Experiencing the Magic of Scotland in 7 Days

Advisor - Annie Decker
Curated By

Annie Decker

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  • Solo Travel

  • Nature Escapes

  • Food & Wine

  • Family Travel

  • Couples Travel

  • Arts & Culture

  • Adventure Travel

  • Scotland

  • Hiking

  • Mountains

  • National Parks

  • Outdoors

A Scottish countryside featuring hills and cliffs in fog.
Curator’s statement

Scotland is a beautiful destination that will captivate you with its magic no matter the time of year. From its rich history and fascinating folklore to its stunning castles and rolling countryside filled with sheep and Highland cows, the country offers something for everyone whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff or a fan of Harry Potter.

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Where to stay

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The Balmoral Hotel

Legendary hotel and landmark clock tower, The Balmoral Hotel is a regal and luxurious hotel that is a true love letter to Scotland.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian

A luxurious hotel housed in a former rail station, with views of the famed Edinburgh Castle.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa

A prestigious resort overlooking the famous Old Course and the West Sands Beach in St Andrews.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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Advisor - Annie Decker

Unlock perks by contacting Annie to book your trip.

Day 1: Historic Edinburgh

The skyline of the city of Edinburgh.

After arriving in Edinburgh, take a stroll along the charming Victoria Street, where you’ll find local shops selling everything from cashmere goods to Harry Potter-themed products. As you reach the end of the street, enter the historic Grassmarket Square, which was once a site for public hangings until 1846. Here, you can enjoy a meal at The Last Drop, a pub famed for being the spot where the condemned ate their final meal and had their last drink before their execution. While in the area, don't miss a chance to explore the Greyfriars Kirkyard to see the graves that inspired some of the main characters in the Harry Potter series. Later, visit the iconic Edinburgh Castle and see the Scottish Crown Jewels and legendary Stone of Destiny. Wrap up your day by exploring the Royal Mile and Princes Street Gardens, and enjoy dinner at The Witchery.

Day 2: St Andrews, the Birthplace of Golf

ancient castle on a coast

Take a day trip from Edinburgh to St Andrews, the birthplace of golf and a charming seaside town. Even if you're not a golfer, you'll fall in love with the town's beauty and history. Explore the University of St Andrews, where Prince William and Kate Middleton met in 2001. Visit the ruins of St Andrews Castle, where a long history of violence led to much damage and rebuilding over the years until its ruin in the 1600s. Finish your day at the St Andrews Cathedral, which was once the largest church in Scotland and the center of religious life in medieval Scotland.

Day 3-5: The Enchanting Highlands

A green highland with a river in the middle.

No trip to Scotland is complete without a visit to the Highlands, where you can experience the country's stunning natural beauty and unique culture. In order to fully experience the magic, spend a few days in this region. Start your journey in Inverness, the capital of the Scottish Highlands, and learn about the history of Kilts by visiting the Scottish Kiltmaker Visitor Center. Explore the site of the infamous Battle of Culloden, take a boat ride on Loch Ness and try to spot the elusive Loch Ness Monster and shop for souvenirs at the Inverness Victorian Market.

Spend a day exploring the Isle of Skye, where you can see the iconic colorful villages, cliffs and castles. As you head back south, don't miss a chance to ride the famous Jacobite Steam Train, which offers breathtaking views of the Scottish countryside and inspired the Hogwarts Express in Harry Potter.

Day 6: Glasgow, the City of Culture

The ancient architecture of Glasgow framed by pink flowers.

On your way back to Edinburgh, stop in Glasgow for a day to explore the city's rich history and culture. Begin your day at the gothic Glasgow Cathedral, the oldest building in the city, and explore the Necropolis on the church ground, which offers stunning views of the city. Visit the main attractions in the city center, including George Square, Merchant City, The Lighthouse, Gallery of Modern Art, Duke of Wellington Statue and Buchanan Street. Enjoy a traditional afternoon tea at The Willow Tea Rooms and spend the afternoon at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, which houses a vast collection of art and natural history. If time permits, end your day by visiting the Botanic Gardens or walking around the University of Glasgow campus.

Day 7: Farewell, Edinburgh

Edinburgh, Scotland travel guide.

For your final day, watch the sunrise from Calton Hill or Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh’s extinct volcano. Spend the day exploring the city's incredible architecture and shopping for last-minute souvenirs on George Street, or exploring the grounds of the Holyrood Palace the current Scottish home of the British monarchy.

Advisor - Annie Decker

Travel Advisor

Annie Decker

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Scotland.