Scotland is a beautiful country that offers breathtaking views, incredible experiences, and wonderous adventures. It’s one of the countries I’ve visited the most in all of my travelling experience and I genuinely will never be bored of Scotland. A road trip in Scotland is genuinely one of the very best ways to experience all that the country has to offer – those views, the experiences and all the adventures.
In 2017, a group of friends were having a reunion party near Stirling in the charming town of Callendar and ahead of the party a few of us chose to take a road trip. We started in Glasgow and ended up making a loop of the Highlands before ending Callendar for our reunion and returning to Glasgow afterwards. It was a great opportunity to spend some quality time with two dear friends and also explore some familiar and new areas of Scotland with the leisure of having a car.
In the past, I had already done about 1/2 our route in bus tours with Haggis Tours – twice. However what I was looking forward to on this trip was the ability to spend longer in areas that interested me, like Skye, and have a bit more of a trip for exploration rather than a quick stop at the highlights of the route. This meant that we could build in time to visit several whisky distilleries on the route, enjoy a few hikes at our leisure, and take the slow route around the Highlands.
In August of 2017, I travelled to Scotland with 2 friends and we had a fantastic road trip through the highlands of Scotland.
Day 1 – Glasgow to Isle of Skye
The three of us on the road trip were arriving from different countries – I flew in from London, another from Belgium and the third from the United States. It made for an interesting challenge in organizing our arrival times to head out on the first leg of our road trip. By some miracle, we were able to all land in Glasgow within an hour of each other! I waited patiently at the coffee shop and one by one my travelling companions joined me.
We had a good amount of driving ahead of us on the first day to reach the Isle of Skye by night – around 5 hours in total. To help break the drive up and give us opportunities to enjoy all that Scotland had to offer we planned a few breaks in Glencoe. We grabbed a small bite at the airport, stopped at the Marks & Spencers there to grab road snacks as well, and then headed off for the first leg of our drive through Loch Lomand.
Glencoe has some of the most beautifully stunning and stark scenery in the Highlands, and for me is the epitome of the views you expect to see in Scotland. It’s also famous for being the site of a truly infamous massacre from the late 1600s, known as the “Massacre of Glencoe”. It’s also uniquely beautiful during any season with some incredible spring, summer, autumnal and winter scenes. There is great hiking throughout the area for those that like to stretch their legs. There’s a small village of Glencoe with a museum to visit, and a Visitor Centre as well as many opportunities for outdoor activities and stops.
Glencoe Mountain Resort is a ski resort in the Glencoe region and we made this our first stop. There is a chairlift that runs there throughout most the seasons. In the summer you can take the chair lift to the top of the mountain for some absolutely stunning views of Glencoe and plenty of hiking opportunities. We enjoyed the ride on the chairlift, which sits 2 to a seat, and appreciated the views from the top of the mountain. At the base, there was a charming coffee shop and cafe that offered a few goodies after our visit, and where you can buy the tickets for the chairlift.
All along the A82, the main road that runs through Glencoe, there are small parking lots where you can take breaks, stretch your legs and hike along the West Highland Way. We took a brief break at one of the stops and walked for a while to get some truly picturesque views of the valleys in Glencoe.
The drive took the better portion of our day but the stops along the way really made it a pleasant journey. The sun began to sink the sky, but we still had daylight, and we made one last stop just before reaching the Isle of Skye.
Eilean Donan Castle is a favourite of mine in Scotland and we made the briefest stop on this leg of the trip to catch a glimpse of it with the dusky sky and setting sun framing it in shadows. On our third day, we’d actually get the chance to visit the highly popular castle, but for now, we were just stopping briefly to catch a glimpse before carrying on to cross the bridge onto the Isle of Skye.
We checked into our flat/apartment for the evening. We had chosen to stay in Portree, the largest town on Skye, and were able to visit a small convenience store to stock up on some food for breakfast and take dinner at a local restaurant, the Granary. Later in the evening, we visited the Merchant Bar, a charming local pub with an exquisite whisky selection. We shared a few drams before walking back to our apartment for an evening’s rest.
