When we received the invitation to visit Scotland for a dear friend’s wedding, we couldn’t resist the adventure. We were eager to explore stone castles and cobblestone streets and photograph scenic landscapes. The idea of little local pubs filled with fine scotches and live bands playing in front of the wood fire sounded like a perfect getaway.
Pretty soon we had plans to start in Edinburgh and drive through the countryside to Isle of Skye, where we stayed on a local sheep croft. To conclude the trip we reunited with our friends for a traditional Scottish wedding complete with kilts and Cèilidh dancing, close to St. Andrews – home of the original golf course.
Our Scotland travel guide is a collection of our best research, personal experiences, and referrals for places to see, stay and eat (vegetarian!) covering Edinburgh to Isle of Skye.
Scotland’s incredible countryside had us pulling over every 5 minutes wanting to take another photograph. Visiting in October gave us gorgeous tones of gold and orange and we even spotted a beautiful buck with large antlers walking peacefully by the marsh. To our delight we also counted many hairy cows who were happy to pose for photographs.
- Edinburgh | Spend a few days in the capital, exploring one of Europe’s oldest cities. > VIEW THE CITY GUIDE
- Stirling & Callander | Two nice options for a quick stop, walk around, and refuel at a cafe.
- Glen Coe | Great hiking trails combined with charming B&Bs and pubs made this small town a great overnight destination.
- Eilean Donan Castle | The views of this picturesque castle can easily be enjoyed from the warmth of your dry car in the parking lot.
- Isle of Skye | Dramatic landscapes on this remote island set the stage for smokey whiskeys, stunning photography and moody scenery. The ultimate destination! > VIEW THE CITY GUIDE
On the Road – Points of Interest
Stirling & Callendar
Stirling is nice for quick stop after an hour of driving on the way to Glen Coe from Edinburgh. Small shops and cafes offer an opportunity to refill before the second leg of the journey. Stirling’s attractions include monuments, castles, as well as the site of the 1297 Battle of Stirling Bridge. If it’s not too early for a tipple of whisky, stop in at the Deanston Distillery.
Callendar is another quaint town that makes a pleasant stop along the drive with a few gift shops and nearby hiking trails.
We chose Glen Coe as our place to spend the night on the way to Isle of Skye. Although it is possible to drive straight from Edinburgh to Isle Of Skye, it’s usually a nicer journey when you can go slow.
Glen Coe is a tiny little town nestled in the valley of several big mountains. By far our highlight was the vegetarian friendly pub, The Boots Bar, that our B&B recommended to us.
The Boots Bar appeared in our headlights after driving a few minutes down a dark and windy road. We dashed in from the wet and cold and were welcomed with a hot roaring fire, live music, and friendly locals hanging out with their dogs while enjoying dinner and playing pool. The menu include 4-5 veggie options, as well as local beer, fruit wines and ciders. Clachaig Inn also offers special whisky Master Classes if you decide to stay longer.
Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan Castle makes a pretty stop that’s easy to get to along the drive to Isle of Skye. The Castle is surrounded by a beautiful lake and mountains, and the scene changes depending on the tides and the clouds.
Isle of Skye
And after you make the windy drive past a million beautiful sights, bridges, lakes and waterfalls, you finally get to Isle of Skye, where everything has a little bit of that special glow. VIEW THE CITY GUIDE
What are your plans for visiting Scotland? If we were to change anything we probably would have spent more time in Isle of Skye since there is so much to explore and it takes a while to get there. Let us know your experiences!