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From Glasgow or Edinburgh, head north to reach your first base in the heart of the highlands in Pitlochry, Perthshire.
Located in the heart of Pitlochry, this award winning guest house is within walking distance of several local attractions, as well as shops and restaurants. Tucked away in secluded wooded grounds this beautiful early Victorian, former Doctors house, has been beautifully transformed into a 14 bedroom luxury, boutique bed & breakfast, providing a unique blend of the traditional with the luxury of contemporary design.
Breakfast is served in their brand new modern, contemporary dining room, flooded with natural light by huge modern windows, with views across the garden. Watch out for the garden birds and occasional red squirrel visitors or relax in the comfortable guest lounge, centred around the large and welcoming log burning stove.
The Pitlochry Festival Theatre offers a year round programme of concerts, workshops, tours and talks. The Festival Restaurant and Café Bar offers tasty lunches and snacks in an attractive setting with views over the river. Take a taxi and visit the nearby House of Bruar which is a great place to pick up Scottish produce, from cashmere to cheese. For those interested in history, Blair Castle in nearby Blair Atholl is highly recommended. One of the first private homes to open to the public in Scotland, it houses impressive collections, over some 30 rooms, which provide a fascinating insight into Scottish social history. The gardens and grounds are extensive too, with a walled garden and various trails to explore.
Your route to Skye takes you past famous landmarks such as Loch Ness and Eilean Donan Castle, before crossing the Skye Bridge to reach your next base in the south of the island.
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. This is a Gaelic-speaking community and the bar is a convivial meeting place for the locals, who mix happily with hotel guests – often to the accompaniment of traditional music and Gaelic songs in front of the roaring log fire. Twelve bedrooms (six in the Garden House) are decorated with pretty cotton and linen chintzes and there are four new suites in the recently restored stables, each enjoying superb views across the water to the lighthouse of Isle Ornsay. Candlelit meals in the wood-panelled dining room reflect the estate’s culinary riches with wonderful shellfish and game featuring prominently on the menu.
On the little harbour right beside the hotel is the headquarters of “The Gaelic Whiskies”, where you can sample an excellent range of connoisseur brands before browsing in the nearby craft shop. The surrounding area of hills, moorland, woodland and seashore offers endless opportunities for walking and drinking in the magnificent sea views. Don’t miss the enchanting walk to the Point of Sleat, from where you can gaze across to the small isles of Rum and Eigg and dream of future visits! On the way down to the Point of Sleat, it’s worth stopping off at the Clan Donald Centre at Armadale Castle, with its fine arboretum and lovely garden. Further afield, in the north of the island, you’ll find historic Dunvegan Castle, and Portree, the bustling island capital.
Today, leave Skye by ferry to Mallaig on the mainland with time to explore the glorious sandy beaches of Arisaig, before reaching your next lochside destination.
Originally the home of Loch Linnhe’s Pier Master, this historic and award-winning restaurant, with its adjacent modern residence, really is a special place to contemplate the dramatic beauty of the west coast. The views are stunning and the once prolific steam traffic has given way to the blissful sound of silence. Mouthwatering langoustines and lobster are kept fresh off the end of the pier before being served to you by candlelight in the cosy conviviality of one of Argyll’s finest restaurants. As you contemplate the sunset over the distant Morvern hills, you may be lucky enough to glimpse otters and seals.
The local ferryman might tempt you to board the morning boat to Lismore – an island well worth a day’s exploration either on foot or bike (available for hire locally). Or take the short Corran ferry crossing to explore the remote wilderness of the Ardnamurchan peninsula. Meanwhile Oban is just half an hour away by car for ferries to Mull, Kerrera and other inviting islands. In this enchanted corner of Scotland, history is on your doorstep too: brooding Castle Stalker – ancient seat of the Stewarts – guards the mouth of Loch Laich, whilst to the north, the infamous valley of Glencoe conceals a legacy of bloody battles and heroic deeds. You could head south to atmospheric Kilmartin Glen, the cradle of ancient Scotland, or marvel at the legacy of the Victorian plant hunters in the wonderful National trust gardens at Arduaine or Crarae.
Finally you turn south east, passing through the majestic Glencoe valley before a final stop in a special destination, tucked away in a highland glen.
One of our favourite destinations for 20 years: it still gets better every time we visit. A beacon of welcome after a four mile drive along a windy single-track road, the traditional farmhouse and courtyard steading will surprise and delight you at every turn, as they reveal a fascinating, yet subtle, mix of old and new, rustic and chic. The restaurant has earned a superb reputation – cooking is Tom’s passion and he creates exceptionally imaginative dishes in an ever-changing menu, reflecting whatever produce he can source directly and locally. The hotel’s organic garden provides a regular supply of herbs and vegetables, whilst the breakfast scrambled eggs come courtesy of the chickens in the yard – hence their deep orange colour. With magnificent views over Loch Voil and Loch Doine, this is the perfect place to soak up the peace and tranquillity of a sprawling highland estate, where red deer and grouse roam through dramatic walking country and red squirrels scurry across your path before darting back into the undergrowth.
The hotel is well located for great drives throughout the Trossachs as well as along Loch Tay and around Ben Lawers, Scotland’s tenth highest mountain. Besides boasting many scenic roads, this is great walking country and is famous for its connections with the outlaw Rob Roy MacGregor – his grave is in Balquhidder churchyard. A little further afield, you can explore Stirling and its dramatic Castle and old centre, Loch Lomond and the Falkirk Wheel.
This circular tour includes overnight stops in Pitlochry, on the Isle of Skye, by the shores of Loch Linnhe and in the heart of the Trossachs.
£745 per person for February, March & November, £775 for April & October, £890 per person for May to September.
Prices are based on two people sharing a double room ensuite for seven nights on a bed & breakfast basis. The price includes a ferry journey from Skye for car and passengers.
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.
Loved the choice of accommodation, loved the food, and above all loved the Highlands, stunning!Julie & Tim, London, England
This holiday is available from February to mid-November.
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