Loch Drunkie in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park

© VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

5 Days of Iconic Attractions and Hidden Gems in Scotland

If you are visiting Scotland for the first time and find yourself a little short on time, we've planned just the adventure for you. This itinerary will take you on a journey through all the iconic Scottish stops - lochs, distilleries, castles, mountains, epic drives and cities. But we've weaved in a few detours to keep you on your toes. This way you can see it all, without following the crowd.

Start / Finish
Edinburgh / Pittenweem
  • Days
    5
  • Distance
    472Miles

    755km
  • Transport
    Car
  • Main theme
    Sightseeing
Highlights
South Queensferry
Clyde Sea Lochs Trail
Loch Ness 360
Glencoe Lochan
Macallan Distillery
East Neuk of Fife
Areas covered
All

Day 1Edinburgh

For your perfect first day in Edinburgh, there's a mix of iconic attractions and a few hidden gems to discover. See the city from above, visit the legendary castle, pause for a sly gin and tonic, then finish off your day with dinner by the coast.

  • Calton Hill Edinburgh

    Scottish National Monument.

    © Kenny Lam, VisitScotland. All rights reserved.

    The short walk up Calton Hill is a great place to begin and get your bearings. The whole city can be admired in all directions from the top of this hill, including key landmarks - Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh Castle and the Three Bridges. There are views across the Firth of Forth in one direction and the Pentland Hills in the other. The good news is, it's a really quick wander, so you can have the rest of the day to explore the city.

    Find out more about Calton Hill
    32 Greenside Road,Edinburgh,EH1 3AJ
  • Gladstone's Land Edinburgh - City Centre

    Gladstone's Land

    As you wander through Edinburgh, drop into Gladstone's Land on the Royal Mile and get a glimpse into 17th century life inside a classic tenement building. All three floors have been lovingly restored, keeping the original painted ceilings from 1620 intact. Take a break on the ground floor and taste some delights in the ice cream parlour and café. 

    Find out more about Gladstone's Land
    The National Trust For Scotland,477b Lawnmarket (Royal Mile),Edinburgh - City Centre,EH1 2NT
  • Edinburgh Castle Edinburgh - City Centre

    Edinburgh Castle

    Just walking up the esplanade on approach, you know you're about to step into one of Scotland's most special historic buildings. Take in the views across the city and learn about the dramatic events which have played out between these ancient walls as you explore great halls, royal chambers, monuments and dungeons. To avoid disappointment, make sure to book your tickets far in advance for guaranteed entry. Make sure you time your visit just right so you're there to witness the firing of the famous One o'Clock Gun. 

    Find out more about Edinburgh Castle
    Castle Hill,Edinburgh - City Centre,EH1 2NG
    Key facilities
    • On Public Transport Route
    • Accessible Parking Or Drop-off Point
    • Level Access
    • Cafe or Restaurant
  • Edinburgh Gin Distillery Edinburgh - City Centre

    Edinburgh Gin Distillery

    Head to the West End to sample a delectable Edinburgh Gin. Explore the fascinating underground distillery with tastings, tours, as well as a make-your-own-gin experiences which are available to book. Visit the fully stocked Edinburgh Gin Shop selling the full range of Edinburgh Gins as well as the latest products from the two beautiful copper stills, Flora and Caledonia.

    Continue your journey by travelling to South Queensferry. You can hop on the number 43 bus from Edinburgh that will take you straight into South Queensferry. The journey takes roughly 40 minutes.

    Find out more about Edinburgh Gin Distillery
    1a Rutland Place,Edinburgh - City Centre,EH1 2AD
  • South Queensferry South Queensferry

    Two cyclists walk with their bikes through the town centre.

    © © Paul Tomkins / VisitScotland. All rights reserved.

    The seaside neighbourhood of South Queensferry is a lovely place to finish off your day. Catch the bus to the coast and if you've still got some energy, walk a section of the Shore Walk and discover some hidden beaches. Spend your evening at one of the waterfront pubs in the shadow of the Forth Bridges and enjoy dinner with a view!

    Find out more about South Queensferry
    South Queensferry

Day 2Stirling, Clackmannanshire & Perthshire

Transport:
Car

The next part of the adventure takes you through the historic landscapes of central Scotland. It's best to hire a car for the next few days, so you can explore the sights at your own pace. Start with a beautiful morning walk, followed by a fascinating attraction, a distillery and then a spot of mountain biking, if the mood takes you that way!

  • Dollar Glen Dollar

    Dollar Glen

    Start your day with a peaceful walk through the ancient woodlands of Dollar Glen, in the shadow of the Ochil Hills. You'll wander through landscapes loved by Scots for generations, with gorges, cascading waterfalls and the stunning fortress, Castle Campbell

    Find out more about Dollar Glen
    Dollar Glen,Dollar
    Key facilities
    • Parking
    • Pets Welcome
    • Accessible Parking Or Drop-off Point
  • Bannockburn Stirling

    Robert the Bruce Statue at the Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre

    The Battle of Bannockburn changed Scotland's history forever in 1314. Scotland's great warrior king, Robert the Bruce, led Scotland to victory against King Edward II and the English army. The visitor experience puts you at the heart of the action with cutting-edge 3D technology.

    Find out more about the Battle of Bannockburn
    Glasgow Road Whins Of Milton,Stirling,FK7 0LJ
    Key facilities
    • Parking
    • Cafe or Restaurant
  • Deanston Distillery Doune

    Deanston Distillery from the river Teith, Doune, Stirling

    Formerly a working cotton mill, Deanston Distillery is now famous for the glorious whisky it produces. Take a tour to find out how whisky is made.

    In Outlander the historic buildings stand in for Jamie's cousin's wine warehouse on the docks of Le Havre.

    Find out more about Deanston Distillery
    Deanston,Doune,FK16 6AG
    Key facilities
    • On Public Transport Route
    • Parking
    • Accessible Parking Or Drop-off Point
    • Level Access
    • Accessible toilets
    • WiFi
    • Cafe or Restaurant
  • Comrie Croft Crieff

    Comrie Croft Bikes

    Scotland has some of the best mountain biking trails in the world. Why not add some adrenaline to your day? Hire a bike from Comrie Bikes and set off along one of the custom-built trails through the forests of Perthshire. Comrie Croft has some amazing accommodation options too, if you'd like to spend the night somewhere quirky - they've got eco camping, safari tents (nordic katas) and a steading hostel. 

    Sleep: Comrie Croft or Stirling

    Find out more about Comrie Croft Bikes
    Comrie Croft,Crieff,PH7 4JZ
    Key facilities
    • Accessible toilets
    • Parking
    • On Public Transport Route

Day 3Loch Lomond and Glencoe

Day 4Highlands and Moray Speyside

Day 5Take the east coast back to Edinburgh

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