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The Scottish Highlands. Join me on our Highland trip from Dalwhinnie to Isle of Skye. Ambitious adventure awaits!

Scottish Highlands Adventure

So you’re planning your Scottish Highlands adventure and trying to:

  • organize the best trip
  • for the perfect amount of time
  • at a price you can afford.


I’ve got some great tips and a photo journal to help you plan the trip of your dreams to the Scottish Highlands.  The Scottish Highlands. Join me on our Highland trip from Dalwhinnie to Isle of Skye. Ambitious adventure awaits!Come on! Pack your bag! You’re headed to the Scottish Highlands!


So you’re headed to Scotland! Maybe you plan to spend some time in London, Stratford-Upon Avon, or even Oxford.  If you are driving, just head north to find the Scottish Highlands! There’s is only a couple motorways if you want to get there “fast”. You could also meander your way along and enjoy the countryside, Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, and all points in between. You could also just hop on a train & enjoy the relaxing ride to your next destination. Any way you do it, it’s going to be an ambitious adventure.

The Scottish Highlands. Join me on our Highland trip from Dalwhinnie to Isle of Skye. Ambitious adventure awaits! #VisitScotland #HighlandTrip #Scotland 


The next big city on your list up north will likely be Edinburgh or Glasgow.  I prefer Edinburgh (don’t tell my Glaswegian friends, k?). From Edinburgh (or Glasgow) you can do a loop into the Scottish Highlands.  No matter which way you go, it’s going to be fantastic.  If you like, you can get some sweet deals on rental cars and drive these scenic roads for yourself.  It will give you the most flexibility 

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and adventure.  But if that’s too much, then plan for some enjoyable scenic train and bus rides to get you from one side of Scotland to the other, and back again.

Our recent trip took us from Edinburgh to Perth, then onto Pitlochry. We hugged the edge of the Cairngorms National Park until we got to Dalwhinnie. Here’s where (just past the distillery) you turn left and head west across the Scottish Highlands. This winding road will take you through the villages of Laggan, Strathmashie, Kinloch Laggan, Ardverikie (known by some as “Glenbogle”). Then it’s on through Inverlair, Spean Bridge and all points north or south of the western Scottish Highlands.

You’ve arrived at the west side of the Scottish Highlands!

The Scottish Highlands. Join me on our Highland trip from Dalwhinnie to Isle of Skye. Ambitious adventure awaits!SUPER Tough Decision!

When you get to Spean Bridge, you have some tough decisions to make.  If you go right (north-ish), you can go past Loch Lochy and on to Loch Ness & Inverness. Going this way lets you get to the northernmost points of Scotland.

If you decide to go left (south-ish), you are headed toward Fort William and can make your way to the Isle of Sky and the Hebrides Islands.


If you have the time in your trip, you could do both.

Visit Edinburgh with Kids: 9 budget friendly activities for your family to enjoy. Visit Edinburgh for a day or a week and keep it affordable. My guide will show you how!A few extra days in your trip could allow for an Edinburgh, Perth, Aberdeen, Inverness, Fort William, Isle of Skye & Hebride Islands itinerary. Then head back to the mainland and head for Glencoe, Loch Lomond, and back into Glasgow and Central Scotland.

Ok, so we took the left at Spean Bridge, this time, and headed for the Isle of Skye.  We stopped for lunch at Eilean Donan Castle. Magical! Everywhere you look is beauty only found in the Scottish Highlands.  

After lunch, it was on to the Isle of Skye!

Let’s just say I was not prepared for the beauty of this island. It’s the largest of the Scottish Hebridean Islands but with the small village pace (and single track roads) you would expect. I was left speechless by the unique landscape carved by thousands (millions?) of years of glaciers, ice flow, volcanoes, rivers and storms. The rugged mountains, wind, and rock formations left me awestruck with a beauty and splendor I had not seen in any of my travels.

Here’s a wee photo journal* of the best of the 800 (!) pictures I took of our trip from Dalwhinnie to the Isle of Skye! No photoshopped, or prettied up images here! I don’t boast in my photography skills (I’m a work in progress in that area). These are just me trying to grasp the beauty, and simplicity of the region.  Enjoy & Stay Captivated!