Day 2- Isle of Skye
We were lucky that this first day in Scotland was exceptionally sunny, but it was very cool. We had all packed several layers of clothing and waterproofs knowing that the Scottish weather could be wildly unpredictable. The second day of the trip was punctuated by a morning drizzle and an afternoon persistent rain. There was so much rain it managed to soak through my waterproof jacket and at least two layers of clothing. By the early evening, as we returned to the apartment, I was grateful we had a place to stay and change and warm up before heading out for the evening.
Many of the sites we saw on our full day on Skye made it into my Guide to the Isle of Skye (see link below), which is a conclusive review of all the different sites I researched to visit and have visited over my three different trips to this beautiful Scottish island.My Guide to Isle of Skye
We started the morning by having a proper fry up at the apartment, a good hearty meal on a cold summer’s day, before heading out to the Fairy Pools. We wanted to visit them early to avoid the crowds, as they are quite popular during the summer months. We did get the timing right though; we arrived around 8am and were able to enjoy the hike to the Fairy Pools with limited company. On the way back the parking lot was overfull and there were heaps of hikers heading in our direction. We had taken our time on the way up, pausing for photos and enjoying the view, but I was grateful that we had been able to enjoy the area without too many other guests.
Since we had started early we were ahead of schedule and took the opportunity to head to the Fairy Glen, near Uig. It was a charming area to hike, even in the rain, and we enjoyed a brief visit. In the rain, there was an otherworldly quality to the glen. This is another landslip geological formation on Skye, similar to the Quairang, and creates a really magical and eerie hill to wander.
We briefly stopped in Uig to admire the sea before carrying onwards to the area of Carbost so we could visit Talisker Distillery. We found a local pub, The Old Inn, and grabbed a lovely lunch there before heading to the distillery.
Talisker Distillery is a must-visit to anyone travelling to the Isle of Skye. It’s one of the most famous single malt whisky brands in Scotland. They have a beautiful distillery that offers tours and has a great view of a nearby loch. It’s best to book the tour in advance to ensure you have a spot and definitely stay for the tasting afterwards. I reviewed the Talisker Distillery tour review, and 11 other distilleries, in an article (link below):12 Whisky Distillery Visits & Tastings Reviewed
After having a few drams (aside from our driver) at Talisker Distillery we headed to the northern part of the Isle of Skye. We were intent to visit the Quairang and a few other sites in the area. We drove to the ruins of Duntelm Castle and watched as sheep grazed among the ruins of the former seat of the Clan MacDonald dating back to the 17th century. It was a charming and brief stop for the afternoon as we made the short hike from our car in the rain to the site of the ruins.
Nearby we visited the Grave of Flora Macdonald in the Kilmuir Cemetary. We learned about Flora Macdonald’s role in helping Bonnie Prince Charlie escape and was viewed as a major heroic figure in this region of Scotland. On the same road as the cemetery was the Museum of Island Life. This is a great living museum that showcases what life was like hundreds of years ago on Skye.
Finally, we made our way to the Quairang. This is one of the most impressive views to be found on the entire Isle of Skye. It’s a geological landslip and fantastic hiking opportunity on the northern part of the Isle of Skye. The entire hill circuit at the Quairang is 4 miles long across a rocky and rough path. The front road leading up the Quairang from the east is often difficult to climb and spoils the view in advance. If you want the wow moment and an easier drive approach the Quairang from the west, coming from Uig, and you’ll appreciate the absolutely stunning view.
As we ran out of daylight we headed back to Portree for the evening. Another quiet evening together sharing a dram and a meal.
Day 3 – Isle of Skye to Loch Ness
On the third day, we had a lot of ground to cover to drive from the Isle of Skye to Drumnadrochit, on Loch Ness.
The rain had continued on from the second day, a slow and steady drizzle that could soak multiple layers of clothes. I made a quick walk down to look once more at the town of Portree in the light of day, and the haze of fog, for a few more photos and managed to nearly soak myself once more.
Eilean Donan Castle was our first stop for the day. We had briefly visited the iconic castle on the way across to the Isle of Skye for a photo opportunity but we had chosen to actually enter the castle. Due to the rain, our visit was surprisingly quiet, aside from the noisy flapping of other guest’s ponchos as we crossed the bridge to the tidal island and castle.
