Scotland: The Perfect Road Trip Destination.
Why go on a Scottish Road Trip?
With summer already upon us, the chances are that your thoughts may be turning to how you’re going to spend this year’s holidays. If you’d rather stay in the UK than go through the stress of busy airports, a particularly beautiful option is a road trip in Scotland. In this post, we’re going to share some ideas to help you with planning a Scottish road trip and give you a flavour of what you could see and do when you’re driving in Scotland.
Road trips are an enjoyable style of holiday because they enable you to discover many new places at once, giving you more variety than if you stayed in the same location for your whole holiday. Great road trips take you on an adventure, far from the everyday drudgery of commuting or the school run, the driving itself becomes all part of the fun. Scotland has some of the most remote parts the UK, so if you’re looking for a complete escape from urban life, this unspoilt part of the world fits the bill perfectly.
From stunning mountain scenery to spectacular coastal roads, Scotland has everything you could want from a road trip. Driving in Scotland allows you to explore the country at your own pace, stopping off at cultural sites, scenic lookout points and local restaurants along the way. A road trip in Scotland will lead you to historic castles, peaceful lochs glistening in the sun, atmospheric forests and sweeping sea vistas. With plenty of Instagram-worthy winding roads and mountain passes, it’s arguably the UK’s ultimate road trip destination.
Deciding you want to go on a road trip in Scotland is the easy bit. The difficult part is deciding which of the many stunning route options will suit you best for your trip. Your own perfect itinerary will depend on how much time you want to spend driving and what kind of things you’d like to see and do along the way. Here are four route ideas of varying lengths to give you some food for thought.
Think of Scotland and the chances are that the first image that will come to mind is of the Scottish Highlands. The Highland Tourist Route is a great introduction to this awe-inspiring part of Scotland, taking you on a 116-mile journey from Aberdeen to Inverness via the Cairngorms National Park. The Grampian Transport Museum is just one of the fun places to stop en route, particularly if you’re travelling with the kids, who’ll love its steam trains and horse-drawn carriages.
Once you’re in the Cairngorms National Park, a small detour will take you into an ancient forest that’s home to the RSPB’s Loch Garten Osprey Centre - the perfect place to learn about this famous bird of prey and Scotland’s other native bird and wildlife species. Further along the route, call at the beautiful Cawdor Castle or the Culloden Battlefield before ending the trip in the Highland cultural capital, Inverness. Be sure to leave enough time to make the short drive to Loch Ness, keeping your eyes peeled for the legendary Loch Ness Monster.
Beginning in Dundee, the Angus Coastal Route is a 58-mile road trip that takes you along a spectacular stretch of the Scottish coastline. After taking in some of the attractions of Dundee, such as Broughty Castle and the RRS Discovery - the ship in which Captain Scott sailed to Antarctica - your route takes you north via scenic resorts such as Montrose, Broughty Ferry and Inverbervie.
These picturesque towns provide ideal stopping points when you need a break from driving, but you can instead choose more isolated spots to break your journey, stretching your legs with a walk on the beach or around one of the area’s peaceful nature reserves. The route ends in Aberdeen, where you could explore the Maritime Museum.
This 149-mile route takes you from Loch Lomond and along Scotland’s breathtaking west coast. Along the way, take in the delightfully-named ‘Rest and Be Thankful’ scenic beauty spot and stop off at Inveraray, home to the famous Inveraray Castle. Dine on fresh fish at the renowned Loch Fyne restaurant and oyster bar in Clachan, and stop in Oban to soak up the holiday atmosphere. Fort William provides a suitably inspiring end to your road trip with views of Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest mountain.
Those with an interest in history will enjoy this 89-mile introduction to Scotland’s past. Crossing the border into Scotland from Carlisle, you’ll work your way north to Edinburgh. Your first port of call is romantic Gretna Green, famous since the 18th century as a place for young couples to elope to. Continuing your journey north, you could call in at Sir Walter Scott’s house, Abbotsford, and pay a visit to the National Mining Museum Scotland. End your trip with a couple of days in Edinburgh, giving you enough time to explore the magnificent Edinburgh Castle and admire the views from the city’s iconic extinct volcano, Arthur’s Seat.
If you’re planning a road trip to Scotland, you’ll need to make sure that your car is in good working order before you go. Scottish roads can be narrow, steep and winding, so it’s important to ensure that your brakes are working effectively, your tyres have sufficient tread and your engine oil is topped up. Finally, don’t forget to make sure that you have adequate car insurance so that you’re covered in the unfortunate event of an accident while you’re on your travels. With your route planned and your car checked out, all you have left to do is set out on the open road and discover Scotland’s innumerable natural and cultural attractions for yourself.