5 Days in Scotland with an Electric Car
Are you an eco-conscious traveller who loves the freedom of the open road? Have an adventure on a self-drive holiday in an electric car/vehicle (EV). With an ever-increasing range of EVs to choose from, there’s never been a better time to hit the road and head for Scotland.
From the city streets of Edinburgh and Glasgow to winding country roads through the wild Highlands and spectacular National Parks, Scotland is blessed with a widely dispersed and accessible network of electric charge points, allowing you to relax behind the wheel while taking in Scotland’s natural splendour.
Electric car and charging FAQs
- Start / Finish
- Edinburgh / Aberfoyle
- Distance226.2 Miles
- Main themeSightseeing
- The Cairngorms
- Ben Nevis
- Loch Ness
- Areas covered
Day 1 Edinburgh
Begin your carbon neutral road trip in Scotland’s capital of Edinburgh. If you’re renting an EV you will probably collect it either here or in Glasgow. With 30 public charging points located throughout the city, it’s an ideal place to familiarise yourself with the charging process, especially if you’re new to driving electric.
Simply retrieve your charging cable from the boot before plugging it in. Activate it using a downloadable app from Tesla, The Pod Point app or another provider.
DID YOU KNOW?
You can stay in a hotel which has an EV charging station on its premises. Try the Radisson Blue on the Royal Mile or the elegant Georgian townhouse of the Nira Caledonia in the New Town.
Old and New Town Edinburgh
If you’re only planning to spend a short while in Edinburgh, spend what time you have by exploring the city’s breathtaking Old and New Town districts on foot which are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Start at the bottom of the cobbled Royal Mile and take in the Palace of Holyroodhouse, official Scottish residence of The Queen, and the strikingly modern Scottish Parliament building before making your way to Edinburgh Castle, built in the 12th century atop an extinct volcano. After that, cross over to the New Town to admire the Georgian elegance of Princes Street, George Street and Charlotte Square.Find out more about Old and New Town
- Time to explore
- 2 hours
Day 2 Falkland & The Cairngorms National Park
Head north to the Cairngorms National Park, the largest in Scotland. This vast area is home to several majestic mountain ranges, including five of the UK’s highest peaks, as well as gleaming lochs, lush forests, and rivers teeming with trout and salmon.
On the way, take a pit-stop at the romantic Fife village of Falkland which appears as Inverness in the hit TV show Outlander.
There are 54 public charging points spread across 13 locations within the park making it unlikely you’ll have to queue to recharge. Just be aware that the distance between charging points can be up to 50 miles.
Explore the historic streets of this picturesque town and visit grand Falkland Palace, which was built in the 1500s and became a favourite country residence for many kings and queens.
In Outlander, Falkland is one of the first places shown on screen - the town substitutes for 1940s Inverness where Claire and Frank go on their second honeymoon.
Around town you can visit:
- The Covenanter Hotel, which stands in for the cosy Mrs Baird's Guesthouse.
- The Bruce Fountain, where the ghost of Jamie looks up at Claire's room.
- Fayre Earth Gift Shop, which doubles as Farrell's Hardware and Furniture Store.
- Campbell's Coffee House and Eatery, which becomes Campbell's Coffee Shop in the show.
Snow Roads Scenic Route Cairngorms National Park
The Cairngorms National Park is a spectacular mountain wilderness in the heart of the Highlands. There are many different routes you can take through the park, but why not discover one of the less-travelled areas of the park? Cruise along the 90-mile SnowRoads Scenic Route through the eastern portion of the park and witness the landscapes, history and culture which makes the Cairngorms so unique.
See the charming Highland towns of Royal Deeside including Braemar, Ballater and Tomintoul, and climb to the highest public road in Great Britain, the eponymous Snow Road. It’s naturally the first in the UK to shut in the event of heavy snowfall, but a joy to drive at all other times of year!
Stop off at castles including the Royal residence of Balmoral, famous distilleries, waterfalls and three ‘Scenic Route Installations’, which are outdoor artworks that merge seamlessly with the surrounding landscape and overlook dramatic vistas.
Find green accommodation in the Cairngorms.Find out more about Snow Roads Scenic Route
Day 3 Aviemore & Loch Ness
Bid farewell to the Cairngorms with a stop in the gorgeous Highland resort of Aviemore. It’s also a great place to stop if you need to top up your battery with three EV charging points in the area, including a Supercharger station at the Macdonald Highlands Hotel.
Next stop is the iconic Loch Ness. A complete circuit of the loch takes 70 miles with superior views offered by the tranquil B862 road, with runs along the south eastern shoreline. If you need to top-up along the way, stop at the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition car park.
DID YOU KNOW?
The charge point located at Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition is one of the most picturesquely situated charging locations in the UK.
