A Relaxing & Active Jaunt through Scotland
The beauty and striking landscapes of this country, in hand with the wonderful people, have made this one of my new favorite destinations. Scotland has something for everyone, young and old. Also, I think it's easy to be intrigued by a country that has the unicorn as a national animal.
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Where to stay
Virgin Hotels Edinburgh
Modern Scottish luxury in Edinburgh just steps away from Edinburgh Castle and Victoria Street.
Contemporary, affordable accommodations with convenient amenities in Glasgow.
Inverlochy Castle Hotel
19th Century Scottish castle with palatial interiors with sporting, golfing, hunting and yacht experiences.
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Day 1: Start in Edinburgh
Get your feet wet in Scotland's beautiful capital city! Stroll up the Royal Mile from Holyrood House to Edinburgh Castle. The gorgeous Old Town street is dotted with shops and eateries. Take your time and look at anything that sparks your interest. Then take a walk through New Town, which was built in the Georgian Era (Old Town is basically ancient). Visit the Scott Monument before making your way to St. Andrew square, which has some great dining options. Grab some dinner before retiring to your hotel for the night.
Day 2-3: Leave Edinburgh to Inverness
As you drive through Cairgorns Park, make time for some pitstops as the scenery is gorgeous. While you're there, maybe even visit some distilleries! The trails in the park are well-marked and range from very easy to difficult. It's a great place to get some adventure on your trip!
The next morning, leave Inverness to drive up to Skye. Take the southern route so you can drive along Loch Ness. Stop at Urquhart Castle for a little history and breathtaking views of Loch Ness. By evening, you should reach Skye, where you can retire to your hotel after dinner (you'll want to book your mealtimes in advance during the busy season, or possibly not have any place to eat!).
Wake up and head to the Fairy Pools after a light breakfast. Hike through The Fairy Pools for some cool, magical Scottish countryside views. If you want something a bit more challenging, head to The Old Man of Storr for a hike. While on Skye, you may want to try to get on a boat for a tour of the outlying islands to look for Puffins!
After your time in Skye, hop over to Fort William to make the afternoon Jacobite Express train. This return journey train will take you up to a coastal fishing village for dinner and bring you back. But the cool part is that you'll go over the viaduct made famous in Harry Potter films, as you'll be on the train which inspired the Hogwarts Express! In return, spend the night in Ft. William before driving out to Oban.
Day 3-4: Explore Oban
The cute village of Oban is known for fishing and whiskey. Remember to book your tour of the distillery ahead of time, if that's of interest to you! Take a stroll up to McCaig's Tower for some incredible views of the city and bay before heading to your hotel for the night.
On your second day in Oban, walk up the coast to Dunollie Castle, an ancestral Clan house with great views and a little cafe that is really quite good. Walk back into town and head to Green Shack (The Oban Seafood Hut) for a fresh-caught, freshly prepared meal of Oban's bounty. It really is worth the hype. MacGillivray's is a nice outdoor chippy as well, but for a good fish & chips, I like George Street Chip Shop, though there aren't many bad options in Oban, if any.
The next morning, drive down to Glasgow. Stop at a castle on the way, if you'd like. I suggest Stirling Castle for the history and the beauty. On arrival in Glasgow, head over to Drygate brewery for a pint and a nice meal. Might be one of the nicest pub burgers in Scotland! After dinner, head on up to the Necropolis for some incredible views and a fun sprint through the history of Glasgow's first families.
On the next day, walk through town to Kelvingrove Museum and check out a nice art collection. Take the rest of the day to walk through Glasgow and explore Scotland's most populous city!
Day 5: Back in Edinburgh
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