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Stay in and visit enthralling historic properties including Scottish castles. Enjoy thrilling driving routes and private excursions along the way.
This castle-hopping self-drive tour combines visits to some of Scotland’s grandest historic residences with atmospheric accommodation: a once-in-a-lifetime experience to sleep under the roof of centuries-old properties.
Travel north to rural Fife for two nights at a fabulous early 20th-century country house, where food and accommodation coalesce into a thrilling whole. Next, head north-east to a 13th-century manor house amidst roiling Aberdeenshire scenery, before continuing your road trip to the golden barley fields of Easter Ross and a wonderful whisky-related residence by the shores of the Moray Firth. Finally, wander west along the Great Glen for two nights at a turreted Scottish castle overlooking the peaceful waters of Loch Creran.
Scotland is packed with fascinating castles, crumbling ruins to opulent stately homes. This holiday includes just a taste of what can be discovered and can be entirely tailor-made to suit your bespoke requirements. Just get in touch and let us know where you would like to visit – we love a challenge!
Set off today for your first base by St Andrews in Fife. We’ll provide all the information you need to ensure a smooth journey, with recommendations for our favourite places to stop along the way.
Your Country House Accommodation in Fife
Built in the 1920s as a sumptuous private home and cared for by three generations of the same family, your accommodation by St Andrews is a wonderful country retreat featuring cossetting rooms, a sprawling garden and superb dining. Despite its hidden location, you’re just a few minutes’ drive from the world-famous home of golf, an enthralling place to spend time exploring.
Included in your holiday is a Historic Scotland Explorer pass, allowing entry into some of the country’s most significant and fascinating monuments and attractions. Perhaps leave the car behind today and enjoy a coastal walk to St Andrews, or take a short taxi-ride, and spend some time getting to know this most charming ancient town, including the ruins of its captivating clifftop castle.
A fine day on the road today, taking your time on the twisting mountain passes of the Cairngorms National Park, before the route descends through Royal Deeside and onwards to your base for the next two nights by the town of Inverurie.
Your Manor House Accommodation in Aberdeenshire
With roots dating back to the 13th century, your hotel in rural Aberdeenshire blends ancient and modern to richly appealing effect. Set in 240 acres of simply stunning grounds that include a fine 18-hole golf course, the hotel features lavish rooms, an atmospheric cellar bar and a range of dining to suit every appetite.
Aberdeenshire is true castle country, boasting more fortified dwellings in all states of repair than any other county in the UK. This morning you’ll be met at your accommodation by our specially chosen driver guide and taken on a full day’s exploration of the very best of Aberdeenshire. Let us know your specific area of interest – castles, whisky, history, scenery and any point in-between – before you set off, and we will make sure the tour is tailored to your exact wishes.
Set off this morning towards the Moray Coast, skirting Speyside’s Malt Whisky Trail as you go. Perhaps make a short detour to visit the Highland capital city of Inverness before crossing the Kessock Bridge over the Moray Firth, following the Cromarty coast to your next country-house destination.
Owned by one of Scotland’s most famous malt whisky distillers, your accommodation in Easter Ross is a 16th century farmhouse, remodelled into a very special place to stay. Just moments’ walk from the shores of the Moray Firth, amidst the ruins of a long-abandoned castle, this could be the very definition of ‘tranquillity’. Deluxe bedrooms exude warmth and comfort, while evening dining on the menu of the finest local produce is more private party than stuffy hotel. Of course, a dram of Scotland’s finest by the log fire is not to be missed.
Incorporating some of the most dramatic and varied landscape in Europe, Sutherland features sweeping coastline, soaring mountains, bleak moorland and much more besides. Take time today to get to know a little of this vast area, perhaps with a visit to nearby Dunrobin Castle, a very different style inspired by French architecture. Call in at the picture-perfect town of Dornoch, famous for its links to golf and tiny cathedral. Again, we’ll provide as much info as you’ll need to make the most of your time, including some gems you may otherwise struggle to discover.
Another terrific day on the road awaits today, as you cut across country from east to west. Your route takes you through awe-inspiring landscapes along the shores of Loch Ness and Loch Lochy, through the shadow of Ben Nevis and onwards to your final destination in a bijou castle near the sparkling waters of Loch Creran.
What a place to spend the last two nights of your holiday: a cosy and romantic castle haven. With history stretching back to 1607, each of those 400-odd years is etched into the stone both inside and out. Just six romantic bedrooms ensure a touch of exclusivity, while your hosts are here to provide welcome, stories and advice to help you create lasting memories.
Quite a treat awaits today, as you follow the short route around Loch Creran, across the bridge at Ballachulish and to the shores of Loch Linnhe. Here, board a 12-seater boat as your host from Castle Stalker carries you across the waters of Loch Linnhe to the private jetty for this atmospheric, 15th-century castle. You’ll enjoy a guided tour as part of a small group, with the opportunity to experience the dramatic views from atop the castle ramparts. Of course, the exact timing of this tour depends on the local tides – we will advise on booking.
Even the journey home from this holiday is filled with drama, as you cut through the intimidating valley of Glencoe and around the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond on your way back to the central belt and the motorway system.
This multi-centre holiday includes stops in Fife, Aberdeenshire and Easter Ross, before concluding with a stay on the shore of Loch Creran.
£2085 per person in March & November, £2175 per person in April & October and £2250 per person from May to September.
Price is based on two adults sharing double- or twin-bed en-suite accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis. An Historic Scotland Explorer Pass for two is included, allowing entry into many of the country’s main historical attractions. Also included is a private guided driving tour of Aberdeenshire and a boat transfer to, and tour of, Castle Stalker in a small group.
This self-drive holiday can easily be arranged on a fly-drive basis, with flights to and from Scotland. Car rental is not included, but available for a range of vehicles; please do ask whether you would like us to facilitate this on your behalf.
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.
This holiday is just a suggestion of what we can create for you. If you have any specific tweaks or requests you wish to be included in your own bespoke castle adventure, just let us know.
You are requesting availability for
This holiday can be arranged from March until the end of November.
Availability is individually checked for a hand-picked selection of smaller hotels, guest houses and other independent businesses, so please bear with us and we will respond in 1-2 working days.
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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.
Our Operations Assistant Lisa recently spent some time retracing her childhood in Aberdeenshire – making some brand new memories along the way. ...
An enjoyable holiday... We made good use of Robert’s Recommendations, they were excellent.Susan & Alan, Ipswich, UK
Enjoyed the holiday very much. Your arrangements and information were spot on.Margaret, East Lothian, UK
lovely accommodations and beautiful castles and country side.Marie & Howard, Massachusetts, USA
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