Scotland Road Trip: The ONLY itinerary you need (29 unmissable places)

Planning a Scotland road trip? Trying to figure out where to go and what to do during your visit? Here are the best Scotland itinerary ideas for variety of durations, including long weekends, 4-5 days, 7-10 days and 14+ days, although you can mix, match or extend as you wish!

Don’t forget to grab your free guide to the best places to see on a Scotland road trip below- to help you plan your perfect road trip.

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Scotland Road Trip- why visit?

Put simply- Scotland is just magical.

It’s one of those incredible places where you turn corner after corner and each is more breathtaking than the last! (Exactly the same as Norway).

You can expect to say ‘wow’ a lot and stop frequently to take a million photos of the scenery. And the Highland cows. And sheep.

Did I mention the scenery?

The problem is there is SO MUCH to see.

Planning a Scotland road trip can be DAUNTING. Trying to squeeze a visit to a country into just a few days is tough, but it IS possible to plan a Scotland travel itinerary with the best places to visit, as well as some places off the ‘beaten track’.

In this post, we’ll show you the best scenic routes & driving roads in Scotland, lochs, castles, towns you definitely should visit, plus how to visit the Scottish Highlands.

Whether you’re touring Scotland by car on a self-drive holiday, motorhoming or campervanning in Scotland or exploring by motorbike (or any other vehicle!), our map of our Scotland road trip will help you plan your own adventure.


How to plan a Scotland Road Trip

So, how DO you narrow down all the ‘must-visit’ places into a reasonable itinerary, especially if you only have a few days for your Scottish road trip? 

Do you focus on visiting beautiful cities like Edinburgh, seeing the history of Scotland, like Culloden, visiting HARRY POTTER sites, hiking in the Highlands, driving the North Coast 500? Or a bit of everything??

In this blog post of Scotland Itinerary ideas, we’ve included a bit of everything to allow you to create your perfect Scottish Road Trip and make the most of your time in this beautiful country.  


The Wandering Bird Scotland Road Trip Planner

Feel overwhelmed? Wish someone could do all the hard work for you?

You’re in luck!

If you want to enjoy a Scotland road trip without the weeks of planning and struggling to figure out where to visit first, consider using our Scotland Road Trip Planner.

Scotland road trip travel planner route map guide

Planning a trip to Scotland?

We’ve done the hard work for you!

Grab our complete Scotland travel planner and get:

  • 80+ ideas for places to visit
  • Maps and itinerary suggestions
  • Routes and things to see along the way
  • Tips, customs and much much more!

Complied after years of experience touring and exploring Scotland, it contains all the best things to see and do, plus everything you need for incredible Scottish road trips for years to come.

It helps you compile a day-day plan for your trip, removing the stress whilst leaving you plenty of time to enjoy yourself, both before and during your trip!


Where should I go on a road trip in Scotland?

As you’ll see below, there are many (many!) beautiful places to visit in Scotland.

Your exact itinerary will be created from the things you enjoy. We plan our UK road trip itineraries like this and it’s not let us down yet!

For us, we prefer to stay away from big cities when we’re travelling in our motorhome and instead focus on areas like national parks, nature reserves, mountains, waterfalls… you get the idea.

‘Scenic Scotland’ does not disappoint- we’ve seen some of the most breathtaking places on our trips to Scotland, which I share with you in this itinerary.

Having said that, Edinburgh is an incredible city and well worth visiting if you can. So are several others. So don’t write off all towns and cities on your Scotland Road Trip itinerary just yet!

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    What is the best road trip in Scotland?

    The ‘best road trip in Scotland’ is going to be subjective based on what you enjoy and also what the weather is like!

    Certainly, the most famous road trip in Scotland is now the NC500 (North Coast 500 route), which is 516 miles of pure magic around the north of Scotland.

    I’ve driven the NC500 in my motorhome and it was fantastic- highly highly recommend it (although NOT in the school holidays as it gets very crowded.)

    The NC500 also includes John o’Groats, which has to be one of the most famous points in Scotland. The 10 day Scotland road trip itinerary we’ve included below also includes this landmark.

