Ancestry

Venture across Scotland, exploring some of the most popular attractions and locations in this 14 day Ultimate Scotland Itinerary.

From the well-known scenic landscapes, famed attractions, iconic monuments, and breathtaking locations that have made cameo appearances in TV and Films - Scotland is a must-visit destination. Come and uncover the best of Scotland, which will leave you in awe and itching to come back to explore everything else on the map.

Transport

Bus Car Walk

Days

14

Miles

251

Route

Explore a variety of regions across Scotland

Highlights

Edinburgh Castle, Loch Ness, Cairngorms National Park, Loch Lomond, The Kelpies

Areas Covered

Scotland-wide

Day 1

overview

Edinburgh

Where better to start off your journey than in the Scottish capital? Edinburgh is one of Scotland's much loved cities and is home to world-renowned summer festivals, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as bags of history to uncover.

Explore historic monuments, lovely green spaces, top-class dining experiences, fantastic shopping locations and much more in all the nooks and crannies across the city.

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Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle is a world-famous landmark, perched proudly on Castle Rock, and overlooks the Old and New Towns below. It is without a doubt the most famous of Scottish castles, so come along, take a guided tour and explore the turbulent events that have occurred here in centuries past.

Arthur's Seat

Next up is nearby Arthur's Seat. Venture up this now extinct volcano for spectacular panoramic views across the city. The hike is picturesque and provides a lovely escape from the bustling city centre. There are a few different routes to the top which are suitable for all abilities and take roughly 30 minutes to walk. However, scheduling in an hour or so to admire the views and ruins along the way gives you the best experience. Take a virtual tour of Arthur's Seat.

Calton Hill

Calton Hill, part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a great place for early birds to catch a stunning sunrise across the city or to spot the many skyline attractions throughout the day as well. There is a host of historic structures at the top to uncover, from the National Monument and the City Observatory, to the Nelson's Monument and the Old Royal High School.

To top off your day, make sure you visit one of the many lovely cafés and restaurants that the city has to offer, or venture out to experience Edinburgh's lively nightlife in the many bars, clubs and restaurants across the city.

Day 2

overview

Day 2 - Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway

Journey southwards from Edinburgh to the glorious Scottish Borders and picturesque Dumfries & Galloway. From the rolling hills and moorlands that inspired Sir Walter Scott, to the friendly towns and glorious green countryside of Dumfries & Galloway - there are miles upon miles of landscapes in southern Scotland to explore.
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Melrose Abbey

Head south to the realm of the Scottish Borders to the magnificent ruin of Melrose Abbey. Admire graceful architecture and unusual sculptures of hobgoblins, cooks with ladles, and a bagpipe-playing pig around the exterior of probably the most famous ruin in Scotland. Nearby, wander through rolling hills, visit ancient attractions, and taste delicious delicacies that are famed among the locals.

Afterwards, journey west to Dumfries & Galloway, where you can explore a range of abbeys and historic houses, or let your inner adventurer free with many outdoor activities on offer.

Caerlaverock Castle

Just south of the town of Dumfries, Caerlaverock Castle is a grand medieval fortress, complete with a moat, twin-towered gatehouse and imposing battlements - giving a real ancient atmosphere to the ruin. Explore the many features, learn about its turbulent history, and enjoy reconstructions of medieval siege engines.

Turn in for the night in one of the many cottages, self-catering properties, B&B's, hotels and more across the region.

Day 3

overview

Day 3 - Glasgow

The day starts bright and early as you travel north west to the cultural hub of Glasgow. Here you can explore a whole host of attractions and gems that capture the true personality of the city.
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Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is a must visit place! Explore state-of-the-art galleries, incredible art collections, themed exhibitions and more at one of Scotland's most popular free attractions. From natural history to art movements and fascinating periods of history - there is an abundance of things to do and uncover here.

Riverside Museum

Next up is the Riverside Museum on the banks of the River Clyde. This museum is home to some of the world's finest cars and bicycles, as well as featuring the city's transport history from down the years. There are over 3,000 objects on display, boasting untold stories from Glasgow's past, along with recreated streets, shops, trams and more that you can interact with - so come along and learn a thing or two.