The spectacular drive from Dalwhinnie to Skye made us decide to go home that way too. If you decide to head for Glencoe and through Loch Lomond, the journey has it’s own picturesque beauty not to be missed. More on that in an upcoming post.

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*A special thank you to Neil Clark of Glenbervie Folk Duo and Great Glen Piping for the Pipe music. You can enjoy more of his music  or follow him on Facebook.

What’s on your Scottish Highlands itinerary? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.


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So you’re planning your Scottish Highlands adventure. Heres some great tips & a few photos to help you plan the trip of your dreams to the Scottish Highlands.

22 comments on “Scottish Highlands: Dalwhinnie to Isle of Skye”

  1. Sandy N Vyjay Reply

    The Scottish Highlands is indeed the stuff that dreams are made of. The mysterious looking castles, the bewitching natural beauty and the misty weather all make for a heady experience. The elements of romance seem to come together here. Some great tips to help us when we get to London and plan for a trip to the Scottish Highlands.

    • Shannan Swindler Reply

      Sandy, it truly is magical. I hope you have a lovely time! If you need tips on London I’ve got some great posts & The London for Families City Guide. I’ve done all the planning for your, you just pick what sounds fun and go do it! Cheers!

  2. Orsi Reply

    yaaaas, I loved this post, thank you for sharing! I have been wanting to go to Scotland for such a long time now. I do hope it will happen one day. It looks so magical, love those beautiful castles. Not the best weather tho haha

    • Shannan Swindler Reply

      Yes the weather can be unpredictable. The “all 4 seasons in one day” is a reality here. The best months to me seem to be May and September when it comes to weather.

  3. Skyring Reply

    I’ve taken the train up – and yes, I prefer Edinburgh – and flown in. Twice now, I’ve hired a car from Avis Prestige, for not a huge amount more than a basic motor, and driven around the Highlands. There’s something special about tooling around some of these marvellous driving roads in a Jag.

    I heartily endorse every word above. Scotland has unbelievable beauty and time spent out in the countryside is well worth the time and cost.

  4. Tracey Reynolds Reply

    Loving the looks of the Scotland Highlands – I’ve never been there before, but this article has made me want to put Scotland on the bucket list – thanks 🙂

  5. Miranda Knudtson Reply

    A total of 800 pictures?! Man, I hope I can get on that level someday! I think your unedited photos are lovely! They show the true and honest beauty of this area of Scotland. It looks so peaceful, and anything outdoors is right up my alley!

    • Shannan Swindler Reply

      Thanks for the encouragement. My pictures don’t do the scenery justice. Even on a wet, rainy July day like we had, it is still breathtaking. Can you imagine the beauty on a clear, crisp autumn day?

  6. Hang Around The World Reply

    Considering that we have never been to Scotland so far, this post will be helpful for us! We’d like to follow your tour and explore especially the natural places this country offers
    Added this post on our bookmarks 🙂

    • Shannan Swindler Reply

      You will just love it in Scotland. It really is more beautiful than my pictures portray. When you are ready to dive in and start planning I’ve got great tips on how to do it affordably with or without kids!

  7. Rachelle Gordon Reply

    Looks like a beautiful place! My heritage is Scottish, so a trip to the motherland has been on my itinerary since I was little. That, and learn to play the bagpipes. I loved your slideshow! I always take way too many pictures when I go places, so I might have to maybe start making slideshows too!

    • Shannan Swindler Reply

      I hope you get to make that trip AND learn the bagpipes! If you have any questions about how to make to most of your adventure and keep it affordable, I’m happy to answer any questions. I really enjoyed making the slide show & sharing our friends music too. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    • Shannan Swindler Reply

      Make a plan & stay focused. There are several other Scotland posts available and more to come! Have fun dreaming & planning!

  8. thewifie Reply

    If I were going from Edinburgh to the Highlands, I’d take the route through the Trossachs: up to Callander, the onto Lochearnhead and Tyndrum. That way leads through stunning Glen Coe, and then onto Fort William.

    • Shannan Swindler Reply

      That’s a gorgeous route too! We’ve returned that way before. There are just so many routes to choose from! I’ll be writing about that route too soon. Thanks for the local knowledge!

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