An Incredible Scottish Highlands Road Trip You Should Try
Planning to get away from the stress of day-to-day life? 😍 How about considering a road trip in the Scottish Highlands? Whether it's just with your partner or with the whole family, imagine seeing majestic castles, quaint villages and towns, magnificent landscapes, and mystical lochs. Scotland offers that and so much more! If this is your first time going on a Scotland Highlands road trip, and you want more information on the best Scottish Highlands routes, we’ve got you covered, because we’ll share with you the best places to visit and other highlights you’ll experience on a road trip in Scotland Highlands. We've checked out a great Highlands road trip itinerary. Ready to start planning?
Day 1: Head to Oban from Glasgow
Starting in the morning, the first day of your Highlands road trip itinerary will begin from Glasgow towards Oban. The destination for this day is the Trossachs National Park, a great place to go hiking and see castles and Scottish villages. Some of the castle ruins you can visit are Buchanan Castle and Kilchurn Castle. Travelling with the family? Check out Sea Life Loch Lomond! It’s an aquarium where kids can learn more about sea life.
In Oban, you can take a break at the Oban Distillery and have a tour and sample of their whisky. Of course, there’s more than whisky in Oban. Go on a history tour at the Dunollie Museum, Castle & Grounds, the Oban War & Peace Museum, as well as the Dunstaffnage Castle and Chapel. After all the exploring, you’ll probably be hungry, so head off to the harbour area where you can try the local seafood!
Day 2: Ferry to the Isle of Mull
From Oban, you’ll be taking a ferry to the Isle of Mull. You won’t regret visiting the island because there’s so much to explore there. You can take your car, ride a bus, or rent a bicycle while you’re on the Isle of Mull. If you’re the adventurous type, you’d surely love to go on a hike! The prize is the breathtaking view of the island from the top.
If you’d rather have a relaxing day on the isle instead, the Tobermory Distillery is waiting for you. It’s a great way to spend time in town and chat with the locals. Never worry about finding a place to eat while you’re there because there are plenty of restaurants, as well as shops if you want to buy some souvenirs.
Day 3: Onwards to Fort William
From Oban, take the A85 eastward to Tyndrum and then to Glencoe on A82. This is the best Scottish Highlands road trip route if you want to see the majestic mountains of Scotland. While you’re on your way to the destination, do take your time so you can stop and savour the beauty of the place. Don’t forget to take photos! You can even go on a detour to Glen Etive and onwards to Loch Etive. Observe the wildlife you’ll see along the way. You might even find some of the landscapes familiar because they’ve been featured in James Bond and Harry Potter films.
In Fort William, go to the Ben Nevis Visitor Centre if you want to explore the area by hiking. Ben Nevis is actually the highest peak in the UK, and it’s going to take the whole day to reach it, so do plan your schedule while you’re in Fort Willam. You also have the option to see the Steall Waterfall and Lower Falls instead. Some of the top places to visit are also the Old Inverlochy Castle, Neptune’s Staircase, and of course, the Ben Nevis Distillery to sample some whisky. Spend the night in Fort William and rest easy because the next day is full of adventure!
Day 4: Isle of Skye
After a good night’s rest in Fort William, head off to Glenfinnan so you can catch a ferry going to the Isle of Skye. While in Glenfinnan, check out the Glennfinnan Viaduct! You’ll recognise it from the Harry Potter movies, especially when there’s a Jacobite steam train crossing. On the Isle of Skye, the first place you’d want to visit is the Fairy Pools. They’re a magnificent collection of waterfalls and rock pools from the River Brittle. Once you see how crystal-clear the water in the pools and how everything feels so pristine, you’ll understand why it’s named that way.
Fairy Glen is another beautiful place you’d want to visit while at the Isle of Skye. Can’t get enough of Scotland’s natural beauty? Check out Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls and the Old Man of Storr, which is a stunning rock formation. You can then relax in Portree and grab a bite. If you feel you can do a bit more hiking, there’s the Scorrybreac Trail, where you can see the loch and harbour from on top.
From Portree, you can drive to Coral Beach, where you can rest or walk along the beach. Don’t forget to visit the Dunvegan Castle & Gardens while you’re on the Isle of Skye. There’s a seal colony that you can observe up close. Finally, Neist Point is the last stop. There’s a lighthouse there that you can visit. Don’t miss the chance to go up the lighthouse lookout point while you’re there.
Day 5 & 6: Inverness and Cairngorms Park
Inverness is known to be the Scottish Highlands’ capital. The famous Loch Ness is also located there, so be sure to visit. You can even have a boat tour on the loch! Get to know Inverness and just explore the place. You may even want to just relax for the day. It’s been quite an adventure on the Isle of Skye!
The next day, you’ll be driving towards Cairngorms National Park. Along the way, visit the Culloden Battlefield and get to know the history of the 1745 Jacobite uprising. The next stop is the Clava Cairns, a prehistoric burial ground. In Cairngorms National Park, there’s so much to do and see! There’s another distillery there, the Tomatin Distillery. Visit old bridges and explore scenic towns. There’s even a reindeer centre where you can hike close to a reindeer herd and also pet and feed them.
Day 7: Trossachs National Park to Glasgow
From the Cairngorms National Park, the next destination is the Trossachs National Park. It’s almost the end of the best Scottish highlands road trip, but don’t worry. You can visit places you missed on your first day. After you’re done exploring the Trossachs National Park, head towards Glasgow and just see the city. You won’t run out of things to do while you’re there. It has theatres, abbeys, museums, and cathedrals that you can visit!
And that’s the end of your Scottish Highlands road trip. While you may not be able to cover everything, what’s most important is you get to experience the beauty of Scotland. For sure, you’d want to have another road trip again soon!
Here at Carmoola we love road trips! If you have more time for exploring why not check out our London to Scotland road trip which follows a path up the western coast of England. Have fun! 😃 🚘