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One of Scotland’s finest driving routes is the perfect way to start your holiday. From Glasgow, within 20 minutes you’re skirting the banks of massive Loch Lomond, then rising across Rannoch Moor to meet the glowering valley of Glen Coe. Soon, you’ll reach the coast of Argyllshire, spearing alongside Loch Linnhe on the way to your first base just north of Fort William.
This very friendly, family owned hotel is the perfect base for your first two nights. Just 10 minutes from the outdoor lovers’ mecca of Fort William, in the shadow of Ben Nevis, this seven room hotel couldn’t be more welcoming. With tea and scones on arrival (or something cold and refreshing for the youngsters) and views across superb scenery to wallow in, you’ll love the atmosphere here. Arriving in the afternoon gives you time to pull on your walking boots and explore the surroundings before a hearty home-cooked meal in the evening and a soothing night in your en-suite family room.
An early holiday highlight awaits today. Enjoy a fine Scottish breakfast before setting off for Fort William station; here, it’s time to board the Jacobite Express Steam Train, a legendary fixture on the West Highland Line, more recently made even more famous via its starring role in the Harry Potter movies. There’s no more enthralling way to travel through this staggering landscape and across Glenfinnan Viaduct, to the classic harbour settlement of Mallaig. Take some time to discover this vibrant place, perhaps with fish and chips at the harbourside before taking the return trip, again by steam.
Enjoy an evocative road trip along the Road to the Isles this morning, perhaps taking time to discover the story of Bonnie Prince Charlie at the Glenfinnan Monument, and the peaceful beaches at Camusdarach, before boarding the ferry for the short crossing from Mallaig to Armadale on the Isle of Skye. Once on the island, it’s a short hop to your accommodation for three nights on this most captivating island.
Long established in a superb island location, your accommodation on Skye is a family owned gem, perfectly placed for exploration and relaxation. Nothing is too much trouble here, grown-ups and youngsters catered for in style and comfort, with a choice of evening dining either in the brasserie or the bustling bar.
Quite simply one of the UK’s most incredible places to visit, we never tire of returning to the Isle of Skye. Rugged coastline, wide open, often deserted beaches, soaring mountains and intimidating ridges, ancient castles, hidden harbours and endless history, we’ll pass on our years of experience, giving you all the info you need to make the most of your time here.
The vibrant island capital of Portree, with its colourful harbour, galleries, shopping and great fish and chips is just an hour away; on the way stop off at rushing waterfalls, say hello to inquisitive Hielan’ Coos and discover Red Cuillin.
Spend time on the coast, feeling for all the world like you have the place to yourself, heart-stopping views and native wildlife all around, then make your way across the vast interior amidst its rising peaks and thick, mysterious forests.
Another thrilling activity and distinct holiday highlight today: tide-permitting you’ll be met your hotel’s private jetty (otherwise meet a short drive away at Armadale) by our specially chosen boat-trip partner, who will take you on an exhilarating RiB (Rigid inflatable Boat) trip in the waters around Skye. You’ll go seal spotting around some of the many skerries and experience unbeatable views of the Skye Bridge and the ‘Small Isles’ of Muck, Eigg and Rum.
Take your time today on an easy road trip to your final base at the southern tip of mighty Loch Ness. Leaving Skye by way of the bridge, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to stop – perhaps at legendary Eilean Donan Castle for starters – as you meander along the edge of Lochs Duiach and Cluanie, taking the long way round to experience the astonishing landscape of Glen Garry. Non-stop it’s just a couple of hours to your hotel in the lively loch-side village of Fort Augustus.
Perched on an elevated spot just a few steps from the southern shores of Loch Ness, your accommodation in Fort Augustus is a welcoming, family owned hotel, set amidst the 18th century ruins of the eponymous fort constructed to mollify the Highlanders following the Jacobite uprisings. The owners are keen environmentalists, operating the hotel as much as possible according to carbon-neutral principles, sourcing products and produce from as close to home as they can.
Inside, the Victorian country house has been transformed in to a comfortable, convivial haven, with cosy rooms, extensive lounging and one of the best in-house restaurants in the Highlands.
It’s easy to see why outdoor-lovers from all over the world descend on Fort Augustus throughout the year; world class walking routes suitable for everyone from novices to the more intrepid fan out from your hotel’s doorstep, while the scenery surrounding the loch is some of Scotland’s finest.
This morning you’ll enjoy a cruise on Loch Ness as part of a small group – making sure to keep an eye out for its most famous resident – towards the superb ruins of Castle Urquhart. Later, perhaps pack a picnic and rent bikes or e-bikes at the canal-side, taking one of the easy-to-follow defined trails. Again, we’ll make sure you have all the info you need to make the most of your time.
Time to make your way home today, heading south either through the Cairngorms National Park or back along the A82 to Glen Coe for Loch Lomond and the motorway near Glasgow. Or let us know if you would like to extend your trip – perhaps adding a couple of day’s wildlife watching? All our holidays can be tailor-made to suit your family.
This holiday includes stays in Spean Bridge and on the Isle of Skye, before finishing up in Fort Augustus on the southern shores of Loch Ness.
Price is £3795 for April, September & October and £3950 in May to August, for a party of two adults and up to two children up to age 14, sharing en-suite family accommodation for seven nights on a bed and breakfast basis, with dinner provided on two nights.
Also included is return travel on the Jacobite Steam Train from Fort William to Mallaig, ferry travel for car and up to four passengers to the Isle of Skye, a private RIB trip and a cruise on Loch Ness as part of a small group.
Larger families welcome, of course, as well as any style of family group; please ask for a personal quotation.
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.
We are happy to assist with travel to Scotland by train or plane on request. Car rental is not included, but can be arranged for a range of vehicles – do just let us know.
Before your departure, you will receive personalised holiday information including full directions and recommended routes from your specified starting point, 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.
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This holiday can be arranged from April to October.
Availability is individually checked for a hand-picked selection of smaller hotels, guest houses and other independent businesses, so please bear with us and we will respond in 1-2 working days.
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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.