What’s the best way for a traveling nomad and Latina travel blogger like myself to be welcomed to the new city she will call “Home” you ask? Immediately, going on holiday of course! More precisely a Scottish road trip: Epic Scotland Escapes.
I couldn’t resist partaking in my first bank holiday (AKA what people in the UK call a public holiday) in England. Most locals leave for the long weekend and I decided to do the same and leave Manchester to visit the Scottish highlights.
See my Latina expat Manchester travel guide to combine this visit here.
Plan Your Visit
A road trip in Scotland is personally what I would recommend if you have access to a vehicle. The drive from Manchester to either Edinburgh or Glasgow is only a short 4-hour drive and has you pass some lush green areas, farms, small towns and winding roads that will make the drive worth it. Additionally, a car will help you maximize your long weekend by allowing you to visit more than one place in Scotland.
Trains to and from Scotland leave daily from main train stations and take anywhere from 3-4 hours to destinations such as Edinburgh or Glasgow from Manchester. Find Trainline time tables and book online.
Bus’ to Scotland’s main cities such as Edinburgh and Glasgow will take about a 5 hour journey from Manchester and can be really cheap if booked in advance. Find Flixbus time tables and book.
English is spoken in Scotland so it’s fairly easy to manage getting around. Just keep in mind that they do have a strong English accent so initially you may think they are speaking a different language. Just kindly ask that they slow down if you aren’t understanding them and accept that they may also begin to speak louder because this clearly helps you better understand what people are saying. 😉
Scottish Road Trip Stops
Used this town as a home base during my bank holiday in Scotland. This location was perfect for easy day trips since it’s conveniently located only an hour from many of the places I visited and has Airbnb options.
This small village is only an hour and half drive from Melrose (AKA where my Airbnb was). This former cotton mill is now an Unesco heritage site.
- Falls of Clyde and Wildlife Reserve
- Lanark Loch
- New Lanark Village
Tip: If driving, make a stop in the royal borough of Pebbles post your visit to New Lanark and enjoy a meal in this quaint Scottish country town for a feel of how locals live outside of the big cities.
This compact and hilly city is the capital of Scotland and certainly a must on your list when visiting Scotland. There is quite a bit to do but if smart this can easily be accomplished in a day since everything is close and walk-able.
- Arthur’s Seat
- Calton Hill
- Forth Bridge
- Royale Mile
- Edinburgh Castle -Skip the line and book your castle entry in advance.
- The Old Town
- Princess Street
- Stockbridge – a quaint and posh neighborhood full of hip shops including thrift stores and restaurants
- Portobello Beach – just a short 20 min drive from Edinburgh will give you a nice boardwalk with Scottish beach views.
Where To Eat:
- Earl’s Burger – Yummy burger spot with two locations in Edinburgh.
- El Cartel – As a Latina, I am quite picky on what Latin restaurants I will recommend abroad and this taco spot gets my seal of approval.
- Upland’s Roast – Delicious hot chocolate from a food truck located in a picturesque green space called, The Meadows. Expect banging tunes and drinks, like their iconic hot choco.
- The Dome – For a traditional afternoon tea with an elegant backdrop fit for a queen, look no further.
- Lannan Bakery – The talk of the town for its delectable baked good and the hype is worth it!
This little boarder town between England and Scotland is a great stop to cut your journey back to England and get another taste of a traditional Scottish town.
Obviously, I have quite a bit I still want to see in Scotland such as Glasgow, Isle of Arran and Loch Ness but I have tons of bank holidays in my new home country that I will make sure to visit and add these cities to this post. (Keep your eyes peeled for more additions here.)
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