1 Week in Scotland Itinerary

In less than 2 weeks we will take off our on first adventure of 2017! Scotland is a place that we have both always dreamt of going, so it feels surreal that it is so close to happening. Jake has Scottish ancestry so he is especially excited! We only have a week, which is not nearly long enough, but I feel like it will give us a good taste of what Scotland has to offer. Here is our 1 week in Scotland Itinerary ūüôā

Edinburgh | © Marketing Edinburgh

Day 1 & 2: Edinburgh

We will by flying one of our favorite airlines; Icelandair. After a short layover in Iceland, we will be landing in Glasgow mid-morning. We will immediately pick up our rental car from Holiday Autos, which was by far the cheapest booking site we found for Scotland. We will spend our first 2 nights in the historic and beautiful capital city of Edinburgh. There is so much to see in Edinburgh that I already know 2 nights will not be enough.

CAR RENTAL: We paid $84 for a 7 day rental on an economy car with Holiday Autos. 

Stay: This Self-Contained Cabin on Airbnb ($50/night) 

We chose an Airbnb in Edinburgh because it offered free parking and was much cheaper than hotels or even private rooms in hostels. ¬†I have read that driving in Edinburgh can be a little intimidating, in addition to driving on the left side of the road. I think it will work better for us to take public transportation most of the time in Edinburgh. –> Save $40 on your first Airbnb stay by using this code to sign up!¬†

Edinburgh Castle | © Visit Scotland

Edinburgh Castle

The Edinburgh Castle has been an important figure in Edinburgh since the 12th century. Over the years it has been a fortress, state prison, a residence for the king of England, and more. The castle is huge and has plenty to keep us busy for a few hours. The castle is situated on an extinct volcano too, so the views of the city should be nice as well.

The Royal Mile

After exploring the Edinburgh Castle we will probably head to the nearby Royal Mile. The Royal Mile is made up of 4 streets which comprised the main part of medieval Edinburgh. This historic area is now home to the Scotch Whisky Experience, the¬†Writer’s Museum, an observatory at the Camera Obscura, St Giles Cathedral and the Parliament House (and much more). Not to mention all the pubs and stores which can be found.

Arthurs Seat

Towering above Edinburgh is an extinct volcano named Arthurs Seat. The mountain is very flat at the top and once was a great hunting grounds for the royal family. Now it is a great place for a hike and to get panoramic views of Edinburgh below. I would like to make it up here to catch a sunrise if possible.

Mary Kings close landscape

Mary King’s Close | ¬© Visit Scotland

Mary King’s Close

Like many older cities, it was easier to build upon the infrastructure that was already present. So many cities have an ‘underground city’ such as Paris, or¬†even Portland, which we explored a few years ago.¬†Edinburgh has a really well preserved area of a section of the city that was built over called Mary King’s Close. This area looks like it was frozen in time in the year 1600. As far as I can tell, the area is only accessibly by tour which runs about $16 per person.

Quiraing stock photo

Quiraing, Isle of Skye

Day 3-5: Isle of Skye

I don’t recall ever hearing about the Isle of Skye until I started researching Scotland. It immediately captivated me though, and I think there will be plenty to keep us busy on this beautiful isle off the west coast of Scotland. We will spend 3 nights on the Isle of Skye.

While on the Isle of Skye we plan on doing a whiskey tasting at Talisker Distillery. We will also see a lot of the unique natural formations that make the Isle of Skye really special. This includes the Old Man of Storr, the Fairy Pools, the dramatic cliffs of The Quiraing, and Mealt Falls as it billows over the side of Kilt Rock into the Atlantic Ocean.

Stay: We will be staying at this really neat eco-house we have booked through Airbnb.
eilene donan castle

Eilean Donan Castle | © Visit Scotland

Day 6: Inverness & Loch Ness

From the Isle of Skye we will return back to the main land, where we will stop at the iconic Eilean Donan Castle. From there we will head¬†northeast to the town of Inverness. We are spending a night in Inverness so that we can explore the nearby Loch Ness, famous of course for “Nessie,” the Loch Ness Monster.

