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

Premier West Highland Line to Skye

Enjoy a premier experience on the West Highland Line before journeying over the sea to Skye.

Relax and take in the glorious scenery from Glasgow to Fort William along the world-renowned West Highland Line.  Stay in an impressive castle hotel before enjoying the final section in first class style as the Jacobite Express steam train meanders its way from Fort William to Mallaig. From here you take the ferry ‘over the sea to Skye‘ to your hotel with an acclaimed restaurant, then enjoy a full day private tour of the island. Scotland at its best!


At A Glance

Best Time To Go

Apr - Oct

Why not...

return to Edinburgh or Glasgow by road with a private driver?

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Day One – The West Highland Line

Your journey starts by train from Glasgow, travelling the scenic West Highland Line, passing by Loch Lomond and over Rannoch Moor, where the line runs many miles away from any roads, to reach Fort William. From here it’s a short taxi ride to the unique Inverlochy Castle Hotel, a fine five star country house and your first stop on this journey.

Your Hotel

Nestling in the foothills of the mighty Ben Nevis, Inverlochy Castle sits amidst some of Scotland’s finest scenery. Inverlochy was built in 1863 by the first Lord Abinger, near the site of the original 13th century fortress. In September 1873 during a trip to Balmoral, Queen Victoria spent a week at Inverlochy sketching and painting where she wrote in her diaries ‘I never saw a lovelier or more romantic spot’. Inverlochy had been a private residence for over a hundred years until 1969 when it was converted from a family home to Scotland’s finest country house hotel.

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 take you the short journey to reach your white-washed hotel with an acclaimed restaurant in a superb lochside setting.

Your Hotel

Kinloch is a special place in a magical setting, situated at the foot of Kinloch Hill on the tranquil shoreline of the sea-loch Na Dal in Sleat on the wildly romantic Isle of Skye. It really is a world apart – somewhere to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday modern life, and to unwind, relax and recharge. Steeped in heritage and history, and exemplifying all the traditions of Highland hospitality, the hotel is noted for its engaging, informal atmosphere and a welcome every bit as warm as the log fires ablaze in every hearth. The small windows and eccentric rooflines of the two adjacent white-painted buildings echo the engaging style of the local vernacular. Interiors, however, are distinguished by fine antiques, prints, paintings, and sporting trophies – plus Macdonald family portraits, photographs and treasured mementos. It is also home to Lady Clare Macdonald’s famous cookery school.

Day Three – Private Tour of Skye

Your guide will collect you this morning and take you on a full tour of the island. From Kinloch Lodge you will head north to Sligachan then Dunvegan via Carbost, where you may visit Dunvegan Castle. Other options include a drive into Waternish (Skyeskyns Tannery, Trumpan Church ruins) if the castle tour is omitted. Next you’ll have a short stop in Portree before heading round the Trotternish peninsula, followed by your return to Kinloch Lodge. If time allows, a scenic drive round Ord and Tarskavaig can be done before returning. If there is anything in particular that you would like to see the guide will try and incorporate this into your tour.

Day Four – Return Home

Today you retrace your steps, back to the ferry then across to Mallaig for an early afternoon crossing and journey by the regular train via Fort William to Glasgow, arriving in the evening.

Alternatively we can arrange for a private road transfer, bringing you over the Skye Bridge then south through the Highlands, by the pass of Glencoe and Loch Lomond and back to Glasgow. Edinburgh and Inverness are also possible end points.


Sustainable Travel

This holiday is part of our ever-growing collection of public transport based holidays, enabling you to reach destinations around Scotland – including the Isle of Skye – 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 local guides on this holiday.


This twin centre holiday features Fort William and the Isle of Skye. The holiday starts and finishes in Glasgow. We can also customise this to include Edinburgh – less than an hour’s rail journey from Glasgow. We can also arrange travel from London by Caledonian Sleeper in first class or other daytime services.


£1575 per person April & October, £1655 per person for May to September.

Prices based on 2 people sharing a room for 3 nights with dinner, bed & breakfast.  This includes train travel from Glasgow to Fort William on the regular First Scotrail service, travel by Jacobite steam train from Fort William to Mallaig first class, a return ferry to Skye as foot passenger and return transfers to the hotel on Skye. It also includes a private day tour of the Isle of Skye with a local guide. The return from Mallaig to Glasgow will be on the regular Scotrail service.

The single supplement for this holiday is £1000.

We can also arrange for a private road transfer from Mallaig to Glasgow or Edinburgh for an additional £130 per person (based on a minimum of two travellers).

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.

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.

Falling in Love with the Isle of Skye

Falling in Love with the Isle of Skye

“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...


Check availability for Premier West Highland Line to Skye

This holiday can be arranged from Easter until mid October. In 2020, the Jacobite Steam train will run from the 13th April until the 23rd October. Outside these dates the same route can be booked, but a standard train service operates.

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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