It is one of the most photographed castles in Scotland and has been featured in several movies and TV shows for filming locations. It’s unique position on a tidal island in the middle of a Scottish loch and surrounded by dramatic mountains and landscapes is certainly the primary factor for this. The castle was fully rebuilt and restored between 1919 and 1932. The first castle to appear on this location dated back to 1214 and took on several variations over the years. The original castle was destroyed in 1715 during the Jacobite rising
I had stopped for photographs at Eilean Donan Castle on 3 separate occasions over the years and it’s always fascinated me. I was equally impressed with the interior of the castle and the exhibitions they had on display. Despite the rain, we really were able to enjoy the various rooms within the castle and even the views of the loch.
The fishing village of Plockton was our next stop for the day and by the time we reached the sleeping western village in Scotland the rain had finally cleared. Sadly we only had a short amount of time to explore Plockton but found it utterly charming. We had a brief lunch at a nearby pub before heading back off to cross the Highlands towards Loch Ness.
Roads in the UK have a few different classifications – A and B roads. A-roads are meant to be major through-routes and B-roads tend to be a lower class of road. When planning road trips in the UK it’s usually safe to assume that an A-road will provide an easy drive. Not so in Scotland apparently! We used several A-roads to cross from Plockton to Muir of Ord and found them to be far more challenging than anticipated.
We did reach Glen Ord Distillery in time for a scheduled tour of the facility. This was not a distillery I had known prior to researching the trip but it is one of the 3 core distilleries of the Singleton brand. Singleton is a Diageo brand who has 3 regions that they ship whisky to, and each region receives a different distillery under their label.
Glen Ord Distillery shipped to Asia under the Singleton label, thus why I had never tried it before. This gave us a unique opportunity to taste what Glen Ord had to offer.
We had a really wonderful tour through the Glen Ord Distillery, which I ranked quite highly on my review of Scottish Distilleries article. The tasting was a great chance to enjoy 3 different expressions from the distillery and they were all exquisite. The Diageo stocked bar, featuring whiskies from all the brands under the Diageo umbrella, offered a few more opportunities to compare Glen Ord’s dram with others throughout the wider brand.
Our final stop for the day was Fort Augustus on Loch Ness, where we had arranged to take a cruise of Loch Ness on a boat. There are many different ones that are offered from Fort Augustus and despite the cold weather, the boat had quite a few guests onboard.
There is no better way to experience Loch Ness or get a real feel for the famous lake. There are not a lot of viewpoints on the lake to enjoy the stillness and beauty of it. Afterwards, we grabbed something to eat in Fort Augustus, but sadly was our worst meal of the trip; perhaps a lesson not be learned about trying to avoid some of the more touristy locations for food.
The drive around Loch Ness, heading back to our hotel, disappointingly didn’t provide much in the way of view points. The road only had views of the lake at a few intervals and nothing much worth mentioning. Having driven this area a few times the best views really are from Fort Augustus.
Day 4 – Tain & Inverness
On our fourth day, we were heading north of Inverness to enjoy the area near Tain and Glenmorangie. It is a coastal region so we were on the hunt for some exceptional views. The rain had finally stopped as well, for the time being, so we were also looking forward to remaining dry during our hike.
Before we left the Loch Ness area we made a brief stop to view Urquart Castle. We were too early to gain entrance but we caught a glimpse of the castle and read about its history in the region. I’d love a chance to get back to Urquart and be given a chance to explore the castle in earnest. I’ve enjoyed the brief visual visits I’ve had over the years, this was my third, but imagine that the views and history present in the grounds of the ruined castle would be exceptional.
After getting our glimpse of the castle we drove on to Rogie Falls, a little less than an hour north. This highly rated hike had not been on my Scottish radar before this trip but it was within the radius of our journey towards Glenmorangie and came with exceptional recommendations across the internet, from TripAdvisor to Google. There are 2 hikes available at Rogie Falls, the shorter and easier Salmon Trail and the more strenuous and longer Riverside Trail; both of which are well detailed on the Scottish website for Forestry and Land.
