Experience Scotland's rich history and picturesque landscapes during this six-day road trip. Start with a walking tour in Edinburgh, where you'll dip your toes into the cobbled streets and distinctive architecture. Then learn about the nation's most courageous figures—including William Wallace—at Stirling Castle, followed by a lesson in the Bronze Age at Clava Cairns. Next, get private tours of both Culloden Battlefields and Loch Ness before making your way to world-class Glasgow to finish the adventure.


  • Immerse yourself in the events that shaped Edinburgh during a walking tour
  • Take yourself back to one of Scotland's most famous sieges at Stirling Castle
  • Keep half an eye open for the Loch Ness monster during a private boat tour 
  • Drive through stunning scenery in Perthshire and the Cairngorms National Park

Brief Itinerary 

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Edinburgh, Historic City Walking Tour Edinburgh
Day 2 Visit Stirling Castle & National Wallace Monument, Drive to Pitlochry Pitlochry
Day 3 Explore Clava Cairns, Private Tour of Culloden Battlefield, Drive to Inverness Inverness
Day 4 Private Cruise in Loch Ness, Visit Urquhart Castle, Drive to Fort William  Fort William
Day 5 See the Corpach Wreck & Loch Eil, Drive to Glasgow Glasgow
Day 6 Visit the People's Palace, Depart Glasgow  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Edinburgh, Historic City Walking Tour

Journey into Edinburgh's labyrinthine streets during a city walking tour

Welcome to Edinburgh, Scotland's capital! Upon arrival, pick up your vehicle and drop it off at your hotel in the city center before meeting your guide for the day. Your foray into Scotland's rich history starts with a two-hour walking tour of Edinburgh, where you'll immerse yourself in the city's captivating tales, absorb its unique atmosphere, and unlock a deeper appreciation for its cultural heritage. 

Your guide will take you through the labyrinthine streets, where tales of ancient legends and remarkable events come to life. Marvel at the magnificent St. Giles' Cathedral, soak in the vibrant atmosphere of the Mercat Cross and behold the majestic silhouette of Edinburgh Castle against the skyline. Along the way, you'll also visit Greyfriars Kirk and the graveyard, witness the architectural splendor of George Heriot School, and admire the exterior grandeur of Edinburgh Castle. During the evening, explore any of Edinburgh's renowned fine-dining establishments and gastropubs.

Day 2: Visit Stirling Castle & National Wallace Monument, Drive to Pitlochry

Learn about the Siege of Stirling Castle before visiting the National Wallace Monument

Wake up to a cup of good coffee in the Quartermile neighborhood before packing up the car and driving one hour northeast to Stirling. If you prefer a slower pace, take the scenic route along the River Forth and arrive at Stirling, home to some of Scotland's most epic events and the captivating stage for some of the nation's most romantic, courageous, and memorable figures. 

Begin by visiting Stirling Castle and its Royal Palace. Stroll up Stirling's cobbled main street to reach this imposing fortress that sits atop a rocky outcropping and be rewarded with spectacular views over the Stirlingshire countryside. Learn about the siege of Stirling Castle, one of the most famous sieges in 1304, and pass by the National Wallace Monument commemorating the life of patriot and martyr Sir William Wallace. The galleries inside the monument will tell you the story of how the battle of Stirling Bridge was fought and won, as well as the legacy Wallace left behind.

Finally, complete the story of Stirling Bridge by visiting it. Hop back in the car after enjoying lunch at one of Stirling's many authentic pubs, and drive an hour north to Pitlochry. Keep your camera charged as the journey into Perthshire dazzles you with views of verdant hills, ancient mansions, and cascading rivers. Arrive at your hotel and relax this evening. 

Day 3: Explore Clava Cairns, Private Tour of Culloden Battlefield, Drive to Inverness

Travel back in time to the Bronze Age at Clava Cairns

Get ready for another stunning journey this morning through the Cairngorms National Park, deep in the Scottish Highlands. If you have time, stop off for a nature walk before reaching Clava Cairns near Inverness. Make sure to spend some time exploring Clava Cairns, which achieved popularity from its exposure in the fantasy series "Outlander." This is one of Scotland's best early Bronze Age sites, dating from 2500 BCE, but the location is thought to have been in use much earlier, and later additions date to 2000 BCE. 

