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.

Travelling to Scotland in 2020?
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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!

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! If you’re into wildlife tours like this, you might also enjoy this post.

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!

7-Day Scotland Itinerary Map

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 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 week


All photos by Kathi Kamleitner.


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

  1. Tarun Davuluri

    Hi Kathi,

    This is so informative. Thanks a lot for the detailed write-up. I just need one advice from you.

    1. I’m planning for a week trip (Oct 2-10). One option is to join any group as I’m a solo traveller so that it will be economical (I believe, pls correct me if I’m wrong) Would you pls suggest an agency or travel company (Affordable)

    2. I heard that landscape of Scotland and a friend of mine suggested to do more hiking and camping. I’m not sure if there will be any groups which do only hiking and camping in Scotland. In case if you know, could you pls help me with details. If not, any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance!

    • There are lota of companies that run walking holidays in Scotland (I.e. WalkaboutScotland), but I’m not aware of any companies that combine more leisurely hikes with sightseeing and road tripping. My personal fave would be Rabbie’s – they’re a local company and only use 16-seater buses, so all small groups. Their drivers always try to include a couple of shorter hikes/walks in their itineraries! Other great options are Timberbush Tours, Haggis Adventures or Highland Explorer Tours.

  2. Hi Kathi,

    We are planning for a road trip from Glasgow to Edinburgh. Just thought of checking if hiring a car from Enterprise or Alamo is safe/preferred/advisable. I note that you had mentioned your preferred ones (Europcar, Avis and Sixt) but right there are not too many deals on any of the 3. A quick response will help as we will be landing on Sunday, 22nd Sept, 2019.

    • Just to add, I am also looking at National, apart from Enterprise or Alamo. Please let us know if it safe/preferred/advisable to go with any of these.

    • Hi Lalit, I’ve not personally hired from National or Alamo before, but since they are big international companies, I would not worry about it – I’m sure they are fine! I hired from Enterprise last month and it was great! have a fab trip!

  3. I will plan for the Scotland tour 2 days on December 2019. After I read the articles am going to extent my tour days and visit the places you have mentioned. Thank you..

    • I’m glad to hear that my blog could convince you to extend your stay! I’m sure you won’t regret it – 2 days would not be enough 🙂

  4. …I forgot to add that castles are my favorite thing to see…so perhaps another popular one or so?

  5. I am planning a solo trip for May 2020 and I am so happy I found your site, thank you so much for all your effort. I am going to follow your itinerary and add on 3 days so I can see a Highland Games. Assuming that just adds on 1 day somewhere in there, where would you recommend I spend the extra 2 days?
    I will rent a car based on your advice…hopefully I will adjust quickly like you said.

    • Usually, I’d say Oban on the west coast – but with your love for castles, I think you should spend time in Aberdeenshire and explore the Scottish Castle Trail! Definitely Dunottar Castle by the coast, but there are tons of beautiful castles in the area, such as Craigievar or Fraser! Lots to choose from!

      • That sounds amazing, I can’t thank you enough!! I’m super excited.

        If I pack very lightly would I have trouble finding places to wash my clothes?

        • Hm, I’m not sure actually. Some hotels would have laundry service, but you might also find laundrettes in bigger places like Fort William or Inverness. I’d definitely google that though to be prepared!

  6. Hi Kathi,
    I am so happy to find your blog..
    I am planning to spend 7 days in Scotland, with one stop in Edinburg and Glasgow…Coming solo I was a bit uneasy about it, but I realized that 6 days tours would be about 800-900 pounds approx., which I think is a lot..Now I am tailoring my own trip and would kindly ask you for an advice…What do you think if I take a Scotish railway pass for 8 days?. I know I will be slower…
    does it really mean that I can use some bus lines as well? that would be great thing to have on Skye…
    also, do I need to book the train fares, or I just show up?
    Is there a good tour operator that you can recommend if I am to do some longer trekking?

    • Hi Lidija, Thanks for reading the article and your questions. I’m glad you’re finding the info here useful!

      Railway passes can be a great way to travel around by public transport, but I would definitely compare it with buying train and bus tickets individually – the passes can be restrictive as to how many days/times you can travel, so I’d do the maths to make sure it’s worth it.

