Photographer's Scotland

If you have an interest in landscape photography, Scotland is your perfect destination. 

We originally created this itinerary for a Swedish TV company, so it was scheduled to allow time for lots of journey breaks for photography and filming.

The tour is paced to keep the driving times short and it will suit the traveller who likes to stop and take lots of pictures.

Allow a minimum of 8 days to drive this tour route.
The guide contains extra day trip suggestions for extending the tour to 16+ 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.

Photographer's Scotland

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Tour Stats :

Guide Updated - 19 January 2024

Core Route Mileage:

Approximately 610 miles / 980 Km

Tour Duration:

8 to 15 Days

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Tour Summary

  • Explore Edinburgh -

    Edinburgh is a compact city and easy to explore on foot. So we provide directions for 3 walking routes that show you different sides of the Capital city;

    • a walk down the historical Royal Mile where you can explore pubs, museums and lots of shops selling kilts, whisky and typical tourist tat, 
    • a meandering riverside path to the romantic Botanic Gardens that escapes the hustle & bustle of city life,
    • a more energetic hike to Arthur’s Seat for a city view followed by the option to continue to an old Inn with lots of history.

    Stopover in Edinburgh

  • Edinburgh Day Trips -

    In case you wish to use Edinburgh as a touring base for several nights, we provide details of interesting places that you can visit within, and beyond, the city by using buses & trains.  We also provide a choice of day trips by car that let you explore :

    • East Lothian where you can visit some spectacular castle ruins on an exposed cliff top, a whisky distillery, lots of pretty villages and maybe embark on a boat trip to Bass Rock.
    • West Lothian where you can visit Linlithgow Palace, Blackness Castle, Hopetoun House and some of the other sites used in the filming of “Outlander”.
    • The Borders and a tour route around the regions many historic Abbeys and grand country houses. This route also includes the famous Rosslyn Chapel.

    Stopover in Edinburgh

  • Edinburgh to Oban via Stirling Castle -

    You start with a fast drive to Stirling where you can visit the castle and the visitor centre at Bannockburn Battlefield, which uses clever technology to bring this momentous battle to life.

    Travelling west, you can break the journey with a visit to Doune Castle, which starred as “Castle Leoch” in “Outlander”. You then enter the Trossachs and we suggest a small detour to the photogenic Falls of Dochart in Killin, where there are also standing stones and a very spooky castle.

    Continuing along the route of an old Cattle Drovers’ road, you arrive at Loch Awe, the longest loch in Scotland. Here, you can stop to walk to Kilchurn castle which is an impressive stronghold that guards the eastern approaches of this strategic passage to the west coast. The path to the castle is easy to miss, but our directions will ensure you find this picturesque lochside ruin.

    The day ends in Oban where you can indulge in a tasting session at Oban Distillery followed by a memorable dinner in one of the town’s great choice of seafood restaurants.

    Driving Distance: ~122 miles

    Stopover in Oban Area.

  • Oban to Fort William -

    This journey leg is just a short hop up the coast so there’s time for a variety of activities.

    If you set off early, you could join a day trip to Mallaig on the “Jacobite Steam” train, a must for “Harry Potter” fans. Alternatively, for the people that prefer to escape the crowds, we provide details on how to explore the beautiful Isle of Lismore, where the pace of life goes slower.

    On the way to Fort William, you can take a small side trip into Glen Coe, scene of the infamous massacre of the MacDonalds in 1692. We also give directions to help you find a curious little “Fairy Bridge” in a quiet forest, but you need to get your walking boots on for this.

    Fort William is a centre for outdoor activities so another option is to spend your day climbing Ben Nevis, hiking to the Steall Falls, or a take it easy with a cable car ride up the Aonach Mor mountain.

    Driving Distance: ~44 miles

    Stopover in Lochaber Area.

  • Fort William to Skye -

    We supply 3 different route options for getting to Skye by the bridge or via the Mallaig ferry.

    1. If travelling via the Skye bridge, you don’t need to plan your day around a ferry timetable so you might wish to schedule time for a cable car ride, or a short hike in Glen Nevis. Eilean Donan castle is a highlight on this route, but we also supply directions for a small detour to one of the best viewpoints in Scotland.
    Driving Distance: ~77 miles – Fort William to Skye Bridge

    2. If taking the Mallaig ferry to Skye you follow the “Road to the Isles” to Mallaig. You have a good chance of seeing the Jacobite steam train (AKA “Hogwarts Express”) as the railway track runs close by. Time your drive right, and you can stop to take a picture of the train as it crosses Glenfinnan Viaduct. Nearer to Mallaig, we guide you to the Silver Sands of Morar and beaches that can rival anything in the Caribbean, if not as warm.
    Driving Distance: ~43 miles (plus a ~40 minute ferry crossing) – Fort William to Mallaig ferry

    3. The Alternative route to the Skye ferry is one that bypasses Fort William in favour of following a meandering road through the wilderness and forests of Sunart and Moidart. The scenery in this area is magnificent and it is all the better for the lack of other tourists. One of the highlights of this route is the opportunity to visit the ruins of Castle Tioram.
    Driving Distance: ~66 miles (plus a ~40 minute ferry crossing) – Glencoe area to Mallaig ferry

    Stopover on Skye or in the nearby Lochalsh Area

  • Day Trips around Skye & Lochalsh -

    Skye is a large island with many of the places of interest located along dead end single track roads. As a result, you are limited in how much you can cover in a day and you need to schedule at least a 2 night stopover.

