Scotland -- a land rich with history and joyous culture. From the hill tops of Ben Nevis, to the deep blue waters of Loch Ness Lake, this country will have a story for you. Not interested in historical myths and legends? No problem! Scotland offers visitors stunning natural views: green hills dotted with medieval castle ruins, green forests with rust-coloured leaves in the fall, and glittering night skies. With sites and activities for all ages, Scotland should definitely be your next vacation destination. And if you really want to make the most of your visit, rent out a campervan and drive across the country! If you’re not sure where to go, then you’re in luck: here is your Edinburgh to Inverness road trip itinerary.
The perfect road trip for the half-term holiday in Scotland!
Day 1: Edinburgh
Start off in Edinburgh, Scotland’s stunning capital. If you’re hoping to take a step back in time, be sure to visit the medieval Old Town. Walk in the footsteps of historic royal families at the Edinburgh Castle, and listen to the tales of the battles they fought. Don’t forget to admire the stunning gothic architecture of St. Gile’s Cathedral at the heart of the city.
If your children are fans of Harry Potter, then you’re in luck! J.K. Rowling wrote a portion of the series in Edinburgh, so be sure to check out the sites that she’s visited. The most popular site is The Elephant House, a cafe that Rowling frequented. Wrap up your day by climbing Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano. Here, you’ll have stunning views of the city, an ideal sight to see during sunset.
Tip: If you’re visiting during the summer, keep an eye out for the Edinburgh Art Festival! This is a perfect opportunity to witness collaborations between artists and museums, and appreciate different forms of art scattered across the city!
Restaurant: The Walnut
Situated on one of the longest streets in Edinburg, this restaurant offers visitors home-style traditional British dishes. With reviews boasting of outstanding dishes and service, this restaurant should be one of your first food stops!
This campsite is conveniently situated near the city centre, meaning don’t have to travel far to visit different hotspots in the city - a perfect way to rest before you start your scenic drive from Edinburgh!
Price: Varies according to season, so be sure to check out their website!
Location: 35-37 Marine Dr, Edinburgh EH4 5EN, United Kingdom
GPS: 55°58'39.5"N 3°15'51.2"W
Day 2: Glasgow
Next stop on this Edinburgh to Inverness road trip: Glasgow. Kick off your day at West End, arguably the most beautiful part of Glasgow! Walk around the area and enjoy the unique character and stunning architecture it has to offer. For those of you looking to grab a quick bite, the area is filled with cosy cafes to satisfy your morning cravings.
If you're hoping to educate your kids but still keep them entertained on this trip, be sure to visit the Glasgow Science Centre, where interactive displays encourage youngsters to learn something new. If you prefer an outdoor setting, then be sure to relax at Kelvingrove Park, where you’ll be able to spot all sorts of animals, ranging from dogs, otters, and even red foxes!
And of course, is it really a visit to Glasgow if you don’t see the Glasgow Cathedral? At 800 years old and one of the last standing great cathedrals, the building still boasts of stunning architecture that visitors of all ages can appreciate.
Tip: If you have limited time in the city, then hop on the City Sightseeing bus. That way, you can see most of the city in a short period of time!
Restaurant: Julia’s Kopitiam
If you’re hoping to get a taste of delicious Malaysian food then this is the place to be! Owned by a Masterchef contestant, this small restaurant offers a cosy setting with dishes and decor inspired by the owner’s frequent visits to Malaysia.
Campsite: Red Deer Village Holiday Park
Located in a tranquil park just outside Glasgow, this campsite is perfect for those of you who want secure, quiet nights. A gated entry system and CCTV cameras ensure the safety of all those visiting.
Price: Ranges according to season, starting at £25.65 for two people per night during low season, and £29.10 for two at high season.
Location: 1 Village Dr, Stepps, Glasgow G33 6FQ, United Kingdom
GPS: 55°53'06.8"N 4°08'38.4"W
Day 3: Dundee (passing through Saint Andrews)
Although a small seaside town, Saint Andrews is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Scotland by car! Be sure to admire the weathered remains of Saint Andrews castle that lay just beyond the shores of the North Sea. On the other side of town is Saint Andrews Botanical Garden, which boasts of colourful flowers and butterflies you didn’t know existed! And for a final stop in Saint Andrews, climb up St. Rules Tower for a lovely view of the city!
