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Scotland Literary Trail

5 Days & 4 Nights
  • Explore Scotland's magical landscapes which have inspired countless authors and poets
  • Stroll down the real-life Diagon Alley of Harry Potter fame in Edinburgh
  • Visit Abbotsford, the historic home of Sir Walter Scott on the banks of the River Tweed
  • Enjoy a drink in the Globe Inn, where Robert Burns himself mused
  • Glencoe and Rannoch Moor, highland landscapes brought to life by Robert Louis Stevenson
Discover Scotland's enchanting landscapes which have inspired famous authors including Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson and JK Rowling. Starting in Edinburgh, where JK Rowling penned the famous Harry Potter novels, our carefully designed itinerary leads you south to the Borders and Ayrshire. Drink in the pub where 'Rabbie Burns' (Robert Burns) himself often sat, and visit historic Abbotsford House, home to Sir Walter Scott, father of Scottish tourism. Drive the Burns Heritage Trail to Robert Burns birthplace in Alloway, and then onwards via the banks of Loch Lomond to place yourself in the shoes of Robert Louis Stevenson's protagonist David Balfour in Kidnapped as you head through wild Rannoch Moor and on to Glencoe. In the evening enjoy some hearty Scottish cuisine, as you pore over your recommended route for the next day, perhaps followed by a couple of pages from the works of Rabbie Burns!
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What To Expect

Any keen reader will simply love this tour of the landscapes and sights which have inspired some of the world's most famous authors. If you have always dreamed of putting yourself in the shoes of some well-known characters whilst travelling the beautiful country of Scotland this is the trip for you. Allow our local expertise to guide you on a hassle-free journey of literary discovery and experience renowned Scottish hospitality.

Tour Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent tour.

Activity:

Multi-Center Discovery, Self-Drive Discovery | On this discovery tour spend a mix of multiple nights in more than one location, but on some tours this may be combined with only one night in a place too., A tour where you can travel from A to B at your own pace exploring the sights en-route.

This trip is suitable for:

Families, Mixed Abilities, First Timers

As a guide, we would suggest that the minimum age of traveler this tour would be suitable for is: 5 Years

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Personal Growth
  • Historical Journeys
  • Special Occasions

Inspiration:

  • New

Navigation

Your information pack will include a day-by-day itinerary, with recommended driving routes between overnight stops, as well as recommended detours and must-see sights and attractions. You can use Google maps to navigate the route on your phone, or your car's sat-nav. If you are hiring a car we recommend adding on a sat-nav as internet signal in the Highlands isn't always reliable.

Accommodations

You will stay overnight in hand-picked small hotels, B&B's and guesthouses, all of which have been chosen to ensure you experience warm Scottish hospitality at its best!  We regularly use the below properties but may accommodate you elsewhere if these are unavailable. 

Single Rooms

This holiday is available to solo travellers but as all our tours are priced per person based on two sharing there is a single supplement payable to cover the additional costs. If you require single rooms within your party we will, of course, try to accommodate your request subject to availability.

Meals

Breakfast is included each morning and normally consists of a continental buffet with tea and coffee, fresh fruits, yoghurt, cereals, eggs and bread with jams. Often also on the menu are cooked options like freshly made porridge, a traditional cooked Scottish breakfast and smoked fish with scrambled eggs. 

We don't include lunch and dinner so you are free to choose from the available options. Your information pack includes details and recommendations of convenient lunch stops, cosy cafes and restaurants along the way. A couple of decades ago the food scene in Scotland was somewhat lacking, but now you'll find a range of high quality, varied options with everything from award-winning fish and chips to intimate Michelin-listed dining experiences, and casual restaurant menus showcasing delicious locally-sourced produce. 

Additional Nights

You can add additional nights wherever you please on the route. Of course we highly recommend additional nights in the capital city of Edinburgh, which has so many associations with famous authors and is in itself a UNESCO City of Literature.

Included
  • Overnight in 3 and 4* B&B's, guesthouses and small hotels
  • Breakfasts
  • Detailed information pack brimming with our local knowledge
  • Our daily recommendations for places to see and visit
  • Our daily recommendations for top places to eat and drink
  • 24/7 emergency support from our UK office
Excluded
  • Car hire (available as an optional extra)
  • Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal equipment
  • Accommodation in Edinburgh or Glasgow
  • Historic Scotland Explorer Pass
Extras
  • Car Hire
  • Additional nights

When To Go

You can start this tour on any day of the week from March to November, subject to availability. The busiest times of the year are around Easter and May when accommodations fill up quickly, so book as early as possible if you are planning to travel then. If you travel before Easter, and after mid-October it is worth noting that some attractions may either be closed, have limited access (i.e. castle interiors may be closed but the gardens open), or may open later and close a little earlier in the day. We always recommend checking the links in our information pack for up-to-date opening times to avoid disappointment. 

During the shoulder season - March to early April and after mid-October - the Scottish weather tends to be more unpredictable and is often colder and rainier. It is worth keeping in mind that the driving conditions may also be more challenging at this time. However, attractions and popular viewpoints will generally be quieter. 

