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4 days in Scotland. What would you do?

Hello all,

I'm planning a 4-day trip to Scotland with my wife. It's our first trip to the country. We'll be arriving in Glasgow on July the 11th.
I'm thinking of staying in Stirling and from there? What do you think? Any ideas, including a short walk along a lake? Any addresses you can recommend (B&B, restaurant, etc.)?

Thank you in advance for sharing your ideas and tips with us.

Marc & Soledad

Posted by
358 posts

Will you be driving or using train/coach/bus? It will make a difference to your options.

If you are in Stirling then a trip into Edinburgh makes sense. But beyond that your transport choices will influence your options

Posted by
4082 posts

Are you driving or on public transport?

Is this 4 days or 4 nights, and what kind of time do you arrive on Day 1 and leave on Day 4?

Are you interested in visiting Glasgow and/or Edinburgh?

A Lake is a Loch in Scotland, with one exception!!

Posted by
5127 posts

Whether it's 3 or 4 nights, I think your idea of staying in Stirling is sound. You might want to spend some time in Glasgow before you go, though - there is a lot to see and do there, like the Kelvingrove museum, St. Giles cathedral and the Necropolis, among others. You could spend one night in Glasgow and see as much as possible, then take the train for Stirling, which is an easy 30+ minute ride from Glasgow Queen St. station.

Spend the day in Stirling, visiting the castle and the town, along with all the attractions there. The next day, head for Falkirk and the Kelpies and any other sights that take your fancy. If you have time, you could always take a day trip to Edinburgh and stroll around the old town (and the New Town, which is also lovely). I won't suggest visiting the castle, as you probably won't be able to get reservations this late, but there are a lot of other places to visit there. And it has a wonderful atmosphere that you can soak in just by walking around. Here is a link to my trip report, which talks about several of the above places, and also lists restaurants, etc.

ETA: All the places above are reachable by public transport. I do not think you would need a car to visit any of the above places (and you certainly would not want a car in Glasgow or Edinburgh.

Posted by
357 posts

We liked Edinburgh the best and recommend at least 2 full days there. The royal mile has some well done small museums showing life in the past in Scotland. The big castle looked interesting but was mostly closed off due to putting up bleachers for the Tattoo (bagpipe shows). Made reservations to tour the Scottish parliament to learn about modern government and the modern architecture of the building. The British royals have a castle at the end of the royal mile by the parliament building. Also a tall hill in the same area to hike up for views. We stayed at a hostel in the bar area down the hill from the Royal Mile. Never ate hagas and didn’t do tourist shopping. Went to a simple singing concert at the cathedral.

Did a tour through the loch districts but a day drive by wasn’t great. Glasgow was just okay. Lost one day to pouring down rain. Took a hop on hop off tour stopping at the big museum (sorry I don’t have the name). One nice day would have been enough for us in Glasgow. You can take a bus between the two cities.

Don’t know anything about Stirling. Have a great time.

Posted by
422 posts

The thing I remember the most from my stay in Scotland was a pint at the Drovers Inn, among the most evocative pubs I ever visited, in Loch Lomond:

Loch Lomond has myriad trails. Consult Lonely Planet or a local for good ideas.

Here is a list of walking trails in Scotland:

A visit to the Highlands is worth it for the august scenery. Again, Lonely Planet or a local would be the best source of information. However, I would recommend including Ben Nevis -- the tallest mountain the U.K. -- in your itinerary. Maybe you could climb a trail on Ben Nevis?

Eat fish and chips in Glasgow. The Glaswegians' fish and chips is gourmet quality.

See the Writers' Museum in Edinburgh is among the best in the world:

Other museums and sites worth seeing include the Robert Burns House in Dumfries ( and the Mary Queen of Scotts House in Jedburgh ( It displays Queen Elizabeth I's execution order for Mary, a surprisingly eloquent document.

Posted by
2546 posts

I’d base in Glasgow or Edinburgh (my preference) so you could take a Rabbbie’s 1-day tour one day into the highlands.

I recently spent 7 nights in Edinburgh and never ran out of things to do. My trip report might give you some ideas:

Posted by
491 posts

Any choices are hugely influenced by what you like. Usually doing 21 day trips (maybe the four days are on the edge of a longer holiday elsewhere?), it's hard to imagine a four day trip. Do you want to see fantastic scenery, old castles, fancy castles with elaborate gardens, Neolithic sites, or shop? Nightlife, scotch tasting, fine meals or fish & chips?

Posted by
279 posts

We had about that same length of time when we did our 2009 Scotland trip. Started out visiting friends in London, then train to Edinburgh. Two nights there, then drove a car to Stirling, then West Highland Way (per Craig's recommendation: also went to Drover's Inn--yes loved that), all the way to Isle of Skye. Two nights on Isle of Skye, then over to Inverness and Loch Ness, and back down to Edinburgh for another night, then train back to London. Absolutely loved Scotland. Completely exceeded my expectations. People, music, food, landscape.