Clan Donald of the Isles Tour

We have developed the Clan Donald of the Isles Tour for anyone fascinated by the history of the great Macdonald clan and its involvement with Scotland’s story from Robert the Bruce to the Jacobite rebellions. It’s also for those who want to experience some of Scotland’s most dramatic Highland and Island scenery, and to get a flavour of local Scottish culture.

We include some places that consistently delight our visitors: the Brochs at Glenelg, Glencoe, and the Isle of Skye, and have the chance to meet some members of todays’ clan on their home territory.

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 with an expert guide. It includes:

  • All accommodation (with breakfast)
  • Transport including ferries
  • Entry to key sites
  • Meeting local clan members and chiefs
  • A knowledgeable driver-guide

NOTE: We also run a self-guided 'Clan Donald Tour’ which is based on the same itinerary and can be arranged at any time, contact us for more info. 

This seven night tour takes you into the heartland of Macdonald country as it was in Jacobite times. We visit the territory of several of the Clan Donald kindreds and their ancient castles: GlenCoe, Clanranald, MacIain, Sleat, Skye, Glengarry and Keppoch. Our journey takes through the most dramatic parts of the West Highlands and some of the most beautiful of the Western Isles: the Uists, Benbecula and Skye.

The tour is designed to fit around a working week for those who can’t take more time off, but the holiday can of course be extended at either end for those who want to spend more time exploring Scotland. We’d be happy to offer advice and ideas for an extended vacation.

In future years we will arrange further Clan Donald tours exploring other areas associated with the clan – the Southern Hebrides (including Islay and Kintyre), the great battlefield sites and even Northern Ireland! Watch this space.

Tour dates are:

Month Arrive Meet Guide Last Night Places Left
April 10th 11th 18th 7
May 8th 9th 16th 7
June 26th 27th 4th (July) 7
September 11th 12th 19th 7
October 2nd 3rd 10th 7

NOTE: We also run a self-guided Clan Donald Tour which is based on the same itinerary and can be arranged at any time. Please contact us for details.

 

Tour details

Arrival day

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 Edinburgh city centre before you meet your tour guide. If you would like to arrive in Scotland earlier, let us know and we can help arrange more accomodation.

While in the City, visit he National Museum of Scotland to see key Clan Donald artefacts such as the books of Clanranald, West Highland sculptures and the sections on the Lordship of the Isles and the Jacobites.

Day 1 with guide

We all meet in the foyer at 9.15 am and set off for the West Highlands. Through the ‘cockpit of Scotland’ (dominated by Stirling Castle and the scene of Bannockburn) and on to dramatic GlenCoe. We pay our respects at the massacre memorial before crossing the Corran Ferry into the remote ‘Rough Bounds’ and our Moidart hotel.

Day 2

A day exploring MacIain and Clanranald territory. We visit two of the great Clan Donald castles – restored Mingarry and romantic, ruined Castle Tioram. In the evening, a taste of local culture – music and perhaps a wee dram or two courtesy of some local Macdonalds.

Day 3

North into Arisaig, past the Seven Men of Moidart. A visit to Glenfinnan, where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised the clans. Then we make for the sea via the white sands of Arisaig. Our ferry to the isles sets off from Mallaig and we pass Skye, Eigg, Rhum and Muck on our way to the Outer Hebrides. A night in a South Uist Inn.

Day 4

After a short trip to Eriskay – scene of ‘Whisky Galore’ as well as where the Bonne Prince landed, we meet up with a local clansman for some insights into island life and culture. Then to Howmore, burial place of Clanranald, and the Kildonan museum before a second relaxing evening at the inn.

Day 5

Through Benbecula and North Uist – both Macdonald islands. We take in the Neolithic sites at Carinish and Langais and Amy McRuari’s Trinity Temple. Then ‘Over the sea to Skye’ in Flora Macdonald’s footsteps (and wake) with the Skye ferry. We rest our weary heads at an historic Macdonald ‘Laird’s House’ near Portree.

Day 6

Our cameras are out as we tour the magnificent Clan Donald territory in North Skye: Duntulm castle, Flodigarry (and Flora’s grave) plus the dramatic, volcanic Quirang.

Day 7

We drive through the island to Sleat, the garden of Skye and heartland of Clan Donald today. A visit to the Museum of the Isles at Armadale Castle. Ruined Dunscaith, then a meal at Kinloch Lodge, family home Lord Macdonald – with a chance to meet the High Chief.

Day 8

Over to mainland, via the old turntable ferry at Glenelg. A look at the extraordinary Iron Age brochs before venturing into Glengarry and Keppoch territory. Then back via Killiekrankie to Edinburgh and a final night in a comfortable hotel.

Price, Transport, Guide, Accommodation and Shopping

The cost of the tour in 2020 is GBP £2,550 (USD $3,190 in May 2019).

If you are happy to share a room, we offer a £150 discount.

There is also a £50 discount for members of officially recognised Clan Donald societies around the world. Just let us know which society you belong to.

The tour will be for a maximum of seven people travelling in a nine seater minibus. The itineray may change slightly to match changing ferry schedules.

If you wish to plan a ‘self-drive’ version of the tour, please contact us for a quote.

Breakfast is included throughout. At the other meals there is a range of bar meals, snacks and more formal options available to choose from.

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.

What's Included?

  • Bed and Breakfast for all nights
  • Services of expert tour guides
  • Entry to castles (occasionally, by mutual consent, we change one castle for another)
  • Meeting key clan figures including the chance of a chief or two!
  • Two additional meals

Not included:

  • Air Fares
  • Most lunches and dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Trip insurance

We ask for a non refundable deposit of GBP £500 per person.

The balance is payable eight weeks prior to the start of the tour.

Cancellation

We strongly recommend that you take out trip insurance in case of unforeseen circumstances.                                                                                               For more details on our terms and conditions please click here.   

Exchange Rates

At the time of writing (May 2019) the exchange rate is $1.25 USD to £1 GBP.

We use www.xe.com for our calculations and this means that:

  • The GBP £2,550 holiday cost is currently USD $3,190
  • The GBP £150 per person reduction for sharing is currently USD $190
  • The GBP £500 per person deposit is currently USD $625

Now What?

If you would like to know, more about the trip then please contact us.

OR

If you would like to go ahead and book a place, you can make your deposit of GBP £500 (Mastercard or VISA) below

Note - please use Ref: 'MACD'