Discover the Majestic Highlands: Unforgettable Self-Guided Scotland Tour from Edinburgh

Have you ever dreamed of embarking on a touring adventure through Scotland? This may be a tour by car or motorcyle, or perhaps you envisage a backpacking quest? The first impression would surely be of an epic journey that takes you through breathtaking landscapes, charming towns, and historic castles: A pilgrimmage that immerses you in the rich history and vibrant culture of a country known for its majestic beauty. This is because the awe-inspiring highlands of Scotland offers a vast tapestry of visual thrills, where every twist and turn of the road reveals a new and awe-inspiring view.

Scotland Calling: An Unforgettable Touring Experience

Have you ever dreamed of embarking on a touring adventure through Scotland? This may be a tour by car or motorcyle, or perhaps you envisage a backpacking quest? The first impression would surely be of an epic journey that takes you through breathtaking landscapes, charming towns, and historic castles: A pilgrimmage that immerses you in the rich history and vibrant culture of a country known for its majestic beauty. This is because the awe-inspiring highlands of Scotland offers a vast tapestry of visual thrills, where every twist and turn of the road reveals a new and awe-inspiring view.

touring the Highlands of Scotlan

Touring the Highlands of Scotland from Edinburgh via Pitlochry, Glencoe, Fort William, Skye and Inverness

In this blog post, we invite you to join us on an unforgettable Scotland tour of the Highlands, starting from the enchanting city of Edinburgh. Whether you’re a nature lover seeking tranquility or a history buff yearning to uncover ancient tales, this tour promises to captivate your senses and leave you with memories that will last a lifetime. As you set off after a recommended three days in Edinburgh, prepare to be amazed by the diverse landscapes that unfold before your eyes. From the picturesque town of Pitlochry, along the shores of Loch Tay through stunning Kenmore and Killin, to the rugged beauty of Glencoe, each stop along the way offers a unique experience.

Feel the mist on your face as you venture into the dramatic landscapes of Fort William, where steep mountains meet deep lochs. Take a ferry ride from Mallaig to Armadale on the Isle of Skye, a place that seems straight out of a fairy tale, with its mystical landscapes and charming villages. Of course, no trip to the Highlands would be complete without a visit to the famed Loch Ness, where the legendary monster is said to reside. Whether you choose to embark on this Scotland tour of the Highlands by car, motorcycle, or public transport, the route is designed to accommodate all types of travellers. A detour for travellers by public transport will be necessary and is beyond the scope of this particular article, though we hope you find the information otherwise useful. A great resource for bus routes and times, in your case will be the Rome 2 Rio website

So whether you’re a backpacker seeking adventure or an enquiring mind looking for a more convenient mode of transport, this tour has something for everyone. Get ready to embark on a journey of a lifetime as we explore the majestic Highlands of Scotland together.

Booking Accommodation Along your Route:
Choose Rosemount Hotel in Pitlochry

If you are planning to travel in main season, then booking your accommodation ahead is essential. Our recommendation is to book  several nights in key locations, enroute, leaving a little flexibility between. However, be careful not to set up a scenario where too much of your holiday is spent agonising over finding a room for the night.

Places to See Along the Way:
Recommended Places Stay in the Majestic Scottish Highlands

When embarking on a tour of the breathtaking Scottish Highlands, choosing the right accommodation is essential for a truly memorable experience. The Highlands offer a wide range of options, from cosy bed and breakfasts to luxurious hotels and remote cottages nestled in the countryside. Here are some top recommendations for where to stay during your Scottish Highlands adventure.

For those seeking a touch of luxury, there are several grand hotels in Edinburgh that offer a truly indulgent experience. This may be your best opportunity for true indulgence and indeed, part of the experience of touring Scotland is to engage in a more intimate and authentic source of accommodation. Therefore, consider staying in one of the many charming bed and breakfasts scattered throughout the region. These family-run establishments offer warm hospitality, comfortable rooms, and a delicious homemade breakfast to start your day. From picturesque villages to remote countryside locations, there are plenty of options to choose from that will provide a true taste of Highland hospitality.

