Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. Sign in or register to get started.

Please take a moment to read the Community guidelines and learn how to use the Community. The personal details and information provided by you will be used by VisitScotland to create your iKnow community account. Any content you provide, such as a profile photo, username, comments and discussions will be publicly available.

By ticking the box and clicking submit you confirm that you have read and agreed to the terms of our privacy policy.

Love Scotland and want to share your stories – why not have a look at all the recent discussions and make a contribution or start a new discussion? Visiting Scotland and looking for some advice – why not ask a question or start a discussion or simply explore all the great content?

Join the conversation today.

My dream trip

CharlieMCharlieM Member
I plan on retiring next spring and have always wanted to travel to Scotland and do a self tour of the country. I had originally thought that we would spend a full 3 weeks in Scotland, but things have now changed. Since this is our first, and maybe last, trip to the UK, my wife thought it would be good to spend a few days in London sometime during the trip. Also, since my planning began, my son has been accepted into the University of Aberystwyth in Wales so we will probably need to spend a few days there. He did a good job of selecting one of the most remote areas of Wales. My question is this: What is a realistic daily travel distance by rental car? We currently reside in Texas and are used to driving 8-10 hours/day (500 miles) to visit family. I bought a map and when I look at it, I have a hard time getting out of the long distance thinking. What looks like a long way on the map really isn't, but the roads also appear to be a bit smaller and twistier. I would appreciate any help in re-configuring my distance thought process.

For our itinerary, I was thinking we might fly into London, spend a few days, then travel to Wales to visit my son for a bit. We would then drive to Scotland and try to find 3 base locations where we could explore for about 4 days each. My wife enjoys cities a bit more than I so we will probably locate around Edinburgh for one base. I would love to explore near Inverness and the west coast. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.


  • fishyprofishypro Member ✭✭✭
    Hi @CharlieM, Edinburgh is a great city to start of your Scotland trip. There are thousands of things to see & do in & around the city. Inverness is also a good stop, with Culloden, Cawdor Castle & Fort George etc and not forgetting Loch Ness. On the west coast I can recommend Oban as a stop off. You can take a quick ferry to Mull or discover the surrounding area including Stalker Castle etc.
    Edinburgh to Inverness is a little over 3 hours in the car. You could stop off at the wonderful town of Pitlochry or go a little further to Aviemore. Both of which are the perfect stop off points. Inverness to Oban is a little under 3 hours and from here you can explore Loch Lomond or Loch Fyne where the beautiful Inveraray Castle is located.
    Hope this gives you a start. If you need anything else, just ask.
    Best regards
  • CharlieMCharlieM Member
    Thanks for the tips Fishypro. I know we plan on taking our time traveling and I think you have some great suggestions. I was mainly asking about travel distance each day since Google indicates it is only 7 hours from London to Edinburgh. When we were in New Zealand the locals said 100 miles was a long travel day. Should I plan on 2 days from London to Scotland or just get it done since I'd really rather be in Scotland? By the way, I was wondering about the fishypro moniker. Just curious as I'm a fisheries biologist in Texas.
  • YourScotlandTourYourScotlandTour Member ✭✭✭
    Driving on the Motorway network from London to Edinburgh is completely different to driving from Glasgow to Skye on the primary route A network.

    Driving times as an average I'd use the below;

    On Motorways you can use 55-60mph as an average. 

    On some A roads - dual carriageways you can use about the same go with the lower end. On others - single carriageway you should be using 35-40 depending on the time of year / day / busyness as an average.

    On B class roads take it down to 30-35 as an average and on roads that are single lane you'd be best using 30 and below as an average. 

    Generally the fewer digits after the letter A9, for example the faster the road - general rule of thumb, some roads break that - for example the A9 north of Perth!!

    To answer your specific question driving London to Edinburgh in a day is just a days drive - nothing major. The rules of the road here are more strictly applied than in the US. There's no turning on red lights for example. Also if you're not used to a stick shift ensure you tick the automatic box on your hire car ;-)
    Bespoke tours.
    Whisky, Castles and Food a speciality.
Sign In or Register to comment.