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Day One – Pitlochry
From Glasgow or Edinburgh, head north to reach your first base in the heart of the highlands in Pitlochry, Perthshire, one of Scotland’s most enduring tourist spots since the arrival of the railway in 1863.
Your Accommodation in Pitlochry
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 doctor’s house, has been beautifully transformed into a 14-bedroom luxury, boutique bed and breakfast, providing a unique blend of the traditional with the luxury of contemporary design.
Breakfast is served in the recently built, contemporary dining room, centred around the large and welcoming log-burning stove, and flooded with natural light through huge church-style windows. Take in the views across the garden, watching out for birds and occasional red squirrel visitors to the monkey puzzle tree.
Day Two – Exploring Pitlochry and Beyond
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. Head a short distance north to 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 and Gardens 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, providing a fascinating insight into Scottish social history. The gardens and grounds are extensive, with a walled garden and various trails to explore.
Day Three – the Isle of Skye
A wonderful day on the road today, as your route to Skye takes you past famous landmarks such as Loch Lochy, Glen Garry and Eilean Donan Castle, before crossing the Skye Bridge to reach your next base on the Sleat peninsula on the south 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 birdlife 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 song in front of the roaring log fire. 12 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 Isleornsay. Candlelit meals in the wood-panelled dining room reflect the estate’s culinary riches with wonderful shellfish and game featuring prominently on the menu.
Day Four – Dive in to Skye
This is one of our favourite corners of the island, with Armadale Castle and Garden, with the Clan Donald Centre and fine arboretum just moments’ drive from your hotel, and the newly opened Torabhaig Distillery a welcome nearby addition.
What to see and do
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! Further afield, in the north of the island, you’ll find historic Dunvegan Castle, and Portree, the bustling island capital and some of the most famous and most photographed scenery in Scotland
Day Five – Loch Linnhe
Today, leave Skye by ferry to Mallaig on the mainland with time to explore the glorious sandy beaches of Arisaig, and the visitor centre at the world-famous Glenfinnan Viaduct, before reaching your next loch-side destination.
Your hotel by Loch Linnhe
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. Mouth-watering 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.
Day Six – On Loch Linnhe and Perhaps the Isle of Lismore
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.
Day Seven – By Loch Tay
On the last day of your holiday you head east, passing through the majestic Glencoe valley and the northern corner of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, before a final stop in a special destination, a country house hotel close to imposing Loch Tay.
Your Hotel by Loch Tay
Set back from the road by an historic highland village, your delightful hotel is hidden just off the beaten-track – a beautiful spot for a stroll or early evening relaxation. The cosy bar is a jovial meeting place, sometimes featuring traditional music, while the restaurant offers more refined surroundings for evening dining.
What to see and do
The village is a lovely spot for a stroll, boasting thatched cottages and beautifully restored dwellings, not to mention a very famous yew tree, reputedly the oldest living thing in Europe! The delights of Loch Tay and the charming town of Aberfeldy are within easy striking distance.
Day Eight – Return home
You are handily placed for the main routes southwards, with Edinburgh and Glasgow under two hours distant.
We would be delighted to adapt or amend this itinerary to suit; ask us for some suggestions.
This circular tour includes overnight stops in Pitlochry, on the Isle of Skye, by the shores of Loch Linnhe and close to Loch Tay.
£820 per person for February, £870 per person for March & November, £925 per person for April & October, £995 per person for May to September.
Prices are based on two people sharing a double room en-suite for seven nights on a bed and breakfast basis in each of the specially chosen small hotels and guest houses we use. The price includes a ferry journey from Skye to Mallaig for car and passengers.
Car rental is not included, but available from around £25 per day – do just let us know.
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.
“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...
Loved the choice of accommodation, loved the food, and above all loved the Highlands, stunning!Julie & Tim, London, England
The special places you find and the level of service you give sets you apart!Sharon , Norfolk
This holiday can be arranged from February to mid-November.
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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