In just a few days, I’ll be embarking on a road trip to a destination that I’ve wanted to visit for a long time!
For the past few years, Scotland has held one of the top spots on my destinations to-do list. I’ve been dreaming about its fairytale castles, rocky hills, and serene lakes, and now I’ll finally have the chance to see them.
The plan is to meet up with some Aussie friends in Glasgow, then make our way around Scotland for an action-packed road trip around the countryside before ending up in Edinburgh. Here’s the itinerary for our 10 day epic Scotland road trip!
Days 1-2: Glasgow
Starting off in Glasgow, we’ll be checking out the major sites such as Glasgow Cathedral and Kelvingrove Art Gallery. My love of dark tourism has made me especially excited to see the Glasgow Necropolis – a spooky cemetery dating back to the 1830s with graves and mausoleums of well-known Glaswegians.
A few hip cafes and restaurants are also on the itinerary, and I might seek out some vegetarian haggis (an essential Scottish experience!). As we’ll be renting a car for our road trip, I looked for a hotel near the city centre that had parking and settled on one in West End near the Botanic Gardens.
Day 3: Glencoe
From Glasgow, we drive north through Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park to Glencoe. This area was used as a filming location for the Skyfall House in the recent Bond movie, and also numerous scenes in the Harry Potter film series. There’s plenty of things to do in Glencoe, and seeing as this area is of the wildest and most beautiful landscapes in Scotland, I expect that I’ll be constantly snapping photos of the scenery!
We’ll be staying overnight near Fort William at the Onich Hotel, in a room with views of the Loch and a full Scottish breakfast (which is not particularly vegetarian-friendly, but I’ll make do with eggs and beans on toast).
Days 4-6: Isle of Skye
The next morning we’ll continue onward to Glenfinnan Viaduct – a train bridge famous for carrying the Hogwarts Express in Harry Potter! As a long-term Potter fan, I’m pretty excited for this one. I’ll try my best to time our visit so that we see one of the steam trains passing over the bridge.
It’s a short drive onwards to Mallaig, where we’ll catch a ferry over to Isle of Skye. I’ve booked us an Airbnb cottage in Portree, the major town on Isle of Skye, where we can base ourselves for the next few days.
The plan is to fill two days with activities such as hiking around the impressive rocky landscape, stopping at viewpoints with spectacular natural scenery, sampling some Scottish Whiskey, visiting lighthouses and castles, and of course taking billions of photos.
Day 7: Loch Ness + Inverness
We’ll take our rental car over Skye Bridge back to the mainland, with our first stop being Eilean Donan Castle. This 13th century castle is apparently one of the most photographed in Scotland with a picture perfect lakeside location and mountain backdrop.
It’s an hour drive on to Loch Ness, famous for ‘Nessie’ – the monster that is rumoured to dwell beneath the surface of the lake. As a fan of mysteries, conspiracies, and unexplained phenomenons, I’m dead keen to check out the Loch Ness Centre which has an exhibition featuring Nessie’s legendary tale!
I’d originally planned to have a glamping experience overnight at Loch Ness, but when I went to book it, I found that it had sold out for our dates. While looking for an alternative, I discovered some adorable glamping pods on a farm up past Inverness that look like just as cosy a place to spend the night!
Day 8: Inverness + Cairngorms NP
We’ll take a quick squiz at the city of Inverness on our way through the next day, possibly stopping for lunch, before moving on to Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands.
I’d never heard of this park before the trip, but after doing a little research on activities in the area, I made the discovery that you can visit a free-roaming reindeer herd here! I’m unbelievably excited to see these arctic animals up close in their natural environment.
As we make our way south, we may stop in at the Highlands Folk Museum for some local history, then we’ll head onwards to our traditional highland hotel – the Atholl Arms – which looks as though we’ll be staying in a historic Scottish mansion!
Days 9-10: Edinburgh
Due to my love of public art, we’ll hopefully have time to stop in at The Kelpies, which are some massive horse head statues just 45 minutes drive out of Edinburgh.
Once we make it to the city, there’s plenty to keep us occupied for the next few days. We’ll spend time casually hanging out as well as doing a few touristy activities and possibly an Edinburgh city tour.
I’ll no doubt have plenty of destination guides to write after this trip, so keep your eyes peeled for upcoming posts on Scotland!