As you journey through the Highlands, you may also come across unique accommodation options such as traditional Highland lodges or converted castles. These historic buildings offer a glimpse into Scotland’s rich heritage and provide a truly immersive experience. Imagine staying in a centuries-old castle, complete with ancient tapestries, roaring fireplaces, and sweeping views of the surrounding countryside. These properties often offer a range of activities such as fishing, hiking, or even falconry, allowing you to fully embrace the Highland way of life.

Our Number One Recommendation
Stay for More Than One Night at Each Stopover
You'll See SO Much More!!!

Exploring the Enchanting City of Edinburgh

Visit edinburgh on a Tour of Scotland

Edinburgh, in Brief

Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, is a place that holds a charm unlike any other. From its rich history and stunning architecture to its vibrant cultural scene and breathtaking landscapes, the city offers a myriad of experiences for visitors to enjoy. Whether you are a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or simply someone looking for a memorable adventure, Edinburgh has something to offer everyone. We recommend spending at least 3 nights in Edinburgh. This is not a city to be hurrying through! We recommend staying either north east or north west of the Royal Mile, which would the that the heart of any city touring agenda. Last miunte accommodation can be hard to find, but it you do your research and book ahead, you should have little problem.

Here are Some Recommendations to Make your Stay in Edinburgh as Productive and Comfortable as Possible

  • If you are flying into Edinburgh and wish to hire a car, we recommend delaying this until the day you plan to leave edinburgh for the rest of your tour of Scotland. So, book your car from this point. Finding car parking is not a recommended use of valuable vacation time and can actually spoil your day. So, get off the plane and get the tram into Edinburgh city centre. If you plan this option, then find accommodation near Edinburgh Haymarket and get off there. You can use the excellent bus service and Shanks’s Pony (your own legs) to get around the city. Rome 2 Rio is an excellent website for public transport information. They seem to have the timetable and costing for every bus in the world!

  • Likewise, if you are visiting Edinburgh by Bike as part of your Motorcycle tour of Scotland, then we recommend finding accommodation that offers motorbike Parking. It’s so much easier to use the excellent city bus and tram service than spend time trying to find a parking space!

Edinburgh boasts numerous tourist attractions that should not be missed during your visit. From the iconic Edinburgh Castle and the historic Royal Mile to the picturesque Stockbridge to Dean Village Walk along the Water of Leith, there is something for everyone. Don’t forget to include scenic spots like Calton Hill and Arthur’s Seat, which offer breathtaking views for hiking enthusiasts.

 In addition to these must-see landmarks, there are several other attractions worth exploring. The Scotch Whisky Experience, The Real Mary King’s Close, Galdstone’s Land, The Edinburgh Dungeon, The Scott Monument, Palace of Holyroodhouse, National Museum of Scotland, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, and The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh all offer unique insights into Scotland’s history, art, and culture.

 To get a comprehensive overview of the city, consider taking a topless, hop-on-hop-off double-decker bus tour. With a warm jacket and a seat on the top deck, you can comfortably listen to a recorded guide while enjoying panoramic views of Edinburgh. This flexible mode of transport allows you to disembark at any point of interest, explore at your leisure, and then hop back on the bus for the next leg of your journey.

Discover the Picturesque Town of Pitlochry during your Tour of Scotland

Blair Castle near Pitlochry

Fabulous Pitlochry: An Unexpected Bounty of Interest - Visual, Cultural and Historic

Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to explore the delights of Pitlochry: Not only is this fabulous hillsdie town incredibly scenic, but the richness of Highland history is strongly enthreaded throughout this area in every direction. Don't miss Blair Castle, Queen's View, Pitlochry Dam, BlairAthol Distillery, The House and Falls of Bruar and historic Dunkeld with the Hermitage Walk

Find Accommodation in Pitlochry for the Start of your Highland Tour

Pitlochry is a charming town nestled in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. With its stunning landscapes, rich history, and warm hospitality, it is no wonder that Pitlochry is a popular destination for tourists from around the world.

