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Car-free Classic Castles of Scotland and England

Inviting castle-hotels, a journey on the UK’s newest railway and a fascinating day out on Hadrian’s Wall.

Luxury castle-hotels, a journey on the UK’s newest railway and a fascinating day out on Hadrian’s Wall.

Leave the car at home and enjoy two days in fabulous Edinburgh, then take the Borders Railway for a fascinating stay at an impressive family seat amidst the splendid countryside around Innerleithen. Round-off your trip with luxury road transfer to an amazing Northumberland castle hotel, and a wonderful, privately guided day out on Hadrian’s Wall. A perfect introduction to the hidden gems of Scotland and England.

At A Glance

Best Time To Go

March to November

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Day One – Arriving in Edinburgh

Visitors from across the globe are drawn to Edinburgh by the wealth of historic sites, galleries and museums, shops, restaurants and bars – not to mention the spectacular sight of Princes Street and the castle rock. Yet it’s still perfectly possible to avoid most of the crowds and find quiet cobbled streets, peaceful cafes and bars and, above all, to enjoy this most scenic of British cities.

Your accommodation in Edinburgh

If you’re looking for a place to stay that simply screams ‘classic Edinburgh’ this recently opened serviced apartment building is hard to beat. Set within a twisting close in the middle of the Old Town, the exterior may be ancient, but you’ll find every possible modern convenience at your fingertips within.

Beautifully appointed apartments featuring possibly the best views in the whole of the city, with all of Edinburgh’s main attractions on the doorstep – the Castle is but a five-minute walk away, for example – make this one of our favourite spots in the capital.

Day Two – Out and about in Edinburgh

Stroll along the streets around your hotel, amidst breath-taking architecture, up the hill towards the West end of Princes Street in the shadow of the castle. Maybe you’re feeling adventurous and would like to escape the city completely at Holyrood and make the easy ascent of Arthur’s Seat for yet more spectacular views of the city and beyond? And you’re sure to want to see the castle, the medieval alleys and closes of the Old Town, and to walk the Royal Mile. We’ll provide all the information you need to make the most of your stay.

Day Three – All aboard the UK’s newest railway

A real treat today for rail enthusiasts: you’ll be transferred from your hotel to Edinburgh Waverley station to board the train bound for Tweedbank on the Borders Railway. Opened in 2015, this 35-mile route is the longest new domestic railway to be built in the UK for over 100 years.

Upon arrival at Tweedbank, you’ll be met by private transfer and taken to your extraordinary accommodation by Innerleithen.

Your hotel in the Borders

Dating from 1107, occupied and run by the same family since the 15th century, across some 13 generations up to the present day, and reputedly much of the influence for Scottish Baronial architecture, your hotel in the Borders is a castle-style mansion house steeped in history and of rare quality. Despite the obvious grandeur, your hosts could not be more relaxed and convivial, and you’ll feel the very warmest of welcomes here. Moreover, you’ll enjoy a group guided tour of this quite wonderful home.

Day Four – Find your inner self in Innerleithen

Later, you’ll be taken on a half-day guided tour around some of the Borders’ most celebrated spots, including Sir Walter Scott’s Abbotsford, the evocative ruined abbey at Kelso and the charming Borders town of Melrose.

Day Five – Crossing the border by private transfer

After breakfast, you’ll be met at your hotel by our handpicked driver-guide and taken on a fascinating day out through the sweeping and historic landscapes of the Borders and Northumberland. With visible history all the way back to Roman times and some of the UK’s most undiscovered scenery, this is rapidly becoming one of our favourite places in England to visit and tour. Arrive at your next outstanding castle hotel just in time for a drink at the bar, before dinner in the welcoming restaurant.

Your castle hotel in Northumberland

Your hotel is a magnificent medieval castle set in its own woodland estate, brush-mown lawns and gardens in the heart of the Tyne Valley, perfectly located for exploring Hadrian’s Wall country. Built in 1350, the castle boasts a turbulent history of attack and ruin – including at the hands of Henry IV – and has relatively recently undergone transformation in to a fabulously authentic five-star hotel. Many of the 27 luxury rooms feature beautifully integrated original features such as window seats set in to seven foot-thick walls and original architraves leading to luxury en-suite bathrooms. You’ll also love the impressive drawing room with vast log fire and original wood panelling, as well as the acclaimed in-house restaurant serving the best local produce.

Day Six – A private guided tour along Hadrian’s Wall

Savour your breakfast this morning as it sets you up for an exciting and fascinating day out. Enjoy a full-day private tour of Hadrian’s Wall and some of its most impressive locations. Choose two museums to visit along the way and mix with a blend of walking the most spectacular parts of the wall while enjoying the best of Northumberland National Park’s rugged moorland views, all brought vividly to life by your expert guide. During the day, enjoy lunch at a charming and atmospheric local inn, or perhaps you’d prefer a picnic in the great outdoors – the choice is yours.

Day Seven – Heading home

A final breakfast – perhaps in bed in your castle bedroom – before you’re met at the hotel for the short transfer to the station at Haydon Bridge to begin your rail journey back to Edinburgh.


Car-Free Classic Castles

Three centres, the 250 year old “New Town” of Edinburgh, then two historic castles, in the Scottish Borders and by Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland. Travel by a combination of train and private transfers.


£1475 per person for March & November, £1525 for April & October, £1565 for May, £1655 for June, July & September, £1725 for August

Prices are based on two adults sharing a double or twin room for 6 nights on a bed & breakfast basis in our hand-picked selection of accommodation. This holiday includes:

A half-day private tour of the Scottish Borders.
A full-day private tour and transfer from Innerleithen in Scotland to Hexham in England.
A full-day private tour of Hadrian’s Wall.
Train travel in standard class from Edinburgh on the Borders Railway.
Train travel in standard class from Hexham via Newcastle to Edinburgh.

The tour can end in other locations, please ask us for a quotation.

Before your departure, you will receive personalised holiday information including full directions, recommended routes, and suggestions on places to visit depending on your interests and our local knowledge to help you get the most from your holiday.

All itineraries and room types are presented subject to availability at specific hotels.

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.

Exploring Northumberland – hills and castles!

Exploring Northumberland – hills and castles!

I may be a little biased as I have lived in Northern England all my life, but I have truly enjoyed researching holidays for McKinlay Kidd on my own st...

Check availability for Car-free Classic Castles of Scotland and England

This holiday can be arranged from March to November.

To check the latest availability for this holiday complete the form below or call us. We will respond to your availability check within one working day if at all possible. Please bear with us on this - we work with a hand-picked selection of smaller hotels, guest houses, and other independent businesses, ensuring that you have the chance to explore off the beaten track and really get under the skin of the destination.

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