Posted 12th July
Now that summer is upon us, there's no better time to take the chance to head out on a road trip
Allowing you to choose your own route and itinerary, it also lets you take things in at your own pace and appreciate the scenery as you go - in short, it's a wonderful holiday for those who crave a little freedom.
Scotland is one such place which is ideal to visit for an excursion by road. To set you on your way, Avis Car Hire have compiled a road trip with local blogger Sonja Thomson that reveals some of the most amazing 'hidden gems' that are within a day's drive of Edinburgh. We look at some of the gems below...
1 The Helix, Home of the Kelpies
The Kelpies are a truly magnificent sight to behold. Situated in Falkirk, they're just under an hour's drive away from Edinburgh. The two 300 tonne, 30-metre high steel horse heads have been made by Glaswegian sculptor Andy Scott. Modelled on two Clydesdale horses of the same name from local history, Scott named the horses Duke and Baron.
2 Doune Castle
Doune Castle is a fantasy fan's dream tourist spot, having served as a filming location for Monty Python, Outlander and Game of Thrones. The castle was built in the 14th century and is a great example of Scottish history due to its well preserved rooms, spiral staircases, and low-hanging doors. There is also a breath-taking view to be seen from the top of the tower.
3 Loch Lomond
Loch Lomond is a beautiful example of the Scottish countryside. As the largest stretch of inland by surface area in Great Britain, there are a wide number of activities to do, including kayaking, paddle boarding and canoeing. There are also options for those who want to appreciate the loch in a more relaxed manner - here, you can take a cruise from the small town of Luss to Balmaha.
4 Culross Palace
Culross is a charming and picturesque place, complete with cobbled streets and stone walled buildings. A big attraction is Culross Palace, with the large, yellow walled and red roofed house once the home of wealthy merchant Sir George Bruce. The palace and gardens are open to the public for viewing, providing an insightful step into the past.
Image courtesy of National Trust Scotland
5 Luss Smokehouse
Situated in the quaint village of Luss on the edge of Loch Lomond, the Luss Smokehouse is a fish shop and smoker which sells fresh produce. It's the ideal place to stop for a delicious sandwich to enjoy by the lake, which is possibly one of Scotland's most scenic picnic spots.
6 Made in Stirling Art Store
If you want to pick something unique along the way, look no further than Made in Stirling. You can find art in every medium, including fine art, textiles, and everything else in between, created by over 80 local artists.