Famous for its culture, food, drink, sights and friendly nature, Scotland is one of the best places in the world for an epic road trip. With the mystical highlands of Scotland just waiting for you to explore them, it is time to get planning your road trip of a lifetime.

This 10-day Scotland itinerary takes you through the rugged heartlands into the highlands of Scotland, where fairies and giants used to roam. We then take you on a tour of some of the main cities in Scotland, from the highland capitals of Inverness and Stirling to the cultural hubs of Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Get ready for some spectacular sights, ancient history, fascinating mythology, and some of the best food and drink in the world, as you head off on your very own 10-day Scotland road trip.

 

Summary of the trip:

Day One – Edinburgh

Day Two – Stirling and Bungee Jump

Day Three – Blair Castle, Dalwhinnie Whisky Tasting and Falls of Truim

Day Four – Aviemore, Cairngorm Mountains, Highland Wildlife Park and Brewery Tour

Day Five – Tomatin Distillery, Inverness Castle, Loch Ness and Eilean Donan Castle

Day Six – Fairy Glen, Uig, Quiraing and Old Man of Storr

Day Seven – Portree Harbour, Sligachan Bridge, Fairy Pools and Neist Point

Day Eight – Glencoe, Glen Etive, Falls of Falloch and Loch Lomond

Day Nine – Glasgow West End

Day Ten – Glasgow City Centre

BEST ROAD TRIPS IN SCOTLAND

 

 

Also Read –  North Coast 500 Road Trip AND Heart 200 Roadtrip

 

 

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10-Day Scotland Road Trip Itinerary – All the Best Sights in 10 Days

 

Scotland Road Trip Itinerary

Its time to hit the road and see as much of beautiful Scotland as you possibly can in just 10 days. As time is of the essence, there is not a minute to waste in this jam-packed, adventurous road trip through Scotland’s best sights and cities.

 

Day One – Edinburgh

Kicking the trip off in the best possible way, your first day will be spent soaking up the atmosphere, culture, and history of Scotland’s capital city. Walk the cobbled streets, taste the local drink and hear the ancient tales of the fascinating history that took place right beneath your feet.

 

Visit Edinburgh Castle

One of the most famous sights in all of Scotland, Edinburgh Castle, is an obvious choice for everyone in the city, local or tourist. No trip to the capital is complete without a visit to this historic and culturally significant part of the UK. Every year, thousands of tourists visit the capital city to either view the castle itself or join in with one of the many events that take place in or around the castle.

 

edinburgh castle
Edinburgh Castle towers high above the city centre.

 

 

During your visit, of you wish to enter the castle and learn about its fascinating history you can take a tour of the castle for yourself. Today parts of the castle still remain in military use, however, it is a large visitor attraction that welcomes hundreds of visitors through the doors every single day.

It is a paid exhibit, costing roughly £20, and grants you access to the castle grounds and includes a free guided tour that departs every 30-minutes.

 

view of city from edinburgh castle
Even if you don’t visit the castle grounds themselves, take a wander up castle hill for a spectacular view of the city.

 

 

The castle is open daily from 9.30am – 5pm, with the last entry at 4pm. If you purchase tickets online, they will be a couple of pounds cheaper than buying them at the castle. By doing this you can also avoid waiting in the queue to buy your tickets. Your ticket will display a specific entry time that you must abide by, however, once you are in the castle you are welcome to stay until closing time.

If you visit the castle at 1pm then you will see the One o’Clock Gun Fires from the castle.

Check out the official website for full information on the tours available.

 

 

Walk the Royal Mile

The most famous street in Edinburgh leads from the Edinburgh Castle itself all the way to the Holyrood Parliament buildings. This cobbled road was once used as the standard processional route by the Kings and Queens of Scotland as they made their way from the castle to parliament.

Beneath the Royal Mile, the beautiful tenement buildings that tower above stretch beneath the earth like the roots of an ancient tree. Deep in the earth below the streets of the Royal Mile, these buildings connect to form a labyrinth of ancient history and secret underground sights.

 

Edinburgh Royal Mile
The history in this beautiful part of Edinburgh is simply fascinating.

 

 

This underground system was developed as a way to provide more room for accommodation inside the old city walls when it was not possible to expand outwards. Instead, the architects of the city decided to do something that was unheard of at the time, build upwards (and downwards) instead.

Despite its name, the road is actually 1.12 miles long and it will take you roughly 20-minutes to walk the length of it. Along this street, you will find all kinds of shops, cafes, and bars, all catering mainly towards tourists.

 

 

Enjoy the Princes Street Shopping

The main shopping district of Edinburgh sits right beside the Edinburgh Waverly train station, on the high street known as Princes Street. With stunning views of the old town of Edinburgh on one side and the latest high street shops on the other, this is the perfect spot for a shopping spree.

 

princes street edinburgh
Catch up on your high street shopping along Princes Street in Edinburgh’s city centre.

 

 

Watch the Penguin March at Edinburgh Zoo

One of Edinburgh’s main attractions is the famous Edinburgh Zoo, which sits just outside of the city centre. This wildlife centre for preservation and research is owned by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and so focuses mainly on animal-centred care and research for further preservation.

For over 100 years, Edinburgh Zoo has been open to the public of Edinburgh, showcasing the beauty and delicacy of nature and inspiring both young and old to help protect and preserve. If you enjoy learning about beautiful creatures and finding out what we can do to ensure their continued survival, this is a fantastic day out for people of all ages.

One of Edinburgh Zoo’s most famous shows is the “Penguin March”, where the staff open up the enclosure of the penguins and allow them to roam freely around the public walkways. This is a purely voluntary exercise, which is what makes it so special as if the penguins are feeling social they will choose to come and say hello.

 

 

Finish the Day with Edinburgh’s Best Sunset – Calton Hill

The only way to finish off a day in Edinburgh properly is with a view from Edinburgh’s best sunset spot at Calton Hill. This ancient volcano sits right in the centre of the city and delivers views over the old and new towns of Edinburgh, as well as the surrounding sights.

Chill out on the old National Monument with locals and tourists alike and watch the sun set over Scotland’s capital city. Just don’t stay up too late as we have a busy week ahead!

For more information on Calton Hill, read our complete guide to the Calton Hill Sunset Spot over here.

 

calton hill
Visit the top of Calton Hill for the best view of the city centre of Edinburgh.

 

 

Spend the Night in Edinburgh

There is a wide range of accommodations available in Edinburgh, so you will not be short on options. Here are our top suggestions for the best places to stay in Edinburgh for any budget.

 

Luxury – Sitting less than 500m from one of Edinburgh’s main stations, Edinburgh Haymarket, the Leonardo Royal hotel is a fantastic choice if you would like a bit of luxury. The spacious and comfortable rooms at this city-centre hotel are complete with a large TV, tea and coffee facilities and work away.

Book your stay at the Leonardo Royal Haymarket here.

 

Mid-Range – For a more reasonably priced stay in the city of Edinburgh, without crimping on comfort, the Haymarket Hub Hotel is the best choice for you. This comfortable and central hotel is just a 15-minute walk from sights such as the Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile.

Book your stay at the Haymarket Hub Hotel here.

 

Budget – For those wishing to make the most of their time out in Edinburgh and don’t plan on staying long inside the accommodation itself, the High Street Hostel is your best choice. The building that hosts this hostel dates back to 1564 and sits right on a high street just off the Royal Mile.

