Camper van road trip around Scotland
Now, we rented a camper van for this Scotland road trip and found free camping spots almost every night. We rented a fully-loaded Aero+ from Bunk Campervans for our road trip. This van had a kitchen area with refrigerator, table, and microwave. It had a bedroom with storage and windows. It had a full bathroom, including toilet and shower, with a large mirror over the sink. The driver and passenger seats were super comfortable. We rented a manual, but they have options for automatics as well the best part, we paid less than $900 for our 10-day rental, thanks to off-season discount codes.
You can easily do this road trip with a car and hotels, or even a car and a tent. Pick your comfort level!
Driving is the best way to see Scotland
A road trip around Scotland is the best way to view the country because it allows you to see the country’s stunning scenery at your own pace. You can stop and take in the views whenever you want, and you can also explore the many small towns and villages that are off the beaten path. Additionally, driving gives you the flexibility to change your plans as you go, so you can make the most of your time in Scotland.
Recommended 10-day Scotland road trip Itinerary
Day 1 of your Scotland road trip:
If you’re arriving in Edinburgh by flight in the morning, spend your day exploring the city before picking up your camper van or rental car. Parking in Edinburgh isn’t easy, so it’s best to explore on foot.
Morning: Arrive at Edinburgh Airport and store your luggage at Bounce Luggage Storage at Waverley Station. Then, head to The Milkman coffee shop for a quick caffeine fix. Walk to Advocates Close, a narrow alleyway with stunning views of Edinburgh Castle. Take your time to explore and take some pictures. Then, walk down Victoria Street, a picturesque street lined with colorful shops and buildings.
Afternoon: Arrive at the National Museum of Scotland. If the weather is good, head up to the roof for stunning views of the city. Otherwise, skip the museum and head to your next destination. Walk to The Vennel Viewpoint for another great view of Edinburgh Castle. Then, if you’re interested in books, stop by Armchair Books to browse their selection.
Evening: Head to Edinburgh Castle, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Edinburgh. Allow at least 1 hour to explore the castle and grounds. After your visit, walk to Princes Street Gardens, a beautiful park in the heart of Edinburgh. Take some time to relax and enjoy the scenery. If you’re hungry and have time, grab a bite to eat at Edinburgh Street Food before returning to Bounce to collect your luggage and head to Bunk Campers, which is just outside the main part of the city.
Day 2 of your Scotland road trip:
Morning: Start your day in St. Andrews with a walk across the iconic Swilcan Bridge, a must-do for any visitor to the town. The bridge crosses the Swilcan Burn, a small stream that flows through the Old Course. This is a popular spot take photos, and it has also been featured in many films and shows.
Head down to West Sands Beach, a beautiful beach known for its soft sand and stunning views of the North Sea. Next, visit St Andrews Cathedral, a ruined cathedral that dates back to the 12th century. The cathedral was once one of the largest and most important churches in Scotland, but it was destroyed during the Scottish Reformation. Then, visit one of the many golf courses in St Andrews, including the Old Course, which is one of the oldest and most famous golf courses in the world. Even if you’re not a golfer, you can still take in the stunning scenery.
Afternoon: After lunch, drive to Dunnottar Castle, a ruined medieval fortress perched upon a rocky headland on the northeastern coast of Scotland. This is a an out & back driving detour, but so worth it. With its dramatic setting and fascinating history, Dunnottar has played a prominent role in Scottish culture for centuries. The castle has served as a royal residence, a prison, and even a hiding place for the Scottish Crown Jewels.
Evening: Get to Queen’s View, a viewpoint that offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The hike is about 2.5 miles round-trip and can be completed in about an hour.
Return to Pitlochry for dinner. Visit to Blair Athol Distillery, one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland. Take a tour of the distillery to learn about the whisky-making process and sample some of the distillery’s finest whiskies. There are many restaurants in the town center to choose from, so you’re sure to find something to your taste. After dinner, take a walk along the River Tummel and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.