We took the Salmon Trail since we were short on time, and the entire loop took us less than an hour including stops for photography and to appreciate the view of the waterfalls. The woodland walk wound across to a bridge and viewing areas that overlooked the actual waterfalls, which were really beautiful.
A bit further north from Rogie Falls is the town of Tain where we stopped for a short visit and a lunch break. We had lunch at the charming and well-rated Platform 1864 located near the train station. We tried to ensure we had heartier lunches on the days where we were visiting whisky distilleries. There wasn’t much else to see in Tain but it offered a charming pitstop with the cute town vibe found throughout Scotland.
Glenmorangie Distillery is one of 3 whisky distilleries located in this region of Scotland – the others being Balbair Distillery just a few minutes away and a bit further north was Clynelish Distillery. We were, unfortunately, unable to get a tasting booked at the Balbair Distillery and opted to try the Glenmorangie Distillery instead. While the tour was particularly lovely the tasting was not as impressive and quite meagre in quantity. Glenmorangie is known for some of its unusual wine cask finish expressions and I had been keen to try those but was limited to a single dram; for a whisky fan, I’d recommend several other distilleries above Glenmorangie. But for those who are interested in learning more about the process and the tour itself, it’s good value for money.
As we left Glenmorangie we caught a glimpse of a rainbow over their warehouses and the sea beyond. It was a foreshadowing of what was to come.
With the weather having turned friendlier again, and the sunshine coming out in promising quantities, we headed for the Tarbat Ness Lighthouse. The drive wound its way through idyllic countryside full of grazing sheep and ancient cemeteries. The lighthouse was located at the very tip of a piece of land known as the Tarbat Ness peninsula.
We enjoyed a hike and a climb down to the beach where we dipped our toes in the water and enjoyed the overall view and scenery. The lighthouse was painted a charming red and white and could be seen from any point on the beach. It dates back to 1830 after various vessels raised concern over the need for a lighthouse in that region. As we were leaving the lighthouse another rainbow appeared with a light drizzle of rain as it passed overhead.
Inverness was our final stop for the day and our overnight location for that leg of the trip. One of my friends would depart in the morning from Inverness train station to head home and two of us would continue on for a few more days in the Scottish highlands.
Our final night we spent wandering the charming town of Inverness soaking in the sites and enjoying some of the local cuisines. The city has a beauty all it’s own when lit up for the evening, with the lights shining off the river and framing the local castle so wonderfully. We climbed to the top of the castle to a wider view of the city as well.
Day 5 – Cairngorms National Park to Perth
Culloden is the site of the Battle of Culloden which ended the Jacobite uprising in Scotland. The Battle of Culloden saw over 1,600 men die and of those 1,500 were Jacobites. The monument is moving and the visitor centre showcases the history, from both sides, very well. The battlefield is well maintained with flags marking where either side would have stood and carved gravestones for many of the Scottish Clans that fell that day.
I had visited Culloden twice before and each time I came something new was being done to preserve the site. The museum is a must-visit but the actual battlefield is the only way to truly put the scale of the battle into perspective.
From Culloden, we headed south into the Cairngorms National Park. The National Park takes up much of the Highlands south of Speyside and north of Stirling. It offers some of the most scenic and beautiful drives I’ve ever experienced in Scotland and for me is the epitome of the beauty Scotland has to offer. Along our drive down the A9, the major road that cuts through the Cairngorms north to south, we made a few stops.
The town of Aviemore gave us an opportunity to stop for lunch and take in a few of the local sites. We stopped by the Old Packhorse Bridge, an ancient stone arch bridge over the River Dulnain. And we found the fascinating Aviemore Stone Circle, an ancient Celtic stone circle that exists in a resident’s backyard in a residential area.
Loch an Eilein is a beautiful area within the National Park and has some fantastic woodland walks. We opted to take the route around the lake to get a view of the ruined Castle on Loch an Eilein. It was an interesting sight to see, the ruins atop a tiny lake island, but the entire area was lovely so we enjoyed the visit. There were longer walks available but as we were pressed for time we headed back to the car after catching a glimpse of the castle.