Glasgow's nightlife is lively, bustling and a must-try when you're in the city. Explore a range of quirky bars, pubs and restaurants that boast their own unique features, and many of which have live music playing each night.

Day 4

overview

Day 4 - Falkirk

Up next is Falkirk! Head north east from Glasgow to experience outstanding attractions, modern wonders, and historical treasures, as well as great shopping centres, award-winning boutiques, restaurants and more.
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The Falkirk Wheel

It's an early start as you head towards the magnificent Falkirk Wheel. It's the world's only rotating boatlift and connects the Forth & Clyde and Union canals. It's a real sight to see up-close and you can experience this incredible feat of engineering for yourself on a daily boat trip.

The Kelpies

Nearby, The Kelpies by Andy Scott are also a must-see. These two stunning 30-metre-high horse head sculptures stand proudly in Helix Park and are surrounded by a network of cycle paths, meaning you can explore the parkland to see The Kelpies in all their glory, from different angles.

Stirling Castle

Head a little further north to Stirling for an afternoon exploring the incredible Stirling Castle. This impressive stronghold is one of Scotland's most historically important sites and was once the residence of the Stewart kings and queens. Take a guided tour, learn about the castle's fascinating history, meet the resident costumed characters and much more.

Day 5

overview

Day 5 - Stirling

Stay in the area a while longer and explore the gems of Stirling. It's a wee city with a big history, fascinating attractions and spectacular scenery to enjoy. Don't forget to explore the many places to shop, eat and drink as well as experience lively events throughout the year.
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National Wallace Monument

Whilst you're here, explore the historic National Wallace Monument to uncover the life and legacy of the patriot and martyr, Sir William Wallace. This distinctive landmark proudly sits on Stirling's skyline and as you climb to the top of the famous tower, you'll learn about the many stories of Scotland's National Hero along the way. From the top enjoy stunning panoramic views across the city and out towards Loch Lomond, The Pentland Hills, Fife and The Firth of Forth!

Enjoy a lovely spot of lunch in a nearby café or restaurant in the city centre before continuing on your journey to the picturesque Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.

The Battle of Bannockburn

Bloody, brutal Bannockburn. Immerse yourself in this thrilling chapter of Scottish history through 3D technology, creating virtual battlefields and interacting with medieval warriors, pages, archers and knights. Learn about Robert the Bruce, enjoy the family-friendly activities and explore the restored commemorative monuments in the surrounding parkland.

Day 6

overview

Day 6 - Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park

This extraordinary national park is home to wild scenery, thrilling history and superb local food and drink. Loch Lomond is one of our most beautiful and iconic locations that has inspired love songs, as well as tales and stories throughout the years. At the heart of the park you can find Loch Lomond itself - you won't find a loch or lake bigger in the whole of Britain.

Did you know, the park is home to 21 Munros, 19 Corbetts and 22 large lochs?

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Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park

Spend the morning taking in the gorgeous surroundings with a stroll through the woods, cruise the water on a scenic boat trip, or take on the adventure of trying out kayaking, canoeing or jet skiing, to name a few, or you could even try your hand at fishing. There are over 30 islands on Loch Lomond, each with their own unique features to explore.

Inveraray Castle

After lunch, head to Inveraray Castle, just a short 30-minute drive away, to explore the romantic grounds and gardens of this magnificent 18th century country home. Marvel at the collections in the famous Armoury Hall, see the detailed French tapestries hanging in the drawing room, and learn about the priceless family heirlooms which span across generations.

Head back to Loch Lomond and spend the evening relaxing by the loch and watch as the sun sets over the beautiful landscape.

Day 7

overview

Day 7 - Fort William

Start your day bright and early with a scenic journey northwards to Fort William. Here you can conquer Munros, taste some of the finest Scotch whisky, enjoy loch-side wanders, take a trip aboard the steam train that took Harry Potter to Hogwarts and much more.