If you have extra time today:
If you have time, you can also visit the Pitlochry Dam or the Pitlochry Fish Ladder. The Pitlochry Dam is a hydroelectric dam that offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The Pitlochry Fish Ladder is a fish ladder that allows salmon and other fish to migrate upstream to spawn.
End your night at Scotch Corner for the Whisky Ice Cream!
Morning: The absolute best thing you can do in Scotland, in my opinion, is go on a picnic with Straloch’s Wild Picnics. Read more about them here, but trust me, it’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever done!
Afternoon: Glenmore Forest is a beautiful forest in the Cairngorms National Park, home to the stunning An Lochan Uaine (Green Loch), a 3.5-mile hike that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and forests.
Evening: Visit Culloden Battlefield, a historic site where the final battle of the Jacobite Rebellion took place in 1746. The battlefield is well-preserved and offers a fascinating glimpse into this important period of Scottish history. After visiting Culloden Battlefield, stop by Perk Coffee, a popular cafe in Inverness that serves delicious coffee and pastries. Then drive to Loch Ness, one of the most famous lakes in the world. Take some time to relax and enjoy the stunning scenery. Drive to Urquhart Castle, a ruined castle that is located on the shores of Loch Ness. Climb the tower for stunning views of the loch and the surrounding countryside.
Car camp at Loch Lochy Viewpoint.
Morning: Start your day with a visit to Eilean Donan Castle, a beautiful castle that is located on an island in Loch Duich. Take some time to explore the castle and grounds, and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding area. After visiting Eilean Donan Castle, drive to Sligachan Old Bridge, a picturesque stone bridge that crosses the River Sligachan. Take some time to admire the views of the bridge and the surrounding mountains. Dip your face in the running water for 7 seconds for everlasting beauty!
Afternoon: Drive to Portree, the capital of the Isle of Skye. Have lunch at one of the many restaurants in the town center before heading to the Portree Colour House viewport. This viewpoint offers stunning views of the colorful houses in Portree and the surrounding harbor.
Following that, drive to Bride’s Veil Falls, a beautiful waterfall that is located near Portree. There is a short walk to the waterfall, and you can scramble to the other side to take a photo of the falls and the Storr. After visiting Bride’s Veil Falls, drive to Rubha Eoghainn View, a viewpoint that offers stunning views of the Cuillin Mountains and the Loch of Coruisk.
Evening: Hike Old Man Storr, one of the most popular hikes on the Isle of Skye. The hike is challenging but rewarding, and offers stunning views of the Cuillin Mountains and the surrounding countryside. After your hike, drive to Rigg Viewpoint, a viewpoint that offers stunning views of Loch Staffin and the Trotternish Peninsula. Last but not least, drive to Lealt Falls, a beautiful waterfall that is located near Staffin. There is a short walk to the waterfall, and you can view it from a platform or take a closer look from below.
If you have extra time today:
If you have time, you can also visit The Brother’s Point, Croc Rock, and Dinosaur Footprints. These are all located near Staffin, but the hike to The Brother’s Point is always very wet in the winter, so be sure to check the conditions before you go. The dinosaur footprints are only visible at low tide.
Car camp at Rigg Viewpoint if it isn’t windy. Additionally, Kilt Rock car park is an option.
Day 5 of your Scotland road trip:
Morning: Start your day with anything you skipped yesterday, and then go on a visit to Mealt Falls, a beautiful waterfall that is located near Staffin. There is a short walk to the waterfall, and you can view it from a platform or take a closer look from below. After visiting Mealt Falls, drive to Kilt Rock, a sea cliff that is known for its resemblance to a kilt. Listen for the wailing sound that is caused by the wind blowing through a hole in the cliff.
Next, walk the path from Staffin Harbour to An Corran Beach. This is a beautiful walk that offers stunning views of the coastline and the surrounding mountains. You might want to skip this if you plan to hike the Quiraing today!
