A wee country with a big personality, Scotland has bucket-loads of experiences to offer when it comes to holidays – so how will you know where to start?
We have chosen six itineraries to show you what is on offer. Whether you love scenery, history, outdoor activities, golfing or want to travel with the kids, there are endless options for all.
SUGGESTED SELF-DRIVE ITINERARIES 6-12 DAYS
STONEHAVEN, BANCHORY, DRUMOAK
STOP 1 – DUNNOTTAR CASTLE
STOP 2 – CRATHES CASTLE
STOP 3 – DRUM CASTLE
SAUCHEN, TARVES, METHLICK
STOP 1 – CASTLE FRASER
STOP 2 – TOLQUHON CASTLE
STOP 3 – HADDO HOUSE
TURRIFF, DELGATY, FRASERBURGH
STOP 1 – FYVIE CASTLE
STOP 2 – DELGATIE CASTLE
STOP 3 – KINNAIRD HEAD CASTLE
BANFF, HUNTLY, ELGIN, DUFFTOWN
STOP 1 – DUFF HOUSE
STOP 2 – HUNTLY CASTLE
STOP 3 – SPYNIE PALACE
STOP 4 – BALVENIE CASTLE
HUNTLY, ALFORD, CORGARFF
STOP 1 – LEITH HALL
STOP 2 – KILDRUMMY CASTLE
STOP 3 – CORGARFF CASTLE
BRAEMAR, BALLATER, CRAIGIEVAR
STOP 1 – BRAEMAR CASTLE
STOP 2 – BALMORAL CASTLE
STOP 3 – CRAIGIEVAR CASTLE
TOUR SCOTLAND WITH
Fort William – Glasgow – Dumfries & Galloway – Edinburgh
DAY 1 – EXPLORING EDINBURGH
PALACE OF HOLYROODHOUSE
- The Great Gallery, where Bonnie Prince Charlie held a lavish ball.
- The ‘Darnley’ bed which the Prince slept in during his stay. The bed was originally supplied for the Duke of Hamilton in 1682. You’ll find it in The Queen’s Bedchamber.
- Portraits of Bonnie Prince Charlie and his brother, Henry Benedict Stuart, which were painted by Louis Gabriel Blanchet in 1739. You’ll find these in the Royal Dining Room.
Open: all year
- Bakehouse Close – this filming location is where Claire and Jamie are reunited after 20 years apart.
- Tweeddale Court – this historic street becomes the 18th century market where Claire meets Fergus again.
- Signet Library – the interior of this beautiful building doubles as the Governor’s mansion in Jamaica.
If you’re looking for a memorable souvenir pop into Hamilton & Young Jewellery Designers, also on the Royal Mile, to browse Celtic and Outlander inspired items.
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF SCOTLAND
DAY 2 – A DAY OUT TO BO’NESS & LINLITHGOW
THE BO’NESS & KINNEIL RAILWAY
DAY 3 – EXPLORING ATTRACTIONS EN ROUTE TO STIRLING
- The Duke of Sandringham’s stately home (S1)
- The spare room in Jamie and Claire’s Paris apartment (S2)
- The Hawkins Estate (S2)
- The backdrop for Parisian streets (S2)
- The stables at Helwater and the exterior of Ellesmere (S3)
Another key filming location on the Hopetoun Estate is Midhope Castle, which features as the exterior of Jamie’s beloved Lallybroch.
While no filming took place inside the castle (it’s derelict inside) the exterior is instantly recognisable. Please note, Midhope is located on a private part of the Hopetoun Estate and access is restricted. If you want to visit, you need to purchase a vehicle permit from the nearby Hopetoun Farm Shop.
DAY 4 – A DAY TRIP FROM STIRLING
DRUMMOND CASTLE GARDENS
DAY 5 – HISTORIC TOWNS IN FIFE
ROYAL BURGH OF CULROSS
- The Covenanter Hotel, which stands in for the cosy Mrs Baird’s Guesthouse.
- The Bruce Fountain, where the ghost of Jamie looks up at Claire’s room.
- Fayre Earth Gift Shop, which doubles as Farrell’s Hardware and Furniture Store.
- Campbell’s Coffee House and Eatery, which becomes Campbell’s Coffee Shop in the show.
Open: town – all year, Falkland Palace – seasonal.
DAY 6 – DISCOVERING HIGHLAND HISTORY
HIGHLAND FOLK MUSEUM
DAY 7 – EXPLORING INVERNESS AND LOCH NESS
- Inverness Museum & Art Gallery – discover the intriguing objects, including Jacobite memorabilia.
- Victorian Market – browse the shops under the market’s historic cast iron and wood domed roof.
- Inverness Botanic Gardens – see beautiful blooms and exotic cactuses.
- Leakey’s Bookshop – search through shelves filled with great books.
- River Ness – stroll along the river banks and cross the suspension bridge to the Ness Islands.
A trip to Inverness isn’t complete without visiting Loch Ness. This huge expanse of water is an immensely impressive sight – the loch holds more water than all the lakes in England and Wales combined.
There are several boat tour companies that will take you out for a cruise on this iconic stretch of water.
In the Outlander novels Claire and Frank take a cruise on the water and in her 18th century life Claire meets the Loch Ness Monster here (referred to as a water horse in the novel).
