The Best of Scotland in One Week (A complete 7-Day Itinerary) | Watch Me See | Scotland might be small, but if you look closer it seems hard to fit your entire bucket list into a week-long holiday! This complete 7-day itinerary for Scotland includes an ideal route for Scotland in one week, recommended activities, restaurants and accommodation and more tips to make this a trip of a lifetime!

The Best of Scotland in One Week (A complete 7-Day Itinerary)

Scotland might be small, but there are a lot of destinations on your average Scotland travel bucket list. How will you possibly manage to visit Edinburgh, Loch Ness and the Isle of Skye in a mere 7 days? My Classic Scotland Itinerary for Scotland in one week should give you an idea of how to see the major touristy spots in Scotland without having to sweat it!

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Scotland is the kind of place where you could travel around for weeks and weeks and you still would not have seen all the highlights and only scratched the surface of understanding what’s going on in a Scot’s head. And that is even though the country is so small. But there is no denying that you don’t always have months to spare to travel a place, so finding a way of squeezing as much of Scotland as possible into a week or two becomes a skill for many people planning a trip to Scotland.

While after three years in Glasgow I am still far from ‘having done it all’ I have been on several trips with visiting friends and family to see some of the essential must-dos that Scotland has to offer – the classic Scotland itinerary, so to say. Loch Ness, Edinburgh, Skye – these are only a few places you must not miss on your first trip around Scotland, so I thought a little one-week itinerary based my own experience could be a great start for your own research! Prepare for a tour de force through Scotland!


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How to get around Scotland

This itinerary is written with a rental car in mind – you can follow my route through Scotland by public transport as well, but you might have to cut a few stops due to time limitations, or simply because the bus or train won’t stop everywhere.

I always find the best deals at AutoEurope because they compare prices from a variety of rental car agencies, find the best price and add affordable carefree-insurance on top! I recommend renting with internationally renowned agencies, like Sixt, Europcar or Avis (all of which I’ve tried and had great experiences within Scotland), or with local brands such as Arnold Clark.

You can find more info on how to get around Scotland in my guide to everything you need to know about planning a trip to Scotland, and some tips for driving on the left-hand side in my Scotland driving tips.

Fancy something off the beaten track?
Check out my itinerary for a week along the north east coast of Scotland!

Road trip in Scotland.

Day 1: Arrive in Glasgow

Whether your plane actually lands at Glasgow airport or in Edinburgh, hardly matters because the cities and their airports lie so closely together and are so well-connected by bus, that it is easy to start your trip around Scotland in the one city even if you land in the other. To save your some driving on your way up to the Highlands I recommend to base yourself in Glasgow for the first night. If you have some daylight left, who not hop on board the City Sightseeing Bus (read my REVIEW) to get an overview of the city, and then head for dinner and drinks in town to get a feel for the city.

Glasgow Travel Essentials:

Where to Stay in Glasgow | Hotels are super affordable – I summed up my favourites for all budgets here. AirBnB is a great option if you prefer your own place. You can use my referral to get £25 off your first booking!

Getting around Glasgow | Glasgow is a very walkable city, but you can get buses or the subway for longer distances between different quarters. Traditional black taxis can be a bit expensive, so I suggest to use private hire companies like Network Private Hire or the Uber!

things to Do in Glasgow | Check out this One-Day Itinerary and my 50 Travel Tips for Glasgow! On a budget? Here are 45 free things to do in Glasgow.

The best restaurants in Glasgow | There are more restaurants in Glasgow than sand on the beach. For Scottish food try Two Fat Ladies in the City, the Red Onion (vegan menu available) or Gandolfi Cafe. I also love Sarti and Paesano (both Italian), Nippon’s Kitchen (Japanese, sushi) and Ranjit’s Kitchen (Indian curries). For a great food market, check out Platform, which is open every Friday to Sunday and is located in the Arches underneath Central Station.

The best pubs in Glasgow | Glasgow’s pubs deserve a city trip in itself. Try Sloan’s, The Pot Still, The State Bar or Babbity Bowster for a taster – and a dram!


The Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow.

Day 2: Loch Lomond, Glen Coe & Fort William

Leave Glasgow right after breakfast to make your way north. You will be happy to have the entire day at your disposal because even if the drive from Glasgow to Fort William theoretically takes less than 3 hours, the scenic stops along the way and the windy roads will slow you down significantly.

Stop 1: Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond is Scotland’s largest lake (or loch, as the Scots call them) and it’s southernmost end lies only 45 minutes drive from Glasgow. Most tour buses will stop either in Balloch or in Luss, but I personally prefer the scenic points further north along the Loch, particularly the car park in Inveruglas. Either way, wherever you stop along Loch Lomond, make sure to take in the stunning views. Maybe you can even spare some time for a little cruise starting in Tarbet.

