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Car hire and driving to Loch Ness


We have hired a car for 3 days while we are based out of Edinburgh and was wondering if driving to Loch Ness is to far an ask in a day? Rome2rio states its around 3 hours and was wondering if we should give a miss and if not what should we look at for the day we've planned to take a drive in the highlands? I know this is very broad but if there is a must see and is reachable by car what should we see?
Thanks in advance

Posted by
5562 posts

I wouldn't do it. This is the trip that you would be doing. That is 8 hours and 16 minutes in the car if all goes well and with no stops. Granted there is a lot of daylight in Scotland, but I don't think it would be a good day. You'd be driving past things that you would want to stop and see. All so you could get to see one--albeit famous--loch. You really won't even have time to take a boat ride.

Here's a suggestion. Drive to the Trossachs and go for a boat ride on the steamboat on Loch Katrine. If you want to include some physical activity rent a bike back along the shore of the Loch. This Loch has lots Rob Roy McGregor associations and is beautiful. You can stop off at Doune Castle on the way back. It's where Outlander was filmed as well as Monty Python's Search for the Holy Grail.

If you really want to see Loch Ness, take two days. :)


Posted by
2746 posts

I don't think there is any one particular "must see" in the highlands. There's plenty of natural beauty and a variety of things to see and do.

You say you are going to be "based out of Edinburgh" -- does that mean you will sleep in Edinburgh each night and use the rental car to take a day trip each day? If so, I would rethink that and sleep somewhere in the highlands. For example, if you really want to see Loch Ness, book two nights in Inverness or nearby. That will give you (day 1) time on the drive up from Edinburgh to stop and see things that interest you, (day 2) ample time to see Loch Ness with Urquhart Castle and the nearby Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition, and (day 3) time on the drive back to Edinburgh to stop and see other things you didn't have time for on the drive up.

If you are committed to sleeping in Edinburgh each night, then you'll want to take shorter day trips in your car, perhaps in three different directions. For example, you could go to Pitlochry & Blair Atholl one day, the Trossachs another, and Stirling, Falkirk, and Linlithgow the third -- or use the third day to go out to the coast either by North Berwick or north of the firth to Anstruther.