You really can't summarize an entire country, but we love sharing the highlights of our Scotland trips. Below is a summary of our stops in Edinburgh, then visiting the Isle of Skye and a few other sites.
Brew Lab Coffee: excellent coffee shop near the University
Calton Hill: walkable hill with an observatory, monument, great views of the city
Cult Espresso: excellent coffee shop in a long, narrow space
Dishoom: amazing upscale Indian restaurant on St. Andrew's Square
The Elephant House: cafe and coffee shop that lays claim to being J.K. Rowling's early site for writing Harry Potter
Fortitude Coffee: another great local coffee shop with one location off St. Andrew's Square and another in Stockbridge
Greyfriar's Bobby: statue of a famous terrier that guarded his owners grave for 14 years in the 19th century
Hotel du Vin: lovely hotel just a few blocks off the Royal Mile in Old Town
hub by Premier Inn: modern hotel with small and in
Kebab Mahal: a beloved, hole-in-the-wall Indian restaurant that's been a local favorite since 1979
The Printing Press: excellent cocktail bar and kitchen in an historic home in New Town
The Royal Oak: small local pub known for hearty live music
Tartan Weaving Mill & Experience: an active weaver making Scottish tartan. Watch the mills at work, visit the gift shop.
The World's End: pub on the Royal Mile in a 16th century building
Isle of Skye
An Corran Beach: rough beach with some cliffs-edge hiking trails. Fossilized dinosaur prints have been spotted there.
Bride’s Veil Falls, Lealt Falls, Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls: beautiful falls and sheer cliffs on the eastern edge of Skye
Dunvegan Castle & Gardens: at 800 years old, Dunvegan is the oldest continually inhabited castle in Scotland
Fairy Glen: beautiful green hills on the west side of the Trotternish ridge, popular with hiking
Fairy Pools: popular hike outside of Carbost on the west side of Skye, leading along streams and pools
The Isles Inn: convivial pub in Portree, great for pints and bite to eat
Isle of Skye Brewing: local brewery and distillery located in Uig
The Old Inn: cozy pub great for dinner and pints, just down the road from Talisker Distillery in Carbost
The Old Man of Storr: popular hike on the Trotternish ridge, leading to iconic pinnacles of rock
Portree: the biggest down and capital of the isle, full of shops, restaurants, lodging
The Skye Museum of Island Life and the grave of Flora MacDonald: museum made from old crofts, dedicated to documenting an old Highland village. Behind it lies an old cemetery where Flora MacDonald lies. She was famous for helping Bonnie Prince Charles escape after the failed Jacobite Rebellion in the 1740s.
Talisker Bay: a short but strenuous hike leads you to this scenic bay looking westard, great for sunset views. Giant circular bay with cliffs carved out by the wind.
Talisker Distillery: distillery offering tastings, tours, bottle shop in Carbost
Uig Pottery: ceramic studio and shop in Uig
Pitlochry, Inverness, Loch Ness
Clava Cairns: a set of Bronze Age standing stones east of Inverness
Culloden National Battlefield: open battlefield with visitors center dedicated to preserving the field where the Jacobite Rebellion failed in April 1746 and Scottish clan culture effectively came to an end
Edradour Distillery: beautiful independent distillery in Pitlochry offering tours and tastings
Eilean Donan Castle: beautifully preserved castle located west of Loch Ness, almost to the Isle of Skye in Kyle of Lochalsh. Full tours, visitors center, and cafe.
Happy Haggis: a little chip shop in Aviemore
Kinloch Rannoch: small hill made famous as the filming location for Craigh na Dun in the Outlander series
Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition: official museum dedicated to Loch Ness' most famous resident - real or imagined!
The Queen's View: visitors center with elevated views of Loch Tummel, west of Pitlochry
Urquhart Castle: tour-able remains of a castle on the west banks of Loch Ness
Fort William & Glencoe
Aos Si Lodges: beautiful individual lodges in Glencoe
Crannog: popular seafood-heavy restaurant sitting on the water in Fort William
Glenfinnan Viaduct: beautiful stone railway bridge made famous for its appearances in the Harry Potter movies. Located west of Fort William.
The Wildcat: all vegan coffee shop and cafe in Fort William
Falkirk & Doune
Doune Castle: tour-able castle famous for appearances in Monty Python, Outlander, and other shows
The Falkirk Wheel: innovative wheel serving as a canal lock, with park space around it
The Kelpies: iconic set of giant metal horse sculptures guarding a set of canal locks
Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park: favorite national park with hiking, boating, historic sites, and more
The National Wallace Monument: structure in Stirling dedicated to hero William Wallace and his victories at Stirling Bridge
The Real Food Cafe: cozy coffee in Tyndrum, north of Loch Lomond
Stirling Castle: iconic castle in Stirling that you can tour
Wardpark Studios: get your photo outside the studios in Cumbernauld where they film Outlander
Read our Scotland itinerary
Six Days in Scotland
An overview of our trip to Scotland, starting in Edinburgh and driving a counter-clockwise loop up through Pitlochry, around Inverness and Loch Ness, over to the Isle of Skye, then down through Fort William and Glencoe, and back to Edinburgh.