One of the main attractions of Pitlochry is its natural beauty. Surrounded by mountains, forests, and lochs, the town offers breathtaking views at every turn. Visitors can explore the nearby Ben Vrackie, a popular hiking spot that rewards climbers with panoramic vistas of the surrounding countryside. For a more leisurely experience, a stroll along the banks of Loch Faskally is a must, especially during the autumn months when the trees are ablaze with vibrant colors.

In addition to its natural wonders, Pitlochry is also known for its rich history. The town dates back to the Victorian era, and many of its buildings still showcase the architectural styles of that period. A visit to the Pitlochry Dam and Fish Ladder is a fascinating way to learn about the town’s hydroelectric heritage, while the Blair Athol Distillery offers a glimpse into the world of whisky production.

Pitlochry is also famous for its vibrant arts scene. The town is home to the renowned Pitlochry Festival Theatre, which hosts a variety of performances throughout the year. From classic plays to contemporary productions, there is something to suit every taste. The theatre’s picturesque setting, nestled on the banks of the River Tummel, only adds to the enchantment of the experience.

When it comes to hospitality, Pitlochry excels. The town is dotted with cozy bed and breakfasts, charming guesthouses, and welcoming hotels, ensuring that visitors have a comfortable stay. We, at Rosemount Hotel in Pitlochry, take a pride in the glowing reviews that should give confidence to anyone wishing to book to stay with us. The local restaurants offer a delightful selection of traditional Scottish cuisine, including haggis, neeps, and tatties, as well as fresh seafood from nearby coastlines.

For those looking to explore further afield, Pitlochry serves as an excellent base for exploring the wider Scottish Highlands. The nearby Cairngorms National Park is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, with opportunities for hiking, cycling, and wildlife spotting. The historic town of Dunkeld, with its stunning cathedral, is just a short drive away, while the picturesque village of Aberfeldy, known for its whiskey distillery and beautiful Birks of Aberfeldy walk, is also within easy reach.

In conclusion, a visit to Pitlochry is a must for anyone touring the Scottish Highlands. With its breathtaking landscapes, rich history, vibrant arts scene, and warm hospitality, it is a town that captivates visitors and leaves them with lasting memories. Whether you’re seeking adventure in the great outdoors or a peaceful retreat in a picturesque setting, Pitlochry has it all.

Rosemount Hotel In Pitlochry

Rosemount Hotel in Pitlochry

Nestled in the charming town of Pitlochry, along our highlighted route, Rosemount Hotel treats its guests to captivating vistas of the scenic Tummel Valley. This intimate and welcoming hotel exudes a sense of cosiness, providing a delightful retreat for visitors. Affirmatory reviews are highly complementary and give confidence and assurance of having a great stay. Pitlochry is your second destination and we send a plea not to miss its scenic delights in rushing through this beautiful place. We have a fuller description below, but firstly, we start our trip in Edinburgh

See the Accommodation at Rosemount Hotel in Pitlochry

Exploring Glencoe: The Rugged Beauty of Scotland's Highlands

touring Scotland - Glencoe

Mind-Blowing Glencoe

No images will prepare you for the impact of Glencoe, upon approach. Part of the experience is being made to feel miniscule. Personally, I love the way it cuts humanity back down to size. You'll also sense that "something" happened here. It's almost as though the bloody battles and massacres of the seventeenth century left a mark here. we recommend enjoying your day here, but booking accommodation in Fort William, 16 miles away, for a few nights. From here, you can further explore Glencoe

The route from Pitlochry to Glencoe takes you along the shores of Loch Tay and can be investigated on our sister website. Scottish Highlands are a treasure trove of natural beauty, and Glencoe stands out as one of its most rugged and captivating landscapes. Nestled in the heart of the Highlands, Glencoe offers visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in the stunning scenery that Scotland is famed for.

A Scotland tour of the Highlands would be incomplete without a visit to Glencoe. This picturesque valley is surrounded by towering mountains, cascading waterfalls, and vast moorlands, creating a dramatic and breathtaking backdrop. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, Glencoe has something to offer everyone.

