Reflections on Summer 2021

Are we there yet? That over-used phrase of kids on long journeys, bursting with hope yet irritatingly impatient, feels pertinent just now. At McKinlay Kidd we are nearing the end of a very busy summer and autumn season. But no-one is quite prepared to proclaim that we are definitely there yet when it comes to Covid.

Since we started McKinlay Kidd in 2003, we’ve always believed in helping people to venture off the beaten track, even within their own country. This has provided us with solid foundations despite these turbulent times.

Uig, Isle of Lewis

We are hugely grateful to those customers willing and able to travel with us in 2021, whether on one of our small group guided tours or a tailor-made holiday within the UK & Ireland, whether for the first time or the tenth time.

Customer photo by Helen

We had an amazing time and the route and accommodation you planned for us were perfect

Helen, UK – Tailor-made Scottish Honeymoon

We organised trips for as many people this year as we did as recently as 2018, which is remarkable given the restrictions on inbound international travel. Recently we’ve celebrated the arrival of our first intrepid visitors from overseas, prepared to navigate the forms and testing that may yet be with us for some time to come. Thankfully the guidance, systems and costs are becoming more transparent – and therefore more manageable – by the day.

Customer photo by Tricia

I can’t get over how jam packed this tour was and still it was really well organised and thought out… I’ve come to expect very little when travelling but this was never the case with you guys, I was always included

Tricia, Tampa, USA – Loch Ness, The Jacobite & Skye Guided Rail Tour

We also wish to thank sincerely those customers, both in the UK and around the world, who have stood by us with credit in place for a future trip, sometimes having had to reschedule several times. Rest assured, we are here to help. Just get in touch when you are ready to confirm your travel dates. Interest is high already for May and June 2022, especially in the remoter destinations such as the Outer Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland, the popular spots such as Devon, Cornwall & Scilly and for rail touring trips. So if you have plans forming for your trip to Scotland, Ireland, England or Wales, do get in touch sooner rather than later – call us or email [email protected].

Ring of Brodgar, Orkney

Your holiday matters to us as much as it does to you. As a fully-bonded tour operator, we provide 24/7 back-up during your trip and your money is financially protected. We like to think we do the hard work so you don’t have to – leaving you free to enjoy your precious time away.

We are a small, personal company – my name and my wife’s name are ‘on the tin’. Back in March 2020, I wrote about the business origins and how determined we were to come through the pandemic. At the time we anticipated weeks of disruption, unknowing that it would last so long. Are we close to being there yet? Let’s hope so.

2021 has been rather consuming but the time has now come for us to turn our attention positively to next year. We will soon share new ideas and new trips to inspire you alongside established favourites. We look forward to welcoming you back on a McKinlay Kidd trip when the time is right for you in 2022 or beyond.

Words by Robert @McKinlayKidd

6 thoughts on “Reflections on Summer 2021”

  1. Hi, Robert –

    My wife and I, along with another couple, have been planning to do a self-drive around the NC500 next year but the planning, so far, has proven to be a lot more difficult than we would have imagined.

    Looking at the many different types of tours you offer, we would be interested in delving a little more deeply into your services. Is it possible, given the time distances, to speak to someone on your team in person?

    The four of us currently reside in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, so we are probably six or seven hours behind the UK. Please let me know how we can connect with someone in your company by phone, if that’s possible.


    Will Brien

    1. Hi Will,

      It’s great that you want to do the NC500, it’s a fantastic trip! You can email us at [email protected] or call +44 141 260 9260 – we’d be happy to assist you with this.


  2. Thank you, Robert for the update. I am currently booked on the 10 July ‘22
    Jacobite /Skye Guided rail trip. Wish I had a crystal ball to tell me if planes will be reliable and COVID will be less prevalent by then.

    Hang on to my $$ because I’m planning to
    visit if travel seems safer then. I live in Indiana, U.S. and I fell in love with Scotland
    in 2019.

    Hoping for the best. Thanks for keeping in touch.

    Stay well,
    Pam Janos

  3. Thanks Robert for the renewed contact. My McKinlay Kidd exploration of Scotland and Ireland in 2010 was a highlight of my travelling experiences and they have been many and unusual.
    I intend to organise another trip in the UK with my wife this time and perhaps take more time and stay longer in Prime spots from where we can radiate our day trips.
    We are content to wait for greater freedom of movement—Australia is just now opening up and becoming high percentage double vaccinated.
    Hopefully late (your )summer 2022 or sometime 2023 will be the plan.
    I shall return to you with rough outlines starting in England, on to Scotland and return through Ireland if that is not too ambitious. Please send a name, email and telephone contact to start the trip moving.
    Best Wishes John & Maureen Kilmartin. [email protected]

    1. Hi John,

      We’re so glad to hear of your memorable trip in 2010. We’d be happy to help create a tailor-made proposal for you. You can email us at [email protected] or call us on 1 800 760 824.


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