Spend time in the picturesque town of Aviemore set in the north west corner of the park. Surrounded by spellbinding scenery, it makes an excellent base for exploring the park and offers easy access to an incredible range of outdoor activities. Nearby is the Highland Wildlife Park where you can get tantalisingly close to Scotland’s rarest indigenous species including the Scottish wildcat and elusive capercaillie.Find out more about Aviemore
- Time to explore
- 2 hours
Loch Ness Loch Ness
A trip to Inverness isn’t complete without visiting Loch Ness. This huge expanse of water is an immensely impressive sight – the loch holds more water than all the lakes in England and Wales combined. In the Outlander novels, Claire and Frank take a cruise on the water and in her 18th century life Claire meets the Loch Ness Monster here (referred to as a water horse in the novel). You can still take a cruise on the Loch today, which is a great way to take in the awesome landscape.Find out more about Loch Ness
For film buffs
- Time to explore
- 3 hours
Loch Ness is the setting of the film The Water Horse - Legend of the Deep, an enchanting story about its most mysterious inhabitant, the Loch Ness Monster. Ardkinglas House in Argyll was used as the main exterior location in the film.
Day 4 Fort Augustus & Tyndrum
Leave the beautiful banks of Loch Ness behind as you drive down the A82, one of Scotland’s most scenic roads. Take in long stretches of breath-taking scenery as you head towards the attractive village of Fort Augustus, perched at the southernmost tip of Loch Ness, before continuing onwards to the outer edges of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.
Along the way, you can stop at Fort William, the gateway to the UK’s highest peak of Ben Nevis, which can be seen looming high in the distance. You’ll then enter the epic landscape of the Glencoe valley which was immortalised on film in the James Bond blockbuster Skyfall.
Fort Augustus Fort Augustus
This pretty town sits around the Caledonian Canal. Surrounded by verdant forest and moorland dotted with purple heather, it’s well worth exploring this area on foot if you have time to spare, with a myriad of low-level walking options available. Enjoy a gentle meander along the canal which forms part of the Great Glen Way or venture further afield to take in spots like the Beauly Firth.Find out more about Fort AugustusFort Augustus, PH32 4BD
Fort William Fort William
Explore Fort William and Glen Nevis, in the shadow of Ben Nevis. With some of Scotland's most dramatic scenery available, filmmakers have used this location repeatedly, including scenes from films such as Braveheart, Rob Roy, Highlander and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.Find out more about Fort William
- Time to explore
- 2 hours
Glencoe Glen Coe
Featured in Outlander’s opening credits, visiting world-famous Glencoe will be a highlight memory from your trip. Driving through this deep-carved glen feels like you’re entering in a secret part of Scotland. Scenes from Skyfall were also filmed here, in the shadow of Buachaille Etive Mor.
Pull into one of the parking places to absorb the atmosphere created by the towering peaks around you before popping into the Glencoe Visitor Centre. You can grab a bite to eat here before browsing the exhibition.Find out more about Glencoe
- Time to explore
- 3 hours
You don’t need scorching sunshine to get the most from this beautiful place. In many ways Glen Coe is even more striking on an overcast, brooding day, when mist is sweeping down the glen and cloud is lying low on the hills.
The delightfully tiny village of Tyndrum sits in a fertile valley in the shadow of Ben Lui. A popular stop along the West Highland Way, Ben Lui is just one of many Munros which can be accessed on foot from the village. There are also plenty of shorter distance walks you can take such as the route to the tumbling Falls of Falloch, located just over 4 miles (7 km) from Tyndrum.Find out more about TyndrumTyndrum
Day 5 Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park
Spend your last day in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. With 40 chargers spread over 13 locations catering for about three visitors each, the park is your oyster if exploring by electric car.
After visiting the “bonnie, bonnie banks o' Loch Lomond”, spend a day or more exploring a glorious landscape spanning 720 square miles of unspoiled wilderness, with two forest parks, woodland, mountains, lochs and rivers. The choice of outdoor activities matches the diversity of the landscape, with walking, watersports, cycling, climbing, fishing and more all on offer.
Afterwards, you are within each reach of Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow, where you can bring your eco-friendly road trip to a close.
Three Lochs Forest Drive Aberfoyle
This 7-mile driving loop through Queen Elizabeth Forest Park near Aberfoyle is a great way to experience the beauty of the park if you don’t have a lot of time. Along the drive, there are three lochs – Reòidhte, Drunkie and Achray – which all offer small trails to discover the woodlands. You could spend all day driving and walking in this area.Find out more about Three Lochs Forest DriveAberfoyle
Explore a network of leisurely walks around the Aberfoyle area of the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park which pass through woodland, spacious countryside and sparkling rivers, some leading to mysterious landmarks like Doon Hill and Fairy Knowe which are steeped in local legends. You can also have tons of fun in the canopy of the forest at treetop adventure park Go Ape Aberfoyle.Find out more about AberfoyleAberfoyle
Loch Achray Aberfoyle
One of the smaller lochs located within Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, Loch Achray is a favourite with photographers thanks to its calm surface, which yields stunning reflections of the surrounding foliage and peaks of Ben Venue and Ben A’an. Both mountains offer challenging day hikes with awe-inspiring views from their summits.Find out more about Loch AchrayAberfoyle
Loch Katrine Aberfoyle
Hop onboard the SS Sir Walter Scott, a historic steamship which runs on carbon neutral biofuel, and glide across the beguiling Loch Katrine which inspired The Lady of the Lake, the romantic poem penned by Sir Walter Scott.Find out more about Loch KatrineBrenachoile Point, Loch Katrine, Aberfoyle
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