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Loch Ness & Skye Rail Tour & Stirling City Break

Visit the spectacular setting of Eilean Donan Castle

Best Time To Go

12-Jun-2022 - Fully booked
10-Jul-2022 - Limited availability
21-Aug-2022 - Limited availability
04-Sept-2022 - Limited availability
25-Sept-2022 - Limited availability
09-Oct-2022 - Open for booking
23-Apr-2023 - Open for booking
07-May-2023 - Open for booking
11-Jun-2023 - Open for booking
02-Jul-2023 - Open for booking
30-Jul-2023 - Open for booking
20-Aug-2023 - Open for booking
10-Sep-2023 - Open for booking
08-Oct-2023 - Open for booking

Why not...

add a few days to explore Glasgow before your tour starts?

Prices From

£2370

No of Nights

8

Starts From

Glasgow

Finishes In

Stirling
New
New

Visit the spectacular setting of Eilean Donan Castle

Loch Ness & Skye Rail Tour & Stirling City Break

Best Time To Go

12-Jun-2022 - Fully booked
10-Jul-2022 - Limited availability
21-Aug-2022 - Limited availability
04-Sept-2022 - Limited availability
25-Sept-2022 - Limited availability
09-Oct-2022 - Open for booking
23-Apr-2023 - Open for booking
07-May-2023 - Open for booking
11-Jun-2023 - Open for booking
02-Jul-2023 - Open for booking
30-Jul-2023 - Open for booking
20-Aug-2023 - Open for booking
10-Sep-2023 - Open for booking
08-Oct-2023 - Open for booking

Why not...

add a few days to explore Glasgow before your tour starts?

Prices From

£2370

No of Nights

8

Starts From

Glasgow

Finishes In

Stirling

Tour Scotland's West Highland & Kyle Lines visiting castles and gardens as part of an escorted small group then enjoy a Stirling city break.

Take a seven day small group guided tour enjoying unforgettable train journeys through the ‘Best of Scotland’ in relaxed style. Idyllic lochs and glens contrast the raw majesty of Rannoch Moor along the world-renowned West Highland Line. Big screen links add stardust to your Jacobite steam train trip, before you experience the Isle of Skye in all its majesty. Return via the Kyle Line as it meanders by coast and loch to Inverness before returning southwards.

Round off your adventure with a tailor-made two-night city break in Stirling. Explore its striking castle – many say it surpasses Edinburgh’s – with an expert local guide. Perhaps visit the nearby site of the Battle of Bannockburn. Stroll the cobbled streets of this compact place, granted city status 20 years ago.

With a maximum of 15 passengers per group, you can be sure of highly personal service from your knowledgeable, local tour leader on a McKinlay Kidd small group rail tour. Early booking is strongly advised as places are strictly limited.

Read about the measures we took to keep our 2021 small group guided tours safe here.

Read more about Skye, as featured in National Geographic

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Holiday Details

Day one – meet up in Glasgow

Make your own way to Scotland’s largest city, perhaps arriving a day or two early to experience its myriad pleasures in your own time. Just let us know if we can help with such arrangements.

Greet your fellow travellers this evening at a welcome dinner hosted by your tour leader.

 Your accommodation in Glasgow

Just a few steps from Glasgow Queen Street station, your welcoming and comfortable hotel is perfectly-located. Experience spectacular views over the city from the rooftop area and enjoy a complimentary welcome tipple.

Day two – the West Highland Line to the southern shores of Loch Ness

Your morning train soon whisks you away from the bustle of city life. You will skirt the Firth of Clyde onto wooded slopes above Gare Loch, Loch Long and Loch Goil, before gliding effortlessly around Loch Lomond’s famously bonnie banks. Cross the captivating wilderness of Rannoch Moor and admire the engineering skills of the rail-track builders as mountain peaks loom into view.

Alighting at Fort William, glimpse nearby Ben Nevis on your transfer to the southern shores of Loch Ness. You’ll pause for a light lunch and at places of historic interest along the way.

Your accommodation in Fort Augustus

Your elegant hotel for the next two nights stands splendidly amid lawns leading down to the shores of mysterious Loch Ness. Your guide will assist with dinner options – from the treat of fine dining at the hotel to a simpler fish supper by the loch-side.

