Whether you arrive by plane, train or automobile, the bounties of Scotland are definitely worth the journey! We chose to do a family road trip because we wanted to really explore. It’s a beautiful place full of lochs, mountains, castles, and nature. While there is much to see, we focused our trip around Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, Glasgow, and the surrounding area of Edinburgh.
For a quiet getaway, we chose to base ourselves in a cottage in the countryside.
The cottage we stayed in was breathtaking with opportunities for flying kites, hiking and biking. It was situated right in the middle of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. And was just right for our family of six. With an abundance of walks, endless lakes, and mountains, there was so much to see! We were based in the countryside so most of our outings revolved around short day trips further afield to explore.
Day 1: Getting There
While you can fly directly into Glasgow, we arrived via train to Glasgow Central.
From the train station, we took a bus to the airport to pick up the car rental and once we were loaded up with our luggage we were off!
From there we drove directly to our night’s destination in Stirling County (1h20/61km/38mi). En route we stopped in the small village of Aberfoyle to grab some dinner and groceries for our Airbnb stay at Lochside Cottage. Once there, we settled in and relaxed as we geared up for the next few days of adventure!
After breakfast, we jumped in the car for more family road trip exploring. Just an hour away, our big stops for the day were Doune Castle and Stirling Castle. Doune Castle is a medieval castle full of incredible history and has been used as the setting for many movies including Ivanhoe, Monty Python, Game of Thrones and Outlander. Only 20 minutes away was the grand Stirling Castle which is associated with Robert the Bruce and Mary, Queen of Scots.
We had a great time spending the day in the area around our cottage exploring the Loch walking, cycling, hiking, and kayaking. We also took a ride on the local steamship, SS Sir Walter Scott, which takes daily runs up and down the loch. Later on, we did a short little outing to the Glen Ogle Viaduct View Point (61km/38mi) on the lookout for the “Harry Potter train”!
Days 4 and 5:
Over the next couple of days, we explored Edinburgh’s Old Town, which takes in Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyrood House, Harry Potter attractions and all kinds of fun shops and restaurants (Edinburgh city 1h45/109km/68mi). Other amazing possible outings you could try include a visit to Arthur’s Seat, a short 16 minute drive outside the city. At the close of each day we drove back to our cottage in Stirling.
After breakfast, in the direction of the village of Crianlarich, we headed out toward the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park and within the Park, the Falls of Falloch (1h35/92km/57mi). After a full day out we headed to the National Piping Centre, aka The Museum of Piping in Glasgow (1h15/61km/38mi). As Scotland has a deep history in and is well known for the bagpipes, this was a must-see stop before returning to the cottage. With a flight out the next day, we packed up that night in preparation for an early morning check out.
My heart was left there. We will never forget this experience!
After checking out of Lochside Cottage, we headed to the airport to catch our flight back home. We were so happy to have had just a few days in this incredible place. The beauty of the country is hard to explain and when you have an experience of a lifetime like this one, you want to share it with others. This family road trip in Scotland was was one of the best vacations we’ve ever had together.
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If you liked this family road trip in Scotland, and you’re a big Jane Austen fan like Cleia, check out her Jane Austen Regency Week Itinerary here!
Trip taken June 2019.