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Ever since I was a child, I have loved Scotland, and above all the Highlands. We were here many times as children with mother, father, grandmother and grandfather and it has always had a special place in my heart. The nature, the people, the culture and the history are things that make me never tire of visiting this place.

A while ago, the Scottish Highlands were a rather unusual travel destination, but since Outlander premiered, more and more people have found this magical place, which makes me so happy. Here comes my complete guide to a 1-week road trip in the Scottish Highlands, with all the best you can't miss!


  • CAR: To get around to the best places in the Scottish Highlands, a car is a must. Keep in mind that they have left-hand traffic here and that the roads are very narrow at times, so make sure you have an experienced driver behind the wheel.

  • WHEN TO GO: My favorite time to visit Scotland is in the fall, but I've also been there in the spring and summer which is also fantastic. I would avoid the worst of the winter as it can be slippery and difficult to get on the small roads through the mountains.

  • WEATHER: The weather in Scotland changes quickly and you usually have both sun, cloud and rain in one day so pack for all weather.

  • AIRPORT: It is easiest to fly to Edinburgh or Glasgow.

  • ACCOMMODATION: Small hotels and Bed & Breakfasts are in every corner of the Scottish Highlands and a few years ago we never booked anything in advance but just popped into any place that looked cozy when it started to get close to dinner time. This no longer works as almost everything is booked in advance since everyone joined e.g. so I recommend book your accommodation as early as you can to get the goodies (most places only have 2 or 3 rooms).

  • FOOD: Scotland is not known for its food and rightfully so. Back in the day it was often really bad but nowadays it's much better, but I'd still settle for "perfectly okay" in most places and don't expect a gourmet meal. It's very classic pub food like Fish & Chips and seafood. In this guide I will write restaurants that I think are better than standard and some places will not have any restaurant recommendations, and that means you can only take the pub you like :)

  • TIME IN THE CAR: Depending on which airport you go to, this route is a total of 14 or 13.5 hours long, which gives an average of 2 hours in the car every day, which according to me is the golden number for a road trip!


After you have landed at the airport and picked up your rental car, you set your sights on Glencoe National Park. If you land early in the day, you can take the route via Oban for lunch. Glencoe is one of Scotland's most beautiful national parks and the road goes right through it so you will be able to see everything from the car window if you want, but there are also lots of hiking trails if you feel like stretching your legs after the long journey. You can also stop at Wee White House (actually called Lagangarbh Hut) which is a classic postcard image from Scotland with a small white cottage located completely by himself at the foot of the mountain.

As it begins to approach noon, you move on to Fort William, which is a perfect junction in the lower highlands. Here there are lots of small hotels, B&Bs and several restaurants to choose from.


If you don't want/can't take the train, it's of course perfectly possible to go out to Mallaig by car too. The way out is beautiful and the water is so turquoise you'll wonder if you're in Scotland or the Maldives. If you want, you can stop at Glenfinnan Viaduct where the Hogwarts train goes over (try to match so you can see it!). It is this viaduct that is used in the second Harry Potter film when Harry and Ron arrive in the flying car.

If the weather is nice, I recommend stopping in the village Arisaig and buying with you Fish & Chips and then on to Camusdarach Beach for a picnic lunch (and maybe a swim weather permitting!).

Then you arrive at Mallaig which is a cute little fishing village. Check in at Seaview Guest House and have dinner at one of the local restaurants.


From Mallaig you take the ferry over to the Isle of Skye. This island is like a beautiful playground for adults, there is SO much to do! To name a few favourites, we have The Fairy Glen, The Fairy Pools , hike up to Old Man of Storr, whiskey tasting at Talisker Distillery, stroll around Portree, the lighthouse at Neist Point. Read up on all these places beforehand so you know the history behind them, it makes them so much more fun to visit!

Dine at The Oyster Shed for a hole-in-the-wall feel with daily fresh seafood, or at Cuillin Hills for a more restaurant feel. The latter is also a nice hotel if you prefer it to B&B's.


From the Isle of Skye you go on to the first of my two favorite villages - Plockton. If you want to visit a Scottish castle during your trip, I highly recommend stopping at Donan Eilean Castle on the way (Kato's Castle in Mio min Mio!). I'm not really a museum or sightseeing person, but this castle is so incredibly beautiful and has a lot of history that makes it a really exciting excursion destination.

