If you’re looking to research a romantic road trip in the United Kingdom why not book an unforgettable honeymoon in Scotland?
Scotland offers a jaw-dropping landscape for smitten couples to enjoy on a romantic getaway. Luxury travellers will find plenty to do in Scotland’s two largest city’s. Both Glasgow and Edinburgh offer state-of-the-art museums, glamorous boutique hotels, award-winning restaurants, relaxing spas and hopping nightlife scene.
We think the best honeymoon in Scotland should feature a romantic rural romp. Explore Scotland’s wild and wonderful natural landscapes from the shores of the Isle of Skye to the quiet river running through Inverness. If you’re a couple with a penchant for sipping fine Single Malts, you’ll fall in love with Scotland’s whisky tradition on the Isle of Islay.
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Planning a Honeymoon in Scotland
Scotland’s high season runs during the sunny summer months from June to September. We suggest booking a honeymoon in Scotland in the shoulder season when the weather is still warm but prices and crowds are more pleasing. Booking your honeymoon in Scotland between April and May as well as October and November may allow you to take advantage of special hotel discounts and upgrades.
You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to planning the best accommodation for your Scottish honeymoon. While plenty of luxury hotels offer special honeymoon suites there truly is a wild and wonderful diversity to chose from. Depending on your comfort craving and favoured design aesthetic why not consider:
- Glamorous honeymoon hotel suites featuring elegant decor and panoramic views overlooking lochs and glens.
- Scottish hotel properties home to luxury facilities such as hot tubs, private terraces and four poster beds.
- Accommodation providing romantic honeymoon packages featuring fine wine, chocolates and sweet smelling flowers.
- Award-winning hotels offering unforgettable luxury services such as fine dining, room service and onsite spas.
- Think outside the box and craft a honeymoon in Scotland at a tranquil forest lodge, secluded loch-side converted boathouse, posh glamping yurt, historic Scottish castle hotel, or charming countryside cottage.
Whether you’ve travelled through Scotland extensively or are keen to plan your first visit, it’s important to research a honeymoon in Scotland in advance.
We suggest using the newest edition of Eyewitness Travel Scotland. If you’re a first time visitor you’ll want to take notes on the “Reasons to Love” section, which sums up all of the top sights and experiences in Scotland.
Eyewitness Travel Scotland also features handy itineraries for romantic couples:
- Two weeks around Scotland
- 7 Days on the North Coast 500
- Scotland for Outdoor Adventurers
- Scotland for Spectacular Castles
- Scotland for Art Lovers
Eyewitness Travel Scotland also includes detailed itineraries and “don’t miss” destination highlights at a glance. You’ll also find illustrated cutaway 3-D drawings of important sights, floor plans for major museums, area maps marked with popular sights, and top hotel and restaurant listings. The guide also features a slew of info on niche interests such as Scotland for bookworms, foodies and whisky fans.
We suggest reading Eyewitness Travel Scotland from cover to cover. Take notes on the destinations and experiences that most excite you and then sketch out an ultimate Scottish honeymoon itinerary that is realistic based on your available vacation time.
You’ll find the informative guidebook acts as an excellent companion on long driving days. Once home, DK Eyewitness Travel Scotland is a perfect memento to showcase on your bookshelf.
Honeymoon in Scotland Itinerary
Plan a Honeymoon in Scotland from trendy Glasgow to the awe-inspiring west coast islands. Then travel east to the historic Scottish Highlands before heading south for some festival fervor at eye-popping Edinburgh.
Dobbernationloves had the opportunity to chat with Dorothy Welsh, Chief Executive of Luxury Scotland about how newlywed couples can best plan a romantic honeymoon in Scotland.
“Scotland is the perfect honeymoon location with its dramatic, stunning landscapes, steeped in history, complemented by vibrant cities with eye-catching architecture and an abundance of world class museums such as the new V&A in Dundee and The National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. The wonderful natural larder combined with craft breweries and gin distilleries to add to the numerous whisky distilleries make a visit to Scotland even more enticing,” says Welsh.
