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Orient-Express has announced several new Great Britain train journeys for 2013. Some have appeal for a broad cross-section of travelers, while others target special interests.
The Classic Whisky Journey departs Edinburgh on April 21, in association with The Scotch Malt Whisky Society. The trip is new for the 2013 season and includes visits to well-known Scottish distilleries led by an expert from The Scotch Malt Whisky Society. In addition to the many whiskies onboard, guests will also be able to sample a variety of the society's exclusive malts along the way. Available extensions on The Royal Scotsman include Loch Lomond, Gleneagles and Edinburgh. Golf- and whisky-focused charters can also be arranged on request.
The company has reintroduced The Royal Scotsman's Country Homes and Gardens journey, departing Edinburgh Waverley on June 7. The trip offers an experience of Scotland's finest homes and gardens on a guided tour led by writer Sue Shivers and photographer Patsy Floyd. Participants will travel along the eastern coast, covering 720 miles, in a route that takes them past ancient castles and famous gardens.
Northern Belle's Great Britain schedule features new family-focused journeys. A visit to Chester Zoo, from a number of departure points, is scheduled on May 10, June 8 and Nov. 8. Participants will get a behind-the-scenes look at the zoo, which has the world's largest jaguar enclosure and Europe's largest group of orangutans. Budding wizards will be spellbound on the journey to the Warner Brother's Studio and World of Harry Potter on Aug. 9 and 30, or Oct. 12. After an indulgent brunch is served onboard, guests disembark for a behind-the-scenes walking tour of the studio and an opportunity to explore the Harry Potter set, where they can view the props and costumes used throughout the popular series of films.
On July 17, the British Pullman will be whisking guests off from London Victoria on a Royal day out to Sandringham House in Norfolk, home to the last four generations of sovereigns. After brunch, guests will arrive at the estate and spend the day exploring the residence of Her Majesty, including a walk through the famous gardens, before getting back onboard for dinner served with champagne and wine. For those who love to be by the coast, a journey to Bournemouth by the Sea is just the ticket on either June 7 or Sept. 20 from London Victoria. The picturesque coastal town in Dorset offers an ideal day away from the city.