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You start your Scottish Seafood Trail holiday with a scenic drive past Loch Lomond and over the Rest and be Thankful pass. Lunch awaits at the world famous Loch Fyne Oyster Bar & Restaurant in Cairndow, a fantastic seafood platter for two. Exact ingredients vary according to the season, but likely to include oysters, mussels, scallops, crab and perhaps even razor clams. Take your time to enjoy the lochside ambience as much as the shellfish delicacies. It’s then just a short drive onwards to your hotel, an historic inn in the picture postcard village of Inveraray.
A favourite wayside inn for centuries – and in the same family for many generations – this hotel has been sensitively and carefully restored in keeping with the building, its history and architecture. Each room is individual and elegantly furnished and divided between the inn itself and the adjacent “First House”, another building of a similar era, but closer to the loch shore.
The hotel has an enviable reputation for atmosphere, friendliness and fresh cuisine. With its original flagstone floors and roaring log and peat fires, this is a lively haunt for both local characters and visitors alike with a choice of real ales, 100 malt whiskies and an extensive wine list. The emphasis on the menu is using the very best of local quality, from Highland beef and lamb to seafood.
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.
Originally the home of Loch Linnhe’s Pier Master, this historic restaurant, with its adjacent modern residence, really is a special place to contemplate the dramatic beauty of the west coast. Mouthwatering langoustines and lobster are kept fresh off the end of the pier before being served to you 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.
There will be plenty of time today 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 behind and take the passenger ferry across to the nearby isle of Lismore: there’s not a lot to do but this is a great place to walk and relax while taking in the coastal scenery.
Your next destination is in one of the most scenically beautiful and secluded locations in the whole of Scotland, around three hours’ drive away, in the wild and rugged area of Wester Ross.
This small, family-run inn makes a picture-perfect base for exploring the dramatic west coast with its abundance of lochs, forests, mountains and rivers. The grandeur of the surrounding mountains forms a stunning backdrop to your hotel that nestles in the crescent-shaped village high street. Converted from a row of white-washed fishing cottages, the hotel overlooks an idyllic loch which reflects a tiny island covered in Scots Pines. Two snug lounges both feature glorious views over the peaceful loch and offer visitors the chance to 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’re lucky you could even be treated to one of the west coast’s spectacular sunsets.
The charming restaurant, adorned with driftwood sculptures, is a fitting setting for the imaginative dishes that are served each evening. The chef makes extensive use of the local produce to create an ever changing menu of fresh fish, shellfish, and top quality meat and game. The picturesque village was originally built in 1810 to house and train sailors for the Napoleonic wars, but following Waterloo, the place was left to its own devices. Once, quite literally, the end of the road north, the village retains that other-worldly ‘Brigadoon’ feel, and offers an overwhelming atmosphere of peace and tranquillity.
This morning you drive north towards Gairloch for a unique experience, perhaps the highlight of your trip. You will join a local fisherman on his working boat as he gathers his creels. It’s hard work bringing in the catch, less so for you watching! He will happily share stories and information about the local area as well as his profession. Once back on dry land you’ll enjoy a seafood lunch from some of the harvest, cooked for you by the loch shore. You’ll struggle to taste seafood as fresh as this anywhere in the world.
A day to explore the local area of Wester Ross. Perhaps head into the Torridon mountains or brave the hairpin bends of the Bealach na Ba pass for magnificent views over the sea to Skye. Drop down to Applecross for a bite to eat at the local inn – you’re sure to find fish and prawns on the menu to complete your Scottish Seafood Trail!
Your route will take you first to Inverness then south through the Highlands.
Three centre self-drive tour covering Inveraray, Loch Linnhe on the west coast just north of Oban and the Torridon area in the north west Highlands.
£715 per person for departures in March, £745 for April & October and £815 per person for May to September.
Prices based on two people sharing a room for six nights on a bed & breakfast basis.
Prices include a sharing seafood platter for two on day one and fisherman’s shellfish safari with seafood lunch experience on day five. 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.
This holiday can easily be extended with extra nights at any of the featured hotels. Ask us for a quotation.
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.
Thoroughly enjoyed the holiday - fabulous part of the country.Jill & Chris, Alnwick, England
The highlight was undoubtedly the creel boat fishing trip - and to get to eat what was caught was fantastic!Ken & Jean , Houghton-le-Spring, England
I loved not just the seafood tie-ins - it was the fact that I would never have been able to assemble the trip by myself that made it special.Carolyn, London, England
This holiday is available from mid 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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