I’ve been able to visit Scotland once for a wedding and once for an amazing two-week trip around the isle. Planning a two-week, or even one-week, trip is always a little daunting, so I put together what I think is the perfect two-week itinerary for a road trip around the country to help get your planning started! I consulted the advice of Emily, my sweet friend from Scotland, so rest assured that this itinerary has the stamp of approval from a true Scot.
Your 2 Week trip to Scotland begins in Edinburgh.
Just so you know, Edinburgh doesn’t rhyme with ‘Pittsburgh. It’s pronounced “Edinburrah.”
What to Do:
- Tour the Castle
- Visit the Holyroodhouse (the Queen’s residence when there)
- Go on an underground tour of the haunted vaults (really fun, but quite spooky)
- Peruse the National Museum of Scotland
Where to Eat:
The Gardener’s Cottage (located in Royal Terrace Gardens at the foot of Calton Hill) Locally sourced food and a menu that changes on the daily. This place is about as charming as they come.
The Witchery (located at the base of the castle)This restaurant has enormous amounts of ambiance and will truly be an experience. Be sure to make reservations in advance.
Where to Stay: Balmoral Hotel (if this accommodation is not in your budget, just go for afternoon tea at Palm Court at the Balmoral). A more reasonably priced hotel is the Macdonald Holyrood Hotel at the base of the royal mile.
Next you’ll be heading north to St. Andrews.
Famous for their golf course, but still a lovely town to visit even if you’re not a golfer. This town is also the University town where Kate and Will fell in love.
Next stop is filled with whiskey and castles in the Aberdeenshire region.
There are endless castles and whiskey distilleries to enjoy here and plenty of golf as well.
Where to Stay: Ballater or Aboyne are nice villages to find a room in.
Next up needs no introduction. A lake full of legend. The beautiful Loch Ness.
What to do:
- Visit Loch Ness (keep your eye out for Nessie)
- Check out Urquhart Castle
Continue on to the Isle of Skye.
Where to Stay: The town of Portree is a popular base for the area. Also, there is a nice restaurant in Dunvegan, The Three Chimneys where you can book a room. If you don’t stay here you should plan to go for dinner. If you’re in search of peace and quiet on the other hand, you may prefer to stay in one of the lesser known villages.
It’s time to take the ferry from Armondale to Mallaig.
You may recognize this bridge from Harry Potter, if you’re not distracted by one of the most picturesque drives in Scotland.
Okay, time to make your way down to Glasgow. Stop in Glencoe. Here you can see the loch filmed in Skyfall.
- Where to Eat: Loch Fyne – a world-famous seafood restaurant (the BEST in Emily’s opinion)
- Where to stay: Loughlohmen at the Cameron House hotel (near Glasgow)
Take a spin through Glasgow. Although there are not as many tourist sites here, you can check out:
- Charles Remy Macintosh’s tea rooms
- Kelvingrove Museum
Let me know if you make it over to Scotland! I’d love to hear about it!
Need more scotland tips? Check out my packing tips here!
This Post Has 34 Comments
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Shannon Dunn22 Jan 2016
How much would a week stay cost coming from Atlanta Georgia United States
Traveling Chic23 Jan 2016
It really depends on where you’re staying. If you’re a backpacker and staying in hostels, you could do this trip relatively inexpensively. If you’re looking for decent hotels and meals, I would probably budget at least 30-50 a day for food, 125-300 a night for hotels, and a few hundred bucks for activities or shopping. This is just a rough estimate as there are so many variables to how you could plan your trip. You could definitely do it cheaper than what I laid out, but I think that is a fair estimate.
Amanda7 Feb 2016
I love Scotland! I never made to Skye or St.Augustine, but we recently spent over two weeks there with our homebase in Glasgow! There is actually loads of tuff to see in this city. The Glasgow Cathedral, Provand’s Lordship (oldest house in Glasgow), Huntarian Museum at the University, People’s Palace, and Ashton Lane, just to name a few. When visiting Glasgow I suggest taking the hop on hop off red bus. It will take you all over the city to all the exciting stops.
Traveling Chic7 Feb 2016
Great tips, Amanda! Thanks! I haven’t spent much time in Glasgow, so that is good to know! xo
Meghan12 Feb 2016
I’ve been to Edinburgh castle twice and stifling once and I have to say stifling was much better. I would budget at least a whole day for stifling castle. We also loved Largs, Ayr (The chestnut ) and Doune, plus of course the drive through the trossacs and highlands.
I’ve not been to the islands yet but next time.
Katrina Hay27 Oct 2017
Was born and raised in Stirling and wondered why it had been left of the list as it is the gateway to the Highlands ??
Meghan12 Feb 2016
Sorry previous post written on iPhone and autocorrected stirling to stifling each time????
Traveling Chic12 Feb 2016
No worries!:) I hate autocorrect! That’s good to know about Stirling–I’ll have to remember that for my next visit!
judy23 Sep 2016
We went this summer. We enjoyed Edinburgh Castle but loved Stirling Castle… much better. We joined up with the free tours offered in each of the castles and found that the tours were much more informative at Stirling and it made it more fun to go through it as the result. Besides that we went to the William Wallace Monument in Stirling. That was great for hikers- as it was quite a little upwards hike to get to it and then LOTS of steps to head to the top- but there were shuttles for those who couldn’t do the wee hike. We also headed to Dumfries in the south and stayed there for a few days. We found Sweetheart’s Abbey and a mill that is now a museum nearby. We loved that! We also enjoyed walking around Caerlaverock Castle. We spent all our nights at B & B’s during our trip. It was nice to be able to talk to the innkeepers and ask for suggestions about what to see and where to eat. Totally loved the trip.
