Edinburgh, Steam Train, & Loch Ness Scotland Self-Guided Tour

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  • 6 Days
  • Car Rental Included
  • 5 Breakfasts Included
  • Telephone support in English
  • Detailed itinerary
  • From €472

Discover the Ultimate Scotland Vacation

Scotland is the ideal destination for family travel. You will find the perfect balance between nature, adventure, and fun with this 6-day Scotland vacation. And if you’d like even more self-drive inspiration, take a look at our entire range of Scotland Self-Drive Tours and our Ireland Self-Drive Tours.

In less than a week on this self-guided tour of Scotland, you can discover some of the most beautiful natural scenery of the Scottish Highlands, sail on Loch Ness on the trail of Nessie, and take the famous Hogwart’s Express train that features in the famous Harry Potter films. The itinerary is a delight for both children and adults alike!

From the castles, valleys, lochs, fishing villages, islands, palaces, natural parks, and more … We have dozens of reasons to recommend this self-drive Scottish vacation! If you have any follow-up questions for us, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

What's Included

  • 5 nights in an authentic accommodation and hotel in a double/twin room with en-suite bathroom
  • 5 breakfasts
  • 6 day car rental
  • Sat Nav/GPS
  • Detailed itinerary for the whole trip in English
  • Telephone support in English for the duration of your journey in case of queries or problems

What's Not Included

  • Flights to and from the UK
  • Tickets for any suggested places in the itinerary such as castles, museums etc.
  • Lunch / Dinner
  • Travel insurance
  • Comprehensive car hire insurance cover

Scotland Self-Guided Tour Itinerary

Day 1Arrival flight to Edinburgh

On your arrival in Edinburgh we recommend you to explore the Royal Mile in the traditional Old Town and the most exclusive neighbourhoods of New Town. These two districts form a formidable urban network that has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Harry Potter lovers can go direct into The Elephant House, the cafe where JK Rowling began writing the first Harry Potter adventures. Another ideal plan for families is to get lost in nature in Holyrood Park and take a trail up Arthur’s Seat Hill, from where you will have one of the most impressive views of Edinburgh.

Day 2Edinburgh, Doune Castle, Glencoe, Glenfinnan Monument and Fort William

Traveling west, the first stop of the day is at the famous Doune Castle which acts as the gateway to the Loch Lomond National Park and the Trossachs. This fortress of the castle was the inspiration for Stark House in the series of Game of Thrones. Next you will skirt around the Trossachs northwards to reach the magical valley of Glencoe. The road continues further north to Glenfinnan, where you can stroll along the viaduct before heading to Fort William, nestled on the banks of a loch and holds a long military history.

Day 3Harry Potter Steam Train "Jacobite Steam Train" to Mallaig and return to Fort William

Today we suggest boarding the legendary “Hogwarts Express”, the famous train that takes the children magicians to the school of Hogwarts in the films of Harry Potter. The train runs in reality too and is known as the “Jacobite Steam Train”, a beautiful restored 19th century train that follows a significant section of Scotland’s west coast. Considered to be one of the best rail routes in the world, following a 135 km route you will pass through some of the most charming scenery in the Scottish Highlands, highlights include Ben Nevis, Arisaig, Lake Morar, Mallaig … all aboard!

Day 4Fort Augustus, Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle and Inverness

After leaving Fort William, the route continues northwards. Be sure not to miss the imposing mountain that appears on your left, Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the whole of the United Kingdom. Then you will discover some of the sights surrounding the famous Loch Ness, from the picturesque village of Fort Augustus, where you can explore the Caledonian Canal and admire the south bank of the loch, to the ruins of Urquhart Castle. Who will be the lucky one to spot Nessie today then? The elusive and mysterious monster rests in the depths of Scotland’s second deepest lake.

Day 5Cairngorms National Park, Loch an Eilein, Pitlochry and Edinburgh

During today’s journey you will enter the spectacular Cairngorms National Park. It is famous worldwide for its fauna and flora, centuries-old forests and snowy mountains for much of the year. A perfect plan is to simply lose yourself in the natural surroundings of the park’s dramatic valleys. We propose you to take a walk on the banks of Loch an Eilein, an idyllic loch with an island in the middle that houses the ruins of a mysterious castle. Then after leaving the Cairngorms National Park behind you could have stop in Pitlochry for lunch, a picturesque village built in the Victorian era. Back on the road, the crossing the new Queensferry Crossing alongside the impressive Forth Rail Bridge is the signal that you are arriving back in Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh.

Day 6Return flight

Return flight.


Edinburgh, Jacobite Steam Train and Lake Ness in family