Self-Drive Holidays
16 Nights
  • Fully customisable itinerary
  • Prices from: £2440 per person
  • Best time to go: April - October
  • Transport: Rental car included (optional)


Vibrant London
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Explore the endless sightseeing attractions offered in England’s exciting capital city, such as Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London.

The Cotswolds
Charming Cotswolds
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Explore England’s largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty stretching over six counties. The Cotswolds is home to delightfully picturesque villages with quaint stone cottages and medieval churches, surrounded by peaceful rolling landscapes.

The Shambles
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Charming York is one of the most picturesque cities in England. Experience York’s ancient history including Roman ruins, medieval city walls and the remains of a Viking city under its very streets.

Lake District
Lake District
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The Lake District is England’s mountain country and a paradise for nature lovers. Climb Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England, or explore one of the several lakes on a cruise – the most famous being Lake Windermere.

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Historic and vibrant, Edinburgh is Scotland’s ancient capital city and a hub for culture and creativity. Attractions include Edinburgh Castle, the picturesque Royal Mile, and Holyrood Palace – the home of Scottish royal history.

Isle of Skye
Isle of Skye
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The Isle of Skye is popular for its stunning and dramatic volcanic scenery, including the Cuillin mountains, the iconic Old Man of Storr, and the spectacular Quiraing. Portree is its colourful capital.

A Grand Self-Drive Tour from London to the Scottish Highlands

This memorable self-drive tour begins in London, the UK’s vibrant capital city, and ends in the magnificent Highlands of Scotland. This is a fantastic introduction to our most iconic cities and a selection of the country’s highlights; quintessential English countryside, majestic mountains, delightful coastline, and historic gems.

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Begin your holiday in London, our iconic capital city, home to historic landmarks such as the Tower of London and St Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace and the winding River Thames.

Onwards to the Cotswolds, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with quintessential English villages and historic castles dotted between a patchwork quilt of rolling green fields.

As well as quaint villages and gorgeous landscapes, the Cotswolds are also surrounded by lovely cities such as Bath, known for its Roman-built baths and stunning Georgian architecture.

Next up is the historic city of York, with a mixture of Roman, Viking and English influences. You can walk the most intact city walls in England with sections dating back to the Roman period, and gaze at the marvel of York Minster cathedral.

Take the smaller roads through the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Yorkshire Dales National Park to experience breathtaking beauty. Your destination is the Lake District, England’s mountain country and home to Scafell Pike – the highest mountain in England. Hear about the literary greats who were inspired by the Lakes. With fells to explore, several lakes to cross and slate mines to descend, this is an explorer’s paradise.

Leave the Lakes behind and journey north towards Hadrian’s Wall, the ancient frontier of England and the Roman Empire. Large sections of the wall remain intact to this day and are well worth a visit.

Onwards across the ancient border between England and Scotland to Edinburgh – the majestic Scottish capital and one of Europe’s most beautiful capital cities. Discover the city highlights from the winding streets of the cobbled old town before visiting the Queen’s residence at the Palace of Holyroodhouse or magnificent Edinburgh Castle.

This tour now takes you into the heart of the Scottish Highlands. Drive through Glencoe, the most infamous glen in Scotland, across the desolate otherworldly beauty of Rannoch Moor, to the foot of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Britain. This part of the world is truly breathtaking.

Get the ferry to the awe-inspiring volcanic Isle of Skye, visited for its wild mountains, stunning seascapes and geological scenery. Home to the iconic Old Man of Storr, dramatic Quiraing and magical Fairy Pools, Skye is the most famous Scottish isle.

Inverness will be your final destination. En-route, visit picturesque Eilean Donan Castle and take the drive along the banks of eerie Loch Ness as you try to spot Nessie. Visit Urquhart Castle on the shores of the loch before arriving in Inverness, the Highland capital.

Dedicate today to exploring Culloden Moor Visitor Centre, the site of the last battle of the Jacobite Rising, or the intriguing standing stones of the Clava Cairns which inspired the Outlander series. Nearby, whisky-lovers are spoiled for choice, with some of the world’s most celebrated distilleries on your doorstep – many offering a genuine hands-on experience!

Suggested Itinerary

The holiday ideas on our website are just examples of the amazing trips we offer. Think of this itinerary as a starting point which can be tailored into something completely unique to you by our award-winning specialists.

We love the opportunity to use our first-hand knowledge and experience to design and deliver the perfect, bespoke holiday experience for you.