Weather and Climate

Scotland enjoys a temperate climate, meaning it's relatively mild all year, except in winter when temperatures occasionally dip below 0 degrees Celsius for short periods. The Highlands are renowned for variable weather so you should be prepared for everything; from 'dreich' days (a Scottish word for drizzly days that are a bit bleak) to days with beautiful blue skies and warmer weather. Whatever the weather it tends to be breezy so spare layers are always recommended.

From the end of April to October average daily temperatures vary from 9-15 degrees Celsius. Monthly rainfall varies from 10-16 mm per month on average. Generally, May to July is the driest and mildest months, but exploring later in the year from September to October is pleasant in cooler temperatures and the autumnal scenery is spectacular as the leaves begin to change colour.

Getting to the Start

Your trip begins in the well-connected city of Edinburgh. If travelling in your own car from across the UK, or western Europe via the Channel Tunnel, you'll find the city is easily accessible and well-connected by the M8, M77, M74 and M6 motorways. If you are driving or travelling from further afield we recommend and extra night in Edinburgh at the start of your trip so you can make the most of your first day of sight-seeing. 

By Road: Edinburgh is served by an excellent motorway network. It's a 1h 15m drive from Glasgow to Edinburgh on the M8 motorway. Newcastle is approximately a 2.5 hour drive from Edinburgh, and Manchester and Birmingham, 4 and 6 hours respectively. London is 7.5 hr (via the M1 and A1), and if arriving in Folkestone from France (via the Channel Tunnel) it's an 8-8.5 hour drive via the M20, M11, and A1 roads. 

Alternatively, if arriving in Edinburgh by public transport and renting a car please see the excellent Traveline Scotland website for timetables and fares and more information regarding public transport in Scotland. Edinburgh is well-linked across the UK, Europe and beyond by flying into either Glasgow or Edinburgh international airports. Glasgow and Edinburgh are just over an hour apart by road and it doesn't take much longer to travel between the two by an express bus or train service. 

By Air: Located 8 miles east of the city of Edinburgh, the international airport is served by routes from around the UK and the world. There are regular shuttle bus and tram services running from the airport into the city centre, with a journey time of around 30 minutes. There's also a taxi rank outside the airport to take people into the city centre. 

By Rail: Edinburgh is also connected to central Scotland and England by good rail links. See the Scot Rail website for Scottish locations and National Rail for UK-wide locations.

By Bus: Services from UK destinations are operated by National Express. Services from Scottish destinations are operated by Scottish Citylink

Car Rental 

We don't include car rental in the cost of our discovery tours to keep things flexible as we realise many people may wish to use their own car. If you decide to arrange car rental through us, we have a partnership with Europcar and can arrange this easily for you. As standard we would book an Economy category car (suitable for up to 4 people) with included comprehensive insurance, prices are on a request basis. Please just let us know if you would like to upgrade your car. 

Getting from the End

You can finish your tour in either Glasgow or Edinburgh - just let us know which you prefer if you are renting a car through us so we know which city to make the drop-off arrangements in. 

Getting from Glasgow

By Road: Glasgow is served by an excellent motorway network. It's a 1hr 15 min drive from Glasgow to Edinburgh on the east coast. Manchester is approx a 3.5 hour drive or Newcastle on the east coast is approx 3 hours. 

If dropping off a rental car and continuing your onward journey by public transport we recommend breaking the journey by adding an extra night in Glasgow or Edinburgh. For specific information regarding public transport in Scotland, please see the excellent Traveline Scotland website for timetables and fares. 

By Air: Located 8 miles west of Glasgow, the international airport is served by routes from around Britain and the world. A regular shuttle bus service runs from the city centre to the airport. Or if you wish to drop your car off in Glasgow and enjoy some time there before heading back to Edinburgh, regular bus and train services link the two cities, taking approx 1 hour. 

For further information regarding public transport in Scotland, please see the excellent Traveline Scotland website for timetables and fares. 

By Rail: Glasgow is also connected to central Scotland and England by good rail links. See the Scot Rail website for Scottish locations and National Rail for UK-wide locations.

By Bus: Services from UK destinations are operated by National Express. Services from Scottish destinations are operated by Scottish Citylink

General Information

On confirmation of your booking, you will receive a personalised itinerary and comprehensive information pack. This carefully curated pack, designed with our own local knowledge and expertise, will include recommended driving routes, the must-see places and attractions to stop at en route, and our suggestions for the best places to eat and drink.

Car Rental 

We don't include car rental in the cost of our discovery tours to keep things flexible as we realise many people may wish to use their own car. If you decide to arrange car rental through us, we have a partnership with Europcar and can arrange this easily for you. As standard we book an Economy category car (suitable for up to 4 people) with included comprehensive insurance, prices are on a request basis. Please just let us know if you would like to upgrade your car. 

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.

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Itinerary

Day 1 Edinburgh, UNESCO City of Literature & The Scottish Borders Day 2 Discover the homes of Sir Walter Scott & Robert Burns Day 3 Glencoe via wild Rannoch Moor Day 4 The Hogwarts Express, Outlander and Rob Roy Macgregor Day 5 Onward travel

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