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

Secrets of Southern Scotland

Steer clear of the crowds and enjoy fabulous views, adventures and accommodation in Southern Scotland.

Spend a little time in south-west Scotland and you’ll soon discover eye-popping scenery, towns and villages oozing charm, imposing castles and abbeys steeped in history, majestic wildlife, and vast, empty beaches. The newly created South West Coastal 300 represents some of the country’s best driving routes and with a number of superb accommodation options to which we’ll happily introduce you, you can fully appreciate your time in this gently thrilling corner of the country. 


At A Glance

Best Time To Go

Mar - Nov

Why not...

upgrade and stay in a luxury Scottish castle?

Prices From

£1195

No of Nights

7

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Office Hours (UK time) Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm

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Details

Day One – Kirkcudbright calling!

Make your way to the archetypal Galloway town of Kirkcudbright (pron: Kir-COO-bree). Like moths to a flame, artists have for generations flocked to Kirkcudbright – hence its nickname ‘the Artists’ Town’ – attracted by its sheltered situation in the estuary of the River Dee on the north Solway shore and its year-round mild (well, milder) climate. Wherever you’re travelling from, we’ll create a personal, tailormade route to get you here.

Your hotel in Kirkcudbright

Opened in summer 2018 after complete refurbishment, your hotel is a delightful recent discovery. This Georgian structure on the High Street stands proudly, its classically designed façade seemingly little-changed save for a bright new lick of paint to the stone and window-frames. Inside, you’ll find a pleasing mix of traditional and up-to-date, sympathetically and skilfully assembled by the enthusiastic family owners. Part café, part bar/restaurant and hotel, there a distinct purr about the public spaces – including the large outdoor area – as locals and visitors enjoy a coffee and light lunch, or dinner and a glass of something a little stronger. Upstairs, just eight simply appointed rooms feature all you need for a comfortable stay, while all of Kirkcudbright’s charms are right on the doorstep

Day Two – A Private Guided Tour of the Galloway Coast 

Perhaps better than anywhere at illustrating the contrasts between here and other Scotland holiday destinations, the Galloway coast today awaits discovery. Amidst some 200 miles of every-changing scenery you’ll find sandy bays, intimidating sea-cliffs, thick woodland and glowing seaside villages, often without another soul in sight. Today, you’ll enjoy a half-day tour with a friendly local guide, bringing the area to life, uncovering hidden charms, history and wildlife.

Day Three – Kirkcudbright, your new favourite town

There’s something of the past about Kirkcudbright, its streets filled with independent shops while featuring a pleasing lack of ‘chains’. Enjoy an easy stroll around its smart and beautifully kept streets and marina, stop for coffee or lunch at one of any number of great spots, take in the fascinating Stewartry museum, Broughton House and Maclellan’s Castle and wonder why more UK towns have not managed to retain their character the way Kirkcudbright proudly has.

Venture a little further afield for more surprising discoveries, such as the homage to Peter Pan and J. M. Barrie at Moat Brae in Dumfries – fascinating for kids of all ages  – and the uniquely-shaped fairy-tale castle at Caerlaverock. We’ll provide plenty of appealing suggestions.

Day Four – Wigtown, the Isle of Whithorn and one of Scotland’s most acclaimed hotels

After breakfast, you’ll be making your way along the coast towards Wigtown, ‘Scotland’s National Book Town,’ with its bright market square and host of quirky shops, cafes and inns, as well as the UK’s largest local nature reserve at Wigtown Bay. Later, take the drive amidst unique landscape through Whithorn to the Isle of Whithorn – actually a tiny peninsula – where a superb harbourside inn awaits to serve you catch-of-the-day seafood and a glass of its own micro-brewed beer. After lunch, you’ll drive along the superb coastal route – one of southern Scotland’s best – and onto the hammerhead peninsula of the Rhinns of Galloway.

Your hotel on the Rhinns of Galloway

Ready for indulgent luxury? It’s right here at one of the country’s most acclaimed hotels. With just 10 rooms, a celebrated restaurant, extensive grounds including a private forest and its own secluded beach, it’s all too-easy to slip into an entirely different pace of life. None other than Winston Churchill stayed overnight on several occasions, and here was the scene of a secret meeting between him and President Eisenhower (who spent the night on a warship at anchor nearby) during WW2.

You’ll enjoy dinner here in the evening, then you might want to relax on the lawn or take a stroll on the private beach as the sea crashes on the nearby rocks, savouring every moment.

Day Five – Dilemma: Explore or Relax? The Choice is Yours.

Close by your hotel you’ll find the cute harbour town of Portpatrick as well as more gardens per square mile than virtually anywhere in the UK, exotic and unusual species brought on by the milder climate. At the Mull of Galloway, just 45 minutes away, you’re at the Scottish mainland’s southernmost point and home to one of the loveliest lighthouses anywhere in the UK. But, should you elect to spend the day lounging at your hotel, strolling its private beach and discovering its grounds, there’s not a court in the land would convict you of any wrongdoing.

Day Six – North Along the Ayrshire Coast to ‘Royal’ Troon.

A great day of coastal driving today, the rolling Irish sea giving way to the vast Firth of Clyde as you head on to your final base. Coastal villages dot the route, magical Ailsa Craig appearing to hover between the coast and the horizon, and as you reach Turnberry, turn off the main route to stick to the coast. Soon you’ll be bending your senses on the world-famous ‘Electric Brae,’ and perhaps taking time to explore clifftop Culzean Castle and Gardens, before rounding Ayr on your way to Troon.

Your Hotel in Troon

Peeking somewhat fortress-like from behind its perimeter, your accommodation in Troon is an impressive mansion-style country house hotel set in sumptuous, colourful gardens. Once private home to the originators of a world-famous whisky, the house has been welcoming guests for some 30 years, its family owners delivering a relaxed environment and attentive service, cosseting accommodation and refined dining.

Day Seven – Discover one of Scotland’s Finest Stately Homes

Just 30 minutes from Troon, you’ll find Dumfries House, one of Scotland’s finest stately homes, its interiors and gardens waiting to be discovered on a small -group guided tour in the company of an engaging host.

Later, stroll the perimeter of Troon’s world-famous links golf course and the town’s endless sandy beach and endearing streets, a fish and chips lunch by the harbour, perhaps. 

Day Eight – Return home

After a hearty breakfast, say farewell to Troon. We’ll make sure you find your way home via the most scenic route, suggesting one or two places to explore along the way if you wish.


Location

This holiday explores the southwest of Scotland, covering Dumfries & Galloway, and the Ayrshire coast.


Pricing

£1195 per person for March & November, £1250 per person for April & October, and £1295 per person for May to September.

Prices based on two people sharing a room for five nights on a bed & breakfast basis and two nights dinner, bed & breakfast.

Also included is a private half-day guided tour of the Galloway Coast, and a guided tour of Dumfries House as part of a small group.

Car rental is not included, but available from around £25 per day – 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.

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.

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Check availability for Secrets of Southern Scotland

This holiday can be arranged from March until November.

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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