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Road Trip Itinerary Review

Corona, California
Level Contributor
65 posts
84 reviews
Road Trip Itinerary Review

Here is yet another itinerary review post. :P We have 9 full days in May to see the country, and it’s our first time there so we want to pack in as much as possible. We love road trips and since we are both professional photographers, will spend much of our time looking at scenery through our lenses. Two more items of note: First, we will be celebrating my husband’s birthday during this trip, and second, my ancestry is Scottish so this is very exciting for me!

I know this itinerary is ambitious, but I hope it is doable. All hotels, rental car, and airfare are already booked. Thoughts?

Arrival (Saturday): Arrive Glasgow 7:30pm (stay 3 nights).

Day 1 (Sunday): Drive to Highland Games in Gourock (Inverclyde) - say a couple of hours, then drive back along southwest coast through Seamill and Ayr, down to Dumfries, back up to Glasgow. Dinner possibly at The Two Fat Ladies at the Buttery?

Day 2 (Monday – Husband’s birthday): Full day Castles, Lochs & Whiskey Tour from Glasgow (Inverness Tours & Activities). Dinner at Café Source Restaurant.

Day 3 (Tuesday): Head northwest to Loch AweKilchurn Castle. Drive to Isle of Skye – Tallisker Distillery. Stay in Balmacara one night.

Day 4 (Wednesday): See Eilean Donan, drive back up through Skye to Dunvegan Castle, then on to Inverness (2 nights).

Day 5 (Thursday): Boat tour on Loch Ness, scenic drive through Cairngorms to Aviemore, then northeast to visit Cardhu, Macallan and Strathisla distilleries, back to Inverness via A96.

Day 6 (Friday): Scenic drive to Aberdeen through Banff and Peterhead, down to Dunnottar Castle (near Stonehaven), back to Aberdeen for one night.

Day 7 (Saturday): Balmoral Castle, Blair Castle, Glamis Castle, then on to Edinburgh (2 nights).

Day 8 (Sunday): Drive north to Falkland Palace through Falkirk, then to Edinburgh Castle. Dinner at Castle Terrace Restaurant.

Day 9 (Monday): Drive south to Rosslyn Chapel, Neidpath Castle, Drumlanrig Castle, then west to Dundonald Castle, and north to Glasgow for last night.

Day 10 (Tuesday): Depart from Glasgow.

Thanks for any suggestions or comments.

Edinburgh, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
Level Contributor
4,864 posts
266 reviews
1. Re: Road Trip Itinerary Review


Well, if you've booked accomm etc already, there isn't much wiggle room!

You will be going a lot of looking at Scotland through a windscreen, never mind a camera lens, but as a whistle stop tour it is doable.

You seem to be doubling back on yourself quote a lot - Skye to Eilean Donan and back to Skye, Dunnottar back to Aberdeen etc.

Any particular reason for driving from Edinburgh to Flakland via Falkirk? The quickest route is over the Forth Road Bridge and M90.

Abs :)

East Neuk of Fife...
Destination Expert
for St Andrews
Level Contributor
11,690 posts
181 reviews
2. Re: Road Trip Itinerary Review

Comments - Day 5 is a bit of a push and as Abs says its a whistle stop tour..

What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare?

And 3 distilleries? Presumably touring each one or just stopping to take a photo or two?

Day 8 - Why go to Falkland via Falkirk? and is it North? I would have thought it was east to Fife from Edinburgh. When at Falkland you may as well take the whole day in Fife and go to St.Andrews and back via The East Neuk.


Its your holiday but I think you are trying to cram too much in. I don't even think its doable, let alone enjoyable....sorry!

Woody x

Destination Expert
for Scotland
Level Contributor
8,620 posts
29 reviews
3. Re: Road Trip Itinerary Review

Way too much driving in my opinion.

Day 1 - I think Dumfries is too far to go unless there's a compelling reason for going there.

Day 3 - you don't tell us your route but it sounds like you might miss out on Glencoe. A big mistake if you like to photograph scenery.

You appear to be driving to Skye twice. This doesn't seem sensible. It can be slow going on Skye. I'd spend more nights here and sacrifice the Inverness nights.

You appear to be looking at an awful lot of castles. There's a lot more to Scotland than castles. Your time in Edinburgh doesn't appear to allow you time to see the city.

Falkland via Falkirk doesn't make sense. There's not much to see/do in Falkirk. Are you going to see the wheel?

Stonehaven, United...
Level Contributor
333 posts
44 reviews
4. Re: Road Trip Itinerary Review

If you haven't already booked your accommodation, I would recommend staying in Stonehaven for the night instead of going back to Aberdeen. If you get Stoney on a nice day the sunset in the harbour is fantastic. There's also some very good pubs and restaurants there.

The next day you can easily cut across onto the North or South Deeside road to get to Balmoral etc. One of the main roads out of Stonehaven joins just outside Banchory.

Manchester, United...
Destination Expert
for The Hebrides
Level Contributor
8,555 posts
70 reviews
5. Re: Road Trip Itinerary Review

As Abs points out, if it's all booked then there's not much you can do to improve it. But to echo what was said above, don't miss Glencoe. And days 3 and 4, going on and off Skye like a yo-yo, are a bit crazy. It might be worth trying to cancel your night at Balmacara and finding somewhere more convenient on Skye?

Have a great trip!

Corona, California
Level Contributor
65 posts
84 reviews
6. Re: Road Trip Itinerary Review

Thank you all for your suggestions! We will definitely take them into consideration and will probably do some itinerary changing based on your comments.


7. Re: Road Trip Itinerary Review

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