One of the things I miss the most from Europe now that I live in Australia is how easy it was to travel to a foreign country. From Paris to Glasgow is approximately the same distance than from Brisbane to Sydney. I’m glad I enjoyed Europe while I lived there, but always wished I made more trips like this weekend trip to Scotland I did years ago.
Although flying out for just a weekend isn’t eco-friendly, it’s incredible to be able to get a taste of a different culture and explore new landscapes during a short break.
I had dreamt of visiting Scotland for a while. Ideally, I would have spent weeks up there exploring the highlands and embracing the Scottish culture. I’m not a huge fan of fast travel just to tick destinations off the bucket list. I always prefer to see less for longer. But I only had one weekend available when I seized the opportunity to meet up with a friend there.
Itinerary for a weekend trip to Scotland:
I kept our weekend trip to Scotland simple. I arrived in Glasgow on Friday afternoon. On Saturday, we toured the Scottish Highlands* and went on a cruise on the famous Loch Ness*. I chose to explore Edinburgh on the Sunday before heading back home on Monday morning. It was a fabulous break and an excellent overview of a country where I hope I will be back for more.
In Glasgow, I only remember George Square in the town centre. My highlights were for sure the Highlands, but I also loved the atmosphere in Edinburgh.
Scottish Highlands and the Loch Ness
I’m used to spending almost every weekend in a national park in Australia. But in Western Europe, it was a different story. There aren’t many great wild destinations that are easily accessible. So during this weekend trip to Scotland, I wanted to head north outside the two main cities.
The spectacular Scottish landscapes left me speechless. Every time our mini-bus was stopping for a few minutes, I would be the first one out. I’d find a spot a bit further away from the group and felt joy watching the dreamy scenery. Every time, we had to hit the road too early to my taste. I wished to spend more time out there. I felt like hiking rather than sitting on a bus. Unfortunately, a day trip does not allow time for walking around. There are so many beautiful things to do in Glencoe and the Highlands that I hope I will return to this beautiful Scottish region one day for a longer visit.
Still, I was also grateful I could be visiting such a beautiful place despite my short time in the country. And it was one of the most scenic drives I ever did.
I ended up being more impressed by the beautiful views of Glen Coe and the Highlands than by the famous Loch Ness.
Once we arrived at Loch Ness, we had free time to organise our activities. I wouldn’t waste an opportunity to spend time on the water, so we chose to board a one-hour cruise* to learn more about the area, and to look for Nessie. Some preferred to explore the Urquhart Castle and joined us on the boat for the way back.
Packing all this in a few hours is a long day. But I’m glad I seized this opportunity to visit Scotland, even just for a weekend. It’s now more than 15,000 kilometres away, and I don’t know if I will ever go again.
I explored Edinburgh on foot for one day.
The most iconic thing to do in Edinburgh is to visit Edinburgh Castle. You can purchase tickets in advance and visit it independently* or with a guide*. I always prefer to hear from a guide for all historic places like that. Whatever you choose, you will have to walk a lot! I particularly liked visiting the castle for the views of the city. And as I noticed a hill on the other side, I knew I had to find time to get city views with the castle from over there.
But the rain started, so we explored the town centre while taking shelter from time to time. Luckily, it got better at the end of the afternoon. I had just under one hour to complete the Cannon Hill walk on the path going around the hill (not the stairways). And the panorama was fantastic indeed, and it was free!
At night, I joined a special walking tour* to hear creepy and scary stories about the town and explore eerie areas. It was perfect to learn more about the city while having fun.
Have you been to Scotland? What was your favourite place there? Leave a comment below!
Where did I go during this weekend trip to Scotland?
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Eloise lives in Brisbane (Australia), but you won’t find her often in the city. When she is not disconnected underwater or in a national park, she loves sharing her travel tips and inspiring her readers to take care of our beautiful planet. She considers every weekend as a two-day holiday break. Her approach: you don’t always need to go far to travel. Still, she also enjoys exploring the world and discovering new cultures. Eloise is originally from France and, before moving to Brisbane, she lived in Sydney, Istanbul and England.