DAY 8 – DRIVING THE GREAT GLEN TO FORT WILLIAM
WEST HIGHLAND MUSEUM
- Bonnie Prince Charlie’s death mask
- A fine silk waistcoat belonging to the Prince
- A fan created for a grand ball at the Palace of Holyroodhouse
- A secret portrait of Bonnie Prince Charlie
Open: all year
NEVIS RANGE MOUNTAIN GONDOLA
Open: site – all year, Monument & Visitor Centre – seasonal
Tip – While you’re here, make sure to snap some pictures of the nearby Glenfinnan Viaduct – it’s a famous filming location from the Harry Potter movies.
DAY 9 – EXPLORING GLEN COE EN ROUTE TO GLASGOW
DAY 10 – EXPLORING GLASGOW
POLLOK COUNTRY PARK
KELVINGROVE PARK & THE UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW
DAY 11 – EXPLORING AYRSHIRE & GALLOWAY
DEAN CASTLE COUNTRY PARK
GALLOWAY FOREST PARK
DAY 12 – HEADING BACK TO EDINBURGH
ROBERT SMAIL’S PRINTING WORKS
SCOTTISH FILM &
MACHARS PENINSULA, PORT LOGAN & STRANRAER
STOP 1 – ST NINIAN’S CAVE
STOP 2 – LOGAN BOTANIC GARDEN
STOP 3 – CASTLE KENNEDY
MAYBOLE & GLASGOW
STOP 1 – CULZEAN CASTLE
STOP 2 – GLASGOW
ROSLIN & EDINBURGH
STOP 1 – ROSSLYN CHAPEL
STOP 2 – EDINBURGH
ST ANDREWS & BALLATER
STOP 1 – WEST SANDS BEACH
STOP 2 – BALMORAL ESTATE
STONEHAVEN, PENNAN & INVERNESS
STOP 1 – DUNNOTTAR CASTLE
STOP 2 – PENNAN
STOP 3 – LOCH NESS
FORT WILLIAM & GLENFINNAN
STOP 1 – FORT WILLIAM
STOP 2 – GLENFINNAN VIADUCT
GLENCOE, KILLIN & DOUNE
STOP 1 – GLENCOE
STOP 2 – FALLS OF DOCHART
STOP 3 – DOUNE CASTLE
IN THE WEST OF SCOTLAND
Glencoe & Isle of Skye
GLASGOW CITY SIGHTSEEING TOUR
KELVINGROVE ART GALLERY & MUSEUM
SHOP ‘TIL YOU DROP
GLASGOW TO LOCH LOMOND
CAMERON HOUSE ON LOCH LOMOND
WALKS IN LOCH LOMOND
AN CEANN MÒR, INVERUGLUS
LOCH LOMOND TO OBAN
SEAFOOD NIGHT IN OBAN
GLENCOE VISITOR CENTRE
THE ROAD TO SKYE
OLD MAN OF STORR
EILEAN DONAN CASTLE
THE GREEN WELLY AT TYNDRUM
BACK TO GLASGOW
THE HIGHLANDS FOR KIDS
days out, experiencing the best family attractions and activities in the western part of the Cairngorms
National Park. This itinerary also gives you the option to take day trips further afield to Inverness and Loch Ness, and along the coastline of the Moray Firth.
THE CAIRNGORMS NATIONAL PARK’S UNMISSABLE ATTRACTIONS
HIGHLAND WILDLIFE PARK
HIGHLAND FOLK MUSEUM
NATURE AND ADVENTURE FOR ALL THE FAMILY
RSPB LOCH GARTEN OSPREY CENTRE
LANDMARK FOREST ADVENTURE PARK
REINDEER, MOUNTAIN RAILWAYS AND FAMILY FUN
CAIRNGORM REINDEER CENTRE
THE FUN HOUSE
DAY TRIPPING TO INVERNESS (& NESSIE HUNTING!)
INVERNESS MUSEUM & ART GALLERY
AMAZING ACTIVITIES IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS
MEANDERS ALONG THE MORAY FIRTH COASTLINE
STEAM TRAIN RIDES, FOREST WALKS… AND SHEEPDOGS!
LEAULT WORKING SHEEPDOGS
JAMES BRAID GOLF COURSES
IRVINE GOLF COURSE
Par 71Other James Braid courses in the area include: Stranraer Golf Club, Routenburn Golf Club, Belleisle Golf Course, West Kilbride Golf Club, and Girvan Golf Course.
DALMAHOY GOLF COURSE
Par 68East – 18 hole
Par 72Other James Braid courses in Edinburgh and the Lothians include: Royal Musselburgh Golf Course, Mortonhall Golf Club, Ratho Park Golf Course, Royal Burgess Golf Course and Bruntsfield Links Golf Course.
LUNDIN GOLF LINKS
Par 71Other James Braid courses in the Kingdom of Fife include: Lundin Ladies Golf Club, Burntisland Golf House Club, Scotscraig Golf Club and Scoonie Golf Club.
CARNOUSTIE GOLF LINKS
Par 72Other James Braid courses in Dundee & Angus include: Arbroath Golf Club, Panmure Golf Course, Edzell Golf Club, Downfield Golf Club, and Brechin Golf Course.
Par 70King’s – 18 hole
Par 73Other James Braid courses in Perthshire include: Crieff Golf Club, Comrie Golf Club, The Blairgowrie Golf Club and Alyth Golf Club.
DAY 6 – NAIRN
NAIRN GOLF CLUB
Par 72Other James Braid courses in the Highlands include: Fortrose and Rosemarkie Golf Club, Brora Golf Course, Golspie Golf Club, Boat of Garten Golf Club, Inverness Golf Club, Reay Golf Club and Muir of Ord Golf Club.