Thinking of a road trip to Scotland with the kids? Is a Scotland road trip doable in a week? If you only have a week, how do you make sure you see the best of Scotland on your trip? Here is a seven day itinerary for Scotland for your Scottish road trip with kids, stopping off at Glasgow, Loch Ness, Loch Lomond, Arisaig and Skye.
Best time to visit Scotland: road trip itinerary
We spent a lot of time planning for our week in Scotland. Research suggests that the best time to visit Scotland is during the Spring (late March to May) and Autumn (September to November) The temperatures are milder and therefore Scotland is best visited during the spring (late March to May) and Autumn (September to November) months. We did a lot of research into when is the best time to visit Scotland to avoid the midges, particular because we were camping. The answer is that the midges are much worse in the Spring and Summer, so heading to Scotland before late may and from September onwards is normally a good option. If the weather is wet and mild, the midges can go on until early Autumn. We travelled to Scotland in May half term and had the most beautiful sunshine and we were not too bothered by midges.
camper van road trip itinerary seven days in Scotland
You may find this guide on how to plan a road trip helpful. We were conscious that we did not want to do too much driving with our young kids so we planned our Scotland road trip itinerary over seven days to stop off at Loch Lomond, Loch Ness, Arisaig and Isle of Skye. I have also included a stop over in Glasgow to break the journey up further. We also have so much love for Edinburgh, but we did not cover Edinburgh during this seven day self drive tour of Scotland.
We stayed at some wonderful campsites during our may half term trip, but I have also included some alternative accommodation options for your road trip just incase camping is not for you.
This itinerary is written with a car or camper van in mind and provides a general Scotland itinerary for a 7 day road trip.
7 DAY DRIVING ITINERARY SCOTLAND
Day 1 Glasgow
We travelled from Staffordshire to Glasgow and I recommend setting off early. The M6 can be extremely busy and we got stuck in standstill traffic just outside Blackpool and it really delayed our journey.
One tip is stopping off at Tebay services on route, it is a really lovely child and dog friendly service station on the M6 with a farm shop and a good play area for kids.
I have picked Glasgow as the first stop, particularly as it is so well connected and you can fly and pick up a hire car to save some of miles and reduce the journey time. Just to give you an idea of driving time, Staffordshire to Glasgow by road is around four hours in light traffic.
Camping: Red Deer holiday Park Red Deer Holiday Park is a 5 star camping and holiday park. The park is easily accessed by those without motor transport, by rail and by bus from Glasgow.
If camping is not your thing this City Centre hotel is an ideal base for exploring this vibrant City.
Day 2 Loch Lomond
The drive from Glasgow to Loch Lomond is just over an hour. Loch Lomond is one of our favourite places having visited twice now over the last couple of years.
Where to stay
If camping is not your thing, check out Cameron Lodges a beautiful luxury resort on the shores of Loch Lomond.
We stayed at Cashel on the shores of Loch Lomond, but there are so many wonderful campsites with amazing views of Loch Lomond
Things to do on Loch Lomond
- We enjoyed a brilliant Celtic Warrior cruise on Loch Lomond and is a beautiful way to explore the loch. Oh, and the champagne went down a treat (10am is acceptable, right?!)
- You can visit Balloch Country Park – a 200-acre country park on the southern tip of Loch Lomond. The park is great and there is a kids’ adventure play area by the water’s edge.
- You can also try out pony trekking,
- Enjoy the many walks around Loch Lomond,
- Visit the Loch lomond water ski club!
- Go Country adventure park
Day 4/ 5 Inverness and Loch Ness
Where to stay
We stayed at Bunchrew Caravan park. This caravan and campsite was a lovely quiet, family friendly site, set in 20 acres of sheltered parkland and had panoramic views of the waters and mountains and hills beyond. The campsite is in a beautifully quiet setting on the southern shore of the Beauly Firth.
If camping is not your thing there are a number of Loch Ness accommodation options that are family friendly
Things to do in Loch Ness
- The Fall of Foyers is a waterfall on the River Foyers, which feeds Loch Ness, in Highland, Scotland, United Kingdom. There is also a lovely cafe here which I can undoubtedly say has the best cake and coffee !!!
- We visited Whin park during our trip. Whin Park is a large outdoor free park in Inverness. There is a boating pond, miniature railway, large free outdoor play/picnic area and an ice cream/coffee shop.
- Dores Beach & Walk at Dores
- The Caledonian Canal
- Loch Ness riding
Day 6/7 Isle of Sky and Arisaig
Our next destination I would argue was my all time favourite from our seven day tour of Scotland. Arisaig. Once we had pitched up, The short walk through the campsite led us to one of the most beautiful beaches I have seen, The sand was white and the beach was so quiet that by early evening I think we had the beach all to ourselves.
Mallaig – Mallaig is a short drive from our campsite. We stumbled across yet another beautiful beach on the shores of the River Morar.
WHERE TO STAY IN ARISAIG
We stayed at Sunnyside. Sunnyside croft touring site is a 40 pitch, family run campsite, nestled on a magnificent coastline between Arisaig and Mallaig. The site has coastal beach access and is a perfect base for exploring the local area for your 7 day Scotland tour.
How to get from inverness to Skye? We took the ferry over to Isle of Skye from Mallaig. We left the campervan at our base in Arisaig and decided to explore Skye by foot. Another option is to hire a car in Skye.
Why not consider the Jacobite Steam train from Fort William to Mallaig?
Top tip – if you wish to take your vehicle -booking is advisable. however we chose to take a backpack and ourselves and see what Skye had to offer on foot.
Things to do on day trip to Isle of Skye
There are so many beautiful walks near to the ferry port on Skye. We stumbled across an enchanting and beautiful woodland walk, with a quaint fairy trail and a rope swing, leading to the most spectacular views out to sea.
Armadale Castle, gardens and Museum of the Isles is a great visit. It is a 20,000 acre estate, that is enjoyable by foot. Sitting in the gardens we managed to catch sight of a school of dolphins!
Family: Admission prices are £25 (2 adults and unto 3 children aged 5-15) under 5’s are free.
Don’t forget whilst you are in the area -visit Glennfinnan – situated at the head of Loch Shiel. The filming of the second and third Harry Potter books, Harry Potter and the Chambers of Secrets and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban took place in this area with the Hogwarts Express calling at Glenfinnan. It attracts many visitors each year!
So there you have a road trip of the West Coast of Scotland. The drive is beautiful and scenic and it was absolutely wonderful. Why not pin for later?
Let me know what you think of our Scotland road trip itinerary and your top places to visit in Scotland with kids