      I use Trainline to buy individual train tickets,, and Citylink for most intercity bus routes. Megabus also has some bus routes in Scotland and can be very cheap. Booking in advance can be cheaper, especially on longer routes and you definitely have to purchase tickets before you board the train (at ticket machines or shops in the stations).

      You will definitely be slower on public transport and I recommend focussing on a smaller radius, maybe using one or two homebases to explore the country from there.

      I don’t have any personal experience with organised hiking holidays in Scotland – I always go by myself – but Walkabout Scotland is a great company,, and Girls on Hills is perfect for guided day hikes,

      I hope you have a great trip!

      All the best, Kathi

  7. Lori B Kurtyka

    Really appreciate your recommendations! We’re thinking going all the way to Skye is too ambitious for our family, but we would like to fit in some hiking. Where would you recommend?

    • Oh, so many other great places! I highly recommend the website for route descriptions and info. You could hike in the Trossachs national park – around Loch Lomond – or in Glencoe; there is also lovely hiking around Pitlochry and Aberfeldy. Lots of options 🙂

  8. Hi Kathi,

    Love the detailed post! We are planning to start from London – LHR from 14th Sept(Saturday) and return on 20th Spet(Friday) we are planning to take the train. Could you tell what would be the best location to return to LHR(or near by) on 20th ?


    • Hi Chai, thanks for your message! I’m not sure I fully understand your question – are you asking for a good place to base yourself near London Heathrow? I’m sorry, but I don’t know the south of England very well, so I would not be able to recommend anywhere. In terms of Scotland though, I highly recommend relaxing the itinerary if you have only 7 days including travel to and from London – otherwise you’ll spend more time on the road, than actually enjoying the destinations. If you are not driving in Scotland either, I also recommend relaxing the itinerary as it’s written with a rental car in mind. I hope you have a great trip! All the best, Kathi

  9. Hi, we are planning to do this tour from the 25th of September to the 4th of October. Can you tell us if this is a high peak season? I am asking because we are unsure if we need to book B&Bs in advance or we can do it day by day.

    Another question… I know that weather in Scotland is impossible to forecast, but can you tell us if you think it will always rain or we will have some sun?

    Thank you in advance and compliments on the web site and the tour organisation! It’s brilliant!

    • Hi Luca, thanks for your comment and questions!

      The end of September/early October is not peak high season anymore, but depending on the areas you want to see and stay in, it might still be advisable to book ahead (i.e. Fort William, Skye, Loch Ness). Popular areas can still be very busy.

      Regarding the weather, you answered you own question 😉 It is impossible to tell. You might have some sunshine, you might have some rain. I’ve had both on different trips at that time of the year. I’d pack wisely and prepare for any weather.

      Have a fab trip! Kathi

  10. We just did this itinerary and it was awesome. July 19 – 25, family of four, Saint Lucia WI.

    • Hi there, thanks a lot for your feedback and taking the time to come back here after your trip! I’m glad you had a fab trip and found this information useful 🙂

  11. Dear Kathi,

    Really appreciate the hard work you have done ! I am planing a trip for 6 days in Scotland end of Dec 19
    Starting from Edinburgh route going up to Inverness then Isle and then coming back to Glasgow.
    I was a little curious as I am travelling with my family in Winter can I cover something more or do you think this good ?

    thanks a lot for your help 🙂

    • Hi Vishal, thanks for your question! In the winter, days are much shorter and you might have to leave out a few things on this itinerary. You could even leave out stops along the way or cut a destination in order to spend more time in the other places. I don’t recommend adding even more as this is already a very packed itinerary during the long summer days! I hope you have a great trip! All the best, Kathi

  12. Hey Kathi,

    Loving this itinerary and want to actually go ahead with this but I would like to squeeze in Doune castle would you recommend us doing it when we get to Edinburgh?
    I would also like to see coos and wild ponies, do you by any chance know where we could come across these at the stops you have shown on this itinerary? or any other isle we could go to without staying in glasgow and driving straight to Oban and taking a day trip to isle of rum or mull?
    We would be arriving to Edinburgh from London at 8:30 am on the 1st of August and leaving on the 7th of August at 6:00 pm

    Would really appreciate your recommendation!

    • You could visit Doune Castle on the way from Pitlochry to Edinburgh. I’m not sure about ponies, but I’m sure you find Highland cows along the way – some hotels keep them nearby too!

