Land of legends, castles, green fields, and cobbled towns, Scotland is one of those destinations that leaves no one indifferent. Wherever you go, Scotland will surprise you in one way or another. If you are looking for a destination to visit for a week, this is an ideal destination for you.
I am going to tell you about the places to visit in Scotland and travel for a week through the lands that have been in the scenes of TV shows and movies like Game of Thrones, Outlander, Harry Potter, and Braveheart. It is an ideal destination for road trips and to enjoy the landscapes on the road. This way, you can enjoy the trip at your own pace stopping where you prefer.
To rent a car, I recommend using a car rental comparator to see which company offers you the best price. I personally use the RentalCars website to compare prices and reserve the car.
Let’s start with the places to visit in Scotland. You can see the points of the route on this map. Each color represents a day of travel:
Day 1: Edinburgh
You will start the tour of Scotland through Edinburgh. I have yet to find a city that I can compare to the capital of Scotland. Edinburgh is a city divided between the upper and lower zones, with great legends of ghosts and rather dark history.
There are several points to visit in Edinburgh. Although the ideal would be to spend a minimum of two days in the city, it is possible to visit Edinburgh in 1 day. Some of its must-sees are Edinburgh Castle, Calton Hill, and Victoria Street, a very colourful shopping street. In addition, Edinburgh is the cradle for Harry Potter fans who want to tour some of the locations related to the saga.
Click to read the article about finding cheap accommodation in Edinburgh.
Day 2: Stirling, St Andrews and Perth
The car route through Scotland really begins on the second day of the journey. From Edinburgh, You will depart for your first point of the day: Stirling. It is a small town located just an hour from Edinburgh. Stirling is a charming and traditional town that is worth a walk. Its highlights are The National Wallace Monument and the castle.
The next stop is at St Andrew’s an hour and a half drive away. Saint Andrews is one of the oldest cities in Scotland. This coastal city is known, above all, for its cathedral. St Andrews Cathedral was built in the 12th century and later destroyed. You can visit its ruins today by following the explanatory signs. It is still impressive to see how it is preserved.
We will end the second day with another of the places to visit in Scotland: Perth. It is worth taking a tour of the centre of Perth and discovering what was once the capital of Scotland.
Day 3: Dunkeld, Inverness and Blair castle
Today you will continue to delve into the Scottish Highlands. One of the reasons to visit Scotland is usually the legend of Loch Ness. The day will end on the shores of this lake in the city of Inverness.
You will start the day by approaching the town of Dunkeld to delve into the Hermitage of Dunkeld. It is a beautiful ancient forest of lush green that houses the Black Linn waterfall.
Your route continues north until you reach Blair Castle. Travelling to Scotland is like a tour of castles. There are many of them throughout its territory and it is worth visiting several of them. Blair Castle is from the Murray family. The head of the family holds the title of Duke of Atholl, the town near the castle. The aesthetics of this one is a bit different from the rest of the Scottish castles, but it is worth getting a close look at.
Finally, you will arrive in Inverness, from where you can delve into the world of Nessie and her legend. Another thing to do in Scotland is to visit a distillery and learn about the process of scotch-making.
Day 4: Urquhart Castle, Fort Augustus, and Eilean Donan Castle
The day will begin by travelling along the 40km long road that borders Loch Ness to reach Urquhart Castle. Its ruins on the shores of Loch Ness have a privileged location which makes it very photogenic. It is worth walking among its remains and enjoying the place.
You will continue skirting the lake until we reach Fort Augustus. It is a common stop-over town for tourists due to its location. It is worth taking a walk along it, skirting the Caledonian canal that divides the town in two and seeing its opening to the lake.
Finally, you will continue your route to see the Eilean Donan castle. You will now be facing an elegant stone castle at the foot of the sea. You will have to cross an old bridge to get to it and visit it inside after buying a ticket at the ticket office. The price is £ 7.50 for adults.
Day 5: Isle of Skye, Fort William and Glen Coe
It would be ideal to start the day early from your present location to enter the Isle of Skye. The Isle of Skye is large and there are many places to visit. If you have more time, I recommend you visit the island for two or three days to enjoy the scenery quietly. From the colourful town of Portree, past the Eas a’Bhradain waterfall, the photogenic Old Man of Storr to the Mealt Falls cascading down the cliffs into the sea.
After visiting the Isle of Skye you will begin to approach the Lowlands of Scotland. You will descend to Glenfinnan to check out the views of its viaduct. This is the famous bridge where the Hogwarts Express crosses in the Harry Potter movies.
Next, you will head towards Fort William, a small coastal town to walk through. From here you can check out other places to visit in Scotland such as the Steall Falls. You can end the day by touring the Glen Coe Valley, located south of Fort William.
Day 6: Kilchurn Castle, Iveraray, Loch Lomond and Balloch
The end of your journey is nearing. Your sixth day of travel through Scotland will begin at Kilchurn Castle. This ruined 15th-century castle is on Loch Awe. You will have to walk several meters to reach it from the parking lot. I recommend you skirt the lake a bit to see the castle from a nearby viewpoint.
The day will continue to draw closer to the town of Inveraray on the shores of Loch Fyne. This white town will surprise us by the colour contrast with the rest of the landscape. From this town, you will enter Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. A boat or kayak trip, hiking and many viewpoints are what we can expect from this beautiful park. You will focus on skirting Loch Lomond until you reach Balloch on this road trip through Scotland. You can enjoy a walk on its shores and visit the castle of Balloch or one of its parks to end the day.
Day 7: Glasgow
Your last stop is also one of the important places to visit in Scottland. This is the alternative city of Glasgow. I toured Glasgow in one day from Edinburgh. Buchanan Street and the Glasgow necropolis are the two essential places to visit in the city. I recommend you walk the streets of Glasgow in search of its street art before catching your flight back.
Going on a weeklong Scottish itinerary is not ideal. Personally I prefer to experience the destinations calmly and without haste. Even so, many of us can only enjoy a few short days of vacation which we should make the most of. There are many places to visit Scotland, so you will always have an excuse to return. I hope this itinerary is useful for your first drive through the country.