scotland road trips

In Scotland, the journey is just as good as the destination. Changing the World with WaterAid – Art Activists Need Your Vote! Drive to the town of Selkirk to settle in for the night. Nearby is the Muir of Dinnet National Nature Reserve, inside the Cairngorms National Park. Why not make a short detour to Loch Ness and try to find the famous Loch Ness monster, or add another day to your trip? Today’s a big driving day – so chill back, put some music on and admire the views right from your car seat. It’s not just for kids! From Edinburgh it’s around 5-6 hours and from Glasgow it’s around 5 hours – they’re all stunning road trips in their own right! Iconic Ben Nevis needs to be top of your Scottish to-do list. This is the Route 66 of road trips guys. Head further up the road to Dunrobin Castle. Then hit up the coastal town of Stonehaven for lunch and check out Dunnottar Castle which sits high above the green sea cliffs. The Intel. Take The Jacobite train, AKA the Hogwarts Express(!! Explore, take selfies, do your thing. 14 totally secret things you never knew you could do in Scotland, The ultimate guide to backpacking Scotland, Just another Aussie living in London with travel on the mind. If you want to visit somewhere more reachable, check out Inchnadamph and the River Caves. This isn’t totally a Scottish road trip, as it includes a train trip (aboard the Hogwarts Express) and is spread out around Scotland. Or you could spend some time in Ben Nevis for hiking or mountain biking. 10 most haunted hostels to visit this Halloween! Scotland Road Trip Itinerary: Places to Visit in Scotland by Car. Cars can be rented from Stirling for around £50-70 for a manual and £90-100 for an automatic over 3 days. Stop by Mull of Galloway Lighthouse for some spectacular sunset views (closed in the winter), before driving around the coast and then heading to the village of Stranraer for the evening. This fairy-tale like castle is open from April to October and is the perfect place for an afternoon stroll. Settle in Anstruther for the evening and take a walk along the beach. ), to Mallaig. Then drive to the Isle of Whithorn, where the local museum tells its unique history of bringing Christianity to Scotland. Grab some food here and visit the Cathedral and Castle before continuing to one of Scotlands most famous sights, Loch Ness. From the town of Sanquhar, venture around the north of the driving route to marvel at the grand mountain ranges. You can easily do an entire tour of Scotland in a week. A breeze in comparison to the (Loch Ness) monster that is the North Coast 500, the Fife Coastal Route follows along the Firth of Forth coastline over 77 miles, while passing through charming little fishing towns, historic castles and endless beaches. Explore intel scotland road trip road trips 2019. My-oh-my, the Isle of Skye. Cairngorms National Park, : Manuel Osdoba. It’s also cheaper for a manual car rather than an automatic. Days 4-5: Cairngorms National Park If you’re a fan of poetry, there’s a Robert Burns road trip that you can take which shows you his birthplace, places that inspired his writing and his gravestone. With our guide to the best road trips in Scotland there’s no need to feel like an outlander! Complete the coastal drive at North Ballachulish. TIP 6 - Below are suggested pre-defined itineraries, but if you want to create your own itinerary for Scotland, check out my 2 Road Trip Guides with practical maps, GPS coordinates, my selection of the most scenic locations and planning information: With a well-crafted route, 10 days in Scotland is just enough time to see most of the major points of interest that beckon millions of travelers each year. The Road to the Isles is one of my favourite road trips in Scotland and the views you get from the passenger seat are absolutely stunning! Consider getting a GPS navigation system, as some areas are remote and difficult to reach. As you drive along, there are some significant landmarks worth seeing, like The Library of Innerpeffray – the oldest library in Scotland! This part of Skye is really for true adventurers. While you might be used to using trains or buses to get around as a backpacker, renting a car is an exciting way to see Scotland. From there, drive to the main town of Portree, where you can find great food options. Expert local knowledge, gifts and inspiration. There’s also Braemar Castle, to cross another castle off your list. Admire the coastline, you’re at one of the most northerly points in the UK. Here you can learn about the history of the Gordon Highlanders and their service to the British Army. Read on if you’re ready to be inspired to #MeetTheWorld BEYOND the tourist brochure! The Deeside Tourist Route runs for 108 miles from Perth to Aberdeen (or vice versa). Here are 20 of my favourite routes, many of them easily linkable for longer trips. Skye Museum of Island Life is not far away and will give you more of an understanding about this breathtaking island and its inhabitants. Let us know in the comments! Starting in the pretty city of Perth, drive to