Book your stay at the High Street Hostel here.

 

 

Day Two and Three – Perthshire

The next two days will be spent exploring Scotland’s heartlands, also known as the Perthshire region on the eastern side. In this historically significant part of the country there are more stories, tales, sights and activities to see, do and hear than you could conquer in a lifetime.

Get ready for two days of bungee jumps, crashing waterfalls, ancient cathedrals, breathtaking views, and good old Scottish Whisky.

 

Spend the Morning Exploring the City of Stirling

After arriving into the city of Stirling bright and early, it is time to set out on foot to explore the history and beauty of this northern town. Let’s start the tour off with the best view over the town at an ancient place known as the Beheading Stone. Located at the top of Mote Hill, right beside Stirling Castle, this is thought to have been the execution spot for criminals of the country.

With stunning views of the surrounding countryside, you can’t help but think it’s not a bad place to spend your final moments..

 

the beheading stone
Great views of Stirling from the Beheading Stone

 

 

Next up is Stirling Castle itself, which is thought to date back as far as the 12th century and is one of Scotland’s most historic castles. Home to many Kings and Queens throughout the years, this castle allows entrance to visitors with a paid entrance fee. Tickets can be bought on the door or online and you will be given an admission time upon purchase.

 

Stirling Castle standing proud over the Church of Holy Rude
Stirling Castle standing proud over the Church of Holy Rude.

 

Once you have visited the castle, there is one more sight to see in the town centre of Stirling, the ancient Church of Holy Rude. This church dates back almost 900 years and is the one of the oldest buildings in Stirling, second only to the castle itself. As well as the beautiful interior and exterior of the church, the graveyard behind it is also worth a visit.

With peaceful views over the town of Stirling, this spot is one of our favourite places to escape the hustle of the town centre below.

 

Church of the Holy Rude
Scotland’s second oldest building, the Church of the Holy Rude.

 

 

Our final sight to see in Stirling is a bit of a drive away, however, it is noticeable from any point in Stirling. The Wallace Monument sits high above the surrounding landscape, 67m up at the top of Abbey Craig. In the style of Victorian Gothic architecture, this monument to Sir William Wallace was completed in 1869.

The monument itself stands in memory of one of Scotland’s most important figures during the 11th-century Wars of Independence. Sir William Wallace fought in many of the battles and even led the Scottish Army to one of their most significant victories at the Battle of Stirling Bridge.

 

Wallace Monument
The walk up to the top of Abbey Craig is broken up by these pretty sculptures and stories of the area.

 

 

Pay a visit to this monument to learn more about this turbulent time for Scotland and climb to the top of the tower for one of the best views in the local area.

Entry into the Wallace Monument will cost you a fee, costing roughly £9. The tower’s opening times can be found on the official website. If you do not wish to enter the tower itself, take a walk up to Abbey Craig anyway and enjoy the view over the town of Stirling from above.

 

 

Visit Dunblane Cathedral

As you hit the road north from the capital city of Edinburgh, your first stop will be at the small town of Dunblane. This small town has a hugely significant history for Scotland, dating back over a thousand years. The most significant building in Dunblane is its grand cathedral, which is used by the locals as a place of communion and worship.

The earliest history of Dunblane dates back to the 7th century when the Romans marched through this area and set up a camp on the outskirts of what is now the town. The best-preserved Roman fort in the UK can be found just north of the town, at the nearby village of Ardoch.

Dunblane Cathedral itself has a history dating back to the 12th century, however, the site upon which it was built shows evidence of an earlier building from around the 9th century. The oldest remaining parts of the cathedral are the distinctive first 4 floors of the tower, which feature round, Romanesque-style windows.

 

One of Scotlands oldest buildings, the Dunblane Cathedral.
One of Scotlands oldest buildings, the Dunblane Cathedral.

 

 

Aside from visiting the marvelous Dunblane cathedral, the town itself is also a quiet and cute place to have a wander. Try to find the famous golden postbox in the town centre that was opened in honour of the local Olympian, Andy Murray, after he won 2 gold medals in tennis.

 

 

Experience the Rush at Highland Fling Bungee Jump

If you are into your thrills (or maybe just need a morning wakeup call), the next activity on our list is perfect for you. How does a beautiful view of the rolling, Scottish landscape from 65m up sound to you? What if I told you you would be upside down?

That’s right, our next activity is an epic bungee jump with Highland Fling Bungee, high above the River Garry. This is one of the most unique adrenaline-rushes you will find in this part of Scotland and is an absolute must on your trip north through Scotland. If you aren’t quite sure about the bungee jump itself, there is also a swing option where you will free-fall and then swing through the beautiful gorge instead of jumping.

If you would like more information on Highland Fling Bungee and Swing check out our full guide here.

 

campbell bungee jumping
3,2,1 bungee!

 

river garry below the swing
Not a bad view from the bungee jump.

 

 

Spend the Night in Killiecrankie

There is a wide range of accommodations available in Killiecrankie, so you will not be short on options. Here are our top suggestions for the best places to stay in Killiecrankie for any budget.

 

Luxury – Ever fancied staying in a castle? Well, Fonab Castle Hotel can offer you just that and at less than a 10 minute drive away from the Killiecrankie Visitor Centre, you can stay cosy in your room admiring the views right up until you need to go for your jump.

Book your stay at Fonab Castle Hotel here.

 

Mid-Range – If you are looking to stay somewhere that includes breakfast, Derrybeg Bed and Breakfast serves up a traditional Scottish breakfast to fill up your adventurous bellies in the morning. What more could you want than that and the amazing views of the Tummel Valley that come with it.

Book your stay at Derrybeg Bed and Breakfast here.

 

Budget – The Red Brolly Inn is a budget yet comfortable place to stay for your next trip to Pitlochry. For a cosy and traditional accommodation experience, this is the place for you.

Book your stay at the Red Brolly Inn here.

 

 

Enjoy the Splendour of Blair Castle and the Gardens

As you continue on your journey north you will pass by multiple beautiful castles and through many rolling glens, however, resist the temptation to pull over as much as you can as the next stop is a good one. Next up, we will be heading to the grand gardens and castle grounds of Blair Castle, a magnificent castle that dates back 700 years.

This castle provides visitors the opportunity to learn about Scottish history through the eyes of the Atholl family, and their collection of antiques, furniture, and portraits. The interior of the castle is simply beautiful, with magnificent architecture and picture-perfect interior design. Take a stroll through the halls and chambers and get an idea of what life would have been like as part of the Atholl family.

An adult ticket into the house and gardens will cost £14, if you are only interested in visiting the gardens, this will cost £7.70. For more information on prices and about Blair Castle, check out their website. The summer season starts on 1st April 2020 and the castle will be open until 30th October 2020 from 9.30-5.30pm 7 days a week. The last admission to the castle will be 4.30pm during this time.

 

white castle
The splendid exterior of Blair Castle matches the beautiful interior design.

 

 

Go Shopping at the House of Bruar

For a quick shopping fix on your journey through the highlands, the House of Bruar is the best place to stop off. This highland resting point has been rapidly expanding over the years thanks to the huge volume of visitors it receives as people travel north to Inverness.

The shop here sells everything from gourmet local foods to locally produced clothing and accessories, and the interior design is simply magnificent as well. Even if you are not interested in buying anything, the plush interior is a lovely place to stretch your legs and do some window shopping. There is a cafe-restaurant as well in case you are feeling a little peckish on your journey north.