      Regarding other islands, even if you go straight to Oban, I’d recommend staying there 2 nights in order to spend a full day on an island (or take evening ferries and spend one night on an island). Mull is the closest from Oban and there’s a lot to do/see. There are also boat trips available from Oban. Rum can only be reached from Mallaig and you have to walk or cycle on the island as you can’t bring your car across.

      It sounds like you’re trying to squeeze in a lot in those 7 days you’ve got – the itinerary is already very packed, so if you add something you’ll have to take something else away.

      I hope you have an amazing trip!!

  13. Hi Kathi,

    Thanks you for taking the time to share all of this information. I am planning a trip with my wife in September. This was a great start to our information gathering. My wife and I are of Scottish decent and are really looking forward to tracing our roots. I am so thankful for your restaurant help, in notating the places that serve vegan options!! It seems as though you’re vegan and that information is relevant to you, or Scotland might be on trend. Either way, kudos for that m8. I loved the entry. Thanks again for getting us started.


    • Hi Dallas, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. Glad you found the post useful! It’s a bit of both – I’m vegan, but Scotlans is also just really on board with that as a whole. Lots of restaurants and pubs now cater to a variety of dietary requirements and usually you will find something pretty much anywhere 🙂 Have a great trip! Kathi

  14. Hello!
    Great blog! My husband and I are visiting Scotland for the first time next month from the US. Staying 3 nights in Glasgow, two nights in Inverness and 4 nights in Edinburgh. We’re taking the train to get to Inverness and then to Edinburgh. While we’re in Inverness we want to see Culloden , Loch Ness, Eilean Donan Castle and possible Portree but that may be a stretch. My question to you is that we probably need to rent a car to accomplish this and I’m wondering how difficult the drive is in the Highlands. My husband is very weary about driving there but I just don’t see how else we could see the sights we want to without a car rental. I need some first hand knowledge/experience/advice on thoughts of driving in the Highlands for people from the US (that drive on the other side! LOL). Can you please help put our minds at ease? Any advice you could offer is greatly appreciated! Thank you!

    • Hi Jill, glad you’re enjoying my model itinerary!

      You can visit Culloden by using local public transport – there’s a bus that goes there as far as I know. I’d use Google Maps to find out the best route.

      If you are nervous about driving, I recommend getting a guided tour. Rabbie’s does different 1-day tours from Inverness that include things like Loch Ness, Eilean Donan Castle and the Isle of Skye! Skye, in particular, is a long drive and day if you want to do it all independently! You can check out their tours here.

      Driving on the left is a bit weird in the beginning, but you get used to it pretty quickly. It’s the narrow roads that are more difficult for drivers who are used to wide American roads. It will tire you out and needs a lot more concentration, especially if you do single-track roads. If I only had a few days, I would probably prefer leaving the driving to someone else, so I can relax, look out the window and soad it all up.

      Hope this helps! All the best, Kathi

  15. Lauren Rocco

    Thank you for all the info! Is there a way to get a pdf or easier format for the 7 day tour? Also, If you spent the first 2 nights in Glasgow, what would be the best way to tweak the tour? Flying in to Glasgow from US, getting there around 2 so plan to take it easy that day and start Day 1 on Day 2 of our trip. Thanks in advance. Actually sending my husband for a sabbatical, I know he will love it!

    • Hi Lauren, thanks for your comment! You make me want to create an e-book for this itinerary… Until I have time for that, feel free to print the blog post or create a spreadsheet based on it – I love spreadsheets for travel planning! To your itinerary question: If you spend 2 nights in Glasgow that leaves you with 5 nights for the rest of the itinerary. To be honest, I’d probably take out the two nights on Skye and re-distribute the free night you get by doing that . to either somewhere between Glasgow and Fort William (maybe a detour to Oban) or spend two nights in Fort William. If you’d like any more help with your itinerary, check out my travel consultation service: I hope you have a great trip 🙂 ALl the best, Kathi

      • Lauren Rocco

        Thank you so much! Just to make sure I am reading it correctly, this itinerary suggest 2 nights in Portree or somewhere close by?

        • Yes, I always recommend spending at least 2 nights on Skye. Portree is a good option, because there is a lot of infrastructure (tours, shops, restaurants), but places like Dunvegan or Uig (in the north), Broadford (central) or Carbost (west) are also nice options! I’m talking more about options on Skye in this post: Have a great trip!

