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Day One – Journey to the Trossachs
Your holiday begins in the gateway to the Highlands, amidst the fabulous landscape of the Trossachs.
Your hotel in The Trossachs
Framed by eye-popping Trossachs scenery, with magnificent views over Loch Voil and Loch Doine, this hotel is a wonderfully romantic retreat. The hospitable farming family owners have created a gastronomic experience within their welcoming 18th-century farmhouse, whose cosy interiors cleverly contrast traditional log fires and antiques with contemporary furnishings and modern works of art. It’s 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.
Day Two – Your very own ‘Bake-off’
After a suitably luxurious breakfast, you’ll be taken behind-the-scenes for an exclusive bakery class with one of the top chefs at your hotel’s acclaimed restaurant. Working to a unique family recipe, you’ll be given step-by-step instruction, from raw ingredients to finished product, and your results will be judged with disarming honesty! This once-in-a-lifetime experience is perfect for the novice and expert alike.
Day Three – Port Appin
Today’s route takes you along the Argyll coast, perhaps exploring the atmospheric valley of Kilmartin, which is full of ancient forts, standing stones and the ruins of Dunadd Castle, once the coronation site of the first kings of Scotland. Your second hotel is just north of the bustling harbour port of Oban.
Your hotel in Port Appin
Originally the home of the Pier Master, hidden away in the quiet village of Port Appin on the shores of Loch Linnhe, this really is a special place to contemplate the dramatic beauty of the west coast. The views are fabulous and the once-prolific steam traffic has given way to the blissful sound of silence, while the 12 individually styled bedrooms have a fresh, contemporary, Scandinavian-type feel. A range of health, relaxation and wellbeing treatments can be arranged in the comfort of your room with the hotel’s own resident therapist, and the hotel’s AA Rosette seafood restaurant uses only the finest seasonal locally sourced Scottish produce.
Day Four – the seafood coast
There will be plenty of time today also to explore nearby Glencoe, or visit the unique Slate Islands, perhaps taking lunch in Oban – which proclaims itself as the seafood capital of Scotland. Alternatively leave the car and take the passenger ferry to the isle of Lismore, to walk and relax.
Day Five – Off to Shieldaig
Your next destination is in one of the most scenically beautiful and secluded locations in the whole of Scotland, in the wild and rugged area of Wester Ross.
Your hotel in Shieldaig
This small, family run inn, converted from a row of white-washed fishing cottages, makes a picture-perfect base for exploring the dramatic north-west coast with its abundance of lochs, forests, mountains and rivers. The grandeur of the surrounding mountains forms a stunning backdrop to your hotel, which nestles in the crescent-shaped village high street. Its snug lounges feature glorious views over the peaceful loch, where you can idle away an afternoon watching the occasional boat come and go, and maybe enjoy a wee dram from the honesty bar in the corner. If you are lucky you could even be treated to one of the west coast’s spectacular sunsets.
Day Six – Shellfish Safari
This morning you drive north towards Gairloch for a unique experience, perhaps the highlight of the trip. You will join a local fisherman on his working boat as he gathers his creels, then back on dry land you’ll enjoy a seafood lunch from some of the harvest, cooked for you by the loch shore. A fitting end to your exploration of this country’s seafood treasures.
Day Seven – Exploring Shieldaig
With some of the world’s finest scenery right on the doorstep of your hotel, you’ll want to take the opportunity to experience the tranquillity of your location. Stroll out in to genuine wilderness, a rare occurrence you’ll want to savour, taking time to let the magic of this place really work its way in to your soul. Alternatively, you might feel like a drive along one of the world’s best – and sometimes fabulously precarious – driving routes around the Applecross peninsula, a treat for the keen driver.
Day Eight – Journey to Speyside
Taking one of the most scenic eastward routes today, you’ll love the drive to your next hotel, along some of Scotland’s best mountain roads, then crossing the Moray Firth and entering classic malt whisky territory in Speyside.
Your hotel in Speyside
This elegant Georgian hotel, compete with friendly bistro with daily changing menu of local meat, game and fish, is the perfect place to unwind in traditional highland surroundings. It offers a warm welcome with a touch of style in the centre of an attractive Speyside village close to several distilleries on the famous Whisky Trail. The excellent Cardhu and Macallan distilleries are with a couple of miles, and Glenfiddich, Strathisla and Aberlour are also within easy striking distance, as is the fascinating Speyside Cooperage.
Aside from the obvious attractions of the Whisky Trail, there is no shortage of activities in the area – with excellent salmon fishing on the Spey, walking or cycling on the Speyside Way, 22 golf courses within easy reach of the hotel and numerous places of historic interest, from Pluscarden Abbey to the romantic Cawdor Castle. Venture slightly further afield and you will discover the attractions of Inverness, the mysteries of Loch Ness with its fascinating visitor centre or the pretty fishing villages and long sandy beaches of the beautiful Moray Coast.
Day Nine – Aberlour Distillery
Conveniently located at the heart of Speyside’s Malt Whisky Trail, your hotel lies within a couple of miles of the excellent Aberlour distillery where you will enjoy a tour and tasting. The distillery is a bracing 30-minute walk from your hotel and we’ll be happy to provide the best route, or we can arrange a transfer – either way gives the driver the day off!
Day Ten – St Andrews
You don’t have to be a golfer to enjoy time in the world-famous ‘Home of Golf’, and the drive to St Andrews today takes you across one of the classic Scottish mountain passes before you cross the silvery Tay and enter the Kingdom of Fife.
Your hotel by St Andrews
In an unlikely setting deep in the heart of the Fife countryside, this internationally renowned, Michelin-starred restaurant and residence is so highly thought of that it has given its name to the tiny hamlet which is its home! Wealthy gastronomes from Edinburgh and Glasgow occasionally arrive by helicopter to savour the sumptuous modern cooking, always an imaginative blend of the very best that Fife’s fertile farmlands, river and coastal waters have to offer. Behind the restaurant is the residence, comprising eight individually designed suites.
The inn is perfectly located to visit St Andrew’s and the pretty seaside villages of the East Neuk of Fife.
Day Eleven – Return home
After another breakfast to remember, you’ll make your way home.
Begin your holiday in The Trossachs. From here, journey to Port Appin and Sheildaig. Finally head to Speyside before ending your food trail in St Andrews.
£1585 per person for April & October, and £1625 per person for May to September based on 2 people sharing a double room for 10 nights on a bed & breakfast basis (3 of these nights include dinner – your first two nights and final night).
Your holiday also includes a ‘Bake Off’ Experience, a shellfish safari with seafood lunch experience, a visit and tasting at Aberlour distillery, and a six course tasting menu at a Michelin-starred restuarant near St Andrews. (You are welcome to bring your own wine to accompany the seafood lunch, which normally comprises langoustines or crab; if caught, lobster may be served for a small extra charge.)
Various hotel and room upgrades are available on this holiday – ask us for a quotation. This combination can easily be tailor-made to suit. We would also be delighted to assist you with additional nights in Glasgow or Edinburgh prior to or after your holiday. Please ask us for more details.
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.
This holiday can be arranged from April until 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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