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    The Scottish Sights Road Trip: Glasgow to Inverness Itinerary

    Scotland is home to stunning landscapes and fascinating history. Go on a road trip and let yourself be enchanted by the sights you will not forget.

    A journey through Scotland is like immersing yourself in a fairy-tale landscape. The country has vast intact countryside, dramatic scenery and roads with little traffic, as if they were made for the road trip. Some of the best sights are located along the A9, A82, A827, and A93 roads. So wait no more and get on the car hire from Glasgow and set off to the trip in magical Scotland.

    Rocky cliffs, lush valleys and mystic lochs dressed in fog - the Scottish countryside is idyllic and cut for road trips. Have your camera ready at all times as you will take hundreds of pictures and, who knows, perhaps you will capture the famous Nessie monster?

    Driving Itinerary Distance Driving Time
    Glasgow to Inverness 170 miles 3 hours 11 minutes
    Inverness, Loch Ness to Glasgow 195 miles 3 hours 52 minutes
    Perth to Aberdeen 86.4 miles 1 hours 44 minutes
    Ballinluig to Mid Lix 36.2 miles 1 hours 3 minutes

    From Glasgow to Perth & Inverness

    Road trip in Glasgow Road trip in Glasgow

    The A9 is the longest road in Scotland. It stretches from Thurso, on the northern tip of the country, down to Falkirk in the middle of Scotland. Due to expansion of the A90 and the M9 motorway, traffic on the A9 has become lighter and provides now perfect conditions for your Scottish sights road trip.

    What to do in and around Glasgow

    The trip begins in Glasgow. Compared to the capital of the county, Edinburgh, Glasgow is more lively and is the largest city in Scotland. Glasgow has a thriving arts and music scene. It is home to the fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world; the University of Glasgow was established in 1451. Its grandeur Gothic main building has become the landmark of the city, and you should not miss a visit to the campus, Kelvingrove Park, and the Kelvingrove Art Gallery, situated at the foot of the hill close to the university's main building.

    The entrance to Scottish museums and galleries is free, so take advantage and visit the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) in the city centre, with contemporary art exhibitions. It is famous for the statue located at its entrance - the equestrian statute of the Duke of Wellington with a traffic cone on its head. It has become an iconic sight of Glasgow, and is said to portray the humour of the Glaswegians.

    The city is an open-air exhibition of C.R. Mackintosh, a Glasgow born artist and architect, who graduated from Glasgow School of Art. He was commissioned to design numerous buildings in Glasgow. You can now enjoy Mackintosh design while walking down Glasgow streets: The Willow Tearooms in Sauchiehall Street, Scotland Street School Museum, or The Lighthouse in Mitchell Street. If you are into design, you should definitely visit the Mackintosh House in the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery in Glasgow. Another gallery worth visiting is the Burrell Collection situated in Pollok Country Park in the south of the city. We also recommend seeing the Glasgow Cathedral, a fine example of Scottish Gothic architecture. The Necropolis, located on the hill at the back of the cathedral offers a glimpse to the Glasgow's city of the dead.

    Loch Lomond, in the north of Glasgow, a popular leisure destination, lends itself for the perfect one-day trip to a beautifully-set lake with freshwater, at the gate to the Scottish Highlands.

    Where to stay in Glasgow

    If you would like to spend a night or two in Glasgow, there are plenty options to choose from, be it a hotel, pension, hostel, or B&B. Should you like to stay close to the airport, Campanile Glasgow Airport is a good choice at an affordable price. Ramada Glasgow Airport offers more luxurious rooms and if you feel like staying in the city centre, try Indigo Glasgow Hotel.

    What to do on the way to Inverness

    After tracking down Glasgow's attractions, you can now begin your road trip to Inverness. Take the M80 and switch to M9 once the two roads meet. The trip will take you around three hours without stops, which you, however, may be tempted to take. One of them could be Cumbernauld, a village with the largest facility for birds in Scotland, World of Wings Birds of Prey Centre. Once back on the A9, you will quickly arrive in Denny, with Herbertshire Castle Park, also an interesting place to make a stop for.

