When you want to see as much as you can in a short space of time this trip is great. You’ll get a sense of the Highlands and see the beauty of Loch Ness camping.
Dunkeld, Pitlochry or Aberfeldy, Cairngorms, Loch Ness, Fort Augustus
Total time/distance: 2/3 days depending on stops
Edinburgh to Pitlochry & then onto Cairngorms is about 3.5 hours. Aviemore to Fort Augustus via Loch Ness can be done in a few hours but there are so many sights along the way we suggest making a day of it. Fort Augustus back to Edinburgh will take around 3.5 hours.
From Edinburgh head north towards Inverness on the A9. The routes is the most direct to the Highlands. If you are not rushing, then stop at Dunkeld and take a walk to the old Abbey along the banks of the River Tay. There is a campsite just across the river and Dunkeld can come alive at night!
As soon as you pass Pitlochry you will see the peak of Schiehallion which is very distinctive and a good first Munro to attempt. You could also stop off at Pitlochry or head a little further north and visit Aberfeldy. Both are lovely Scottish towns.
If you are not tempted to climb a Munro then carry on north and turn off the A9 at Aviemore towards the Cairngorms National Park which is a wonderful place to visit for all the family. There are hundreds of trails for walking and cycling and the area is well signposted and managed by the Park Rangers.
Camping is available at the Glenmore Campsite. In the evening you can come back, get your campervan ready for the night and go and enjoy an evening of music at the Pine Martin bar. Gilly will probably be playing his guitar with friends. Joining in the singing later on is inevitable…you might even do some dancing!
If you have arrived here direct from Edinburgh then we recommend spending a couple of nights so that you can really enjoy the mountains.
Useful to know
If there is snow you can ski – pick up all the kit you need at The Pine Martin https://www.aviemoreski.co.uk at just on the edge of Loch Morlich and next to the Glenmore Campsite https://www.campingintheforest.co.uk/scotland/aviemore/glenmore-campsite.
From Glenmore head back towards Aviemore and take the A9 north then take a left off towards the B862. This road takes you down the South shore of Loch Ness and offers spectacular views of the mountain range on the North side.
At the foot of the Loch is Dores where you can take advantage of the view directly south – there are walks and coffee shops to take advantage of. If you carry on a further 4 miles you can stop at the view point and look across the Loch to Urquhart Castle. Further down you come to Foyers – there is a nice campsite here if you want to spend some time on the shores and up the hill from the campsite are the Falls of Foyers.
As you travel along you begin to move away from the shores of the Loch and then the road stretches across moorland before bringing you back down to Loch Ness and Fort Augustus. From here you can take advantage of the view North up the length of the Loch as well as take a boat trip.
The drive back to Edinburgh will take around 3.5 hours from Fort Augustus. There are plenty of places of interest to see and enjoy and to stop off for a night if you want to extend your trip.