Afternoon: After your walk, and only if you are an avid hiker, drive to The Quiraing, a stunning rock formation that is located on the Trotternish Peninsula. Hike the Quiraing Trail, which is a 4.5-mile loop that offers stunning views of the rock formation and the surrounding countryside.
Evening: After your hike, drive to The Fairy Glen, a beautiful landscape that is known for its unusual rock formations. There is very limited parking at The Fairy Glen, so you may need to park at the alternative car park in Uig and walk for 30 minutes.
Finally, drive to The Fairy Bridge, a picturesque bridge that is located near Uig. This is a popular camping spot, so if you plan on camping, be sure to arrive early to secure a spot.
Morning: Start your day with a visit to The Duirinish Stone, a large carved stone that dates back to the 6th or 7th century. The stone is located near the town of Carbost, and is a popular tourist attraction. After visiting The Duirinish Stone, drive to Dunvegan Castle & Gardens, a beautiful castle that is located on the coast of Skye. Take a tour of the castle and gardens, and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding coastline.
Afternoon: Drive to Nest Point, the most westerly point on the Isle of Skye. Walk the short path to the lighthouse, and enjoy the stunning views of the coastline and the Atlantic Ocean. Next, drive to The Oyster Shed, a popular restaurant that is located near the town of Carbost. Enjoy a delicious lunch of fresh seafood, and then head to Tallisker Distillery for a whisky tasting.
Evening: After your whisky tasting, drive to the Fairy Pools, a series of beautiful waterfalls that are located near the town of Carbost. Take a walk to the pools, and enjoy the stunning scenery. If you dare, take a dip!
Here is where you have a choice: You can either plan for a big hike tomorrow (5-6 hours long) or you can skip that. If you are going to hike, camp near the fairy pools. On the other hand, if you are not going to hike, drive to Glenfinnan and camp near there instead.
Day 7 of your Scotland road trip:
Morning INTENSE HIKING OPTION: Hike Sgùrr Alasdair, the highest peak on Skye and the highest UK island summit. This challenging hike is 6 miles round trip and takes 5-6 hours to complete. For more information, please visit this helpful website. Please note that this hike is not for beginners and should only be attempted by experienced hikers.
MORNING ALTERNATIVE OPTION: Visit Spar Cave if the tides are in your favor, as it is only accessible within one hour of low tide.
Afternoon: Finish up anything else you want to do on Skye today. It’s been an intense week, so the rest of the day is free. If the ferries are running, take the Ferry Mallaig to Armadale. If the ferries are not running, drive back to Skye Bridge.
Evening: Relax! If you took the ferry, camp near Peanmeanach Beach. If not, camp near Skye Bridge.
Day 8 of your Scotland road trip:
Morning (Ferry option): If you took the ferry, visit Peanmeanach Beach in Lochailort to start your day. Then follow the rest of this itinerary:
Morning (Skye Bridge option): Drive to Glenfinnan, a beautiful village that is located at the head of Loch Shiel. Visit the Glenfinnan Viaduct, a famous railway viaduct that is featured in the Harry Potter films. Take a walk along the viaduct and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
Afternoon: Drive to Fort William, the largest town in Lochaber. Take a ride on the Nevis Range Mountain Gondola for stunning views of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the UK. Have lunch at one of the many restaurants in Fort William.
Evening: Drive to Ballachulish, a small village that is located at the head of Loch Linnhe. Visit Sgnorr na Ciche, a mountain that is known for its two distinctive peaks. Drive to the Meeting of Three Waters, a viewpoint where the Rivers Coe, Cona, and Laroch meet. Drive to the Three Sisters of Glencoe, a stunning mountain range that is located in Glencoe. Take a walk to the Glencoe Loch and enjoy the views of the Three Sisters. Have lunch at one of the many restaurants in Glencoe.
Car camp at Glencoe Mountain Resort, where you can camp overnight.
Day 9 of your Scotland road trip:
Morning: Drive Kilchurn Castle Viewpoint, a scenic spot that offers stunning views of Kilchurn Castle. Take some time to admire the view and take some photos. After visiting Kilchurn Castle Viewpoint, drive to Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland.