Day 1: Arrive in London
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Arrive in London and enjoy your first evening in England’s energetic capital city. You will find endless opportunities for eating and drinking from Michelin-starred restaurants and traditional pubs to bustling, international food markets and cuisines from every country in the world.
Overnight – London

Day 2: London Sightseeing
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Today you will enjoy an included sightseeing tour in order to get acquainted with this vast city and all the attractions it has to offer. Learn about the history of London with a visit to the Tower of London or Westminster Abbey, or explore one of the many museums and art galleries.
Overnight – London

Day 3: London Sightseeing
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For a more extensive view of this renowned capital, take a cruise along the River Thames, a circuit on the London Eye, or a trip up the dizzying heights of the Shard to enjoy stunning views of London’s well-known skyline. Perhaps, finish with tickets to a show in London’s iconic West End.
Overnight – London

Day 4: London to The Cotswolds
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Leaving the capital behind you will begin your journey west and head towards The Cotswolds – an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. En route, you may wish to visit Oxford, a city that has inspired many academics and has numerous Harry Potter locations to explore. Magnificent Blenheim Palace, a grand country house and UNESCO World Heritage Site, is also close by.
Overnight – North Cotswolds

Day 5: Cotswolds Sightseeing
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The Cotswolds is quintessential England at its best. Rolling patchwork fields, chocolate-box villages and quaint market towns such as Chipping Norton, Moreton-in-Marsh and Stow-on-the-Wold. For something grander, the spa town of Cheltenham is close by, as is Stratford-upon-Avon – most famous as the birthplace of the great playwright William Shakespeare.
Overnight – North Cotswolds

Day 6: North Cotswolds to York
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After departing the Cotswolds, you may choose to stop at impressive Warwick Castle before arriving in the north of England and the ancient city of York. Celebrate your arrival by enjoying one of the many delicious restaurants in the city or by visiting the Shambles – named Britain’s most picturesque street.
Overnight – York

Day 7: York Sightseeing
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Enjoy a full day of sightseeing in York and visit the magnificent York Minster cathedral – the largest gothic cathedral in northern Europe. Walk the surrounding medieval city walls, stroll through the famous winding streets, or step back in time at the Jorvik Viking Centre.
Overnight – York

Day 8: York to the Lake District
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Travel through one national park to another today as you make your way from the Yorkshire Dales to the Lake District. This area is home to some of England’s most spectacular and inspiring natural beauty. The Lake District is England’s ‘Mountain Country’ and offers fantastic opportunities to get outside and enjoy nature.
Overnight – Lake District

Day 9: Lake District Sightseeing
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Explore all that the Lake District has to offer. Climb England’s highest mountain or take a cruise on Lake Windermere, walk amongst stunning fell mountain scenery, or learn about the many famous literary figures who were inspired by the region including Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth.
Overnight – Lake District

Day 10: Lake District to Edinburgh
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Meander further north now towards Hadrian’s Wall, the ancient frontier of the Roman Empire and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Cross the border into Scotland and enjoy the rolling Lowland countryside before your arrival in Edinburgh, the majestic Scottish capital and one of Europe’s most beautiful capital cities.
Overnight – Edinburgh

Day 11: Edinburgh Sightseeing
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A full day to discover Edinburgh where the opportunities for sightseeing are almost endless. Enjoy a visit to Edinburgh Castle – home to Scotland’s crown jewels and St Margaret’s Chapel, or Holyrood Palace – the official residence of the Queen in Scotland. Hike up to the top of Arthur’s Seat for breathtaking panoramic views of the city and beyond.
Overnight – Edinburgh

Day 12: Edinburgh to Fort William
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Travel north and visit medieval Stirling Castle, before a wonderfully scenic journey takes you through spectacular Glencoe and into the heart of the Scottish Highlands. Your destination is on the western seaboard at the foot of Ben Nevis – Britain’s highest mountain.
Overnight – Fort William

Day 13: Fort William to the Isle of Skye
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Travel on the magnificent Road to the Isles and then by ferry over the sea to Skye. The short sailing across the Sound of Sleat provides great views of the island and back across to the west coast, before arriving on one of the most spectacular islands in the world.
Overnight – Isle of Skye

Day 14: Isle of Skye Sightseeing
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A full day on Skye to visit romantic Dunvegan Castle, sample fine whiskies, enjoy a great day’s walking, or climb aboard a fabulous boat cruise which will take you into the heart of the Cuillin Mountains.
Overnight – Isle of Skye

