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Manchester to Scotland- Itinerary

Hi, I am planning to visit Scotland in late September. 
Traveling to Inverness from Manchester on Day 1
Day 2- to Fort William and Glen Coe
Back to Manchester on Day 4
Can you please suggest some must-dos/ itinerary and September weather tips. We will be travelling by car.


  • VisitScotlandJulieVisitScotlandJulie Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    Hi @NejaS

    That's a long drive on Day 1.  Is this your only option on Day 1?  

    For days 2-4, take a look at our Ultimate Scotland Itinerary (specifically days 7-11 for must-sees around Inverness, Fort William and Cairngorms National Park).

    The weather in September will not be predictable and can change in a moment, especially if you are touring around. You can expect wind, clouds, rain and bright but cool sunshine. Wear layers which you can take on and off as needed and waterproof shoes/boots if you are out and about.

  • Yikes, that's a lot of driving. It's going to take you 6 hours to get from Manchester to Inverness and that's providing there's been no accidents or blockages on the road. Topping that off with driving down to Fort William and Glen Coe could well mean you're setting yourself up for a fairly stressful few days. 

    In terms of weather, it can be a mixed bag. It'll certainly be cooler, with 16c being about the average. Although the autumn light and colours will be stunning.

    Depending on your time and budget you might be better flying from Manchester to Inverness and then hiring a car for a few days to explore the area. Glen Coe is about a two hour drive from Inverness and you can explore Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle and the Caledonian Canal at Fort Augustus along the way. Accommodation should be slightly easier to book now the season is quieter so I'd recommend staying overnight at somewhere like Fort William or Ballachulish and spending day two exploring the area. 

    You could spend day three by heading out on the Road to the Isles from Fort William to Mallaig and views over to Skye. My choice here would be to take the train over to Mallaig and soak in the views as you go. It's a stunning journey. If you prefer to drive then you must stop at the railway cafe in Glenfinnan. Once you get to Mallaig you might be able to get a ferry over to Skye but it can be expensive if you plan to take the car over. An alternative day three/four would be to drive to Mallaig, ferry to Skye and then drive back to Inverness via Glen Shiel and Loch Ness, that would give you a nice circular route.

    Alternatively if you are driving all the way from Manchester:

    Day 1 - Drive to Inverness. If you get here early enough you could go to the Culloden Battlefield and head over to Chanonry Point to do some Dolphin Spotting. Overnight in Inverness. 

    Day 2 - Loch Ness / Fort William.  Take the whole day to it and break up your journey with lots of stops. Urquhart Castle at Loch Ness. Lunch at Fort Augustus and an explore of the canal and lock gates. Stay overnight in Fort William. You'll see Ben Nevis and can even drive part way up Glen Nevis 

    Day 3 - Train trip to Mallaig. Make it a nice easy day. You might have time to be a foot passenger on the ferry over to Skye.

    Day 4 - Head back to Manchester but this time go via the A82 to Glasgow and you'll have the option to stop and see Glen Coe. You'll also go via Loch Lomond on your way South. 
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