    In approximately 20 minutes, you will arrive in Stirling, the former capital of Scotland, with Stirling Castle sitting proudly on a rocky hill. The castle, dating from early 12th century, saw the coronation of the Scottish kings and queens, including Mary, Queen of Scots. The castle, as well as the Wallace Monument, a tower on the Abbey Craig hill, are important landmarks in Scottish history and culture. Climbing the tower is worth the effort. The monument is devoted to the 13th century Scottish hero, William Wallace. In the Hall of Heroes you will be able to see the Wallace Sword, 1.67m high (!) and weighing almost 3 kg.

    Where to stay in Perth

    Once you arrive in Perth, about one-hour drive from Stirling, check in to a hotel to take some rest before you set off to Inverness the next day. We recommend Ballathie House and Murrayshall House Hotel & Golf Courses. You should also visit some of the following Perth's attractions: Scone Palace, The Black Watch Castle & Museum, Huntington Tower, and the Elcho Castle. If you have enough time, pay a visit to Perth Museum and Art Gallery, and head to the Green Room in the evening for drinks, live music and a great atmosphere.

    The next day, the Scottish sights road trip takes you through the heart of the Highlands via the A9 to Inverness. The drive takes approximately 2.5 hours. However, since you will be driving through some of the most beautiful countryside in Scotland, the trip might take a bit longer. You will be passing through the Cairngorms National Park, home to breathtaking scenery and rich wildlife where you can enjoy numerous walking and cycling tours.

    What to do & where to stay in Inverness

    Having arrived in Inverness, called the capital of the Highlands, take your time to discover what the city has to offer. To learn about the history of the region, visit the Inverness Castle, overlooking the River Ness and the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, located at the foot of the castle hill. Take some rest at the Cobbs Tea House, and spend the day walking along the city's streets. For your stay, we recommend the Glen Mhor Hotel in a Victorian house or the Royal Highland Hotel, the best-rated hotel in the city.

    From Loch Ness to Glasgow

    Road trip at Loch Ness Road trip at Loch Ness

    This trip may be well combined with the trip to Inverness, presented above. You could either drive down from Inverness along Loch Ness to Glasgow, or start in Glasgow and make a trip around Loch Ness. Either way, the A82 will be your main road, leading through fantastic scenery, so take your time and make the most of your road trip to Loch Ness.

    What to do at Loch Ness

    The Scottish sights road trip takes you to Scotland's iconic places. One of them, no doubt, is Loch Ness ("loch" is a Scottish world for "lake"). If you are going from Inverness, take the A82 south; the drive to the lake takes about half an hour. The lake has become famous thanks to its unusual resident, the legendary Nessie Monster. Take your chances and perhaps you will be the lucky person to spot Nessie, just remember to have your camera ready!
    However, searching for Nessie is not the only attraction in here. Continue on the A82 southwards along Loch Ness shore and in about one third length of the lake you will arrive at the Urquhart Castle, dating from the 13th century. Today visitors may admire the ruins and the tower of the castle that took part in the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century. The ruins sit on the lake shore and together form a fairy-tale like sight. Loch Ness has lured various famous people. The occultist Aleister Crowley and Jimmy Paage from the Led Zeppelin used to live in Boleskine House on the south-east side of the lake.

    Continue driving south to Fort Augustus, where Loch Ness ends, and follow the road to Fort William. The road goes past picturesque lakes, Loch Lochy and Loch Linnhe. Further south, you will be passing by the highest mountain in the British Isles, Ben Nevis 4,414 feet high. A few miles further, you will arrive at Glen Coe, a village surrounded by spectacular mountains, a popular destination for hikers. Make sure to make a stop here to take in the beautiful landscape.

    The road will lead now through the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, rich in wildlife and home to numerous hiking trails. Take some rest at Rod and Reel Pub in a little village of Crianlarich, before you get in your car hire and drive back to Glasgow.