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  17. Hi Kathi, I just wanted to say thank you SO MUCH for this blog. My husband and I live in the UK after moving from Australia and my father-in-law recently arrived for a visit. His big request was to see Scotland and so I set about planning a 7 day road trip. How excited I was when I found this blog. I’m happy to report that just two days ago we returned from our wonderful trip and I followed your itinerary exactly! Everything is so well thought out and I even used your other blogs to plan sections of each day. Thank you so much!!! My father-in-law had a blast seeing all the top spots and I was so glad that I had an expert in my pocket during our trip.

    • Hi Sigourney, thank you so much for taking the time to comment and also the shout out in your blog post! I’m so glad you discovered Watch Me See and found the right inspiration for your Scotland trip. Your photos look lovely – I hope you had a great time and don’t let too much time pass before you return for more of Scotland 🙂 Take care!

    • I will be going SOLO, am healthy fit retired gal, and will not rent a car. At first Kathi said one could get around Scotland without a car, but somewhere I missed how that is done. She mentions subway and buses to use in Glasgow but after that it seems one has a car. I would greatly appreciate knowing about the getting about without a rental car.

      • Hi Valerie, as I say fairly early on in this post this itinerary is written with a rental car in mind. In the city there is no need to drive yourself though because it’s easier to walk, take public transport or use taxis b3cause parking and one-way systems can be a nightmare for new arrivals. I don’t have a similar itinerary post for public transport, but you can find out more about different ways to get around Scotland here: Hope this helps! All the beat, Kathi

  18. Hi Kathi!
    I wanted to tell you a short, kinda funny story!
    My boyfriend and I are planning a trip to Scotland in July and we recently booked our Airbnbs. I still enjoy perusing blogs for new ideas of stops along the way and came across your seven day itinerary, so it perked my interest since that was the time we have planned.
    Your itinerary is the exact opposite one I have planned based on the sites we are wanting to see!
    Starting in Edinburgh, traveling to Inverness, Isle of Skye, Fort William, and finishing up in Glasgow, enjoying as much of the sites as we are able in between!

    Is there a reason you have your itinerary set from Glasgow to Edinburgh?


    • Hi Kate, that’s funny – but just proves that this really is a Classics itinerary 😉 I live in Glasgow which is why I have started this loop there in the past – I don’t see a reason why you couldn’t do it in reverse! I hope you have an amazing trip!!

  19. Great itinerary!!! We followed and had great fun!! Tranks for sharing it!

  20. Joanna Healey

    Hi, we are going to holiday in Scotland this summer and I love your itinerary! We would really like to bring our dog with us, are there many dog friendly places to stay? Many thanks

  21. Julia Denby

    We are thinking of touring with a caravan is this a good idea

    • Hi Julia, lots of people explore Scotland in a camper. As long as your comfortable driving a large vehicle, I don’t see why not 🙂

  22. Kartiki Prayag

    Hi Kathy..ur site is very useful.. we are a group of 15 pple travelling to scotland in May..

    we have booked 3N in an Airbnb in Kirkhill , Inverness. Can you plz suggest what all we can cover in 3 days from Inverness..we really want to do Isle of Skye and what all can be covered in 3 whole days.. due to time and leaves contraint we have only 3days.. how can we make the most of last 1N we have in Edinburg… Thank u in advance

    • Hi Kartiki, oh there is a lot to see in the Inverness area. It depends a lot on what you’re interested in, how you plan to get around and how much time you want to spend on the road/out of the car at attractions. Skye is a long day trip from Inverness with lots of driving. There are also many organised day trips leaving from Inverness. If you drop me an email at [email protected] I’m happy to send you info regarding my itinerary consultation services! All the best, Kathi

  23. Love your site . We are planning a trip to Scotland in Oct. We have first 2 nights booked in Edinburgh and our last 2 nights booked in Glasgow (where fly out from). Leaving 3 nights in between that we were thinking from Edinburgh we would drive to Glencoe, Portree, Oban (spending one night in each ) then landing in Glasgow for last 2 nights. Does the 3 night road trip in between our time in Edinburgh & Glasgow sound too aggressive? Wanted a quick taste of Highland and islands between cities. Thanks!

    • Hi Dave, many thanks for your comment! Personally, I wouldn’t go as far as Portree if I only had one night on Skye. My recommendation would be to do a night in the Glencoe area and two in Oban. From there, do a day trip to visit some of the nearby islands (Mull, Iona, Kerrera, Lismore etc.) – that way you’ll get the best of Highlands and Islands without having to spend too much time in the car! Hope you have an amazing trip!

