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AITO Tour Operator of The Year 2016 - Gold AwardThe Telegraph Travel Awards Winner 2017

Premier Scotland Road Trip

Take a pinch of luxury accommodation and mix with staggering mountain, island and coastal scenery for a near-perfect best of Scotland road trip.

We’re lifelong enthusiasts of the road trip in general, constantly seeking out lesser-trodden Tarmac and finely framed vistas, as well as the details some (though not us) may imagine are neither here nor there: like the ideal stop for coffee and cake, or a little-known lunch spot. Here we present just such an itinerary, taking in the very best of Scotland through the drama of Argyllshire and Skye, the wilderness of interior Ross-shire and the beauty of the eastern Highlands.

At A Glance

Best Time To Go

March - October
Spring or autumn are wonderful seasons for this trip.

Why not...

add in a few days exploring Scotland's North Coast?

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Day One – North through Glen Coe to Argyllshire

There can’t be many more instantly vivid ways to start your best of Scotland road trip than this. North from Glasgow, within 30 minutes you’ll skirt the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond before crossing wonderfully bleak Rannoch Moor and entering the intimidating valley of Glen Coe. Take your time and make a day of the journey on your way to your first base.

Your Hotel

What could be better than an historic five-star property, set on its own private island? Reached by tiny bridge, there’s an immediate soothing quality to this very special place. Surrounded by ever-changing views, your only choices are where to look, in which direction to wander, and what to enjoy from the menu in the fine-dining restaurant or more relaxed lounge. When available, you can even pamper yourself with a treatment in the spa or dip in the pool.

Day Two – Out and About… Or Not

Whenever we find ourselves here, it’s tempting to forget about the road for a day, simply strolling and lounging the hours away. On the other hand, should you wish to cover some ground, the place is surrounded by terrific routes and we’ll be happy to point them all out to you.

Day Three – Northwards and Over the Bridge to Skye

A great day on the road beckons. Make your way north along the length of Loch Linnhe, skirting the shadow of Ben Nevis and onwards past glistening Loch Lochy. Soon, you’ll experience the wow factor of Glen Garry, passing one of the world’s most photographed castles on your way to the Skye Bridge. Once on the island, it’s an hour or so north to your next hotel.

Your Hotel

Easily one of the finest accommodations on Skye, your hotel here is a family owned gem, majoring on the finest local produce both in the bar and at the table, relaxed, attentive service and a lightness of touch to the colourful interior design.

Day Four – Skye’s the Limit

While it’s true that Skye has seen an increase in popularity in recent years, believe us when it’s still simple to find yourself alone amidst the most overwhelming scenery the UK has to offer. We’ve covered virtually every inch of this place over the years and never tire of finding new corners every time we visit, from craggy coastline and rocky ridges, to swooping valleys and superb driving routes.

Day Five – Cross-country to Royal Dornoch

Continue your road trip across country today. Return to the mainland and point your nose north-east to Strathcarron, crossing the wild terrain of Ross-shire. Eventually the Cromarty Firth appears within touching distance on the way to the genteel Highland town of Dornoch.

Your Hotel

Just on the edge of Royal Dornoch golf course, your accommodation here is a privately owned hotel with but a handful of rooms. Inside the honey-coloured sandstone house, you’ll find an arresting collection of carefully chosen pieces from the owner’s collection, bringing a unique feel to the relaxing lounge, the fine restaurant and cosseting accommodation.

Day Six – Dornoch and its Rambling Coastline

Perhaps another day to leave the car behind as you stroll the machair and beach on you doorstep, or explore the back-in-time streets of Dornoch, with its cathedral and amusingly repurposed jailhouse.

Day Seven- South to Braemar in Cairngorms National Park

We love the drive south from Dornoch, often tempted, as we are, to stop in the Highland capital of Inverness, bracing ourselves for the challenge of the UK’s highest mountain pass, pitching and twisting its way to Braemar in the heart of Cairngorms National Park.

Your Hotel

Having undergone a year-long complete refurbishment, it’s not difficult to understand why this place has been lavished with awards since its recent reopening. Privately owned, its proprietors have called on their lifelong love of art and antiques to create an atmosphere bordering on fantasy, every detail taken care of to the most exacting standard. We’re sure you’ll love it here.

Day Eight – Discover Cairngorms and Royal Deeside

Within easy reach of your hotel you’ll find more castles (including a little bothy named Balmoral) than in any other area of the UK; take in one or two of these, perhaps the local motor museum and a mountain pass or two before a fine dinner at your hotel.

Day Nine – Across Glenshee to Highland Perthshire

A shorter day on the road today, giving time to meander across the Spittal of Glenshee and perhaps taking in Scotland’s ‘lakeland’ of the Trossachs. Soon you’ll find yourself on the doorstep of Dunblane and your final base.

Your Hotel

A quite lovely place to spend the last two nights of your road trip, your hotel in the rural area around Dunblane is a five-star gem owned by a certain Wimbledon tennis champion and Olympic gold-medallist. With an in-house Roux restaurant, the dining here is every bit as good as the sumptuous accommodation.

Day 10 – Stirlingshire and the Ancient Former Scottish Capital

The appealing city of Stirling is but a short drive from your hotel, home to perhaps our favourite castle of all, whose hilltop location affords one of the best views in Scotland. Seemingly within a stone’s throw you’ll find the impressive tower of the Wallace Monument as well as one or two terrific lunching opportunities.

Day 11 – Onward Journey Home

You’ll find it difficult to tear yourself away from so much Highland beauty and luxury but all good things must come to an end as the saying goes.


This holiday includes stays in Argyll, the Isle of Skye, Dornoch / Cromarty, the Cairngorms National Park and Highland Perthshire.


£2,650 per person for March & November, £2,890 for April & October, and £2,990 per person for May to September.

Price is based on two adults sharing a double or twin ensuite room for ten nights on a bed and breakfast basis in our hand-picked selection of hotels.

Before your departure, you will receive personalised holiday information including full directions and recommended routes from your specified starting point, 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 and can be tailor-made to suit.

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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.

Check availability for Premier Scotland Road Trip

This holiday can be arranged from March to October.

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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