As we were ahead of schedule we chose to make a short pitstop at Dalwhinnie Distillery, which was right off the A9, for a tasting and a bit of shopping. It is another of the Diageo brands (we had visited a few on this trip) but is one of the most charming whisky distilleries I have visited. The staff are always friendly and they offer a delicious whisky and chocolate pairing for a tasting option.
Blair Castle is located in the southern edge of the Cairngorms National Park and features a fantastic castle and gardens to wander. We made a stop here to take a tour of the gorgeous Castle, the ancestral home to Clan Murray. The expansive grounds and gardens are absolutely charming and we had a lovely stroll through the immaculate gardens to take in the pond, the pagodas and the statues throughout.
Our accommodation that evening was a hotel located in Perth; we stayed with the Mercure Perth Hotel. Mercure is a well-known chain of hotels in Europe and always have comfortable and clean rooms. This particular Mercure had quite a lot of old character in the building as well, which had once been an old mill, and I wrote a TripAdvisor review since we enjoyed it so much:
Day 6 – Stirling
From Perth, we took a meandering route towards the city of Stirling, where we had our next accommodation booked. The drive between the cities is only roughly 45 minutes continuing on the A9, the route we had taken through the Cairngorms the day before. Since we were in no rush we allowed ourselves a few distractions along the way, but we did start the day with our planned visit to Scone Palace.
Scone Palace is a beautiful red sandstone stately home outside of Perth. It is one of the major tourist attractions in Scotland with expansive grounds to wander and incredible staterooms to tour.
It is also home to the crowning-place of Scottish Kings, on the Stone of Scone, for over 1000 years. The historic significance of that stone is tremendous and in addition to the stately home and gardens, it is easy to see why Scone Palace is such a popular destination.
We arrived just before opening and were able to wander up the path, past several peacocks and highland cows. The state home offered a fantastic tour through the various staterooms of historical splendour and grandeur. Afterwards, we wandered through the grounds and gardens; best known for the Pinetum and star maze.
The most historically significant artefact at Scone Palace is the Stone of Scone, the crowning-place for Scottish Kings. It was an unusual sight, a few slabs of good Scottish stone, without all the ornamentation that we associate with royalty today. It was fascinating to learn about the amount of history that surrounded this ancient stone.
Our next planned stop for the day was meant to be Stirling Castle. Given that we were ahead of time, we allowed ourselves to be distracted not once, but twice, en route.
We spotted, at a distance, a whisky distillery along the A9 as we were travelling from Scone Palace to Stirling. It was not a distillery that I was particularly familiar with but it was located in an idyllic setting and had good signage from the A9 so we took a punt to drop in.
Tullibardine Distillery is located between Perth and Stirling on the A9 and has been producing whisky since 1949. Between 1995 and 2003 it was briefly closed by the owners before it was sold on. Although it’s had many owners in the last 30 years the distillery still produces a lovely whisky.
The scheduled tour had just left so we were unable to join. However, they did have a great selection of whisky available so we participated in a tasting (mostly me, since my friend was driving but she enjoyed nosing the whisky). It was a really lovely tasting that showcased 3 of their expressions beautifully, with a variety of whisky in their collection I thoroughly enjoyed the tasting. Naturally, now that I am familiar with their name I see the whisky everywhere!
After we retrained to the A9 it wasn’t long before we were distracted by more brown signs depicting local points of interest. And this time we began following the signs for Castle Campbell. My travelling companion was a descendant of Clan Campbell and this caught our attention for all the right reasons.
Castle Campbell is a medieval castle dating back to 1430 located high on a hill in the village of Dollar. For a time in its long history, the castle was known as Castle Gloom. The castle was destroyed in 1654 by Royalist rebels who attacked and burned the castle. It is currently maintained by the National Trust for Scotland and has been undergoing restoration works and excavations on the site.
It’s a fantastic castle to visit for the view alone. There is a small hike up and down a hill to get to the castle gates and plenty of interior rooms to explore. The roof has been restored and the main tower is open for visitors.