Day three – visit Urquhart Castle and the Falls of Foyers

Begin your day with a short and entertaining Loch Ness cruise. A private mini-coach tour of the loch’s lesser-visited side then beckons. En route you’ll stop at the Falls of Foyers, tumbling 60m through sylvan woods. You’ll have a chance to stretch your legs here from a gentle stroll to more exerting hike. Eventually you will arrive at Dores, where you can gaze 22 miles down the loch back towards Fort Augustus, keeping a sharp eye out for signs of the fabled monster.

Complete your afternoon with a visit to the ruins of Urquhart Castle. Imagine ancient feasts in the Great Hall, then take in some final loch vistas from atop the Grant Tower.

Day four – All Aboard The Jacobite Express

This morning join the short transfer to board the Jacobite steam train at Fort William for a journey in nostalgic style. Your guide will highlight much of interest along the way – from Jacobite tales to more recent fictional Hogwarts adventures.

If you are fortunate with the weather, you can glimpse the islands of Rum, Eigg, Muck, Canna – plus your day’s final destination, the Isle of Skye.

Mallaig is the end of the line  – a great spot for a seafood lunch. Then cross “over the sea” to Skye. As you approach, enjoy distant previews of the jagged peaks of Cuillin with the mountains of Knoydart fading behind you.

On arrival, you have a choice: visit atmospheric Armadale Castle and Gardens (its 1790s manor house was clan home of the MacDonalds) or learn about a local dram expertly crafted to balance fruity notes and peaty smoke at the local Torabhaig Distillery.

Your accommodation on Skye

Built as a 19th century hunting lodge, your characterful locally-owned hotel blends period features with contemporary style. The waterfront views are captivating. Dinner is included on both nights of your stay here, with local produce featuring prominently.

Day five – Skye’s the limit

A full day spent discovering Skye’s culture, history and traditions. This will be a day of rich natural beauty and poignant history as you explore the Misty Isle. In the company of your knowledgeable guide, the plan for the day will vary depending on local conditions. You will visit plenty of the highlights and lesser know spots and have the chance to wander the streets of island capital, Portree.

Day six – Kyle of Lochalsh to Inverness

Leave Skye via the bridge with a stop to admire the 13th century Eilean Donan Castle, perched exquisitely on a loch islet. then board your train along the Kyle Line. This was the most expensive rail project of its era, with the opening 10 mile stretch to Stromeferry clinging to a crinkle-cut shore via 31 cuttings and 29 tunnels blasted through solid rock.

Poised where the River Ness meets the Moray Firth, Inverness styles itself the ‘Highlands Capital’. You’ll have much of the afternoon to enjoy its bustle. If you wish, you could head just out of the city to visit Culloden Moor. We’ll happily assist with information.

Your accommodation in Inverness

Set in four acres of gardens, your hotel combines elegant vintage style with “good old-fashioned Scottish hospitality”. The swimming pool and a spa beckon for relaxation.

Day seven – Inverness to Stirling

Departing Inverness station, mountains dominate as you cut southward past Aviemore and the rugged slopes of the Cairngorm National Park. Look out for waterfalls and scour the hills for ‘Monarch of the Glen’ stags.

Beyond the ancient city of Perth your journey diverges from the group. Say fond farewells then jump off in Stirling. Your tour leader will point you in the right direction for your  arrangements here.

Your accommodation in Stirling

You’ll stay in a grand Victorian villa in one of Stirling’s smartest locations, just a few minutes walk from the compact city centre with its selection of shops, bars, restaurants and attractions, and close to the spectacular castle. The guest house offers a luxurious retreat at the end of a busy day, featuring a wonderfully comfortable guest lounge, where you are welcome to relax at any time, taking morning coffee or pre-dinner drinks. We’ll provide tips on restaurants and other things to see and do locally.

Day eight – Stirling and its Castle

Tracing its history back to medieval times, Stirling acquired city status in 2002. It is compact and easy to walk around, dominated by the fine castle atop the crag. Many say Stirling’s fortress rivals or even surpasses that of Edinburgh. It sits proudly at the meeting point of Highlands and Lowlands and was very much the seat of power centuries back – Mary Queen of Scots and James VI of Scotland (James I of England) were born here. We’ll arrange a half day for you with an expert local guide to uncover the full story of the castle and its situation. You’re also a  short taxi ride away from the Wallace Monument and the site of the Battle of Bannockburn should you wish to delve deeper into the area’s somewhat fierce and bloody past.