Stop 2: Glen Coe

Glen Coe is the kind of place that dreams are made of – or James Bond films. You chose which one you prefer. Driving through Glen Coe is like travelling back in time; there are so many stories to be told about it. It is one of Scotland’s most famous landmarks, a valley surrounded by some of the country’s roughest peaks and most popular hikes, such as the Three Sisters, the ridge of Aonach Eagach or Buachaille Etive Mòr. You will earn some local respect if you manage to pronounce these!

Pressed for time you won’t manage to actually climb any of these mountains, but a quick stroll to Scotland’s most photographed cottage, Lagangarbh Hut at the foot of Buachaille Etive Mor, is a scenic little walk to stretch your legs.


Stop 3: Fort William

Fort William is not so much exciting as a town, but rather for its surroundings. This is where the famous West Highland Way ends (key: plenty of outdoor equipment shops) and where the highest mountain range of the UK begins: the Ben Nevis Range. It takes only 15 minutes to drive from Fort William to the car park of the Nevis Range Mountain Resort from where a gondola brings you further up the mountain Aonach Mor, right beside Ben Nevis. With too little time for the strenuous hike up Ben Nevis (this is not a tourist trail!) this is the next best alternative to climbing the UK’s highest peak.

Fort William Travel Essentials:

Where to StaY in Fort William | Fort William offers tons of accommodation options. I’d recommend Minaig B&B a little bit before you reach the town centre, or West End Hotel in the middle of Fort William.

Restaurants around fort William | For lunch on the way you could stop at the Real Food Cafe in Tyndrum for fish & chips, or at the Clachaig Inn in Glen Coe for an excellent pub meal! In Fort William, I’d recommend Crannog Seafood, because the chef is happy to whip up a vegan meal for you, but alternatively, you can also get good service and great food at The Grog & Gruel. There is also a new vegan cafe in Fort William, called The Wildcat.

things to do in fort William | If you decide to spend more time in Fort William by adding an extra day to this itinerary, here are a few things to do: West Highland Museum, to learn about Highland culture and history; Ben Nevis Distillery, to have a dram and learn how it’s made; Neptune’s Staircase, to watch boats go through the locks of the Caledonian Canal.


Note: Depending on the time of the year, you might not be able to fit in long stops at all three destinations in just one day – chose wisely where to spend more time!

The lonely and photogenic Lagangarbh hut at the entrance of Glen Coe in Scotland.

Day 3: Road to the Isles & Isle of Skye

The road from Fort William to Mallaig is a highlight, not only for Harry Potter fans. Although, if you are already here, head to the tourist office in Fort William to find out at what times the famous Jacobite Steam Train will be crossing over the Glenfinnan Viaduct and plan your road trip accordingly.

Read my story of what it’s like to ride the Harry Potter train!

The Road to the Isles is one of my favourite road trips in Scotland and the views you get from the passenger seat are absolutely stunning! Make sure to visit the Glenfinnan Monument and climb to its top for even better views of Loch Shiel. Once you have arrived in Mallaig get your ferry ticket sorted (you should book this in advance, especially during the busy summer months) and kill some time with a takeaway of fresh fish & chips – but beware of the seagulls at the harbour!


The ferry from Mallaig to Armadale on the Isle of Skye only takes around half an hour but offers a stunning vista of Skye and the Small Isles called Rum, Eigg, Canna and Muck.

Once you have arrived on Skye, stay and explore the southern part of the island. You could make your way to Glenbrittle, where you will find the famous Fairy Pools, which make for a great walk underneath the peaks of the Cuillins mountain range. Or, you could head for Elgol, from where you can join a boat tour to one of Scotland’s most remote lochs, Loch Coruisk. Alternatively (especially if it rains) visit the Talisker Whisky Distillery in Carbost to learn everything about Scottish Single Malt Whisky and get a taster too!

Check out this post with more highlights on the Isle of Skye!

Isle of Skye Travel Essentials:

Where to Stay on the Isle of Skye | Accommodation on the Isle of Skye can book up far in advance, so make sure you book your B&B as early as possible – especially if you visit during the summer months or local holidays. We booked a B&B far off the beaten track to get some peace and quiet: Fineviews B&B in Carbost – to be more central I’d recommend staying in Portree!

Places to Eat on the Isle of Skye | The Isle of Skye might be big, but most villages are rather small and don’t have too many dining options. You will find the greatest variety of restaurants in Portree, but we also had a lovely meal at Taigh Ailean Hotel in Carbost.