Next door to the cairns is Culloden Battlefield, which is where you'll become steeped in history during a two-hour tour around the site. Discover all there is to know about the last battle on British soil in 1746 and step back in time as you imagine the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie's Jacobite army. In the multimedia center, you'll see the Well of the Dead, the Main Cairn, and the Clan Graves, where the soldiers are buried. The site attracts many descendants whose families were forced—or chose—to leave Scotland. Stay the night in your Inverness accommodation.
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Day 4: Private Cruise in Loch Ness, Visit Urquhart Castle, Drive to Fort William

Walk around the picturesque ruins of Urquhart Castle on the banks of Loch Ness

After breakfast, begin by driving just 30 minutes west of Inverness to Drumnadrochit, a small village on the edge of Scotland's most famous and mysterious loch—Loch Ness. Board the Nessie Hunter, a boat that offers passengers 360-degree views of the loch, and enjoy a commentary by local Highland skippers who know all the legends and history behind the Nessie monster and the Highlands more generally. Nessie Hunter is fitted with color sonars, radar, GPS, and satellite navigation, should the Loch Ness Monster decide to make an appearance.

While you're in the area, stop by Urquhart Castle and learn about the history within the walls of these ruins, which date back to the 13th and 16th centuries. Urquhart played a role in the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century and was subsequently held as a royal castle before it was raided on several occasions by the MacDonalds. Hop back in your car and continue driving along the scenic A82 road for 1.5 hours to Fort William.

Find lunch in one of the town's many quaint restaurants and explore the surrounding area before visiting the West Highland Museum. Get close to a significant collection of Jacobite artifacts and memorabilia, and learn about the Jacobite uprisings of the 18th century. Find out about the Highland Clearances and how they affected local communities, and admire a collection related to Bonnie Prince Charlie. Spend the evening relaxing in Fort William before heading to your accommodation. 

Day 5: See the Corpach Wreck & Loch Eil, Drive to Glasgow

Don't miss photo opportunities at the Old Boat of Caol

Spend the day exploring the surrounding area of Fort William. Drive to nearby Loch Eil, home to several small, picturesque communities, including Fassfern, which has its own mainline railway station. Enjoy views of Ben Nevis, and keep your eyes peeled for the mussel farming and creel fishing on the loch. Stop at the village of Corpach, which was first settled around 1600. A walk back along the canal path brings you to the lovely village of Banavie and the outstanding natural feature, Neptune's Staircase.

Don't miss visiting the Old Boat of Caol, which sits dramatically on the stony beach of Loch Eil with a backdrop of Scotland's highest peak, Ben Nevis. Better known among locals as the Corpach Wreck, the boat has become an iconic landmark in Lochaber, with photographers from all over the world strolling along the beach to capture a dramatic shot. In the afternoon, drive 2.5 hours south to Glasgow, and settle into your last night's lodgings.

Day 6: Visit the People's Palace, Depart Glasgow

Spend the morning sightseeing in Scotland's largest city

For your last day in Scotland, enter the People's Palace in the historic Glasgow Green. Browse the collection of objects, photographs, prints, and film, which give a unique view into how Glaswegians lived, worked, and played in years gone by to the present day. If you have time, wander through the Glasgow Botanic Gardens. Many exotic plants are housed in distinctive buildings, such as Kibble Palace and Main Range teak glasshouse, erected in the 1870s. When it's time to leave, drop off your rental car, catch your departing flight, and bid farewell to this beautiful country!

More Great Scotland Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Scotland? Check out these other Scotland itineraries, explore different ways to spend six days in Scotland, or discover the best time to visit Scotland.


Map of Historic Highlights of Scotland Self-Drive Tour - 6 Days
Map of Historic Highlights of Scotland Self-Drive Tour - 6 Days