Apologies, to get the best experience from this website please enable JavaScript in your web browser. You can do this via the settings/preferences menu.

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 briney 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

    Request Proposal

    Speak to Us

    Office Hours 9am-5.30pm UK Time (Mon-Fri)

    Request a Call BackCall Back

    The McKinlay Kidd Guarantee

    All our holiday prices include a service charge of £8 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.

    Other Holiday Ideas to Explore

    Land on the sand on Barra

    Fly-drive Holidays

    Time is precious and if you want to squeeze every last drop from your trip, a fly-drive holiday is a great idea.

    Lime stone pavements on Inis Mor

    Irish Islands

    Savouring a completely different pace and way of life on an island is one of the best holiday feelings -and Ireland has a few to choose from.

    Wee Scottish Islands

    We’ve dubbed some of the smallest inhabited isles in Scotland our “wee Scottish islands”.