The Best of Scotland in One Week (A complete 7-Day Itinerary) | Watch Me See | Scotland might be small, but if you look closer it seems hard to fit your entire bucket list into a week-long holiday! This complete 7-day itinerary for Scotland includes an ideal route for Scotland in one week, recommended activities, restaurants and accommodation and more tips to make this a trip of a lifetime!

Day 4: Isle of Skye

The Isle of Skye requires more than a day, especially if you want to visit such iconic places as the Old Man of Storr, Dunvegan Castle or the lighthouse at Neist Point. The earlier you can start your day, the better – it will be a long one.

Stop 1: Trotternish Peninsula

The Trotternish Peninsula alone could take up a whole day because this is where some of Skye’s most popular landmarks are located. The peninsula lies north of Portree, and I recommend following my route suggestion anti-clockwise. In this area, you will find the Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock, Mealt Falls and the moon-like landscape of the Quiraing. All worth a stop, but if you want to stop anywhere for a longer walk, I recommend either the Old Man of Storr (plan 2 hours) or an easy walk in the Quiraing! No matter where you walk, make sure you roam responsibly and adhere to the Scottish Outdoor Access Code!

Stop 2: Dunvegan Castle

While Dunvegan Castle is often left out of traditional Skye itineraries, I think it is an absolute highlight, especially if you are into landscape gardening and wildlife watching. Two things you must not miss while you’re visiting this castle: wandering the beautiful castle gardens and seeing everything in full bloom, and joining an official guided boat tour to the local seal colony!

Stop 3: Neist Point

Scottish lighthouses are there to impress (well, and to guide boats obviously) and Neist Point lighthouse is no exception. While I haven’t been lucky to see this lighthouse on a clear and dry day yet, I will keep trying and so should you!


The Best of Scotland in One Week (A complete 7-Day Itinerary) | Watch Me See | Scotland might be small, but if you look closer it seems hard to fit your entire bucket list into a week-long holiday! This complete 7-day itinerary for Scotland includes an ideal route for Scotland in one week, recommended activities, restaurants and accommodation and more tips to make this a trip of a lifetime!

Day 5: Eilean Donan Castle, Loch Ness & Inverness

Leaving Skye behind early in the morning and making your way off the island across the bridge, you come past the gorgeous Eilean Donan Castle – how could you not stop for a few photos?

Now, you make your way east to one of Scotland’s most legendary places: Loch Ness. Hardly any other place has had scientists and wannabe-scientists wonder about the local wildlife as much as this lake – and who could resist the myth of Nessie. I like to picture her as a friendly dinosaur-like creature that hides away until this world is finally friendly enough to welcome people/animals/creatures that are different. Until then, the myth lives on!

While I’m not one for the two (!) Nessie museums in Drumnadrochit, I can only recommend going on a monster hunting cruise on the loch! Another highlight in Drumnadrochit is a visit to the castle ruins of Urquhart Castle from where the views over the loch are particularly beautiful.

Final stop for the day is the town if Inverness, the capital of the Scottish Highlands. Base yourself here for the night, for a pole position for your way back south on the next day.

Loch Ness Travel Essentials:

Where to Stay at Loch Ness | To save yourself some time on the road, base yourself in Inverness, but both times I visited I actually stayed in Drumnadrochit, close by Urquhart Castle.

Restaurants in Inverness | Options in the smaller villages and towns are limited, but even if you don’t stay in Inverness, it’s worth the drive there for a Scottish meal at the Castle Tavern!


Urquhart Castle on the shore of the loch is the absolute highlight of a day tour to Loch Ness.

Day 6: Blair Castle, Pitlochry & Edinburgh

The drive from Inverness back down to Edinburgh takes just around 3-3.5 hours – but who wants to spend time on the motorway?  Here are a few stops to incorporate on your way down.

Stop 1: Loch Morlich

The Cairngorms National Park is worthy of a whole separate holiday, but if you only stop here, for one thing, make it Loch Morlich near Aviemore. It is arguably one of Scotland’s most beautiful lochs and you can either take a walk or try some water activities.

Stop 2: Blair Castle

While I’m not one for endless castle tours, the forest and gardens surrounding Blair Castle are worth the ticket and make for a great pit stop to stretch your feet after a couple of hours in the car.

Stop 3: Pitlochry

A quaint and picturesque town, Pitlochry is a very popular weekend getaway for many Scots. One highlight in the town is the Edradour Whisky Distillery, one of Scotland’s smallest!

Stop 4: South Queensferry

One final stop before you arrive in Edinburgh should be South Queensferry. From here you get a great view of the iconic Forth Railway Bridge that connects the Scottish capital with the region of Fife!


