10-Day Road Trip Through Scotland: Can’t Miss Spots

There’s so much more to Scotland than just the major cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh. Take a 10-day drive through the breathtaking scenic roads of Scotland to discover best castles, landmarks, food and culture you’d otherwise miss.

Glasgow-travel-and-style
Glasgow:
Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow, is the perfect and most natural kick off point for your road trip through the country, especially since most flights land at this hub. With some of the UK’s most famous shopping streets and rows of restaurants, this bustling city offers something refreshingly familiar if you’ve been to the UK before, but it comes with extra charm and quaintness that worth exploring before heading off on your road trip. It’s also the perfect spot to pick up a rental car for your trip.

Must do: Arriving over the weekend? Head to the city’s center for a street market full of stalls selling homemade sweet treats and freshly grilled savory favours, which are sure to satisfy your jet-lagged appetite.

- Story and photos by Noah Lehava

Dornie-Eilean-travel-and-style
Dornie:
As you head into Scotland’s western Highlands, make sure to stop in the village of Dornie -- a scenic four hour drive north west of Glasgow.

Must see: Nestled on a tiny island where three Lochs meet, Eilean Donan Castle is one of Scotland’s most iconic fortresses (you’ll recognize it from countless shortbread tins). It’s restored 13th century remains are filled with perfectly preserved artifacts, period furniture and surrounded by tranquil local wildlife, offering a truly historic experience.

- Story and photos by Noah Lehava

Isle-of-skye-Kilt-Rock-travel-and-style
Isle of Skye:
Head on the road towards to the western coast of Scotland to witness Skye’s breathtaking views, only a short two hours from Dornie.  It’s sheep-lined roads wind between lush mountains, each carved out by cascading waterfalls. Its eerie beauty is matched by its diverse wildlife of puffins and wales, to name a few. Skye offers unparalleled adventures for everyone, like hiking up mountains or strolling by the Fairy Ponds.

Must see:  Located on the east cost of Skye’s Trotternish Peninsula, Kilt Rock’s vast cliff marks the edge of the world. Take a moment to soak in the breathtaking views of the Mealt waterfall, plunging from the basalt cliff’s end into the rocky coastline below.

- Story and photos by Noah Lehava

4-Old-man-of-storr-travel-and-style
Isle of Skye Must do: Get up-close-and-personal with the great outdoors as you ascend up to the Old Man of Storr. The geologic formation overlooks the sweeping countryside in spellbinding drama. With a little bit of luck for good weather, the hike up to the summit is moderately easy and the views from the top will make you feel very lucky to be here.

- Story and photos by Noah Lehava

5-Neist-Point-travel-and-style
Isle of Skye Must See: Erected atop Moonen Bay, Neist Point Lighthouse, which was built in 1908, is the perfect spot to whale and bird watch. Walk past grazing sheep to the edge and look out at the infinite shoreline as it fades into the fog. You’ll get lost in the beauty of your surroundings.

- Story and photos by Noah Lehava

Scotland-Highlands-travel-and-style
Highlands: The only way to experience the boundless beauty of the highlands is from the panoramic views from the front seat of your car. Take your time during your 9 hour drive through this landscape up to the Northern Isle of Orkney. Stop to snap some shots of the endless lochs along the way, and if need be, stop at one of the countless bed & breakfasts for the night. You'll want to soak in the glory of the abundant forests, which suddenly clear to reveal mountain ranges that seem to never end. Each bend offers more astonishing views of the countryside and if you’re lucky, you’ll catch a glimpse of the elusive highland cattle that graze along the roadside.

Must Eat: A hidden gem is set right off the highway, The Dairy on Daviot is a surprising find. Its cozy décor is quaint and inconspicuous but the true delight is in its tiny ice cream shop. From farm to your spoonful, it may be the freshest ice cream you’ve every tasted. The only problem? You’ll never be able to choose just one flavour.

- Story and photos by Noah Lehava

7-Orkney-Ring-of-Bodgar-travel-and-style

Orkney:  This northern cluster of 70 islands is one of Scotland’s most historically saturated destinations, dating back over 8,800 years. A stark contrast from the rest of the country, Orkney’s rich Norwegian influence and flat terrain, has allowed it an identity of its own.

Must See: Standing on an isthmus between the Loch of Stenness and Harray, The Ring Bodgar, a stone circle, is surrounded by shrouds of mystery. From its ambiguous origins to its undiscovered meaning, this site boasts one of the world’s most haunting anomalies. The formation stood the test of time and has defied explanation, certainly an historical oddity not to be missed.

- Story and photos by Noah Lehava

Orkney-Skara-Brae-travel-and-style
Orkney Must See: Sitting on the edge of the Bay of Skaill, Skara Brae’s Neolithic remains are one of the world’s most well preserved historical villages. This stunning representation of human life predates the Pyramids and Stonehenge. Weave through the impressive historical remains all while becoming entranced by sounds of North Sea crashing into the coast below.

- Story and photos by Noah Lehava

9-Orkney-Highland-Park-Distillery-travel-and-style
Orkney Must Do: Sip your way through the world’s northern-most whiskey distillery. As you walk through the Highland Park Distillery, established in 1798, you’ll understand why it has an award winning scotch. Upholding traditional techniques like a malting floor and using unique ingredients characteristic of the Orkney region, its distinct flavours are rich in malty tones and smokey sweetness. End the tour with a quick lesson on the perfect way to enjoy your 12-year-old single malt.

- Story and photos by Noah Lehava

10-Dunrobin-castle-travel-and-style

Dunrobin Castle: Like something out of a storybook, Dunrobin Castle’s opulent 13th Century spires, sit amongst perfectly manicured grounds inspired by the Gardens of Versailles. At 189 rooms, it stands as the Northern Highland’s largest and oldest continuously inhabited castles, and home to the Dukes of Sutherland. The perfect mid-point stop on your eight hour drive to Edinburgh.

Must Do: Head down to the garden to witness an incredible show of the ancient art of falconry. Watch on as owls, falcons and hawks of every size swoop in elaborate aerobatic displays.

- Story and photos by Noah Lehava

Edinburgh-tour-travel-and-style
Edinburgh: Spend your days shopping the cobblestone streets of the Royal Mile, or grabbing a pint at one of the countless Scottish pubs.

Must do: A great way to explore the rich and often dark history of Edinburgh and Scotland is with a walking tour. A true must for any traveller, whether a history buff or just passing through, this tour is full of haunting tales of the past and present. Explore the Royal Mile, get lost in vivid reenactments of the hangings in the gallows and follow the trail of how the Harry Potter novels came to be.

- Story and photos by Noah Lehava

 12-edinburgh-Arthurs-Seat

Edinburgh Must See: You’ll find heaven as you hike up a dormant volcano to Arthur’s Seat. The jaw dropping panoramic scene from the top offers the best views of the city. Take a chance and explore a different route on your way down, you might just stumble on this eternally peaceful swan lake.

- Story and photos by Noah Lehava

13-Deacons-scone
Edinburgh Must Eat: Indulge in the delicious scones and clotted cream at the Deacon’s House Café. Served up with a cup of tea -- the perfect way to warm up from the chilly temps -- you’ll find yourself craving this treat day after day.

- Story and photos by Noah Lehava