New for 2019: tailor-made tours from McKinlay Kidd

December 4, 2018 | McKinlay Kidd

New for 2019: rail and car-free touring, road trips and whisky & gin tasting journeys – celebrate the very best hidden corners of Scotland, Ireland and England, all tailor-made …

McKinlay Kidd’s new holidays for 2019 include rail and car-free touring, self-drive and fly-drive trips plus whisky and gin tasting journeys to celebrate the very best hidden corners of Scotland, Ireland and England.

Here are EIGHT excellent tailor-made options to ensure enjoyment of the very best of British and Irish hospitality.

1. NEW:  Slowly through the North Highlands by Train

There is nothing quite like the beauty, tranquillity and natural grandeur of rural Scotland, especially along the country’s most remote train lines. Set out from Inverness to the postcard-perfect village of Plockton, enjoy a private guided tour of the Isle of Skye, then take the North Highland line to Tain. Experience the wilds of Sutherland then travel along the atmospheric north coast to Thurso, where another expert local guide delivers a private tour. Round it all off with a boat trip on legendary Loch Ness.

Slowly through the North Highlands by Train costs from £1,245 per person (two sharing), including eight nights’ B&B accommodation, train travel, Loch Ness boat trip and private tours of Skye and the north coast.

2. NEW:  Tour the Outer Hebrides Car-free

Forget about driving on this stress-free journey meandering through the islands of Barra, Eriskay, the Uists, Benbecula, Harris and Lewis. An expertly-curated combination of train, ferry, bus and private transfers helps the traveller experience life as a local. A highlight is the private boat trip, with a picnic lunch, on a tiny deserted island. Save the best until last with three days on the spectacular ‘Big Island’ of Harris and Lewis.

Tour the Outer Hebrides Car-free costs from £1,245 per person (two sharing), including seven nights’ B&B accommodation, rail travel from Glasgow to Oban, ferry crossings and transfers, private tours on Barra, from Berneray and on Harris/Lewis, plus the flight from Stornoway back to Glasgow.

3. NEW:  Luxury Skye and Highlands by Sleeper

Arrival at one of Scotland’s most remote stations in the heart of the Highlands after an overnight sleeper journey from Euston provides an almost otherworldly contrast. A knowledgeable local guide will be on hand to show you the best this arresting landscape has to offer while you unwind in tranquil surroundings for two days and nights. Continue further west by rail for the ferry to Skye and two nights at a luxurious lodge, plus enjoy a private day-tour of this celebrated island. The glorious Kyle Line returns you to Inverness in time for a private tour before reconnecting with the Caledonian Sleeper.

Luxury Skye and Highlands by Sleeper costs from £1,795 per person (two sharing), including return club-class sleeper travel, four nights’ dinner/B&B accommodation in small four and five star hotels, rail and ferry travel as described, transfers and private guided tours of Highland Perthshire, Skye and Inverness.

4. NEW: Explore Northern Ireland Car-free

Leave the car behind and settle into a relaxing eight-night holiday which will introduce the gems of Northern Ireland’s waterfront city of Derry, the acclaimed Causeway Coast and the vibrant city of Belfast. An extra-special element is the hop over to Rathlin Island – one of the country’s best-kept secrets and Northern Ireland’s only offshore inhabited island. Charming lodgings, private tours with only the best local guides and unforgettable train journeys will complete this remarkable holiday in the most perfect fashion.

Explore Northern Ireland Car-free costs from £1,045 per person (two sharing), including eight nights’ B&B accommodation, train and ferry travel, private transfers, a guided tour of the Derry Walls and private guided tours of the Causeway Coast, Rathlin Island and Belfast.

5. NEW:  Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way in a Classic Car

Drive one of the world’s finest touring routes in style. Focusing on counties Clare and Kerry, this carefully-crafted week-long holiday packs in several of the country’s most famous coastal curves and sky-scraping cliffs, such as the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren and the Dingle peninsula. What’s more, following an exhilarating day behind the wheel, unwind in specially-selected accommodation, taking the opportunity to sample some of the very best food and drink Ireland has to offer.

Wild Atlantic Way in a Classic Car costs from £1,775 per person (two sharing), including return train travel from Dublin to Limerick, six nights’ B&B accommodation, seven days’ rental of an MGB or Triumph TR6 (upgrades available) and private transfers to/from Limerick railway station.

6. NEW:  West Coast Whisky and Gin Odyssey

A whisky and/or gin-lover’s dream, this self-drive holiday covers the birthplaces of some of Scotland’s finest spirits on both the mainland and islands. Designed to ensure that many of the included distillery experiences are just walking distance away, it begins on the wild Kintyre peninsula, followed by a ferry crossing to the whisky and gin mecca of Islay for two nights. Next, it’s on to Scotland’s seafood capital, Oban. The holiday finishes with a two-night stay in one of the country’s newest distilleries on the Isle of Raasay, just by Skye.

West Coast Whisky and Gin Odyssey costs from £1,295 per person, including seven nights’ B&B accommodation, tours of/visits to six distilleries, a private taxi tour on Islay and return ferry crossings for car and passengers. Additional distillery visits are available, POA.

7. NEW:  Complete Orkney & Shetland Fly-drive

This 14-night odyssey gets right under the skin of the UK’s most unique island archipelagos – Orkney and Shetland – and includes the world’s shortest scheduled flight! The first stop is Orkney’s bustling Kirkwall, with ample leisure time to traverse its dramatic landscape and prehistoric ruins, before hopping over to Rousay – also known as ‘The Egypt of the North’. Wild, untamed Westray and its even tinier neighbour, Papa Westray, are reached by small plane – the world-record-holding jaunt between them takes around two minutes. On arrival in Shetland, a boat trip to Noss and a locally-guided tour will reveal a dizzying array of both islands’ known highlights and hidden treasures, plus there’s time to venture to Unst, the most northerly point in the UK.

Complete Orkney & Shetland Fly-drive costs from £2,495 per person (two sharing), based on 14 nights’ B&B accommodation, small manual car hire throughout, return flights from Edinburgh or Glasgow, flights to Westray/ Papa Westray and from Orkney to Shetland, ferry to Rousay, Orkney Explorer pass, small group tours of Orkney, Rousay, Westray, Papa Westray and Shetland with an expert local guide and the Noss boat trip.

8. NEW:  Devon and Cornwall Road Trip

A finely composed trip through some of England’s most arresting locations, taking in the north Devon coast, Exmoor and a terrific looping route around Cornwall. Head for the classic ‘twin’ cliffside towns of Lynton and Lynmouth on the edge of Exmoor, with a half-day to discover this atmospheric landscape on a leisurely-paced walk with a local guide. From here, drop into Cornwall, taking in classic coastal villages such as Mevagissey and Port Isaac along the way, with a final three-night stop in Penzance, close to St Ives and Land’s End. Thatched cottages, cream teas and succulent seafood await!

Devon and Cornwall Road Trip costs from £775 per person (two sharing), including seven nights’ B&B accommodation and a private guided half-day tour of Exmoor with local-produce picnic lunch.

McKinlay Kidd are expert curators of self-guided, special-experience and tailor-made holidays in Scotland, Ireland, England & Wales. All accommodation and experiences have been personally tried and tested by the McKinlay Kidd team. McKinlay Kidd won ‘Best Specialist Tour Operator’ in the 2017 Telegraph Travel Awards, and was also voted AITO Tour Operator of the Year 2016, based on outstanding customer reviews. For more details, or to book, visit or call 0141 260 9260 to speak to an expert.

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