If you are looking for a longer walk, the Falls of Bruar sit behind this shopping centre and is a 3mile return trek that is quite steep at times. If you choose to go waterfall chasing here, make sure you have good supplies of food and water, and a comfortable pair of shoes as it will take you about 1.5-2 hours.

 

monument of a man playing bagpipes infront of white building
A grey day at the House of Bruar

 

 

Try the Local Whisky at the Dalwhinnie Distillery

If you are in the mood for another dram of whisky and a cultural tour of the local area, why not stop by the Dalwhinnie Distillery. This distillery sits right on the side of the A9 highway as you make your way north, and is a pleasant spot to stop off to stretch your legs and taste the local produce.

Dalwhinnie Distillery is unique in that it is the highest distillery in Scotland in altitude. For over 100 years, this northern distillery has battled the harsh weather to produce a whisky that is loved throughout the world. During your visit to this distillery you can choose to take a tour of the grounds and process for only £12, which will also include a complimentary taste of the produce at the end.

 

whisky distillery
Let the flavours and history of Scotland’s whisky tours take you away.

 

 

Discover the Falls of Truim

A final stop during your journey into the Cairngorm National Park should be at the beautiful Falls of Truim. Just a short walk from the main road, this stunning set of waterfalls is a lovely area to stretch the legs and get lost in Scottish nature.

If you follow signs for Crubenmore from the A9, about 7 miles north of the Dalwhinnie turn off, you will find a small car park on your left as you leave the A9. Leave your car here and hit the road on foot along the narrow road that leads away from the A9 and towards the River Truim.

As you follow the road along, after about 10-minutes you will reach an old military bridge leading across the river, from which you can get a birds-eye view of the crashing waterfall below. If you want to see the waterfall up close, head through the gate before the bridge and follow the path down to the river, taking care on the slippery ground underfoot.

 

falls of truim
Is there a better way to enjoy the beautiful Scottish landscape than a walk through nature?

 

falls of truim 1
Enjoy the peaceful sounds of crashing water at the Falls of Truim.

 

 

Spend the Night in Aviemore

Your base camp for the next couple of nights will be the northern hub of Aviemore. This small and vibrant town is one of the most popular places for backpackers and outdoor enthusiasts in the Cairngorm region, mainly due to its close proximity to the surrounding mountains and its buzzing nightlife.

There is a wide range of accommodations available in Aviemore, so you will not be short on options. Here are our top suggestions for the best places to stay in Aviemore for any budget. This will be your home for the next two nights, so get settled in!

 

Luxury – For a the most comfortable experience on offer in Aviemore, we recommend the Macdonald Morlich Hotel, which sits right in the centre of the town. This new and modern hotel is surrounded by entertainment facilities, such as swimming pools and cinemas, and is just a 5-minute walk from Aviemore’s many pubs and restaurants.

Book your stay at Macdonald Morlich Hotel here.

 

Mid-Range – A more medium-priced experience in the centre of Aviemore is the Cairngorm Hotel. Situated right on the high street of Aviemore, this hotel is popular with all visitors to the town for its cosy pub and delicsious restaurant food.

Book your stay at the Cairngorm Hotel here.

 

Budget – The most budget accommodation available in Aviemore (aside from good old camping) is at the Bunkhouse Hostel, just outside the town centre. This small hostel is the perfect place for those wishing to spend more time outdoors than in their rooms, and is coupled with our favourite pub in the world, the Old Bridge Inn.

Book your stay at the Bunkhouse Hostel here.

 

 

Day Four – Cairngorms National Park

The next two days will be spent exploring the limitless beauty of the Cairngorm National Park, which includes one of the oldest natural forests in Europe, the Rothiemurchus forest. Make the most of your time in this central hub to the highlands by exploring, relaxing and falling in love with the scenery and locals of Aviemore.

 

Chill Out in Aviemore Town Centre

After three days on the go, its time to spend the morning relaxing a little and enjoy a stroll around the small town of Aviemore. This highland hub is one of the Cairngorm National Park’s busiest towns, with easy transport links to the mountain ranges and a vibrant food and nightlife scene.

Check out the shops on the high street and enjoy a coffee at one of Aviemore’s many cafes, such as the Winking Owl, the Old Bridge Inn or the Cairngorm Hotel. If you fancy some more shopping, head off the high street towards the Macdonald Resort and have a wander around the small shop there.

 

aviemore town centre
Browse the shops and cafes along Aviemore’s high street.

 

 

Brave a Swim in Loch Morlich (or maybe not..)

Once you are finished in the town centre of Aviemore it is time to head out to the ancient Rothiemurchus forest and the beautiful Loch Morlich. This is either an easy 20-minute drive or the No. 31 bus from the town centre of Aviemore to Glenmore, stopping at the Loch Morlich Watersports.

Once you are there you have the choice of enjoying the views of the towering Cairngorm mountain range from the banks of the loch, or if it is warm enough you can go for a swim. If you are into your watersports, during the Spring, Summer, and Autumn months the centre offers kayaks, SUP boards, windsurfing boards and all other kinds of watersport equipment for rental. If the water is still too cold for you, you can even hire a wetsuit to keep you warm.

 

loch morlich
The peaceful banks of Loch Morlich, surrounded by the towering mountains of the Cairngorms.

 

loch morlich water sports
On a sunny day at Loch Morlich, the best way to admire the surrounding landscape is from out on the water.

 

 

Discover the Rothiemurchus Forest from the Cairngorm Mountain Viewpoint

By continuing away from Aviemore towards the Cairngorm mountains, you will eventually reach the car park for the Cairngorm Ski Centre. From here you can enjoy magnificent views of the surrounding landscape and the expansive Rothimurchus, one of the UK’s oldest forests.

There is a cafe in the ski centre with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains, which is the perfect place to heat up on a cold day and enjoy a hot chocolate. If you are into your hiking, the walk to the top of the ski slope is popular with mountaineering enthusiasts, however, it is crucial to ensure you have the appropriate hiking essentials before you head for the hills. The Scottish mountains are a dangerous place for those who are unprepared.

 

rothiemurchus forest
One of the UK’s last remaining natural forests is the ancient Rothiemurchus forest in the Cairngorms National Park.

 

cairngorm mountain viewpoint
Get the best view of the Rothiemurchus forest from the top of the Cairngorm’s mountain range.

 

 

Visit Europe’s Largest Enclosures at the Highland Wildlife Park

One of the best family activities in this part of Scotland is the expansive and fascinating Highland Wildlife Park just south of Aviemore. This wildlife park contains some of Europe’s largest enclosures and is a fantastic place to learn about the beautiful animals and what we can do to protect them.

The highlight of the park is, of course, one of the park’s newest additions, the (now rather large) baby polar bear “Hamish”. Born and raised in the park, Hamish experiences a lavish life under the care of the park’s workers and is one of four polar bears at the park. The enclosure that they live in is the largest in Europe and is a wonderful place to watch the polar bears socialise and play with each other in a protected environment.

 

highland wildlife park
Visit Europe’s largest enclosure at the Highland WIldlife Park and watch the polar bears playing and loving life.

 

 

Try the Local Brew at the Cairngorm Brewery

To finish off the day, it is time to head back into the town of Aviemore and try the local craft brewery that is sweeping the nation. The Cairngorm brewery sits on the northern end of the town and offers a wide range of beers, perfect for any and all taste pallets.