Ben Nevis

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to climb the highest mountain in the UK? Well in Fort William you can, so pack a lunch and begin your adventure up the spectacular Ben Nevis. Located at the western end of the Grampian Mountains, this Munro is 4,412 ft. (1,345m) high and boasts incredible views of the surrounding landscapes all the way to the top, so you don't need to reach the summit to appreciate the views around you.

After all that walking and exploring, refuel with a hearty meal in a local pub or restaurant and then turn in for the night in a nearby cosy B&B or hotel.

Day 8

overview

Day 8 - Glenfinnan

From Fort William, make your way along to Glenfinnan at the head of Loch Shiel to see stunning scenery and experience the magical atmosphere for yourself. Here you can see the magnificent Glenfinnan Viaduct up close, which also transports the famous Jacobite Steam Train from Fort William to Mallaig. Glenfinnan has also been the scenic backdrop for many scenes in the famous Harry Potter films and you can even hop aboard the real Hogwarts Express that was used in the films for an atmospheric journey across the viaduct.

Glenfinnan Monument

Another must-see is the Glenfinnan Monument which sits on the shore of Loch Shiel and commemorates the Jacobite clansmen who bravely fought and gave their lives for Bonnie Prince Charlie. Around the monument is the glorious surroundings of Loch Shiel which make for a perfect walk to admire the landscape in all its glory.

After you've finished exploring, continue your journey north to the famous Loch Ness to see if you can spot the legendary Nessie.

Day 9

overview

Day 9 - Loch Ness

Shrouded in mystery, myths and legends, Loch Ness is home to the famed creature that is the Loch Ness Monster.
The loch is the UK's largest body of water and is around 700 ft. deep, so finding Nessie herself may take a while. Loch Ness is the perfect place for quiet, scenic walks, afternoon picnics and taking in the natural beauty around you.
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Urquhart Castle

Make sure you pay a visit to Urquhart Castle - it is steeped in history and mystery, tells fascinating tales of the centuries past, and explores the turbulent events that have occurred here. Climb the Grant Tower, peer into a miserable prison cell, discover over 1,000 years of drama, and enjoy stunning views over Loch Ness from the ruins of one of the greatest castles in the Scottish Highlands.

Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition

In Drumnadrochit, find out more about the legends of Nessie, all the sightings - real or not - and find out where the stories and tales stemmed from all those years ago, at the Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition.

Stay in one of the local cottages, B&Bs or hostels and complete your stay by enjoying some delicious local food, and even try a dram or pint of some traditional Scottish drinks.

Day 10

overview

Day 10 - Sutherland

It's an early start as you set off to Sutherland, near Lairg, for spectacular, sweeping landscapes, fantastic attractions, stunning gardens, scenic views, and traditional Scottish wildlife in every corner. 
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Dunrobin Castle

The most northerly of Scotland's great houses and the largest in the North Highlands, Dunrobin Castle dates back to the early 1300s, has been home to many dukes and earls, and boasts a stunning French chateâu appearance.

Enjoy a tour of the castle and afterwards, why not explore the lovely gardens or learn a thing or two in the onsite museum too?

Aviemore

If you've not had enough of the spectacular North Highlands, continue further on the North Coast 500 driving route to see beautiful coastal scenery and incredible attractions, whilst passing through picturesque towns and villages along the way.

After you've explored the castle and the NC500, head back down the road to Aviemore and stay in one of the many hostels, B&Bs, hotels or cottages in this popular tourist destination.

Day 11

overview

Day 11 - Cairngorms National Park

The Cairngorms National Park is a haven for wildlife, dense woodland, picturesque lochs and miles upon miles of forest trails to explore. Twice the size of the Lake District, this national park has more mountains, forest paths, rivers, lochs, wildlife hotspots, friendly villages, and distilleries that you can possibly imagine.

Did you know that the Cairngorms is where the majority of Scotland's wildcats call home? So make sure you keep your eyes peeled!

Cairngorms National Park

Take a ride on the highest railway in Britain up the CairnGorm Mountain itself for spectacular panoramic views at the top. Why not have spot of lunch or afternoon tea in the Ptarmigan Restaurant? It's the highest restaurant in the UK, sitting at 3,599 ft above sea level.