    • Explore Skye - We provide directions for a tour that includes the famous scenic landmarks of Skye as well as Dunvegan Castle, Talisker Distillery, craft shops, tearooms, pubs and walks. More than enough to fill 2 whole days on Skye. Driving Distance: ~138 miles

    • Alternative Day Trip around Loch Alsh & Loch Hourn - Skye can be a very busy place so we also provide directions for a tour around this quieter area where you can take in one of our favourite viewpoints, soak up the atmosphere at mysterious Iron Age Brochs, or enjoy a cup of coffee in one of the remotest tearooms in Scotland. You can return to Skye via a tiny car ferry that operates from Easter – October.

    Stopover in Skye & Lochalsh area

  • Skye Bridge to Gairloch -

    We guide you on a route through scenery that we think is the best in Scotland. If you really want to explore away from the “beaten track”, you can follow an alternative longer route around the remote Applecross Peninsula using a road that was only completed in 1975!!! The drive includes a visit to the very pretty village of Plockton and the famous botanic gardens at Inverewe. Despite lying further north than Moscow, the mild west coast climate enables all sorts of sub tropical plants to thrive in this Highland oasis.

    The Gairloch area is blessed with stunning beaches and spectacular scenery, so you may want to allow a 2 night stopover here. Our guide gives you details on the best activities to try.

    Driving Distance: ~77 miles

    Stopover in Gairloch area

  • Gairloch to Inverness -

    This journey leg starts with a very scenic drive back past Loch Maree and we give you directions for a short hike to a great viewpoint above this truly beautiful loch. The route includes options to explore picnic spots beside a river where you might spot wild salmon leaping upstream in late summer / autumn.

    On the last leg of the drive to Inverness, you can either take a direct drive along the Beauly Firth, or follow a longer route via the ancient Caledonian forest of Glen Affric and then down to Loch Ness.

    Driving Distance: ~72 miles / 112 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:

    • Black Isle - A short tour of the Black Isle where you can visit a carefully preserved 18th century village and embark on boat trips to see wild dolphins.
    • Moray Coast - A historical tour of Moray with its historical attractions and scenic coastline. This day trip features the highlights of Culloden, Clava Cairns, Cawdor Castle and Elgin Cathedral.
    • Loch Ness – This this day trip does a complete circular tour of the loch with time to take a cruise, visit the “Nessie” exhibitions and wander the ruins of Urquhart castle.
    • Dunrobin Castle - A day trip up the coast to the spectacular Dunrobin Castle, which has all the opulence of a French chateau. From Dunrobin, you can follow a return route with the option for a visit to a remote church with a poignant souvenir of the Highland Clearances.

    Stopover in Inverness area

  • Inverness to Royal Deeside -

    Within a few miles of Inverness you can travel through 4,000 years of history. The route passes the Bronze Age burial cairns at Clava, the 14th century Cawdor Castle, which is still home to the Countess of Cawdor, and Culloden Battlefield, where the tragic events of 1746 changed the Highlands forever.

    Travelling southwards, the road passes through the Spey valley where you have options for detours to explore the whisky distilleries that Speyside is famed for. From Speyside, you climb over the Cairngorm mountains. This is a great road with wide open vistas and fast sweeping bends. If you aren't driving too fast, you can keep a look out for Grouse popping their heads above the heather.

    After the high plateau of the Cairngorms, you descend to the neat little villages of Ballater and Braemar in Royal Deeside. This region is synonymous with Queen Victoria and still has strong connections with the Royal family. Consequently, Balmoral castle is the obvious place to visit in this area, but there are many more castles here with much longer histories that are worth exploring.

    Driving Distance: ~78 miles

    Stopover in Royal Deeside

  • Royal Deeside to Edinburgh -

    We guide you south to Perth on an old military road that was built through Glen Shee by the “Redcoats” to help them fight rebellious Jacobites. You can take a journey break in Perth, or visit nearby Scone Palace, where Scotland’s Kings were crowned on the “Stone of Destiny”.

    After Perth, you have a fast motorway drive back to Edinburgh, but we include the option of a detour to the pretty conservation village of Falkland where you can visit Mary Queen of Scots' favourite country palace. Fans of “Outlander” should also recognise the village from its appearances in the TV show.

    Driving Distance: ~106 miles

    Stopover in Edinburgh

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.


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