So when is the best time to plan a Scottish honeymoon? The Luxury Scotland holiday-making guru adds, “I would recommend Spring and Autumn honeymoons, as the weather is often lovely and the prices will be keener than in the summer time. I would also recommend that international honeymooners visit midweek if possible, as the weekends are busier with British guests.”
Best Scotland Tours
- 5-Day Best of Scotland Experience from Edinburgh: Get a comprehensive look at Scotland during this 5-day journey through its rugged and rural landscapes. Travel through the Lowlands, Northern Highlands, West Coast and the Isle of Skye, including a stop at Loch Ness and Eilean Donan Castle plus a seasonal railway ride on the Jacobite steam train from Fort William to Mallaig.
- Skip-the-Line Edinburgh Castle Walking Tour : Save valuable vacation time with skip-the-line access to Edinburgh Castle on this walking tour. Then, listen to your guide’s commentary about the Scottish landmark’s history as you walk through one of Scotland’s most famous landmarks.
- Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands Small-Group Day Tour from Edinburgh: Take a personalized tour from Edinburgh to Loch Ness on this day trip to the Scottish Highlands. See wooded lochs and tucked-away villages as you journey through spectacular scenery en route to Glencoe and Fort Augustus.
- The Isle of Skye & Eilean Donan Castle from Inverness: Take a break from the city on a full-day trip through the Isle of Skye with convenient round-trip transport from central Inverness
Start a Honeymoon in Scotland in Glasgow
We suggest starting your honeymoon in Scotland by flying into Glasgow. Affectionally known by locals as “Glas-vegas,” the city is Scotland’s most quirky metropolis. The River Clyde, which runs through its core, as been occupied since ancient times. Romans were living here over 2,000 years ago, though Glasgow’s historical records show the city grew in importance starting in the 12th century.
The city spent most of its boom known as an industrial and working class city for the British Empire. In the 18th century it grew rich from the importation of rum, tobacco and sugar from the colonies. Fast forward to the 19th-century and Glasgow transformed into a cotton-manufacturing hub. Later, the city attracted impoverished communities from the Highlands who moved to the city to take jobs in the shipbuilding and heavy engineering factories.
Today, Scotland’s favourite success story is a flourishing city, proudly showing off its recent £500 million Glasgow Harbour makeover. Eyewitness Travel Scotland offers a comprehensive “2 Days in Glasgow” itinerary, which breaks down each day into activities for the morning, afternoon and evening. Highlights include pretty plants at Glasgow Botanic Gardens, ancient crypt at Glasgow Cathedral, awesome street art along the City Centre Mural Trail, inspiring Scottish Opera at Theatre Royal and craft cocktail sips at The Corinthian Club.
Best Hotels in Glasgow
- Crossbasket Castle 5 STARS: Relish a thoroughly modern take on a classic Scottish castle in Blantyre, where a fine dining restaurant comes courtesy of culinary royalty – the Roux family.
- Carlton George Hotel 4 STARS: Located in the heart of the Glasgow city centre, known for its luxurious rooms and a rooftop restaurant with an amazing view of Glasgow. Check Reviews
- Millennium Hotel 3 STARS: Housed in a beautiful Victorian building, this upscale hotel is a 1-minute walk from Queen Street train station and a 2-minute walk from the Gallery of Modern Art. The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall is a 5-minute stroll away.
Of Scotland’s many picturesque lakes, Loch Lomond is considered one of the most popular. Located in Trossachs National Park, Loch Lomond is easily accessible via a short 45 minute drive northwest of Glasgow. This beautiful region is best known for its craggy hills and the point where the Scottish Lowlands and Highlands meet.
