This year Greece didn’t happen. Nor did Iceland which I was going to do after Greece. But what did happen was us moving to the most beautiful place, the Blue Mountains. And I can honestly say that I have never been happier.
And I can also honestly say that I am more than happy to sacrifice travel this year for this move. Every day feels like we are on holidays. We are so relaxed and content that it’s a little ridiculous.
But life moves on and my plans for walking the Camino in 2019 are still on track (although my walking schedule is a long way behind!) and I am heading to France next year with my friend and colleague Kathy Karas. And I am excited by that.
My partner Dan and I, however, have never travelled together. And I think that it’s about time that we did.
I had planned for him to come to Iceland with me, but that was more about me than about him. The one thing we absolutely love doing is jumping in the car and seeing where the day takes us. We have been doing that every weekend since we have been here in the mountains and we have come across some amazing places.
So when thinking about where we would like to travel together, I thought of Scotland. It has long been somewhere I have wanted to explore and it seems like the perfect place for us to do a Road Trip.
Dan loves castles. We both love wild, isolated scenery, exploring country roads and laneways and stopping to eat when our stomachs dictate we should. We love trying different foods. I will definitely have to give Haggis a go, I think.
We can spend hours in the car laughing, talking, stopping to take photos and generally just enjoying each others company.
Scotland sounds perfect for us!
No time to read this now? Save it to Pinterest to enjoy later.
The researching has begun. Pinterest and Google Maps are my go to places to start. I have mapped out the places we want to see and have created a list of “additional” possibilities.
Here is a map I have created showing the places we would like to visit. Obviously, that can, and probably will change. But for now, with only 14 days to play with, I am happy with this.
I am open to suggestions, tips, and recommendations so comment away at the end of this post if you have anything you think will make this trip even better.
I have penciled in the beginning of June next year for this trip and am planning two weeks. Is that enough time?
So here goes! Our proposed Scotland Road Trip Itinerary.
The main places we plan to stay are:
The Current Plan
The plan at the moment is to fly into to Edinburgh. Or the alternative would be to fly into London (from Australia), spend a few days exploring London and then take the train to Edinburgh. This one will depend on the time we have, and of course, the cost.
Our first stop in Scotland will be Edinburgh. I would like to spend three nights here allowing us two days to explore and staying in preferably in a boutique hotel or an Airbnb apartment near the Royal Mile and making it easy to walk everywhere.
In Edinburgh we will explore:
- The Royal Mile
- Self-guided tour of Grassmarket
- Victoria Street to see the colourful shopfronts
- Edinburgh Castle (buying online tickets and going at opening time)
- Climb Arthur’s Seat in Holyrood Park (and take a picnic)
- Dean Village
- Surgeons’ Hall Museum
I am contemplating an Explorer Pass. As we will want to visit quite a few castles and other historical places I think it will offer us good value for money.
From Edinburgh, we will hire a car and start our Road Trip adventure through Scotland.
Edinburgh to Inverness (via Pitlochry)
On the way we will be stopping at:
- Urquhart Castle
The plan is to stop along the way for a night or to stay a couple of nights in Inverness.
In Inverness we will explore:
- Loch Ness
Yes, I hate to admit it, but I am a huge fan of the Outlander Series, more the books than the TV series, but I do like both.
I don’t want to have any accommodation booked and stop for the night where we want to. I am a total control freak so travelling this way does worry me a little, but I want the flexibility to see where the days take us.
Inverness to the Isle of Skye
We will take this drive as it comes, stopping as we want to along the way.
On the way to the Isle of Skye we will stop and explore:
- Eilean Donan Castle
The Isle of Skye
Spending 3 – 4 days here will hopefully give us the time to see most of what the Isle of Skye has to offer, but also the time to relax and take things slowly.
I hate being rushed when I travel. I would much rather see less but have more time there, and not cram in many things and rush around ticking them off the list. Not my style at all.
While on the Isle of Skye we will explore:
- The Fairy Pools
- The Neist Point Lighthouse
- The Quiraing
- Old Man of Storr
- Dunvegan Castle
Bear in mind we are not hikers, so we will gauge when we are there whether we will do all of them, or just a few. I realise there is more to see on the Isle of Skye, but again I want to keep things flexible. We will be happy exploring villages and castles and doing a couple of walks.
Can anyone recommend where we should base ourselves? I thought the lovely harbour town of Portree would be a good place, but always open to suggestions.
Isle of Skye to Fort William
We will leave the Isle of Skye via ferry. Before moving on we will explore:
I plan to stay in Fort William for the night (or nearby). On the way we will stop to see:
- Glenfinnan viaduct
Fort William (or nearby Loch Linnhe)
I thought Fort William would be a convenient place to stop for the night but once there we will see what other places we would like to explore or move on.
Another possibility that appeals to me is to stay in a guest house overlooking Loch Linnhe.
Fort William to Edinburgh
On the way back to Edinburgh we will be passing through and be exploring:
- Loch Lomond
- Stirling Castle
Back to Edinburgh
Upon our return to Edinburgh, and depending on how long we took on our Road Trip we will stay a couple more nights in Edinburgh.
I am determined to make this a flexible trip. I will have a list of places that I would like to stay in, but I think we will have more fun if we just plan things as we go, taking alternative routes, trying a range of styles of accommodation and maybe even splurging a night or two in luxury accommodation.
What we love the most when we explore in our everyday lives is the connection we make with different people, and this trip will be no different. I am looking forward to experiencing the warm Scottish hospitality and learning more about Scotland and its history.
I am also looking forward to the freedom of travelling with my partner and seeing Scotland. I honestly don’t think we can go wrong with where we choose to go or stay in Scotland.
So remember if you have any suggestions please feel free to post them in the comments below. Thank you in advance!
Cindy Reid is the founder of Travel Charm. Cindy has travelled extensively both personally and with her groups. She has now combined her love of art, food and travel and hosts Painting Trips to Europe and continues to explore and roam in Australia.