Kyleakin, Isle of Skye
Eilean Donan Castle
Jacobite Steam Train
Our three day tour to the Isle of Skye – recently voted 4th best island in the world – gives you time to relax and enjoy the island’s natural beauty, its unique culture and vast array of wildlife.
Guests taking our summer tour can even enjoy a trip on the Jacobite Steam Train (15th May to 15th September) as seen in Harry Potter and often described and one of the world’s great train journeys.
It’s an early start in the cosmopolitan city of Edinburgh before we set off via Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow, for the picturesque highland village of Luss which is perched on the western shore of Loch Lomond.
There’s some time to explore this quaint little village before heading to Glencoe, spectacular setting for possibly the most shameful episode in Scottish history: The Glencoe Massacre. We stop here to soak up the stunning beauty and dramatic atmosphere of the Glen.
Sitting in the shadow of Britain’s highest peak Ben Nevis lies Fort William, the perfect stop for a spot of lunch.
Movie fans will undoubtedly want to make the next leg of the tour on the Jacobite Steam Train ( may to September only) which runs from Fort William, over the 21-arch Glenfinnan Viaduct of Harry Potter fame, to Mallaig where your Tour Leader will meet the train. (NB if for any reason the Mallaig to Skye ferry is not operating, the Jacobite Steam train trip will be unavailable).
Guests who prefer to stay on the coach, travel by road to Glenfinnan for views of the Viaduct as well as Loch Eilt where Hagrid was seen skimming stones in Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire, and where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his Standard in an ill-fated attempt to reinstate the exiled Stuarts to the throne of Great Britain and Ireland.
We take in the spell-binding Sands of Morar where guests enjoy views over perfect turquoise seas to the islands of Eigg and Rum and north to our destination, Skye.
We then take the ferry from Mallaig to Armadale (weather dependent) on the Isle of Skye before a short, 30-minute drive to Kyleakin, where an early evening stroll around this traditional island village and your accommodation awaits.
After breakfast we head off on a full-day tour of this incredibly diverse island.
Guests can choose to enjoy a leisurely 1.5hr boat trip from Elgol or a more exhilarating, wind-in-your-hair, RIB ride (RIB ride has limited availability; please reserve in advance). Either way, you’ll see the jaw-dropping Cuillin Mountains up close as well as a rich variety of sea birds including, if you’re lucky, majestic Golden and Sea Eagles. There are regular sightings of dolphins, porpoise, and sometimes whales especially in the summer months and the large resident colony of harbour seals near to Loch Coruisk is guaranteed. (NB in circumstances where the Elgol boat trip is not operational, your Tour Leader will suggest an alternative attraction).
Next stop is Portree – the largest town on Skye. It’s the ideal opportunity for a spot of lunch and a stroll (time permitting) before we head in the direction of the breathtaking Trotternish Peninsula and its unique geology.
Our guests love the Skye Museum of Island Life where they get an incredible insight into how people lived on Skye around 100 years ago.
Skye’s landscapes never cease to thrill and the next stop – the Quiraing – is no different. Guests disembark here just to soak up the beautiful panoramas before we head to Kilt Rock – an enormous 90-metre-tall column of basalt. Finally, the tour passes the The Old Man of Storr, created by a massive ancient landslide, on our route to Kyleakin and a relaxing evening at your leisure.
This morning we leave Skye via the controversial Skye Bridge which opened in 1995. Our first stop is at the iconic Eilean Donan Castle – possibly Scotland’s most photographed castle and location for many famous films including Highlander, The World is Not Enough and the Bollywood Blockbuster Kutch Kutch Hota Hai. It’s easy to see why film makers are so enthralled as the castle sits on an island where three great sea lochs meet and is surrounding by magnificent highland scenery.
As we start to head for home we stop at Fort Augustus. Sitting at the southern tip of Loch Ness, it’s the ideal spot for lunch and a one-hour monster-spotting trip if you’re feeling lucky. Alternatively, just explore this charming little highland village.
The coach then heads over the Laggan and Grampian mountains, passing Blair Castle (the ancient seat of the Dukes of Atholl and home to Europe’s only remaining private army) until we reach the Victorian town of Pitlochry.
After a stop for refreshments in this bustling town, we return to Scotland’s Capital via the Forth Bridge and the sight iconic of the Forth Rail Bridge which has been in service since 1890.