Stop 5: Arrive in Edinburgh

What better way to end your tour of Scotland’s highlights than in its capital: Edinburgh. Considering that you will probably arrive here in the late afternoon, give yourself a break and relax for a little while! Have a leisurely dinner and a sunset stroll up Calton Hill, maybe grab a drink in the Old Town, but other than that don’t stress yourself.

Edinburgh Travel Essentials:

Where to Stay in Edinburgh | Hotels in Edinburgh can be quite expensive and hard to come by – especially in the summer months and even more so during festival season in August. I’ve summed up my favourite hotels in Edinburgh for every budget here. Again, you might consider AirBnB instead, but try to book a private room, rather than a whole apartment. You can use my referral link to get £25 off your first booking!

Getting around Edinburgh | Edinburgh is a very walkable city, but you can get buses for longer distances. Taxis can be a bit expensive, but there is also Uber!

Things to Do in Edinburgh | Edinburgh has a lot to offer! Some of my favourite activities include the Camera Obscura, the Royal Botanical Garden, climbing Arthur Seat and visiting the National Museum of Scotland. Check out my Edinburgh articles for inspiration!

My favourite restaurants in Edinburgh | There are so many restaurants in Edinburgh’s Old Town, it can be quite tricky to tell the real gems from the tourist traps. Some of my favourite restaurants (which all offer vegan options) include Civerinos, Holy Cow, Harmonium, Hula Juice Bar and Casa Angelina.

Bars & Pubs in Edinburgh | Some of my favourite pubs in the Old Town are Whistlebinkies and the Halfway House, one of Edinburgh smallest pubs!


The Best of Scotland in One Week (A complete 7-Day Itinerary) | Watch Me See | Scotland might be small, but if you look closer it seems hard to fit your entire bucket list into a week-long holiday! This complete 7-day itinerary for Scotland includes an ideal route for Scotland in one week, recommended activities, restaurants and accommodation and more tips to make this a trip of a lifetime!

Day 7: Edinburgh

There is much to see in Edinburgh, you could easily fill a week. Luckily many of the highlights are within walking distance from each other so that you can easily get a good overview in one day. Note that if you want to visit multiple museums, the castle and other attractions you should consider adding one or two full days to your itinerary. Here are some suggestions on how to fill your day in Edinburgh:

– Get a great overview in very little time on board the Edinburgh City Tour by Rabbie’s – a small-group bus tour around the city in a convertible bus! Read my review of the tour here and book your spot!

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: The best tours of Edinburgh


– Visit Edinburgh Castle (save time with a skip-the-line ticket!).

– Test your senses at the Camera Obscura, a museum of optical illusions.

– Visit the National Museum of Scotland and make sure to go all the way up to its viewing platform.

– Escape the crowds by visiting the glasshouses in the Royal Botanic Gardens.

– Shop all the vintage you can find in and around the Grassmarket and the Stockbridge area – check out my ethical shopping guide for Edinburgh here!

– Patrol the Royal Mile and count how many bagpipe buskers you can find.

Book your advance tickets for top attractions and save time!


More Edinburgh recommendations:

Lunch & Coffee in Edinburgh | My top two cafe’s in Edinburgh must be Lovecrumbs and Hula Juice Bar in the Grassmarket area. For really nice falafel head to Palmyra Pizza close to the National Museum of Scotland.

Dinner grabs | Time to branch out and head to The Kings Wark in Leith, right by the shore of Leith Water! The fully vegan restaurant Harmonium lives up to its raving reviews too!

Cocktail time | The ultimate cocktail bar in Edinburgh is called Panda & Sons, a little speakeasy bar covered up as a gent’s barbershop! Try to find it!


Day 8: Goodbye Scotland!

After an eventful week, it is time to say goodbye again and make your way back to the airport. While you’ve some beautiful places all over the country, it is really impossible to see the whole of Scotland in one week, Next time you visit, make sure you bring a bit more time with you!

In fact, you could easily fill two weeks with this itinerary and do everything in a more relaxed manner, spend more nights in each location or add a few days in other destinations such as Oban, the Isle of Mull, the Cairngorms National Park, the Royal Deeside, Aberdeen & Aberdeenshire or St Andrews – to name just a few.

For more inspiration check out my post about 20 things to do in Scotland for first timers and find out what to bring on a Scotland trip by consulting my packing list.

Have you ever been to Scotland? What was your favourite experience or place to visit?


Planning a trip to Scotland?

Find accommodation, book your rental car or a guided tour with Rabbie’s.

Book day trips to explore the country or get advance tickets for attractions.

