After living in Edinburgh and Glasgow on and off for 2 years during my time in the UK, I absolutely fell head over heels for the lush landscape and breathtaking lochs and mountain passes of the Scottish Highlands. It’s a place special to my heart and a place Jay and I will forever return.
Scotland is a country best seen my car and it’s small enough that a few days can see you exploring the best the Highlands has to offer. If you add in my Isle of Skye Itinerary, this trip is best taken over 5-6 nights, so grab your snacks and buckle up, because Scotland beckons!
Day 1- Head out of Edinburgh or Glasgow and head west. If you’re leaving Glasgow, consider a stop at Loch Lomond in the Trossachs National Park. If departing Edinburgh, stop for a coffee at the famous Little Green Welly stop before continuing onto the seaside village of Oban where you’ll stay for the night. Oban is the ferry hub for the Hebrides Island and a gorgeous wee town spread along the esplanade of the western coast. Stay in a seaside BnB, grab a seafood dinner and a local whisky and enjoy the view.
If you arrive early enough in Oban (or get up early and get the first ferry) consider a Ferry ride across to Isle of Mull or my favourite, Kerrera, which has beautiful lanscape and the tumbling ruins of a Castle perched on the cliffside. Kerrera is small, with only one little cafe so take snacks and expect to walk everywhere on the Island!
Day 2- This morning head north to Fort William, shadowed by the famous and imposing Ben Nevis, Scotland tallest mountain. You can even climb this beast if that’s your thing. The drive will take you through Glencoe-honestly some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever encountered. We always stop for a drink in a local pub here! I imagine you’ll want to continue to the Isle of Skye (lets face it, thats why we come to the highlands) so head onto Kyle of Localsh and cross the bridge to the fairy land of Skye. (Check our my 2 day itinerary of Skye here for days 3 & 4)
After leaving the Island on the afternoon/evening of day 4, you’ll be heading to Inverness for the night. It’s a 3 hour drive so check into your Bnb, have a wine and hit the hay because tomorrow you’ll be exploring Inverness, and hopefully you’ll catch a sighting of Nessie.
*we stayed in the village of Drumnadrochit, and had dinner at the gorgeous pub Fiddlers Highland
Day 5- Spend your morning cruising Loch Ness! we did our tour with Castle Cruises Loch Ness, a local Husband/wife duo. The tour leaves from The tourist centre 9look for the big Nessie statue out the front) and we could not fault Gordon and his tour.
Loch Ness is a magical place famously steeped in myth and legend and you will learn about so much on this tour!
Inverness is a small city that is very beautiful, however we think the magic is all in the Loch and the little villages around it, so explore the city and it’s surrounding for the afternoon, before getting back in the car and driving 1hr 45min south to Pitlochry where you will spend your last night.
Pitlochry is the quintessential Scottish Village, with it’s picturesque main street lined with cosy pubs and cafes and giftshops. When we drove into Pitlochry in the late afternoon I saw a sigh for “The Enchanted Forest” … after a quick google search we discovered it was a huge yearly attraction in Pitlochry (80,000 people each season!) where the mysterious forest is transformed into a spectacular sound and light show. I’m talking thousands of stunning coloured fairy lights in out of this world designs, wrapping themselves around the trees of the forest while beautiful melodies will engulf you while you wander the paths with your loved ones. You’ll have to trust me on this one-if you visit in November, get a ticket, buy a cup of mulled wine in the forest and prepare to be amazed. The surprising magical moment of our highland trip.
Day 6- Time to finish your roadtrip! Grab breakfast at a local cafe, or even a takeaway pastry at one of Pitlochry’s yummy bakeries. Be sure to stop in at Blair Athol Distillery, a vine covered stone beauty of a distillery. You can spend your day relaxing in the village, or explore Perthshire’s many walks and hikes, or head back to Edinburgh/Glasgow, having seen the very best the beautiful and mystical Highlands have to offer.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll be back.