One of the most popular activities in Glencoe is hiking. The area is home to some of Scotland’s most iconic and challenging trails, including the famous West Highland Way and the Buachaille Etive Mor. As you venture along these paths, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, making for an unforgettable experience.

For those who prefer a more leisurely pace, Glencoe offers plenty of opportunities for scenic drives. The winding roads take you through awe-inspiring landscapes, where you can stop at various viewpoints to soak in the majestic beauty of the Highlands. Make sure to bring your camera, as you’ll want to capture every moment of this scenic journey.

Photographers and nature lovers will also appreciate the abundant wildlife in Glencoe. From red deer to golden eagles, the area is teeming with diverse species that call the Highlands home. Keep your eyes peeled as you explore, and you might be lucky enough to spot some of these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.

Glencoe is not only a haven for outdoor enthusiasts but also a place steeped in history. The valley is known for its role in the infamous Glencoe Massacre of 1692, where a treacherous act unfolded amidst the stunning scenery. Visitors can delve into this dark chapter of Scottish history by visiting the Glencoe Visitor Centre, where exhibits and interactive displays provide insight into the events that took place.

When it comes to accommodation, Glencoe offers a range of options to suit every preference and budget. From cozy bed and breakfasts to luxury lodges with panoramic views, you’ll find a place to rest and rejuvenate after a day of exploration. Many establishments also offer hearty Scottish cuisine, allowing you to indulge in traditional dishes and local produce.

In conclusion, Glencoe is a must-visit destination for anyone touring the Scottish Highlands. Its rugged beauty, rich history, and diverse wildlife make it a captivating place to explore. Whether you choose to hike the challenging trails, take scenic drives, or delve into the area’s history, Glencoe promises an unforgettable experience that showcases the true essence of Scotland’s natural wonders.

Venture into the Dramatic Landscapes of Fort William

Shipwreck at Fort William

Fort William in a Nutshell

In addition to its dramatic scenery near the Ben Nevis range, along the shores of Loch Linnhe, Fort William is dubbed the outdoor capital of Scotland. An endless array of opportunites for outdoor pursuit and dramatic landscapes makes this an ideal stopping place for a few nights on your tour of Scoltand. The entire Lochaber region beckons the visitor to experience unique landscape, fascinating history and , oh . . .did I forget Whisky?

Located in the breathtaking Scottish Highlands, Fort William offers visitors a chance to venture into dramatic landscapes that will leave them in awe. The town itself is nestled at the foot of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles, and provides a perfect base for exploring the surrounding natural wonders.

One of the highlights of a visit to Fort William is undoubtedly the opportunity to hike up Ben Nevis. The ascent may be challenging, but the reward is well worth it. As you make your way up the mountain, you’ll be treated to stunning panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. On a clear day, you can even see as far as the Inner Hebrides.

For those seeking a less strenuous adventure, there are plenty of other outdoor activities to enjoy in the area. The nearby Glen Nevis is home to beautiful waterfalls and picturesque walking trails. You can also explore the tranquil Loch Linnhe by boat or try your hand at fishing.

Fort William is also a haven for adrenaline junkies. The town is known as the “Outdoor Capital of the UK” and offers a wide range of thrilling activities. From white-water rafting on the River Lochy to mountain biking along the Nevis Range, there is something for everyone seeking an adrenaline rush.

If you’re a fan of history and culture, Fort William has plenty to offer as well. The ruins of Old Inverlochy Castle, which dates back to the 13th century, provide a fascinating glimpse into the region’s past. The West Highland Museum is another must-visit, with its exhibits on local history, Jacobite rebellions, and Bonnie Prince Charlie.

After a day of exploration, you can unwind in one of Fort William’s charming pubs or indulge in some traditional Scottish cuisine. From hearty stews to fresh seafood, there are plenty of culinary delights to savor in this picturesque town.

