Road trip in Scotland⎜5 days to enjoy the most ! [2/2]
Now that you know all the things to get ready for a road trip in Scotland, here is the itinerary we chose for our 5 days in the kilt country !
Day 1 : Edinburgh
3:30pm, here we are ! On Scottish lands, armed with our backpacks, our Nikon camera and of course, our drone. We head to the free shuttle to pick up the car. Everything is going very well as I told you in the first part, great and nice guys, perfect car. Then we drove to the center of Edinburgh about 30 minutes away, and there, we realized that it was already dark ! What ? Yes, at this period of the year, the night comes at 4:30pm in Scotland...!
We had to adapt our schedule and visit the city at night. But I tell you, it was beautiful ! I let you discover in photos the city of Edinburgh, its beautiful lights and incredible medieval architecture.
+/ Dinner in Edinburgh : we had a great dinner this first night, at Bentoya, a very good Japanese restaurant.
Be aware, it will not be often that I tell you that we have eaten well in Scotland...!
-/ Sleeping in Edinburgh : Balmore Guest House
The property is one of the cheapest in Edinburgh (for a double room). It is located in the heart of the city, but is not very quiet. Walls are very thin. In addition, the included breakfast is all-you-can-eat and quite good. About 40€ a night.
Day 2 :
After strolling the streets the day before, we were able to identify what we wanted to see during the day. And we could not miss Edinburgh Castle. Beautiful monument super visited, we went at the opening to avoid the tail. Take at least 2 hours to go around the castle and explore all the rooms, churches, prisons and the weapons room. A breathtaking view of the whole city offers a 360° panorama. We loved it !
+/ Edinburgh Castle : opening at 9:30am, price: about 20€/person.
We then headed to Arthur's Seat, a historic hill with many legends, stuck in the city center of Edinburgh. An ascent of exactly 251m made us capture spectacular images. Several starting points offer longer or shorter hikes. The end of the day (4:30pm 😂) was quieter as we drove to Inverness, 3 hours driving from Edinburgh.
-/ Dinner in Inverness : Yet super-rated on TripAdvisor, we were disappointed with the quality of The Auctioneers food. Everything seemed frozen, not tasty at all.
-/ Sleeping in Inverness : Inverness City Rooms
So I would not recommend this hotel. Finally we can not really say it's a hotel since there is no reception and no service. We did not meet anyone. Everything is done by yourself in fact. I received a text message few hours before, explaining the whole procedure we had to follow. The main door code, the floor and the room number, the locker code to take the key of the room, etc ... Well, I guess it must be a new concept. And obviously, no breakfast included (kitchen to share) and the bad surprise to see we were still far from the city center. Around 45€ a night.
Day 3 :
After a breakfast at the Rendez-Vous Cafe (not great either, despite reviews on TripAdvisor), and a stroll through the streets of Inverness, we headed to Fort William. The road along the Loch Ness is really nice, and the autumn colors bring a very warm side to this 2 hours path.
After trying to catch a glimpse of the monster, we stopped at Fort William, a small village in the middle of the mountains. And a 30-minutes drive later, we finally arrived at the long-awaited venue : The Glenfinnan Viaduct.
For the most part of you, you recognized this viaduct at the second we put the story on Instagram 😉 Yes, it's the famous Hogwarts Express train line that leads to the Harry Potter School of Wizards.
A magical moment from the first second we arrived there. And to make this moment even more magical, you can imagine that we had planned everything 😊. We had looked at what time the steam train was coming ! And we were not the only ones ! A few dozen of people were waiting with us THE moment, ready to shoot with their cameras. Unfortunately it was forbidden to fly with the drone in this area.
And then you start to know us ! We are super honest with you !
So we were there, ready to enjoy these few magic seconds. 3pm, time of the passage of the train. Nothing. Minutes fly, quarter of hours pass. 4pm. Still nothing. Some of us gave up. Oh yes, because I did not mention it was raining ropes (well yes it's not funny !).
Ok, I make it short. The train has never came. Huge disappointment.
In the evening when we arrived at the Oban's hostel, the guy at the reception laughed, but really laughed, and told us the train was not running between mid-October and the end of November. Bad luck !
So we tell you : no train during these two months ! On the other hand nothing prevents to go on the site and to take advantage of these big arcades and this somewhat magical atmosphere ☺️
+/ Dinner at Oban : The choice of the restaurant was almost easy that night, as you have the kebab option, Chinese, fish n chips or semi gourmet specializing in fish : The Coast. We had a very good dinner there. The staff is attentive and professional. The place is calm and cozy. I highly recommend it if you stay one night in Oban.
-/ Sleeping in Oban : The SYHA Oban is a great hostel, not so expensive, well maintained with a great view of the lake and a really great staff ! Nothing to complain about except the full breakfast (the Cooked breakfast at 6€) which was not super super good. But everything was all-you-can-eat-buffet. We can not get everything !
Day 4 :
Despite the gloomy weather and a high wind (a weather of Scotland you’ll tell me 😂), we went up a hill to see the magnificent Stalker Castle located on the water. It took us a long time to find a decent point of view, and finally we hit the small path behind the "Stalker Castle View" Café and once there... Wow ! A castle on the water is already cool, but a castle on the water surrounded by a landscape like this... What to say except that it is a magical atmosphere ! Impossible for us to don’t fly the drone and capture this moment ! And there was no restriction to fly there 😌
The route to Glasgow is very pleasant and goes through Loch Lomond National Park & The Trossachs. Perfect for a lunch break and admiring these firs as far as the eye can see, these purple lakes and the roads that rush into the autumnal colors. It was enough to convince us to take out the drone.
And as visiting Scotland does not go without visiting a distillery, a short break at the Glengoyne distillery came true 😄 Then we arrived in the evening in Glasgow.
+/ Glengoyne distillery : a super hour tour + a tasting for only 10€. The guide is Scottish and proud to be ! He tells the distillery story with passion and transports us into his universe. And the whisky is delicious !
+/ Dinner in Glasgow : There are many restaurants in Glasgow and you will probably find something to your taste. But we give you one address that is not bad : Gusto. You get many choices and prices.
-/ Sleeping in Glasgow : So there, we strongly advise you to avoid a stay at The Willow Hotel. Prices are certainly attractive but the staff is rude and the room is just awful. A bed that leans towards the middle (you know the one in which we slip and we find each other in the night !), a shower without pressure (impossible to wash the body in less than 10 minutes and then don’t even try to shampoo...). Well, you will be better elsewhere !
Day 5 : Glasgow & Bothwell Castle
We planned for our last morning to visit a magnificent castle passed Glasgow : Bothwell Castle. This medieval Scottish castle was not open to visits but we went around and got high to visit inside 😊
We dropped the car off to Easirent (without any bad surprise, I insist !) and then flew back home.
Great stay in Scotland, despite the overcast and rainy weather (but good for four days, we could still see things and brought you some pictures !). We will know that Scotland is not the perfect drone country but rather enchantment and nature in pure state.
We hope our advices about this road trip in Scotland will be valuable and our itinerary will give you some ideas if you plan to go to Scotland soon ☺️
And you, when do you plan to visit Scotland ?
Have you ever been there ?