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This roadtrip takes you to one of the UK’s most beautiful landscapes. You’ll have the opportunity to ride the roads that wind through Scotland’s mountains, lakes, forests and wild coastlines. You’ll feel like you’re all alone in the world as you admire the changing colors of the landscape, with its mix of green, gray and blue tones. You can also sample the different whiskies for which Scotland is famous, by visiting local distilleries and tasting their products.
Arrive at the airport and pick up your rental car. Head north via Perth to Pitlochry, in the heart of Speyside, Scotland’s great malt region. Settle in for two nights at your hotel, a simple, comfortable inn.
What to see, What to do: Take a stroll through Pitlochry, a typical Highland town. It’s a French delight to have a Scotland so much like our own imagination. Two distilleries drive the Scottish nail in: Edradour and Blair Athol. Hiking trails lead from here to Ben Vrackie or Schiehallion, where lily of the valley and bilberry bushes grow. Visit a distillery: within a 20-kilometer radius, you’ll find some 50 distilleries – half of those operating in Scotland: Aberlour, Balvenie, Glenfiddich and Glenvilet. And if the distilleries in the valley touch each other, each one produces a different malt from the one next to it. An evening in a pub in Inverness, for a taste of the Scottish way of life: sociability, human warmth… and whisky.
A good place for fish & chips is Strathgarry Restaurant (113 Atholl Road).
Optional: A cruise on Loch Ness.
Head north through breathtaking natural scenery. Arrive in the picturesque fishing village of Ullapool, nestled on the shores of Lochbroom; an ideal destination and gateway to the Northern Highlands.
Set in one of the UK’s least populated natural environments, the town is packed with things to see and do. There’s a great choice of varied walks in the area, including mountains, rocky coastlines and long inland trails with many of the highest peaks in the northwest Highlands. The town is an ideal base for exploring the surrounding countryside and visiting Wester Ross and the Highlands. Inverness is just an hour’s drive to the south. Stornoway and Lewis in the Outer Hebrides are just a short ferry ride away. To the west of Ullapool lies Inverpolly National Nature Reserve, home to a wealth of wildlife (buzzards, golden eagles, etc.) as well as the unique shape of Stac Pollaidh (pronocer Stack Polly), one of the region’s most photographed hills.
South of Ullapool, you’ll find attractions such as Leckmelm Shrubbery and Arboretum, Lael Forest Garden, and the dizzying depths of Corrieshalloch Gorge and Measach Falls. Along the road to Poolewe, you’ll enjoy superb views of the sea, golden beaches and green, rocky islands, as well as the famous Inverewe Garden overlooking Loch Ewe. Finally, Loch Maree offers a prehistoric landscape with waterfalls, immense ferns and maritime pines: an almost mystical place). Applecross: the road to get there is worth the detour alone!
Depart for the Isle of Skye (two options, by ferry or by bridge), the most impressive of the Scottish islands. Settle in for two nights on the island in a pretty family apartment in Portree.
Skye may be the busiest of the Hebrides archipelago, but it’s still a wild place: rivers and lochs, mossy meadows and rolling hills, long sandy beaches, mountains and deserted moors.
What to see, What to do: The Cuillin Range is Skye’s biggest attraction. We walk in the Red Hills and, if you’re a good hiker, in the Black Cuillin. The meadows are home to many sheep, especially Scottish Blackface, whose rams sport impressive spiral horns. A few castles too, of course, which are an indispensable part of any self-respecting Scottish land. The history of Dunvegan, seat of the Mc Leod clan, dates back to the 13th century. The fortress is haughty and boasts lovely gardens. As for Portree, it’s a picturesque little port where, in August, the Highland games take place: trunk throwing, hammer throwing, weight throwing and tug of war… Beer lovers, try the beers from the local brewery Isle of Skye Brewing Co, near the port of Uig. We advise you to take the tour in the late morning, so that afterwards you can visit the seafood and local specialities shop in the hills above Carbost, just a minute’s drive away. You can enjoy oysters by the water.
Ferry between the Isle of Skye and Mallaig, then through a beautiful coastal and mountainous region. Drive to Fort William and Oban, where you spend the night on the shore of Loch Awe. Taychreggan began life as a humble cattle drovers’ inn in the 17th century, built on a small peninsula jutting out into the loch. It was from here, at the narrowest point of Loch Awe, that the cattle crossed. Along with its herd of cattle, the estate now boasts a romantic country house hotel, offering a host of features in the same idyllic setting! The surrounding landscapes, which could be described as Full Scottish Landscapes, are the kind you just can’t get enough of. And then, in Oban, there’s the distillery, founded in 1794, which produces magnificent malt!
Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park is one of Scotland’s most iconic, home to 1865 km2 of rolling mountains, lochs, rivers and forests. A thousand and one trails wind their way through the area, like playgrounds for hiking enthusiasts. Eagles and falcons are frequently seen here, but deer are also possible encounters.
What to see, What to do: Glencloe Pass, site of the battle between the Campbell and McDonalds clans in 1692 – stop off in the beautiful market town of Inverray, with its white houses on the shores of Loch Fyne, to visit its castle, home of the Argyll family: for fans of the TV series Donwton Abbey, episode 9 of season 3 was filmed here – stroll along the shores of Loch Lomond, Britain’s largest lake.
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