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2 week Scotland castle- contryside itinerary

I am lucky enough to be able to spend 2 weeks somewhere in the UK in June. I love the castles, love gardens, and love the beautiful countryside. Can anyone suggest an itinerary? When I look at all the possibilities I become quite overwhelmed! (I will have a car, and also feel quite comfortable using public transportation).

Many thanks!

Posted by
48 posts

We did 10 days by car around Scotland last year and it was lovely. Flew into Edinburgh, rented a car and drove north through Dunkeld, etc. to Inverness, where we stayed to explore the Highlands for a few days. Then drove down Loch Ness, through Glencoe, Oban, down to Lochgilphead where we ferried out to Islay (husband's interest was whisky tours). Then drove through the Trossachs to Glasgow and spent a few days there. On our way back to Edinburgh we did the Tweed Valley. It was pretty much a big loop around Scotland and we got to see much of what we wanted to see. We didn't get out to Skye or other far-out islands, but something must be saved for the next trip!

What I did to figure out our itinerary is to plot all the points that interested me on a map (you can save custom maps like this on Google Maps) and then start thinking about a logical way to connect them by car. Some places may just be too out of the way to be worth it.

Good luck and have fun!

Posted by
552 posts

I did a circle route of Scotland also, starting in Edinburgh, then heading first towards St. Andrew's, then up through Dundee and the small town of Ballater where my ancestors are from. Then north to Inverness, Ullapool, then across to the Isle of Skye, and then back down the west coast via Applecross, Oban, Inverarry, and finishing in Glasgow. I saw a lot of castles on this trip I had the car for ten days, but I had three weeks so I spent 6 days in Edinburgh to start, and four in Glasgow to finish. Take a look at the Secret Scotland web site. Lots of great information there.

Posted by
5563 posts

There is indeed a riches of possibilities with those interests! You are in the Scottish forum, so I am going to focus on Scotland. We'll leave England to the other forum. The two best known castles in Scotland are Edinburgh and Stirling Castles. Both are prominent in Scottish history and are impressive places to visit. The buildings themselves are interesting and the locations are amazing. You should check into a possible membership with Historic Scotland if you are visiting several castles that HS properties. Many Scottish castles are still ruins, romantic and interesting ruins, but ruins. Scotland has chosen not to "restore" its castles. They are still great to visit!

One place to go that has lots of castles that are still lived in and not ruins Deeside. Here's the Castle Trail that VisitScotland promotes. I've not done the trail itself, but I've visited several of the castles in the area. I stayed in Ballater which was convenient for visiting them. Some had beautiful gardens. The Drum Castle gardens were lovely as were Crathes Castle's. I also really like the Cawdor Castle Gardens up near Inverness.

Two gardens that I really enjoyed visiting were The Explorer's Garden and the Inverewe Garden. They are both wonderful gardens that demonstrate the role that Scotland and the Scots played in developing all those British Gardens!

Of course, there is the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh and the Glasgow Botanic Garden.

The Inverewe Gardens are the farthest away. But It will take you up to one of the most beautiful parts of Scotland. You can drive there and back from Inverness in a day. It would be a good day trip.