You can book into a tour and tasting session at the brewery, which will cost you roughly £7, during which you will get an in-depth tour of the brewery and its history. There is then a tasting session where you can try all of the different brews produced here, from light to dark ales, hoppy to smoked.

As value for money goes, this is one of the best brewery tours we have experienced, as you get more than £7 worth of beer from it if you try them all. The experience as a whole is also fascinating and the tour guides are friendly, welcoming and all-round excellent drinking companions.

 

 

Day Five – Inverness and the Highlands

It is time to head across the northern part of our itinerary, first driving through the northern capital of Inverness and then onto the Isle of Skye. Today consists of more whisky tasting, castles galore and (if you’re lucky) maybe some monster spotting at Loch Ness.

 

Explore the History of Tomatin Distillery

Another fantastic place to experience one of Scotland’s most famous delicacies is the Tomatin distillery on the road to Inverness. At this highland distillery, you will be taken on a raw and rugged tour of the actual process, where you will be ducking under pipes and breathing in the hearty smell of malted barley.

As Whisky tours go, this is one of our favourites due to how unaltered and “real” the tour route is compared to other distilleries, where you are taken on a polished and specifically designed route around the plant. As you walk around the distillery, breathe in the smells of the process and soak up the clunking sounds of metal.

As usual, the tour will end with a tasting session of the finished product where you will learn about how to sample whisky and how different types vary in texture and flavour.

 

The stills used to distill the whisky at Tomatin Distillery in Inverness.
The stills used to distill the whisky at Tomatin Distillery in Inverness.

 

tour of tomatin distillery
Our tour guide told us all we needed to know about the process from grain to whisky.

 

 

Marvel at the Castle of Inverness

Continuing north along the eastern coast, you will eventually reach the northern capital of Inverness. This town is one of the last settlements if you are heading to Scotland’s north coast and so is a very popular stopping off point for travellers. This is also the starting point of the famous North Coast 500 road trip, which is a 500-mile route around Scotland’s rugged northern coast.

One of the main sight in the town centre of Inverness is the beautiful Inverness Castle, which is just one of the many castles around the NC500. This grand, red-stone building sits high above the town centre on the banks of the River Ness and is currently home to Scotland’s Sheriff Court.

Although the general castle is not currently open to the public, there is a viewing platform at the top of the castle that delivers fantastic views of the surrounding highland landscape. There is, however, increasing pressure for the castle to open to the public, so this may soon be opening to viewing.

 

Inverness castle
Inverness Castle sits high above the River Ness, a beautiful backdrop to the bustling town.

 

 

Hunt for the Monster at Loch Ness

It is time to head westwards to the Isle of Skye and the route that you will follow is along the northern coast of the famous Loch Ness towards Fort Augustus. As you drive along the shores of Loch Ness, keep an eye out for any murmurs in the water or hints of the monster that lies beneath..

 

loch ness
Watch the water for the famous and ever sneaking Loch Ness Monster.

 

 

Take a Photo with Scotland’s Most Famous Castle – Eilean Donan

The last stop before you cross the bridge to the Isle of Skye is Scotland’s most photographed castle, Eilean Donan Castle. This famous castle has been the setting of many Hollywood films, including James Bond and the Highlander. Today, it is a tourist attraction that is open to the public (for a paid admission), and it is also available to rent the grand castle for occasions such as weddings.

If you are not interested in paying the entrance fee to the castle, the best vantage point of the castle is actually from across the water at the “All the Goodness” coffee shop car park. Continue along the road with the castle on the left and cross the bridge after the castle. The car park for the viewpoint is on the left directly after the bridge.

At this car park, there is also a toilet that you can use for free and the beach here is a lovely place to stretch your legs and admire the beautiful views of the surrounding hills.

 

eilean donan castle
The peaceful view across the water to Eilean Donan Castle.

 

Eilean Donan Castle.
Scotlands most photographed castle, Eilean Donan.

 

 

Spend the Night in Portree

As your home for the next three nights, Portree is the perfect central hub for exploring the highlands of Skye. Situated right at the southern end of the Trotternish Peninsula, Portree is one of the most popular spots for accommodation for visitors to the island. It is therefore full of comfortable and cosy options for you to choose from for your stay.

 

Luxury – If you are looking for a comfortable apartment stay to come home to after a day exploring, Quayside Apartment is the perfect place for you. With spectacular views and a good central location, this accommodation is comfort plus for your next trip to Skye.

Book your stay at the Quayside Apartments right here.

 

Mid-range – The Portree Hotel is a great central location for your stay in Skye. This hotel overlooks the main square in Portree and in the winter months there are wood-burning stoves to keep you warm after a day of exploring.

Book your stay at the Portree Hotel right here.

 

Budget – If you are looking for a budget place to rest your head but still have a great view, The Pink House is the place to stay just for that. A continental breakfast is included in your stay and you can book a room with a great view out to sea.

Book your stay at the Pink House right here.

 

If hostels are more your scene, you can check out the hostels available in Isle of Skye here.

 

 

Day Six and Seven – Isle of Skye

Its time to explore the world-famous and ever mystical lands of the Isle of Skye. Also known as the Mist Isle, the Isle of Skye is one of the best examples of Scotland’s rugged, harsh and insanely beautiful landscape. With towering peaks, crashing waterfalls and tales of Giants and Warriors, the next three days are going to be incredible.

 

 

Discover the Mystery of the Fairy Glen

Our first stop is going to be right on the northern end of the Trotternish Peninsula at the fabled Fairy Glen. Heading north from Portree around the rugged coastline of the Isle of Skye, take your time and enjoy the views along the coast. Arriving at the small town of Uig, you can either park your vehicle here and take the 30-minute walk to the Fairy Glen or (if you have a small car) you can drive closer and park at the glen.

The Fairy Glen is a magical part of Skye that gets its name from the mystical landscape that was formed by thousands of years of glacial movement in the area. Although there is no actual link between fairy mythology and this place, the fairytale beauty of the Fairy Glen makes it a beautiful place to explore.

For more information, including how to get here, what to expect and what to pack for your visit, read our full guide to the Fairy Glen over here.

 

drone shot of the fairy glens
The spectacular landscape of the Fairy Glens on the Isle of Skye.

 

view of the fairy glens viewpoint
The best view of the Fairy Glens is from the top of that hill.

 

 

Fall in Love with the Small Town of Uig

After you have explored the natural surrounding landscape of Uig, it is time to head back into the small town and grab a coffee (and maybe even a beer). One of Uig’s best visitor attractions, aside from the peaceful harbour view, is the Isle of Skye Brewery.

This craft beer brewery produces a huge range of different beers to suit all tastes and occasions, and if you book in advance you can even get a tour of the brewery. The gift shop sells a wide range of souvenirs and clothing items, and the coffee shop is a perfect place for a morning pick-me-up before we hit the road again.

 

Isle of Skye Brewery
Stop in at the Isle of Skye Brewery in Uig and sample some of Scotland’s best beers.

 

 

Marvel at the Natural Landscape of the Quiraing

Taking the overland route back towards Portree, you will be driving along the thin, winding roads that are so unique to Scotland. Take your time, enjoy the view, watch out for livestock and wildlife, and make sure you use the passing places to give way to oncoming cars.