    However, there are several incredibly scenic roads in Scotland which we highly recommend you explore- some of them are perfect for just a few days, while some require a little more time to drive.


    How long does it take to road trip Scotland?

    Oh, that’s an open question! How long do you have?

    Whether you have a weekend, 5 days, 7-10 days or longer, you can absolutely fill your time. I know people who’ve spent 3 months exploring the Scottish Highlands and STILL didn’t see everything they wanted to.

    The Scotland road trip itinerary below took us 10 days, but there are some bits you can miss if you only have 7 days for your trip. See our alternative 7-10 day North Coast 500 itinerary here.

    Likewise, if you have longer, you can either travel more scenic routes around Scotland (especially on the Highlands tourist route), see more incredible places,  do some more tours around Scotland, taste more whisky or just take your time and linger a while over your favourite places.

    When I drove the North Coast 500, I took just under 14 days to do most of the loop. This was just the part in Scotland- it also took me a week to get up there!

    TOP TIP for Scotland Road Trips: Be sure not to plan too much into your itinerary, as many of the roads are narrow and slower and you won’t be able to travel as far or as fast as you might expect.


    How to travel around Scotland?

    Scotland is very well connected to the rest of the UK; at least, the lowlands are. You can easily reach Glasgow and Edinburgh by road, train or air.

    If you’re hiring a rental car or renting a motorhome, these are the two cities to aim for as there is so much choice.

    Of course, if you’re driving your own vehicle up via England, there are plenty of motorways near the border, so it’s easy to travel around.

    Of course, you can use public transport or even a guided tour if you prefer not to drive yourself, but for the purposes of this blog post, we’ll assume you have your own vehicle.


    When is the best time to visit Scotland?

    If you want to road trip Scotland and would like to increased your chances of enjoying good weather, then the best time to go is either late Spring/ early Summer (May or June) or in early Autumn (September/ October).

    This way, you avoid the high crowds AND the midges, which are mostly around in July and August.  

    I did my NC500 tour in September/ October and the roads were fairly quiet, I had some fantastic weather (plus a couple of storms) and there were only a few patches with really bad midges. All in all, Autumn is usually a wonderful time for a Scottish adventure!

    Want some more ideas for places to see in Autumn? Here are 27 of the best places to experience Autumn in Europe.


    Scotland Road Trip Map and Itinerary

    The map below shows our 10-day driving route for our tour of Scotland.

    We travelled from the Isle of Skye to John o’Groats using the main driving roads (which are quicker), but otherwise, we tried to take scenic roads where possible (although that’s not always easy in a Motorhome!)

    Because we only had 10 days, our itinerary missed out the beautiful west coast of Scotland. If you have extra time, I highly recommend doing this coastline (part of the NC500 route) as it contains some of the prettiest views in Scotland.

    Looking to plan the perfect road trip to Scotland? Here's an unmissable Scotland itinerary for 7-10 days, taking in all the highlights and some surprises! #scotland #travel #highlands #itinerary #roadtrip #thingstodoin
    Scotland Itinerary Road Trip Map

    Our Scotland Itinerary is around 800 miles (1300km), with around 23 hours of actual driving over a 10 day trip.

    The map starts on the west coast of Scotland, but, of course, you can do the drive in reverse if you prefer. 


    Our Scotland Itinerary planner:

    Scotland road trip travel planner route map guide

    Planning a trip to Scotland?

    We’ve done the hard work for you!

    Grab our complete Scotland travel planner and get:

    • 80+ ideas for places to visit
    • Maps and itinerary suggestions
    • Routes and things to see along the way
    • Tips, customs and much much more!

    Scotland Itinerary Ideas- Day One

    Start your Scotland tour in either Edinburgh or Glasgow. Of the two, I much prefer Edinburgh…

    (That sound you hear is me being skinned alive… one of my best friends comes from Glasgow. Sorry hon xx) 

    Edinburgh

    The city of Edinburgh- a great place to start or end your Scottish road trip
    The city of Edinburgh- a great place to start or end your Scottish road trip

    Edinburgh is the perfect city to dip in and out of. There’s always something going on.

    If you’re looking for a relaxing long weekend in the UK, you could fly up to Edinburgh. Similarly, if you only have 3 or 4 days in Scotland, it’s a wonderful start to get a taste of the country.