Loch Lomond’s western shoreline is the most developed with villages such as Luss and Tarbet attracting the majority of day trippers. Trossachs National Park is a dream for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts on a honeymoon of Scotland. Strap on your most comfortable boots and enjoy a trek along the West Highland Way, Scotland’s most celebrated long-distance trail. Trossachs National Park is home to a variety of wildlife, including the golden eagle, red dear, wildcat and peregrine falcon.
The historic Victorian steamboat, Sir Walter Scott offers daily cruises from Trossachs Pier. If an arduous hike isn’t your cup of tea, enjoy the beauty of Loch Lomond while puttering across Scotland’s most romantic lake.
If you’re a whisky fan organizing a Scotch tour of Scotland you’ll want to plan a visit to the Isle of Islay. It’s one of the southernmost islands of the Inner Hebridean Islands located on Scotland’s west coast. Drive 2.5 hours from Glasgow to Kennacraig and hop on a ferry bound for Port Ellen.
Islay is one of five whisky distilling regions in Scotland whose identity is protected by law. There are currently nine active distilleries on the isle of Islay, including famous Single Malt Scotch distilleries such as Ardbeg, Lagavulin and Bowmore. Each of the Islay distilleries offer guided tours and tastings, many of which are tapped from the casks and can only be sampled on site.
Beyond Scotch sips, Islay also features remote beaches, historic woollen mill, scenic lighthouses, petite craft brewery, and the impressive 8th-century Gaelic Kildalton Cross.
Best Islay Hotels
- Bowmore Hotel 4 STARS: This friendly family run hotel is a local favourite. Spacious rooms offer walk in showers, comfy duvets and pretty views overlooking the ocean. Locals treat the Bowmore Hotel as their watering hole, visiting the popular Islay whisky bar for live folk music shows into the wee hours of the night. Guests at the hotel are served a full Scottish breakfast in the morning featuring haggis and black pudding. If you’re visiting Islay on a Sunday be sure to indulge in their classic Scottish roast dinner or BBQ.
- The Machrie Hotel 4 STARS: Islay’s top luxury hotel opened its doors in the Fall of 2018 and became an instant hit. The beautifully designed Machrie Hotel features a championships golf course, spa, cinema, fine dining restaurant and Islay’s best cocktail bar.
- Islay House 3.5 STARS: one of Scotland’s grandest Victorian mansions. Located near Bowmore on a 28 acre estate surrounded by gardens and woodlands.
- Port Charlotte Hotel 3 STARS: a pretty oceanside boutique hotel near Bruichladdich Distillery.
Famous for its jaw-dropping scenery, Glencoe was once compared by Charles Dickens to “a burial ground of a race of giants.” Glencoe is a perfect spot to stretch your legs on the drive from Islay to Skye.
It’s perhaps the most popular destination in Scotland for experiences mountaineers. Against a spellbinding backdrop of pretty peaks and the rush of the River Coe, Glencoe offers some of Scotland’s best hiking trails with a view.
Pop by the Glencoe Visitor Centre and you’ll find details on the regions best hiking trails, from easy nature walks to a more invigorating climb to the infamous Devil’s Staircase. Guided walks are also offered in Glencoe by NTS Rangers. If hiking isn’t your thing our you’re pressed for time drive to Glencoe Mountain Resort and take the chairlift for a romantic meets dramatic view.
From Glencoe drive an hour northwest to enjoy views of Scotland’s most iconic bridge. Harry Potter fans will recognize Glenfinnan Viaduct as the gently curving bridge which Harry and his schoolmates cross each year when heading to Hogwarts. After Glenfinnan Viaduct appeared in four of the Harry Potter films, British Transport Police actually had to warn fans to not walk on the viaduct as a handful of tourists nearly got hit by the train.
Located in the West Highlands, the viaduct is built from mass concrete, and has 21 semicircular span of 50 feet. It’s the longest concrete railway bridge in Scotland, crossing over the River Finnan at a height of 100 feet.
