Our Historic Scotland tour itinerary is designed for people who like to stop in an area for several days to explore at a slower pace.
It gives you a mix of famous Scottish landmarks and quiet places where you can escape the crowds and touch the past.
Allow a minimum of 7 days to drive this tour route.
The guide contains extra day trip suggestions for extending the tour to 14 days
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Guide Updated - 4 January 2023
Approximately 423 miles / 680 Km
7 to 14 Days
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 leafy riverside path to the Botanic Gardens for an escape from the city buzz and a more energetic hike to Arthur’s Seat with the option to continue to an old Inn with lots of history.
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, bus or train.
The day trips by car are short routes that allow you to explore;
Stopover in Edinburgh.
Edinburgh to Pitlochry -
Two route options are provided for this drive:
The longer route takes you west, via Stirling, and then into the Trossachs National Park. Fans of “Outlander” can stop to explore Doune Castle (“Castle Leoch” in the TV show), and further along the route we guide you to stone circles where you can try to travel through time. After a photo stop at the Falls of Dochart, you travel along the shores of Loch Tay towards Aberfeldy and Pitlochry, where you may wish to end the day with a distillery tour.
Driving Distance: ~111 miles
The shorter route allows time to spend a full afternoon in Pitlochry. Heading north from Edinburgh, you cross the Forth estuary with views of the famous Forth Rail Bridge. You then speed north to Perth, but can extend the drive with a visit to the pretty village of Falkland where Mary Queen of Scots had her favourite palace. Falkland village might look familiar as it has appeared in the filming of some early episodes of "Outlander". From Perth to Pitlochry, we suggest a back road route that visits Scone Palace, the ancient crowning place of Scottish Kings, and the romantic ruins of Dunkeld Cathedral beside the River Tay.
Driving Distance: ~81 miles
Short tours around Pitlochry - If you arrive early in Pitlochry, or wish to stay for several nights, you will enjoy the 2 short tour options supplied in this guide. These tours cover the grand Blair castle as well as many lesser known places such as a deserted Blackhouse village, a 2000 year old tree and a stone circle that is easily missed.
Stopover in Pitlochry Area.
Pitlochry to Inverness -
Whilst other tourists are shuffling along the busy main road to Inverness, we guide you on a more scenic journey through the Cairngorms National Park where you can explore the Rothiemurchus forest. Pack a picnic as this is a day where we’ll show you lots of idyllic places to chill out beside a loch or river.
Whilst in the Cairngorms, you might wish to allow time for visits to the popular Highland Folk Museum and Strathspey Steam Railway.
Heading north from Grantown on Spey, you cross over moorlands as you head towards the fertile farmland of the North East. The main tourist attractions on this section of the journey are Cawdor Castle, Clava Cairns and Culloden battlefield. But there’s a lot more to be discovered in our guides.
Driving Distance: ~115 miles
Stopover in Inverness Area.
Day Trips from Inverness -
Inverness is a great touring base for exploring the Highlands and we supply you with directions for a range of day trips:
Stopover in Inverness area
Inverness to Oban -
From Inverness, we provide a choice of routes along Loch Ness so you can either; follow the mainstream tourist trail past all the “Nessie” attractions and Urquhart Castle, or drive a quieter road on the south shore of Loch Ness.
You then have a second set of route options so you can extend the day to include a visit to Glenfinnan, or take a more direct route to allow more time around the Fort William / Glen Coe area. After a photo stop at Glen Coe, you pick up a great coastal road that carries you south through the lovely scenery of Argyll to your stopover in the Oban area.
Oban is a lively seaside town with a great range of Seafood restaurants. We give you a list of our favourite places to eat so you can book a table for a meal to remember.
Driving Distance: ~110 miles to 141 miles depending on routes options followed.
Stopover in Oban Area.
Oban Day Trips -
Oban is a great touring base and the guide provides you with a choice of day trips for exploring the wider area.
Stopover in Oban Area.
Oban to Glasgow / Edinburgh -
For the first journey leg, from Oban to Crianlarich, we provide 2 route options:
Crianlarich translates from the Gaelic for “Low Pass” and it is at this village that you choose between the road to Loch Lomond and Glasgow, or the road that heads east through the Trossachs to Stirling and Edinburgh. If going to Glasgow, can stop for a drink in a haunted 18th century inn, or join a loch cruise.
If returning to Edinburgh you could take journey breaks at Doune or Stirling castle.
Driving Distance: ~90 miles to Glasgow via direct route
Driving Distance: ~117 miles to Edinburgh via direct route
Stopover in Glasgow or Edinburgh.
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.
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.
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