Fort William To Mallaig - One of the Most Scenic Coastal Roads
on the Tourism Map

Fort William to Mallaig

Proclaimed one of the most dramatic coastal drives on the tourist map, the journey from Fort William to Mallaig takes the traveller past the Glenfinnan (aka Harry Potter) viaduct, onwards to Arisaig and the white sands of Camusdarach Beach near Morar (and yes, this could have provided a backdrop for Lord of The Rings), past the other-worldly Isles of Eigg, Muck and Rum. It is recommended to take the B8008 coastal route rather than the faster A830 to enjot the astonishingly white sandy beaces for which the area is famed.

The road from Fort William to Mallaig is known as the A830, also called the Road to the Isles. It is approximately 40 miles (65 kilometers) long and offers stunning views of the Scottish Highlands and the islands of Eigg, Rum, and Skye.

Starting from Fort William, the road winds its way through picturesque landscapes, passing by Loch Eil and Glenfinnan. One of the highlights along the route is the Glenfinnan Viaduct, famous for its appearance in the Harry Potter films.

Continuing on, you’ll pass by Lochailort and Arisaig, both offering beautiful coastal views. As you approach Mallaig, you’ll have a clear view of the Small Isles and Skye in the distance.

The quaint fishing village of Mallaig offers an abundance of delightful seafood options that will leave your taste buds craving for more. From succulent haddock and plump scallops to juicy langoustines and kippers, every dish is a testament to the pristine waters surrounding the western Scottish Coastline. With its charming harbour and picturesque views, Mallaig provides the perfect setting to savour a seafood feast before embarking on the ferry journey to the mystical Isle of Skye.

Step into a Fairy Tale: The Isle of Skye

Touring Scotland - The Isle of Skye

The Isle of Skye

The Isle of Skye, located on the west coast of Scotland, is a magical destination known for its dramatic scenery, ancient legends, and enchanting landscapes, including the Fairy Glen, Fairy Pools, Dunvegan Castle, the Old Man of Storr, and charming villages like Portree, making it an ideal place for nature lovers, photographers, and those seeking a unique and captivating experience immersed in rich history and folklore.

Located on the west coast of Scotland, the Isle of Skye is a magical destination that transports visitors into a fairy tale-like setting. This is the largest of the major Islands in the Inner Hebrides. With its rugged landscapes, the island is renowned for its dramatic scenery, with towering mountains, cascading waterfalls, and picturesque lochs. As you step foot onto Skye, you’ll instantly feel like you’ve entered a different world, where ancient legends and myths come to life.

The fairy tale journey begins as you traverse the famous Fairy Glen, a mystical landscape filled with cone-shaped hills and enchanting rock formations. Legend has it that fairies inhabit this area, adding to the sense of magic and wonder. As you wander through the glen, you’ll be captivated by the tranquility and beauty that surrounds you.

Next, venture to the iconic Fairy Pools, a series of crystal-clear pools and waterfalls nestled amidst the Cuillin Mountains. The vibrant blue hues of the water combined with the dramatic backdrop make for a truly mesmerizing sight. Take a stroll along the water’s edge or even take a dip if you’re feeling adventurous.

No trip to Skye is complete without a visit to Dunvegan Castle, the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland. Steeped in history, this magnificent fortress is home to the Clan MacLeod and offers a fascinating glimpse into the island’s past. Explore the grand halls, picturesque gardens, and learn about the legends and tales that surround the castle.

For nature lovers, a hike to the Old Man of Storr is a must. This iconic rock formation rises dramatically from the earth, creating a mystical and otherworldly ambiance. The hike itself is invigorating, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes and the opportunity to immerse yourself in the island’s natural beauty.

As you continue your journey through Skye, you’ll encounter charming villages such as Portree, with its colorful buildings and bustling harbor. Here, you can indulge in fresh seafood, visit local shops, and soak up the lively atmosphere.

Whether you’re an avid photographer, a nature enthusiast, or simply someone seeking a unique and enchanting experience, the Isle of Skye is sure to captivate your imagination. Step into a fairy tale as you explore the rugged landscapes, uncover hidden gems, and immerse yourself in the rich history and folklore of this magical island. 

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