A Two-week Scotland Itinerary: First-time Solo travel to Scotland

A Two-week Scotland Itinerary: First-time Solo travel to Scotland

Last summer, I hopped on a plane to Edinburgh and began my two-week trip around Scotland. I immediately fell in love with this country. Moreover, this trip to Scotland was my first ever solo trip. In this post, I will summarise my Scotland itinerary. In other blog posts, I have elaborated on my travels. I have linked all these posts below. Hopefully, my trip will provide some inspiration for your own Scotland itinerary.

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 decided to visit the Isle of Skye, mainly because of the pictures I had found on internet. Certainly, solo travel to Scotland 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. Below I have summarised my Scotland itinerary:

My Scotland itinerary
My Scotland itinerary

Days 1-3: Edinburgh, Stirling and Doune Castle

I started my trip in Edinburgh, where I admired the Royal Mile and climbed Arthur’s Seat. On the next day I explored more of the old town: I visited the castle and once more the Royal Mile. On the third day of my stay in Scotland, I took a train to Stirling. After having explored the castle, I took a bus to Doune Castle, where Outlander was filmed! At the end of the afternoon, I returned to Edinburgh, where I climbed Calton Hill during sunset.

Days 4-6: Inverness, Loch Ness and Eilean Donan Castle

On the fourth day of my trip, I took the bus to Inverness and visited Beauly Firth. The next day I did a 1 hour boat cruise on Loch Ness and visited Urquhart Castle. However, this castle was not the only castle I visited on my trip to Scotland. On day 6, I visited Eilean Donan Castle, a world famous castle. Eilean Donan Castle is near the Isle of Skye, yet another highlight of Scotland and my next destination.

Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan Castle

Days 7-9: Isle of Skye

I started my stay in Skye in Kyleakin. After having explored the town and the ruins of the castle, I took a bus to Portree, the most lovely town on the island. From there, I took a bus to the Old Man of Storr, which I climbed. On this part of the island, you can also find Kilt Rock and the Quiraing. During days 3 and my last morning on the Island, I visited Dunvegan Castle and Armadale.

Days 10-12: Mallaig, Fort William, and Loch Lomond

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.

Days 13-14: Glasgow

Glasgow was the last destination of my Scotland itinerary. On my first day in Glasgow, I visited the People’s palace, the Glasgow Cathedral (Outlander was filmed here as well!), and its necropolis. I also visited the University of Glasgow, which had an exhibition about the Antonine Wall. On my second day (and last day in Sctoland) I visited the Kelvingrove Art Gallery. I took a bus to Edinburgh Airport and said goodbye to Scotland and my first solo adventure.

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.

Quiraing
Quiraing

Travelling Solo in Scotland

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.

Accommodation

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) ★★

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Scotland itinerary, including the Highlands

One Reply to “A Two-week Scotland Itinerary: First-time Solo travel to Scotland”

  1. Really nice blog, thanks so much for posting! Your English is so good, too, I thought you were a native speaker.

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