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5 days in May

Hello community of Visit Scotland!

My boyfriend and I are planning a 5 day trip to Scotland in May. We're planning to take the train from London to Edinburgh and renting a car from there. We want to see the beautiful landscape, go for hikes/rambles, check out some castles, visit a distillery or two, and just enjoy ourselves in the country.

What are your recommendations for towns and areas to head to? We welcome any suggestions as we are in the beginning planning stages of the trip.

Thank you so much! We are really excited.


  • HorizonsHorizons Member, VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    Hey Melissa, how many of the 5 days do you intend to spend in Edinburgh / Glasgow? Also, have you been to Scotland before?

    As you're in Scotland for a short span of time, I recommend creating 2 itineraries, one on the East Coast and one on the West Coast and head to the coast with the better weather (I prefer the west). You should be able to get accommodation on the day or just the day before in the larger towns.

    West coast
    - Places to stay: Loch Lomond banks, Glencoe, Oban, Fort William
    - Castles: Castle stalker, Duart castle (Mull)
    - Hiking: So many near Glencoe, Ben Lomond, Arrochar Alps
    - Distilleries: Oban, Tobermory, Isle of Arran

    East coast
    - Places to stay: Pitlochry, Stirling, Aviemore, Stonehaven, Aberdeen, St. Andrews
    - Castles: Dunnottar, Glamis, Braemar, Ballater
    - Hiking: Glen Clova, Ben Vrackie, Queens View + Schiehallion, Cairngorms
    - Distilleries: Edradour, Speyside (take your pick from 15+)

    For all hiking trails, refer to the WalkHighlands website, the authority on hiking / rambling in Scotland.

    I would recommend not going to Skye or more than one west coast island due to paucity of time. Hope you have a great trip, feel free to ask any more questions to help you plan.
    I'm Anirudh, an Indian travel blogger who has explored a lot of Scotland by public transport. My blog. Find me on Facebook | Instagram

    Best of Scotland in 1 week itinerary (fully by public transport)

    My Scotland travels (includes EdinburghSkye, HarrisMullArranOrkneyLoch Lomond, Islay, Oban, DunoonSpeyside)

  • YourScotlandTourYourScotlandTour Member ✭✭✭
    Aberdeen is a great place to base yourself for castles, distilleries, the great outdoors and even breweries! Be careful of the drink drive limit in Scotland thought it's about half of England's...
    Bespoke tours.
    Whisky, Castles and Food a speciality.
  • VisitScotlandAlisonVisitScotlandAlison Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    I am an east-coaster, so a little biased!  However, for a little bit of everything you could zoom from Edinburgh on M90   to Perth (Scone Palace, Famous Grouse distillery near Crieff,) head up the east coast A92 taking in lovely beaches (Lunan, St Cyrus) past Dunnottar Castle, then turn off to Banchory (Crathes Castle) head west along Royal Deeside (a ton of castles)  walks at Muir of Dinnet and Ballater onto Braemar (lovely wee highland village, walks at Linn of Dee) down Glen Shee, turn off to west via Kirkmichael into Pitlochry (Blair Castle nearby, Edradour and Blair Athol distilleries, loads of walks)  Back down to Perth but continue down A9 , stopping at Doune (Monty Python castle, and Deanston Distillery) to Stirling (Castle, Wallace Monument etc) Then it's back to Edinburgh passing one of our newest and much loved attractions, The Kelpies.  
    Whichever route you take, have a great trip.
  • DeeTourDeeTour Member
    Royal Deeside is our passion so great to see Muir of Dinnet getting a heads up. The Burn O'Vat is well worth a visit. :)
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