    Don’t miss visiting Edinburgh Castle, which has spectacular views over the rest of the city and Arthur’s Seat.

    I also recommend a visit to George Street (grab a cocktail from the Dome) and enjoy the atmosphere, especially around Christamas.

    Rose Street and Cockburn Street have wonderful independent boutiques where you can find great gifts (for others or yourself!)

    Driving in Edinburgh

    Before we go any further… DO NOT DRIVE YOUR MOTORHOME INTO THE MIDDLE OF EDINBURGH.

    No. Really.

    Let me repeat that so it sinks in.

    DO NOT DRIVE YOUR MOTORHOME INTO THE MIDDLE OF EDINBURGH!!! 

    We tried it. With a Motorbike trailer on the back.

    It did not go well. There are NO Motorhome parking spaces near the City Centre. And the streets are narrow and not designed for lorries, let alone Motorhomes!

    We stopped in Edinburgh for a few hours and, honestly, the only thing we did was see Edinburgh Castle- which is beautiful but left us wanting more. I was gutted as I’d already planned a self-guided Harry Potter tour of Edinburgh– yes, really. 

    We’re already planning a trip back up sometime… just not with the motorhome!! But from what we saw, there are at least 3 days worth of activities in Edinburgh if you have the time.

    If you enjoy food- you’re in for a real treat- Edinburgh has some FANTASTIC eating places. Here are 10 vegan-friendly restaurants in Edinburgh for everyone to enjoy.

    Where to stay

    There are plenty of places to stay in Edinburgh. If you’re in a motorhome, stay outside the city and get public transport in. I recommend the Edinburgh Caravan and Motorhome club site.

    If you’re driving a car, book a hotel with parking, as it can be difficult to find in the city centre. The Sheraton Grand Hotel, which has rooms overlooking Edinburgh Castle, is a brilliant option if you want to treat yourself.

    Glasgow

    There is PLENTY of things to see and do in Glasgow and you can easily spend a couple of days enjoying the city before you set off on your driving holiday.

    TOP TIP– If you’re not from the UK and you don’t really understand football (soccer!), don’t mention football in Glasgow.

    The rivalry between Celtic and Rangers fans (both clubs are based in Glasgow) is HUGE and openly supporting the wrong one could end in tears- for you.  Different pubs support different teams and it frequently gets… heated!!


    Scotland Road Trip DAY 2- LOCH LOMOND and the Trossachs National Park

    Looking to plan the perfect road trip to Scotland? Here's an unmissable Scotland itinerary for 7-10 days, taking in all the highlights and some surprises! #scotland #travel #highlands #itinerary #roadtrip #thingstodoin
    Loch Lomond- the perfect addition to your Scotland Itinerary

    Loch Lomond National Park

    Ok, now that you’ve enjoyed a couple of days in Glasgow or Edinburgh, let’s head up into the ‘real’ Scotland. Loch Lomond is one of my favourite spots,  and is definitely one of the must-visit places in Scotland.

    Loch Lomond is actually part of the Trossachs National Park, which has 22 lochs! Loch Lomond is the biggest. You can kayak, paddleboard, canoe and even hire jet-skis in the summer. There are 30 islands on Loch Lomond alone to explore- plenty to keep you occupied if you want to stay for a few days.

    The loch is absolutely breathtaking, especially if you’re lucky enough to see it on a sunny day.

    Don’t believe me? See it for yourself:

    WATCH VIDEO of us at Loch Lomond (and seeing the Harry Potter sites!)


    Wild Camping in Scotland

    Wild Camping is regulated within the Trossachs National Park, so be careful where you park up for the night if you’re in a camper. You need to have a permit between March and September and can only stay in approved areas.

    Find out more about wild camping in Scotland here


    Road Trip Scotland DAY 3- Oban and Fort William

    Looking to plan the perfect road trip to Scotland? Here's an unmissable Scotland itinerary for 7-10 days, taking in all the highlights and some surprises!
    Beautiful sunset near Oban- another place to visit on your Scotland Road Trip

    If you have time while you’re touring Scotland, detour to Oban. I LOVE this town- it has the prettiest harbour and in Summer you can do a ferry tour out to some of the islands- well worth the trip on a calm day.

