Because I wanted wide open spaces, wild coasts, great landscapes with mountains, lakes, cliffs, islands … Also because I wanted to discover a culture well imbued with legends and stories, a heritage rich and varied … Because I had always heard that it was a real experience to go to Scottish pubs, toast and dance with them … For all these reasons, in August 2015, it was decided: we were leaving for a 15 day road trip to Scotland. But to prepare for this 2-week circuit in Scotland, I asked myself some essential questions for the organization of my tour: When to visit Scotland? Which transports for a 2 weeks Scotland tour? Which sites to visit for a 15 days tour? What is the budget for driving around Scotland?
2 weeks road trip in Scotland – When to go?
Of course, we do not choose Scotland for the sun! It must be remembered that to go to Scotland is to take sweaters, bonnets and rubber boots!
Scotland has a temperate ocean climate. I had read that summers are generally cool (15 to 20 ° on average) and wet and that the winters are very harsh and even harsher in the north of the country. In theory, the period from May to September is the best time to visit Scotland. In fact, we went in August and over 15 days we had rain every day except the last (in Glasgow). Without wanting to scare you, we even had temperatures around 8 ° C in the Highlands.
So, after my experience of 2015, I would say that there are only two seasons in Scotland: the cold season (from November to March) and the cold season (from April to October) . And that Scotland must arouse a lot of passion, affection and fascination for tourists to face all its precipitation!
2 weeks tour in Scotland – Which transport?
After comparing a lot of organized circuits, self-tours and other theme circuits to combine or customize, I could not find the right alternative that would allow me to visit all the places I had pre-selected (see below) and that would also allow me to get in touch with the Scots to share with them their culture and gastronomy.
I came to the conclusion that the car is the only way to visit all the most lost corners of Scotland and the most convenient way to eat and sleep wherever you want.
A road trip in Scotland is freedom yes but it’s also an experience!
Indeed, in Scotland one rolls on the left and it is rather surprising especially when one approaches the first roundabouts which disturb our automatisms and our habits …
The advantage in Scotland is that even the craziest motorists are forcibly learning to be careful and drive slowly.
Indeed, the higher you climb in the Highlands, the more the road network deteriorates. The country roads (fortunately little frequented) turn into small narrow winding roads. In fact, they are so narrow that only one car can drive there. Yes, but they are two-way roads! It is therefore to allow cars to cross that the Scots have planned Passing places. These are spaces on the side of the road that can stop to let the car in front. Know that these sidings are also useful against a flock of sheep …
Also know that in Scotland, it is better to anticipate and refuel as soon as you have the opportunity. Indeed, petrol stations are quite rare in some parts of Scotland, so it is better to plan.
2 weeks road trip in Scotland – Which budget?
Aie Aie Aie ! This is the subject that makes you angry.
When we went in 2015 the pound was strong and as the prices were so sturdy, our budget, despite the cold, was very hot and melted very quickly!
Everything was expensive there: gas, food, restaurants and even whiskey. The Scottish national drink is taxed at nearly 70% in Scotland. So we paid in Scotland bottles of whiskey more expensive than in France. But it was too stupid to visit a distillery and not bring back a memory …
Because Scotland is expensive, here is how we did to limit costs and be able to go around Scotland in 2 weeks on a small budget:
- From France, take your own vehicle for your road trip in Scotland, even if you have to travel more than 3,000 km and take a ferry, it is still more advantageous than flying and renting a car on the spot. Do not forget your GPS!
- Leave by car to 2 couples to share the cost of transport. So by taking a single car, we divide in two the costs of highway, gas, parking and bonus we are happy!
- Find cheap places to eat (I’ll let you know some good restaurants), go for a snack in the pubs, stop to eat fish and chips along the roads or have a good breakfast to eat light afterwards …
- Find cheap places to sleep: see my selection of Bed and breakfast and cheap hotels for my 2 weeks tour in Scotland.
2 weeks tour in Scotland – What to see, which sites to visit?
What to see in Scotland? Which castles to visit in Scotland? Which distilleries to see in Speyside? Where are the most beautiful landscapes of Scotland? What are the must-see in Scotland? All these questions, I asked myself to determine the 15 best places of my 2 weeks circuit in Scotland.
Here are the 15 essentials that I defined for my 15 day itinerary in Scotland:Edinburgh – East Neuk Wild Coast – St Andrews – Castles around Aberdeen – Spey Valley (Speyside) and its distilleries – Elgin – Inverness – Torridon – Loch Ness Lake – Plockton – Sky Island – Glen Coe Valley – Oban – Loch Lomond – Glasgow
Tour of Scotland in 2 weeks – Scotland’s 15 must-sees in photos
East Neuk Wild Coast
Castles around Aberdeen
Spey Valley (Speyside) and its distilleries
Lake Loch Ness
Glen Coe Valley
If you want to discover my road route
with the interactive map of my circuit: