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Day One – Journey to Loch Lomond
We locals tend to be a little blasé about Britain’s largest lake (though Loch Ness actually contains more water), its location just some 30 minutes from the centre of Glasgow. Make no mistake, though: Loch Lomond is a mighty jewel in the Scotland crown, surrounded by quite staggering scenery, with a range of activities on and around that make it the perfect place to start your family adventure.
Your Accommodation by Loch Lomond
In one of the cutest and most popular lochside villages, your accommodation by Loch Lomond is a cheerful, independently owned and long-established inn just a minute’s stroll from the water. With a range of room-types to suit any sized party, we’ll be sure to secure the cosy space that best suits you and your family. Dining here is a relaxed affair, the bar and restaurant nestled side-by-side, and a garden terrace at your disposal, weather-permitting.
Day Two – Forest Faerie Hunt and A First Trip on the Loch
As part of a huge private estate, your hotel is enveloped in dense, fizzing forest. After breakfast today, take a short stroll to the start of a fun faerie-hunting expedition. Residing by the banks of the loch since the dawn of time, Scottish faeries cheerfully inhabit the woodland, living in harmony with nature in their pretty faerie houses. You’re invited to explore on this magical hunt, though care is advised as you beware the ominous trolls, escapees from the Vikings who invaded Scotland centuries ago, now hiding in the Highland hills and glens. Fearsome!
In the afternoon, take a gentle cruise on the loch – perhaps with fish and chips from the hotel’s upscale chippie in the village – mooring for a short visit to one of the loch’s finest islands.
Day Three – Fun and Thrills by 4×4
Surely a holiday highlight this morning as you’re met at the hotel by an expert guide in a chunky, fully equipped 4×4. Within moments’ drive of your base, you’ll be in deserted, intimidating landscape, rising steeply above the loch affording quite magnificent views. Stopping regularly along the way for photo ops and to hear stories of the history of the area, grown-ups will also be given the chance to take the wheel if you wish, receiving off-road driving tuition on this tricky route.
Back at the hotel by lunchtime, grab a bite before making your way around the edge of the loch by road to the bustling town of Balloch. Here, get up close with over 30 birds of prey and owls, around 26 species including all five British owls. Birds of all sizes, including the little owl, kestrel, buzzard, various hawks, falcons and even a golden eagle are here to marvel at and, crucially, to learn about the conservation work that goes on at the centre. Culminating in a thrilling flying show, you’ll witness these superb avian predators at flight in their natural surroundings, with emphasis on discovering the story of the birds’ evolution.
Day Four – Och Aye, Canoe!
Back to the water this morning, just a few steps from the hotel, for a guided canoeing quest on the loch. Whatever your level of experience, your friendly guides will make this a safe and fun few hours, with all the equipment you need provided.
In the afternoon, take some time to explore the village at leisure.
Day Five – North to Mighty Mull
A superb couple of hours on the road this morning. The moment you leave the village, you’re in some of the country finest scenery, crossing the ‘Arrochar Alps’, ascending the Rest-and-be-Thankful pass before dropping down to circle Loch Fyne to the Georgian village of Inveraray. This is a great place to stop, perhaps to visit the castle or spooky jail and peruse the idiosyncratic shops on the main street. From here, snake through wilderness to the roads around Loch Awe – aptly named – carrying you to the classic west-coast port town of Oban.
At Oban, board the ferry for the 50-minute crossing to Mull. Once here, it’s just a 40-minute drive to your base for the next four nights.
Your Accommodation on Mull
In the ancient village of Dervaig in the north of the island, your hotel is the oldest inn on Mull, having welcomed travellers since the 17th century. Now owned by an enthusiastic young family, it presents the ideal blend of hearty food, a lively bar and cosy, family friendly rooms.
Day Six – The Wonder of Whale-Watching
Take the twisting, 20-minute rural route across the north of the island this morning to the vibrant ‘capital’ Tobermory – setting for classic kids’ TV show Balamory. Here, board your purpose-built vessel for an electrifying half-day whale-watching trip on the waters surrounding Mull. As part of a small group in the company of an expert guide, you could be lucky enough to view some of the superb wildlife that populates the water and skies, including minke whale, dolphin, porpoise, basking shark, seal and seabirds.
Later, take time to explore Tobermory, perhaps with lunch of the very freshest seafood landed within a few steps of the table. Or for the really adventurous, perhaps a dash of wild swimming in sheltered Calgary Bay?
Day Seven – More Magical Wildlife
Today, another highlight; after breakfast you’ll be met by the very friendliest of local guides and taken on a full-day private guided tour to some of the island’s best wildlife hotspots. Otter, eagle, deer and seal are just some of the species you might encounter, with binoculars and telescopes provided so you can get as close as possible without disturbing, and your experienced guide on-hand to tell the story of the island’s animal inhabitants.
Day Eight – The Isle of Iona
An enchanting day to round off your trip; first, traverse the length of Mull. Perhaps taking the exciting west-coast route via cliffs, waterfalls and golden beaches, all the way to the tiny port of Fionnphort. Leave the car here and take the five-minute ferry crossing to the tiny, shimmering Isle of Iona. The world-famous abbey is a 10-minute walk from the ferry, while the island punches way above its weight with fascinating attractions. Visit the marble quarry, its apparatus abandoned in 1918, each piece telling its own story; and easily hike to Dun I, Iona’s highest point, for panoramic views of the Treshnish Isles, Tiree, Coll, and on a really clear day, Rhum, Eigg and Skye, with Ireland visible to the South.
Take a picnic with you, or enjoy lunch at the harbourside hotel, before returning to Mull for your final night.
Day Nine – Journey Home
Wherever you’re returning to, we’ll create a tailormade route to get you home from Oban, through some of the UK’s most eye-popping scenery. The perfect way to end your trip.
This twin-centre getaway includes stays at Loch Lomond and on the Isle of Mull.
Loch Lomond and Mull Scottish Family Adventure costs £3790 in April & October and £3900 in May through September.
There is no additional charge for school holidays so do book early to secure availability. This is a total price based on two adults and two children up to age 14 sharing en-suite family accommodation for eight nights on a bed and breakfast basis (self-catering in Loch Lomond) and also includes:
Families of different sizes and compositions welcome, of course; please provide details of ages and rooms requirements at time of enquiry and we will respond with a quotation. All McKinlay Kidd holidays are tailor-made to your family, so let us know if you would like us to adapt the holiday described to suit your specific interests.
We would also be delighted to assist with hotel reservations before the start and at the end of your trip, perhaps in Glasgow, from our selection of centrally located, high-quality hotel and aparthotel options, as well as with any inbound and onward travel you may require. Car rental is not included, but available for a range of vehicles – 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.
This holiday can be arranged from April 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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