    We stayed here in a log cabin a few years ago (before we got our motorhome) and the views were spectacular- especially at night.

    I remember standing outside our log cabin and gazing up at the stars in absolute amazement- they were so bright and clear. Magical.

    Another detour worth the effort is to Devil’s Pulpit– a hidden waterfall between the rocks. Full directions can be found here.

    Fort William is known as ‘the gateway to Ben Nevis’, which is the UK’s highest peak. It’s also close to Steall Falls– the second highest waterfall in Scotland at 120m and the waterfall in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, in case you’re wondering!! (Check out these other beautiful waterfalls in Europe)

    Getting there is about a 2.5 miles walk and takes about 1.5-2 hours depending on how often you stop. It’s suitable for kids, as you can read here.


    Scotland Itinerary DAY 4- Harry Potter Time!

    Scotland is full of places used in the Harry Potter films. We visited a few of them, all on the way to Mallaig (where the ferry is for the Isle of Skye. In one day we saw:

    Glenfinnan viaduct in Scotland- part of our driving tour of Scotland
    See the Glenfinnan Viaduct on your Scotland Road Trip

    Glenfinnan Viaduct

    This is the viaduct made famous in the Harry Potter films. You can walk right up to the base of it.

    You can also ride on the Jacobite Steam train, which is the one used for the film and which goes straight over the viaduct! The train goes from Fort William to Mallaig and does get booked up well in advance, so be sure to book early!

    We got our favourite travel drone out and took some amazing shots of the viaduct and Loch Sheil, as you can see in the video above.

    Loch Shiel

    This is the loch used as Hogwarts Lake, along with Loch Morar. This is where Buckbeak dips a happy toe (claw?) in the waters in Prisoner of Azkaban.

    We parked in the visitor centre on the shores of Loch Shiel, which also allowed a walk up the slope for incredible views of the viaduct, even in the rain!

    Loch Shiel- Lochs of Scotland- perfect spots for a break on your Scottish Highlands road trip
    Scotland Road Trip- Loch Shiel

    Dumbledore’s Grave

    Loch Eilt, along the same road as the viaduct and Loch Shiel, is where the little island of Eilean na Mòine lies, which played the starring role as the site of Dumbledore’s Grave.

    We sent the drone up to get a picture of this beautiful island… but alas, Mr WB is NOT a die-hard Harry Potter fan (boo!) and therefore had no idea which island he was meant to be filming. Bless him, at least he tried!

    It’s about an hour drive from the western end of Loch Ness to Mallaig, which is where the ferry to Skye goes from. You can also drive over the bridge to the Skye- but it’s much further north.

    Scotland Travel Planner
    Click to learn more about the Scotland Travel Planner

    Scotland Road Trip Itinerary DAY 5 & 6- Isle of Skye

    Isle of Skye- part of our Scotland itinerary and road trip route
    Isle of Skye- part of our Scotland itinerary

    Search “Isle of Skye” on Google and you’ll get pages and pages of blog posts and itineraries, all waxing lyrical about the beauty of Skye. And they’re right- it is beautiful. And there is loads to see and do.

    As long as it’s not raining!!

    Our Isle of Skye itinerary contains things to do in the sunshine, but also things to do in the rain- as it rained for 48 hours when we visited!

    We are not ‘hike whatever the weather’ people and we really don’t enjoy getting sopping wet climbing a mountain when there’s no view anyway, so you might find that itinerary useful if the weather is looking… unpleasant. 

    Having said that, Skye is beautiful and well worth a trip if you’re touring the west coast of Scotland. 


    Driving Scotland Day 7- Eilean Donan Castle, Loch Ness and up to Thurso

    Eilean Donan Castle- a must visit castle in Scotland
    Eilean Donan Castle- a must visit castle in Scotland

    Eilean Donan

    This was one of our longest driving days- about 5 hours and 350km. Leave Skye and head up towards Thurso, stopping at the incredible Eilean Donan Castle on the way.