When you arrive in Plockton, a small mini-village by the water with only 468 inhabitants, you check in at MacKenzie's Bed & Breakfast which is located in the middle of the small harbor street. If you don't manage to get a room there, the Plockton Hotel is also a few houses away very cozy. Weather permitting I recommend a walk around the village to look at all the cute houses and beautiful gardens, or a Seal Safari which Plockton is famous for. The most popular is run by Calum, one of the owners of MacKenzie's Bed & Breakfast.

If the weather permits, have a drink in the seafront Plockton Hotel Beer garden and for a lighter meal you can also stop here for food. If you want a bit more fine dining, I highly recommend The Plockton Inn (book in advance ).


It is time to move on to the second of my two favorite villages - Applecross< strong>. The road here from Plockton is beautiful but winding and even though it is not a very long distance, it takes longer than you think to go as it is so small. There are lots of lookouts along the way where you can stop.

The best place to eat in Applecross is Applecross Inn (we ate both lunch and dinner here!) but right next door there is also a food truck with simple barbecue food and an ice cream cart if you want to buy take something with you and sit along the pebble beach. For dinner at the Applecross Inn, I recommend booking a table in advance, and also see if you can get accommodation here. If there is none, I also recommend Applecross B&B warm where we lived last time we were there.

Also in Applecross I recommend walking around the village and the last time we were there there was a heat wave so we took a 40 minute walk to a "secret" beach called Ardbain to take a swim. It was an absolutely magical little chalk white beach with turquoise water and not another person in sight so I absolutely recommend this walk regardless of whether you want to swim or not. Next time I will make sure we bring some picnic or something to drink as well. The beach was a little difficult to find and is not on any map, but if you drive towards Ard Dhubh from Applecross, there is a small parking pocket on the left side of the road with the wooden sign in the picture below. You park there and walk from there.


Then it is time to start traveling from the coast and inland. If you have more time than a week, I recommend that you continue up the coast to Ullapool but if you have a week like we usually have go you towards Loch Ness, because what's a trip to Scotland without looking for the famous Nessie monster? ;) Stay at Coul House Hotel< strong> which is on the way for lunch.

By Loch Ness is a small village called Drumnadrochit which is perfect to have as a starting point. Among other things, The Loch Ness Centre is located here in the old Drumnadrochit Hotel where the former owner is said to be a of the first to see the beast. The center is built as a tour where you can see and hear the entire legend of Nessie as well as all the research that has been done so far. As a lover of myths, legends and all that is supernatural, of course I find this very exciting!

A few minutes away is also Urqhuart Castle if you fancy another old Scottish castle. This is mostly in ruins right on the lake's edge. Check in at Highland Bear Lodge or < a href="" target="_blank">Loch Ness Lodge for a bit more luxury and dine at the local pub Fiddlers Pub (book in advance).


The last stop is a newfound love for me and from now on a MUST for anyone going to Scotland (I promise, you won't regret it). From Loch Ness you go down to the small fairytale village Culross which is just outside Edinburgh, which gives you a perfect location to easily get to the airport the next day. Stop at the Atholl Palace Hotel en route for afternoon tea.

Check in at The Dundonald and take your time to really stroll through every little street in this village as everything feels like you are in the middle of a fairy tale. For Outlander fans, there are also many film locations to see here as Culross was used as a backdrop for both seasons 1, 2 and 4 of the series. You can also visit Culross Palace, Dunimarle Castle and shop in the small shops. If you have lunch here, I recommend Bessie's Café or < u>The Orangery if you go up to the castle. For dinner I recommend the Red Lion Inn which is the local pub and basically the only the place to eat in the evening, but we loved it as it has such an incredible genuine pub feel, is cozy decorated and had a wide menu.

When you wake up on the day of your journey home and have enjoyed The Dundonald's absolutely magical breakfast with local produce (we stayed in The Cottage so we got the wonderful breakfast basket) and go home later in the day you can you continue to explore Culross, pop into Edinburgh for a spin or for Outlander fans, Midhope Castle (Lallybroch) is just a short drive away.

Hope you enjoyed this guide to my favorites in the Scottish Highlands, have a nice trip!

Hug, Fanny


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