Scottish road trip

If you follow me on social media then you probably will have seen our little road trip to Scotland at the weekend. We had an amazing time exploring and covered so much ground in just three days.

Last year we did a similar road trip style holiday in East Sussex and honestly it was one of the best holidays we’ve ever had. I find that road trips are just so relaxed, you have the freedom to do your own thing at your own pace and see exactly what you want to see. So when Days Inn got in touch to see if we would like to go on a road trip to Scotland, stopping at three of their hotels along the way, we jumped at the chance!

Up until two years ago I had never been to Scotland. Then we went to Edinburgh for James’ 30th and fell in love with the place, so much so that we went back that same year for New Years! After that we were desperate to see more of beautiful Scotland so our trip with Days Inn couldn’t have been more perfect.

At each destination we stayed at a nearby Days Inn hotel. Many Days Inn hotels are based at motorway service stations so they are well placed for road trips like this.

At Days Inn, we focus on the little things that surprise and delight to help you enjoy your stay and kick off each day with a little extra oomph. Like the sun, we are energized to provide a warm smile and great service to our guests every time they stay with us.

The first stop on our road trip was Gretna Green, which is just over the border in Scotland. It’s famous for runaway weddings at the Famous Blacksmiths Shop. There’s lots to see and do here including the museum, restaurant, shops, playground and a maze.

Both Max and Evie really enjoyed the museum and learning all about why people used to elope to Gretna Green. They are at ages where they are so inquisitive about everything and they had so many questions about marriage and the weddings that have taken place at Gretna.

As it was a Saturday there were a few weddings going on while we were there, so we got to see some beautiful brides.

The kids really enjoyed the maze in particular. It looks quite small from the outside but it actually took us quite a while to find our way around!

There’s also a wall of love at Gretna, where you can add your very own lovelock. It was nice to be able to read all the messages of love on the padlocks. It really is a special place and I could definitely feel the love there.

Our hotel was just five minutes from the Blacksmiths Shop in Gretna Green. Our room was spacious, bright and clean. Perfect for our family.

After having a rest and getting changed, we headed out for dinner. We’d done some research prior to our trip and booked a table at Smith’s Hotel. We had a lovely meal here and the cocktails were fantastic, if you’re ever in the area I would definitely recommend it.

Day two of our road trip started with a little rain. Luckily we came prepared with umbrellas and raincoats! Our first stop was Grey Mare’s Tail Nature Reserve which is a National Trust for Scotland site near Moffat, about 45 minutes from Gretna. It is absolutely breathtaking. I’ll let the photo’s do the talking…

Next we drove over to the town of Biggar. We’d booked a table at a restaurant called The Barony for Sunday lunch, which was brilliant.

After lunch and a short walk around Biggar, we were on the road again. We decided to go and check out a village called Wanlockhead which is the highest village in Scotland.

After that we headed over to our next Days Inn hotel in Abington. We really appreciated being at a service station with a Burger King because we were all too tired to head back out again. Our room was great, and the views out over the countryside were stunning. There was also free wifi at all of the hotels we stayed at which was handy for iPad time for the kids.

On the third and final day of our trip we decided to spend the day in Glasgow. We stopped for brunch on the outskirts of the city at a place called Cafe Strange Brew. We all had pancakes which were absolutely amazing…

Glasgow was definitely our busiest day in Scotland. It’s a massive city so there’s so much to see and do. We ended the day having done 20,000 steps! I still can’t believe how well the kids did.

We decided to park our car at a multi storey car park and get around on the subway. The subway is exactly like the tube, only much less busy and easier to navigate. The kids loved the subway, I actually think it might have been their favourite part of the day. Easily pleased!

We had a mooch around the city centre, checking out some of the street art (you all know I’m a total sucker for a bit of street art!). We also went to see the main sights such as George Square and the Duke of Wellington statue which is well known for pranksters putting cones on it’s head. Of course the kids found this hilarious.

We couldn’t visit Glasgow without seeing the university. I had been told that Harry Potter was filmed at the University of Glasgow but apparently this isn’t actually true. However, it does feel very Hogwarts like, so I can definitely see why people might think this…

Next, we walked over to Kelvingrove museum, which had been recommended to us a few times. It’s a huge museum and we could have spent all day in there. I think my favourite was the hanging heads display (see below) which is both hilarious and fascinating at the same time.

After Kelvingrove museum we walked over to the Riverside Museum which is Glasgow’s transport museum. The kids had a blast here. It has a little area set up to look just like the streets of Glasgow, so they got to play inside the shops and restaurants as well as see old trains, cars and emergency vehicles. They had so much fun!

Finally we hopped back on the subway into the city centre and made our way to a mexican restaurant called Topolabamba for dinner, which was delicious.

After dinner it was time to leave for our hotel as we were all super tired by this point. We stayed at Days Inn Hamilton which is about 20 minutes outside of Glasgow.



It’s worth mentioning that we received breakfast at each of our destinations. Both Gretna Green and Abington are located at Welcome Break services and for breakfast you are given vouchers to use at Harry Ramsdens. Don’t worry it’s not fish and chips for breakfast, they serve a full english, which was really nice.

Days Inn at Hamilton is slightly different as it is at a Roadchef service station so breakfast again was vouchers, but this time for McDonalds.

Thank you so much to Days Inn for working with us on this trip, we all had an amazing time. We think that Days Inn hotels are the perfect place to stay on a road trip like this because of the locations, brilliant family rooms and of course excellent value. Find out more about Days Inn hotels here.

Thank you for reading.

*In collaboration with Days Inn*


  1. August 16, 2018 / 3:57 pm

    We are heading up there in a few weeks! Can’t wait! We’re planning our “must sees” tonight. Glad I read this!

    • Emma
      August 20, 2018 / 11:47 am

      Glad to be of help! Hope you have a great trip 🙂