Stay: The Waterside Hotel, Inverness ($55/night) 

Ben Nevis | © Wikipedia

Day 7: Fort Williams, Glen Coe & Loch Lomond

We will follow the path of The Great Glen from Inverness to the town of Fort Williams. We may grab some lunch here, and hopefully we will be able to see Ben Nevis which is the tallest peak in the United Kingdom.

If you’ve seen the Harry Potter movies you may recognize this Jacobite steam train¬†in Fort Williams as the train that transported people to the Harry Potter world. Obviously, I’m no Harry Potter expert since I have only half heartedly watched the first movie. But the train is beautiful, and you can book a ride on it certain times of year. Unfortunately it does not seem to run when we will be there. You can check the schedule here.

Glen Coe

Glencoe | © VistScotland

We will continue our drive south as we head through stunning Glen Coe. I think most of the pictures I’ve seen of Scotland have probably been of this beautiful glen! I am really excited to take some pictures and maybe have Jake fly the drone if weather is permitting.

Loch Lomond stock photo

Loch Lomond | © Wikipedia

Finally, our day will end with us traveling through the Trossachs National Park as we reach our destination of Loch Lomond. The song Loch Lomond is one of my all time favorites. This acapella version by Peter Hollens gives me chills and brings tears to my eyes at the same time!

We had initially planned on spending our final 2 nights exploring the city of Glasgow. While Glasgow looks beautiful, I had a hard time getting excited about it. I felt like my heart was pulling me to the Highlands. We usually prefer nature to cities anyways, so we decided to spend our final night on the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond at this affordable guesthouse.

Stay –> Gowanlea Guest House ($49/night, breakfast starts at ¬£5/per person)

1 week roadtrip scotland

**Note: this post does contain affiliative links, which means if you make a booking using our links we will make a small commission at no added expense to you. We want to thank VisitScotland for providing us with 2 ASVA media passes to experience some of Scotlands incredible historical sites & visitor attractions!**

1 week scotland itinerary

Is Scotland on your bucket list too?! Let us know what you think in the comments!





12 thoughts on “1 Week in Scotland Itinerary

  1. I’m so glad I found this article as I’m planning for my trip to Scotland in May ūüôā You have shared a great deal of useful information about visiting Scotland. And your beautiful photos motivate me even more strongly to work harder and save more for this upcoming trip. Thanks so much!

  2. that looks like a great itinerary! We have been in Edinburgh some years back and getting up Arthur’s Seat is one of my dearest memory of all, not only that trip.. we hiked up and it was so cold, with an icy wind just from front that we wanted to head back a 1000 times but we made it! Laid on the so soft gras and moss and the sun was suddenly warm and my now husband and me hold hands watching up the sky <3 thanks for bringing this memory back

  3. Thanks for sharing – Did you get to see Glasgow? I have been there a few times and love it. I’ve only been to Edinburgh once and thought it was nice but feels more British than Scottish whereas Glasgow is pure Scotland!

  4. Thank you for this post! I used to visit Scotland pretty regularly when I was in college, but I was young and dumb and didn’t take full advantage of Scotland’s beauty. I can’t wait to go back again someday soon to explore it with fresh (and mature) eyes.

  5. Looks like you’re checking off a lot in your limited time! I’ve only been to Edinburgh (which was lovely) and I’d love to explore more of Scotland. I hope the weather holds out for you!

  6. I’m guessing this trip has probably been and gone by the time I am reading this post, but I agree that Edinburgh is a fantastic place! I also went to Edinburgh Castle and on the Mary King’s Close tour, which I absolutely loved! There’s so much spooky history associated with Edinburgh, which makes it great for ghost story lovers like me.

  7. Despite living in Wales and having a significantly shorter journey than you to get there, I’ve never been to Scotland! Hoping to make it up there some time this year though, and I may just have to take a bit of inspiration from your itinerary! Totally feel the same way about Glasgow too! Edinburgh is kind of calling me but Glasgow? Nothing.
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