    We didn’t go inside, as we knew we had a long day ahead of us, but it’s beautiful from the outside. There’s also a little cafe at the carpark here which does a great coffee!

    DECISION TIME

    At Eilean Donan, you need to make a decision. Do you keep driving up to Loch Ness, or start on the NC500 route? If you’re going up the western coast, this is where you turn off and start the slower (but probably prettier) roads. If you don’t have the extra time, stick to the faster roads via Loch Ness.


    Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle

    You can’t come to Scotland and not stop to search for the Loch Ness monster-especially if you have young children.

    Loch Ness village itself is VERY touristy. It’s ok for young kids, but it’s pretty expensive, so if you’re on a budget you might want to keep driving and stop at one of the many laybys alongside the loch.

    You can also visit Urquhart castle, which are impressive ruins along the shore of Loch Ness. There is parking here, but it can be limited for Motorhomes, so be prepared to have to park some distance away in high season.

    Alternatively, why not treat yourself to a boat trip on Loch Ness and be taken there in style!!


    Driving Tips for Scotland

    Be aware of your fuel levels on this part of the trip- we passed very few fuel stations.

    We did debate going all around the western edge and completing the NC500 (there are some beautiful campsites on the North Coast 500), but we only had 10 days for touring Scotland, so we decided to cut across to save time, plus see Loch Ness and to escape the rain!

    We used the A87, which passes down the side of Loch Clunie, a hydroelectric dam. It’s a beautiful place for a picnic if the weather is pleasant.

    If you have time, Inverness is definitely worth a visit. Again, we made a compromise and chose to visit Orkney instead- we’ll get to that shortly!


    Highlands Road Trip Day 8 – John o’Groats and Duncansby Stacks

    We made it to John o'Groats on motorbikes!
    We made it to John o’Groats on motorbikes!

    John o’Groats

    John o’Groats is one of those places which is a bit tacky but you need to go just to tick it off the list!

    It was great to make it and see the famous post, but the place is a little underwhelming! There are a few tourist shops, a harbour and a snack shack- that’s about it!

    We waited for the John o’Groats post to be empty so we could take photos with our motorbikes… and then we felt a little lost.

    That’s the weirdest thing about travelling- when you finally get to your destination, it can sometimes feel a little hollow. But we were blessed with INCREDIBLE weather at John o’Groats- definitely made up for the misery of Skye!

    Duncansby Stacks

    Duncansby Stacks near John o'Groats- part of our Scotland driving Tour
    Duncansby Stacks near John o’Groats- part of our Scotland driving Tour

    Whilst we were at John o’Groats, we saw a postcard of the Duncansby stacks, which were apparently just down the road! We’d never heard of them before, but they looked pretty, so we decided to pay them a visit.

    They’re a little tricky to find but well worth the effort! Basically, head for Duncansby lighthouse and park right next to the lighthouse. Then walk (with the lighthouse on your left) over the field and keep going- you’ll see them from the bottom of that field. PLEASE be careful with kids and dogs… it’s a sheer cliff and a long drop.

    Here’s the first EVER video where we flew our drone over the sea… the views of the shoreline and the rocks are incredible.

    Dunnet Head

    We stayed at Dunnet Bay campsite near John o’Groats for a couple of nights, which allowed us to ride our motorbikes and leave the motorhome somewhere safe. If you’re looking for a beautiful spot to stay, we highly recommend this campsite- lovely wardens, great little shop and stunning location right on the beach!! Just look at this view!!

    Dunnet Bay Campsite in Scotland- where we stopped on our Scotland tour in a motorhome.
    Dunnet Bay Campsite in Scotland- fantastic motorhome parking by the beach

    Day 9 – One day trip to Orkney

    Orkney- an unexpected addition to our Highlands driving itinerary- but well worth it!
    Orkney- an unexpected addition to our Highlands driving itinerary- but well worth it!

    We didn’t plan to visit Orkney during our Scotland road trip- and we definitely didn’t plan to visit Orkney on our motorbikes.

    However, the day after we visited John o’Groats, the weather was still beautiful and we learnt we could get to Orkney by ferry for just the day- so we did! It is a beautiful place, although VERY busy in July and full of tourists.