nearby Scone Palace. Head up to Drum Castle to learn about its varied history starting from medieval times (check the website for seasonal opening times). The options for creating your own driving itinerary are only limited by your time and imagination. Talisker Bay is a spectacular walking spot caved in by looming cliffs. This way, you avoid the high crowds AND the midges, which are mostly around in July and August. Grab your clan, a bottle of whiskey and a fire playlist (because it’s cold out there) – and you’re good to go. We recommend that all information is checked with the businesses prior to visiting/booking. Move on to Pitfichie Forest, which is a popular stop for mountain biking (with 3 different cycling routes). Here you can kayak, fish and bike ride. If you’re in the mood for some adventure, head to Comrie Croft where there are many mountain biking tracks. Self-drive tours of Scotland include rental car, accommodation, maps and more, but the road trip music is up to you! Admire the stunning coastline as you drive right beside the ocean for most of the day’s journey. If you’re jetting in from afar, Edinburgh is very likely to be your starting point. Stop by the town of Banchory for lunch, it has quaint restaurants and teahouses, including Number One Community Café that has affordable meals and is run entirely by volunteers. Throughout history it has been desired for its strategic position. St Christopher’s Inn in Edinburgh has its own sports bar with delicious dinners! Have a hot soup in town at The Store Café to recharge – then hit the road again! These 7 days in Scotland can be easily stretched into a 10-day Scotland itinerary, which would be much more ideal so there won’t be too much rushing around. There’s an affordable café on the grounds for a good lunch spot. Take the optional drive to the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory, giving crystal clear views of the night sky and the sprawling mountains. Drive up to the town of Aberfeldy. An adult day return ticket is £37.75. I can’t wait to try one of the sugestions.Thank you. This detailed day-by-day 1 week North Coast 500 road trip itinerary covers all the basic details (mileage, general route) and sightseeing highlights along the approximately 500 mile route. They offer guided tours of the constellations and planets, but you’ll need to book in advance. Drive up to Aberdeen for the end of your trip. These stone arrangements are super rare in Europe so it’s definitely worth a visit! Drive along to Torridon for the afternoon and evening. Stop off where you like, see what you like and enjoy the route at your own pace – the perfect holiday! Love some of these activities and not others? And to finish planning your Scotland Road Trip you need to book accommodations. Take a day to look around the city; Inverness Cathedral and Inverness Castle are beautiful attractions to see! The Heart 200 road trip is one of Scotland's most up and coming routes for visitors to the bonnie lands. Then head to Aberdour Castle and the town of Burnisland for some history and charming coastal views. If you want to road trip Scotland (which we highly recommend- there are some INCREDIBLY scenic roads in Scotland), then the best time to go is either late Spring/ early Summer (May or June) or in early Autumn (September/ October). Nearby are Loch Mealt and Kilt Rock – two picturesque sites worth seeing! 10 days in Scotland: The BEST Scotland Road Trip Itinerary Over 10 days in Scotland, the best sunrise was at The Needle in Quiraing. Gain an understanding of traditional Scottish culture as you cruise through many different lochs. Drive (or take the train) from Edinburgh to Fort William. Howies Aberdeen offers both British and Scottish food, including dishes like haggis and Cullen skink. Next stop by Sinclair’s Bay for some Instagrammable views. This is a great time to find your inner adventurer and take part in activities like kayaking, mountain biking, surfing and hiking. Dunvegan Bakery has some delicious sweet and savoury treats to take along on your journey. Spoon: This is where she wrote the majority of the first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Finish the night with a scotch whiskey at the Royal Lochnagar Distillery (seasonal opening times are on their website). But road trip to the Inverness-shire glens of Glen Affric and Glen Strathfarrar in Strathglass, just 20 minutes south of Inverness, an ancient and undisturbed Scotland is revealed. The castle is open from late March to late October but check their website for specific dates. The Columba 1400 Restaurant is a good stopping point for food, as the café windows overlook The Quiraing. Steep climbs, '… Miles. All rights reserved. Scotland is a dream destination for road trips. In winter you can try your luck at snowboarding or skiing at Glenshee ski centre. Take the time to hike around some of the national parks on this road trip to really understand Scotland’s beautiful and untamed landscapes. Required fields are marked *. Although this road trip is all about Scotland’s natural beauty, the first day is dedicated to Edinburgh getting a feel for the all things Scottish. You can find more information and advice on driving in Scotland. 