At last, we were back on track to visit Stirling Castle, which is managed by Historic Environment Scotland. Stirling Castle is a tremendously popular d destination to visit in Scotland due to its historical importance.
Stirling Castle, as with Edinburgh Castle, sits atop a hill overlooking the city of Stirling. There are mentions of a castle on this site dating back to the 1100s and it’s been the location of many historical events. The castle was attacked multiple times during the Wars of Independence and changed hands between sides several times.
We had a lovely time visiting the various staterooms within the castle and learning much about the history. We caught a glimpse of a wedding being set up in the main hall as well, which was a magical moment. A bit of rain gave us a charming rainbow over Stirling. And we caught a glimpse of the famous Wallace Monument in the distance. It’s a fantastic castle to visit for a number of reasons both for the historical significance and the well-preserved exhibitions. But the views are simply incredible!
Broomhall Castle was our hotel for the evening. I was so excited when I found this hotel while looking for places to stay in Stirling. It had been years since I’d had the opportunity to stay overnight in a Castle and I was extremely excited, as was my travelling companion. The castle was originally built in 1874 and has had many incarnations in it’s life, from being a riding school to a prep school. It was turned into a hotel in 2003 and also doubles as a wedding venue. It’s an utterly charming turret style castle with warm interior. I wrote a review for it on TripAdvisor:
Day 7 – Killin & Glasgow
We had half a day to explore the area before joining our friends for the reunion party that would last several days. Afterwards, I would have another half day to explore Glasgow with my travelling companion, so I’ve combined those two half days into this section!
The National Wallace Monument is a tower set atop a hill overlooking the city of Stirling and is in honour of the 13th-century Scottish hero, Sir William Wallace. The monument can be visited on foot or by a small minibus that will carry guests to the top of the hill. The woodland hike is really lovely but I did prefer it going downhill instead of uphill. The monument was built in 1869 and contains an original victoria sculpture of Wallace, along with a 1996 modern one based on the film Braveheart. Inside the tower, there are several rooms featuring exhibitions about the Tower and the history.
On the previous day, we had visited Stirling Castle and I had marvelled at the views from the rampart walls. However, they were nothing in comparison to the stunning views from the Wallace Monument, which included the castle as well.
Our next stop was the village of Killin, nearby Callendar. The village itself is beautifully quaint and picturesque. It’s home to the beautiful Falls of Dochart, where two rivers convert into a dramatic landscape of short waterfalls. The Main Street has gorgeous views of the distant mountains and a very charming feel.
However, it was not the charm of Killin or the rush of the falls that brought me to this village. I had been there once before in 2007 when I was touring Scotland with Haggis Tours. It was a picturesque picnic-lunch stop on our route between Edinburgh and the Isle of Skye. While I was walking back towards the old stone bridge I noticed there was an arch leading to a wooded area next to the rivers. And there was a faded sign next to the arch that read “Burial Grounds of Clan MacNab”. As it turns out Clan MacNab had a prevalent history in this village. This came as a great surprise to me since I knew I had biological ties to Clan MacNab, and therefore Killin.
I was adopted at birth into a wonderful and vibrant Greek-American family and I often write about that heritage with great pride. When I was younger my mother had told me a little of my biological ancestry and one fact that had stuck was that I came of Scottish-American descent and had ties to Clan MacNab. I was gobsmacked when I realized that this seemingly random pit stop on a bus journey across Scotland had deposited me on the doorsteps of my biological heritage. And I had no time to investigate or discover more.
When I began planning this road trip I included Killin as one of the key stops, so I might have more time to learn about this heritage. We were able to retrieve the key to the burial grounds from the nearby mill, after leaving a deposit, which allowed us entry to visit these grounds and charming forested area. It was a fantastical stop for me on our road trip and meant more than I can articulate here.
Doune Castle was our last stop before returning to Glasgow. This medieval castle will likely look very familiar to fans of Monty Python’s Holy Grail, especially the interior rooms. In fact, Monty Python is such a part of this castle’s modern history that the audio guide is narrated by Terry Jones himself. The castle made its appearance in multiple scenes and sets throughout the renowned and famous movie; in fact, it appeared as 6 different sets within the course of the entire film.
