For a small country Scotland has a big identity. Think of Scotland and you have images of the Loch Ness Monster, Whisky, Golf, Tartan, Jacobites, Haunted Castles and Braveheart. Follow this tour itinerary to discover the places where these iconic Scottish images come alive.
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Day 1 – Starts with a visit to that classic symbol of Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh Castle. You can also choose from the city’s many other historical and cultural attractions, or decide to take it easy on your first day and follow our suggestion for a gentle riverside walk.
There are enough attractions in Edinburgh to keep you busy for several days, but we also provide you with directions for day trips that cover:
• the nearby castles of West & East Lothian,
• details of various day trips from Edinburgh by bus or train.
Overnight in Edinburgh.
Day 2 – A short drive takes you to Stirling to learn about Scotland’s struggle for freedom from English Invaders. Discover the site of the battle where the Scots won their independence in 1314. Visit Stirling Castle, arguably the most important castle in Scottish history, and see “Braveheart’s” battle sword. The directions also include the option of a short tour of the Trossachs, where you could take a steam boat cruise on a loch.
Stopover in the Stirling / Callander area.
Day 3 – From Stirling we take you on a route through Fife to the country palace of the Stuart Kings. Then, via a coastal trail through the charming villages of the East Neuk, you are guided to St Andrews, the home of Golf.
Overnight in the St Andrews area.
Day 4 – A choice of routes takes you to the ancient capital of Scotland, where King’s were crowned on the “Stone of Destiny”. Heading north, you can explore a conservation village little changed since the 1700’s. The journey ends in Pitlochry where you can visit some whisky distilleries or take a short drive to a grand turreted castle. We provide directions for a short tour of the Pitlochry area.
Stopover in Pitlochry area.
Day 5 – Heading northwards to Royal Deeside, so named because of its popularity with the Royal family who holiday here at Balmoral. The route follows the path of an old military road built to suppress the Jacobite rebels. This day also features an optional route for a drive along the path of the River Dee to visit some picturesque and well preserved Castles.
Stopover in Royal Deeside.
Day 6 – Once again heading north, the route goes via a dramatic mountain pass into the Speyside Valley where you are never too far from a whisky distillery. You may recognise some of the names along the route: Aberlour, Glenfiddich, Glenlivet, Glen Grant, Macallan…
We provide details of how to book into some of the region's connoisseur whisky tasting tours.
Overnight in Craigellachie / Elgin.
Day 7 – Is a journey to Inverness, the capital of the Highlands, via one of Scotland’s most enchanting castles. Discover Culloden, where the Jacobite cause was finally and brutally crushed, and Fort George with its impressive fortifications. If you arrive early in Inverness, you can follow our directions for a tour of the Black Isle and maybe join a dolphin spotting cruise.
Stopover in Inverness Area.
Day 8 – You start with a drive along the northern shores of Loch Ness, but we don't stay with the main tourist trail, and instead we guide you into the dramatic scenery of Wester Ross to show you some of our favourite viewpoints.
We also provide an alternative set of directions that follow a more direct route along the Great Glen before turning west towards the mountains of Kintail and Eilean Donan Castle.
On arrival at Lochalsh, you may manage to include some sightseeing time on Skye. The itinerary includes a touring route of the island, however, we recommend that you allow at least 1 full day to see Skye.
Stopover in Lochalsh Area.
Day 9 – Return to the mainland with options to go via the Skye bridge to Fort William or the more romantic sea crossing to Mallaig. Today’s travelling takes you past Glencoe to Argyll and the area around Oban, but we have suggested some detours and alternative roads so that you may visit parts of Scotland that most tourists bypass.
The journey ends in the lively harbour town of Oban, “Gateway to the Isles”, where some of the best seafood restaurants in Scotland are found.
Overnight in Oban / Appin.
Day 10 – Is the return journey back to Edinburgh or Glasgow. On the first leg of the journey, we provide the option of a direct route or a longer loop through Glen Coe. If going to Glasgow, your drive will take you along the length of Loch Lomond. The return route to Edinburgh passes through the Trossachs.
Stopover in Edinburgh or the Glasgow / Loch Lomond area.