I recently went away to Scotland for a few days and it was absolutely beautiful! When it comes to planning an itinerary, there is a lot to see and it can be difficult knowing which spots to visit. I personally went on a tour with Haggis Adventures, which is a great option if you’re short on time and don’t want to deal with getting around without a car. But if you prefer to travel at your own pace and take your time in each spot, these must-see attractions are the perfect places to visit on your next trip to Scotland.
1. Eilean Donan Castle
This iconic castle is one of Scotland’s most recognized and photographed landmarks. Located on an island where three lochs (the Scottish Gaelic word for lake) meet, Eilean Donan castle is surrounded by picturesque natural beauty and is a definite must-see on your next Scottish adventure. The opening hours of the castle vary depending on the months and you can find the exact times here. It costs £10 to enter, but it’s absolutely worth the price. Don’t forget to get the perfect photo from the rocky beach by the cafe!
2. Glen Coe
You might recognize this next spot as the filming location of James Bond’s childhood home in Skyfall! Glen Coe is an area of stunning natural beauty. It’s also incredibly vast, which is why I was grateful to have been on a tour for this particular portion of the trip. Driving is also an excellent option, though.
Regardless of your method of travel, you’ll want to get the cameras out for Glen Coe. You’ll be taking photos like crazy. I went during Easter weekend so I expected it to be cold and rainy, but I was pleasantly surprised at how warm and sunny it was. Scotland’s weather, like the rest of the UK, can be unpredictable, so plan accordingly.
What struck me about Glen Coe’s landscape is just how ethereal it looks. The enormous hills and mountains feel like they’ve been painted. They’re like nothing I’ve ever seen before and if you’re making a trip to Scotland, you definitely don’t want to leave out Glen Coe.
3. Isle of Skye
Another must-see on a trip to the Scottish Highlands is the breathtaking Isle of Skye. One thing I desperately craved after almost six months in London was to see the ocean, and I picked the perfect spot. Like Glen Coe, Skye features rugged, picturesque landscapes, stunning natural beauty and plenty of castles. Our tour visited the Storr, a beautifully-unique landscape with steep rock faces, and a cliff viewpoint on the Jurassic coast I annoyingly can’t remember the name of.
Skye is peppered with plenty of these viewpoints though, so you’ll definitely find one! Our guide recommended Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls. No matter which one you visit, the view is amazing. If you can, pick up food and goodies from a convenience store on the way there and enjoy a picnic just like we did! Just make sure you clean up afterwards and keep this stunning area clean.
4. Loch Ness
We might not have had any Nessie sightings, but that didn’t make our stop to Loch Ness any less memorable! Our tour stayed at Fort Augustus, a small, charming town at the south of the loch. While Fort Augustus might be small, there is plenty to see.
We stayed in Morag’s Lodge, a five-minute walk from the water and the perfect home base for seeing the rest of the Highlands. After you’ve spent the day exploring the Isle of Skye and the rest of Scotland, enjoy a drink at the Richmond pub, where you’ll find some of the friendliest people you’ve ever met.
No trip to Scotland would be complete without a visit to the capital, especially since your journey will most likely start here! If you take a tour with Haggis, your tour begins right on the Royal Mile. Edinburgh deserves a post entirely to itself, so expect that soon. But what I will say here is this beautiful city has so much to see that it’s worth its own 3-day trip. What makes Edinburgh great is that it’s extremely walkable. You can easily cover the major parts of the city on foot.
Overall, I really enjoyed taking the tour with Haggis Adventures. As with most tours, don’t expect to spend a ton of time in each spot as they have a lot of ground to cover, but since getting to each site would have been incredibly difficult without a car, taking a guided tour was the perfect option. I was also travelling alone, so a tour was a great way to make friends. Fun fact, I actually spent my birthday on the tour! I partied the night away on a lodge in Loch Ness with my new companions and it was pretty much perfect.
So what are you waiting for?? Get those notebooks ready and start planning your next incredible trip to Scotland!