If your holiday time and your money are short, this is the perfect Scotland itinerary for you!
Me and another 4 friends have made this amazing trip together; we rented a really nice car with a sunroof from Europcar, and it was awesome to be able to check the top of the mountains from the sunroof.
The price we payed for this big car for 4 days was very decent considering we split it by 5 people:
- Price: £102 + petrol £80 = £182 (£36,40 per person)
On day #1 we made 5 stops:
We started the trip in Edinburgh, leaving the city around 9 am. TIP #1: Before you leave Edinburgh you might want to buy some snacks for the trip. We drove northwest towards Stirling where we had breakfast. It was pretty easy to find a place for us to have our first meal of the day here.
The city is also known as the “Gateway to the Highlands”, because of its location in the fault zone between the Lowland and Highlands.
After eating we went for a walk in the old medieval city, where we could see the wolf statues– Stirling beast- several times. It is thought that this wolf saved Stirling from a Viking attack by warning the people from the city by howling!
We also saw the Willian Wallace Monument from distance! It is a tower at the hilltop were the Scotish hero watched the English army before the Battle of Stirling Bridge (1297). It reminded me a bit of Lord of the Rings, a tall tower build in the middle of nature… It is quite a spectacle!
At Stirling you can also do The Back Walk, chech the website, it looks beautiful! Unfortunately, we didn’t have the time and had to press on.
2. Loch Lomond
Now, a little bit far from big cities, you will start to see the great Scotish landscapes…
Loch Lomond, one of the many Scotish Lochs. What is special about it? It is the largest inland water reserve and the sixth most beautiful natural wonder (according to Radio Times, 2005) of Great Britain.
We stayed there a while to reenergise! It is wonderful how you can’t see where this Loch ends, i would love to go for a swimm if the water wasn’t so chilly…
It is also where the Captain Haddock’s (The Adventures of Tintin) whisky is from.
3. Kilchurn Castle
Driving north you get to this castle. Kilchurn Castle is in ruins if you look from far, but – as we went in the summer – we had a quick walk with the many sheep and had the chance to enter this castle for free.
The scenery is beautiful, and you can climb up the stairs to check the peninsula where it is build on. Inside the castle you can also find an image of how it looked before it was destroyed and a little bit of its history.
There is a parking lot where you can stop your car, and have a small walk to get to the castle. It was so much fun to go inside the castle… and the walk alongside our dear sheep friends was really nice too! And, as you can see, there is a path – super easy to find your way.
Now we officially entered the spectacular Highlands! I can’t tell you exactly where we stopped, whenever we saw a waterfall or a river we decided to take a break from the long road-trip on the A82 and appreciate the view. There are numerous walks you can take here if you have the time…
Oh, the 007 Skyfall movie was filmed around this area! So you can imagine I am not lying when I say this place is just wonderful! There was no computer changes of this movie’s scenario at all. It is just breathtaking!
5. Fort William
After an entire day of road-trip all we wanted was to get some nice food and chill! Fort William is the second largest place in the Highlands – but don’t fool yourself, it is still small! However you can still find hotels and restaurants…
As it is really close to Ben Nevis – the highest mountain in Great Britain – and is the first city in miles, it is always full of tourists and hikers. TIP#2 Reserve your hotel/hostel in advance!
Where to sleep?
As we wanted to save money, we stayed at the Backpackers hostel . It is a small comfy house up the hill; we had our own room (5 people) and paid £16 a night per person, which is a good price for a bedroom with 5 beds. The kitchen is a bit small, so we didn’t cook anything here! Everyone were great, it was clean and we had a great view from the city. I recommend it 😉
Before our first day came to an end we went to the city centre to have a lamb hamburger and some beer! There are several options of pubs and restaurants in the centre.
This is the itinerary for day 1. We had a total of 178 miles, around 4h20 of driving… It might seem a lot, but the way is just amazing! But you must go with a friend that loves to drive. Or you can also split it in more days if you’d like. 😉
EXTRA: Rosslyn Chapel
If you have more time or you are driving from the south to Scotland you might want to add another stop in your itinerary.
From Edinburgh you can drive south till Rosslyn Chapel, Roslin. It is a beautiful 15th century Catholic Church. What is special about it? It is scenery from The Da Vinci Code movie (2003) because of its speculative theories surrounding the Catholic Church and the Holy Grail.