Day 15: Isle of Skye to Inverness
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Depart Skye and travel past the most photographed of Scotland’s castles, Eilean Donan. Your route takes you through the Great Glen and by brooding Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle, and onto the vibrant ‘Capital of the Highlands’.
Overnight – Inverness

Day 16: Inverness Sightseeing
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A full day to explore Inverness, where you could visit Cawdor with its 14th-century castle, Culloden Battlefield where, in 1746, the last battle took place on British soil, or travel into Speyside and tour the Malt Whisky Trail where the world’s most celebrated distilleries are on your doorstep.
Overnight – Inverness

Day 17: Depart Inverness
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Travel onwards now from the Highlands where your self-drive tour will come to an end.

What's Included?

Your holiday includes:

  • Carefully selected en-suite accommodation for 16 nights including traditional British breakfast
  • Comprehensive information pack
  • Personalised itinerary with our recommendations for the best places to eat and drink and sightseeing suggestions
  • Map of the UK with our recommended driving route
  • 14 days rental of an Economy car (other vehicle categories available) including comprehensive insurance
  • London Pass which includes a hop-on-hop-off bus tour and free entry to the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, St Paul's Cathedral and over 80 other attractions
  • York Pass which includes a hop-on-hop-off bus tour and free entry to York Minster, Jorvik Viking Centre and many more attractions
  • Tickets for the Edinburgh City Sightseeing Tour
  • All ferry crossings (as per your itinerary)
  • 24-hour emergency contact number
  • Full financial protection

Your holiday doesn't include:

  • Travel insurance
  • Flights
  • Lunches and evening meals

Accommodation & Prices

Special Places to Stay Special Places to Stay
Special Places to Stay Special Places to Stay
Premium Premium
Premium Premium
Standard Standard

We know that after a busy day of sightseeing an exceptional place to stay makes all the difference. That’s why all of the accommodation we select is hand-picked using our first-hand knowledge of the best places to stay.

Our discerning team has a wealth of experience, and we extensively research and regularly review all of the accommodation we select for our clients.

Please choose from one of our accommodation categories below. If you wish to combine these categories or perhaps upgrade for a special occasion let us know in your enquiry.

Accommodation type
Price per person
4* Guest Houses and 3* Hotels
From £2440

A collection of quality 4* Guest Houses and 3* Hotels often located in beautiful locations which provide an excellent standard of accommodation.

Tastefully decorated and furnished, these properties are generally owned and operated by locals who have a genuine passion for their region which they are keen to share with you. Their warm hospitality is sure to be a highlight of your experience.

Boutique Guest Houses and 4* Hotels
From £4310

Our Premium category includes a unique collection of luxurious and stylish boutique Guest Houses and small 4* Hotels. These are wonderfully charming and intimate and run with great flair by their owners.

It also comprises larger 4* Hotels selected for their high standard of accommodation, exceptional service, and great location. These range from traditional luxury to contemporary Hotels.

Special Places to Stay
Exceptional Hotels and luxury Resorts
Please enquire

From award-winning luxury Hotels to unique country retreats, all of which offer exceptional accommodation with superb facilities and outstanding service.

These are truly magical places and amongst the best accommodation that the UK has to offer. The perfect choice when you would like somewhere really special which can be a treat for the night or for your entire holiday.

Car Hire

Our packages include car rental and comprehensive insurance for the duration of your holiday. Absolute Escapes has an excellent relationship with a number of car hire operators and we are able to offer quality vehicles and great value for money.

If you plan to bring your own vehicle, we are also able to offer this itinerary without a rental car.

All our packages include:

  • Collision Damage Waiver
  • Super Damage Excess Waiver
  • Third Party Insurance
  • Theft Waiver
  • Tax
Vauxhall Corsa or similar
  • Good for 2 people
  • Maximum of 4 passengers
  • 2 large suitcases
  • Manual or automatic transmission
Ford Focus or similar
  • Good for 2 – 4 people
  • Maximum of 5 passengers
  • 2 large suitcases
  • Manual or automatic transmission
Volkswagen Passat or similar
  • Good for up to 4 people
  • Maximum of 5 passengers
  • 3 large suitcases
  • Manual or automatic transmission
VW Sharan or similar
  • Good for 5 people
  • Maximum of 7 passengers
  • 3 – 4 large suitcases
  • Manual or automatic transmission

Make an enquiry

From London to the Scottish Highlands

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