Outside of the touristic routes, Skye reveal its soul, Isle of Skye,Scotland
Travel

The Ultimate Road Trip in Scotland

Scotland is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. There’s no way around it. We just had to say it. Taking a car and touring around Scotland is a lovely experience, among extraordinary sceneries and centuries of history. From the landscapes of Staffa to the gardens of Glamis Castle, our road trip was a continuous source of enchantment.

We explored in details the different Scottish region we crossed in our sequence of blog posts, including two specials about castles and whisky distilleries, but we wanted to create a single memory of this place with the gems of the region. We also included some points we couldn’t fit in any other posts but that they had to be mentioned!

So here it is, our Scotland’s delicious spots!

  • Isle of Mull

Say hi to the sunshine! Isle of Mull, Scotland
Say hi to the sunshine!

Less known than her bigger sister Skye, Isle of Mull is a stunning place to relax and enjoy nature without too many tourists around. Tobermory is a charming little fishing village, with its colored houses mirroring in the clear water. Our suggestion is to take the ferry and spend some days driving around this lovely island, exploring every corner of this piece of heaven.

  • Staffa Island

The island of Staffa, emerging from the sea, Isle of Mull, Scotland
The island of Staffa, emerging from the sea

A favorite destination of us while staying on Isle of Mull has been Staffa Island. This volcanic island can be reached by boat with daily tours from Fionnphort. It’s an incredible place, where the ocean is the uncontrasted king, shaping this territory into this natural wonder.

  • Glen Coe & Glen Etive

A “glen” is the Scottish denomination for a deep, steep valley, often created by a river. Glen Coe and Glen Etive are two among the most spectacular geological formations of this kind that can be found in Scotland. They form a fantastic background while going from Mull to Skye, with their firm peaks topped with snow and the river lazily flowing on the bottom of the valley.

The cold weather did not stop us from climbing one of the sides of Glen Coe! Scotland
The cold weather did not stop us from climbing one of the sides of Glen Coe!
  • Glenfinnan Viaduct

Remember anything? A flying Ford Anglia following a train, maybe? Scotland
Remember anything? A flying Ford Anglia following a train, maybe?

The hamlet of Glenfinnan hosts two different landmarks, with different origins, situated a couple of hundred meters one from the other. On one side of the road, the Jacobite monument, commemorating the starting of the (failed) Scottish rising in 1745 under the command of Bonnie Prince Charlie. On the other side, the railroad bridge that was made famous by the Harry Potter movies. This has been the location for the shots of the Hogwarts Express on its travel to the school of witchcraft. For one reason or the other, this is an unmissable spot on your road trip around Scotland!

  • Eilean Donan Castle

Since 13th century, Eilean Donan never stopped to impress its visitors, Scotland
Since 13th century, Eilean Donan never stopped to impress its visitors

At the crossing between 3 lochs, Eilean Donan Castle is one of the most picturesque buildings in Scotland. This splendid castle, founded in the XIII century, is a fascinating visit, with plenty of information regarding the history of Scotland. We suggest to come visiting this place at least twice, once during the day and once during the night, to admire it under different lights and weather conditions.

  • Isle of Skye

Driving around in Skye, you may encounter places like this, Isle of Skye.
Driving around in Skye, you may encounter places like this.

The celebrated Isle of Skye is a renowned destination for nature lovers and people interested in outdoor activities. The north of the island, in particular, offers some of the most beautiful scenarios in the Highlands, from Nest Point to Quiraing. And when you are tired of walking, there is Talisker Distillery!

  • Oyster Shed

Lobster, mussels, langoustine, oysters.. What else?! Isle of Skye, Scotland
Lobster, mussels, langoustine, oysters.. What else?!

Seafood is the best food product that can be found in West Highlands. We prefer to eat our seafood as simple as possible, to let the flavors of the meat be the protagonist of our meal. There is no better place than the Oyster Shed to eat some of these delicious delicacies, straight from the sea. Lobster, mussels, crab, and, of course, oysters are the absolute protagonist of this small restaurant, where there is no service, no frills, only delicious food.

  • Distilleries tour

Our sweet collection at the end of the tour. Scotch Whisky Tour, Scotland
Our sweet collection at the end of the tour

Exploring a culture often means understanding what and why they eat and drink. We think few things represent Scotland as much as whisky. It’s the pure expression of this territory, where things are slowly built, layer after layer until reaching perfection. We recommend visiting several distilleries on your trip, as each one is unique, perfectly adapted to its surroundings. The differences between Talisker, on the wind-beaten Isle of Skye, and Glenkinchie, located among the green hills around Edinburgh, can be used to explain the variety of landscapes this region can offer.

  • Urquhart Castle

The view of Loch Ness from Urquhart Castle, Castles in Scotland
The view of Loch Ness from Urquhart Castle

Loch Ness is the most significant loch in Scotland (by volume), the largest body of water in the Great Glen, the valley running from Inverness to Fort Williams. Halfway through the lake, the ruins of Urquhart Castle are among the most beautiful relics in the region. The castle was built during the XIII century during the MacWilliams rebellions. It’s been an important point to control traffic between Highlands and Lowlands until its destruction in 1692 by Jacobite rebellion forces. The current ruins offer a fantastic scenario, with the Loch in the background.