As you climb up the mountains from the sea, you will eventually reach the top of the Quiraing pass. Park up in the car park at the top of the hill and take a quick walk across the road to the Quiraing viewpoint for one of Skye’s most beautiful views.

The Quiraing is a mountain range that is the result of a massive, prehistoric landslide, which has created a dramatic and unique landscape. This is one of the Isle of Skye’s most dramatic views and is hugely popular for photographers and tourists alike. Take care as you explore the region, as the ground can be boggy and the cliffs are steep and high up.

 

View of the ancient landscape of the Quiraing.
View of the ancient landscape of the Quiraing.

 

 

Hike to See the Old Man of Storr

As you head back towards Portree to finish off the day, there is one more stop that you simply can’t miss on your visit to Skye. Just north of Portree is the car park for the Old Man of Storr, a famous and iconic sight of the Isle of Skye.

In order to reach the viewpoint of the Old Man of Storr, you will need to face a pretty demanding, 45-minute walk up the steep hillside. Take your time, bring food and water and wear comfortable shoes for this hike and you will find it easy enough and definitely worth the effort.

There is a lower viewpoint and an upper viewpoint that you can visit, so if you are running out of time or do not fancy the second leg of the hike then the lower one is perfect for you. However, if you have a beautiful, blue sky and a cracking, clear day the upper viewing platform delivers one of the most spectacular views in Scotland.

If you want to read more information on this hike, including how to get there, what to expect and photography tips, read our full guide to the Old Man of Storr here.

 

view of the old man of storr
The view of the Old Man of Storr from the top

 

 

Enjoy the Peace of Portree Harbour

To kick the day off in Portree, head down to the harbour nice and early and watch the golden sunlight bring Skye to life. If you are visiting during the summer, the sun will rise early enough for you to witness the harbour in full swing with fishing boats heading in and out, bring the fresh catch to Portree.

Pack a coffee in a travel mug and walk down to the port beach to enjoy your last morning on Skye.

 

portree colourful houses
The colourful houses in Portree.

 

 

Dip Your Face at the Old Sligachan Bridge

It is time to explore the southern end of the Isle of Skye and our first stop is somewhere that you will have passed over on your way to Portree. The Old Sligachan Bridge is a truly beautiful part of Skye and is once again draped in folklore and mythology. Surrounded by the towering Cullin mountain range, the Sligachan Bridge was originally built in the 19th century as a means of crossing the Sligachan river.

Although a new bridge was installed for vehicles, the old bridge has been preserved for pedestrians and tourists to visit and enjoy the surrounding views.

 

slegachan bridge isle of skye
The stunning Old Slegachan Bridge.

 

 

Now, Sligachan is officially the wettest region in Skye, due to the rainfall that happens as the clouds pass over the Cullin mountains, and there is a tale that links fairies to the river. It is said that if you dip your face in the river for 10 seconds you will be granted eternal beauty, so it is up to you if you wish to brave the freezing cold water to freshen up a bit.

 

Discover more of Scotland’s beautiful landscape over on our Youtube channel

 

 

Trek to Find the Fairy Pools

Exploring the southern end of the Isle of Skye today, it is time to head to the other side of the Cullin mountains to the fabled Fairy Pools. Formed over thousands of years, these mystical rock pools as a result of the Cullins famously wet landscape, with the water pouring down from the mountains and carving out the rock below.

The Fairy Pools are a collection of rock pools that lie along the River Brittle and are a hugely popular tourist attraction on Skye. When you reach the parking area for the Fairy Pools, you will then need to walk around 20-minutes along the stone path to reach the river.

Once you reach the River Brittle, you can either stop and admire the view or you can continue along the path to find the most impressive rock pools closer to the mountains. If you are feeling brave, the Fairy Pools are also an excellent place for a swim, with deeper pools sitting further along the river that are still and perfect for cooling off.

 

fairy pools
The magical landscape of the Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye.

 

 

Capture Scotland’s Rugged Beauty at Neist Point

Our final stop on the rugged Isle of Skye is perhaps one of the most impressive on the island. Sitting right on its most westerly point, where the rocky cliffs collapse into the sea, is the beautiful view of Neist Point Lighthouse. This jaw-dropping cliffside viewpoint is akin to the dramatic landscape of the Faroe Isles and is a spectacular place to enjoy the true, natural beauty that Scotland has to offer.

To reach the best viewpoint of the lighthouse, head to the Neist Point car park on the western edge of Skye. The car park is right at the end of the road, from which you will have to continue by foot to reach either the lighthouse itself or the viewpoint at the top of the hill. Once you park your car. head to your right (facing towards the lighthouse) and begin to climb the hill.

The walk will take around 10-15 minutes and the conditions can be slippery underfoot, so make sure you are wearing appropriate shoes and take your time. The weather in this part of Scotland is some of the fiercest in the country due to the harsh winds and rain coming in from the Atlantic Ocean, so take care during this walk so you don’t get blown off the cliff.

Once you are finished admiring the sunset here it is time to head back to Portree for your final night on the Isle of Skye.

 

Neist point
The most westerly point of Skye, Nesit Point is a place of unimaginable beauty.

 

 

Day Eight – Glencoe and Loch Lomond

As you make your way south once again, waving goodbye to the rugged terrain of the highlands, don’t shed a tear too early as the best is yet to come. Today you will be driving through one of Europe’s last remaining wildernesses, Rannoch Moor, where you can learn the way of life for the locals in this harsh and unforgiving place.

 

Visit the Three Sisters

As you pass through the barren and deserted mountains of Glencoe, try to imagine what life in this wilderness would have been like hundreds of years ago. The weather was foul, the food scarce and the people hard. Despite this, the locals of Glencoe and the surrounding villages have always been full of warmth and welcome to visitors and tourists and this continues till today.

Our first stop on the pass-through Glencoe and the towering mountains is at the Three Sisters Viewpoint, just south of Glencoe. These three mountains are what remains of a very active set of volcanoes that existed thousands of years ago, each of which helped to shape the glens and mountains to what they are today.

Pull in at the side of the road and enjoy the feeling of being in the presence of giants as you crane your neck to gaze at the misty peaks of the mountains before you. If you have time, have a wander down the path to the river that lies at the bottom and enjoy the natural beauty of the Glencoe region.

 

bridge at three sisters glencoe
The pass through Glencoe by the Three Sisters is a breathtaking part of Scotland, no matter the weather.

 

 

Become James Bond in Glen Etive

This part of Scotland is not only incredibly photogenic but it is also a hugely popular area for Hollywood movies. The surrounding landscape here has been the scene of multiple Hollywood blockbusters, such as “A Lonely Place to Die” and James Bond’s “Skyfall”.

If you continue along the winding road from the Three Sisters and take a right onto the small, single-track road of Glen Etive you can find the iconic spot in the Skyfall movie when M wakes up to find James standing outside the car in a misty Glen.

This also happens to be one of my favourite spots in Scotland for wild camping, as my dad used to take me here when I was very young for weekend adventures. Unfortunately, due to the growing popularity of this part of the world, tent spaces are becoming ever rarer and you have to be very early or very lucky to find a camping space for yourself.

 

glen etive
Scotland’s most photogenic landscape lies just south of Glencoe on the Rannoch Moor pass.

 

 

Meet Wild Deer at the Kingshouse Hotel

For one of the most unique experiences you will have in Scotland, take a quick detour into the Kings House Hotel car park and be amazed by the Scottish nature. It is here that the wild deer come down from the mountains and spend time with tourists, getting up close and personal with the visitors to Scotland.

