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7- Day Scotland Road Trip Itinerary 

scotland road trip itinerary

Scotland is one of the most beautiful countries you can explore on a road trip. With breathtaking vistas, enchanting lochs, dramatic mountains, fascinating history and friendly locals, there is so much to see in this small country. A road trip across Scotland is an absolute joy to uncover the treasures this country has to offer.

This Scotland itinerary starts in Glasgow and ends in the capital city of Edinburgh. Both these cities have international airports and are well connected to the rest of the world. You can easily hire a car from Glasgow. Although this itinerary is just for seven days, you will visit most of the famous tourist attractions of Scotland.

You can visit Scotland throughout the year. But the late spring to summer is the best time to visit this country when the weather stays pleasantly warm and dry, and the days are longer. Also, these months are great for outdoor activities.

Day 1 – Glasgow   

Glasgow
Glasgow

Your trip begins in Glasgow – the largest city in Scotland. Known as the cultural capital of Scotland, there are plenty of historical and cultural things to do in Glasgow

The city offers many free avant-garde museums and art galleries, victorian buildings, vibrant urban street arts, buzzing nightlife and a great food scene. From history lovers to culinary experts – the city has something for everyone.

One of the main visitor attractions in the city is the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. It is one of the world’s most visited art galleries and museums. From renowned Renaissance art to an impressive collection of natural history artefacts – You will find an extensive collection of priceless objects on display here.

Next, visit the medieval Glasgow Cathedral dedicated to Saint Mungo, the patron saint of Glasgow. Also, meander around the adjacent Necropolis, a Victorian cemetery modelled after the Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. You will come across a stunning view of the city skyline and beyond from the Necropolis. 

When exploring the city streets, look out for the street arts. Glasgow has many colourful murals by international and local artists that brighten up the unassuming corners. Many of these murals often pay homage to the history and heritage of this city.

If you are interested in exploring a few more museums in Glasgow, then visit the Riverside Museum and The Burrell Collections.

Day 2 – Loch Lomond + Glenfinnan Viaduct 

Glenfinnan
Glenfinnan

It’s time to say goodbye to Glasgow and drive towards Loch Lomond – the largest freshwater lake by surface in Britain. It takes only 35 minutes to reach Balloch, a beautiful village on the shore of Loch Lomond. From here, you can take a boat tour and explore the beautiful villages and islands across the lake.

There are plenty of hiking and walking opportunities in this National Park. If you are a fan of water-based adventures, you can kayak, canoe, swim and paddleboard here.

Next, continue your road trip adventure to Glen Coe. It takes about 1.5 hours to drive here from Balloch. You will get to witness some of the finest sceneries in Scotland. No wonder why the drive through Glen Coe is popularly called the most scenic road trip in the UK. You can take a short detour via Glen Etive to visit the shooting location of the James Bond movie Skyfall before heading towards the town of Fort William.

The most famous attraction near Fort William is the iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct, the longest concrete railway bridge in Scotland. During summer, the world-famous Jacobite Steam Train, also known as the Hogwarts Express, passes over this viaduct. Glenfinnan Viaduct was featured in the Harry Potter movies.

Day 3 – Isle of Skye 

Isle of Skye
Isle of Skye

Today, you will be visiting one of the most magical places in Scotland, the Isle of Skye. From chasing waterfalls to distillery tours, there is an abundance of things to do on the Isle of Skye.

Skye is a beautiful island in the Inner Hebrides, famous for its scenic landscapes, dramatic mountain ranges, picturesque villages and historic castles. 

There are two options to get to Skye. You can either drive through the Skye Bridge or catch a ferry from Mallaig to Armadale, a village on Skye. 

Your first stop on Skye is the amazing Fairy Pool, one of the most visited sites on the island.

Fairy Pool
Fairy Pool

Fairy Pool consists of a series of small waterfalls, with the majestic Cuillin Mountain ranges in the background. It is famous for its turquoise blue colours. In summer, you would feel tempted to take a dip in the pool. Spend a few hours here admiring the spectacular view.

Our next stop is the Talisker Distillery, the oldest working distillery on the Isle of Skye. They offer guided tours and tastings of the distillery. You will get to learn a lot about the history and the process of making their whiskies. 

Just a few minutes drive from the distillery is your next destination – Dunvegan Castle and Gardens. For over 800 years, this castle has been the ancestral house of the Chiefs of Clan MacLeod. Inside it, you will find the famous fairy flag.

Day 4 – Isle of Skye 

Today you will spend the whole day exploring different corners of the Isle of Skye. Get your morning coffee at one of the cafes in Portree, the largest settlement on this island. 

Here you will find colourful houses lined around the harbour. Portree has many restaurants, cafes and hotels. Also, it’s a great place as a base to explore Skye.