Read up in a travel guide and prepare for hikes with the OS Explorer maps.

Get your rain gear in place and browse my packing list.

Book your Glasgow tour with me or let me plan your itinerary.


Pin me for later: Scotland in one weekA week in Scotland is barely enough to scratch the surface, but see how many highlights you can fit with the classic itinerary for Scotland in one week.

All photos by Kathi Kamleitner.


64 comments on “The Best of Scotland in One Week (A complete 7-Day Itinerary)

  1. Hi Kathi
    We are planning to take Scotland trip from 28th Oct – 3rd Nov by car along with two children 5 and 7 yrs. Your itinerary seems great.

    We will have 7 days with us. Please advise will it be better to start from Glasgow or Edinburgh? Which stops can be left without regret although every place you mentioned is beautiful and worth seeing. Will we be able to cover so many stops in Oct given that the days will be shorter and it becomes difficult to leave early morning with kids.

    Are the hostels good for family accommodations? Looking for budget accommodation. Shall I book the stays now or shall wait for the prices to come down?

    will appreciate your response.


    • Hi Sam, thanks for your comment! I feel like you kind of answered your own question – I think with the shorter days and travelling with kids, you might be better off slowing down and doing fewer destinations in a more relaxed manner. It depends on your usual travel style though – but it is a lot of driving to do this itinerary in 7 days. For accommodation I don’t see why you wouldn’t book already – I doubt that prices will drop as most places have fixed rates. As for hostels, again, it depends. There are party hostels in Edinburgh, where you’d probably not want to stay with kids, but there are also hostels that are quieter and family-friendly. If you’d like to work with me to create a good itinerary based partially on this, but taking into account the needs of your family, please take a look at my travel planning service and get in touch via email: All the best, Kathi

  2. Thank you for the itinerary, as I found it very informative.. My husband and I are planning a 7 day trip, flying into Edinburgh, over the Christmas holiday. Knowing the weather may be changeable, do you think that it would be possible to visit the Isle of Skye and the surrounding areas as mentioned in your post?

    • Generally yes, but you might have to cut out some of the stops since the days are shorter – around Christmas and up north, you probably have only about 6-7 hours of daylight. One thing I’d be careful about are cancellation policies. It’s not super common, but just in case there is heavy snowfall and you have to change your route through the Highlands, you’d want to book accommodation that you can cancel on fairly short notice. I love Scotland in winter – the mountains are so beautiful in the snow!! Have a great trip!!

  3. Hi Kathi, I stumbled on your site while planning my Scotland trip this Oct. This is such a great site and I’m enjoying reading your posts in addition to using it as a source to plan my trip. We will be renting a car and driving around but would also like to take the famous Jacobite steam train/ West Highland train past the Glenfinnan Viaduct. However, we are driving as well so does this mean we will have to leave our car at Fort William and take the return train trip to Malliag and back and thereafter, drive from Fort William to Malliag to continue with your itinerary? Sounds like there must be a better solution then going back and forth Fort William and Malliag! Would appreciate your help 🙂

    • Hi James, Unfortunately, I can’t think of a better way of doing this – ideally you could add a day to my 7-day itinerary which you spend in Fort William and do the Jacobite train as a day trip activity. Unfortunately, there is no way of transporting your car on the train… Driving the Road to the Isles is also a fantastic experience without the train though, and you can stop along the way and take photos of the train (e.g. when it crosses Glenfinnan Viaduct). I hope you have a fab trip!!

  4. Sherri R

    As far as the scenery goes…do you think it’s preferable to go clockwise…or do you think it does not matter?


    • I don’t think it really matters, to be honest 😉 But if the sun is shining, I’d want it in my back when driving through the Highlands, thus I’d stick with clockwise!

  5. Thanks for this great post! My husband and I will be visiting Scotland at the end of August and plan to follow your itinerary since you do such a wonderful job laying it all out. I do have a few questions— if I rent a car in Glasgow, is it easy to drive in the city? Also, does the ferry to the Isle of Skye involve taking the rental car with you or do you have to leave the car and get a new rental on the Isle? Thank you!

    • Thanks for your questions! It’s easy enough to drive in the city, e.g. from the airport to your hotel or a car park nearby; however, for sightseeing I’d walk and take public transport or the hop on, hop off bus to save yourself the hassle of inner city traffic. And for the ferry from Mallaig to Skye you have to take the car across with you – I suggest buying the ticket in advance to get the time you want! It’s a busy crossing!

