Our Scotland vacations

Our Scotland vacations are ideal for those craving spectacular natural landscapes, wildlife watching and low carbon travel, since getting there by train is as easy as it is enjoyable. Continue with rail tours through the Highlands or small ship cruising around the islands of the Inner and Outer Hebrides, such as Mull and Skye. Family-friendly cruises are often accompanied by naturalist guides who explain wildlife behaviour for you, while skippers keep a safe distance from dolphins and seals. Then there are walking vacations in Orkney and the Cairngorms, staying in locally owned hotels in remote communities whose hosts love to spoil their guests with Scotlandís natural larder.

Our top Scotland vacations

Orkney & Shetland self drive vacation, Scotland

From £895 to £1015
7 days ex flights
Self-drive island-hopping through the Northern Isles

Scotland by railway vacation

From £1275 to £1345
8 days ex flights
Experience authentic Scotland independently and car-free

Wildlife vacation in the Isle of Mull, Scotland

From £575 to £790
5 days ex flights
Spot whales, otters and eagles on Isle of Mull, Scotland

West Highlands guided rail tour in Scotland

From £2095
7 days ex flights
Discover Scotland's Highlands & distinctive islands by train
Small group2023: 18 Jun, 24 Sep

Scotland guided rail tour, Skye & Glencoe

From £1975
7 days ex flights
Visit Scottish castles and beautiful gardens by train
Small group2023: 4 Jun, 25 Jun

Cairngorms & Royal Deeside hiking vacation, Scotland

From £1885
7 days ex flights
Hiking in the Cairngorms National Park
Small group2023: 13 May, 10 Jun, 8 Jul, 29 Jul, 26 Aug

Skye and the Small Isles sailing vacation

From £1520 to £2480
9 days ex flights
Sail Scotland's Small Isles and visit spectacular Skye
Small group2023: 16 Aug, 4 Sep, 5 Sep, 2024: 16 Apr, 10 May, 14 May, 19 May, 17 Jun, 3 Aug, 20 Aug, 22 Aug, 7 Sep, 9 Sep

Isle of Mull and west coast of Scotland cruise

From £2400 to £3200
7 days ex flights
Cruise the idyllic coast around the Scottish Island of Mull
Small group2023: 15 Apr, 29 Jul, 2024: 13 Apr, 8 Jun, 6 Jul, 13 Jul, 27 Jul, 10 Aug, 17 Aug, 31 Aug, 7 Sep, 14 Sep, 21 Sep, 28 Sep, 5 Oct, 19 Oct

Orkney Isles walking vacation, small group

From £2255
7 days ex flights
Discover the Orkney Islands on this wilderness walking trip
Small group2023: 6 May, 1 Jul, 15 Jul, 12 Aug, 9 Sep, 7 Oct

About our Scotland vacations

Railway vacations in Scotland

The romance of rail travel is alive and well in Scotland. You’ve just got to get out of Glasgow and onto the West Highland Line, where you can skim past looking-glass lochs and pretend you’re on the Hogwarts Express as you chug over the Glenfinnan Viaduct. Or take the Kyle Line, which starts at Eilean Donan Castle, near Inverness, before tugging you away from the rumble of day-trip coaches and through the towering munros of the Torridon Peaks instead. With no need to keep your eyes on the road or hands on the wheel, you can busy yourself looking out for golden eagles.

Small ship cruising in Scotland

Small ship cruises in Scotland are voyages on boats designed to navigate the remote islands, skinny inlets and sandy seal beaches of the jagged Scottish coast. Small means small, so you’ll probably be in a boat with no more than six cabins – all the better for watching dolphins, puffins, whales and sea eagles supremely unbothered by your little vessel. In true Victorian style, cruises along the Caledonian Canal set a more sedate pace, stretching from coast to coast via a gorgeous gauntlet of lochs and villages.

Watching wildlife

A sleeper train from London wheels you to right where you want to be for a wildlife vacation in Scotland: the wild heart of the Cairngorms National Park. Red deer, pine martens, golden eagles, otters and red squirrels flicker through the heathery hills and pine forests – and the more people who visit to see these beasts, the less land that’s set aside for the hunting of them. Head to the wild, watery worlds of Orkney and the Shetland Islands for whales, puffins and even – if you’re very lucky, like Tessa from our Travel Team – a pod of orcas.

Types of tours & vacations in Scotland

The pinprick villages and people-free mountains of Scotland lend themselves to small group vacations. You’ll ditch the coaches that trace the same old routes and viewpoints like it’s Groundhog Day, and instead hop from port to village to hiking trail by train or on a small ship. If you’re arriving from the UK or mainland Europe, your vacation can be completely flight-free. The sleeper train from London delivers you directly into the Highlands, while ferries and a hire car are all you need to get to far-flung archipelagos like the Outer Hebrides.

Where to go in Scotland

Vacations to Scotland introduce you to the faraway isles of the Inner and Outer Hebrides, Orkney and the Shetland Islands – archipelagos of cairn-like churches and guillotine puffin cliffs. Further south, you could explore the Highlands and islands, where railway stations pair up with ferry terminals that launch you into the beautiful – and environmentally astute – communities on Skye, Eigg and the Knoydart Peninsula. And Edinburgh is always a good place to start; its fairy tale streets and historic hills are a runaway highlight of many vacations to Scotland.

Read our top Scotland travel guides

Our collection of in-depth, honest travel guides delves a little deeper into some of our favourite bits of Scotland. Read up on how to travel Scotland by rail and find out why you should explore the nooks and crannies of the coast and islands on a small ship cruise. Our Scottish wildlife guide leaves no stone unturned when it comes to revealing which creatures you can see where – and how.
[Railway vacations : Jack Anstey] [Small ship cruises : pxhere] [Watching wildlife: eric niven] [Types of vacations : Petr Meissner] [Where to go in Scotland : Nathan Anderson]
Photo credits: [Page banner: Krisjanis Mezulis] [Railway vacations : Jack Anstey] [Small ship cruises : pxhere] [Watching wildlife: eric niven] [Types of vacations : Petr Meissner] [Where to go in Scotland : Nathan Anderson]