Just a few minutes drive from Portree is the iconic Old Man of Storr. The distinct pinnacles are one of the best-known rock formations in the whole of Britain. You can hike up to catch a closer look at the rocks. It takes around two hours to reach the pinnacles and is not a very difficult walk.

Old Man of Storr

Next, visit the famous Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls. It’s a 180 ft tall cliff with Mealt Falls flowing down to the sea. Don’t miss a visit to the nearby An Corran beach at Staffin. The beach is famous for its dinosaur footprints dating back millions of years.

Next, head towards one of the most dramatic landscapes in Skye, the Quiraing. You would find some unusual rock formations, strange cliffs and plateaus created by the landslides. Enjoy the spectacular panoramic views from here. You can walk the Quiraing circuit in a couple of hours.

Day 5 – Loch Ness 

Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan Castle

Today you will say goodbye to the Isle of Skye and drive towards Inverness to visit the stunning Eilean Donan Castle and the famous Loch Ness. Sitting over a small island, Eilean Donan Castle is one of the most photographed castles in Scotland. 

Admire the majestic settings of this castle. Surrounded by beautiful mountains and lakes, this castle is connected to the mainland by a stone arch bridge. Book a tour to learn about its riveting and colourful past. Eilean Donan has appeared in numerous TV shows, movies and books.

No trip to Scotland is complete without a visit to the world-famous Loch Ness. It is the largest freshwater lake by volume in Britain and the home of the mythical Loch Ness monster, Nessie. From castle hunting to boat trips, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy.

Visit the magnificent ruins of Urquhart Castle, which has an intriguing history of over 1000 years. Take a tour of this castle and discover its medieval tower, prison cell and the Great Hall. You will get the best view of Loch Ness from this castle.

Hop on a cruise boat to explore the Loch Ness. Boat leaves from many different places on the shore of the loch. It’s a great way to admire the stunning scenery of the surrounding landscapes.

Day 6 – Inverness + Cairngorms 

Inverness Castle
Inverness

Spend day six of your Scotland itinerary by visiting the city of Inverness. Known as the Capital of the Highlands, Inverness is a vibrant and historic city. There are many traditional pubs, restaurants and hotels dotted around the city.

Take a leisurely stroll by the River Ness, which flows in the middle of the city. Climb a few steps to visit the Inverness Castle. From there, admire the view of the elegant bridges over the River Ness and the mountains on the horizon. Browse the shops at the historic Victorian Market. 

After visiting Inverness for half a day, drive towards Edinburgh through the Cairngorms National Park. This drive is also very scenic. 

The first stop would be at the beautiful Loch Morlich near Aviemore. Enjoy the stunning view of this lake surrounded by beautiful mountain ranges of Cairngorms. You can do kayaking, canoeing and paddleboarding.

The next stop is at Blair Atholl to visit the Blair Castle & Gardens. Afterwards, drive to Pitlochry, a pretty town in Perthshire. You will find many wonderful independent shops, restaurants and cafes here. You can take a guided tour to the nearby Blair Athol Distillery.

Also, make a brief stop to visit the lovely town of Dunkeld on the banks of the River Tay. Meander around the town centre and visit the well-preserved Dunkeld Cathedral.

Day 7 – Edinburgh

Edinburgh
Edinburgh

What better way to end your Scotland road trip journey than visiting the Scottish capital city of Edinburgh? 

The Old Town and New Town of Edinburgh, combined together, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With its stunning Gothic buildings, cobbled streets, centuries of history and heritage – Edinburgh is one of the greatest cities to explore.

One of the main visitor attractions of Edinburgh is the majestic Edinburgh Castle. Perched over a volcanic rock, this medieval castle houses the Royal Palace, National War Museum of Scotland and the oldest crown Jewel in Britain. From the castle promenade, admire the panoramic view of the city skyline.

Next, explore the historic buildings of the Royal Mile. Step inside the historic St Giles Cathedral to admire its ornate roofs and wood carvings.

Head down to the Holyrood Palace – the Scottish royal adobe of Her Majesty the Queen. You can explore the beautifully decorated state apartments, throne room, and the ruins of the Holyrood Abbey.

Holyrood Palace
Holyrood Palace

This city has a close connection with the eminent author J K Rowling. All Harry Potter fans must visit the iconic Victoria Street, Elephant House and the Greyfriars Kirk. 

End the day with a beautiful sunset from Calton Hill and reminisce all the beautiful memories you have created over the past few days.

About the Author

Moumita and Sankha of Chasing the Long Road are travel bloggers living in Edinburgh, Scotland. They have been travelling in Europe and the UK since 2014 and are very passionate about exploring the world and discovering local cultures and cuisines. Together they have travelled to 41 countries.

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