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Start from Edinburgh, travel round the Scottish Highlands and enjoy a stay on the Isle of Skye.
We have designed this holiday especially for ‘car-less’ travellers who want to experience Scotland independently. Begin your journey in Edinburgh, before travelling round Scotland by train. Enjoy the sights of the Highlands, explore Inverness and its famous loch, then hop over to the Isle of Skye. Complete your circular tour with a trip on the West Highland Line, renowned as one of the world’s most scenic rail journeys.
Your holiday begins in Edinburgh, from where you will take the train to Pitlochry in the Southern Highlands to spend the first two nights.
Your hotel in Pitlochry
Located in the heart of Pitlochry, tucked away in secluded wooded grounds this early Victorian, former Doctors house, has been beautifully transformed into an award-winning luxury bed & breakfast, providing a unique blend of the traditional with the luxury of contemporary design. Within walking distance of all the local attractions, shops, restaurants and the Pitlochry Festival Theatre it is also an ideal location to explore the local area.
Time to explore the National Trust gorge, site of a famous battle, or visit nearby Blair Castle, with the adjacent House of Bruar – a mecca for Scottish souvenir shopping, or simply relax in comfortable surroundings.
Today you will journey north by train to Inverness where you will spend two nights.
Your accommodation in Inverness
We offer a selection of high quality, family-run guesthouses, all within easy reach of the city centre and the riverside, though in quiet residential areas. Enjoy a home-booked full Scottish breakfast, and the freedom to choose from one of Inverness’ many good local restaurants.
Time to explore the highland capital, perhaps taking a boat trip on nearby Loch Ness or tour to the battlefield of Culloden.
Today you will travel by way of the beautiful North Highland Line from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh. Upon arrival at Kyle of Lochalsh, you will be met by our local driver and transferred over the Skye Bridge and north to Portree – your base for the next two nights.
Your hotel on Skye
Uniquely situated only 10 minutes’ walk off the island capital Portree, yet set in 20 acres of woodland garden, this hotel is an ideal base for touring Skye. Built over 200 years ago, and still run by members of the same local family, the house retains all its original charm and the splendid Victorian interior is wonderfully intact. Light suppers are available on a daily basis by prior arrangement with the hotel, and afternoon tea is available in the drawing-room. Meanwhile, Portree offers a wide range of evening dining options.
Today you will enjoy a full-day tour of some of the highlights of the Isle of Skye, in a small group, accompanied by a knowledgeable local tour guide.
This extensive trip day should include visits to The Old Man of Storr, Lealt Falls, Kilt Rock, The Quiraing, The Fairy Glens, Dun Beag Broch, Glenbrittle, The Fairy Pools or The Talisker Distillery Shop, Sligachan and the Red Cuillins.
** Please be aware that a reasonable level of fitness and mobility is required for this Tour due to a 1 mile walk in each direction to the Fairy Pools**
If you have any more specific requirements we can arrange a private tour, which can be tailored to suit.
After breakfast, our driver will collect you for the trip to Armadale on the Sleat Peninsula, the Garden of Skye. From here you travel over the sea by ferry to Mallaig, where you will join the Jacobite steam train – sure to be one of the highlights of your Scottish holiday. The spectacular steam train journey will take you through many contrasts in scenery and places of interest, including the famous Glenfinnan viaduct. Upon arrival in Spean Bridge, you will be met and accompanied to your hotel for your final night.
Your hotel in Spean Bridge
In this wonderful west-highland setting, you will find all the luxury of a top-quality hotel, without the formality. The hotel owners pride themselves on combining a warm and friendly welcome with a truly relaxing informal atmosphere – where only the food and your enjoyment are taken seriously.
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, where the pace of life slows the minute you arrive.
Today you will return to Glasgow (and potentially on to Edinburgh) from Spean Bridge, following the rest of the famous West Highland rail line. As you pass the high moors, cross viaducts between mountain passes, you will surely marvel at the wonderful engineering which has made this journey possible.
If you would like to spend a night or two in the vibrant city of Glasgow, we would be delighted to arrange this for you and share our recommendations for what to see and do in our home location.
This holiday is part of our ever-growing collection of public transport based holidays, enabling you to reach destinations around Scotland without the need to drive. We feel strongly that true sustainability also means promoting and helping to maintain a way of life in areas where the economic benefit of tourism can make a genuine difference to the local community, which is why we have used locally-owned small accommodation and a local guide on this holiday.
This holiday departs from Edinburgh and includes nights in Pitlochry, Inverness, Skye and Spean Bridge, before returning to Glasgow.
£1275 per person for April & October, £1345 per person from May to September.
Price is based on two adults sharing a double or twin room for seven nights in our hand-picked selection of small 3 and 4 star hotels. Dinner is included for your final night in Spean Bridge. Other nights include breakfast. The holiday also includes:
The supplement for a single traveller is £425 per holiday, based on single occupancy of double/twin rooms.
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.
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.
As porterage is not included in this largely self-guided holiday, and assistance at train stations is somewhat sporadic, we recommend packing just one manageable suitcase per person.
All itineraries and room types are presented subject to availability at specific hotels.
You are requesting availability for
This holiday can be arranged from April to October. In 2023, the Jacobite Steam train will run from the 3rd April until the 27th October. Outside these dates the same route can be booked, but a standard train service operates.
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.
Please note: All fields marked * are required
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.
“Somewhere along the Scottish coast An emerald island lies So I will steer my sailing boat Unto the Isle of Skye” [Andrew Peterson] I take a glanc...
We could not have asked for a more perfect experience. The accommodation, food, and Robert's recommendations were all top notch.Susan & Family, New York, USA
The best part was having the arrangements done for us and knowing that they were going to work everytime!Katherine & Family, Ontario, Canada
Not only was it a personal tour, but it was personalised.Barb, Canada
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