Allan M15 Feb 2016
Enjoyed your article and have pinned it to my Scotland travel blog board. Couldn’t disagree with your itinerary choices, especially the whisky! Although as a Glaswegian would have preferred Glasgow to feature more. Lots to see, great shopping and fine food. Your choice of accommodation is fab although a bit on the expensive side. For other travellers seeking a less expensive trip Scotland has a decent range of 3 to 4 star hotels, I’ve reviewed some on my blog, although clearly you won’t get the Cameron House 5 Star experience. Thanks for the article
Traveling Chic18 Feb 2016
Thanks, Allen. Yes, I didn’t spend much time in Glasgow, but it is a lovely city!
Traveling Chic18 Feb 2016
Thanks, Allan. Yes, I didn’t spend much time in Glasgow, but it is a lovely city!
Carolyn16 Jun 2016
Hi Allan, I am coming to Scotland for 5 nights and I would love ideas for things to do/see on a daytrip to Glasgow from Edinburgh. I will have a 12-year-old with me & we are an active family. Thanks for any tips!
Mary Beckey5 Oct 2016
Would love to read your blog. Three of us older women are planning a two week trip to Scotland and would love advice on the best experience to plan.
Linda16 Apr 2016
We stayed in B and Bs and they were wonderful as well as economical. We were traveling by train so opted to (mostly) stay in small villages near the larger cities. It was an easy and short ride into the cities but accommodations were less expensive as well as very charming in the villages.
Lindsay17 Apr 2016
A nice accommodation option in Edinburgh is Holyrood Aparthotel. It’s perfect for groups or families because it’s suite-style. The hotel above the Three Sisters (bar on the Cowgate) is brand new and looks awesome! Auld Hundred on Rose Street is a nice alternative to the Witchery, which is very expensive.
As for St. Andrews, definitely add the distillery tour in Eden Mill to the list. The St. Andrews brewing company (right in town centre) has excellent burgers.
Sarah25 Apr 2016
When in Aberdeenshire, be sure to visit Stonehaven for the best castle in Scotland, Dunnottar. Grab fish and chips at The Bay and take a walk along the seafront, absolutely beautiful!
Tom C4 Jul 2016
You don’t mention methods to get around for the 2 week trip. Sounds like best method is by rental car, but how easy is this trip by public transportation, trains, bus and taxi?
Traveling Chic21 Aug 2016
Hi Tom, Unfortunately I don’t have much to say on public transportation in Scotland as we rented a car. I’m sure it would be doable, just necessary to do some research beforehand. Safe travels!
Diane MacDougall7 Nov 2016
We just spent our vacation in Scotland based in Glasgow and went everywhere via the wonderful trains. Staying in Glasgow you are very close to 2 stations–Glasgow Central
And the station right on George ‘s Square. We came into Glasgow Central from London. The trains go everywhere!
Bren3 Dec 2016
Love the pic of the cute ” hee- land coo” at the end!
Jim S29 Dec 2016
Thank you for the information. We arrive in Glasgow on 20 April 17 and plan to tout through June 3rd. We will incorporate your recommendations into our itinerary..
Traveling Chic22 Jan 2017
Great! Have a nice trip, Jim!
Modish26 Nov 2021
Love your site.
Is it possible to rent a car after we arrive if we feel it is necessary?
Planning a 2 week trip in Sept, 2022
Jenny Dolphin2 Dec 2021
It’s certainly a possibility, but will have the inherent risk that a car won’t be available in the town you are in when you need it. Also – if you need an automatic car (rather than stick) they are often harder to come by in Europe, so best to reserve ahead of time if you need that type of car. Hope that helps!
Meya1 Jan 2017
Hello your article is so beneficial. We are planing a trip to Edinburgh and to stop in stirling so which places you recommend to visit with a baby?
Gracie28 Jan 2017
I’m planning a 10 Day road trip in September. How many days should I reserve for the isles? I’m interested in seeing the Fairy pools and Faerie Glen. I love castles and would like to stay at one during the trip. Any recommendations?
Elizabeth5 Apr 2017
I’m sure you’ll find the information you need re accommodation,places to visit and routes on http://www.visitscotland.com I agree that some hotels mentioned in the post although beautiful,l are expensive.
Gun27 Apr 2017
I’m surprised that there was no mention about the Borders with all its history and clans! My daughter is a Border Elliot, born in Edinburgh, but spent part of her childhood in Coldstream by the river Tweed.
Linda17 Jun 2017
We just got back from a 2.5 wk trip to Scotland. It was amazing! You did not mention Glen Coe which is beautiful or the kelpies at Falkirk. We also enjoyed our own Outlander tour to Doune Castle (Castle Leach), Midhope Castle (Lallybroch), Falkland (1940’s Inverness) & Colloden.
Cindy7 Jul 2017
We are traveling with our 5 year old daughter & 7 mo th daughter !!! I’m looking for family hotels or B&Bs and fun activities.
– my husband is on a wheelchair so I think most castles tours would be nice but we probably won’t do much hiking. Would love to find central cities to visit where we can do many things but not have to drive long periods.
David Cameron21 Aug 2019
Fantastic. Thanks for your detailed guide, Jenny! I loved your site and its theme!