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12 Must Visit Places On A Scotland Road Trip Itinerary In One Or Two Weeks


by Ansley Guinn


If you’re planning a road trip in Scotland, get ready for an unforgettable adventure amidst breathtaking landscapes, stunning castles, charming towns, and rich history. Scotland is a destination that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage, making it an ideal choice for travelers seeking a diverse and memorable experience.

From the majestic Highlands to the enchanting Isle of Skye, Scotland is a treasure trove of picturesque scenery and hidden gems waiting to be explored. Whether you have one week or two, there are certain places that should not be missed on your Scotland road trip itinerary.

In this article, we’ll guide you through 12 must-visit places that will take you on a journey through Scotland’s most iconic locations. So fasten your seatbelts, gas up your vehicle, and let’s dive into the adventure of a lifetime!

The Royal Mile in Edinburgh

The Royal Mile is a historic street in the heart of Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city. It stretches from the majestic Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Explore the atmospheric narrow streets and discover iconic landmarks such as St Giles’ Cathedral and the Scottish Parliament Building. Immerse yourself in the rich history and vibrant culture of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Isle of Skye

The Isle of Skye is a breathtakingly beautiful island in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. It’s known for its rugged landscapes, dramatic cliffs, and stunning lochs. Take a scenic drive along the Trotternish Peninsula, marvel at the Old Man of Storr rock formation, and explore the Fairy Pools. Don’t miss the chance to visit the famous Dunvegan Castle, the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland.

The Loch Ness

No trip to Scotland would be complete without a visit to Loch Ness. This mystical lake is famous for the elusive Loch Ness Monster, affectionately known as Nessie. Take a boat tour and enjoy the stunning scenery while keeping an eye out for any signs of the legendary creature. Visit the fascinating Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition to learn more about the history and mysteries surrounding this iconic Scottish landmark.

The Glenfinnan Viaduct

The Glenfinnan Viaduct is a must-see attraction for Harry Potter fans. This iconic railway bridge is featured in the movies as the route to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Capture the perfect photo as you witness the Jacobite steam train, also known as the Hogwarts Express, crossing the viaduct. Enjoy the magnificent views of the surrounding mountains and the picturesque Loch Shiel.

The Isle of Mull

Located on the west coast of Scotland, the Isle of Mull offers stunning landscapes, charming villages, and incredible wildlife. Explore the colorful town of Tobermory, known for its brightly painted houses, and visit the historic Duart Castle. Take a boat trip to the nearby island of Staffa and marvel at the unique geological formations, including the famous Fingal’s Cave.

The Stirling Castle

Situated on a volcanic rock, Stirling Castle is one of Scotland’s most significant historical sites. Discover the grandeur of this medieval fortress, visit the Great Hall, and admire the beautiful Renaissance palace. Learn about the pivotal role Stirling Castle played in Scottish history, including the battles of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce.

The Cairngorms National Park

The Cairngorms National Park is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. With its rugged mountains, enchanting forests, and sparkling lochs, it offers endless opportunities for hiking, wildlife spotting, and adventure activities. Explore the ancient Caledonian pine forests, spot reindeer on the slopes of Cairngorm Mountain, or take a scenic drive along the stunning Highland scenic route.

The Orkney Islands

Located off the northeastern coast of Scotland, the Orkney Islands are a hidden gem waiting to be explored. Immerse yourself in the ancient history as you visit Neolithic sites such as Skara Brae, Ring of Brodgar, and Maeshowe. Discover the stunning cliffs and bird colonies, enjoy fresh seafood, and learn about the unique cultural heritage of this enchanting archipelago.

The Glasgow Cathedral

Glasgow Cathedral, also known as St Mungo’s Cathedral, is a magnificent example of medieval architecture. Marvel at the stunning stained glass windows, intricate stone carvings, and the peaceful atmosphere. Explore the surrounding Glasgow Necropolis, a Victorian garden cemetery with breathtaking views of the city skyline.

The Eilean Donan Castle

Perched on a small island where three lochs meet, the Eilean Donan Castle is one of Scotland’s most photogenic castles. Steeped in history and surrounded by breathtaking scenery, it has been featured in numerous films and postcards. Take a guided tour to learn about its fascinating past and wander through its beautiful interior.

The Holy Isle

Visit the peaceful and spiritual Holy Isle, located in the Firth of Clyde. This secluded island is home to the Centre for World Peace and Health, where you can participate in meditation retreats and enjoy the tranquility of the natural surroundings. Take a leisurely walk along the island’s coastal paths and soak in the serene atmosphere.

The Isle of Iona

Known as a place of pilgrimage, the Isle of Iona is where St. Columba arrived from Ireland and established a monastery in the 6th century. Explore the historic Iona Abbey, visit the nearby Nunnery ruins, and enjoy the beautiful white sandy beaches. The island also offers opportunities for bird watching and wildlife spotting.


Embarking on a road trip through Scotland is an unforgettable adventure that allows you to immerse yourself in breathtaking landscapes, delve into rich history, and experience the warm hospitality of the Scottish people. With a well-planned itinerary, you can uncover the hidden gems and must-visit places that Scotland has to offer.

During your one or two-week journey, make sure to include the iconic cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, where you can explore historic castles, vibrant markets, and indulge in delicious Scottish cuisine. Discover the mystical beauty of the Scottish Highlands, with stops at Loch Ness, Glen Coe, and the Isle of Skye, where you can witness stunning vistas and ancient ruins.

Don’t miss out on the charming coastal towns like St. Andrews, Oban, and Portree, where you can relax by the shoreline, enjoy fresh seafood, and soak in the tranquil atmosphere. And for whisky lovers, a visit to the famous distilleries in Speyside or Islay is a must, where you can indulge in tastings and learn about the art of whisky production.

A Scotland road trip is an opportunity to create cherished memories, whether you’re exploring rugged landscapes, uncovering centuries-old history, or simply enjoying the stunning vistas along the way. So, pack your bags, hit the road, and let Scotland’s beauty enchant you on the journey of a lifetime.


1. How long does a Scotland road trip take?

The length of a Scotland road trip can vary depending on the number of places you want to visit and the time you have. For a comprehensive itinerary, a one to two-week trip is recommended to fully explore the country’s highlights and lesser-known gems.

2. Do I need a car for a Scotland road trip?

Having a car is highly recommended for a Scotland road trip as it offers the flexibility to explore remote areas and allows you to fully enjoy the scenic drives. However, if you prefer not to drive, there are alternatives such as guided tours or public transportation options available.

3. Is it safe to drive in Scotland?

Yes, driving in Scotland is generally safe. However, it is important to familiarize yourself with the local driving rules, especially if you are not used to driving on the left-hand side of the road. Also, be prepared for narrow and winding roads, especially in rural areas.

4. What are some must-visit places in Scotland?

Some must-visit places in Scotland include Edinburgh, Glasgow, the Scottish Highlands (including Loch Ness and Glen Coe), the Isle of Skye, St. Andrews, and the whisky distilleries in Speyside and Islay.

5. What is the best time to visit Scotland?

The best time to visit Scotland is during the summer months (June to August) when the weather is milder, and the days are longer. However, Scotland’s landscapes are beautiful year-round, and each season offers its own unique charm.