  24. Hi Kathi, your itinerary and suggestions seem fantastic.I will be travelling to Scotland end of June for a week.
    I was wondering if after the Jacobite – we could do Islay instead of the Isle of Sky?

    Was thinking of taking a ferry to Port Ellen.


    • Hi Vipul, it depends on how much time to have – Skye is more or less on the way north to Inverness, Islay is a significant distance away from Inverness. So if you wanted to continue with the rest of this itinerary north, it would probably be easier if you have a few extra days. If you’re keen to see Islay within this time frame, check out my Argyll itinerary which you could expand by adding Islay: I hope this helps! All the best, Kathi

  25. Prince A Balwah

    I would like to visit Scotland from 27th to 31 May from London and would like have some advice on B&B for four (4) people along the routes on a daily basis. I will be grateful if you can advise.
    Many thanks

  26. Hello Kathi,
    Loved you blog post. You help many people with these tips (like me – it will be my 1st time to Scotland).
    We will arrive to Edinburgh airport late at night. So I was thinking if it’s better to start next morning our journey by driving to Inverness, and actually follow your 7-day itinerary, but the other way around (then to Isle of Sky, then Glasgow, and back to Edinburgh). What do you think?

    • Hi Vasilis, I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t to it in the reverse direction! If you land late, definitely spend the night in the airport area before heading out the next day – better get some rest before such a long drive 🙂 Have an amazing journey!

  27. Julia Tharp

    Hi! I’m planning a trip to Scotland for June/July 2020. I’m mostly sticking to your itinerary, but have one question. I understand to get the Isle of Skye, take the ferry from Mallaig to Armadale, but coming back from Skye to the mainland (on to Loch Ness) where should I catch the ferry? Thank you!

    • Hi Julia, there is a bridge from Kyleakin on Skye to Kyle of Lochalsh on the mainland! You dont have to take the ferry, I just recommend it in my itinerary so you don’t drive the same road twice and see something different instead! Have a great trip!

  28. Hi Kathi. Hope you can help in determining how to spend two days….leaving Inverness Saturday morning in May and needing to be near Edinburgh airport Sunday night. We’d like to ride the gondola near Fort William and do one of the walks at the top. Anything else like this and where would be a good place to stay overnight? It seems a shame to miss Loch Lomond, but not sure best way to navigate and spend our (very short) time in that area. We will already have seen Stirling. We are a party of 5 with 3 teens in tow. Thanks!

    • Hi Suzanne, happy to give some advice! I’d stay in the area around Glencoe. Saturday – drive along Loch Ness, gondola & walks at Nevis Range and potentially some light walking at Glen Nevis. Sunday – light hiking in Glencoe (see suggestions here: and drive to EDI airport via Crianlarich and Callander; I think that’s the quickest way! You could also book a half-day activity around Fort William or Glencoe on Sunday morning before driving to the airport! Have a fab trip! 🙂

  29. Hi Kathi, I’m really enjoying your site. I’m heading to Scotland for the first time in March. My cousin is getting married in Ayrshire. I’ve been a bit disappointed to read that many of the attractions aren’t open until April, such as the steam train and numerous castles. In your experience, is it still worth a visit to see the outsides even if the castles themselves are closed in March? Any other recommendations for that time of year? Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Roxy, personally I wouldn’t be too worried about attractions not being open yet. To me, the main attraction is the landscape and that never closes! Visiting castles when they are closed can still be absolutely worth it to take photos and see how grand they are! Some have a gate, so you can’t get to then, but others you can get right up close! Hope you have a lovely trip!

  30. Is your google map for this itinerary still available? I saw a comment mentioning it, but couldn’t find a link.

    • Hi Andrew, I’m not quite sure what had happened to the Map, but it’s embedded now again at the end of the post! You can also access it here!

  31. Bansari Dedhia

    Hi Kathi,
    This is Bansari from India. I just loved ur itinerary. I am travelling to Scotland in May with my husband and 7 year old daughter. But we are not comfortable driving abroad so can u suggest places or ur itinerary itself where i can use public transport and take tours where public transport is inaccesible. I know by taking public transport would mean missing out many things but would really love if you could help me with similar itienerary by public transport and take tours wherever necessary….
    Thanks !

