This 6- or 7-day scenic driving tour runs counter-clockwise around central and northern Scotland and keeps driving to a minimum, but provides an excellent taster of the country’s finest assets. That means inspiring landscapes, outdoor activities, castles, landscaped gardens, wildlife, distilleries, historic attractions and time in two vibrant cities. There’s a also bit of flexibility along the way if one or another option doesn’t appeal.
The tour starts and ends in Edinburgh, but it would be as easy to finish in Glasgow by doing the tour in reverse from there.
Without question one of Europe’s most attractive cities, Edinburgh is worth a day or two of your time. With a seemingly unending series of hidden corners to explore, it’s a great place to wander fairly aimlessly, but for a solid introduction to Scotland’s capital take in the capital’s highlights which include the Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle, the National Museum of Scotland and the New Town.
Stop off at Deep Sea World, essential if you’ve got kids with you, en route to the Perthshire and Cairngorms itinerary, which leaves rolling lowland hills behind to head deep into the Scottish Highlands around Cairngorms National Park.
Follow the Cairngorms & Moray itinerary from the Highland center of Aviemore, past a clutch of whisky distilleries and to the pretty coastal village of Findhorn.
Follow our Great Glen itinerary, which visits the moving Culloden Moor battlefield and Clava Cairns, an ancient stone circle before following inky Loch Ness along the base of the Great Glen to the highland activity hub of Fort William.
After an early start for the 90-minute drive through beautiful Argyll countryside and beside attractive Loch Lomond, you can see Glasgow in a day. Highlights include its eclectic Kelvingrove Museum, a Botanic Garden and a series of grand and bustling central streets that were built when Glasgow was a powerhouse of the British Empire.
Follow the Trossachs & Stirling itinerary to visit the region that captured the imagination of Scotland’s first tourists: Victorians who flocked to the wild but elegantly proportioned Trossach Glen. Sights of national importance around the city of Stirling round off the day.
Skip Day 7 of this itinerary or skip Glasgow. Instead, on Day 6, take your time travelling around the scenic countryside: visit Inveraray Castle; stop at viewpoints along Loch Lomond, then head east to the Trossachs and explore explore the area around Loch Katrine by foot, bike or boat or visit the Go Ape adventure playground at Aberfoyle.