Best Time To Go12-May-2024 - Open for Booking
22-Sep-2024 - Open for Booking
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Spend the day exploring Scotland’s capital before you join your fellow travellers for a welcome dinner and stay at the base of Arthur’s Seat. McKinlay Kidd’s tour leader will be on hand to welcome you and discuss the week ahead.
Your accommodation in Edinburgh
Situated in a central location great for visiting the city and nestled amongst mature and landscaped gardens , this well presented and recently refurbished hotel is the perfect location to begin your tour of Scotland. It’s only a short hop to Holyrood Palace and the Royal Mile, so you could begin this exploration of Scotland’s Royal history by walking in the footsteps of James I & VI, Mary Queen of Scots, and Queen Elizabeth.
You say goodbye to the capital and head towards the historic village of Rosslyn, location of the stunning Rosslyn chapel, completed in 1484 with its intricate and mysterious stonework. For those who haven’t seen the chapel it is difficult to comprehend the unending fascination it evokes and it won’t take long to understand why it continues to inspire artists and authors – from Robert Burn’s picaresque ‘Tam O’Shanter’ to the thrills of Dan Brown’s ‘ The Da Vinci Code’
Then a rail journey over the iconic Forth Bridge – an UNESCO World Heritage Site with few rivals – as the train follows the tracks Northward to Dundee over another famous bridge across the Tay. The past meets the present here, where you’ll experience both the strikingly modern Victoria & Albert Design Museum, alongside the tales of incredible bravery in the Antarctic aboard the RSS Discovery, the vessel for Shackleton’s ill-fated expedition.
You’ll end the day returning southwards to historic St Andrews and your accommodation for the next two nights.
Your accommodation in St Andrews
Ideally situated only 200 yards from the 18th hole of the world-famous Old Course, and just 5 minutes from the centre of town, your hotel offers the perfect location to make the most of a stay in St Andrews; whether you’re a keen golfer or just want to explore the picturesque location and its beautiful coastline.
Comfortable ensuite rooms mix the traditional with contemporary styling, there’s also a cosy bar in which to sample an extensive range of malts and their restaurant holds an AA rosette for creating dishes from the best local produce – all combining to create a tranquil stay.
Today you embark upon a walking tour of St Andrews. Wander through Victorian streets punctuated with mediaeval sites of national import and find out the true history of this enigmatic town.
Visit the glorious ruins of St Andrews Cathedral; began in 1158 and once the largest building in Europe. Wander through the university, oldest in Scotland (est. 1413) and a continuous powerhouse of education and research. Stroll across the Old Course – it’s greens and fairways bleed into the town centre in the Home of Golf (a sport so old, it was first banned nearly 400 years before football was invented) – spend a few hours in the company of a local guide as they take you through this incredible town. Included in this morning is a visit to the quirky R&A Golf Museum; a fascinating stop for lovers of the sport. From there your afternoon is then free to explore at your leisure and your guide can offer suggestions that will suit you best.
An option for Golfers: It would be remiss of us to not include a chance to play golf whilst in St Andrews. At time of booking, if any of your party would like to play a round of golf during the free afternoon, this can possibly be arranged with the hotel where availability allows. The Old Course books out well in advance, but there are other courses in and around St Andrews and club rental can be arranged. Please make your intention clear with plenty of time in advance and we will try our best to arrange this. There will be an extra cost associated with this option which is dependent on availability.
Hop on the train from Leuchars to Stonehaven and journey through the fertile East Coast. It’s just a short transfer to Dunnottar Castle. One of the most dramatic of Scotland’s castles, Dunnottar clings to the unusual ‘pudding stone’ promontory beneath. A strategic position like no other, the ruins have played a part in many historical moments throughout history. There is an optional walk along the coast, taking in the Stonehaven War Memorial – whilst those who fancy a gentler journey can be driven there.
The captivating harbour town of Stonehaven, is a place that’s very easy to lose time in. Spend a couple hours walking the picturesque streets and promenade, there’s quaint cafes and gorgeous views out to sea – the Tolbooth museum is housed in the oldest building in the town and makes for a quirky visit.
The day’s explorations end with a rail journey amidst the great beauty of Aberdeenshire, where salt flats and granite towns transform into pastoral scenes of highland life.
Your accommodation in Aberdeenshire
Set around a 13th-century baronial mansion and spectacular golf course, your hotel near Inverurie presents comfortable, up-to-date accommodation. Nestled in classic Aberdeenshire countryside, it’s still just a short drive from the centre of the bustling granite city. Combining centuries of history with the latest in luxury, it’s a place to relax and enjoy your stay.
