When I think of Scotland, a few things come to mind – scenic drives, legend of loch ness, Enya & Celtic music, Edinburgh music festival.
Two main access will be via air and train. There used to be an overnight train ride from London all the way to Edinburgh. We chose to go by air via Glasgow to save time. Upon reaching the Glasgow airport, it is quite a stark contrast to the UK airports – quite small & empty. Bear in mind this is in the mid-2000. Vibe of a super-modern, efficient, industrial city.
Renting car is super-easy in Scotland, and is almost a must. Although there is public transport, moving from attractions to attractions will be best with your own transport. We did a short loop from Glasgow going north to Stirling, then southeast towards Edinburgh before flying off from Glasgow again.
We took a Scotland Explorer Pass to make full use of the time to visit the various attractions along the way. Motivation for us to cover as many places as possible. Frankly, as you take a slow drive along the Scottish roads, the scenery is really like a cinematography out of the Harry Porter series. Beautiful lakes with the low mountains at the back, foggy at times. Loch Ness lake will require a stop mid-road, and it’s in the middle of no-where.
If my memory serves me well, the roads are a little winding (especially for a person with motion sickness), but the rides are enjoyable. Although the visit is in a nice spring month of May, the weather outside is really cold. Inside the car is heated, once going out to take a picture with the scenery will need a bit of preparation to warm up. 😀
Castles and ruins of old historic buildings are dotted along the routes, letting your imagination run wild that you are transported to the olden days. Maybe missing the dragons. ^-^ Drop by the Glenfinnan which is famous for its viaduct, made famous in Harry Porter’s train journey.
Stirling Castle is one that you can drop by for a visit, with an overview of a lake, with the main castle mainly in tact while the rest of the ruins in the estate. Be prepared for a stroll along the estate.
Once you reach Edinburgh, the vibes are totally different. The historic city vibes permeate everywhere, with stone buildings as the main scene. Visiting the Edinburgh Castles & the old city will probably take a whole day. Take a slow stroll along the cobblestoned pavements, drop in one of the souvenir shops along the way, stop by for a coffee and pastry if the stomach is grumbling. Back then, St Giles Cathedral was under construction, allowing only a quick photo from the outside.
A very short 4 days 3 nights is really inadequate to cover this beautiful land. Do spend more time, taking it easy at the various attractions.