Taking viewers on board the iconic Royal Scotsman.

Alan Cumming's Most Luxurious Train Journeys: Scotland is the new series with exclusive, behind-the-scenes access to the Royal Scotsman – an iconic, opulent train – as it embarks on one of the world’s great rail journeys, racing through spectacular settings, and showcasing the finest heritage, nature and romance Scotland has to offer.

Tony, Olivier and Golden Globe winning actor Alan Cumming (The Good Wife) will experience what it is like to be a passenger on this epic adventure, cruising through the Highlands and indulged like royalty. This is a decadent railway trip of a lifetime and the international travellers on board certainly have plenty of character…


In this leg of the journey Alan boards the train in Edinburgh and receives an exclusive tour of the train by Head of Housekeeping Karen, before settling into his luscious cabin.

He meets Executive Chef Mark who shows him the workings of his unique kitchen before revealing the delicate artistry of crafting exquisite meals and fresh baked bread and rolls every day.

Venturing beyond the train, Alan visits the Commando Memorial in Lochaber which pays homage to the brave British Commandos Forces who served during World War II.

He sips champagne whilst taking a leisurely stroll across the gorgeous Silver Sands of Morar, filming location of the beloved Scottish movie ‘Local Hero’. 

Alan then hears the incredible story of the construction West Highland Line’s extension from Fort William to the fishing town of Mallaig, and how this engineering marvel connects Scotland's remote landscapes.

The train gracefully traverses the iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct before Alan visits the Glenfinnan Monument, which commemorates the Jacobite rising of 1745.


In this leg of the journey Alan gets treated to some serious pampering in the onboard spa, while surrounded by stunning views.

At the magnificent Wemyss Bay station he learns how the buildings unique glass and steel design seamlessly connects passengers from train to ferry.

Alan visits the Isle of Bute for a tour of Mount Stuart, one of the most extraordinary and technologically advanced Victorian homes ever built.  He also gets special access to a rare copy of the first folio of William Shakespear from 1623.

Train Manager Alex lets Alan visit an area usually off limits to guests – his office come cabin.

Engineer Giann climbs onto the tracks and under the train to do essential maintenance before it departs to its next destination.

Alan goes into the Scottish countryside to get a taster of exclusive adventure trip offered just once a year on the train.  There he discovers a treasure island, forages on nature’s bounty and takes a wild swim under an incredible waterfall.

In Pitlochry Alan has an exclusive tour of Scotland’s Theatre In The Hills, one of the last repertory theatres in the UK.


Alan's luxurious trip continues as he joins the train in Edinburgh for New tour. He is Given an exclusive tour of its plush cabins, each a sanctuary of indulgence and comfort.

Our first stop is a soul-stirring guided visit to Culloden. Here, Alan immerses himself in the echoes of a bloody battle that unfolded on this sacred ground, understanding the profound impact it had on the tapestry of Scottish history. 

In the picturesque village of Plockton, Alan and his fellow guests explore the coastal marvels of Scotland on an enthralling seal-spotting boat trip overlooking the Isle of Skye.

In Garve, the adventure takes an enthralling turn as Alan delves into the traditions of the cattle drovers, unravelling the ingenuity behind how livestock were historically transported across the Scottish landscape. 

Back on board, Alan learns the art of napkin folding before achieving a childhood dream by taking to the driver’s seat and driving a train along the private Strathspey railway.

The on-board whisky ambassador gives Alan a lesson on the water of life.   She explains the intricate details that make each spirit unique, creating a sensory experience that captures the essence of Scotland.

Later Alan gets an up-close encounter with a very rare white-tailed eagle before embracing a session of deep yoga in the heart of the Scottish countryside. 


Alan gets a taste of another luxurious journey that only happens twice every year. Visiting Oban he boards a boat, setting sail to the sacred island of Iona, known as the cradle of Christianity in Scotland. On this spiritual haven, Alan discovers the story of the historical Iona Marble Quarry, where quarriers excavated this precious stone in the late 1700's and exported it around the world.  The nautical odyssey continues as Alan cruises past the legendary Fingal's Cave on Staffa Island.

Back on board the train the staff are busy preparing for the return of guests, meticulously cleaning the train from top to bottom.  Once complete, they take the opportunity to explore Oban, renowned as the seafood capital of Scotland. At the bustling pier they indulge in the freshest offerings, savouring the rich and varied flavours of the sea.

When guests return from their day trip Alan discovers a familiar face on board and reveals the story of how they once shared a moment on stage together on Broadway.

Venturing inland, Alan visits the historic Scone Palace, the site of the first Scottish Parliament and crowning place of Scottish Kings.  It's now the home of Lady Mansfield, who takes Alan on an exclusive tour, revealing the palace's connections to Marie Antoinette and Dido Belle.

As the train berths in Dundee for the night Alan explores the V&A Dundee, delving into an exhibition that unravels the complexities of tartan – a material which can be both deeply radical and terrifically twee. To his surprise, Alan discovers he has a prominent role in the exhibition.

The grand finale unfolds with a spectacular traditional ceilidh on the platform of a train station, capturing the spirit of Scotland in a lively celebration. The Royal Scotsman makes its triumphant journey over the iconic Forth Rail Bridge before returning to Edinburgh for an emotional farewell. Guests bid a heartfelt adieu to the dedicated train staff who gather in the observation deck as the train departs in spectacular style.


4 x one hour


Channel 4





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