If you’re looking to ride across the famous Scottish viaduct, hop on the West Highland Line between Glasgow Queen Street and Mallaig. In the summer months, the historic Jacobite steam train operates for tourists who are keen to enjoy a moment of Harry Potter magic.
You can stop off at the Glenfinnan Station Museum and enjoy a short hike to a viewpoint offering the best spot to photograph the viaduct in all its glory. The train crosses the viaduct daily at 10:55am and 3pm.
From the Glenfinnan Viaduct drive 40 minutes west to Mallaig and hop on a ferry bound for the Isle of Skye. The largest of Scotland’s Inner Hebrides, Skye boasts some of Europe’s most dramatic scenery. From rugged volcanic landscapes to pretty fairy pools, its a perfect getaway for nature lovers organizing a honeymoon in Scotland. While Skye’s major draw is its jaw-dropping natural wonders, the island also offers some of Scotland’s best restaurants, luxury hotels and castles.
We suggest spending a minimum of three days to explore Skye properly. Much of the island is only accessible by single land rural roads so plan to slow your roll to enjoy this romantic rural romp. Portree is Skye’s capital, a pretty port town located in the centre of the island. Many visitors to Skye book hotels in Portree as its acts as a great home base, making the exploration of the islands north and south easy. If you’re looking for an extra special luxury holiday, we suggest booking a room at Edinbane Lodge, recently ranked as the best new restaurant in Scotland.
If you’re on a honeymoon in Scotland be sure to visit Skye’s best attractions including Dunvegan Castle, Talisker Distillery, Museum of Island Life and Neist Point Lighthouse. Skye’s most celebrated hikes will allow you to explore the romance of Fairy Pools, Th Old Man of Storr and the breathtaking beauty of Mealt Falls.
Best Hotels in Isle of Skye
- Edinbane Lodge 5 STARS: Skye’s newest luxury hotel is located in a 16th century hunting lodge. The petite boutique hotel features all the trappings of a five-star hotel and is home to 2019’s Best New Restaurant in Scotland. Check Reviews
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- The Three Chimneys 4 STARS: best known for its iconic fine dining restaurant, The Three Chimneys also offers elegant accommodation. Check Reviews
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- Duisdale House Hotel 4 STARS: a boutique hotel offering luxury accommodation on the Isle of Skye. The 4 star property is a 15 minute drive from Armadale Ferry Terminal. Check Reviews
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- Broadford Hotel 3 STARS: this 3 star boutique hotel established in 1611 is famously known as the birthplace of Drambuie liqueur. Check Reviews
The perfect pitstop when driving from the Isle of Skye to Inverness is Eilean Donan Castle. One of Scotland’s most photographed castles, Eilean Donan is located a short drive east of highway A890, which connects honeymooners to The Highlands.
Eilean Donan Castle is a small tidal island located where three lochs meet: Loch Duich, Loch Long and Loch Alsh. The picturesque castle frequently appears on postcards, film and television and is an idyllic spot for romantic couples to shoot their wedding and honeymoon photos.
Eilean Donan Castle was originally founded in the 13th century, becoming a stronghold of Clan Mackenzie and their allies the Clan MacRae. Since the castle’s restoration in the early 20th century, a footbridge has connected the island to the mainland.
Today, visitors can explore the castle’s interior, featuring elegant bedrooms and a jaw-dropping Great Hall. The castle grounds are also home to two accommodation options: Eilean Donan Cottage and Eilean Donan Apartments. Book a night stay here if you’re keen to wake up at the crack of dawn and photograph the castle without the midday tourist hoards.
From Portree, enjoy a 2.5 hour drive to Inverness via the Skye Bridge. Inverness is located on Scotland’s northeast coast, where the River Ness meets the Moray Firth. It’s the largest city and the cultural capital of the Scottish Highlands. Inverness is also the start point for those keen to road trip Scotland’s scenic North Coast 500 route.
