The UK & Ireland, as well as mainland Europe, has an extensive train network that covers pretty much every part of these islands and major cities. You need only look at most Open rota golf courses on television, and you will invariably spot a train line running along the boundaries of the properties, a reminder of just how many of these most famous golf courses developed as a result of the railways.
As far as golf and train travel is concerned, they can be reasonably natural bedfellows so long as you are willing to accept that Victorian train stations, in general, are not generally conducive to hauling golf bags through. In fact, if you did wish to consider utilizing some trains for part of your journey, we usually encourage clients to have their luggage shipped ahead to their next destination so that you can maximize your experience on board without the hassle of moving golf bags. One of the most unique train journeys in these parts that fit seamlessly into a golf itinerary can be found in Scotland and involves journeying on the stunning Royal Scotsman.
The Belmond Royal Scotsman
Think of pure luxury. Think of Edwardian-styled carriages entirely mahogany-clad, the smell of beautiful polish in the air. Think of cabins adorned with the most exquisite tweed furnishings, luxurious en-suite bathrooms, fabulous dressing tables, Scottish woolens decorating the bedspreads and large picture windows providing spectacular views of the Scottish countryside. Think of Scotland’s most exquisite relaxing spa on rails, its two treatment rooms offering an array of massages and treatments to soothe the body and soul. Think about the fabulous dining car, the handcrafted menu from one of the UK’s finest chefs, the perfect wine collaboration and the best whiskeys to finish it all off.
If you can imagine all this, you are only part of the way to understanding reality. We at The Consummate Pro are delighted to be able to recommend the Royal Scotsman to our clients and would be more than happy to discuss with you how you could amalgamate it into your itinerary. Journeys operate between April and October and vary in length from one to seven nights. Routes include trips through the highlands or along the east coast and can be tailored to incorporate the scotch malt whiskey trail, the lakes and gardens or castles, and clans. Golfers can include a scheduled journey as part of an itinerary where it makes sense, or we can add it as a pre or post trip extension. The taste of the Highlands, for example, is perfect for including the likes of Castle Stuart, Nairn, and Royal Dornoch or the Western Scenic Wonders for adding Prestwick, Royal Troon or Turnberry.
The Belmond Royal Scotsman is a luxurious and intimate journey, made on board one of the most beautiful trains still in existence today. A maximum of forty passengers is accommodated on any one trip offering an exclusive and intimate experience on board. Rooms are laid out as singles, doubles and also an interconnecting twin/double option.
The Belmond Hibernian
The Belmond Hibernian was inspired by Georgian Dublin’s architecture. It is the epitome of sheer luxury on rails. Every detail has been agonised over and the result is near perfection. Skilled craftsmen from Scotland and Ireland spent over 35,000 hours labouring to make sure that the Hibernian would be perfect, and we believe they have achieved it. Whether it is the bespoke Ulster carpets, stone worktops from Dublin or the little tartan detailing, nothing has been left to chance with her. There are 16 twin and 4 double en suite cabins aboard, each with a touch of Georgian style, encompassed in modern luxury. From the duck down bedding to the bespoke furniture, to the soft furnishings and beautiful Irish art, everything inside is as iconic as the landscape outside.
The restaurant cars are equally elegant and refined. The Hibernian is a food lovers heaven where many of the gastronomic experiences to be enjoyed on board are literally collected on the route. Whether it is smoked salmon in Donegal, or scallops in Kenmare, Head Chef Alan Woods incorporates as many local delicacies as possible into his daily menus, most of which is as fresh as you could realistically imagine it could be.
The Hibernian can easily be added onto a golf vacation in Ireland. The ‘Legends & Loughs’ Tour for example heads south from Dublin towards Cork, then northwards to Galway and Westport before returning to the Capital; with plenty of opportunity to explore some of the finest golf courses that Ireland has to offer perhaps during the journey, why not wait until the journey ends for fear of missing out on those luxurious surroundings. We at The Consummate Pro will be only too happy to talk to you about how we can build in a fabulous Belmond Hibernian journey into your golf vacation to Ireland.