Discover Itineraries

2 Weeks

Around Scotland

Day 1

Start your day at the National Museum of Scotland, then stroll to the Royal Mile, pausing for a quick snap of Greyfriars Bobby and a lunch stop at one of the many restaurants on George IV Bridge. Deacon Brodie’s Tavern, where an effigy of the famous 18th-century villain lurks in a corner, is a favourite for a pie and a pint. After lunch, walk up the Royal Mile to Edinburgh Castle and admire the mighty Mons Meg in the castle grounds. Walk down The Mound to the Scottish National Gallery to admire works by Scottish masters. Finish the day with a climb up Calton Hill for a sunset panorama, then descend to lively Broughton Street for drinks, dinner and live music at The Barony.

Day 2

A half-hour drive west on the M9 will take you to Falkirk, where The Helix is home to two colossal equine heads that rear above the canal. A further 25-minute drive brings you to Stirling and its legendary castle. Explore within the castle’s ancient walls, then head for the nearby Wallace Monument, an unmistakable landmark. Climb this Gothic spire for an impressive view of the Castle and learn about Scotland’s national hero, William Wallace. Spend the evening in the quaint town of Dunblane, where Chez Roux at Cromlix House offers a light, nouvelle, French-influenced menu.

Day 3

Visit the iconic Doune Castle, then drive a further half-hour to Perth where you can pause for lunch and visit the Fergusson Gallery. After lunch, cross the River Tay to Scone Palace a stately home crammed with precious antiques. Stretch your legs in its wooded gardens before embarking on a short drive to your final destination of the day: Dundee. Dine in the city’s arts quarter, and enjoy live entertainment nearby at Dundee Rep Theatre.

Day 4

Begin the day with a visit to Dundee’s V&A Museum of Design, where the original interior of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Oak Room is a highlight, then board RRS Discovery and learn about Captain Scott’s polar voyages. After a spot of lunch, head north to the haunting ruined clifftop fortress of Dunnottar Castle. Spend the night in Aberdeen, where you can feast on Black Angus steak and North Sea lobster at The Brasserie at Malmaison Aberdeen, which also has stylish rooms.

Day 5

On your way to Royal Deeside, stop at Crathes Castle to explore its walled garden and nature trails – a perfect spot for a picnic lunch. Then on to the famous Balmoral Castle and Estate, where you can walk through delightful pine-scented grounds and admire the Baronial architecture. Carry on through the Cairngorms and admire rugged mountain landscapes on your way to Aberlour for the evening.

Day 6

Follow The Malt Whisky Trail® through Speyside to Craigellachie for a fascinating tour around the The Macallan Distillery and Visitor Centre. En route to Inverness, stop off for an afternoon tour of the infamous Culloden Battlefield to imagine the clash of claymores that took place here in 1746. A jumble of friendly pubs and atmospheric restaurants welcomes you to Inverness.

Day 7

First stop Drumnadrochit to join a Loch Ness Monster “research cruise”. Admire the ruins of Urquhart Castle from the water, then eat at the Loch Ness Inn’s Lewiston Restaurant, which serves local produce with a contemporary twist. Follow the banks of Loch Ness through breathtaking Glen Shiel. Pause for a stroll around the magnificent Eilean Donan Castle – Scotland’s most photogenic castle – on Loch Duich, then on to Kyle of Lochalsh. Cross the bridge to the Isle of Skye where a fine dinner and cosy room await at Kinloch Lodge.

Day 8

Visit the dinky town of Portree for a colourful snapshot, then head for Dunvegan Castle, stronghold of Clan MacLeod for over eight centuries. Just off the main road from Portree to Staffin is the start of a fantastic walk along the Trotternish ridge, leading to The Old Man of Storr, which rewards hikers with fantastic views across the island and beyond. Don’t miss a quick stop at the Talisker Distillery for a sip of the whisky nicknamed “the lava of the Cuillins”.

Day 9

Take the short ferry crossing from Armadale to the pretty town of Mallaig, famed for its fresh seafood. Stop off at the Sands of Morar and take a stroll where this idyllic sweep of white sand meets aquamarine water. Continue your drive through Glenfinnan to pay your respects to Jacobite warriors at the Glenfinnan Monument and see the iconic Jacobite Steam Train, which doubles as the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter movies, as it chuffs along the Glenfinnan Viaduct in a billow of smoke. You can even ride the train – a regular service runs between Mallaig and Fort William. Arrive in Fort William in time to dine at The Crannog while watching a glorious sunset over Loch Linnhe.

Day 10

A short trip from Fort William is Glen Nevis, where you can get a great view of Scotland’s highest peak and stretch your legs on many a woodland stroll, or a more energetic munro. If you wish to conquer Ben Nevis, start the day early, and ensure that the weather conditions are right, and that you are well prepared for the demanding ascent.

Day 11

The drive south from Fort William through Glencoe is real stunner. You’ll find great views of Buachaille Etive Mor from the Glencoe Visitor Centre. From here, follow the A82 for an hour and a half, skirting heather-covered Rannoch Moor, to Loch Lomond. Don’t miss a stop in the picturesque town of Luss. Enjoy dinner and drinks overlooking the loch and Ben Lomond at Colquhoun’s at the Lodge on Loch Lomond, where the menu features grilled steaks, local game and exquisite seafood.

Day 12

Start your day of exploring the beautiful Trossachs National Park aboard a Victorian paddle-steamer boat cruise on Loch Katrine. Spend the rest of the day taking advantage of some of the many activities on offer in the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, be that biking, walking sections of the West Highland Way or even ziplining above the treetops. Set off on the 45-minute drive to Glasgow in the early evening to arrive in time for dinner out in the bustling city centre.

Day 13

Stroll through Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Park to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum where works by the Scottish Colourists and the Glasgow Boys steal the show. To refuel, visit quirky Ashton Lane where your taste buds will be spoilt for choice. From here, it’s a short walk to the Riverside Museum where you will be wowed by gleaming vintage vehicles. Relax at The Winged Ox at St Luke’s, next to the famous Barrowlands music venue, where you’ll find an eclectic menu of food, drink and entertainment.

Day 14

Take a slight detour through the rolling Borders countryside on the way back to Edinburgh, stopping at literary legend Sir Walter Scott’s favourite viewpoint of the triple-crowned Eildon Hills. Head north to the last sight on your tour, the enchanting Rosslyn Chapel. Admire its intricately carved stonework, then walk through leafy Roslin Glen before embarking on the short drive back to Edinburgh city centre.

Discover Around Scotland

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t The Old Man of Storr, Skye.

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