History buffs visiting Inverness will enjoy learning about Scotland’s most tumultuous period, the Jacobite Risings. You can see where the last battle on British soil took place at Culloden, or visit the nearby Fort Geroge, an impressive 18th century military marvel.
Inverness is a popular destination for fans of the television show Outlander, as much of the program was filmed here. You’ll find the city drips with romantic energy. No honeymoon in Scotland is complete without a getaway to the Highland capital. The best attractions in Inverness include Inverness Castle, Victorian Market, St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Leakey’s Bookshop and Scottish folk music enjoyed at the lively Hootananny.
If you’re looking for a truly romantic getaway near Inverness book a private Mini Manor at Achnagairn Castle.
Best Inverness Hotels
- Daviot Lodge 5 STARS: a luxurious 5 star B&B located 10 minutes drive from Inverness. Seven well-appointed suites are located in an 80-acre rural setting. Check Reviews
- The Craigdarroch Inn 4 STARS: family owned boutique hotel property situated in the Highland village of Foyers, 18 miles from Inverness. Check Reviews
- Mercure Inverness Hotel 4 STARS : a stylish and contemporary Inverness hotel located a short 7 minute walk from Inverness Castle. Check Review
- Columba Hotel Inverness 4 STARS : historic 1881 property overlooking the River Ness located a short 3 minute walk from St Andrew’s Cathedral. Check Reviews
- Glen Mhor Hotel 3 STARS: a sprawling hotel complex perched over the river. It’s located in the heart of downtown Inverness, walkable from all the city’s top attractions.
Located a short drive south of Inverness, Clava Cairns is one of Scotland’s most important ancient historic sites.
A visit to Clava Cairns is free and features a well-preserved Bronze Age cemetery complex of passage graves, ring cairns, kerb cairns and standing stones. The site is located in a beautiful setting, surrounded by rolling hills and rural farmland.
Skip past the entrance gate and explore the three cairns on foot. The historic site offers fascinating insight into Scottish Highland history featuring stone monuments that date back 4,000 years!
Recent excavations have found evidence of farming on the site before any of these monuments were built. The settlement was directly replaced by the cairns and it’s possible that some of the material used to build them had been taken from nearby demolished houses.
Located a short drive from Clava Cairns, Cawdor Castle and its beautiful gardens are a great place to spend a sunny afternoon. The popular castle in the Scottish Highlands still acts as a residence for its private owner for several months of the year. During the busy tourist season the castle opens its doors as a museum, typically from mid-April to early October.
Since Cawdor Castle acts as a modern home for half of the year, a stroll through its ancient halls offers visitors a unique appreciation for old meets new. Curious guests will find themselves standing in a historic dining room, seconds later skipping through a contemporary kitchen.
Start your tour at Cawdor Castle by walking through its interior, featuring elegant bedrooms and posh social spaces. Afterwards, skip through the properties gorgeous gardens or enjoy a snack at the on-site cafe.
Unique for a Scottish Castle, Cawdor boasts three distinct gardens: walled garden, flower garden and wild garden. Horticulture fans will enjoy eyeing roses, rhododendrons, the rare blue poppy and a choir of contemporary sculptures.
The most popular day trip from Inverness involves a short drive south of the city to Scotland’s famous Loch Ness. The deep, freshwater lake is located in the heart of the Scottish Highlands and extends 37 kms.
Lock Ness is best known for alleged sightings of the cryptozoological Lock Ness Monster, also known affectionately as Nessie. At Drumnadrochit you’ll find the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition, which examples the lakes natural history and legendary monster. The best way for boat lovers to enjoy Scotland’s famous lake is by booking a scenic Jacobite Loch Ness cruise.
Be sure to book the Loch Ness cruise that includes a stop at the lakes crumbling Urquhart Castle. The famous Scottish castle sits perched over Loch Ness, offering visiting history buffs a fascinating 1,000 year history.