    Still, if you have the time, you should try to add Orkney into your itinerary. If you don’t want to drive, there are guided tours by coach which go all day, so book yourself onto one of them. 


    Scotland Road Trip Itinerary Day 10- Dunrobin Castle and Aviemore

    Beautiful places to visit on a Scotland Road Trip- Dunrobin Castle
    Beautiful places to visit on a Scotland Road Trip- Dunrobin Castle

    Dunrobin Castle

    Dunrobin Castle is possibly one of our favourite castles. It’s about a 90-minute drive south from Thurso. It’s the largest castle in the Northern Highlands- and set in the most breathtaking scenery! You can pay to walk the gardens, but we decided to press on and head south before the rain closed in.

    Aviemore & The Cairngorms

    If you enjoy hiking and national parks, you need to put the Cairngorms onto your bucket list. It’s the largest National Park in the UK and was voted as one of the top 20 places to visit IN THE WORLD by National Geographic.

    The park is 4500 square kms and contains a fantastic mixture of mountains, scenic views, castles, whiskey distilleries and outdoor pursuits.

    One of the most popular reasons to visit is hiking.  There are multiple trails and walks within the park (you can purchase guidebooks at the tourist offices), or you can just turn up and wander wherever you fancy.

    Dog walking is allowed, but the area is full of wildlife, so please be cautious and obey local signage. A word of caution– the weather can change VERY quickly in this area, so please carry appropriate equipment/ clothing.

    If hiking isn’t for you, how about another sport? Within the Cairngorms you can enjoy cycling, skiing (in winter), golf, fishing, kayaking, rafting, swimming, windsurfing or gorgewalking. There are several watersports centres in the park and they offer lessons and gear hire.

    Aviemore is in the Cairngorms National Park and is Scotland’s winter sports mecca, but there’s plenty to do in the summer too, including a visit to the famous Speyside Distilleries.

    Restaurants and shops were open, as were many outdoor activities for all ages. The Aviemore website is a great place to find out more. 

    If you’re not wild camping in Scotland in a motorhome or camper, there are plenty of places to stay within the park, including local B & Bs, hotels, hostels, campsites and log cabins.


    The Perfect Scotland Itinerary idea

    As you’ve seen, this Scotland driving itinerary can be adapted to suit all tastes, vehicles, abilities and durations.

    If you’ve only got a few days in Scotland, don’t cram too much in- you’ll get overwhelmed and exhausted.

    Conversely, if you’re retired and have no deadline, take your time to really explore the culture and heritage of this wonderful country.


    Some things you need to know about Scotland before you go.

    • Scotland is part of the UK, so they speak English *I really want to insert a bad Scottish joke here… but I’ll be good! ;)*
    • British Pound is the currency. Don’t worry if you get notes saying ‘Bank of Scotland’ instead of Bank of England- they are all Pound Sterling (although some places in England get funny about taking Bank of Scotland notes- there’s no reason for this; it’s perfectly legal tender.) 
    • There is another language in Scotland called Gaelic (pronounced GAH-LICK) which is technically the National language, but only 1% of the population speak it. You might see some signs in Gaelic around the country, but there will always be an English version too! (It’s the same in Wales- see our Wales road trip itinerary ideas here)
    • Driving in Scotland isn’t any scarier than anywhere else with mountains. They drive on the left, just like the rest of the UK.
    • There is no proper border between Scotland and England, so you can explore Scotland from England without taking a passport. We drove right up after our England Road Trip
    • Scotland has an amazing law called Right to Roam. It allows you much more freedom to wild camp in your vehicle (with certain restrictions of course.)

    Weather in Scotland- is it suitable for a driving holiday?

    For us, it rained solidly for 3 days on the west coast- the Isle of Skye was a complete washout, even in July, but up at John o’Groats it was beautiful weather- so we detoured and went up there instead!

    My suggestion is to plan your itinerary on Google Maps, and then be as flexible as possible to work around the weather. This is obviously easier if you are touring Scotland in a camper, instead of driving in a car and using hotels, but do the best you can.

    The weather in Scotland can change very quickly, so please dress appropriately and take suitable clothing if hiking etc.


    What is the best month to visit Scotland?

