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car tour in the highlands

Abu Dhabi, United...
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car tour in the highlands


We are a family of 5 and would want to drive through the highlands in June, but we only have 4 days/ 3 nights.

We would leave Edinburgh on a Friday morning and need to return there on Tuesday morning to take the train to London.

We would like to go to Stirling (William Wallace's monument), Glencoe, Loch Ness as well as any other notable points of interest (either scenic or historical) during our 4 days. If anyone could suggest some possible routes, that would be very much appreciated. If possible, I would like to not double back on myself on the route, but perhaps go up one side of Loch Ness and back down the other, if that's at all possible and practical. Loch Ness is a must for us as my boys want to visit the place and we can spend a night there.

This is our first visit to Scotland and we will be spending one week near Edinburgh prior to take this 3 to 4 days tour of the highlands. Your help is highly appreciated.

Abu Dhabi, United...
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1. Re: car tour in the highlands

Please I need your help

Scunthorpe, United...
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2. Re: car tour in the highlands

Day 1

From Edinburgh cross the Forth Bridge and pick up A90 to Perth and then A9 through Pitlochry, Newtonmore, Aviemore to Inverness. Book 2 nights here.

This is about 160 miles and will take just under 4 hours driving PLUS stops.

Day 2

Spend the day exploring the are around Inverness. Do a cruise on Loch Ness and visit Urquhart Castle. Drive up to Glen Affric. OR visit Clava CAirns or Cawdor Castle....

Day 3

Pick up A82 from Inverness and drive along Loch Ness through Ivergarry to Fort William. Pick up A832 for Oban and spend the night round here. Do the short detour to see Glencoe on the way to Oban.

This is about 110 miles and will take just under 3 hours PLUS stops.

Day 4

From Oban pick up A85 to Crianlarich and then A82 down Loch Lomond to Alexandria. Pick up A811 to Stirling for William Wallace Monument. Head back to Edinburgh. Drop off car and spend the night in Edinburgh convenient for the station next morning.

This is about 155 miles and will take just under 4 hours PLUS stops.

Use this website to work out driving distances, times and routes. Remember the times are minimum times and you will need to add on extra for stops.


Once you have your route worked out use the maps on this website for ideas of things to do and see on the way.


Click on the names on the map for text pages with pictures and information.

Edited: 09 May 2011, 22:10
Aberdeen, Scotland
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3. Re: car tour in the highlands

It's quite possible to use the south Loch Ness road in one direction to avoid retracing one's route along the A82 which runs on the north side of the Loch. I much prefer the south Loch Ness road to Fort Augustus as it carries far less traffic than the A82. Please bear in mind, however, that parts of the road are single track with passing places and care is required on sections where visibility is restricted.

East Neuk of Fife...
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for St Andrews
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4. Re: car tour in the highlands

Sometimes I wonder if you are wasted on here EESW - ever thought about setting up your own Travel Agency with custom built itineraries??? You are a very lucky girl Nanousha - job done, trip planned!

W x

Abu Dhabi, United...
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5. Re: car tour in the highlands

This is Great, I am so grateful to you, BIG THANK YOU

Ludlow, Vermont
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6. Re: car tour in the highlands


- Early start and drive to Stirling. (arrpox 1hr drive)

>> Striling Castle in the morning;

>> Head out of Striling towards Causwayhead/Bridge of Allan and take the first right after you pass stirling University. Nice single track road up to the Sherriff Muir Inn for lunch -- great Cullen Skink (25 mins from Castle)

>> From there continue on te single track until it reaches the A9 and then head to Scone palace (45 mins drive);

>> finally continue to Pitlochy (1hr drive) for the night. Night cap at the Palance hotel and/or a show at the Pitlochry Festival Theatre

Sat -

>> visit Blair castle (15 mins up the road) Opens at 9:30am

>> continue up the A9 and make a stop at the Dalwhinnie distilery (35 mins)

>> From there take the A89 to the A86 to the Nevis Range Ski area. You should be able to catch the gondola up late afternoon and catch some great views (it is open till 5pm) About 1 hr drive from the distillery

Finally head to Kinlochleven for the night and stay at the Tailrace Pub (50 mins drive from Nevis Range). FWIW, there is nothing really worth stopping to see in Ft. Williiam.

Sun -

take a drive through Glen Coe following the A-82 south. Make sure to branch off right at Bridge of Orchy onto the the B-something or other which follows the river Orchy trhough Glen Orchy, pull in at several places along the road and wander over the the river. Gorgeous scenery and rock formations. Then onto Inverararay. This is probably in the order of 2-1/2 hours with stops. You'll get there in time for lunch (at the George hotel) and then have time to visit Inveraray Castle and/or Inverarary Jail in the afteroon.

Head on a little bit to Cairndow to stop for the evening (1/2 hour drive);

Monday -

Nice Drive down the rest and Be thankful to Loch Lomond. Stop ino Luss (40 mins from Cairndown)... Take a walk along the beach and through the village. Nice area. From there head into Glasgow for the afternoon (1hour from luss) and take in one of either Burrel Collection, Kelvingrov Gallery or Peoples palace in Glasgow. Lunch/snack options at all of these. In the evening head back to Edinbugh (about 1-1/4 hrs) maybe in time for a pub meal at the Crammond Inn or nice dinner at Skippers in Leith.

The total drive time is < 10 hours spread over the 4 days. Taking in a lot but still doable without any really crazy travel days.

Here's a rough route...


Enjoy your trip.

Edited: 25 May 2011, 04:45
Abu Dhabi, United...
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7. Re: car tour in the highlands

Thank you for your detailed descriptions and advise. really appreciated.

8. Re: car tour in the highlands

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