First time solo travel to Scotland: my two-week Scotland itinerary

First time solo travel to Scotland: my two-week Scotland itinerary

Last summer, I hopped on a plane to Edinburgh and began my two-week trip around Scotland. In this post, I will mainly be talking about the way in which I travelled and my Scotland itinerary. In other blogposts, I will elaborately talk about everything I have done and seen, and I will link these posts down below when I have published them!

My trip to Scotland was my first proper solo trip. I had travelled on my own multiple times, but most of the times I met up with other people I knew on my destination. Only once I had slept in a hostel on my own before. Still, I was not scared about the idea of travelling alone and it felt natural to go on my own. Moreover, Scotland is a very safe country and relatively close to the Netherlands. However, there still were things I didn’t dare to do, such as hitchhiking. I don’t think it would have been dangerous on my own in Scotland, but I was not feeling good about doing it. In my opinion, it’s completely fine to have certain limits. I have survived perfectly well without hitchhiking.

Eilean Donan Castle

My Scotland itinerary

Since this trip was my first time in Scotland, I tried to visit as many highlights as I possibly could. Especially, I wanted to explore one of the islands. I really love rugged coastlines. In the end, I chose to visit the Isle of Skye, mainly because of the pictures I had found on internet. And it certainly did not disappoint. None of the trip did disappoint, actually. I fell in love with Scotland and can’t wait till I return to this beautiful country. However, reliving my trip by means of these blogposts is almost as good.

My Scotland itinerary

Curious about my Scotland itinerary? Well, I started my trip in Edinburgh, climbed Arthur’s Seat, explored the castle and the Royal Mile during days 1 and 2. I took a train to Stirling on day 3, and after having explored the castle, I took a bus to Doune Castle, where Outlander was filmed! On the fourth day of my trip, I took the bus to Inverness and visited Beauly Firth. The next day I discovered Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle. This castle was not the only castle I visited on my trip to Scotland. On day six, I visited Eilean Donan Castle, a world famous castle. Eilean Donan Castle is near the Isle of Skye, yet another highlight of Scotland. I stayed 3.5 days on the island and explored the Trotternish peninsula, Dunvegan Castle and Armadale.

Next, I took the ferry back to the mainland: to Mallaig. From there I took the train to Fort William. This route is famous, because it’s featured in many Harry Potter movies: it’s the same route Harry takes to Hogwarts! Fort William is home to Ben Nevis, the highest mountain of the UK. However, I didn’t climb it, but did some other hikes instead. After spending two days in Fort William, I took a bus to Loch Lomond, which drove through the Glencoe. I explorer the cute little village of Luss before I took the waterbus to Balloch. A train took me to my last destination: Glasgow.

Travel guides

Even when I’m only taking one backpack, I try to take at least one travel guide with me. Both the guide with Isle of Skye walks and the Lonely Planet Pocket Edinburgh are very light and small and easy to take with you on your hikes and explorations of the city.

Public transport

On my Scotland itinerary, I have done all my travel by public transport or walking. Sometimes, it was a nightmare: don’t try to go anywhere by bus on a Sunday. It just won’t happen. Moreover, don’t be surprised when a bus only leaves three or four times a day, just be glad that there is a bus. The downsides to travelling by public transport mainly were the hours spent waiting and the need to schedule your day based on bus timetables. Nevertheless, the positive thing about all this has been that you learn that you don’t need to hurry things up and you don’t have to see as many sights as possible in one day. Sometimes discovering one place for a longer amount of time can be very rewarding.

Where did I sleep?

For this trip, I didn’t make use of airbnb, but slept in a hostel every night. If you go to Scotland in the summer, it is best to book your accommodation beforehand. Hostels in places that many tourists visit are likely to be full. I have included the number of stars (out of 5) I would give each hostel, based on location, value for money, cleanliness etc.

Edinburgh: Cowgate Tourist Hostel (3 nights) ★★★

Inverness: Inverness Tourist Hostel (2 nights) ★★★★

Kyleakin (Skye): Skye Backpackers (1 night) ★★★

Portree (Skye): Portree Independent Hostel (2 nights) ★★★★

Broadford (Skye): Broadford Backpackers Hostel (1 night) ★★★

Fort William: Fort William Backpackers (2 nights) ★★★

Glasgow: Euro Hostel Glasgow (2 nights) ★★

Read more about my Scotland travels

Exploring Scotland Solo: Edinburgh, Stirling, and Doune Castle
Exploring Scotland Solo: Inverness, Loch Ness, and Eilean Donan Castle
Exploring Scotland Solo: Isle of Skye Part I
Exploring Scotland Solo: Isle of Skye Part II
Exploring Scotland Solo: Mallaig, Fort William, and Loch Lomond
Exploring Scotland Solo: Glasgow
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