    If you’re driving in Scotland, the best months to visit are April- October. Roads should be free of snow then and the temperature is warm enough to enjoy outdoor activities. Our favourite time to visit Scotland is June or October. (Want more ideas for October travel? Here are 15 of the best places to enjoy Europe in October)

    Scotland road trip travel planner route map guide

    Planning a trip to Scotland?

    We’ve done the hard work for you!

    Grab our complete Scotland travel planner and get:

    • 80+ ideas for places to visit
    • Maps and itinerary suggestions
    • Routes and things to see along the way
    • Tips, customs and much much more!

    When is peak tourist season in Scotland?

    UK school holidays are July and August. I would try to avoid these if you possibly can.


    Where is the most beautiful place in Scotland?

    There are too many to pick just one and a lot will depend on the weather. Personally, I love Loch Lomond and Glen Coe, Loch Shiel and the Glenfinnan viaduct- but that was because I’m a Harry Potter nerd.

    I also love the Cairngorms and the Scottish highlands are always breathtaking- you need to include them on your Scotland road trip!

    But some of the most beautiful places on mainland Scotland have to be on the western coast- the beaches are stunning. So are the fairy pools on Skye if you get them on a sunny day.

    Don’t forget to grab our free list of 57 best (and secret!) places in Scotland (which includes the pyramid in Scotland!


    What is the best way to travel around Scotland?

    In my opinion, a road trip holiday is the best way to see Scotland- and by that I mean a self-drive holiday, not a tour. Having your own vehicle allows you to set your own itinerary, plan your visits, pick the best roads in Scotland and generally be more in control.

    Having a motorhome or campervan will further increase your flexibility and allow you to choose the scenic route based on weather or interest, not on hotels you’ve booked. 


    How far are the Scottish Highlands from Edinburgh?

    Did you know there is actually a place called Highland in the Scottish Highlands?? Driving time from Edinburgh to Highland is 3 hours and 15 minutes (157 miles)


    How long does it take to drive to Scotland?

    Well, this obviously depends on where you’re starting from (!) but driving to Scotland (from London to Edinburgh) takes about 7 and a half hours.

    If you’ve been road tripping in Cornwall and want to drive from Lands End to John o’Groats, it will take you about 15 hours non-stop.


    How long does it take to tour Scotland?

    As long as you have- or as long as you let it!! 🙂 If you are lucky enough to have longer than a couple of weeks to explore Scotland, there are LOADS of places to visit you can add into your itinerary. 

    Have you visited Scotland? Where was your favourite place? If you haven’t, where would you like to go first?

    How else can I help you today??

    Planning a Scotland road trip? You might find these posts useful:

    See all our Scotland tips and ideas

    See all our UK travel itineraries and tips

    Want to save this list for later? Here’s the pin.

    Planning a road trip to Scotland? This awesome 10-day itinerary will take you to all the best places, including the Highlands, Isle of Skye, Orkney, Edinburgh and Glasgow! You'll also visit incredible Castles and find unique things to do along the way. It's your Travel plans done in one easy read. There's a helpful map, distances and options for summer and winter. Plan your Scotland itinerary today! #scotland #itinerary #thingstodo #europe #UK #roadtrip
    Looking to plan the perfect road trip to Scotland? Here are 19 unmissable places to include in your 7-10 day Scotland itinerary, taking in all the highlights like castles, highlands, cities, waterfalls, Harry Potter and more! #scotland #travel #highlands #itinerary #roadtrip #thingstodoin

    Scotland Travel Itinerary- Tips and things to do! Planning a Scotland Road Trip? This map and guide includes beautiful places and ideas in the Scottish Highlands, Isle of Skye, Orkney, Harry Potter and more! Plan your vacations in Scotland, whether you have 7 or 10 days, 2 weeks or longer! The best Scotland travel itinerary and road trip guide around!

    Scotland itinerary and road trip tips

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    28 thoughts on “Scotland Road Trip: The ONLY itinerary you need (29 unmissable places)”

    1. Love love love this itinerary (and all the Harry Potter references). Scottland has been on my list for a while and this post just organizes everything beautifully. Love the pictures! That Isle of Skye does look amazing but I hear you, when it’s raining and miserable outside, just give me a hot bowl of soup or something and a cozy place to sit in and watch the rain… Great itinerary! hope I’ll get to explore Scottland soon.

