This West Scotland road trip itinerary takes you from the city to the famed Isle of Skye and back, visiting Scotland’s most majestic natural parks in between.
From Edinburgh head to Glasgow, a place known for its medieval buildings, quintessential tartan dress, and its vibrant shipbuilding past.
From there, head north-west to the village of Glencoe where you’ll hike nearby mountains, spot red deer on Rannoch Moor, and soak up the local history at the town’s Folk Museum before heading further north to the spectacular Isle of Skye and back down through the Cairngorms National Park.
As you follow this Edinburgh itinerary across the country, there’ll be plenty of historical monuments, mountains, and viewpoints to stop at and enjoy along the way.
The sprawling metropolis that is Glasgow is the perfect place to begin your West Scotland road trip as its bursting with trendy craft beer bars (that’s right, it’s not all whiskey) and some of the most visited museums in the country.
However, your time in the city will soon be swapped for the mountains and villages of the northern countryside, so make sure you soak in as much culture, gastronomy, and history as you can while you’re here.
For a taste of Glasgow’s culture head to the GoMA or Kelvingrove Art Gallery. For gastronomy join a bespoke foodie tour through the city (get ready to sample some funky homemade haggis). And for history check out the Riverside Museum and the Horseshoe Bar, a Victorian pub home to the longest bar in Europe.
For something a little different, hop aboard a riverboat and enjoy alternate views of the city.
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Edinburgh pick-up center
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
Natural history, interactive displays.
Craft beer, sports bar, terrace area.
Award-winning, European menu, small joint in West End.
Scottish seafood and gin, quintessential Glaswegian haunt.
Kelvinbridge SPT Park and Ride
Hassle free, ride the underground.
Red Deer Village Holiday Park
Close to town, Wi-Fi, spacious.
Your West Scotland road trip continues north to the tiny village of Glencoe, a small area used as a gateway to the mighty Glencoe mountain and the Pap of Glen Coe, one of Scotland’s most famous valleys.
Get ready to soak up awe-inspiring views, climb mountains till your legs ache, and explore National Trust protected forest until your feet ask to be returned to your campervan.
The valley of Glen Coe was carved out centuries ago by volcanic explosions and shifting glaciers. These natural geological happenings have left behind an incredible area of land that’s ideal for a hiking adventure.
From Glencoe village, there are a number of trails ranging in distance from 2 km (~1.2 miles) right up to 20 km (~13 miles) eight-hour treks. Glen Etive, Loch Leven, and Lairig Gartain should all be on your ‘to see’ list.
Lake, islands, castle.
Forested area, hiking trails, Scottish Highlands.
The Glencoe Inn
Lake views, traditional Scottish dishes.
Street parking from 9 am.
Glencoe Camping and Caravanning Club Site
Woodland, hard standing pitches.
Onwards and upwards now as your Glasgow road trip heads further north to the fabled Isle of Skye. Scotland’s largest peninsula gets its name from the Norse sky-a, which means ‘cloud island’.
This rugged island is known the world over for its picturesque fishing villages, medieval castles, and incredible rolling scenery. When you’re not hiking the islands famous coastline or sipping beer in Portree Town you’ll likely be eagle spotting or cruising to a local loch.
Driving around the Isle of Skye is a joyful activity in itself as, whichever direction you set off in, you’ll be met with delightful vistas as far as the eye can see (imagine a New Zealand mountain range but in Scotland).
When you’ve finished drooling out of the campervan window, it’s time to go searching for waterfalls at the Fairy Pools, hike the loop trail approximately Quiraing rock formation, and sample whiskey at the waterfront Talisker Whiskey Distillery.
Isle of Skye
Cascading waterfalls, natural attraction.
Dunvegan Castle and Gardens
Stately home, loch setting, incredible views.
Sea Breezes (Portree)
No-frills, local catch from salmon to scallops.
The Three Chimneys (Colbost)
One of UK’s best, reservations only.
The Old School Restaurant (Dunvegan)
Family-run resto in former school, seafood and seasonal.
Lochside Caravan Site
Wild swimming, public transport on-site.
On the next part of this West Scotland road trip itinerary, head back south towards Edinburgh, passing through the majestic Cairngorms National Park and stopping at Aviemore as you go.
This little town is a mecca for outdoor activities thanks to its handy location amidst mountains, lochs, rivers, and valleys. Whether you fancy exploring the National Park on horseback, or you’d instead enjoy snow sports atop Cairngorm Mountain, there’s a little something to do nearby for everybody.
Popular activities in Aviemore include renting a bike from one of the towns two cycle shops and heading off on a forest trail, canoeing, river tubing, and swimming in the River Spey, and quad biking over the nearby moors.
If you’re just after a little peace and quiet, take off on a circular mountain walk and enjoy spectacular scenery, keeping your eyes peeled for golden eagles as you go. End your Edinburgh itinerary by winding your way south through the national park and onwards to Glasgow.
from the Isle of Skye
Woodland estate, wildlife, castle.
G2 Outdoor LTD
Outdoor activities, rafting, gorge walking, mountain biking.
Family-friendly, local produce, seasonal dishes.
Park at attractions.
Rothiemurchus Camp & Caravan Park
Forest camping, tranquil, wilderness setting.