Urquhart is one of Scotland’s largest castles, control of which passed between the Scots and English during the War of Independence. Power struggles were ongoing as the Lords of the Isles regularly sacked the region up until the 1500s. The last of the government’s troops were stationed at Urquhart Castle during the Jacobite Risings. They tragically blew up the castle when they left, but today the medieval icons ruins still remain.
Best Loch Ness Hotels
- Trafford Bank Guest House 5 STARS: This elegant Victorian B&B offers 5 stylish rooms which feature a mix of traditional and more contemporary furnishings. Check Reviews
- The Lovat, Loch Ness 4 STARS: Sitting at the south end of Loch Ness in Fort Augustus, this chic hotel occupies a Victorian building with stunning views. Check Reviews
- The Loch Ness Inn 3 STARS: Set in a low-rise building dating from 1838, this quaint hotel offers a unique set of rooms and a stunning bar on the banks of Loch Ness. Check Reviews
Drive 2 hours south of Inverness and enjoy a scenic drive through Cairngorms National Park before arriving at Balmoral Castle.
Queen Victoria bought the the luxurious estate for 30,000 guineas in 1852, after its owner apparently choked on a fishbone. The Queen’s husband, Prince Albert, was tasked at working with architect William Smith to craft the white granite palace that replaced the old castle that was originally built here.
Balmoral Castle is open to the public from April 1st to July 31st each year. Admission includes parking, audio headset tour, access to the formal and vegetable gardens, exhibitions in the stable area and a peak inside the opulent Ballroom.
Plan to spend at least 1.5 hours at Balmoral Castle and be sure to make time to stroll through the properties well-marked walking trails. Cute couples on honeymoon in Scotland have a chance explore Balmoral Castle’s gorgeous gardens so be sure to “stop and smell the roses.”
From Balmoral Castle drive 3 hours south to finish your honeymoon in Scotland with a few days in the capital. Edinburgh’s perfectly intact medieval heritage makes it one of the world’s most fascinating historical cities.
Eyewitness Travel Scotland offers a handy “2 Days in Edinburgh” itinerary which makes conquering the city’s must-see’s a breeze. We suggest spending the morning visiting Edinburgh Castle, National Museum of Scotland and the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
In the afternoon head to the historic Balmoral Hotel for High Tea, enjoy craft cocktail sips at Edinburgh Gin Distillery and wander through the city’s haunted legends at Real Mary’s King Close.
Wondering about things to do in Edinburgh at night? The capital offers plenty of fun for couples looking to enjoy a slice of fun and romance on honeymoon in Scotland. Star by booking an early evening massage treatment at One Spa in the Sheraton Hotel.
After you’ve both enjoyed a dip at the spa’s rooftop Hydropool, skip over to Ghillie Dhu to enjoy a lively Ceilidh. You’ll enjoy a three course Scottish feast while being entertained by a live Scottish folk band and Highland dancers.
After dinner stroll over to Monkey Barrel Comedy Club and enjoy a burst of laughter while watching Scotland’s best comedians on stage. Stumble onto the street grasping your hands tight while spending your final Scottish honeymoon moment hopping around to Edinburgh’s best craft breweries.
Best Hotels In Edinburgh
- The Balmoral Hotel 5 STARS: Originally built as the North British Station Hotel in 1902, The Balmoral in Edinburgh is a luxury five-star property. It’s one of Scotland’s landmark luxury hotels, located beneath the iconic Edinburgh Castle. Check Reviews
- Radisson BLU Hotel 4 STARS: The Radisson Blu Hotel is located in the heart of the historic Royal Mile in Edinburgh’s old town, just a short walk to major city center attractions. Check Reviews
- Jury’s Inn 3 STARS: A 2-minute walk from the Edinburgh Waverly railway station, this straightforward city centre hotel is also 1 mile from 11th-century Edinburgh Castle and 4 miles from Edinburgh Zoo. Check Reviews
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