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An awesome 7 day road trip through Scotland

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Hiking the Pap of Glencoe in Scotland

The sound of bagpipes, tartan kilts that adorn strong legs, good whisky, an absolutely incomprehensible but oh so charming accent ☺ and of course the well-known, jaw-dropping, amazingly beautiful surroundings. Scotland is an awesome destination for an epic road trip! We’ve tried to cover as much as possible during our 7 day Scotland road trip so join us on our trip through this amazingly mystical and magical place.
Hiking the Pap of Glencoe in Scotland

Hiking the Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye

Spectacular cliffs on the Isle of Skye
Sheep were our constant companions on the Isle of Skye

3 destinations in 7 days
Edinburgh • 2 days
a vibrant city, nicknamed the Athens of the North, with trendy shops, tasty restaurants and the most amazing viewpoints
Glencoe • 2 days
home to the famous Ben Nevis and other spectacular hiking opportunities
Isle of Skye • 3 days
a beautiful island with all the picturesque and magical natural sights you’ll need, ancient castles, fantastic hikes and gorgeous waterfalls

7 day Scotland itinerary: our route

Roadtrip through Scotland in 7 days


– Edinburgh –

No matter how much time you have to spend, we suggest to base yourself in Edinburgh, the Athens of the North. Edinburgh is a pearl; a truly beautiful city complete with Victorian Houses, castles and mystical alleys. Take at least one full day to enjoy the city and its highlights, add a day if you wish to take your time to visit Edinburgh Castle.
We stayed 2 days in Edinburgh and guess what? We made the perfect free, self-guided walking tour for you guys so you don’t miss out on any highlights during your stay!

Roadtrip Scotland: View of Edinburgh Castle from the Scottish National Museum

Greyfriars Bobby Edinburgh Scotland
One of the many closes in  Edinburgh Scotland
What to see
  • The Royal Mile – for about a mile (what a genius am I?!) Edinburgh boasts its best shops offering whisky, real Scottish cashmere, kiltmakers and so much more. Along the Royal Mile you’ll also find St Giles’ Cathedral and several closes that are worth a peek.
  • Victoria Street – the gentle curve and colourful shopfronts of Victoria Street are adored by locals and tourists alike and is one of the most recognizable parts of Edinburgh!
  • Dean Village – a small, quiet, quaint village in Edinburgh with the most pretty looking buildings!

View from Calton Hill Edinburgh Scotland

What to do
  • Visit Edinburgh Castle – tickets for visiting Edinburgh Castle cost £18,50 on site or £17,00 online. Schedule at least half a day for a thourough visit.
  • Hike Arthur’s Seat – a very nice, short hike to the highest point of Holyrood Park in Edinburgh’s city’s centre. Head there for fantastic views over Edinburgh.
  • Visit the National Museum of Scotland – The cast iron central hall is a stunning piece of architecture that hosts really amazing exibitions, for FREE! Head to the rooftop of the museum for stunnings views of Edinburgh and Edinburgh Castle.

– Glencoe –

You’re short on time but want to sniff some of that crisp highland air and adventure? Then hop in your car and take the route through Stirling and Loch Lomond to one of the most beautiful places in Scotland: Glencoe. The trip to Glencoe is one through impressive nature. You’ll find plenty of pull-overs along the road so you can get out of your car and enjoy the view!

Taking a break at the beautiful Loch Lomond on our way back to Edinburgh

Glencoe is an absolutely stunning area to indulge in some serious hiking. If conquering a Monroe is on your bucket list, why not try the highest peak of Scotland: the Ben Nevis. We opted for slightly less strenuous hike but with astonishing views nonetheless… the Pap of Glencoe. Though a shorter hike, do not underestimate the steepness of the trail! It took us about 2hours to get to the top and boy did my calves protest ?. We did it without hiking sticks but would definitely suggest to bring some. What goes up most comes down and it was killing my knees!
But the effort was worth is though! Just look at those views…

View from Pap of Glencoe hike

Roadtrip Scotland: View from Pap of Glencoe hike
View from Pap of Glencoe hike

View from Pap of Glencoe hike

View from Pap of Glencoe hike
The next day we decided to let out our inner geeks and spent our morning spotting the Jacobite Steam Train aka the Hogwarts Express. We went in May and the Jacobite Steam Train only passes the viaduct once a day. We snapped our pictures at 10:50. Make sure to be at the parking lot a good 15min before the train is supposed to drive by!

Jacobite Steam Train or Hogwarts Express over the Glenfinnan Viaduct

– Isle of Skye –

If you got some more days to spare, don’t miss out on the Isle of Skye! From Glencoe it’s only a 2hour drive to the Isle of Skye Bridge. Once crossed, be prepared to be amazed by its enchanting surroundings, glooming mountains and magical waters.
We spent 3 days on the Isle of Skye and indulged in its highlights and finest hikes. Want to know what to do on the Isle of Skye? Ha! We got your back bro, we prepared this awesome list of 10 best things to do on the Isle of Skye that fits perfectly in this itinerary.

