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AITO Tour Operator of The Year 2016 - Gold Award

Scottish Island Hopping

There's a deliciously old-fashioned thrill to Scottish island hopping...

…a sense of growing excitement as you lean over the stern, watching one isle shrink from view in your ferry’s wake, and wondering what undiscovered pleasures the next will hold as it gradually looms into shape on the horizon.

Grappling with route-planning and ferry timetables, however, is not for the faint-hearted. That’s where McKinlay Kidd comes in. We not only know the islands themselves inside out, but also the ferry and flight timetables, so we can work out the best combinations and timings to ensure you get the most out of your Scottish island adventure. We also hand-pick the accommodation, concentrating on smaller, usually family-run places, where you will really get an authentic flavour of local island life.

Just let us know what appeals: the empty wide sandy beaches and wild landscapes of the Outer Hebrides, or the soaring mountains and sense of history on the Isle of Skye? The wonderful wildlife habitats, both on-shore and off-shore of the Isle of Mull? Scotland in miniature, with whisky, beer and crafts on Arran or the gentler, remote peace of our wee islands, such as Colonsay, Coll & Tiree? Or perhaps the Southern Hebridean islands, complete with palm trees and delightful gardens on Gigha or Islay with its eight distilleries and whisky galore?

In total contrast to the Hebrides, are the Northern Isles of Orkney and Shetland, with their history and culture very much Norse in origin. You’ll find some of the oldest signs of civilisation in Europe on Orkney at Knap of Howar and Skara Brae, while on Shetland the briny sea air is a constant reminder that you are never far from the ocean in this fascinating outpost. While often bracketed together, they are very different and distinct island groups, well-worth exploring in detail. They also combine well in an island-hopping touring holiday, whether by ferry or by flight.

Browse the website for ideas of holidays featuring the different Scottish islands then let us know which appeal most to your sense of adventure. We’ll then put together a proposal based on your specific requirements. Bear in mind that many of the islands are quite remote and undeveloped – there is not abundant accommodation at every turn. Early planning and booking is strongly advised, especially if you are looking to travel in the peak summer season.

We look forward to helping design your tailor-made Scottish island hopping trip.

Seeing the contrasts between the islands. How unspoilt it was and the tranquility was a trip highlight. Lynda & Michael - Chippenham
A very good introduction to the Outer Hebrides. Enjoyed following parts of the Peter May trail having read the books! Eileen & Wilfred - Newcastle
Shetland is intriguing, stunning, and engaging in equal measures. The openness of the scenery matches that of the people. Kenneth & Elizabeth - Devon

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