  32. Miriam Conzen

    Thanks for that awesome itinery! I’ve looked at different itinerys but this one seems to include so much more! I do have one question though: all of the itinerys I looked at seem to start by going north via the western route (Lomond, Fort William, GlenCoe) towards Skye and are coming back down via the Eastern Route (Pitlochry). Is there a specific reason for that? Or could one just as easily start East and end West?
    Thanks so muchc!

    • Hi Miriam, it’s a packed itinerary for sure! Depending on the time you visit (and length of days then), you might have to cut a few things, or you maybe decide to spend more time on one place over the other. Also, if you can add a night or two, I always recommend more time around Glencoe/Fort William and around Inverness too. There is so much to see 🙂 I don’t see a reason why you couldn’t do it anti-clockwise either! Let me know how you get on! Cheers, Kathi

      • Hi Kathi! Thanks for your advice! Since we arrive in Edinburgh and leave from Glasgow I am planning to go anti-clockwise now. We will be doing Edinburgh – Cairngorms – Portree – Glencoe/Ft William/Oban – Glasgow. I am not sure yet about how to spend and divide our time between portree and glencoe/Ft William/Oban. We do have in total 4 nights to spend on this part, meaning we can either drive up to Skye, stay for 3 nights and enjoy 2 full days before driving down and spending 1 night around Glencoe/Ft William/Oban before driving down to Glasgow. OR we could drive up to Skye, stay for 2 nights and enjoy 1 full day only, but therefore have 2 nights to spend in the Glencoe/Ft William/Oban area. What would be your suggestion? Thanks!!!

        • Hi Miri, thanks for your question! First of all, I’d say there is no wrong decision here 😉 I’d recommend that if you do the 3-1 split, that Oban might be out of your reach if you want to make stops along the way. You can see a lot of Skye on one full day as well, especially if you visit during the summer. I’d lean towards the 2-2 split, and spend the next two nights in two different places. That way you can maybe also squeeze some new Skye sites in on the day you leave the island again! Hope this helps!

  33. Hey there! Thank you so much for this. Just thought I’d let you know that I used most of this to build my own week-long itinerary in Scotland two weeks ago. I’ve not found any similarly useful or detailed travel itineraries out there. You’re truly one of the best! Unfortunately the weather didn’t want to cooperate with me while I was in Skye, so I didn’t get to do the hikes (Old Man of Storr & The Quiraing), but I still managed enough to make it worth it, to include the Tallisker Distillery. I’d definitely like to get back when there’s snow and I can do some train journeys.
    Seriously, thanks again so much!

    • Hi Kyle, thank you very much for your comment – it means so much to me to hear from readers who find my advice useful and plan their trips based on my ideas! I’m glad you had a great time and even though it’s a shame the weather wasn’t great on Skye, it wouldn’t be Scotland if it was all sunshine all the time 🙂 It took me three attempts to get topnotch weather on Skye 🙂 I hope you get to come back too one day! All the best, Kathi

  34. 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

  35. 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!!

  36. 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!!

  37. 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!

  38. 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 🙂

      • Roslyn (Roz) Elkington

        Hi there! We’re a family of 5 Aussies (3 adult kids) attempting a first-timers’ week in Scotland in late June. All of us are keen but feeling a bit daunted and time poor. Your detailed and varied itinerary, with multiple options and suggestions, gave me real enthusiasm and hope that we can actually achieve something! So excited that I immediately sent them your site link. I’ll let you know how we go following many of your suggestions! I appreciate all the time that’s gone into this.


        • Hi Roz, thank you so much for taking the time to write such a lovely comment! I really appreciate it and it means a lot to hear your feedback! I’m happy my post brought the fun back into planning for your trip. I’m sure you will have a fantastic time in Scotland – it’s almost impossible not to 😀 I’d love to hear how you get on!! Cheers, Kathi

  39. 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!!

  40. 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!!

  41. 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!

  42. 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!

  43. 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…

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  45. 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

  46. 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.


  47. 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!!

  48. 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 🙂

  49. 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

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  51. 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!

  52. 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!!

  53. 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 [email protected] Cheers, Kathi

      • Hi Kathi,

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

  54. 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!

  55. 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?

  56. 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?

  57. 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!

  58. 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!

  59. 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 🙂

  60. 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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