6 Amazing Scottish road trips

Take to the road and see some of the spectacular sights Scotland has to offer.

If there’s one thing Scotland does well, it’s road trips! Stunning coastal routes, scenic mountain drives and open, endless landscapes that create an awe-inspiring atmosphere – the sights you’ll see are out of this world!

You might have heard of the spectacular North Coast 500 in the Highlands, but in Scotland, there are epic drives to be had in all corners of the country.

Rent a car from Edinburgh Airport, or elsewhere across the country, and see what you can discover along these wonderful driving routes.

What makes road trips even more fun? An amazing place to stay for when it’s time to park up for the night, of course.

South West Coastal 300

Southerness Lighthouse

One of Scotland’s newer road- tripping routes, the South West Coastal 300 takes in over 300 miles of peaceful roads through Dumfries & Galloway and South Ayrshire.

Ideal for a long weekend, the drive promises never-ending coastlines, rugged cliffs, quirky towns and villages, and plenty of opportunities to test your photography skills with some breathtaking viewpoints.

There are plenty of fabulous locations to stop at, including the atmospheric Southerness Lighthouse (pictured), the cheerful harbour town of Kirkcudbright and the glorious Sandyhills Bay.

See Ailsa Craig as you drive along the Ayrshire coastline or stop in at Dalmellington and pay a visit to the spectacular Scottish Dark Sky Observatory.

Unusual place to stay:
Rest up in a cosy little Sea View Snug at Laggan Outdoor near Gatehouse of Fleet. With luxury interiors and unbeatable coastal views, this is the perfect location to watch the stars come out at night.

North east 250

Balmoral Castle Ballater

Take in some of Scotland’s most iconic scenery along the North East 250, another fantastic new route.Discover the whisky distilleries of Speyside, the stunning landscapes of Cairngorms National Park and the fascinatingly rich heritage of Royal Deeside, including Balmoral Castle (pictured).

Stop by Aberdeen to admire the city’s famous granite architecture and if you’re lucky, catch a glimpse of dolphins leaping from the North Sea at the harbour during the summer.

Unusual place to stay:
There are plenty of options for an unusual sleep in this part of Scotland, with castles and lighthouses offering guests a unique place to stay. Try a sea front stay at the Buchan Ness Lighthouse or why not treat yourself to a castle stay at Gordon Castle?

Snow Roads Scenic Route

Corgarff Castle © Damian Shields

Watch this space for yet another brand new route, the Snow Roads Scenic Route, which launches officially later on this year.

This stunning drive weaves through the outstandingly beautiful landscapes of the eastern Cairngorms as well as the charming Highland towns of Royal Deeside including Braemar, Ballater and Tomintoul.

You’ll pass by a few stunning castles, including Corgarff (pictured) and Braemar, as well as the Balmenach Distillery.

It’s important to take it slow to soak up the views, but also because the route journeys over the highest public road in Britain, known as the Snow Road, so drivers should always take great care.

Unusual place to stay:
Tucked away in the ancient pine forest, The Lazy Duck just outside Aviemore offers idyllic eco-friendly escapes for couples and groups, with a tiny mountain-hut style hostel, a romantic cabin for two with a wood-fired hot tub, a campsite and a charming waterside lodge cabin.

It’s a popular spot, so be sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment.

North Coast 500

Loch Torridon

The North Coast 500 is a very popular route, and one of the best- known routes in Scotland.

Enjoy the freedom of the long, open road and some of Scotland’s finest coastal scenery along this 516-mile route, which you can venture on by car, bike and even on foot – so there’s really no excuse not to go!

Starting in the “capital of the Highlands”, Inverness, venture over to the west coast to Applecross and then northwards towards stunning Loch Torridon (pictured) and Ullapool.

From there, head to some of Scotland’s most northerly points, including Caithness and John O’Groats, before heading south again past Dingwall backto Inverness.

Unusual place to stay:
Why not stay at a real working lighthouse located at an incredibly breath taking location in Gairloch? Rua Reidh Lighthouse offers a comfortable guesthouse or a cosy self-catering apartment to choose from, complete with wildlife neighbours, including whales, dolphins, otters and sea eagles.

Make sure you book your accommodation in advance along the North Coast 500 as some places can book up quickly.

Fife Coastal route

Fife Coastal path

The Fife Coastal Route stretches for 117 miles, and features stunning views of the Forth Bridges as you drive along the sparkling coastline.

Pass rolling farmland, picturesque seaside spots and beautiful beaches on the way.

Starting in Kincardine, pass through Burntisland, St Monans and St Andrews, to name a few, all the way to Newburgh. Stop at places such as Leven Beach, Largo Beach and Shell Bay to dip your toes in the water and wander along the coastline, soaking in the warm summer weather.

Unusual place to stay:
Near St Andrews, why not experience what life was like as a prince or princess? Dairsie Castle is a unique self-catering property that is perfect for a family holiday.

Complete with medieval character, interesting artworks and sculptures and six acres of glorious grounds, the castle has lived through some fascinating Scottish history, and has even provided shelter to a couple of escapee monarchs over the centuries.

Rest and Be Thankful

Kayaks at Loch Lomond Shores

Start your journey in Edinburgh or Glasgow and venture along the stunning west coast towards the beautiful Loch Lomond (pictured).

Explore the stunning Munros, lochs, forests and strategically placed viewpoints across the national park to see some unforgettable scenery.

Hop back in the car and head towards Oban, taking in the towering Arrochar Alps and the Rest and Be Thankful viewpoint in Glen Croe along the way.

Unusual place to stay:
Only a short drive north of Oban, the relaxed and cosy Creran Chalets offer stunning views across Loch Creran towards Appin.

Take in the breathtaking lochside atmosphere as you escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, complete with scenic surroundings. Keep your eyes peeled for the local wildlife too!

Find out more about the many scenic drives and road trip routes you can experience in Scotland at roadtrips.visitscotland.com

Pin It on Pinterest