15 days in Scotland & Ireland's West Coast Itinerary

15 days in Scotland & Ireland's West Coast Itinerary

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Route & dates

15 days in Scotland & Ireland's West Coast Itinerary

Start: San Francisco, United States
Fly:  16​h
1
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
2
Inverness, United Kingdom
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
3
Thurso, United Kingdom
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
4
Gairloch, United Kingdom
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
5
Mallaig, United Kingdom
— 2 nights
Drive:  10​h
6
Dingle, Ireland
— 2 nights
bus + Fly:  18​h 15​min
End: San Francisco, United States

2
nights
Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Edinburgh ©
World Heritage-listed Edinburgh combines ancient and modern in a uniquely Scottish atmosphere.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and Calton Hill. Get some historical perspective at Palace of Holyroodhouse and Edinburgh Castle. The adventure continues: explore the galleries of Royal Yacht Britannia, take in the architecture and atmosphere at St Giles' Cathedral, take in the exciting artwork at Jupiter Artland, and see the interesting displays at National Museum of Scotland.

To find out how to plan a trip to Edinburgh, use our trip itinerary maker.

San Francisco, USA to Edinburgh is an approximately 16-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train. Traveling from San Francisco to Edinburgh, you'll lose 8 hours due to the time zone difference. Traveling from San Francisco in August, things will get slightly colder in Edinburgh: highs are around 65°F and lows about 49°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Inverness.

Things to do in Edinburgh

Museums Historic Sites Parks
Find places to stay Aug 8 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Edinburgh Castle ©
Edinburgh Castle
National Museum of Scotland ©
National Museum of Scotland
Royal Yacht Britannia ©
Royal Yacht Britannia

2
nights
Inverness, United Kingdom

Inverness ©
Inverness, often described as the Gateway to the Highlands, is a thriving commercial and industrial center.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Sun): explore the historical opulence of Fort George, pick up some local products at Ferintosh Community Market, then explore the ancient world of Corrimony Chambered Cairn, then take in the pleasant sights at St Ninians Church, and finally get to know the fascinating history of Glen Strathfarrar. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 12th (Mon): make a trip to Culloden Battlefield, examine the collection at Highland Folk Museum, and then take a peaceful walk through Farigaig Forest.

For maps, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Inverness road trip planner .

Getting from Edinburgh to Inverness by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. August in Inverness sees daily highs of 65°F and lows of 48°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Mon) so you can travel to Thurso.

Things to do in Inverness

Historic Sites Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Drumnadrochit, Glen Strathfarrar, Ferintosh Community Market, Culloden Battlefield, Highland Folk Museum
Find places to stay Aug 10 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Glen Strathfarrar ©
Glen Strathfarrar
Culloden Battlefield ©
Culloden Battlefield
Highland Folk Museum ©
Highland Folk Museum

2
nights
Thurso, United Kingdom

Thurso ©
Thurso is a town and former burgh on the north coast of the Highland council area of Scotland.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Tue): take an in-depth tour of Wick Heritage Museum, explore the historical opulence of Castle Sinclair Girnigoe, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Canisbay Parish Church, then take in nature's colorful creations at The Castle and Gardens of Mey, and finally explore the ancient world of Old St Peter's Church. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 14th (Wed): get engrossed in the history at Clan Gunn Museum, then steep yourself in history at Grey Cairns of Camster, then get engrossed in the history at Castlehill Heritage Centre, and finally visit a coastal fixture at Holburn Head Lighthouse.

To see photos, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Thurso tour itinerary planner.

You can drive from Inverness to Thurso in 2.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 61°F in August, and nighttime lows around 50°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Gairloch.

Things to do in Thurso

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trips

Wick, Holburn Head Lighthouse, Grey Cairns of Camster, Clan Gunn Museum, Canisbay Parish Church
Find places to stay Aug 12 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Wick Heritage Museum ©
Wick Heritage Museum
Holburn Head Lighthouse ©
Holburn Head Lighthouse
Castlehill Heritage Centre ©
Castlehill Heritage Centre

2
nights
Gairloch, United Kingdom

Gairloch ©
Gairloch is a village, civil parish and community on the shores of Loch Gairloch in Wester Ross, in the North-West Highlands of Scotland. On the 15th (Thu), look for gifts at Perfume Studio, then see the interesting displays at Gairloch Heritage Museum, and then hike along Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve. Here are some ideas for day two: learn about all things military at Russian Arctic Convoy Project, then view the masterpieces at RhueArt, then look for all kinds of wild species at Corrieshalloch Gorge National Nature Reserve, and finally trek along Beinn Eighe Mountain Trail.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Gairloch trip itinerary planning site .

Drive from Thurso to Gairloch in 3.5 hours. August in Gairloch sees daily highs of 61°F and lows of 50°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Mallaig.

Things to do in Gairloch

Parks Outdoors Trails

Side Trips

Kinlochewe, Corrieshalloch Gorge National Nature Reserve, Perfume Studio, Russian Arctic Convoy Project, RhueArt
Find places to stay Aug 14 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Beinn Eighe Mountain Trail ©
Beinn Eighe Mountain Trail
Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve ©
Perfume Studio ©
Perfume Studio

2
nights
Mallaig, United Kingdom

Mallaig ©
Mallaig ; is a port in Lochaber, on the west coast of the Highlands of Scotland. Start off your visit on the 17th (Sat): step into the grandiose world of Eilean Donan Castle, take in the pleasant sights at Balmacara Estate and Lochalsh Woodland Walks, and then delve into the distant past at Brochs at Glenelg - Dun Telve & Dun Troddan. On the 18th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: enjoy the sea views from Ardnamurchan Point and Lighthouse, contemplate the long history of Glenfinnan Viaduct, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Camusdarach Beach.

To see more things to do, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Mallaig online travel planner .

Traveling by car from Gairloch to Mallaig takes 3 hours. In August in Mallaig, expect temperatures between 61°F during the day and 52°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Dingle.

Things to do in Mallaig

Historic Sites Outdoors Parks

Side Trips

Balmacara Estate and Lochalsh Woodland Walks, Camusdarach Beach, Eilean Donan Castle, Brochs at Glenelg - Dun Telve & Dun Troddan, Glenfinnan Viaduct
Find places to stay Aug 16 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Camusdarach Beach ©
Camusdarach Beach
Eilean Donan Castle ©
Eilean Donan Castle

2
nights
Dingle, Ireland

Dingle ©
Located on Ireland's western coastline, Dingle sits between scenic mountains and the Atlantic Ocean.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Mon): look for gifts at Brian de Staic Jeweller, then shop like a local with The Carol Cronin Gallery, then see the interesting displays at The Great Blasket Centre and Island, and finally explore the ancient world of Gallarus Oratory. On the next day, head outdoors with Slea Head Drive.

For maps, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Dingle itinerary site .

Getting from Mallaig to Dingle by car takes about 13.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and flight. In August in Dingle, expect temperatures between 64°F during the day and 54°F at night. You'll have a few hours on the 21st (Wed) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in Dingle

Outdoors Scenic Drive Historic Sites

Side Trips

Slea Head Drive, The Great Blasket Centre and Island
Find places to stay Aug 18 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Slea Head Drive ©
Slea Head Drive
The Great Blasket Centre and Island ©
Gallarus Oratory ©
Gallarus Oratory

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