As an ex-Glaswegian who has recently done a 4 week photo-shoot around Scotland, I offer the following comments:
With the sole exception of one in Kirkwall, Orkney, avoid B&Bs. Pay a little more for a hotel room, especially one owned by a chain and you will have a much more enjoyable experience. In general the Scots have zero understanding of service or comfort.
Having said that:
1. Your first challenge will be finding your way out of Glasgow Airport. Don’t stay in town but drive North through the Trossachs, Rannoch Moor, and stay at the Clachaig Inn in Glencoe for two nights. From here you will get ample mountains, decent food, and can do day trips to Oban (not much there), Castle Stalker, Kilchurn etc.
2. Go to Skye and stay in Broadford. On the way you must stop at Eilean Donan Castle at Dornie (do not even think of staying at the B&B in Dornie!). Skye can take a lot of time but in my view the drive to Elgol in the South is spectacular and then you get a stunning view of the Cuillins from there. You can even take a small boat ride across the loch to Lake Coruisk and walk into the Cuillins.
3. Unless you have an emotional reason to go to Culloden, I would give Inverness a miss as there is little there other than the World’s worst traffic system. Instead cross country and head for Stonehaven and go to Dunnottar. On the way you can do Corgarff, Crathes, and Brodie (with a spectacular Pictish stone in the driveway). You will not be short of old castles anywhere around here.
4. South to St Andrews for both the ruined abbey and the famous golf course.
5. Then Edinburgh, which is well worth 3 days. The history, old roads and buildings are really good. One day do the castle and walk down the Royal Mile, the next day do the old Grassmarket area. Rose Street has excellent pubs. The National Museum next to Greyfriars Bobby is well worth a visit.
6. If time permits, head East to Tantallon and Bass Rock, then South to Jedburgh for the ruined abbey. As a challenge try finding Smailholm on the way.
7. Then back to Glasgow. Take a bus tour around the city centre, there is a splendid variety of architectural styles, but not much else. The poorer districts can be dangerous for rich tourists.
With the exception of beer and fish & chips, everything else is very expensive – roughly 2-3 times a US price so plan accordingly. The roads are very good. People drive very fast on the wrong side of the road but the driving habits are far superior to US ones.
You can check out my pics in the “Scotland’s Landscape” gallery on www.whitepixels.ca