in the observation car with a local clansman who recounts tales that bring Scottish history to life. Our train remains stationary overnight at the quiet Boat of Garten Station to ensure a peaceful night’s sleep on board.

    Accommodations:

    Belmond Royal Scotsman

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Cairngorms National Park, Scotland / Inverness / Aberdeen / Dundee

    Experience the Rothiemurchus Estate this morning in the heart of Cairngorms National Park. This superb Highland estate offers stunning landscapes of lochs, rivers and moorlands, and one of the largest remnants of the ancient Caledonian pine forest that once covered most of Scotland. Give clay-pigeon shooting or fly-fishing a try, with the help of qualified instructors as needed, or opt to explore the estate. Return to our train for lunch, then set off for Inverness to visit Culloden Battlefield, site of the final confrontation of the Jacobite uprising of 1745–46 and the last pitched battle fought on British soil. Heading east toward Aberdeen, stop at the Strathisla Distillery, Scotland’s oldest continuously operating distillery. Learn about the craft of whisky making and the art of blending as you tour this historical facility. This evening celebrate our railway adventure at an elegant formal dinner aboard our train, which stables overnight at the railway station in Dundee.

    Accommodations:

    Belmond Royal Scotsman

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Dundee, Scotland / Edinburgh / Disembark

    Ride by rail south through the former Kingdom of Fife and across the Forth Bridge to Edinburgh. Disembark our train and delight in an exclusive private showing of Hopetoun House on the River Forth, the stately and expansive home of the Marquess of Linlithgow. After lunch at Hopetoun House’s old stables, check in to our hotel and enjoy time at leisure before a festive farewell reception and dinner.

    Accommodations:

    The Balmoral

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Edinburgh / U.S.

    After breakfast transfer independently to the airport for flights home.

    Included meal: Breakfast

Trip details

Start preparing for the trip of a lifetime

From top to bottom, we’ve taken care of all the details, so you can enjoy a no-stress, worry-free travel experience.

view of castle and bridge with river on cloudy day

Pricing

Secure your spot today

The price of your trip covers a comprehensive educational program in addition to meals, accommodations, tours and excursions. Continue reading for a full list of what’s included.

blue tones over lake and island with castle estate

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