I’ve been spending a lot of time in Scotland lately, and one of the things I’ve discovered is how easy it is to get up there for a weekend. Whether I travel for a city break, a country getaway, or a highland fling there are a lot of lovely places to escape for 48 hours. If you’re in the mood for a Scottish adventure, here are the 5 weekend trips in Scotland you have to take at least once.

Weekend Trips Scotland

Weekend Trips in Scotland

My list is primarily for Londoners like me who want to get up north for a quick break, but they’re easy for visitors and locals in other parts of the UK, too.

Sheep in Scotland

Edinburgh

Edinburgh is one of Scotland’s most beautiful cities, and a great place to start if you’ve never been to Scotland before. The city is an easy flight or train ride from London, so spending two days there is a breeze.

Edinburgh, Scotland

I’ve been to Edinburgh many times, and always love the castle views, museums, and good restaurants and cafes. The city center is walkable, too, so it’s fun to explore the streets and soak up the atmosphere.

Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Scottish Borders

I’ve spent a lot of weekends in the Scottish Borders over the last couple years, and I’ve completely fallen in love with the area. Just above the northern frontier of England, the Borders are easy to get to by train from London and offer an endless amount of outdoor activities, beautiful historic homes like Sir Walter Scott’s Abbotsford, and stunning coastline around St Abb’s Head. Sheep, too. Lots of sheep.

Abbotsford, Scotland

St Andrews

For something between city life and countryside, St Andrews is one of my favorite towns in Scotland. Not only does it have its world-renowned golf course, but also a beautiful university and the prettiest cathedral ruins I’ve ever seen. It’s not far from Edinburgh, so it’s easy to reach after getting to the city.

St Andrews, Scotland

Glasgow

Glasgow is about as different from Edinburgh as urban centers get, and it’s worth a weekend to experience its edgy vibe, rich history, and great nightlife. From hip restaurants to a stunning Victorian necropolis, the city offers a lot of surprises. Glasgow is accessible by flight or train, making it easy to get there and away in a weekend.

Glasgow, Scotland

Inverness and the Highlands

Inverness is a quick flight from London, and opens up the Highlands for weekend trips in Scotland. Whether you go for a tour of a whiskey distillery, head out to spot the elusive monster in nearby Loch Ness, or pay respects at the famous battlefield of Culloden, there’s a lot to see and do in 48 hours.

Culloden

While all 5 of these destinations make great weekend trips, it’s always nice to have more time. If you can squeeze in a few extra days, they’ll be all the better. Or a few extra weeks. Or years…

Where would you go on a weekend trip in Scotland?

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Weekend Trips Scotland

20 Comments on Lady’s 5 Weekend Trips You Have to Take in Scotland

  1. Iann Ethel
    March 20, 2017 at 8:13 am (3 months ago)

    My cousin’s Girlfriend is heading to Scotland for a school exchange, I’ll be sure to share this post with her! X

    ‪With love,‬
    ‪Iann Ethel‬

    Reply
  2. Heidi
    March 20, 2017 at 10:11 am (3 months ago)

    I’m hooked on your photos and descriptions! I want to visit all of these places now.

    Reply
  3. The slow pace
    March 20, 2017 at 11:19 am (3 months ago)

    Last October we spent a wonderful weekend in Edinburgh and it left us longing for more Scottish adventures! I hope we can organize a tour in the Highlands someday, that would be so beautiful. I’ve always had this bucolic idea of that area!
    By the way, i’ve seen you will be in The Hive next may. Sadly, this time we won’t make it 🙁 But we will be following it in social media!

    Reply
    • A Lady in London
      March 21, 2017 at 3:17 pm (3 months ago)

      I hope you can visit the Highlands someday. That’s too bad you won’t be at The Hive this year, but hopefully we can see one another sometime in the future.

      Reply
  4. Dab Chadders
    March 20, 2017 at 2:05 pm (3 months ago)

    For anyone with a clan name, Edinburgh is an even more exciting place to visit this year as they can support their clan parading into the castle for the Edinburgh military tattoo. Over 50 clans are invited and each have their special night so it is a great excuse to get yer tartan oot! if you are a Hay, a Wood, a Maclean, a Hunter or a Campbell you ken where to head this August! 🙂

    Reply
  5. Sandra Zaninovich
    March 20, 2017 at 10:46 pm (3 months ago)