  • Cairngorms National Park

East Scotland is characterized by a milder climate compared to its Western correspondent, East Scotland
East Scotland is characterized by a milder climate compared to its Western correspondent

Moving from Inverness to Edinburgh, Cairngorms National Park is the first location where the passage from Highlands to Lowlands become clear. The hills have gentle slopes, covered with heathers during the summer season. It was a beautiful road trip on our way to the southern region, with an absolute sense of peace and relaxation.

  • B&B Pitlochry

The amazing patio where we had breakfast in Pitlochry, Scotland
The amazing patio where we had breakfast in Pitlochry

We would like to express our gratitude to all B&Bs we found on our road. From Mull to Inverness, every place where we slept was terrific and characteristic, with fantastic hosts available to accommodate each request we may have had during our stay. Our B&B in Pitlochry, however, deserves a special mention. It’s a five stars hotel with only three rooms. The breakfast, served in a marvelous glass-covered patio, was mouthwatering. Everything was homemade, and each serving was better than the previous one. We still dream about the scones with marmalade they served!

  • Dunnottar Castle

The magnificence of Dunnottar Castle 🏰, Castles in Scotland
The magnificence of Dunnottar Castle 🏰

We would like to express our gratitude to all B&Bs we found on our road. From Mull to Inverness, every place where we slept was terrific and characteristic, with fantastic hosts available to accommodate each request we may have had during our stay. Our B&B in Pitlochry, however, deserves a special mention. It’s a five stars hotel with only three rooms. The breakfast, served in a marvelous glass-covered patio, was mouthwatering. Everything was homemade, and each serving was better than the previous one. We still dream about the scones with marmalade they served!

  • St. Andrews Cathedral

The majestic cathedral was destroyed during Scottish Reformation, leaving some impressive ruins, East Scotland
The majestic cathedral was destroyed during Scottish Reformation, leaving some impressive ruins

St. Andrews Cathedral was the largest church ever built in Scotland. The seat of the Archdiocese of St. Andrews, it was a typical pilgrimage destination in Northern Europe. The church (and the connected palace) were destroyed during the 16th-century Scottish Reformation, but this only adds a mysterious aura to this incredible place. Walking along the remains of the building allowed us to understand its gigantic proportions, letting us experience the feeling of awe thousands of pilgrims had during the Middle Ages.

  • Crail

It’s easy to see why several artists moved to Crail, impressed by the colors of this wonderful village, East Scotland
It’s easy to see why several artists moved to Crail, impressed by the colors of this wonderful village

This romantic fishing village is characterized by a cute harbor surrounded by small buildings separated by cobbled streets. The air around here is different, carrying pleasant flavors of the sea. A beautiful haven from a frenzied world.

  • Glamis Castle

The castle is surrounded by some impressive gardens, covering an area of more than 50 square km, Scotland
The castle is surrounded by some impressive gardens, covering an area of more than 50 square km

One of the most beautiful castles in Scotland, Glamis Castle was made famous by Shakespeare, who set one of its works, Macbeth, in this building (the actual King Macbeth has no real connection with this place). This is one of the wonders of Scotland, with some beautiful gardens around. If you are on a short break and you can only visit few castles, you should at least put this on your map.

  • Edinburgh

Wonders of Edinburgh, Scotland
Wonders of Edinburgh

The capital of Scotland is also one of the most beautiful cities in the UK. Edinburgh castle dominates the area, while a vibrant town extends at its feet. The Royal Mile, running from the castle to Holyrood Palace, is regularly interrupted by awe-inspiring small alleyways called closes, creating a labyrinthic network of roads waiting to be explored. The gothic feeling of this city is something you’ll not find anywhere else.

  • Rosslyn Chapel

The chapel is of small dimension but precious inside, Edinburgh
The chapel is of small dimension but precious inside

On the outskirts of the village of Rosslyn, 20 minutes drive from Edinburgh, Rosslyn Chapel rose to fame thanks to the book “The Da Vinci Code”. Independently from the fiction, the beauty of this place is real. The inside of this small church is wholly covered with carvings. Every wall and every ceiling are finely shaped with elaborate decoration. An enjoyable experience, a unique work of art that well deserves the detour from Edinburgh.

  • Melrose Abbey

The oldest tombstones date back to Middle Ages
The oldest tombstones date back to Middle Ages

The quiet village of Melrose hosts the fantastic ruins of the Abbey, one of the most significant monasteries ever built in Scotland. Its location, on the Scottish Southern border, surrounded by green hills, is the perfect background for this evocative set of ruins. The church is surrounded by an ancient kirkyard, increasing the gothic atmosphere of the place. Try to climb on top of the tower for the best view!

We could continue with tens of other interesting points, repeating “something you can’t miss” at every step. But we can’t realistically enumerate each and everyone of what makes this land a magical place. We can only leave a suggestion: come to Scotland, visit this land where legend, history, and nature are all merged in creating a truly Delicious Country.