      • Maria Tanti Lombardo

        To continue on this post, to go back to Mallaig, do you take the ferry back or did you mention a bridge?! Thanks for all the info in this itenary. We’re planning a holiday for April with two young kids, and I think this will be too much for them,which places would you suggest to cut down from this itenary? Thanks 🙂

  6. Christina

    thank you so much for this! my brother and I will be visiting in 2 months! you are amazing!

    • Thank you for your comment! I hope my blog posts are useful for your trip 🙂 Have a lovely holiday!!

  7. This is great! Just today decided we’d like to try to plan a trip in August. Will be traveling with our 20- and 17-year old kids. Any recommendations for teen/young adult highlights?

    • Hi Kim, thanks for your question! Of course, it really depends on what they’re generally interested in. There are many shorter walks in the areas I mention in the itinerary ( is a great resource for that). I really like the gondola up the Nevis Range, and seeing the Harry Potter train crossing the Glenfinnan viaduct is always a highlight. I also highly recommend the boat tour on Skye from Dunvegan Castle to the seal colony. Doing a small cruise on Loch Ness is a lot of fun and on Loch Lomond you could rent kayaks. You could look into companies like Vertical Descent or Nae Limits to see if they offer any activities along the route! Hope this helps and you all have a fun trip!!

  8. katie Phillips

    This is all so great! I am landing in Edinburgh so do you recommend just taking transport from Edinburgh to Glasgow and follow the same plan? should I make any stops along the way?

    • Hi Katie, thank for your question. The itinerary is written with a rental car in mind, so if you land and depart from Edinburgh I’d get a car there and add the 45 minutes it takes to drive to Glasgow. It’s not far!

  9. Vaishali

    Hi Kathi,

    lovely Itenary. We too plan to visit Scotland end July .Would like to follow a few places from ur Itenary
    Loch Lomond, Glen Coe & Fort William.Which place would be easy to stay in order to make day trips to “Loch Lomond, Glen Coe & Fort William” also we would have one more complete day to move around and than plan a stay over at Edinburg


    • I’d probably base myself in the middle – so around Glencoe – and do day trips from there! Crianlarich might also be a good option. Have a great trip! If you have an additional day, I’d just spend it in one of the destinations you wanted to see anyway – there’s always more to do, and it takes the stress out a little bit!

  10. Ramji Rungta

    Hi Kathi
    Your seven day itinerary is really great!! Just wanted to know whether i can squeeze in St Andrews somewhere??

    • Hi Ramji, honestly, you’d have to take something else out – like instead of spending time at Loch Ness and staying over night in Inverness, driving straight from Skye to St Andrews in one day. It’s a long drive, so I wouldn’t recommend taking the detour to Loch Ness on the same day. You can only fit so much into 7 days in Scotland, and it’s already a very tightly packed itinerary…

  11. Pingback: The Active Scotland Itinerary: One Week in Scotland

  12. Harish Kumar

    Hi Kathi,

    A Big Thank you for helping many travelers like me with exciting details about Scotland. I’m planning for a 5-Day Scotland trip during Easter holidays (31st March – 4th April) along with my family which includes 4 month old daughter 🙂 . I have sent you an email with our sample plan . However would need your suggestion on this as our main criteria to go to nice scenery places that are easy to commute by Car.

    Thanks in Advance

  13. Hi,
    you have an amazing scotland itinerary. I will be visiting from UK, hence i will be taking a bus to either edinburgh or glascow. I will be traveling for 5 full days and I want to see the main attractions. could you give me recommendations or a good 5 days itinerary in scotland.


  14. Hi Kathi,
    Finished planning our road trip today with accommodations booked! We decided on 1st night in Glasgow, then Oban, Fort William, 2 nights on Skye, Inverness, Pitlochry and 2 night in Edinburgh. I know its a lot to fit in, but figured it would give a good overview, then we can decide what areas to spend more time in on another trip. Thanks so much for your blog. I didn’t know how to begin planning this, so I found it so helpful!

    • Great itinerary – you will have a such a beautiful and diverse trip through Scotland! And as you say, there is always a next time to see even more 🙂 Let me know how you got on!!

  15. Enjoyed looking at your classic Scotland Itinerary which we plan to follow. We are heading to Scotland in May and have 9 days. Trying to decide what to add in to fill the 2 extra days. Was contemplating a night in Oban. But then would also like to check out Balmoral Caslte and St Andrews. Is this all too much to try to fit in?

    • Distance-wise you could probably also do the Royal Deeside for Balmoral Castle or a night in St Andrews on your way from Inverness to St Andrews, but it’s almost like opening a new cookie jar and then only eating half a cooke with only 2 nights… To be honest, I’d probably try to add more nights within the itinerary – Oban is a good call, or another night in Fort William, especially if you’d like to do some hiking in the Glencoe area! Hope that helps 🙂

      • Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. Definitely plan to add a night in Oban after reading your post about it. The 2nd night, still not sure ….will need to do some more thinking about that. Just wish I had more time! Thanks for your great blog. it’s been so helpful in planning this trip.