It was built in 1420 and is a fantastic example of a medieval stronghold. Though parts of the castle are in ruins many of the interior rooms are in fantastic shape and offer great exhibits that can be walked through and enjoyed. Some of the more famous spaces include the Kitchen Tower and the Lord’s Hall.
After a fantastic tour of Doune Castle, narrated perfectly with the audio guide, we returned to Glasgow. With limited time left in our itinerary and journey, we took the afternoon to jump on a bus tour of the city and get a wide view of all the beauty that Glasgow has to offer.
For those who are seeking a distilled version of our week-long itinerary, here it is!
I would absolutely recommend this route for anyone looking for a comprehensive tour of the Scottish Highlands. There are a handful of things I would change, but otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed the trip. I’d give myself an extra day on the Isle of Skye to enjoy a few of the lengthier hikes at the Fairy Pools and Quairang, or add in the Old Man of Storr. I’d give myself a few more hours in the fishing village of Plockton. And I’d swap Glenmorangie Distillery for Balbair Distillery in the same region.
- Drive from Glasgow to Glencoe
- Glencoe Mountain Resort – Chairlift Ride & Hike
- Glencoe – Hike
- Eilean Donan Castle – Picture Stop
- Dinner & Overnight in Portree
- Fairy Pools – Hike
- Fairy Glen – Hike
- Uig – Short Visit
- The Old Inn – Lunch
- Talisker Distillery – Tour & Tasting
- Duntelm Castle – Visit
- Grave of Flora MacDonald – Visit
- Museum of Island Life – Picture Stop
- Quairang – Hike
- Dinner & Overnight in Portree
- Portree – Walk
- Eilean Donan Castle – Visit
- Plockton – Visit & Lunch
- Glen Ord Distillery – Tour & Tasting
- Loch Ness – Boat Tour
- Fort Augustus – Walk & Dinner
- Urquart Castle – Short Visit
- Rogie Falls – Hike
- Tain – Visit & Lunch
- Glenmorangie Distillery – Tour & Tasting
- Tarbat Ness Lighthouse – Hike
- Inverness – Dinner & Walk
- Culloden Memorial – Visit
- Cairngorms National Park – Scenic Drive
- Loch an Eilean – Hike
- Dalwhinnie Distillery – Tasting
- Blair Castle – Visit
- Perth – Dinner & Walk
- Scone Palace – Visit and Walk
- Tullibardine Distillery – Tasting
- Castle Campbell – Visting and Walk
- Stirling Castle – Visit
- Broomhall Castle Hotel – Overnight & Dinner
- Wallace Monument – Visit and Walk
- Village of Killin – Visit and Walk
- Doune Castle – Visit
- Glasgow – Bus Tour
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You’ve packed a massive amount of sightseeing into this itinerary, Jamie. Thanks for sharing as I think it gives readers lots of options to choose from.
What an amazing itinerary! I have yet to go to Glasgow or Isle of Skye and these Castles look amazing. Love Scotland. It has so much to offer. Thanks for sharing.
This is such a good route (especially for castle lovers like me!) 😉
I would quite like to take double the amount of time and fit in some hikes in that amazing scottish scenery. It’s just so gorgeous, even in the mist/rain.
I’m so glad you made it to Stirling! It’s one of my favourite cities in Scotland.
I went on a similar trip but did not make it to the Cairngorms National Park? How does it compare to Skye? I’m thinking of going again this summer (if it’s safe). It looks beautiful though. I love your route too, you did so much in 7 days, I like travelling like that too!
This is such a great guide! A Highlands road trip is on my bucket list! I’d love to visit the Isle of Skye, the Fairy Pools looks so magical! Tarbat Ness Lighthouse looks amazing too! I find lighthouses so fascinating and great places to visit! I’ll definitely be sure to add it into my itinerary! Thanks for the great guide!
Loved this so much! I’m definitely saving this post in hopes I really do get to visit Scotland someday. Thank you for letting us live vicariously through your beautiful photos!