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    2. Thanks for sharing an incredible amount of things to do and see in your Scotland driving itinerary. I would really love to get to the Isle of Skye, the Duncansby Stacks and Dunnet Head for those incredible coasts and views. Have added these to my list of “must-dos” for a future driving trip to Scotland!

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    3. Loved this post. A motorhome/motorbike combo sounds perfect for a trip like this. We keep meaning to go to Scotland (we only live in Manchester ? but never make it – this itinerary might just be the push we need to hire a camper and do it!

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    4. This is a wonderful itinerary— especially intrigued by Dunrabie Castle which I’ll aim to see next time I’m in scotland. Even though I don’t ride a motorcycle this itinerary is clearly one to keep.

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    5. This is an epic trip! Scotland has been on our list for too long, and this post may just be the thing that finally gets things moving.

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    6. Wow I had no idea Scotland was this beautiful ! I am doing some Europe travel next year – I’ve never been ! Your pics are amazing !
      Valetie

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    7. WOW. You have just skyrocketed Scotland up to the top of my bucket list! What a beautiful country and your photos are just divine. I’m now trying to see if I can squeeze it into my 2019 travel plans 🙂

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    8. I knew Scotland was gorgeous but WOW is it gorgeous. Sadly I’ve only ever been to Glasgow and Edinburgh (like you I prefer Edinburgh) but haven’t had the opportunity to explore the countryside. But, it’s something I would love very much to do. thank you for such a wonderful guide. I’ll certainly be referencing it when I finally have time to explore.

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      • Hi Mike, that will depend on a lot of things, like time of year, destination, group size and driver experience.

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    9. So assume I would be there in the Summer months and would be there with a party of two. Little experience with an RV but have been driving for 40 + years. What would be a ball park number to use for the cost of the RV rental for a two week period?

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      • That is easy enough to find on your own. Just search/google for “motor home rentals Scotland”. There are several vendors. Find one that will be near where you are arriving. Then search for the right size, etc, and enter your travel dates. You can easily get quotes.

        I recently searched for the larger motor homes that sleep 5-6( or in my case, 4 adults/teens). For one week out of Edinburgh, it was going to run me about 1100 GBP before adding any extras (like insurance, bedding, etc).

        I am seriously considering camping through Scotland. It would be one week out of a possible 3 week itinerary. Camping seemed like a great way to experience it.

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    10. Brilliant post! We’re off to Scotland in August so have already saved this pin to help us with our planning. Need to watch the Harry Potter films again I think! 🙂 Thanks for sharing Kat.

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    11. We drove much of the same itinerary and found Scotland to be more beautiful than any photos we have ever seen. I would like to go back and see more.
      One highlight of our tour was the Applecross Penninsula. No tourbuses fit onto those roads, so a large motor home would be a bit challenging. Bikers seemed to abound out at the Applecross Inn.
      We did spend a few days in Edinburgh. It is delightful. I returned for a few days the next year and spent all of my time without a car exploring the city centre.
      Warning. Parking spots are ridiculously difficult to find near Edinburgh Castle. Also, a mound is not like an ant hill as I thought. A mound is between the height of a hill and a mountain and steep for walking.

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    12. Really great Scotland itinerary covering all the highlights. We spent 7 days just covering the North, a kind of adapted NSC500. We had the most glorious weather. We even got sunburnt!! I have to say though, the photos just don’t look as good in bright sunlight! The only day we had a bit of mist and wain was the day we got the best photos. It actually looked like we were in Scotland!!

      Thanks for sharing all the tips. We want to go back to continue adding to our Scottish photography portfolio and we’ve now got inspiration for extra places!

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    13. Brilliant Scotland guide!! If anyone ever gets the chance to pass through Gretna Green then the Famous Blacksmiths Shop is a brilliant stop-off point They’re a 5-star tourist attraction with a museum, shopping and food, plus their own hotels. Really handy to break up a journey if you’re travelling on the M6, especially with family. 🙂

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