Next, Balmerino Abbey, a Cistercian monastic community built in the 13th century. Near the stunning ruins, you’ll find one of Scotland’s oldest trees, a Spanish chestnut dating back roughly 400 years ago. Finally, drive up to Dundee and catch the sunset at the Broughty Ferry Shoreline.
Tip: Because the weather in Scotland can be unpredictable, you can skip the off-road, outdoor destinations and opt for the Broughty Castle Museum. Also be sure to admire the nature as you drive through Fife, as this is considered to be one of the best scenic drives from Edinburgh!
Restaurant: Innis & Gunn
This cosy beer kitchen lets you create your own beer, and take home a 5L mini-keg of your own beer to enjoy throughout the rest of your trip, if you sign up for their Brew School (only available on Saturday)! If you’re not there for a weekend, be sure to try some of their famous beer-incorporated dishes, like the Beer Battered Tofish.
Campsite: Tayview Caravan Park
Nestled right by the shores of Tayview, a small town just outside Dundee, this campsite is ideal for those of you who wish to relax and spend time near the beach!
Price: Depends on what is available but ~£25.00 per night
Location: S Union St, Monifieth, Dundee DD5 4GH, United Kingdom
GPS: 56°28'44.7"N 2°49'12.6"W
Day 4: Aberdeen
Next on stop on your Edinburgh to Inverness road trip is Aberdeen. It is home to one of the best-preserved 17th century gaols in Scotland -- The Tolbooth Museum. As (obviously) stated in the name, this gaol functions as a museum exhibiting old prison cells and other items related to local law and punishment. If you’re hoping for something a little more lighthearted, you can always go dolphin spotting! Torry Battery is the best viewing spot in the area. While you’re still by the shore, feel free to step back in time and visit the medieval fishing village of Footdee. Its quaint stone houses attracts visitors from all over the globe!
Tip: Aberdeen Rolls (also known as a buttery) are absolutely delicious, so be sure to take a break from your Scotland driving route to try some at a local cafe before your visit is over!
Restaurant: Books and Beans
Ever got the urge to read while on the road but didn’t have a book? No problem! This quaint cafe has shelves of second hand books that you can purchase, and a variety of fresh foods.
Campsite: Deeside Holiday Park
Located on the outskirts of Aberdeen, this park is perfect for a quiet getaway. This is especially ideal for those with children -- the play area on site lets them run free and release their pent up energy during the trip!
Price: ~£26.00 per night, but be sure to check their website as prices vary year round!
Location: South Deeside Road, Maryculter, Aberdeen AB12 5FX, United Kingdom
GPS: 57°05'29.8"N 2°14'26.9"W
Day 5: Inverness
It is time to drive up to the final stop this Scotland driving route: Inverness, the Capital of the Highlands. Kick off your time by visiting the Victorian Market. Here, you’ll find all sorts of strange knick knacks that you never thought existed! However, the market is most famous for its clock that hasn’t stopped ticking since 1890. And of course, is it really a trip to Scotland if you don’t visit the infamous Loch Ness Lake? Just a short drive away lies the deep blue waters of the world famous lake. And who knows? Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to spot the Loch Ness monster. But while you’re in the area, be sure to visit Urquhart Castle, where you can climb Grant Tower for spectacular views of the area.
Tip: Bicycles are a very popular method of transportation in the city, and is a popular activity for all ages. Renting them costs £12.00 per day, so don’t miss out if you’re hoping to live like a local!
Restaurant: The Dores Inn
Located on the shores of South Loch Ness, this family run pub offers visitors local dishes and drinks in a comfortable setting and stunning outdoor views!
Campsite: Bught Park Caravan & Campsite
This cosy campsite is ideally situated at just a 15 minute walk from Inverness Castle and city centre! The Caledonian Canal runs next to the site, so be sure to enjoy the fantastic nature around you!
Price: £20.00 per night
Location: Bught Ln, Inverness IV3 5SR, United Kingdom
GPS: 57°27'54.1"N 4°14'17.7"W
Needless to say, Scotland is a remarkable place filled with numerous historical sites and hidden gems. Those places are waiting to be discovered by you, during your scenic drives from Edinburgh. So, pack up your bags, and grab your motorhome and get ready to go on the road trip of a lifetime! Don’t have a campervan? We’ve got your back -- Goboony offers a selection of motorhomes for rent. In just a few short clicks, your dream Scottish vacation will become a reality, and before you know it, you’ll be taking pictures by some of the most beautiful places to visit in Scotland by car.