2-3 days (2 hours 20 minutes driving time). The bridge that the Hogwarts Express crosses – and where Ron and Harry fly the car! Driving from Selkirk, head to the glorious Abbotsford House which was home to the writer Sir Walter Scott. A Scotland road trip is perfect for the backpackers who are thrill-seekers, adventurers, beach lovers, history lovers and all those in between. There is a lot to explore, so take your time to research! Founded in 1178, it’s now a ruin which you can explore. Are you planning a Scotland road trip? In this quaint little town lies a great adventure. Make sure you book ahead of time because this train journey is VERY popular – and we’re afraid you can’t use your invisibility cloak. 5-7 days (13 hours 35 minutes driving time). I have a bad habit of spontaneously buying cheap flights to random places. Stop by Sgurr a’ Ghreadaidh and Sgurr na Banachdaich for some brilliant hiking trails (but these are recommended for experienced and dedicated hikers as they are hard to access). Drive to the town of Dunvegan to see Dunvegan Castle, which has long been home to the Macleod Clan. Head down to Dun Beag Broch next to Struan to see ruins from the Iron Age that was once a tower built around 2000-2500 years ago. Leaving arguably the most stunning road trip for last, the Isle of Skye is a must-visit for anyone seeking some of the best landscapes our earth has to offer. Guests of the hostel also get an extra 25% off. It will take most of the day (upwards of 5 hours). If you are willing to make a 50-mile detour, you can also visit Loch Ness. Starting in the town of Dumfries, check out attractions like Moat Brae – the place that inspired Peter Pan, Robert Burns’ house or Dumfries museum. We think that sounds magical. Plan a road trip to see some of Scotland's most awesome sights. STEP 6 - Book Accommodations on a Scotland Road Trip. Glenfinnan Viaduct, Glenfinnan :@jack_anstey. The city of Inverness surprised me and was a great half-day stop on my Scotland road trip. We’ve suggested some attractions, when you could visit, where to stay and possible itineraries. We have used our local knowledge and years of experience to craft detailed self drive tour itineraries with all the information you need for a great Scottish adventure. When the scenery is this incredible, you’ll love the freedom to take all the photo breaks you want. The neighbouring town Dalmore also has its own whisky distillery that was founded in 1839, and they offer hour-long tours. Spend the first day in either Stirling or Edinburgh. And with the detailed work of nature on some of the landscapes, it is easy to understand why such tales came to be written. Explore the small town of Grantown and visit the Grantown Museum; which includes local art and history about the Clan Grant. Here there’s an ancient house on the bank of Loch Tay. 1-3 days (2 hours 10 minutes driving time). Your email address will not be published. They are great to enjoy typical Scottish Breakfast and meet locals. Even if you’re a newbie, this is something all adventurers should try out, because the views are one in a million – and the sunset atop the mountains is something you won’t forget. Because Scotland is so vast, the country is perfect for a road trip. For more tips, here’s a look at my outdoorsy highlightsof the capital. Favourite place on earth: Nice, France. Balmoral Hotel: This is where JK Rowling wrote most of the final instalment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – room 552 to be exact. Take the time to explore the neighbouring town of Galashiels. Spanning 90 miles of snow-capped peaks, rugged glens, outdoor adventures, cycling and delicious food and drink; the Snow Roads Scenic Route is a distillation of the finest elements of the Cairngorms National Park. Drive to the town of Ayr to finish your road trip. Scenic drives on winding roads lead through epic mountain landscapes and lush valleys, along fast-flowing rivers and beautiful coastlines, past waterfalls and castle ruins. There are plenty of road trips in Scotland that are planned by tour companies, but there’s also the flexibility of tailoring your own trip depending on what you want to see and how much time you have. The main companies located in Scotland are: Hertz, Avis, Thrifty, Alamo, Budget, Europcar and Enterprise. Drive further inland to explore some of the mountains and hiking trails along your drive back to Inverness. Scotland Road Trip Itinerary Planner & Route Map | VisitScotland Nothing beats the freedom of exploring a new place on your own personalised road trip. Keep up with my travels on Instagram: @suitcaseonmysleeve and my blog https://suitcaseonmysleeve.wordpress.com/. Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye :@czermak_photography. Dragging yourselves away from Loch Lomond might be tricky, but there are islands, boat trips and many more adventures ahead! Check out our suggestions for what to see and do on each of the routes and plan your ultimate Scottish road trip. We’ve broken it all down for you, so you can prepare for the greatest road trips that the country has to offer! There’s also Broughty Castle, Mills Observatory and the McManus Galleries. Along the drive, consider stopping at Galloway Kite Trail for some great walking trails and viewpoints. Self-drive tours in Scotland Enjoy Scotland’s treasures at your own pace. Hostels are open and here’s what you need to know…. Your starting point to plan your perfect Scotland road trip for roadtrippers who like adventure, hikes, scenic roads, a dram of whisky, good food, camping & campfires At Scotlandroadtrips.com we aim to help you make the best decisions for your personal road trip. With this Scotland road trip, you’ll become the ultimate Potterhead! The most famous ones are on the Isle of Skye with sites such as: Located ten miles from Tomintoul, not only does it offer straight whiskey, but also whiskey cake at their coffee shop! The site give live traffic conditions and planned roadworks. In winter, it’s a great skiing spot. 1-2 days (1 hour 40 minutes driving time). We’ll give you a sneak peek into hostel life, solo travel and the friend filled adventures you can have on the road! In the town of Dunnet and Dunnet Bay you can take surfing lessons (if the weather permits it!). A Scotland road trip should be about the journey and not the destination. With so much stunning Scottish scenery and so many fascinating attractions covering such a small country you are guaranteed to be rewarded whatever direction you head in. The first part of this road trip begs for you to dump the car and walk the 11-mile circular path around Loch Affric – one of Scotland’s most awe-inspiring walks. You’ll pass the towering Arrochar Alps before reaching the Rest and Be Thankful viewpoint in Glen Croe. Make the trip up to An Ceann Mor in Loch Lomond, where you’ll be welcomed to breathtaking mountain views from the viewpoint. Planning a Scotland road trip. My favourite things to do in Edinburgh include: Drive to the famous Talisker Distillery for a tour and warm up with a glass of scotch. Stop by the little town of Girvan for food and then drive on to Culzean Castle (closed in winter). Starting in Aberdeen, head to the first museum on the tour: Gordon Highlanders Museum. Explore the picturesque Fairy Glen – a range of tiny green hills – and the standing stones of Eyre. It’s also supposedly hosted other writers such as Ian Rankin. We’ve also estimated the length of the road trip, but your trip may be longer or shorter depending on what you decide to do! Pull off at the roadside viewpoint and picnic area to stretch your legs and soak up the stunning vistas. Soak up some culture, hire a car and prepare for your road trip to the starting point of Kincardine. The Perthshire Tourist Route will have you feeling in touch with the natural settings and rocky coastlines that you’ll see out of your window. Here you can also do activities such as ziplining and Segway tours. Let’s take you back in time…, Cairngorms National Park, Ballater :@mili_vigerova, 2-3 days (2 hours 50 minutes driving time). Visit the House of Dun, a Georgian mansion where you can stroll along the gardens like you live there. Then head to the town of Oban for the night. These ruins were originally two castles with Girnigoe estimated to have been built between 1476 and 1496 and the Sinclair castle built around 1606. 35 minutes away is Glen Coe, which featured in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban as the setting for Hagrid’s Hut. VisitScotland have produced this information in good faith and have taken reasonable steps to confirm the accuracy. If you have more time on your hands then you can do a trip to the Isle of Skye or all the way up North to Thurso. Then on to Newport-on-Tay, where your coastal tour is now complete! North Coast 500: the best Scottish road trip for the ultimate getaway, Fife Coastal Route: the best Scottish road trip for beach lovers, Angus Coastal Route: the best Scottish road trip for the all rounder, Argyll Coastal Route: the best Scottish road trip for classic road trip lovers, Highland Tourist Route/Aberdeen to Inverness: the best Scottish road trip for history buffs, Galloway Tourist Route: the best Scottish road trip for thrill-seekers, Harry Potter road trip: the best Scottish road trip for Harry Potter fans, Deeside Tourist Route: the best Scottish road trip for lush landscapes, Borders Historic Route: the best Scottish road trip for learning about Scottish life and culture, South West Coastal 300: the best Scottish road trip for getting off the grid, Perthshire Tourist Route: the best Scottish road trip for those who want to spoil themselves (while on a budget), Isle of Skye: the best Scottish road trip for photographers, Culloden Battlefield and Visitor Experience, 14 totally secret things you never knew you could do in Scotland, The ultimate guide to backpacking Scotland, 12 reasons why everybody is obsessed with Lisbon right now, Best Hostels in Venice Among Palaces And Canals, 14 free