        • You’ll love Oban – it’s such a pretty town and the scenery around it is amazing! Unfortunately there is never enough time to see everything – but that’s a good reason to come back 🙂 Hope you find a nice place to stay for that last night – would love to hear how your trip went!

          • Still trying to decide the extra night. Plan to either book a 2nd night in Fort William/Glencoe area or book a night in Pitlochry after leaving Inverness. This would allow more time in the Cairngorms before heading back to Edinburgh. Wondered if you had an opinion on this.

          • Oh yeah, that’s a great call! Aviemore area or Pitlochry area – both really beautiful 🙂

  16. This seems like the perfect itinerary for us! I’m so happy I found it. After planning we realized we have one more day to just take it easy, so where would you suggest we spend a little extra time? Thanks!

    • Hi Becca, happy you found my itinerary helpful! I would suggest to either spend two nights in the Fort William or one in Glencoe, one in Fort William to allow more time for Glencoe and Ben Nevis area! If you wanted to squeeze another destination, spend Day 2 driving from Glasgow along Loch Lomond to Oban (my favourite coastal town and a great wee road trip through Argyll), and on Day 3 drive through Glencoe (definitely do the detour of driving through the valley) to Fort William! Cheers, K

  17. Pingback: How to Plan a Trip to Scotland |

  18. Hi Kelly – Great info. We are staying in St. Andrews for a week in october for a golf trip. Do you have any recommendations as far as food/pubs go? Any must sees in St Andrews besides the golf? This will be my first trip to Scotland so I want to be sure I get the most of it! Thank you!

  19. Hi Kathi,

    I love this itinerary! My mom and I will be going in October, but we were hoping to actually be able to do at least one of the hikes (maybe the three sisters, though a recommendation would be appreciated) and visit St. Andrews for a day, as well as see the isle of skye and glen coe. We have 7 days – do you think this is possible? Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

  20. Hi Kathi,

    I read your itinerary and found it pretty exciting. However, me and my husband from India would be travelling in October 1st week but we have already finalized our stay at all places starting from Edinburgh to Inverness to Glasgow. Can you help us further with the best places we can cover in a week accordingly? It would be great if you can provide me with your email id to discuss it further.

    • Hi Surbhi, I’d be happy to help with suggestions! If you send me your itinerary (like how many nights of accommodation you’ve booked where and your mode of transport) I can come up with some ideas. It’s Cheers, Kathi

      • Hi Kathi,

        Thanks for your reply. I have mailed you the details.
        Let me know if you need more info.
        Thanks, Surbhi

  21. Hi! This post is perfect as I’ll be traveling to Scotland in a couple weeks. I’m traveling alone from the US and was a little worried about driving (left side, being alone, stopping on the side of the road for pictures, where to get gas, etc.). Do you have any tips for the solo traveler? Or maybe suggestions on attempting this itinerary on public transport?!

    • You would definitely be able to do this itinerary by train and bus, but it would mean that you might have to leave out a few sights and stopping along the road for photos would be harder/impossible. I’d still suggest a rental car, and simply taking it slowly until you’re used to the left-side traffic – happens faster than you’d think. There are always plenty of lay-bys for photo stops and people are used to tourists on the roads – you won’t be the only one 🙂 There are petrol stations in most towns and villages along this route, and distances aren’t so far, that you’d run into trouble if you drive for a whole day without filling up. I hope this helps you gain some confidence and go for the rental car – it’s simply the most flexible mode of transport!

  22. I did the same itinerary about a month ago, in a little bit different order. I’d spend more time in Skye hiking the coast lines and Glen Coe hiking the other trails there. I can agree with your comment on Ft. William. Spent one too many days there, that I wish I would habe spent on Skye instead. There’s always next time!

    • Sounds like you had a great time in Scotland! Any additional day for hiking is a winner 🙂 Where did you hike in Glencoe?

  23. Hi Kathi, my fiance and I just finished a trip to Scotland following your 7-day itinerary, and I just wanted to say a big thank you! Each day’s drive had so much to see and covered enough ground, which made the whole experience a lot of fun. We also may not have stopped by Blair Castle if not for your recommendation, which would have been a shame; it was simply stunning! My fiance is a big whisky fan, so before we left Inverness, we took a small detour to take in a little of the Malt Whiskey Trail and check out some distilleries. Overall, it was such a great experience. Thank you so much for posting such a detailed guide and Google map, complete with food stops and ideas. It was super appreciated!
    Much love from Canada!

