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Classic Round Scotland by Train

Designed for "car less" travellers looking to experience authentic Scotland independently

In these eco-aware times, many holidaymakers long to abandon the car; however grappling with Scottish train timetables and ferry charts is not for the faint-hearted. We have designed this holiday especially for ‘car-less’ travellers who want to experience authentic Scotland independently.

At A Glance

Best Time To Go

Apr - Oct. Makes a great spring or autumn trip.

Why not...

add on a couple of nights in Edinburgh or Glasgow?

Prices From


No of Nights


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Day One – The West Highland Line

Your journey starts by train from Glasgow, travelling the scenic West Highland line – voted “Best railway journey in the world” by readers of Wanderlust magazine. You pass by glorious Loch Lomond and over beautiful but desolate Rannoch Moor to reach Spean Bridge in the Highlands and a cosy family-run small hotel.

Your hotel in Spean Bridge

With views toward Ben Nevis, your hotel has a popular restaurant serving organic, home-cooked food and has comfortable but informal accommodation. On arrival, you will be greeted with fresh tea and home-made scones. Settle into your room to unwind, or take a stroll down the quiet country lanes for amazing views of Ben Nevis, Loch Lochy and the Great Glen and work up an appetite for dinner. There are comfy sofas and cosy corners in the sitting rooms, with a library of books begging to be looked at and, when the need arises, real fires to warm your toes. This is a perfect haven for a relaxing break whatever time of year, where the pace of life slows the minute you arrive.

Day Two – Over the sea to Skye

Today, travel first class on the Jacobite steam train from Fort William to Mallaig, over the famous Glenfinnan viaduct and through some more stunning highland scenery, before reaching the ferry port. Next, travel by ferry over the sea to southern Skye where a local taxi will whisk you the short journey to reach your white-washed hotel deep in the heart of the Gaelic community on this part of the island.

Your hotel on Skye

Sheltered by a gently curving bay, your charming whitewashed hotel sits right on the seashore, enjoying expansive views over the Sound of Sleat to the wilderness of Knoydart.  This, the most southerly part of Skye, is an area of great natural beauty, often referred to as the “Garden of Skye” thanks to its abundant bird life and profusion of wild flowers.

Day Three – The Isle of Skye

A day to relax and explore the village and local area – on foot or local bus. Should you wish to explore much of this large island, we strongly recommend hiring a car for a day or using the services of our local guide.

Day Four – To Inverness

Another taxi ride across the Skye bridge, then catch your next train at Kyle of Lochalsh, for a majestic and dramatically picturesque trip to Inverness. You will stay in an award-winning family-run guesthouse close to the centre.

Accommodation in Inverness

We work with a small selection of small hotels and guesthouses in Inverness, which are all personally hand-picked by us.

Day Five – Exploring Inverness

Time to explore the highland capital, perhaps taking a boat trip on nearby Loch Ness or tour to Culloden. Booklovers should seek out Leakey’s bookshop, a great selection of second-hand books, prints and rather pleasant café too.

Day Six – To Perthshire

Continue south through the highlands to the popular tourist town of Pitlochry, then by taxi to the nearby village of Killiecrankie, where you will stay in a comfortable country hotel.

Your hotel in Pitlochry

Originally a church minister’s country residence, this charming small, friendly hotel is  set in glorious wooded grounds in a tranquil setting deep in the heart of the rolling Perthshire countryside, with views across the Pass of Killiecrankie to the densely wooded hillsides bordering the River Garry.

Day Seven – Exploring Perthshire

Time to explore the National Trust gorge, site of another famous battle, or visit nearby Blair Castle, with the adjacent House of Bruar – a mecca for Scottish souvenir shopping, or simply relax in comfortable country house surroundings.

Day Eight – To Edinburgh

Return to Pitlochry for your final train journey to Edinburgh – with options to extend your stay and explore the historic delights of this imposing city, where the “New Town” is in fact already more than two centuries old!


Map Round Scotland by Train

This route starts in Glasgow, travels by the world-famous West Highland Line up the West coast, crosses to the Isle of Skye, then travels by the North Highland Line to Inverness, before heading south through Perthshire, and finishes in Edinburgh.


£1055 per person for April, £1095  per person for May & June, £1130 per person for July & August, £1125 per person in September, and £1095 per person in October.

Price is based on two adults sharing a double or twin room for 7 nights in our hand-picked selection of small 3 and 4 star hotels. Dinner is included for 3 nights – the first night and both nights at Pitlochry. Other nights include breakfast. The holiday also includes rail, ferry and taxi travel as detailed above.

The supplement for a single traveller is £470 per holiday, based on single occupancy of double/twin rooms.

To explore the Isle of Skye, as local bus services are quite limited, we strongly recommend either hiring a car or taking a guided tour, with one of our local guides. To hire a car during your stay on Skye costs an additional £90. The car would be collected from the ferry port on Skye and dropped off at Kyle of Lochalsh station. To join a small group guided tour of Skye costs an additional £60 per person. Your driver guide will collect and return you to your hotel on Skye.

We would also be delighted to assist with hotel reservations in Glasgow and Edinburgh, from our selection of centrally located, high quality hotel and aparthotel options.

All touring holidays include a map of Scotland, suggestions on places to see and visit depending on your personal interests and our expertise 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.


Check availability for Classic Round Scotland by Train

This holiday can be arranged from April to October.  Holidays from mid April onwards usually include the Jacobite steam train. Outside these dates the same route can be booked, but a standard train service operates to Mallaig.

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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