    Perth to Aberdeen

    Road trip in Perth Road trip in Perth

    What to do on the way to Aberdeen

    The A93 is another picturesque route and is the highest road in the United Kingdom. Depending on your start point, Perth can be reached in one hour and fifteen minutes from Glasgow and in almost the same time from Edinburgh. The route from Perth to Aberdeen is about a two-hours drive. The first highlight of your road trip to Aberdeen is the Scone Palace, a splendour crowning place of the Scottish kings. The Scone Palace is the best place to experience the very history of Scotland. If you are in for a thrill, visit Perth Racecourse and take in the exciting atmosphere of horse races. Check the race course meetings schedule to spend a thrilling day at the race track.

    Once you leave Perth attractions behind, there are two routes to reach Aberdeen. Either continue driving on the A93 towards Forfar, where the road meets with the A90, or drive to the eastern coast to Dundee. If you choose the second option, drive to Perth Airport and turn right to Rait. The road will meet with the A90 and will take you to Dundee. This route will take a bit longer, but you will be able to see the historic city.

    Forfar is 25 minutes away from Dundee and this is where you would arrive from Perth, if you took the first option route. Having reached Forfar, you will have a one-hour drive to Aberdeen through the green countryside. However, if you feel ravenous before you reach your destination, stop by in Rosie's Bakehouse in Brechin for a warm home-made meal. The Edzell Castle and Brechin Cathedral are worth a visit once you are in town.

    The further route will lead through the farmlands and after Stonehaven, with one of the most scenic sights in Scotland, Dunnotar Castle. It is situated on a rocky peninsula overlooking the North Sea. From here, it is only a 30-minutes drive to Aberdeen via the A90 road along the eastern coast of Scotland.

    What to do in Aberdeen

    The city is also known as the Granite City due to many granite buildings erected in the middle of 18th century. Located to the north-west of the city centre, Old Aberdeen, is a quaint district with cobbled streets and the University of Aberdeen's King's College, founded in 1495. Take a walk along the Old Aberdeen streets and pay a visit to St. Machar's Cathedral from 1530 and the university's King's Museum. Union Street marks the city centre with many historic buildings, such as the granite Marischall Collage or the Town Hall. Well worth a visit are Aberdeen Art Gallery and Aberdeen Maritime Museum, both with free admission.

    Where to stay in Aberdeen

    Should you like to spend a night in Aberdeen, you will be able to choose between hotels, B&Bs and guest houses for every taste and pocket. Budget option would be Ibis Hotel or Premier Inn. Luxurious rooms offers The Marcliffe Hotel and Spa, located outside of the city, where you could arrive at with your car hire.

    Optional day trip: Ballinluig and Mid Lix

    Road trip in Ballinluig Road trip in Ballinluig

    The road trip to Mid Lix will take you only one hour from Ballinluig, a village on the River Tummel, 23 miles northeast of Perth. The route is 36-miles long and takes you approximately one hour of driving via the A827 road. Do not hesitate to make this short journey if you have the time. The road will take you through the picturesque countryside of the River Tay, the longest river in Scotland, and Tay Forest Park. You will pass a small town of Aberfeldy, the Bolfracks Estate and Gardens, Kenmore, and arrive at the impressing Loch Tay.

    Touring the Scottish Sights: Plan your Journey in Scotland

    Now, that you have learnt about the most popular routes in Scotland, you can begin preparations for your trip. Since the Scottish sights road trip encompasses large cities as well as small towns, booking your accommodation in advance is a wise choice.

    We advise you to organise your car hire in Scotland from Auto Europe in advance as well. Give us a call on a toll-free line, 0800 359 1229 and let us be your travel partner. Thanks to our long-lasting partnership with international suppliers, we are able to present our customers with a vast fleet of vehicles at very competitive prices. Take a look at available cars and give us a call to ensure the right car for your travel needs. Should you like to travel in a luxury car, Auto Europe offer luxurious and sports cars as well.

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