    • Hello Ada, thank you so much for your feedback! Sometimes I feel like this blog is taking up so much of my spare time, I doubt whether I spend too much time on it – comments like yours prove me wrong 😀 I’m glad you had a fantastic trip and managed to see so much of Scotland! The whiskies from Speyside are probably my favourites, but I’ve never visited a Distillery up there – which one dod you go to?

  24. Hi, I am coming to Scotland in May, thanks for putting otgethere such a comprehensive itinerary, thislooks amazing. I arrive Saturday around 10am and leave the following Friday so It seems like if I follow this itinerary I will have one day to do either Glasgow or Edinbourgh. Any advice on which to skip? or another place you would cut out instead? Also, any advice on how to do this or a similar itinerary without a car?? Thank you so much!

    • Thanks for your comment! Instead of spending a night in Fort William and taking the ferry to Skye via Mallaig, you could drive on after Fort William and head to Skye via the bridge which is faster and cheaper. That already save you a night. You could also instead of spending a night around Loch Ness, visit the Loch/Castle ruins on your way from Skye to Edinburgh – that can easily be done in one day of driving! Another night saved. Hope this helps! Cheers, Kathi

      • Thank you so much! I was also wondering if you have any distillery suggestions

        • I have by far not visited all of them, but I really liked the Edradour distillery in Pitlochry as it’s tiny – I think the smallest operating one in Scotland – and they had delicious whiskey liqueur, which tasted like Bailey’s but better. There is also Talker on Skye, which is great for a rainy day activity, and Glengoyne near Glasgow which is the southernmost distillery in the Highlands and has a great 18 year old to try! There is also a distillery in Fort William, Ben Nevis, but I’ve not been yet!

  25. Great post! We are motorhoming around scotland in June and I have taken note of your suggestions to plan our amazing itinerary!


    • That’s so cool – I’ve always wanted to do that! How much time do you have! If you need any help planning your itinerary, let me know!

  26. Hello Kathi,
    We will be in Scotland for a week and we would like to assume your classic one week itinerary.
    We will arrive to Edinburgh airport in the night and we will sleep in a hotel in the airport, so our first day will start there.
    Do you advice to spend all the first day in Glasgow or maybe to begin/finish the day somewhere else?
    Thank you,

    • Hi David, I think Glasgow would be a great day 1 – it’s such a great city that gets overlooked way too often. It’s also a great starting point to drive up north from, as it’s so close to Loch Lomond and the Highlands. If you have a rental car you could also spend the day exploring Stirling Castle, the Kelpies and or the Trossachs – and then spend the evening in Glasgow and go to a cool pub 🙂 Let me know if you need any more help planning!

      • Hi Kathi,
        Thank you for your response.
        How much different are the Trossachs from Loch Lomond area?
        Do you think that it is possible to visit the Trossachs for the first half of the day and then have enough time for the shopping areas in Glasgow?
        We will have a rental car and it seems to be an hour drive from Edinburgh Airport to the Trossachs and an hour from there to Glasgow.
        Thank you,

        • Hi David, well the Trossachs are basically the hills east of Loch Lomond. The drive from Callander to Aberfoyle via Loch Achray is gorgeous – you could easily do that in the morning and then drive down to Glasgow for some shopping in the afternoon!

          • Hi Kathi,
            Are the Three Sisters, the ridge of Aonach Eagach and Buachaille Etive Mòr possible to see in a one week Itinerary? you mentioned that we will not have time to climb any of these but will it be possible to stop somewhere near road A82 and visit these places?
            Thank you,

          • Hi David, absolutely! Buachaille Etive Mòr lies just at the entrance of Glen Coe – just before actually – and there’s a carpark from where you get a great view; the other two can both be seen from the same carpark in the glen a little further down the A82. The views are gorgeous and most travelers stop at these carparks to get some photos 🙂

  27. This is a great itinerary! I’m definitely going to save it and break it down into some weekend trips from London. We’ve been meaning to see more of Scotland, but it’s so hard to decide where to start! Isle of Skye seems so far out and complicated to get to, so I like your ideas of stopping at places along the way so it doesn’t seem so bad.

    • Hey Kelly, yeah, for Isle of Skye is not really something I’d recommend for a weekend trip – it’s just too far to drive (although there are busses). I guess its biggest advantage is that you can reach it over a bridge and you’re not bound to specific ferry times necessarily! Either way, I hope you enjoy your weekend trips to Scotland – there’s so much to see 😀 Thanks for your comment!

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