Burns Country & the Scottish Borders

Itinerary

This is our suggested itinerary for our Burns Country & the Scottish Borders self-drive tour. All of our itineraries are fully flexible and we would be delighted to add additional nights, or tailor the route to match your interests. Please request this when making an enquiry.

Day 1 - Arrive Edinburgh
Arrive in Edinburgh, Scotland’s majestic capital and one of Europe’s most unique cities. Explore historic Edinburgh Castle and magnificent Holyrood Palace, and for a breathtaking panoramic view take a walk up Arthur’s Seat - an extinct volcano which towers over the city.
Overnight - Edinburgh

Day 2 - Edinburgh to The Scottish Borders
Depart Edinburgh and uncover the secrets of mysterious Rosslyn Chapel (featured in The Da Vinci Code) before making your way south to the spectacular Scottish Borders. You can enjoy the stunning vista from Scott’s View - Sir Walter Scott’s favourite view in Scotland - before visiting the first statue built of Scottish hero Sir William Wallace.

The pretty market town of Melrose is your home for the next three nights and is a perfect base to explore this fascinating region.
Overnight - Melrose

Day 3 - The Scottish Borders Sightseeing
Spend a full day today exploring the magnificent ruins of the four great medieval abbeys - Melrose, Jedburgh, Kelso and Dryburgh. The abbeys were founded in the 12th century but their proximity to England meant that they were subject to frequent attacks by the English. Their spectacular ruins now paint a fascinating picture of a turbulent time in Scottish history. Melrose Abbey is where the heart of Scotland’s great warrior king - Robert the Bruce - is buried. 
Overnight - Melrose

Day 4 - The Scottish Borders Sightseeing
Explore the gothic grandeur of Abbotsford House, one of the most famous homes in Scotland, and home of celebrated author Sir Walter Scott. You can visit the very study where Scott penned some of his most-loved novel. Nearby Floors Castle is the largest inhabited castle in Scotland and home to the Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe, and offers a fascinating glimpse into how the other half lives. Elsewhere in the Borders there are delightful villages and pleasant walks to enjoy. 
Overnight - Melrose

Day 5 - The Scottish Borders to Dumfries and Galloway
The enchanting region of Dumfries and Galloway awaits today. Visit Caerlaverock Castle where you can explore one of the most impressive Medieval castles in Scotland and learn about its crucial role in defending the realm.

The pretty fishing village of Kirkcudbright is your base here. It became a magnet for artists in the late 19th century and is known as ‘The Artists’ Town’ because of this association.
Overnight - Kirkcudbright

Day 6 - Dumfries and Galloway Sightseeing
Dumfries and Galloway holds a wealth of possibilities and places to explore. Depending on your interests, you may choose to visit Wigtown - Scotland’s Book Town - or enjoy a dram at Bladnoch; Scotland’s most southerly whisky distillery. Take a drive to Whithorn on the coast and explore its historical priory, one of the earliest Christian sites in Scotland, or visit the awe-inspiring Grey Mare’s Tail waterfall.

Nature lovers won’t want to miss the Logan Botanic Gardens which, warmed by the Gulf Stream, has an extraordinary array of tropical and exotic plants and flowers, or the spectacular Galloway Forest Park - the only Dark Sky Park in Europe. This offers a rare opportunity to see shooting stars and the Aurora Borealis.
Overnight - Kirkcudbright

Day 7 - Dumfries and Galloway to Ayrshire
Make your way north to charming Ayrshire, stopping at Culzean Castle to learn why President Eisenhower loved it so dearly.

Ayr boasts a fantastic esplanade alongside a long sandy beach - known locally as the ‘Lang Scots Mile’ - where you can enjoy superb views across the Firth of Clyde to Kintyre and Arran. Robert Burns immortalised the town with the line "Auld Ayr, wham ne'er a town surpasses, for honest men and bonnie lassies".
Overnight - Ayr / Alloway

Day 8 - Ayrshire Sightseeing
Immerse yourself in Burns Country today and learn more of Scotland’s favourite son. Visit the award-winning museum dedicated to his life, and brave a visit to Alloway Auld Kirk - the eerie churchyard where witches danced in the moonlight in Burns' poem Tam O'Shanter. Another Scottish national hero, William Wallace, spent the last few years of his life in Ayrshire and a grand tower stands proudly in Ayr town centre to mark this connection.
Overnight - Ayr / Alloway

Day 9 - Depart Ayrshire
From Ayr it is a short drive to Glasgow or Edinburgh, where your Absolute Escape sadly comes to an end.