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Visit Stirling vs. St. Andrews on the way to Inverness then 2 days later to Glasgow

The 2nd-3rd week of August my husband and I will pick up our rental car from the Edinburgh airport after 3 days in Edinburgh. We will leave in our car and drive to Inverness/ Colloden where we will stay 2 nights. Question:
- Can we reasonably visit both Stirling Castle and St. Andrews as part of a "drive day" on the same day we end up in Colloden? If so, in what order do we plot our route? Or...
- Do we visit Stirling or St. Andrews as a day trip on one of our days while we are in Edinburgh? Which is the easier day trip? Train? Bus?
- On our way back down from Inverness toward Glasgow ("drive day"), what would we want to see on our way? We will have 2 nights in Glasgow.

I am a history teacher and will also be exploring my family roots, Clan MacAulay while in Glasgow (Ardencaple, Helensburgh). Any tips/ insight/ places to eat/ not miss on my journey?


Posted by
2393 posts

To do both in one day would be a long day - to do both on the way to Culloden is 5 hours of driving plus time to see St. Andrews & Stirling Castle. IIRC we spent a good 4 hours at Stirling Castle. You could incorporate Stirling into your drive day up to Culloden but I would visit St.Andrews another time.

Not really sure I'd take time away from Edinburgh with only 3 days there to see St Andrews but I am not a golfer. The Cathedral & Castle ruins are OK but for me not worth losing a day in Edinburgh.

Posted by
5678 posts

I think that you need to pick. They are in opposite directions. If you are a golfer then you probably need to go to the gold Mecca. :) If you aren't a golfer, save it for another trip. If you love history, then Stirling is wonderful. If you appreciate and are interested in battles and geography, then Stirling is impressive. If you just want a cool castle that has had some recent wonderful restoration then Stirling is worth it.

Stirling is one of the key places in Scottish History. It is similar to Edinburgh Castle, but more has been done to restore parts of it. The Renaissance Palace was just restored. The Chapel and the Great Hall are wonderful. And the tapestries that they are working on a re very good as well.


Posted by
6 posts

Thanks Christi and Pam,
We are not golfers so will take your advice and enjoy Edinburgh for our 3 days there and do Stirling Castle on our way to Colloden. Any advice for our "drive day" on our way back down to Glasgow?


Posted by
1616 posts

It depends what you want to see. If you head up the A9, I'd recommend coming back via the Great Glen. This will take you via Castle Urquhart, Loch Ness, Fort William, and down via Loch Lomond.