Day nine – Journey’s End

Let us know your return travel plans and we’ll assist. It’s a short train journey from Stirling to either Glasgow or Edinburgh for onward connections.


Location

This tour begins with an overnight stay in Glasgow, followed by two nights in Fort Augustus on the southern shores of Loch Ness, two nights on the Isle of Skye and one night in Inverness. Your trip then concludes with a two-night tailor-made city break in Stirling.


Pricing

The price per person includes:

  • Eight nights in hand-picked, excellent quality, small hotels and a guest house in Stirling, on a B&B basis
  • Welcome dinner in Glasgow. Dinner on both nights on the Isle of Skye. Two light lunches.
  • Rail travel from Glasgow to Fort William on the West Highland Line, a journey on the Jacobite Express steam train from Fort William to Mallaig, ferry to the Isle of Skye, train travel from Kyle of Lochalsh to Inverness on the Kyle Line and from Inverness to Stirling.
  • A boat trip on Loch Ness from Fort Augustus, day tour of the south shores of Loch Ness, entry to Castle Urquhart and  full day tour of the Isle of Skye.
  • The services of McKinlay Kidd’s tour leader, accompanying the group and providing expert guiding and assistance throughout.
  • Transfers as described, including luggage transfer from Fort Augustus to Skye hotel so no need to bring cases aboard the Jacobite Express steam train.
  • A half day tailor-made guided tour of Stirling and its castle.

Not included:

  • Meals other than those described above
  • Drinks
  • Gratuities and tips
  • Taxis in and around Stirling

All accommodation is carefully-selected and researched by us, predominantly featuring small, family-owned hotels – contact us for more detailed information. We will do our best to accommodate room preferences subject to availability at individual properties.

The six-night escorted tour will operate with a minimum of four and maximum of 15 passengers on each departure date.

Simply complete the form below to reserve your place(s). We will hold your place(s) for 48 hours to provide time for you to pay the deposit of 25% per person.


The McKinlay Kidd Guarantee

All our holiday prices include a service charge of £9 per person per night towards the costs we incur in researching, planning and designing your holiday.

We guarantee to refund this service charge if you believe that arranging your holiday through McKinlay Kidd has not met your expectations for value. All we ask is that you write to us within 7 days of your return and explain your reason for claiming the refund. This will ensure that we can improve the experience for all our future guests.

Tips for UK & Ireland Rail Touring in 2022

Tips for UK & Ireland Rail Touring in 2022

Leaving the car behind is an increasingly popular way to travel around Great Britain and Ireland. It’s a responsible, lower carbon way to go and thu...

Reserve your place(s) for Loch Ness & Skye Rail Tour & Stirling City Break

Departure Dates & Current Availability
Departure DateStarts FromNights£ per person (2 sharing)£ per person (single)
Sunday 12 Jun 2022Glasgow8£ 2495 - Fully booked£ On request - Fully booked
Sunday 10 Jul 2022Glasgow8£ 2495 - Limited places available£ On request - Limited places available
Sunday 21 Aug 2022Glasgow8£ 2495 - Limited places available£ On request - Limited places available
Sunday 4 Sep 2022Glasgow8£ 2495 - Limited places available£ On request - Fully booked
Sunday 25 Sep 2022Glasgow8£ 2495 - Fully booked£ On request - Limited places available
Sunday 9 Oct 2022Glasgow8£ 2370£ On request - Limited places available
Sunday 23 Apr 2023Glasgow8£ 2495£ On request
Sunday 7 May 2023Glasgow8£ 2495£ On request
Sunday 11 Jun 2023Glasgow8£ 2495£ On request
Sunday 2 Jul 2023Glasgow8£ 2495£ On request
Sunday 30 Jul 2023Glasgow8£ 2495£ On request
Sunday 20 Aug 2023Glasgow8£ 2495£ On request
Sunday 10 Sep 2023Glasgow8£ 2495£ On request
Sunday 8 Oct 2023Glasgow8£ 2370£ On request

To reserve your place(s) on this tour, please call us or complete the form below, making sure to select your departure date from the dropdown menu and advise of any special requirements. We will hold your place(s) for 48 hours and contact you with details of how to confirm your booking by payment of the per person deposit.

Please note: All form fields are required unless otherwise stated optional.

Tour Details

Availability of double or twin rooms can vary at individual hotels on the tour, so it helps us to understand your preferences.


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If you are happy with the details you have provided above then select the Reserve your place(s) button below to send us your enquiry.


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