Planning a Scotland road trip itinerary for 7 days is like scooting away on an epic adventure. It’s all about taking your own sweet time to enjoy journeys and places (stops) with your love ones.
Going on road trips gives you the freedom to escape the ordinary and embrace the extraordinary, the kinda stuff that’s fun to visit travel places and most of the time it’s free.
So how are you gonna do this? In a car, for sure.
In this post, we break down the best driving routes in summer, on a budget or with kids in tow. We show you the coolest places to stop, what to see, what to do around the highlands and lowlands of Scotland. All packed and gone in a trip itinerary for 7 days.
And you don’t even have to own a vehicle – we’ll show you the best small cars and medium cars to choose for your spouse, family or your buddies road trip.
Road closures, weather alerts and driving conditions
Scotland Traffic Scene: (trafficscotland.org) This official website provides real-time traffic information, including live updates on road closures, delays, and incidents across Scotland. It also provides weather information, and travel bulletins.
Met Office: (metoffice.gov.uk) The Met Office is the UK’s national weather service. Their website provides detailed weather forecasts, severe weather warnings, and alerts for various regions, including Scotland. You can find information about road conditions, weather hazards, and travel advice.
Scottish Outdoor Access Code: (outdooraccess-scotland.scot) Its like a code of conduct for visitors looking to enjoy the great outdoors and advise on visiting places of interest.
Reliable Car Rental Services in Edinburgh
Renting a car in Edinburgh might be a little tricky especially if you are going on a road trip. So what is your most ideal vehicle to consider?
- Car hire in airport
- Car hire in city center
- Car hire with unlimited mileage
- Car hire with child seats
- Car hire with roof rack
- Car hire with snow tires
Evaluating different car rental companies to find the best deal that suits your needs, preferences and most of all, within your budget is your best option.
DiscoverCars is one rental company with a website and booking platform dedicated to rental rates, vehicle types, rental terms and conditions, additional fees and customer reviews across various car rental companies.
By comparing a all-in-one car rental booking platform, you can make the most appropriate decision, find the best rental deals and assure a smooth driving experience in Scotland.
Need for speed! Here’re some gentle reminders
Forget about putting your foot down and racing through sweeping bends. When driving in Scotland winding roads, don’t picture yourself as a road warrior as it only happens in the movies. Remember, your companions in the vehicle is your total responsibility.
In Scotland, you need to drive on the left side of the road, and the legal driving age is 17. The speed limits is at 30 mph in the cities, 60 mph on single carriageways and 70 mph on dual carriageways and motorways.
Ensure you have a valid international driving permit, obey traffic signs and strap up just in case you suddenly encounter a Red deer crossing the road.
Last but not least, pack up on treats, snacks and drinks which will keep you and your companions fueled and hydrated.
Scotland road trip itinerary for 7 days in summer
With longer daytime hours and cooler temperatures, the Scottish summer months (June to August) with average temperatures ranging from 15°C to 20°C is a pretty great time to begin your road trip.
So where better to gear-up your 7 days itinerary from none other than Edinburgh. But first, some great activities to check out in this beautiful city.
Festivals and Events: The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world’s largest arts festival, takes place in August, showcasing a pretty wide array of performances along popular tourist spots.
The Royal Highland Show held in June (yearly) celebrates Scotland’s past heritage, while the show’s unique Highland Games offer a glimpse into traditional Scottish sports and culture.
Get acquainted with the road trip route and stop at Edinburgh Castle, a 7 minutes drive from the city center. Highlights include the Crown Jewels of Scotland, the Stone of Destiny and the oldest building in Edinburgh, which is undoubtedly St. Margaret’s Chapel.
Visit the Palace of Holyroodhouse and hike up Arthur’s Seat for panoramic views of the city. The Royal Mile’s cobblestone streets are lined with beautiful landmarks, including St. Giles’ Cathedral, the historic Heart of Midlothian, and numerous museums.
Royal Mile is also a hub of activities during the Edinburgh Festival and the annual Hogmanay (New Year) celebrations. This locale is a pretty cool place for making your dinner plans with tons of shops, cafes and restaurants.