Although the views combined with these beautiful animals is a breathtaking experience, the reason for the deer being here is actually quite sad. Over the last decade, the wild deer have become so used to tourists feeding them that they have become reliant on humans for food and survival.

It is a stark lesson of why you should not feed wild animals, no matter how hungry you think they look. Learn this lesson, enjoy the beauty of nature in Scotland and please ensure that you do not feed animals away from the Kings House Hotel in case the same thing happens again.

 

kingshouse deer
The Bouchaille Etive Mor sitting proudly on the horizon.

 

 

Go Swimming at the Falls of Falloch

It is quite a drive from the Kings House to your next stop, however, the views along the route will ensure that you are never bored with the drive. Stop off whenever you want to enjoy the stunning scenery, although don’t take too long as we have a long way to go to Glasgow.

Our next stop is right at the northern end of Loch Lomond at the natural swimming hole of the Falls of Falloch. Just a short walk from the car park, the Falls of Falloch is a magnificent waterfall away from the busy road to the north. The plunge pool at the bottom is also a very popular spot for keen (and sometimes crazy) locals to go swimming in the fresh mountain water.

 

gemma and campbell in front of waterfall
The Falls of Falloch are definitely worth a visit

 

 

Marvel at Loch Lomond’s Best Viewpoint – Inveruglus Pyramid

As you begin your drive south along the western coast of Loch Lomond, take care on the narrow and winding roads of the loch. About halfway down the coast of the loch, you will find the resting point of the Inveruglus Visitor Centre. Pull in here to stretch your legs and admire what is, in my opinion, the best viewpoint of Loch Lomond that you will find.

At the top of the hill behind the visitor centre, you will find the newly installed “Inveruglus Pyramid” also known as the An Ceann Mor. This 8-metre tall viewing platform sits right on the peaceful banks of the bonnie Loch Lomond, with incredible views of the surrounding mountains.

 

inveruglus pyramid
Inveruglus pyramid where you can see fantastic views over the Loch

 

 

This point was actually our favourite cheap date night location, just 1-hour north of our homes, for those broke and money-saving weekends from University. If you have time, take a wander down to the rocks on the edge of the loch, take a seat and simply admire the peace and tranquillity of this part of the world.

 

campbell lifting gemma up infront of the loch
One of our favourite spots to visit

 

 

Go Full Outlander at the Devil’s Pulpit

Our final stop on the journey south through Scotland’s rugged highlands is the fascinating and mystical location of the Devil’s Pulpit. This deep ravine in the middle of the rolling countryside is the setting of the “Liar’s Spring” from an episode of the famous TV show “Outlander”.

This 100ft gorge lies within Finnich Glen and is like nothing you will have seen yet on this trip. Once you are down within the gorge, you are transported to a different world, sheltered from the above weather and sounds, surrounded by thick, mossy walls of mud, the only noise being that of the blood-red river that flows through the pit.

First things first, if you plan to climb down what is called the Jacobs Ladder to get into the gorge you will want to make sure you are prepared, as this spot can be dangerous, slippy and very muddy. This means wearing sturdy, waterproof and excellent gripping shoes. It also helps to wear clothes that you do not mind getting dirty, as chances are you will slip into the red mud.

 

the green towering green walls of rock at the Devil's Pulpit
The towering, green green walls of rock at the Devil’s Pulpit.

 

 

To find the Devils Pulpit, you will need to look out for more natural signs, as there is not much sign postage for the Devils Pulpit. You can park up in one of the two laybys at the side of the road for free, both of which are shown on the map below. Be aware that this road can be busy and cars can come around the corner at some speed, so take your time when walking around this area.

If you wish to view the waterfall, you will need to wade through parts of the water to get further upstream. We took our shoes and socks off to get through the water, however, it was freezing. If you have a pair of wellies then you would be best to wear them for this part. There are some parts of the water that are extremely deep, so please be careful if you choose to wade through the water.

 

Also Read – Loch Lomond Camping – All You Need to Know

 

 

Day Nine and Ten – Glasgow

Your final two days in the beautiful lands of Scotland will be in the countries largest city, where you will experience the lighter side to Scotland. Famous throughout the world for its hospitality, nightlife, and witty charm, Glasgow is a city that is often overlooked by tourists, much to their loss. There are also many free things to do in Glasgow which we have included in this section

For accommodation ideas in Glasgow, check out our suggestions at the bottom of this section.

 

Sunrise Walk Along the Clyde

Kicking off your first day in Glasgow, let’s get up nice and early to make the most of this vibrant and bustling city. From your accommodation, head down to the River Clyde and join the many runners and morning birds enjoying the still water of the river.

Walking along the Clyde towards the old dockyards, you will see some of Glasgow’s latest and most impressive modern architecture, such as the Hydro, the Armadillo and the Glasgow Science Centre. Along this part of the Clyde, you also have the famous “Squinty Bridge”, the Finniston Crane and the Tall Ship.

 

river clyde tall ship
Still waters of the River Clyde on another beautiful morning in Glasgow.

 

 

High Street Shopping on Byres Road

Walking back along the river towards the city centre, it is time to make the most of Scotland’s shopping capital, starting off in the West End of Glasgow on Byres Road. In order to get to here, you can either walk, catch a bus or jump on the subway to Hillhead. If you walked all the way to the Tall Ship, the closest Subway station is Partick.

Exit Hillhead and turn left onto Byres Road to find the high street shopping in this area. Spend some time wandering the streets here and check out the highly popular charity shops in the area that offer a huge range of fashionable and eco-friendly clothing.

 

 

Glasgow Botanical Gardens

Once you have finished window shopping it is time to check out the Glasgow Botanical Gardens at the top end of Byres Road. These beautiful gardens have been open for over 200 years, bringing greenery and nature to the heart of Glasgow.  If it is not the nicest of days, head to the indoor conservatory and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the glasshouse.

During the Spring and Autumn months, the botanical gardens come to life with colour as new flowers begin to bloom and the trees turn to a warm orange as leaves fall to the ground. These are our two favourite times of the year to visit the Glasgow Botanical Gardens. The best part is, these gardens are completely free to visit.

 

glasgow botanical gardens autumn
Autumn is one of our favourite time to wander through the Glasgow Botanical Gardens. So much colour!

 

glasgow botanical gardens
If it is raining you can always take shelter in the large glasshouse in the botanical gardens.

 

 

Explore Hogwarts at Glasgow University

Walking back towards Byres Road, head towards the grand buildings of the University of Glasgow. Often compared to the architecture of the magical buildings of Hogwarts, Glasgow University is thought to be one of the inspiration points of the author JK Rowling for the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

It is free to enter these buildings and enjoy a walk through the ancient courtyards that lie within. Take your time and soak up the atmosphere as local and international students head to their next class (or more likely the pub).

Outside the main doors of the Adam Smith Business School you will find a cracking view of the surrounding area of Glasgow. Soak up the view over the River Kelvin and the Kelvingrove Art Gallery before you head down the hill to your next stop.

 

glasgow university
Take a stroll through the magnificent buildings that make up the University of Glasgow.

 

glasgow view over west end
Just outside the University of Glasgow’s buildings is one of the best views over the West End of Glasgow you will find.