If heights aren't your thing, then there are plenty of activities to enjoy on the ground. Try out a range of watersports at Loch Morlich or Loch Insh, let your inner adventurer out to play at Landmark Forest Adventure Park in Carrbridge, or stroll among the forests, loch, and mountains and see if you can spot any of the local wildlife. And in the winter months you can even try out skiing and snowboarding on real snow on the CairnGorm Mountain or The Lecht 2090 in Corgarff.

As you head over to your next destination in Aberdeenshire, why not stop in at a whisky distillery on the way? Dalwhinne Distillery and Royal Lochnagar Distillery are nearby and both boast lovely drams to taste.

Day 12

overview

Day 12 - Aberdeen

Aberdeen is shrouded in fascinating history, boasts streets lined with astounding architecture, all while featuring a picturesque coastline and harbour. Explore rolling hills, open farmland and towering mountains in the splendour of Aberdeenshire.

Balmoral Castle

Are you ready for a royal day out? Head to Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire to see the Scottish home of the Royal Family since it was bought for Queen Victoria in 1852. Explore the castle with a guided tour, marvel at the picturesque gardens and flower displays, as well as uncovering the royal history in the resident exhibitions.

Visit the gift shop and choose from one of the many souvenirs you can take home, from royal china, whisky, and jewellery, to pretty Tweed gifts, clothing and homeware.

Once you're back in Aviemore, why not head along to Loch Morlich or wander up the trails of Craigellachie National Nature Reserve to watch the sun set over the Cairngorms - bringing a picturesque end to your day?

Day 13

overview

Day 13 - Perth

Head south to the wonderful city of Perth. Here you can explore fabulous city gems, glorious parks and green spaces, historically-significant attractions and much more, all with bustling markets and quirky shops to browse too.

Scone Palace

Before you head on to Perth, why not fuel up for the day with some delicious fluffy pancakes or a full English breakfast in the Mountain Café in Aviemore? Using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, each dish is healthy and wholesome, all whilst being incredibly delicious. You can also browse the range of outdoor equipment downstairs before you leave.

In Perth, a must-visit is Scone Palace. This 12th century palace has been the crowning place of many Scottish kings throughout the centuries, including Macbeth, Robert the Bruce and Charles II. Admire the needlework of Mary Queen of Scots bedhangings, the treasury of fine furniture, paintings, porcelain, and many more artistic objects. Whilst you're here, explore the beautiful gardens and woodlands that surround the palace, making for a perfect afternoon stroll or even a tasty picnic. Enjoy audio-visual exhibitions, a gift shop, food shop, and coffee shop on site as well.

Day 14

overview

Day 14 - Dundee and Fife

The east of Scotland is a gem in itself, featuring picturesque coastline trails, world-renowned city hotspots, scenic hills and glens to explore and much more. Get ready to uncover the unique city of Dundee and the glorious town of Fife in the final stop of your tour.
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RRS Discovery

It's an early morning start as you make your way east to the city of Dundee. On the banks of the River Tay, head to see the RRS Discovery at Discovery Point. This ship tells the tale of one of the most heroic voyages of exploration - Captain Scott and Ernest Shackleton's journey to the Antarctic in 1901. Follow in the footsteps of these brave voyagers and experience one of the greatest stories ever told, through exhibitions, artefact displays, stories and more.

Stay for a spot of lunch at Café Point, featuring the finest quality local produce and traditional Scottish meals, before continuing on your journey to the jewel of Fife, St Andrews.

St Andrews Cathedral

Head to St Andrews Cathedral to see the remains of Scotland's largest cathedral and most magnificent church. Explore its outstanding collection of medieval sculptures and ancient relics, and see for yourself the magnificent St Andrews Sarcophagus from Pictish times. And make sure you climb to the top of St Rule's Tower for spectacular views over St Andrews and Fife before you leave.

Once you've finished exploring, head back down to Edinburgh to complete your tour.

These attractions and locations are just a flavour of what Scotland has to offer and there are many more sights, monuments, museums and islands to see, so make sure you book another trip to Scotland soon.

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