Adventure awaits for family with kids
Drive to Stirling and visit Stirling Castle, an iconic landmark in Scottish history. Backed in the 15th- 16th century, the Royal Palace within the castle was adorned with beautiful tapestries, lavish furnishings and vibrant decorations, making it a center of royalty life and cultural activity.
Fast forward to today, visitors can explore its well-preserved interiors including the beautifully recreated Renaissance-style Great Hall and startling Chapel Royal. The castle also houses several museums that display its history and artifacts.
Loch Lomond is a stunning freshwater lake located in the southern part of the Scottish Highlands, about 39 miles and around 56 minutes on cruising speed from Stirling.
If your kids have a keen eye for birds of prey, make a stop at the Loch Lomond Bird of Prey Centre. You can observe magnificent birds up close, watch flying displays and even have the opportunity to handle these amazing hunters of the sky.
Family with kids will surely love the Loch Lomond Faerie Trail, an enchanting woodland walk where they can discover whimsical fairy houses and sculptures hidden among the trees.
Places to stay: Consider staying overnight in the charming town of Balloch, a 15 minutes drive along the banks of Loch Lomond. There are family-run lodges and hotels with full facilities including golf courses, spa and plenty of activities like watersports and clay pigeon shooting.
Have you rested enough? Because the next route will take you more than 4 hours to the Isle of Skye, surely one of Scotland’s most popular Pit stop on the road trip itinerary.
The island is the largest in the Inner Hebrides archipelago and is connected to the mainland by a bridge. It’s pretty well-known for the iconic Cuillin mountain range, steep cliffs and beautiful long coastline.
Besides a plethora of outdoor activities for adventure enthusiasts like hiking, rock climbing and mountaineering in the Cuilin mountains, there are also interesting stuff for beachgoers such as sea kayaking, fishing and boat trips to spot wildlife.
If you are feeling peckish, don’t miss the chance to savor fresh seafood including the famous Scottish salmon, langoustines and scallops in the village’s relaxing restaurants.
Inverness is about 2 hours plus drive from Skype and the gateway to the Scottish highlands. The city is also famously known as the “capital of the Highlands” and a paradise for outdoor adventures.
Hike in the nearby Cairngorms National Park, explore the Great Glen Way or indulge in various water sports on the legendary Loch Ness lake, a stone’s throw away from Inverness.
Hoping to catch a glimpse of Nessie? The elusive or mystical Loch Ness Monster (depending on your imagination) is so popular that it has a “visit the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition” and boat tours for visitors to explore the lake.
Festivals and Events: Inverness hosts several cultural events the whole year round including the Inverness Highland Games, Inverness Music Festival and Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, a popular music event held on the outskirt of town.
Just 22 minutes away from Inverness lies the Cairngorms National Park located in the northeastern part of Scotland, and it’s the largest national park in the country.
The mountain range spans a breathtaking area of approximately 4,528 square kilometers and is home to 6 species of deer in the UK including red deer, roe deer, sika deer, and fallow deer.
There are tons of unique wildlife to this locale as well as Flora and Fauna. The town of Aviemore is a great vacation spot for winter sports, with ski resorts, tranquil lochs and lush forest for mountain biking.
An one and half hour road trip take you to Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city known for its art and culture. The city center is packed with street stores, designer boutiques and bustling markets.
Buchanan Street, known as Glasgow’s main shopping thoroughfare, offers a variety of retail options complete with a wide range of bars, clubs and live music venues.
Perhaps, this a another cool spot for a Pit stop if you are a soccer fan. The top two major clubs, Celtic and Rangers are based here. Visit Hampden Park for a live game on weekend is a pretty fun experience.
The Trossachs National Park is about a short 37 minutes drive from Glasgow on a picturesque route passing Loch Lomond and the last leg of your road trip journey.
If you love strolling along stunning landscapes which include forests, lochside (lakes) and hilltops, the Great Trossachs Path is your last stop to enrich your soul.
You can choose different trails (short, long, looping). The long walking trail stretches for 30 miles and can be connected to other paths as well.
If you wish to take in some fresh air and relax, Callander town is a gateway to the Trossachs and offers charming streets, shops and cafes.
Take a stroll along the River Teith, taste local crafts and enjoy a delightful meal or a cup of tea before ending your amazing and memorable road trip in Scotland.