With an award-winning restaurant that focuses on attentive, friendly service alongside a menu created from the very best of seasonal produce from the fertile land surrounding the hotel. Bedrooms are distinctly modern in style, fixed and fitted to an exacting standard, overseen by the family owners, often seen in and around the property.
Another option for Golfers: Your accommodation for the next three days has its own golf course – at time of booking please let us know if you would like to add a round of golf to your stay. Again, golf club hire is also possible.
This is a day filled with a real flavour of highland life and the instantly recognisable and much loved Highland Cattle. Experience a working farm – spending time with the locals (both of the farmer and bovine variety) and learn about the history of the ‘hippy coos’ – the most photographic of all the farm animals. Though obviously appealing, the Highland Cow has played an important part in the history of Scottish farming and was once key to survival during the harsh winters.
Then spend the afternoon exploring Aberdeenshire; along with Neolithic and Pictish visits, take a tour around Fyvie Castle. Hidden amongst the grand Baronial architecture are elements dating back to the 13th century – some rumoured to have been built by William the Lion in 1211. Walk among the lavish grandeur built by five successive families each trying to outdo the last by building ever larger extensions. Take a wander through one of the great Scottish walled gardens – designed to mirror the grand plasterwork of the castle’s Dining Room.
Travel through the Cairngorm national park, Scotland’s mythical mountain range full of folklore seeped valleys and alpine spun roads on the way to Royal Deeside. Heathered foothills and herds of red deer, peat-rich riverways and dewy wild-flower meadows. A corner of Scotland steeped in tradition echoing through the ages, of great family houses and Royal ascensions amongst the untouched wilds. Follow in the footsteps of Queen Victoria and Albert who roamed these lands on summer escapes, where they had their ‘Great Expeditions’ away from the public gaze.
Visit the Old Royal Station, once the terminus of the line from Aberdeen. Lovingly restored by HRH Charles III’s charity in 2015, the wooden station now serves a much more important purpose. Afternoon Tea. Enjoy tiers of delicate sandwiches, cakes and scones in this most unique of settings.
Balmoral Estate has been a key location for royal dramas, escapes, intrigues, and most importantly holidays. It has been a favourite home for the heads of state for over a century, with a special place in the hearts of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II. Spend the afternoon exploring the exceptional grounds and discover just what makes this place so special. This is sure to be a highlight of the trip and an exploration of one of the world’s most iconic locations. There are many other regal locations to discover in the area, including equally iconic Braemar Castle, which also has long established connections with nobility and regular royal visitors – echoing with the turbulent history of Scotland across the past 400 years.
This morning’s journey takes in Aberdeen where you’ll catch the train to Edinburgh. A final adventure through the hills, valleys, and along the coast of Scotland’s abundant East. Pass over salt-marsh and alongside golden beaches. Glide once more over the structural wonder of the Forth Bridge and return to Edinburgh for early afternoon. Say goodbye to your fellow travellers and tour leader, then look back on a week of discovery, history, and unforgettable experiences.
Please tell us if we can help with your onward arrangements – be it a couple more days in another of Scotland’s culturally and architecturally rich cities, or a week exploring the wild beauty of the west coast and its islands.
The tour departs by rail from Edinburgh up to St Andrews for two nights. Travel by train to Meldrum, Aberdeenshire for a three-night stay. The tour concludes with a train journey down Scotland’s east coast back to Edinburgh.
£2415 per person sharing a twin or double room ensuite in May & September. The single person price is £3165.
The price per person includes:
All accommodation is carefully-selected and researched by us – contact us for more detailed information. We will do our best to accommodate room preferences subject to availability at individual properties.
This tour will operate with a maximum of 15 passengers on each departure date. From time to time we may need to make minor changes to the itinerary, such as the specific places visited, but will always replace with alternatives of equivalent or higher standard.
Simply complete the form below to reserve your place(s). We guarantee to hold your place(s) for 48 hours to provide time for you to pay the deposit of 25% per person.
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.
|Departure Date||Starts From||Nights||£ per person (2 sharing)||£ per person (single)|
|Sunday 12 May 2024||Edinburgh||6||£ 2415||£ 3165|
|Sunday 22 Sep 2024||Edinburgh||6||£ 2415||£ 3165|
To reserve your place(s) on this tour, please call us or complete the form below, making sure to select your departure date from the dropdown menu and advise of any special requirements. We will hold your place(s) for 48 hours and contact you with details of how to confirm your booking by payment of the per person deposit.
Please note: All form fields are required unless otherwise stated optional.