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If you enjoy the outdoors, and are not afraid of a little rain (okay maybe a lot of rain), then Scotland is for you. Often moody, but always dramatic, Scotland holds on to the heart of all its visitors. Once you are there, you’ll want to stay longer. Since long trips are not always possible, this seven day Scotland itinerary focuses on just the best Scotland has to offer. It will have you finished planning your trip in minutes.
If you have more time, or just interested in what else Scotland has on offer, see our more comprehensive guide. The Ultimate Scotland Road Trip goes beyond the typical tourist route and highlights some of our favorite road trip pit stops along the way.
Scotland Itinerary: One Day In Edinburgh
Edinburgh (pronounced Edin-bruhh) is a gorgeous capital city with a medieval feel. The city’s crown jewel is Edinburgh Castle. You can’t miss it, the city literally surrounds it. From Edinburgh Castle follow the Royal Mile straight to Palace Holyroodhouse. The walk only takes 30 minutes. However, it’s impossible not to pop into one of the many shops, attractions or restaurants along the way. Allow two hours at both the castle and the palace. Purchase tickets online for the best prices and to avoid the lines.
Edinburgh is well worth two days of your time. But, trust us when we say you really want to get out to the Scottish Highlands, so our Scotland itinerary moves on.
One Day In The Trossachs National Park
Whether you’re an avid hiker or just looking for the perfect spot for rest and relaxation, the Trossachs National Park is the ideal gateway. Its lush green rolling hills gently tumble into placid lakes.
Get out on the water with a boat ride on the Lady of the Lake. Or, take a walk with breathtaking views on the West Highland Way. Enjoy one of the many comfortable bed and breakfasts in the area.
Scotland Itinerary: One Day in Glencoe & Fort William
The route from the Trossachs National Park to Glencoe via the A82 is phenomenal. Reserve plenty of time to stop at the numerous viewpoints along the way. Some of our favorites include Loch Tulla, Etive Mor Waterfall, Buachaille Etive Mor Car Park, Glencoe Valley ViewPoint, Glencoe Waterfall, and Three Sisters Viewpoint. We also really love the drive around Loch Leven.
Our Scotland itinerary for day four continues following the A82 to Fort William. Famous for its proximity to the UK’s largest mountain, Ben Nevis. Though Ben Nevis is often covered in clouds, there are plenty of areas to enjoy around the base. Follow the tiny C1162 road into Glen Nevis, a glen with lovely hikes, waterfalls, and views of the mountain ranges.
There’s plenty to do in Fort William itself if you have a cloud covered day. Grab a drink at the Ben Nevis Whiskey Distillery. Take a peak at the ruins of Old Inverlochy Castle. Or, if you’re up for a bit of luxury, stay at the Inverlochy Castle Hotel and enjoy the evening of fine dining.
Two Days In The Isle Of Skye
About a two hour drive from Fort William is the magnificent Isle of Skye. Often debated as one of the most beautiful areas of Scotland, the isle is known for it’s dramatic and rugged scenery.
Countless viewpoints, hiking trails and waterfalls give visitors plenty to do. Make sure to go all the way to the top of the island to enjoy sights like The Quiraing, the famous Old Man of Storr rock formation, and Dunvegan Castle.
On your way to the Isle of Skye, you definitely want to stop for photos at Eilean Donan Castle.
One Day Cairngorms National Park
The Cairngorms National Park is about two hours from Skye Bridge. No matter which road you take, the drive is magical.
Once at the national park, Glenmore Forest Park provides fantastic views of the mountainside. The road up Cairnform Mountain is stunning for aerial views. Plus, there’s Cairngorm Reindeer Centre which gets visitors up close and personal with the area’s cutest residents.
Finally, if you have time, make your way around the national park to Balmoral Castle. This Royal Residence is not always open to the public, so make sure to check opening hours before visiting.
One Day Back to Edinburgh
The drive back to Edinburgh is about 2.5 hours. If you have been diligent at keeping pace with the agenda, then we suggest taking the slow way back. Stop off to take in one of the many fantastic views. Or, grab a tour at a whisky distillery, such as Dewar’s in Aberfeldy. Also, pop into Falkirk to see the impressive Falkirk Wheel, which lifts canal boats 35 meters (about 115 feet).
Final Thoughts On This Scotland Itinerary
Though this Scotland itinerary is very doable, Scotland is meant to be enjoyed like a fine whisky, sipped not gulped. We suggest using this itinerary as a guide. Identify the areas you are most interested in, and slow down a little. Spend an extra day or two in the Trossochs, Glencoe or Isle of Skye. You’ll just have to find your way back to Scotland one day and finish your journey.