typical Autumnal morning found my travelling companion and me waiting at
Manchester Piccadilly to catch the
The Virgin Voyager’s travel between Manchester and Glasgow
or Edinburgh every couple of hours but the particular reason for catching the
09:58 is tickets for the service can be purchased through the website,
Now some of you might already be familiar with
this web site but for the uninitiated please read the next sentence very
carefully! If you book approximately fourteen days in advance two people can
travel on this service for …… £6.50 No
it’s not a typo that really is 2 adults
destination however is not
Bar is reputed to have the longest bar counter in the
uk! The counter is in the shape of a horseshoe, and the horseshoe motif is
repeated over and over again in the classic unspoilt interior. The wonderful
interior and real ales kept on top form should be enough to woo the discerning traveller
but if that isn’t enough why not call in and partake in
the three course lunch offer for the princely some of £3.45 for three courses!!
I kid you not. Whilst it’s hardly going to be a recipient of a Michelin Star
for the grub at this price it is excellent value and a much better proposition
that the ‘fast food’ outlets that seemingly occupy every street corner.
Cockles suitably warmed we boarded the train for Inverness. The highland line to Inverness is ruggedly beautiful, however as this was Autumn the journey north was sadly under the cover of darkness. This did however allow time to confirm our food and drink arrangements for the evening.
After checking in at the Royal Highland Hotel, built by the Highland Railway Company in 1854 and immediately adjacent to the station we headed of to Good Beer Guide listed Blackfriars. Turning right out of the station the Blackfriars is approximately 150 metres along this road. Offering up to 8 real ales and hosting regular real ale festivals this is probably the City centre's premier real ale emporium. Feeling flushed with the success of over four hundred miles travelled and bargains galore we decided to go a little up market for dinner. Rocpool was our chosen location, a smart, chic restaurant sitting beside the river Ness. Cool and stylish but friendly Rocpool offers commendable modern European cooking. Suitably impressed we headed back to our hotel to look forward to our first night in one of Scotland's famous station hotels and the excitement of another days rail travel to come.