Self-Drive Holidays
9 Nights
  • Fully customisable itinerary
  • Prices from: £1275 per person
  • Best time to go: April - October
  • Transport: Rental car included (optional)


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Charming and vibrant, Edinburgh is Scotland’s ancient capital city and a hub for culture and creativity. Edinburgh was the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature and has provided inspiration for writers such as J.K. Rowling and Arthur Conan Doyle.

Literary icons
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Delve into the background of some of the most celebrated literary figures to emerge from Scotland and understand the land that influenced their writing and the setting where they first put pen to paper.

Trossachs National Park
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Explore the romantic and inspiring Trossachs National Park, which was written about by Queen Victoria in her diary. Stop at Loch Katrine for a memorable journey on the Sir Walter Scott paddle steamer.

Burns Country
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Discover the land that inspired Scotland’s National Poet, Rabbie Burns, and explore the museum dedicated to his life in the conservation village of Alloway. The picturesque village is also the home to Alloway Auld Kirk, the inspiration for the famous poem Tam O’Shanter.

Find inspiration
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Find the writer in yourself through time spent relaxing and soaking in the wonderful scenery and landscapes across your journey. From views of mystical lochs to rolling green countryside these vistas have always invoked inspiration.

Scottish Borders
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The borders have been home to many famous Scottish figures including Sir Walter Scott, author of such texts as Ivanhoe and Rob Roy. Explore the abbeys and towns of this picturesque and less discovered region and visit Sir Walter Scott’s birthplace in Abbotsford.

A Literary Inspired Journey Through Scotland

Our literary tour of Scotland travels from Edinburgh to the Borders, the Burns Country of Ayrshire and through the Trossachs National Park, taking in the incredible landscapes that inspired some of the most famous Scottish writers, and indeed writers from around the world. From Robert Louis Stephenson to Sir Walter Scott, some of the finest writers in history have begun their work in Scotland. 

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Scotland has provided inspiration to many writers both in the present day and throughout history. On this journey through southern and central Scotland discover the places that stirred Scotland’s finest writers, including the location where Sir Walter Scott overcame his writer’s block, the birthplace of Robert Burns, and the landscapes that inspired the romantic literature that kicked off Scottish tourism.

Beginning in Edinburgh, tour the streets that served as the inspiration for Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter series and climb the Scott Monument dedicated to Sir Walter Scott. A trip to the Writers Museum hidden away in James’ Court off the famous Royal Mile is a must, as is a detour to Rosslyn Chapel featured in Dan Brown’s Davinci Code. 

From Edinburgh head towards the Scottish Borders, taking in the countryside that inspired many a storyline of Sir Walter Scott. Here, you can also visit the four impressive Border Abbeys of Melrose, Kelso, Jedburgh and Dryburgh in a relatively undiscovered and delightfully rural part of Scotland. 

Heading West you will explore the Burns Country of Ayrshire before travelling back through the beautiful Trossachs National Park. It is easy to see here, how the landscapes of Scotland have influenced great works of literature and we are sure you will leave inspired and full of wisdom about Scotland’s literary history. 

There are numerous book festivals that take place in Scotland throughout the calendar year, including the  world’s largest book festival in Edinburgh. There is scope to combine your holiday with one of these so please do mention if you are interested in this in your enquiry. 

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 Edinburgh
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Arrive in Edinburgh, Scotland’s impressive capital and UNESCO City of Literature. Climb the Scott Monument, the largest monument to a writer ever built, and discover why ‘Scotland never owed so much to one man’ – Sir Walter Scott.
Overnight – Edinburgh

Day 2: Edinburgh Sightseeing
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Continue your literary adventure as we reserve you a place on the Edinburgh Book Lovers’ Tour. Visit the sites and haunts of Edinburgh’s literary legends – including Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson, Ian Rankin, and J.K. Rowling.
Overnight – Edinburgh 

Day 3: Edinburgh Sightseeing
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Complete your time in Edinburgh with a final glance at the buildings that inspired Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Spend time exploring the Writers’ Museum, before paying a visit to the monument to Rabbie Burns. Finally, discover famous literary quotes engraved in stone on the exterior of the Scottish Parliament.
Overnight – Edinburgh

Day 4: Edinburgh to the Scottish Borders
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Depart Edinburgh and search for the Holy Grail at Rosslyn Chapel as featured in the Da Vinci Code, before continuing your journey south into the beautiful Scottish Borders. Stop by Scott’s View and enjoy the vista over the Eildon Hills and the River Tweed, as Sir Walter Scott did before you.
Overnight – Melrose

Day 5: The Borders Sightseeing
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Immerse yourself in the very landscapes that inspired the ‘Father of Scottish Tourism,’ Walter Scott, and visit his former home at Abbotsford. Wander through Scott’s study where he wrote some of his most famous novels, before exploring his favourite Borders haunts that provided inspiration for many of his storylines and characters. Discover the delights of the Border Abbeys and the rural tranquillity of this beautiful area of Scotland.
Overnight – Melrose

Day 6: The Borders to Ayrshire
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Head west to Ayrshire and immerse yourself in the homeland of Robert Burns. Stop by the Tibbie Shiels Inn at St Mary’s Loch to discover where many of the finest Borders ballads were penned by Sir Walter and James Hogg, such as ‘the Ettrick Shepherd.’ Take a detour to Wigtown, Scotland’s National Book Town before arriving in Ayrshire.
Overnight – Alloway

Day 7: Ayrshire Sightseeing
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A full day to explore Burns Country and discover more about the man behind the genius. Visit the award-winning Robert Burns Birthplace Museum and discover the locations that inspired our National Bard’s famous poem, Tam O’Shanter.
Overnight – Alloway


Day 8: Ayrshire to the Trossachs
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Drive north from Ayrshire into the spectacular Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Discover the scenery that Queen Victoria loved so dearly and wrote about in her journal. Enjoy a taste of the Highlands and marvel at how quickly the scenery changes as you get closer to lochs and mountains.
Overnight – Callander

Day 9: The Trossachs Sightseeing
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Take the ‘High Road’ to Loch Lomond and discover the incredible scenery that inspired so many writers, and transformed Scotland from a land of savages to a desirable tourist destination. Take a pleasure cruise on the steamship Sir Walter Scott at Loch Katrine, where he wrote the acclaimed poem The Lady of the Lake. Breathe in the medicinal fresh air as Queen Victoria came to do, and see how easy it was for the writers of the day to be inspired by this wild, romantic landscape.
Overnight – Callander

Day 10: The Trossachs to Edinburgh and Depart
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If time allows, travel to the Kingdom of Fife to visit the birthplace of Alexander Selkirk, who provided the inspiration for the classic novel Robinson Crusoe. Then travel over the Forth Road Bridge and into Edinburgh where your literary journey will end.
Overnight – Callander

What's Included?

Your holiday includes:

  • Carefully selected en-suite accommodation for 9 nights including traditional Scottish breakfast
  • Comprehensive information pack
  • Personalised itinerary with our recommendations for the best places to eat and drink and sightseeing suggestions
  • Map of Scotland with our recommended driving route
  • 7 days rental of an Economy car (other vehicle categories available) including comprehensive insurance
  • Tickets for the Edinburgh Book Lovers' Tour
  • 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
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 £1275

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 Scottish experience.

Boutique Guest Houses and 4* Hotels
From £1775

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 Scotland 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

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Literary Scotland

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