Sligachan Brige on the Isle of Skye

Eilean Donan Isle of Skye
Rest break at Kilt rock and amazing waterfalls, Isle of Skye

View of Old Man Of Storr on the Isle of Skye

Transportation

Needless to say that when we go road tripping, a car is our transportation of choice. No need for a pumped up vehicle, a normal car will do just fine to drive this 7 day Scotland itinerary. You get the hang of driving left pretty quickly, a few turns and roundabouts and you’ll drive just as smoothly as the locals. First-timers will probably turn on their windshield wipers every time they want to make a turn in the first few days, but that’s just part of the fun isn’t it? ?.

How to get there

The best way to explore Scotland by car is to take a flight to Edinburgh and rent a car for the next week. If you’re keen on bringing your own car, or Scotland is part of your greater European road tip, you could take a ferry from the European mainland to Newcastle and start your trip from there.

Best time to go

Okay, one shouldn’t venture to Scotland with the idea of spending a full week in sunshine. The weather is, to put it mildly, tremendously fickle. Those gorgeous green rolling hills are gorgeously green because of the amount of rain it receives during the entire year, so be prepared. We traveled in May and were super lucky to haven’t had a single drop of rain and temperatures even rising above 20°C. Apparently this isn’t as rare as one might think, while talking to locals this phenomenon occurs regularly in May and September. If you wish to avoid rain and Scotland’s dramatic clouds, you might take your chances and travel during these months. Just remember that rain, a dramatic sky and bastardly cold winds all add to the Scottish charm though ?.

Taking a break at the beautiful Loch Lomond on our way back to Edinburgh

Good to know

  • Though Scotland has a reputation for serving adventurous foods such Haggis and deep fried mars bars, we’ve found Scotland to be super vegetarian friendly!
  • You can experience 4 seasons in one day so be prepared to take a lot of different types of clothes and layer up!
  • We’ve had some of the worst 4G coverage EVER while traveling through Scotland, especially on the Isle of Skye. Normally I use my phone as a GPS to navigate or look something up but coverage on Skye is scarce and WiFi isn’t available in every restaurant. Thus, we prepared our daytrips in our rented cottage where WiFi was available and had to DIY on the road with a good ol’ road map

So, you want to go on an epic road trip in a European country? Then this 7 day Scotland itinerary is the ultimate base for your epic road trip!
Got more time to spare? Why not venture south and explore England’s idyllic countryside with this perfect one-week England road trip itinerary.

What’s the most epic road trip you’ve ever been on?


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A spectacular 7 day road trip itinerary through Scotland that cover Edinburgh, Isle of Skye and Glencoe. #roadtrip #scotland #edinburgh #highlands #scottishhighlands #scotspirit #highlandcollective #travel #scotlandroadtrip #glencoe #isleofskye
A spectacular 7 day road trip itinerary through Scotland that cover Edinburgh, Isle of Skye and Glencoe. #roadtrip #scotland #edinburgh #highlands #scottishhighlands #scotspirit #highlandcollective #travel #scotlandroadtrip #glencoe #isleofskye
Comments

Lovely article!
I’ve always wanted to visit Scotland in October. Maybe next year!

Anyways, love this blog, you’ve got a new fan 🙂

Along Came An Elephant

awww thank you so much Leila!
You’ll have a blast in Scotland, tell us all about it when you get back next year 😉

Hugs, Marlo & Kristof

Hi!

Where do you think ia the best spot to snapp a picture of the Jacobite Steam Train?

Excellent ideas on you blog. Carry on with the great job!

Along Came An Elephant

Hi Jo!

We took our pictures when the steam train passed over the Glenfinnan Viaduct, we wanted that Harry Potter moment 🙂
Next to the viaduct, you have two car parks: the main one next to the visitor centre and a smaller one a bit further. If you want to see the steam train, you should aim to park a good 30min before the train actually passes. Otherwise, it can be near impossible to find a parking spot and you’ll need to walk a bit.

In our opinion, the best view of the Glenfinnan Viaduct is from the hillside on the left of the bridge as you face it from the carpark. The walk only takes about 10min but try to be there a bit early because photographers might take up the good spots.

Have fun!

Marlo & Kristof xxx

‘Plaid’ *Tartan.
‘Whiskey’ * Whisky.

I have never once heard Edinburgh being referred to as the “Athens of the North”.

Glasgow > Edinburgh every time, any day of the year.

Along Came An Elephant

Hi Katie,

Thanks for pointing that out.

Edinburgh rebranded itself as ‘Athens of North’ and we can see the comparison between the two: the situation of Edinburgh’s Castle reminds of the situations of the Acropolys in Athens.

We haven’t been to Glasgow yet so unfortunately we can’t compare. You made us curious though, we’ll have to go back to Scotland one day and put Glasgow on top of our list!

xxx Marlo & Kristof

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