Travel Guide: The Best Way To See Scotland In Seven Days
Posted on 19 January 2018
Think Scotland and what comes to mind is dramatic landscapes, Whisky distilleries, warm earthy Scots, historic architecture and the rugged Highlands. As with any adventure, planning is key to making sure that you make the most of your experience and skip the tourist traps. Here’s how our founder, Michelle spent her week.
After landing in Glasgow, head into the city to catch a train up to the Highlands. The 4-hour journey is an experience unto itself, with stunning #nofilter landscapes. A fun game for the ride - try pronouncing the Gaelic names of stations; Crianlarich, Loch Awe and Arrochar.
After the long journey, huddle by the fire place at the Ben Nevis Inn. The "wee Inn at the foot of the Ben" is home to the local mountain rescue, who keeps a watchful eye on visitors scaling the highest mountain in Britain.
For some culture, visit the 116 year old West Highland Museum in Fort William. It celebrates the military history and heritage of the West Highlands of Scotland and its people. Fans of the Netflix series, Outlander will recognise many of the locations. Sadly, Jamie does not come with the tour.
The beautiful mountains, rolling hills and forests in the Highlands means it's a perfect place for anything from leisurely country walks to an 8-hour climb up Ben Nevis. I opted for a walk through Glen Nevis to Steall Waterfall, one of the highest waterfalls in Scotland. The two hour climb is mostly rocky path and then opens up into a peaceful upper glen. The last step is a precarious wire bridge that crosses to the base of the waterfall.
Edinburgh is a beautiful and romantic city perfect for exploring by foot. It feels both like a charming university town (think One Day) and a busy cosmopolitan city with the contrasting architecture of the historic Old Town and New Town. It's one big UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Brave the cold winter morning for a sunrise hill climb to Arthur's Seat. The ancient volcano is in the heart of the city and towers over Edinburgh with fabulous 360° views. Make sure to dress warm and wear proper footwear to navigate the rocky muddy path.
If you don't have time to visit one of the far flung distilleries, the Scotch Whisky Experience is a fun and educational detour while sightseeing in town. Just stone's throw from Edinburgh Castle, visitors receive a master class within the Whisky vault, housing the world's largest private collection of Scotch Whisky.
The trip wouldn't be complete without its culinary adventures. When in Rome... head to a dark and cosy pub for hearty comfort food and locally brewed ales. Be adventurous and try the Haggis, neeps and Tatties at the Whiski Rooms, it was the best!
Head to Grassmarket, formerly one of the main gallows in the city where crowds would flock to see the public executions, for lots of cute bars. The aptly named The Last Drop is right next to where public hangings took place in the 18th century. Small pub, great atmosphere.
There were too many museums and too little time but we did manage to visit the grande dame of Edinburgh's museums, the National Museum of Scotland. The natural history museum is in an amazing building and entry is free, like most other museums in Scotland. They also have Dyson hand dryers everywhere, designed by a Scot of course!
With only a day and a half in Glasgow, we had to be wise with our time. Visiting a cemetery isn't my idea of a holiday, but Glasgow Necropolis is a marvel of Victorian architecture and stone masonry. Visit the majestic Glasgow Cathedral at the foot of the mound to be transported back in time, and finish off at the Museum of Religious Life & Art next door.
Prepare yourself for the trip with this entertaining video of Scottish slang according to Gerard Butler!