Afternoon: Visit Finnich Glen, a beautiful gorge that is located near Glasgow. After visiting Finnich Glen, head to Buchanan Street, one of Glasgow’s main shopping streets. Take a stroll down the street and browse the many shops and restaurants. After exploring Buchanan Street, head to Ashton Lane, a charming cobbled street that is known for its independent shops and restaurants.
Evening: Explore Ashton Lane, head to Glasgow Cathedral, a beautiful cathedral that is located in the city center. Take a tour of the cathedral and admire its stunning architecture. After visiting Glasgow Cathedral, head to The Lighthouse Centre for Design and Architecture, a museum that is dedicated to design and architecture. Take a tour of the museum and learn about the history of design and architecture in Scotland. After visiting The Lighthouse Centre for Design and Architecture, head to People’s Palace and Winter Gardens, a museum that tells the story of the people of Glasgow. Take a tour of the museum and learn about the history and culture of Glasgow or head to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, one of the most popular museums in Scotland.
For dinner, head to Bothy, a popular restaurant that serves modern Scottish cuisine. After dinner, head to Ubiquitous Chip‘s Upstairs Bar, a stylish bar that offers stunning views of the city.
Day 10 of your Scotland road trip:
Morning: Drive back to Edinburgh and drop your van off in the morning. Then take the train or a taxi to Dean Village, a beautiful village that is located on the Water of Leith. Take a walk through the village and admire the charming stone buildings and cobblestone streets. Be sure to stop by the Dean Bridge, a beautiful bridge that spans the Water of Leith. After exploring Dean Village, head to Pastry Section cafe, a popular cafe that serves delicious pastries and coffee.
Afternoon: After lunch, walk Circus Lane, a charming cobbled street that is known for its independent shops and restaurants. Be sure to stop by Cuckoo’s Bakery, a popular bakery that serves delicious cupcakes. Check off any other sights you’d like to see in Edinburgh!
Evening: For dinner, head to Baba, a popular restaurant that serves modern Middle Eastern cuisine. The restaurant is located in the Kimpton hotel, a stylish hotel in the heart of Edinburgh. After dinner, head to Panda and Sons cocktail bar, a popular bar that serves creative cocktails. The bar is located in a former post office, and has a unique and stylish atmosphere.
Either stay in Edinburgh tonight or catch your flight back home!
Tips for visiting Scotland
Here are some additional tips for spending your first day in Scotland:
- Wear comfortable shoes. You’ll be doing a lot of walking, so make sure to wear comfortable shoes. I recommend sneakers. Most cities have cobblestones, so leave the fancy shoes at home.
- Bring a camera. You’ll want to capture all of the amazing sights and scenery that Scotland has to offer. I used my iPhone for all of my pictures!
- Be prepared for all types of weather. Scotland’s weather can be unpredictable, so it’s important to be prepared for all types of weather. Especially if you are on a roadtrip, different parts of the country will be experiencing different weather at any given moment. Bring a raincoat, umbrella, and sweater, even if it’s sunny when you start your day. Really, prepare for all four seasons in a day!
- Try some traditional Scottish food. Scotland has a delicious and unique cuisine. Be sure to try some traditional Scottish dishes, such as haggis, neeps and tatties, and fish and chips. The fish and chips are out of this world delicious!
- Have fun! Scotland is a beautiful and welcoming country. Take your time, relax, and enjoy your stay.
What to pack for Scotland
Be sure to bring these helpful items on your Scotland roadtrip:
- Base layers (alpaca wool is warm and fast drying, best on market for cold weather)
- Hat, gloves, scarves/face protection
- Rain jackets
- Warm socks
- Warm pajamas
- Bathing suit
- Packable towels
- Crampons – something to make boots grip snow/ice better?
- Water bottles
- Day pack
- Hand and foot warmers
More Scotland Content
I really love this country and have written a few posts about it! Check them out here: