After spending 3 nights in Edinburgh we spent about two weeks traveling around Scotland. We really wanted to get out in the country and see the beauty that we had heard so much about. This is our Scotland route we took:
Edinburgh to Cairngorms National Park: After picking up our car at the Edinburgh airport we set off towards Sterling Castle and spent some time exploring the castle grounds before continuing on to our Air BnB in Ballater, a small village in the National park. The drive was nice and the mountains were beautiful. Our night in was nice and the breakfast was amazing!
Cairngorms to Inverness: We started off towards Loch Ness and the Urquhart castle, stopping at fort George before exploring the castle and loch. We headed back up to Inverness to tent camp for the night in a tent that we had picked up in Edinburgh. We were so glad to camp, but definitely missed our own camping gear from home.
Inverness to Dornoch (up to John O’Groats and back)-2 nights: Waking up bright and early just after 5am to rain we headed north, all the way up to John O’Groats at the top of the country, enjoying all the beautiful scenery along the way. We looped back down and spent 2 nights in Dornoch. Thanks to our friend Linda back in the states who connected us with her niece Donna who hooked us up with an awesome deal at the hotel she works for.
Dornoch to Durness: We headed back north on a different country road to the top western corner for another night of camping and along the way ran into a “Scottish Roadblock”
Durness to Gairloch-2 nights: We took a very scenic drive down the west coast looping out the peninsulas to see some amazing views and countryside. We stopped for 2 nights in Gairloch, a beautiful bayside town.
Gairloch to Isle of Skye: We spent 2 nights on the beautiful Isle of Skye taking a full day to explore the island. This is a place that we could easily had stayed a few more days and was absolutely full of beauty and amazing walks to be had throughout the rolling hills and farmland.
Isle of Skye to Oban: After leaving the Isle Of Skye, we stopped off at the Eilean Donan Castle which was not included in our Historic Scotland Pass, but was worth the 6.50 pounds because of the reconstruction and wonderful talks that were given to help you understand the history of Scotland’s most photographed castle.
Oban to Glasgow: Oban and Glasgow turned out to be a bit of a tasting session. In Oban, we did a whisky tasting and when we reached Glasgow, we found our way to Brew Dog Pub where we tasted some amazing craft brews.
Glasgow to Stranraer: We were in Glasgow for the final night of the Common Wealth Games and there was a lot of buzz going around town. We didn’t go to any of the events, but we did manage to see part of the mens road race from our hotel!
Stranraer to Dalbeattie: We visited many of the southern castles and abbeys along the route and were so impressed with the history and structures that have been preserved over the years. It was impressive to hear from the very informative and passionate workers at the abbeys and we would highly recommend stopping at these if you’re into history or religion.
We’ll show you the castles and abbeys that we visited along our Scotland Route with our historic Scotland Pass in an upcoming post, so stay tuned.