 

 

Kelvingrove Art Gallery

For a little slice of culture in the heart of Scotland’s largest city, head to the huge, sandstone building of the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and enjoy a free wander around the centre. For over 100 years, this art gallery and museum has fascinated and educated visitors to Glasgow on all types of genres and topics.

Explore the 22 galleries showing off everything from the history of the ancient Egyptians to the modern architecture of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, as well as so much more. It is free to enter the building and browse the main exhibitions that are on at the time, with new sections and areas popping up all the time.

 

kelvinhall
Visit one of the many free attractions across Glasgow and take a wander through the Kelvingrove Art Gallery.

 

 

Experience the Nightlife of Ashton Lane

It is time to finish off your first night in Glasgow properly with a night out on the vibrant, cobbled stones of Ashton Lane. Right behind the Hillhead subway station, Ashton Lane is a hugely popular bar and restaurant location for students and professionals of all ages.

Take a walk beneath the magical fairy lights of this nightlife lane and soak up that which Glasgow is most famous for: the unique and amazing Glaswegian hospitality. No matter where you may come from in the world if you share a drink and a chat with a Glasgwegian you will be friends for life.

Don’t stay up too late with your new friends, however, as you have one day left in Scotland and its another sunrise mission in the morning!

 

ashton lane glasgow
The fairy-lit, cobbled street of Ashton Lane.

 

 

Glasgow’s Best Sunrise Viewpoint – Queens Park Flagpole

For Glasgow’s best sunrise location, you will need to head to the south side of the city to the large green space of Queen’s Park. Once you here head to the highest point of the park at the flagpole for a breathtaking view over the sleeping city of Glasgow. Smoking chimneys and the towering steeples across the city slowly come to life with the golden glow of the sun, as the sleeping city prepares for another day of madness.

Chill out here for a little while and enjoy the view over Glasgow and prepare yourself for the final day of this epic Scottish trip.

 

queens park sunrise flagpole
When the sky starts to look like this, you know it is going to be a good sunrise.

 

 

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Whisky Tasting at The Clydeside Distillery

Rounding off the trip with one of Scotland’s newest distilleries, the Clydeside Distillery sits on the banks of the River Clyde in an old pumphouse building. The surrounding area of this part of Glasgow was once the thriving international hub of Scotland imports and exports, as everything from whisky to grains passed through the Queens Dock.

The Queens Dock once had a moving bridge that allowed pedestrians and cars to cross over the boat entrance to the dock, and this bridge was controlled by a pumphouse located beside it. Today, the Queens Dock has been completely cemented over, with buildings such as the Hydro in its place. The old pumphouse building has been converted into the Clydeside Distillery, which tells the story of what life was once like in this part of Glasgow.

Take a tour through the history of Glasgow’s busy dockyard and the turbulent history of Scotch Whisky, and round off the tour with some tasters from across the country. The Clydeside Distillery whisky is not yet available as the distillery is not old enough to produce whisky yet, as you will learn in the guided tour.

 

clydeside distillery
The best way to learn the history of Glasgow’s dockyards and the significance of Scotch Whisky to the region.

 

clydeside distillery 1
Take a tour of the Clydeside Distillery to learn the tricks of the trade.

 

 

Take a Self-Guided Tour of Glasgow’s Street Art

As you walk around the streets of Glasgow you will have no doubt noticed the huge amount of artwork that covers and brightens the city. The Glasgow Mural Trail is a famous walking tour, leading you around the city to see some of the best pieces of artwork that currently exist.

As street art is an ever-changing masterpiece, the exact locations and pieces of art that exist are always changing, however, currently the number of murals that you should check out stands at 29. Whether you take the full tour and visit every mural or simply admire a smaller number of the masterpieces is up to you.

 

glasgow street art 1
Even the walls and street corners of Glasgow are alive with art and culture.

 

glasgow street art
Our favourite piece of artwork in Glasgow. St Mungo and the bird that never flew.

 

 

Panoramic View of Glasgow from The Lighthouse

Finishing off the day with our favourite view over the city centre of Glasgow, it is time to head to Scotland’s National Centre for Design and Architecture, also known as The Lighthouse. This building has a few different exhibits that will tell you about some of Scotland’s most famous architects and how their work has influenced the look of the city, however, the main sight we are here to see is at the highest point.

Head to the Charles Rennie Mackintosh exhibit and climb the spiralling, helical stairway to the top of the stone building and step outside for the best view of Glasgow. It is here that during the winter months (due to sunset happening before the early closing times of the centre) you can see the best sunset view over Glasgow.

If you are visiting when the sunsets after the centre closes the view from the top of The Lighthouse is still spectacular and definitely worth a visit. In our opinion, this is one of Glasgow’s best-kept secrets, with not many people visiting it to enjoy the view.

Spend some time at the top of the tower to admire the smoking chimneys and multiple steeples across the city, and reflect on the amazing trip that you have just had across Scotland. Anyone up for round two?!

 

Glasgow Skyline
An orange sky streaks across the city centre of Glasgow.

 

 

Where to Stay in Glasgow

There are plenty of choices when it comes to accommodation in Glasgow. Whether you are looking for something friendly on the wallet or a place that will wow you with luxury, there is something to suit the needs of everyone.

 

Luxury – Located beside Glasgow’s Queen Street Station and only a couple of minutes walk from Buchannan Street shopping district and George Square’s fantastic bars and restaurants. Carlton George Hotel offers luxury suites with a complimentary mini-bar.

Book your stay at the Carlton George Hotel here.

 

Mid-range – Motel One is located beside Glasgow Central Station and is in close proximity to the city’s shopping district and nightlife.

Book your stay at the Motel One here.

 

Budget – Located in the heart of Glasgow’s shopping district, Alexander Thompson is a budget-friendly accommodation and is perfect for a short or long stay in Glasgow’s city centre.

Book your stay at the Alexander Thompson here.

 

If none of these suit your preference you can browse all of the available accommodation in this area right here.

 

If hostels are more your social scene, there is a huge range of hostels to choose from in and around Glasgow. Hostels in the UK are not as cheap as other parts of the world, however, it is still possible to get a shared dorm for less than £20 per night. When it comes to location, the most central hostels are the Clyde Hostel and the Hot Tub Hostel. Both are just a 10-minute walk west of Sauchiehall street’s bars and clubs.

If these options don’t suit your needs, Book your stay at a different Glasgow hostel right here.

 

If you are new to the hostel scene and can’t decide if it is for you then check out our handy Ultimate Guide to Hostels. This will show you why you should definitely choose a hostel, what to look out for when picking and what to pack for your adventure!

 

 

 

How to Prepare for Your Trip to Scotland

Before you set off on your way to Scotland, there are a number of things you will need to get organised to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey. These include what to pack, where to stay and what is the best insurance for your trip to Scotland. All of this is discussed in detail below.

 

Are 10 Days in Scotland Enough Time?

When it comes to seeing the best sights that Scotland has to offer, 10 days is plenty of time to tour the central highlands and truly get a feel for the beauty it has to offer. Of course, you could spend months touring Scotland and still never visit every single sight there is to see, however, this 10-day itinerary takes you around the best and most memorable experiences in Scotland. If you don’t have a full 10 days for your trip, you might want to check out our 5 day Scotland itinerary as well.

 

How to Get Around Scotland

When it comes to getting around Scotland you have a few different options to choose from, from campervan and car rentals to joining a group tour and being shown around by a local.

