Land and Sea Tour
In 2021, Scotland celebrated its Coasts and Waters with a year-long programme of events and activities which will shine a spotlight on these vital elements of our landscape. In celebration we developed the Land & Sea Tour for anyone who wants to experience the full glory of the West Highlands and Islands of Scotland.
Of old the region – with its myriad lochs, mountains, glens and islands – was best travelled by both land and sea. Many settlements and castles could only be accessed from the water.
We have therefore designed a combined land and sea tour of Argyll and the islands with our partners St Hilda Sea Adventures.
This eleven night tour takes you into the Highlands and along the West coast of Argyll, visiting (and staying in) castles, picturesque villages and enjoying the spectacular mountain scenery. Then we take ship along the majestic Sound of Mull, famous for its wildlife and bordered by the Isle of Mull and the Morvern Peninsula, and along historic Loch Linnhe. Our voyage will give you the full flavour of Scotland from the sea: its sheltered sea lochs, tranquil anchorages and picturesque habours. The mini cruise is a wonderful introduction to the breath-taking Hebrides and Islands.
Each tour is with a group small enough to access the best places to stay and the most interesting sites, but with a convivial feel. It is for a maximum of seven people, travelling in a nine seater minibus and then a comfortable motorised boat with an expert guide. It includes:
- All accommodation (with breakfast)
- Transport including a luxurious exclusive small cruising boat with cabins and on-board catering
- Entry to key sites
- Knowledgeable driver-guides and captains
Tour dates are flexible and can be based around any of St Hilda's cruises. The description here is an example of what can be arranged.
NOTE: Other travellers might join you on the sea tour.
We also run a self-guided Land & Sea Tour’ which is based on the same itinerary and can be arranged at any time (subject to boat availability).
It is also possible to book the land and sea elements separately if you just want to enjoy one part of the tour. Please click here to email us for more info.
Due to the nature of being on a boat there are some constrants on ensuite accomodation, please enqire when booking.
Number of places available for the land tour: 7
Day 1 (land)
Experience teaches us that people prefer to give themselves at least a full day to recover from the flight, adjust to the time zone and explore a little on their own. We are therefore including a night at a chic Bed and Breakfast close to Glasgow city centre before you meet your tour guide.
Day 2 (land)
We all meet in the foyer and set off for the West Highlands. Past Loch Lomond and over the ‘Rest and Be Thankful Pass and into the Argyll Highlands. A visit to Inveraray with its magnificent castle – seat and home of the Chiefs of Clan Campbell and Dukes of Argyll. We stay in a nearby Inn.
Day 3 (land)
We drive deeper into the West Highlands. A seaside visit to the ancient crosses at Kilmory and Castle Sween – Scotland’s first stone-built fortress. Then on to Saddell, one of the original centres of the Macdonald Lords of the Isles.
Day 4 (land)
We tour the legendary Kilmartin Glen, capital of Dark Age Dalriada. Then up the stunning West Coast of Argyll to the fishing port of Oban and then the West Coast for two nights.
Day 5 (land)
Exploring the West Coast. Ardchattan, dramatic GlenCoe, scene of the infamous massacre, and back via Glenorchy and Kilchurn castle on Loch Awe.
Day 6 (land & sea)
Time to take to the waves. Your driver-guide leaves you in the hands of the captain and crew. Our departure point is Dunstaffnage, in the lea of the famous MacDougall castle. After a short introduction to life on board our small ship we lift anchor and set sail to our first destination which is Loch Linnhe. We travel past Lismore Island for the sheltered anchorage off Shuna Island. We can go ashore and visit the local nature reserve on the mainland and admire famous Castle Stalker. There are lovely walks across the causeway bridge to Port Appin.
Day 7 (sea)
A narrow entrance leads us in to the tranquil waters of Loch Spelve (on the beautiful Isle of Mull) with its surrounding ancient oak forest. If we are lucky we might spot an otter along the loch shore. We can also pick up some local grown mussels in the morning before we leave to our next destination.
Day 8 (sea)
First stop is at our daytime anchorage in Duart Bay which is below the spectacular 13th century Duart Castle, the ancestral home to the Maclean clan. You can go for walks along the shore and visit the castle and learn about its rich clan history.
Then on to Tobermory, one of the most picturesque towns in the Hebrides Isles with its famous whisky distillery and colourful waterfront. We anchor in the bay where a Spanish galleon was sunk with all its treasure. There are also Sea Eagle Watch tours, guided walks or you can just wander along the streets, visit the delightful local museum and admire the wooden fishing boats in the harbour of this lovely village.
Day 9 (sea)
Across the Sounds of Mull and into the mouth of Loch Sunart. Here, just south of Oronsay island, lies secluded and remote Loch Drumbuie. A squeeze between high sided cliffs and we are in a perfectly sheltered anchorage. We can spend a tranquil afternoon and night here.
Day 10 (sea)
South to picturesque Loch Aline, where there are woodland walks and, at the head of the loch, Ardtornish estate and gardens. Old Ardtornish castle - fortress of the Lords of the Isles and scene of the infamous treaty between them and the English king - is on the headland above.
Day 11 (sea & land)
We return to Dunstaffnage marina by lunchtime. Collected to hook up with glorious train journey back through the Highlands to Glasgow for a comfortable last night.
St Hilda's Seahorse II
Price, Transport, Guide, Accommodation and Shopping
As an indication, the cost of this example tour in 2019 was GBP £3,600 (USD $4,538). Please contact us for updated prices.
There is a £200 supplement pp payable for an en-suite double cabin. There is a £200 pp discount for those happy to share a room on the land section of the tour.
The land tour will be for a maximum of seven people travelling in a nine seater minibus.
If you wish to book either the land or sea element of the tour separately, or plan a ‘self-drive’ version of the tour, please email us for a quote.
Breakfast is included throughout; all food is included during the sea voyage. At the other overnight stops there is a range of bar meals and more formal options.
Luggage- we suggest a medium sized case plus hand luggage for easy access at your seat. If you are continuing your trip please ask us about left luggage facilities in Edinburgh.
- Bed and Breakfast for all nights NB-Due to the constrants of sleeping on board not all bedrooms are ensuite and all single beds are 70cm wide.
- Lunch and dinner on board boat
- Services of expert tour guides
- Entry to castles (occasionally, by mutual consent, we change one castle for another)
- Air Fares
- Lunches and dinners on land leg, drinks and snacks
- Trip insurance
We ask for a non refundable deposit of GBP £800 per person.
The balance is payable thirteen weeks prior to the start of the tour.
It is a fundamental booking condition that you accept that in taking part in this sort of holiday/cruise there is an element of on-tour flexibility. The itineraries stated on our website and literature are indicative only and not a guarantee that a particular route will be followed or place reached. You must acknowledge that delays and alterations and their results, such as inconvenience and discomfort, are possible where unforeseen circumstances arise. St Hilda Sea Adventures, or the skipper, reserve the right to vary the holiday/cruise in any way we consider preferable due to adverse weather or any other conditions, including mechanical breakdown or failure. In case of the vessel not being able to meet any or part of the aforesaid conditions where suitable, St Hilda Sea Adventures will, at their discretion, try and organise shore based activities. Ultimate decisions regarding the safety of the vessel, the sailing conditions, its tender and those onboard, rest with the skipper.
We use www.xe.com for our calculations. Please chack exchange rates carefully as they can fluctate considerably over time.
If you would like to know more about the trip then please contact us.
Then, when you are ready to go ahead and book a place, you can make your non refundable deposit of GBP £800 below.
Note - please use Ref: 'SEA'