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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?