With a rental car out of Edinburgh, I want to see some of the best that Scotland has to offer. (I do not prefer to spend time in cities, and I do not like museums.) I would like to see at least one castle, lots of scenery and at least one quaint little town.
Oh man, tough one! I would stay in Edinburgh, with just 4 days. The city has the best castle, the best views from various spots, quaint areas, wonderful pubs, resturants, ( sorry about your luck on not liking muesuems, the BEST way to know where you are and why you are even here in the first place) you can fill your days all within walking distance from A to B. I can recommend great day tour that will take you to a few spots, we loved them, drank coffee, drank beer, drank scotch, they drove, we relaxed, toured, saw castles and lochs. Was awesome and then spent the nights in the same BnB after wonderful meals and music. I'm never sure how someone can "see" a country in such a short time. You can drive a lot of miles to see some spectacular places in Scotland and there is many spectacular places, but in 3-4 days...thats a a lot of work driving and trying to see what's there. Others will fill in with their opinion , this was mine. Good luck
Tall order indeed. I guess the strategy would be to leave directly from the airport with the car and head north. Find a town that looks interesting that lies somewhat inland. There are plenty of castles in Aberdeen. Take a look at Donnottar and Drum--one a ruin and one preserved and furnished. Find an appealing village to stay in nearby.
Drive back to Edinburgh along the coast road making a loop.
I am more familiar with the west coast, but that would mean spending the whole time in the car.
We spent 11 days in Scotland back in May and couldn't get enough, such a great place! For scenery, the West Highlands are simply stunning- Glen Coe, Glen Etive, Isle of Skye- seriously breath taking, We also really enjoyed the areas around Perth. For Castles, I loved Edinburgh and Dunrobin, but Dunrobin would be a fair drive for just a 4 day stay. We really enjoyed the little villages on Skye, as well as the little villages just outside Inverness (Rosemarkie was my favorite- the little Fairy Glen walk is magical). If you are on Facebook, join the page "Scotland by the Road Side", Locals and Travelers post all kinds of pictures from all over Scotland and it might give you some great ideas of things you would like to see. When looking at distances on Google Maps and such, remember to add extra driving time (especially in the Highlands), the roads are very small, often just single track and you have to pull out often to allow others to pass. Happy Travels, Scotland is fantastic!!
Okay, head north from Edinburgh airport toward Edinburgh. When you get to Dunkeld/Birnam stop and take a break. You can check out the lovely little town of Dunkeld. If you want to walk in the hills then do the Hermitage Walk. Or you can walk in Birnam Wood along the Tay. There is also the old Cathedral. If you are still there in the evening be sure to go to the Taybank and enjoy a small local put. If you're lucky there will be music. It's right near the Bridge. Speaking of the Bridge, The Bridge is a great B&B. If you want to push on, look at staying in Pitlochry. Check to see if something interesting is playing at the Festival Theatre. You can check out the distillery tour the next day.
The next day you have lots of options. You can head up toward Balmoral and explore all sorts of castles. Come back along the east coast to Edinburgh. Alternatively keep heading north on the A9. You can check out Blair Castle which is just north of Pitlochry. Then at Kingussie and Newton More visit the Ruthven Barracks for great views. THen on to Aviemore for the steam train ride in the Cairngorms. Second night in Inverness--good dinner and more music! Go to the Hootananny. Next day, Culloden and Loch Ness as you head southwest to Fort William. Back to Edinburgh--long drive--via Glencoe the next day.
Hello Judy, Zonder, Atooz, and Pam... thank-you all so much for your time spent putting together this information ! I love all these suggestions.... and I'm starting to think about sacrificing some of my other destinations so that we can stay for longer in Scotland !
Thanks again everyone !!
Joan from Vancouver, Canada,