 

Campervan Rental

In our opinion, touring Scotland in a campervan is the best way to see all the sights. Having the freedom of a vehicle and somewhere to lay your head in one place will save you a lot of precious time and who doesn’t love camping up in amongst nature? The best way to see the beautiful sights around the heart of Scotland is by renting a campervan. Check out Bunk Campers for unlimited mileage and affordable prices for your next road trip.

Wild camping is legal in Scotland, meaning you can enjoy camping out in the countryside around the Heart 200. By using the Park4Night app you can search for free areas to camp, fill up water and use the toilet.

You can read more about wild camping in Scotland here.

 

gemma and campbell in front of bunk campers campervan and castle
Exploring the beautiful Castle Menzies by campervan.

 

 

Car Rental

If campervanning is not your style, or you would prefer to camp in a tent, renting a car is your next best bet for getting around Scotland. There are a few different companies to choose from, including Europcar, Hertz and Alamo. In order to rent a car in the UK you will need to be over the age of 25.

Car rental in Scotland will cost you roughly £100 for basic coverage and up to £300 for zero excess and extras for the full 10 days.

View the best deals for car hire on this comparison website and decide which is the best for you.

 

 

Guided Tours

The easiest way to get around Scotland if you are new to the country and are travelling by yourself is definitely on a guided tour. These fully organised tours are tailored to take you around the best sights across the country, providing transport, accommodation and, best of all, unique insight into each location through the eyes of a local.

If you are looking to make the most of your short time in Scotland and are willing to spend a little more money, we highly suggest you research the available guided tours. These tours will ensure you have the best possible time in Scotland and will teach you things that even a lot of the locals do not know.

 

fog on the old man of storr
It was a foggy one at the top this day but the walk is still worth it.

 

 

A company we can recommend for guided tours of Scotland is Haggis Adventures Tours. These guys offer a huge range of tours of varying lengths and locations, each of which is taken by an experienced, funny and fascinating tour guide that is sure to make your trip to Scotland a memorable one.

If you wish to read more about our experience with Haggis Adventures, read our full guide to the Skye High tour over here.

 

Scotland's top tour operator, Haggis Adventures.
Scotland’s top tour operator, Haggis Adventures.

 

 

How Much Will it Cost to Travel Scotland?

As with anywhere in the world, how you choose to travel will affect your daily budget for touring Scotland. We will discuss the mid-range budget for people staying in comfortable yet cheap hotels, who eat out twice a day and are renting a car.

 

Accommodation – As you tour Scotland, you can expect to pay between £60-100 per night for a double room in mid-range hotels.

Food – Your daily budget for food should be roughly £10 for breakfast, £5 for a packed lunch and £15 for a large dinner. This means your daily food budget will be roughly £30, not including alcoholic drinks.

Transport – Hiring a car will cost you around £10-30 per day, depending on the cover you choose.

Activities – Below is a list of all of the paid activities that are mentioned in this guide. It is of course up to you if you choose to take part in every single one or you can pick and choose your favourites. The total cost of taking part in every activity is £188.

 

Edinburgh Castle – £20

Edinburgh Zoo – £20

Highland Fling Bungee Jump – £80

Blair Castle – £14

Dalwhinnie Distillery Tour – £12

Highland Wildlife Park – £16

Cairngorm Brewery Tour – £7

Tomatin Distillery Tour – £4

Clydeside Distillery Tour – £15

 

The total cost of this ten-day Scotland road trip on a mid-rage budget will, therefore, be from £1200-£1800. Costs can be drastically cut by staying at cheaper accommodation around the country or by camping in a tent.

 

 

When is the Best Time to Travel Scotland?

It is no secret that Scotland is a wet and cold country, it is the reason the countryside is so beautifully green. There is, however, a certain time of the year when the weather in Scotland is more likely to be dry and warm. As the winter fades away from the highlands and the Spring warmth comes through, Scotland is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places in the world.

 

If you were to choose a time of the year to visit Scotland, we would highly suggest April to June. These months tend to be the driest of the year, with summer rains coming through later into July and August. It is also early enough in April that the flying “Midges” (biting insects like nothing you have ever experienced) have not woken up yet to cause misery and doom.

 

The stunning view at Loch Tulla.
The stunning view at Loch Tulla in winter.

 

 

What to Pack for Your Trip to Scotland

When it comes to packing for a trip to Scotland there is one item of clothing that you are going to need all year round: a waterproof. It rains in Scotland on average 250 days a year, meaning that during your 10 day Scotland road trip you will probably experience at least a drizzle of rain. Due to this, the number one item on any Scotland packing list is a good waterproof jacket.

As for the rest of the year, the temperature in Scotland and the central heartlands is reasonably mild for most of the year. During the winter months, you will most likely experience snow, however, temperatures usually sit around freezing, so it is not too cold. For your reference, the average temperatures in Scotland are listed below during each season.

 

Spring (March, April, May) – 5-10 degrees C

Summer (June, July, August) – 15 degrees C

Autumn (September, October, November) – 5-10 degrees C

Winter (December, January, February) – 0-5 degrees C

 

As you can see, the weather never really gets above the teens, with anything over 25 degrees C considered a heatwave. The best way to pack for your trip to the highlands is with layers that can be added and removed as you need them. You will definitely need a hat and gloves during the colder months and will most likely need sunscreen to protect you on the long days in the open.

 

For our full list of items that we pack no matter where we go in the world, check out our full packing guides over here.

 

Given the beautiful sights and scenery that you are no doubt going to see around the highlands of Scotland, we highly recommend packing a good camera for your trip. If you want to read more about the cameras we use and why we love them, check out the link below.

You can read what else we keep in our camera bag over here.

 

Photography Equipment

Main Photography Camera – Sony A7 Mirrorless Camera

Main Lense – Sony F3.5-5.6 28mm-70mm

Camera Stand – Neewer Portable 177cm

Vlogging Camera – Sony HX90v

Action Camera – GoPro Hero 8 

Drone Camera – DJI Spark

Camera Bag – Yahan Camera Bag

 

 

What is the Best Travel Insurance for Scotland

I know travel insurance is the least enjoyable thing to purchase and look at when you’re planning a trip, however, you wouldn’t want to be without it in the event that something happened. Accidents can happen anywhere and the extortionate medical bills will ruin your trip if you are not covered.

To ensure you have a stress-free trip with no worries about potential medical bills, make sure you cover yourself when you travel. We can recommend using World Nomads, a backpacker-friendly and cheap insurance company that provides good coverage and support.

Get a quote for your travel insurance right here and get covered.

 

 

So there you have it, your ultimate itinerary for 10 days in Scotland. If you are visiting this incredible place and have any other questions on what to expect, leave us a comment down below. We love to chat about this stuff! If you have already been, let us know how it was! What spot was your favourite?  Let us know in the comments below!

Also remember to share this with your friends and family that you are going to share this amazing adrenaline experience with. Sharing is caring and we want to ensure that everyone is fully prepared to maximise their experience completing this bucket list activity.

If you are planning a Scotland trip soon then check out our other Scotland content right here. Come and find us on social media to see where we are currently exploring. Tag us in your photos from your trip and we will share them with the rest of our community of explorers and backpackers.

 

 

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This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. Three As A Bird

    We just bought our first motorhome a few weeks back and we absolutely cannot wait to travel Scotland! We plan to travel all over the UK and Europe over the next year and Scotland is high on our list of places we’re most excited to go! Thanks so much for all of the tips!! 🙂

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