    Scotland is my favorite place in the world after my homeland of Croatia. A weekend trip or two could never do it justice. If I had to confine myself to, say, a week, I’d start by flying into Inverness then heading straight to Culloden, where Scottish history was decisively made one dark day in April of 1746, and one of whose headstones you feature in your post. That place is so atmospheric that it can’t help but bring a lump to the throat, as you stand there on that desolate moor and see the banners of the armies as they stood that fateful day. If you can afford it, stay at the Culloden House Hotel, which was Bonnie Prince Charlie’s hq during the Battle of Culloden. I’d then drive north to John O’Groats, the northernmost point of Britain’s mainland, from where I would take a ferry to the Orkney Islands. There are some incredible prehistoric sights to see there, including some standing stones, but my favorite thing was the Italian Chapel on the isle of Lamb Holm, which was constructed by Italian WWII prisoners hungry for home. The paintings on the chapel walls and roof were based on religious cards they carried with them. After the war, the prisoners remained on friendly terms with their jailers, and some returned for visits. From the Orkneys I’d head west to Cape Wrath, every bit as forbidding and magnificent and imposing as its name suggests, so beautiful with its spectacular cliffs and beaches. I’d then turn south and stop in charming and lovely Ullapool, like many places in the Highlands, frozen in time. I’d visit the isles of Harris and Lewis, where James Barrie (who wrote Peter Pan) set his mystery of “Mary Rose” on Loch Voshimid, which looks like a lunar landscape. Of course the magical Isle of Skye (Skye meaning “mist” in Gaelic) is well worth a visit too. Heading south, I’d stay again at Inverlochy Castle Hotel if I could afford it, and pay a visit to spectacular Glenfinnan, where Bonnie Prince Charlie landed when he arrived in 1745 to lead the Scottish rebellion to what would tragically end at Culloden. I’d save the best for last: Glencoe, Glen Etive, Loch Linnhe, Port Appin, and Castle Stalker. Glencoe, much like Culloden, holds a singular place in Scottish history. Anyone familiar with Game of Thrones will know what I mean when I say that George R.R. Martin based the infamous “Red Wedding” episode on the notorious Massacre of Glencoe, a so-called “massacre under trust” to differentiate it from the many other massacres that went on in the Highlands during those lawless times. To this day the Massacre of 1692 is not forgotten in Glencoe, and Campbells (the perpetrators) are looked at askance in that magnificent glen, the capital of rock climbing in the Highlands. Port Appin is home to the fantastic restaurant and hotel The Pierhouse, and also the most spectacular views of the most picturesque of Scottish castles, Castle Stalker, made famous by Monty Python. When the family who owns it is in residence over the summer, they accept reservations for visits and will come row you over to the castle (the only way it’s reachable). A truly one-of-a-kind and magical adventure. I could go on….but those are my Highlights of the Highlands.

    Reply
    • A Lady in London
      March 21, 2017 at 3:18 pm (3 months ago)

      Thanks for sharing your highlights, Sandra! I appreciate it.

      Reply
  6. Lottie
    March 21, 2017 at 9:08 am (3 months ago)

    I’ve never been to glasgow, but it looks great!

    Reply
  7. Shikha (whywasteannualleave)
    March 21, 2017 at 2:48 pm (3 months ago)

    Aaah I’d love to visit the Borders and the Highlands. In the sunshine, especially, it must be just the most breathtaking scenery I imagine!

    Reply
    • A Lady in London
      March 21, 2017 at 3:19 pm (3 months ago)

      Yeah! It’s so beautiful there. I hope you can go sometime soon.

      Reply
  8. Annabelle
    March 22, 2017 at 3:22 pm (3 months ago)

    This all looks so amazing! I’ve been wanting to go to Edinburgh for so long, but honestly all of these places look amazing!

    x Annabelle

    Reply
    • A Lady in London
      March 22, 2017 at 7:39 pm (3 months ago)

      I hope you can visit Edinburgh and the others sometime!

      Reply
  9. Kelly
    March 23, 2017 at 2:56 am (3 months ago)

    I have never been to Scotland but all of these trips sound incredible!

    xx Kelly

    Reply
  10. Ioanna
    March 26, 2017 at 2:28 pm (3 months ago)

    I’ve been to Scotland last summer, mostly hiking, so I hardly have seen any towns or cities. When I was in Glasgow the weather was absolutely nasty and it put me off successfully from any deeper exploration… I really want to get back to the Highlands and see more of the Eastern side of Scotland, as last time I kept mostly to the west (Skye, West Highland Way etc.).

    Those photos and descriptions are really inviting, thank you!

    Happy travels 🙂
    Ioanna (A Woman Afoot)

    Reply
    • A Lady in London
      March 27, 2017 at 9:19 am (3 months ago)

      I hope you get a chance to explore the east on your next trip. It’s really different from the west, but also beautiful.

      Reply

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