8-day car route through the best places in Scotland

If you are planning a holiday trip to Scotland  for the purpose of making a route by car  enjoying its beautiful landscapes and visiting its villages and castles, the question is how to prioritize to try to see the most interesting sites .

Depending on the days you have available for your trip, you will have the possibility to see more or less places, but it is important that you do not miss the points of greatest tourist attraction.

Loch Maree in the Wester Ross region in the Highlands Highlands of Scotland
Loch Maree in the Wester Ross region in the Highlands Highlands of Scotland

In order to help you plan your trip , I am going to propose what to see in Scotland on an 8-day car route, based on the experience of the trip I made in a recent summer.

Medieval House John Knox House on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh
Medieval House John Knox House on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh

The car trip I took was recommended by a Spanish friend married to a Scotsman, who has been visiting Scotland every summer for years, so he knows these lands very well.

Therefore the goal was not to miss the most important places and get the most out of the planned visits.

Surely this trip plan will be very useful for you

Driving route through Scotland

Day 1.- Arrival in Edinburgh

Typical pub on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh
Typical pub on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh

Depending on the time your plane arrives, you will have more or less time to take a first stroll along the Royal Mile , the axis of the medieval city.

If your trip is in August, I tell you that you will find a great atmosphere of music and street performances , a reflection of the  cultural festivals that take place in that month in the Scottish capital.

After this first contact with the life of the city, we will leave the main visits to do them already in the following days.

Days 2 and 3.- What to see Edinburgh in two days

With two days you will have enough time to make a good approximation to Edinburgh , although if you have more time, you can deepen your knowledge of the Scottish capital better.

I advise you to dedicate the first day to tour the Royal Mile and make visits to the monuments and places that are in it.

View of Princes Street from the hill of Calton Hill in Edinburgh
View of Princes Street from the hill of Calton Hill in Edinburgh

In particular you should visit the Edinburgh Castle , the great fortification of the city  and the Cathedral of St Giles , as well as some of the medieval houses of the Royal Mile that can be visited.

In this respect it is worth mentioning the  16th century Gladstones Landhouse , and the medieval house John Knox House , the oldest in Scotland.

During the second day you can visit the Palace of Holyroodhouse , seat of the Scottish monarchy and current summer palace of the Queen of England , who visits it every August.

You will also have to climb the hill of Calton Hill  from where you have some of the most typical and famous prints of Edinburgh.

And tour the area known as Ciudad Nueva , at the foot of the hill where the old medieval city extends.

In the New City of Edinburgh you will walk along its central axis, Princes Street , in whose gardens you will find the Scott Monument . another one of the most charismatic monuments of the city.

Do not forget to go to dinner or have a beer at Grassmarket , at the foot of the castle, where you will arrive from the street that goes down from the Royal Mile next to the aforementioned Scott Monument.

Day 4.- St Andrews, Pitlochry and Blair

You start your journey by car and head to St Andrews , the small university town that is also the birthplace of the sport of golf.

Do not forget to climb the tower of an old church next to the remains of the historic cathedral , from where you will have excellent panoramic views of St Andrews and its surroundings.

From there you head to Pitlochry , a beautiful village with a holiday atmosphere, already in the Highlands Highlands of Scotland .

Remains of St Andrews Cathedral in Scotland
Remains of St Andrews Cathedral in Scotland

Nearby you will find the castle of Blair .

If you arrive later than 5:00 pm, the access to the interior will be closed, but it is worth walking through the surrounding gardens, where you will have the opportunity to see the impressive Scottish bison .

You will probably have time to get on the A9 road to sleep near Fort William .

It is a route of great beauty, but with  winding roads and, in many sections, very narrow.

I anticipate that in these sections you will only find space for a single vehicle to circulate, so you must use the areas that you will find on the road marked as  passing places .

Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness in the Highlands of Scotland
Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness in the Highlands of Scotland

Day 5.- Loch Ness and Wester Ross

The next day you will go up to Loch Ness , where you will visit the  remains of Urquhart Castle , the most outstanding place in the natural area.

From there you head west to reach the Atlantic coast, and far north of the Highlands .

Specifically, you will visit the natural landscapes of Wester Ross , with the option of seeing the curious  gardens of Inverewe .

You are in a very inhospitable area, so to sleep I advise you to reach the Isle of Skye , at whose doors, in Kyle of Lochalsh ,  you can find accommodation.

Portree on the Isle of Skye in Scotland
Portree on the Isle of Skye in Scotland

Day 6.- Isle of Skye

The next day you start with a visit to the Eilean Donan Castle , near the aforementioned town of  Kyle of Lochalsh , a fortification that stands out for its beautiful location on the banks of the fjord. 

Then you will spend the rest of the day visiting the Isle of Skye .

First you must go to Portree , the main town on the island, and then take a tour around it all.

Already en route to the south, you must go back to Fort William , what you can do returning to the aforementioned town of Kyle of Lochalsh , or crossing by ferry from the Isle of Skye to Mallaig .

Day 7.- Fort William and Stirling

On this day it is worth taking a walk through the holiday village of Fort William , and then you head towards Stirling , already in the LowlandsLowlands .

Stirling in the Lowlands of Scotland
Stirling in the Lowlands of Scotland

You have two optional routes, both running through the beautiful  natural region of Trossachs .

You can go well through the mountains, or along the shore of Lake  Loch Lomond ; question of tastes.

When you arrive in Stirling you will find a  beautiful medieval village and an imposing castle on top of the hill, which by its characteristics will in a way remind you of Edinburgh.

Day 8.- End of the route in Edinburgh

This is the final day of the trip through Scotland , where you will take the flight back home.

Depending on the time of the same, you can have additional time to make another visit to Edinburgh or its surroundings.

In summary, this is a route proposal for eight days, which allows you to make a very varied trip visiting the essentials of Scotland, and leaving some other place for visits on a later trip, such as  Glasgow or Inverness .

P.S. In the case of my trip, the route was wider, because by the choice of flights, it started at the Liverpool airport , where it also ended.

This allowed me to make interesting visits in the north of England, such as the medieval Abbey of Fountains Abbey , Durham or the Lake District National Park .

Map of the route by car through Scotland