When I used to live in the UK we would do a couple of family holidays in Scotland, mainly to Inverness but I realise now just how stunning the rest of Scotland is and how much I have missed out just going to one place!! I can’t wait until I am back next for a proper road trip like this to the Highlands. It’s so atmospheric and stunning. A great itinerary I shall be referring back to when I make it 🙂
Yes yes yes absolutely. Scotland is my favorite country in Europe, mostly due to the people. Great post!
I’d love to explore more of the Highlands. Even though I’m from the UK I never saw the Highlands until after I moved to Canada. I would absolutely love to see the Isle of Skye. The history and the beautiful scenery of Scotland just makes me want to go back right now
This sounds like such a great road trip! Distilleries, castles, waterfalls and hiking – I must visit Scotland!
Amazing trip. I love the highlands. Having a car in that area is great. When I explored it many years ago, I did so using transport and tours. I’d love to go back one day by car and see all the things I missed.
Wow, you covered a lot of ground in a week! I haven’t been to Scotland but a road trip seems like a perfect way to make sure you see everything you can. I’ve always wanted to go to Glasgow and Isle of Skye. Thanks for sharing!
Wow, you was like me when I was doing a road trip around the highlands, just crammed as much in. Its crazy but I wished I spent more time up there and did it at a slower pace. It is such a beautiful part of the country and there is so much to do. This is a great Itinerary for those who have only got a short time and I totally agree with the list. They all have to be done! 🙂
I literally just watched Men in Kilts! And guess what they went to Talisker Distillery 🙂 I’ve only been to Scottland one, and I have 19 ish – it was for New Years’. I can’t wait to return and see more of it. For sure, I am adding the Fairy Pools to my list:) Nikki
I’m kicking myself for not adding a week onto my last trip to London to explore Scotland. I have wanted to see the Fairy Pools and visit Eilean Donan Castle for a very long time. I wasn’t aware of Rogie Falls before reading this, I will add it to my Scotland map for the future
What a fabulous trip and experience! Road trips can be so fun but you really planned this out so well to include so much. Scotland is certainly a beautiful place as your photos have certainly captured, with such wonderful natural beauty. I can’t wait to head up there myself in the future and explore the highlands as well as the lochs. So much to see and you have just created and shared a wonderful itinerary.
This looks amazing. We had the pleasure to visit Scotland a couple of years ago, but we did not make it to the Highlands. We stayed down south and explored that area. I have to get back and explore northern Scotland also!
Wow! I have never been to Scotland and had no idea that there is so much to see and do. The view looks so amazing. It would be nice to explore to enjoy the greenery and nature at its best. Would love to visit someday. Thank you for sharing your itinerary.
The whole week of this trip sounds amazing and fabulous. I have never been to Scotland till now and Isle of Sky has always been on my list of places to visit. I would love to go there some day and I think I will copy most of your trip 😀 when I visit. Thanks for this.
Yes yes yes! So much yes in this post. Scotland is a DREAM trip for me (I may have been influenced by Outlander a bit). It just seems so magical like come on there’s fairy pools! Thank you for sharing such a detailed post, it will be so so useful when I finally plan my Scottish adventure!
I haven’t had the opportunity to visit Scotland. Only read about it in books and seen it in movies. I love how green the country is. Although it’s often portrayed as gloomy, I wouldn’t mind that, as it’s kind of my favorite weather. It’s good to know that there are public transport/bus tour option to reach these places. But like you said, nothing beats the flexibility of self-driving.
How I still regret having missed out on Scotland when we were there two years in a row and landed up spending all the time in London and around. Scotland is beautiful and your itinerary inspires me. The Palaces, Castles and the Museums would be of great interest to me. Thanks for a comprehensive guide.
A road trip to Scotland has long been our dream! We have a campervan and hope to make it out there one day. There are just so many beautiful nature sceneries to witness and they are kind of offbeat and remote too. Thanks for such a detailed post, I am coming back to this later when we finally do get to do it (I swear it’s like top on our list when things are better!!)
Scotland is definitely a wish list destination for us. I like how you have efficiently packed in so much into this itinerary for just 7 days. And since this is a road trip itinerary, there is so much to see along the way as well.
I still need to visit Scotland, and this post gives me some direction. Thank you!