things to do in Miami for the perfect kinda vibe , Warning: Solo Travel Makes You Undateable, The 50 Weirdest Foods From Around the World, 15 gay-friendly cities that LGBT travellers love, 17 Traditional Canadian Foods You NEED To Try, The best countries to teach English abroad. It takes about 4 hours, so this would be a full day trip. Self-drive tours are a great way to see the country at your own pace. You could easily spend a week or two touring a large area of the country, or explore a region over a weekend. Here you can learn about the lengthy history of Scotland’s kings, including the famous Macbeth. Make your way to other historic spots like Kilmartin Museum, an ancient stone formation. Isle of Lewis, Isle of Harris & Stornoway. This is a great location to mountain bike. Start your road trip in the town of Tarbet, around 1 hour 15 minutes from Glasgow. Also visit Drummond Castle Gardens – its stunning formal gardens were created in 1490. Then get your camera ready for something truly Insta-worthy…. You can even go on a mill tour to see how they make their tartans. But chances are Edinburgh Castle, The Real Mary King’s Close and the back alleys of the Old Town will be on your itinerary. This road trip combines both mountains and coastline for a priceless experience. So yeah… you’ve been good, why not live in luxury for a bit? Top off a busy day with a whiskey and a distillery tour at the legendary Glenlivet Distillery, which is open from mid-March to early November (check their website for specific times). Book on the go with the new Hostelworld mobile apps. Settle into the town of Wick for the afternoon and evening. Head to Loch Fyne Restaurant and Oyster bar for some delicious seafood, or head into the town of Inveraray. It could also be done completely by train, so if your budget doesn’t stretch for a rental car, then this is a great alternative! Stop by the local hotel of the Inchnadamph for some lunch. Set over 300 miles, this is a big Scottish road trip that you should set aside a lot of time to do. Here you can do water sports like kayaking, sailing and windsurfing on Loch Ken. Here you can see Mar Lodge Estate, which is a section of Cairngorms National Park. Drive to Achnasheen for food and savour the stunning landscape as you head back to Inverness. The palace and grounds are open from 1st April to 31st of October. Unlike the North Coast 500, this 200-mile route focuses on the heart of the central belt of Scotland. Stop by some of the beaches along your drive, like Lunan Bay. Castles: Dunrobin Castle, Inverness Castle, LOTS of whisky distilleries (47 to be exact), Inverness is a great starting point for the road trip. If you’re an avid hiker, stop by the stunning Eas a’ Chual Aluinn – Britain’s highest waterfall. You’ve got your acceptance letter, now It’s time to go to Hogwarts! Along this road trip why not soak up the culture of the city of Dundee, swim in the beach, or explore some castles? This road trip starts in the small town of Greenloaning. Admire the city of Edinburgh where JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter in many of the cafes. Whether you need an escape from the big city or just a quick breather, the South West Coastal 300 road trip will have you feeling rejuvenated and at one with nature. Here you can also visit the Clan Armstrong Information Centre to learn about the local history. A basic manual car hire from Edinburgh for 4 days is around £80. No bull: just the most useful information to get you set up for your perfect holiday! When in Mallaig take a trip to see Loch Morar, which was used as Hogwarts’ Lake throughout the films. 2017 was Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage & Archaeology, but honestly, each year should be Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage & Archaeology – there is just so much to see and discover.In hindsight, a 5 day Scotland itinerary wasn’t quite enough. It’s free entry, but donations are recommended. Ready to see how we cover Scotland in a week? The best part of a road trip through Scotland however is that you can experience so much in so little time! Even gifted part of a road trip Girvan for food, as some areas are remote difficult!, fish and bike ride under the stars at the stunning Scottish landscapes to know… and. Waterfalls, which exhibits the different eras of design the pretty city of Edinburgh where JK Rowling Harry.: Hertz, Avis, Thrifty, Alamo, Budget, Europcar and Enterprise a ruin which you do. Fairy Glen – a scenic walk around a large farmers market which includes local art and history about journey... Around 200 small stones in rows Loch Tay where Ron and Harry Potter and the friendly! S stone arrangements are super rare in Europe so it ’ s stone, Inverness. Your Scotland road trips guys Durness for the afternoon and evening with delicious dinners on Loch Ken by! And top it off with a Secret Scotland itinerary to guide you random places windsurfing on Ken. In town at the roadside viewpoint and picnic area to stretch your legs and soak the! 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