Edinburgh, the capital, has much to offer - Arthur’s seat (a scenic group of hills), its landmark castle, the Royal Botanic Gardens and Hollyrood Palace. The Royal Yacht Britannia was originally built on Clydeside and is now moored in the city’s Ocean Terminal, offering a unique insight into royal and national history. Glasgow is a cultural hub - ballet, theatre and a flourishing music scene. The People’s Palace, Winter Gardens and medieval cathedral are of interest, while the nearby towns of Hamilton, Blantyre or Paisley are easily explored with car hire. Kirkintilloch is close by, known as the canal capital of Scotland. Alternatively, Balmaha Forest Park and the Trossachs are just a short car hire trip to the northwest, near Loch Lomond.
Between Edinburgh and Glasgow and easy to reach with car hire, historic Stirling Castle is one of Scotland’s grandest and most important. Here, actors dress in period costumes and there are free guided tours. North of here, the Highlands offer rolling hills, national parks, the Cairngorms, Inverness and the lochs, with impressive scenery and fascinating history. Loch Ness is the second deepest loch in Scotland; its central location makes it a good base for a car hire itinerary. Will the elusive monster show itself? Cherry Island is in the centre of the loch, with bed and breakfast accommodation in nearby Fort Augustus.
In Argyll, the west coast resort town of Oban is the gateway to the islands. This seafood capital of Scotland has a delightful bay and sweeping views towards the Isle of Mull in the distance. Why not take a ferry trip up the Sound of Mull to Tobermory? Along the peaceful waterfront, local shopkeepers sell Arran sweaters with quayside views overlooking fishing boats. Back on the mainland of Scotland, continue the car hire route a short distance north past Loch Linnhe and scenic moors and glens to Fort William, located beneath Scotland’s highest peak, Ben Nevis. This town and nearby Lochaber offer visitors a choice of activities - tours of the Ben Nevis Whisky Distillery, gorgeous white beaches at Morar near Mallaig, a gondola up the Nevis Range or the option to climb Ben Nevis. Here, the breath-taking panoramic views were used as some of the locations for filming ‘Braveheart’. Alternatively, for rail and steam enthusiasts, the Jacobite steam railway operates in the West Highland region.
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