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Weekend Road Trip through Scotland – An Itinerary and Guide to Seeing the Highlands

Despite looking small on a map, Scotland has so much to do and see. Whether you’re looking for a quiet weekend away from Newcastle or are in search of some great whiskey and amazing scenery this guide is for you.

Fellow Business Champion, Petra, and I began our adventure by plotting out on a map where we wanted to go and everything we wanted to see. Below is our map.

After mapping out where we wanted to go we made arrangements to rent a car and on a Friday afternoon we set off for a weekend of exploring.

 

Stop 1: Glasgow

On Friday night we arrived in Glasgow. Located less than 3 hours away from Newcastle, this city was a great first stop of the trip. Despite the rainy weather we still managed to do a self-guided walking tour and of course refueled with some delicious food. Although we did not do the audio portion of the tour, below is the map that we followed. In only an hour or two we managed to see the Glasgow Cathedral, the Gallery of Modern Art, and even George Square.

 

Food recommendations in Glasgow:
Paesano Pizza – known for their industrial atmosphere and artisan pizzas, this is a can’t miss if you’re a pizza lover like us!

Café Gandolfi – This place has a lot of character. We stopped here for breakfast on Saturday morning and it did not disappoint!

 

Stop 2: Glenfinnan Viaduct

After breakfast on Saturday we headed up north about two more hours, just passed Fort William, to the Glenfinnan Viaduct, (The location where the Hogwarts Express was filmed in Harry Potter). Along the way we made numerous stops because the scenery was truly breath taking – pulling over on the side of the road to snap some pictures was a must!
 

When we arrived at the Glenfinnan Viaduct, we decided to do a little hiking, although I sacrificed my Nikes to do this because of the muddy ground, I have no regrets because you just can’t get views like this in Newcastle. (We didn’t see the Jacobite train while we were there – all the more reason to go back)

(Photo Credit: Petra Jerabkova)

 

Stop 3: Inverness

Inverness was on our map however when we set off we thought we may have been a bit ambitious to make it all the way there. Because it less than two hours away from Fort William we decided to go for it anyway. Again, along the way we stumbled across some beautiful scenery that called for more pictures to be taken. We even met some Scottish cows!

When we arrived in Inverness we immediately began looking for food. After going up to the castle and back down to the river we finally decided on a little place called Scotch and Rye. Even if you aren’t looking for food, I highly recommend this place for their amazing cocktails!

Stop 4: Loch Ness

In the morning we headed back towards Fort Augustus to try to catch a glimpse of the Loch Ness Monster. Although this didn’t happen, once again we were able to find some great locations to take a few pictures.

(Photo credit: Petra Jerabkova)

 

Stop 5: Perth

On our way back to Newcastle on Sunday afternoon we stopped off in Perth, located about two hours south of Inverness. It was still raining and not much was open so we didn’t stay long however we did get some shopping done on High Street.

 

Stop 6: Alnwick

Continuing about two and a half more hours in the direction of Newcastle, we made one final stop in Alnwick. Because the castle doesn’t open back up until the end of the month, we decided we would just make another trip back later this year, after all it is only about an hour away from Newcastle.

The three days we spent on the road were filled with lots of adventure and lots of laughs. We managed to cover a lot of distance and of course went through about 10,000 roundabouts. If you have a few days I highly recommend doing a similar road trip, you definitely will not regret it!

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