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Day One – Fall in love with London
If you’ve never visited London before, firstly, we envy your introduction to one of the most exciting cities on Earth. Between us, McKinlay Kidd travel professionals have decades of experience living and working in London and none of us ever fails to feel a special frisson of adrenaline when we know we’re about to return. We’ll provide you with our carefully crafted recommendations for all the best landmarks, attractions, pubs, restaurants, shops, markets, galleries and museums, each the most interesting, quirky, off the beaten-track ideas we can think of, all of which have been tried and tested by us.
Your hotel in London
We’ve partnered with a choice of London hotels that we think are some of the city’s best, and we’ll happily take time to discover which of our choices for this holiday you’d prefer, in either the buzzing and stylish East or the glamorous and historic West.
This hotel is a wonderful property, recently created from a Georgian townhouse on a beautifully preserved and original cobbled street on the edge of the financial district. Entry via locked guests-only front door sees guests transported back in time to sumptuously decorated, polished-wood panelled lounge areas, featuring an extensive library and well-stocked honesty bar. An atmosphere of hushed exclusivity is the perfect antidote to the bustling city outside. Rooms are fabulously appointed with vast carved wooden beds or four-posters, while the bespoke bathrooms created especially for the hotel by artisan craftsmen are a delight to use and a refreshing change from the identikit city hotel norm. Breakfast (and 24-hour room service) is served in-room, or in one of several comfortable nooks around the hotel.
Set within a stone’s throw of London’s famous museum district, this is a boutique hotel of fine quality in a superb location. With luxury rooms featuring design and décor inspired by the local neighbourhood and the nearby museums’ collections, these are a fabulously comfortable treat in which to unwind after a long day in the city. Three in-house restaurants offer a range of cuisine, from easy-going Mediterranean, patisserie, afternoon tea and light-bites, to gourmet experiences accompanied by fine wines. The Tube is within moments of the front door, while Hyde Park is easily accessible on foot, with the West End fewer than 30 minutes’ walk away.
Day Two – Out and about in London
Today you’ll take a private, themed, guided walking tour, tailor-made to your specific interest. Perhaps you’d like to hear the stories behind London’s role in two world wars, or James Bond fans can discover the history of espionage in the city, while lovers of all things Royal might like to hear stories of some of London’s grand palaces. Later, maybe you’d like to take in a show at one of London’s famous West End theatres, or a simple stroll along the vibrant South Bank – the choice is yours.
Day Three – A last day in London
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast then head out for your final day in the capital. Perhaps you’d like to see Wren’s masterpiece St Paul’s Cathedral, or the Tower of London with its ravens, beefeaters and gruesome past. The neighbouring landmarks of Westminster Abbey and the Palace of Westminster are rich with history as well as captivating detail, or you might like to take the time to peruse the shops and markets like Covent Garden, Portobello, Brick Lane and Spitalfields.
Art-lovers might like to take advantage of our specially curated McKinlay Kidd Art Trail, a selection of our favourite galleries across the city, where you can often avoid the crowds and experience classical and contemporary art in a more relaxed setting.
Day Four – Let the train take the strain
After a leisurely breakfast (in bed, perhaps?) get set to unwind on a relaxing train journey to the heart of the Perthshire countryside. You’ll be transferred the short distance from your hotel to Kings Cross St Pancras in time to board your train to Scotland. Next stop: Gleneagles. On the way you’ll pass through the beautiful English countryside of Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and Northumberland, across the Royal Border Bridge at Berwick Upon Tweed, through the Scottish Borders towards Edinburgh, past Stirling in the shadow of the castle and onwards in to Perthshire.
Your hotel at Gleneagles
The Gleneagles Hotel, host to the 2014 Ryder Cup, is a Five-Star resort set in 850 acres of exquisite scenery in Perthshire.
This world-famous hotel was designed in the style of a French chateau and Capability Brown, the celebrated 18th-century landscape gardener, inspired the landscaping. Now a fully fledged resort with championship golf courses and numerous outdoor activities, as well as world-class dining, spa and treatment facilities, you will be spoiled for choice during your stay.
Luxurious and impeccable though it is, the hotel has a refreshingly relaxed manner, unstarchy and unstiff, that is mirrored by the friendly courtesy of all the staff. From your first wholehearted Scottish welcome you will be looked after warmly by the staff and will love the services offered.
Day Five – Time to unwind
Gleneagles offers a wealth of superb facilities for you to enjoy during your three days of Highland luxury, from genuine Championship-quality golf courses and an extensive driving range where beginners can take advantage of expert advice while trying their hand with the clubs, to a wealth of relaxing and revitalising treatments in the Spa, tennis, cycling, shooting, off-road driving, fishing, Segway tours and much more. Later, repair to the Century Bar for a dram or two from the extensive selection of malts, before dining here or in one of the three further restaurants, including the sumptuously appointed, two Michelin-star Andrew Fairlie.
Day Six – A last day of luxury
You’ll have the idea by now that you won’t be stuck for activity at Gleneagles; on the other hand, no-one would blame you for deciding simply to take the day off, perhaps having breakfast in bed, before finding a spot all to yourself and getting lost in a good book. Alternatively, spend the day away from the hotel on a tour to dramatic Stirling Castle nearby, or one of several distilleries within striking distance – we’ll be only too happy to arrange for you.
Day Seven – Heading home
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before transferring to the station for your return journey. We can arrange onward travel as requested, or you may even like to extend your trip with a night or two in Edinburgh, for example.
Two centres, London and the five star Gleneagles resort, in the southern Scottish Highlands.
£2625 for March, April & October, £2675 per person for May to September.
Prices for this self-drive holiday are based on two people sharing a room for six nights, with five on a bed & breakfast basis and dinner on evening at Gleneagles.
This price includes a private walking tour of London, day trip and tour of either Stirling Castle or a distillery of your choice (ask us for details), first class rail travel between London and Gleneagles and taxi transfers at either end.
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.
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.
The writer Dr Samuel Johnson once said ‘when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life’, and I certainly have some sympathy with his argument....
This itinerary can be arranged from March to October.
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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