Express Explorer East to West

If you only have 4 days in Scotland and want to see the most famous Scottish places, you need this itinerary.

It is a packed tour plan that delivers all the big name attractions; Edinburgh, Stirling Castle, Culloden, Loch Ness, Skye, Eilean Donan, Glen Coe and Loch Lomond.

We would always recommend that you schedule more days for this road trip, but the route can be driven in 3 days.

Allow a minimum of 3 - 4 days to drive this tour route.
The guide contains extra day trip suggestions for extending the tour to 7+ days

PLEASE NOTE: The Guides come in the format of PDF files. After payment, you will receive an automated email that enables you to access your Scotland Tour Itinerary.

Express Explorer East to West

Money Back Guarantee

We are so confident that you’ll be delighted with your guide that we offer a full Money Back Guarantee. Read More.

Tour Stats :

Guide Updated - 22 December 2023

Core Route Mileage:

Approximately 530 miles / 850 Km

Tour Duration:

3 to 7 Days

Share this tour

Tour Summary

  • Explore Edinburgh -

    Edinburgh is a compact city and easy to explore on foot. We provide directions for 3 walking routes that show you different sides of the Capital city; a walk down the historical Royal Mile, a riverside walk to the Botanic Gardens that escapes the hustle & bustle of city life and a more energetic walk to Arthur’s Seat with a good pub at the end. Edinburgh boasts a great range of atmospheric old pubs and we steer you to a selection of our favourites.

    The guide also includes options for day trips around the surrounding area by car or bus / train.

    The day trips from Edinburgh by car take you to West Lothian where you can visit many of the sites used in the filming of “Outlander” and to East Lothian where you can visit spectacular castle ruins, a whisky distillery, pretty villages and maybe embark on a boat trip to see Bass Rock up close.

    Stopover in Edinburgh

  • Edinburgh to Inverness -

    The road trip starts with a drive that is packed with sightseeing opportunities. The route passes through Stirling, where you can visit the Castle & Wallace Monument, before travelling into Perthshire. North of Perth, you might wish to take a journey break in the village of Dunkeld with its Cathedral ruins and quaint 18th century houses.

    From Dunkeld, you have a short drive to the neat Victorian spa resort of Pitlochry where you find the “Salmon Ladder”, two whisky distilleries and the grand Blair Castle. You have a good chance of seeing hairy Highland cows in the grounds of Blair Castle, and a piper plays at regular intervals on the steps of the castle entrance.

    After Pitlochry, we provide the choice of a direct route to Inverness, or a scenic driving route via the Rothiemurchus forest. If time allows, you can visit the historical and hauntingly sad battlefield of Culloden Moor.

    If you wish to extend your stay in Inverness, we provide directions for a short drive around the Black Isle, where you can find Dolphin spotting cruises.

    Driving Distance: ~185 miles

    Stopover in Inverness Area.

  • Inverness to Skye -

    Starting with a drive along the shores of Loch Ness, with options for a loch cruise and visit to Urquhart Castle, you then turn westwards to the wilderness of Wester Ross and the mountains of Kintail. The route passes the distinctive Eilean Donan castle and then we guide you to the Skye Bridge, but you may wish to fit in a detour to see a very pretty fishing village before crossing into Skye.

    Explore Skye - We provide directions for an Isle of Skye road trip that includes the famous scenic landmarks of Skye plus Dunvegan Castle, Talisker Distillery, craft shops, tearooms, pubs and walks. However, you really need a full day (preferably more) for sightseeing on Skye.

    Driving Distance: ~115 miles

    Stopover on Skye or the nearby Lochalsh area

  • Skye to Edinburgh or Glasgow -

    Today’s drive takes you through Glen Shiel, where you might see wild deer, and then rejoins the Great Glen to take you towards Ben Nevis and Fort William. If time allows, you can take a round trip detour to Glenfinnan and maybe see the Jacobite steam train (runs mid April – October) as it crosses the famous viaduct.

    Heading south from Fort William, we guide you inland through the dramatic valley of Glen Coe and across the wild empty expanses of Rannoch Moor.

    For the last leg of this self drive tour, we provide directions for returning to either Edinburgh or Glasgow. If heading to Glasgow, you travel down the shores of Loch Lomond and may wish to stop for a short cruise on the loch. The return route to Edinburgh takes you through the Trossachs with the opportunity to visit Doune Castle (“Castle Leoch” to “Outlander” fans) & Stirling Castle.

    Driving Distance (if going to Glasgow): ~175 miles

    Driving Distance (if going to Edinburgh): ~200 miles

    Stopover in Edinburgh or Glasgow or Loch Lomond Area.

Tour Gallery


To help you book the best places to stay, we offer a guide to Recommended Accommodation along the route of this tour.

We personally visit all the accommodation featured in the guides and only select places where we would wish to stay ourselves. Read More...

When you "Checkout", you will have the option to buy the Accommodation Guide.

Preview Accommodation Guide

Car Hire - How to Save Money

When you buy a Secret Scotland Tour Itinerary you will receive a Discount Code that gets you a 10% reduction on the cost of Car Hire from Arnold Clark Rental.

Simply use the Secret Scotland code when you book via the Arnold Clark website and your car hire discount will automatically apply.


Subscribe To Our Newsletter
And Receive 5 Free Guides