Rundreise durch Schottland der Schafsköpfe
United Kingdom

Round Trip through Scotland

Three friends and I have planned to go on a round trip through Scotland at the end of May 2024.

The realisation of such an idea sounds relatively simple at first. For example, something like this: start in Edinburgh or Glasgow and then just “once round” – a round trip “around” instead of a round trip through Scotland!

Theoretically, that would be possible and you would see a lot of the marvellous coastline as well as some castles and palaces. What’s more, such a tour could be completed in ten days.

The only problem is that “once round” would mean missing out on so many wonderful destinations that make Scotland so magical. Such destinations include the Cairngorms, the Highlands, Speyside, Loch Ness, the Orkneys, and so on, and so on!

You guessed it: a really varied and interesting itinerary really needs to be well thought out. And when everyone says at the end: “That’s exactly how I would have planned it!”, then that’s the best proof that you’ve done at least almost everything right.

So let’s see what the comments sound like at the end.

Touring northwards through Scotland

Round trip through Scotland 2024 - route planning
Route planning

In any case, we will start very early in the morning on 25 May at the airport in Nuremberg and arrive shortly after 10 a.m. local time. After picking up our hire car, we will drive directly to Edinburgh, where we have booked a special hostel in the city centre: it’s a “Boatel”, a boat hotel. Dinner at Number 1 High Street is also already booked. Before and after that, we will have a good look around Edinburgh’s Old Town.

The second day of our round trip through Scotland will take us through the Highlands to Speyside, where we will spend the night north of the Cairngorms in Nethybridge in the Nethybridge Hotel.

From there, we could easily get to Inverness. But that would be boring! So the next day we will first drive up to the Cairngorms and then back down to the south-west end of Loch Ness and then along the south shore to Inverness. Our beds there are in the Columba Hotel Inverness.

The fourth day of our round trip through Scotland takes us along the east coast and then by ferry across the Pentland Firth to the Orkneys, where the jolly landladies of the Murray Arms are already waiting for us.

We can then spend the entire fifth day visiting some of the diverse historical relics in Orkney. Just to give an example: Skara Brea is a settlement from the Neolithic period, a good 5000 years old. Of course, as always, Wikipedia has the most well-founded reports: Skara Brea

But not only the historical sights, but also the scenic sights, such as the steep cliffs on the west coast, will be haunted by us. After a busy day of education, we spend the night at the Murray Arms again.

Round trip through Scotland heading south

On the sixth day we cross back to the mainland, turn west on the wild north coast road, and then – depending on the time that has passed – either at Bettyhill or at Durness we turn south to Ullapool, where we reach the Royal (!) Hotel Ullapool to spend the night.

Today things will be extremely interesting again in that the direct route to the day’s destination is almost impossible. Rather, we first have to head inland to get to Kyle of Lochalsh and over the big bridge onto the Ilse of Skye.

A ferry will then take us from Armadale to Mallaig. This place is the end point of the “Jacobite”, a railway line to Fort Williams, which is now mainly used by tourists and has become world famous thanks to the Harry Potter films. We follow this route, look at the famous (see above) Glenfinnan Viaduct and then hopefully find our night’s sleep at the Alexandra Hotel in Fort Williams.

The ninth day of the round trip through Scotland will take us to Glasgow. On the way there we visit the nature conservation project “Highland Titles“, as part of which everyone of us owns a piece of land. Furthermore, along our route there are historic churches and castles, picturesque lochs and finally the ferry from the Holy Loch (the name sounds quite funny in German because “Loch” means “hole” in German language!) over the Clyde and then along the river to our overnight camp at the Hilton Glasgow.

And so the circle of the tour through Scotland closes on the last day: we will sleep one more night in Leith, practically within sight of the Royal Yacht Britannia, in the Holiday Inn Express, from where we will then drive to the airport to return to Nuremberg via Frankfurt to fly.

So, that was a pretty detailed overview. The reports for the individual days will naturally only be available from May 25, 2024.

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