While Scotland might be classed as a pint-sized country, it packs a surprising lot in within its borders. It’s home to picture-postcard after picture-postcard of the world’s finest scenery, stunning towns and cities as well as a long list of historic monuments. Seeing all the best in one trip is at the very least something of a challenge. But a good way to take in the top highlights is to go on a Scottish road trip.
Whether you take the high road or the low, seeing this bonnie land from behind the wheel makes for a great holiday. We’ve put together a list of 10 compelling reasons why seeing Scotland from the road is an absolute must.
You take it all in
As we’ve said, there’s plenty to see in Scotland. So much in fact that it’s difficult to do the country justice unless you spend a long time there or get in your car. A road trip gives you the chance to take in as much as possible of the landscape, natural and manmade. You can even take a trip round the entire country. And the good news is that even a round-trip is do-able in around two weeks.
You have 13 Scottish road trips to choose from
Whatever your preferences – highlands, coastal cliffs, sandy bays, film locations, wild nature, riverscapes… – there’s a Scottish road trip for you. 13 of them in fact, all showcasing the best in their area and taking in the highlights on the way. And best of all, Visit Scotland has a comprehensive guide to each.
- Angus Coastal Route
- Argyll Coastal Route
- Border Historic Route
- Clyde Valley Tourist Route
- Deeside Tourist Route
- Fife Coastal Route
- Forth Valley Tourist Route
- Galloway Tourist Route
- Highland Tourist Route
- Moray Firth Route
- North & West Highland Route
- North Coast 500
- Perthshire Tourist Route
You discover something for everyone
Which one of the 13 Scottish road trips you decide to do is entirely up to you. You get to choose when and where you go. Fancy a day trip drive? Then the 38-mile long Clyde Valley Tourist Route fits the bill perfectly. Want to be on the road for longer? Then go for the Argyll Coastal Route with its 129 miles. Want to go further? Then the North Coast 500 is the longest of Scotland’s best drives. And yes, that’s all 500 miles of it.
You see all the water
As well as mighty Munros and wild moorlands, Scotland is also a land of water. Whether it’s the ocean – Atlantic or the North Sea – coastal inlets, fast-flowing rivers or the 31,000+ lochs, you’re never far from a stretch of water. A road trip offers the best way to really appreciate the water. Take a drive along the east coast, up the Forth of Firth, around Loch Ness or pop over to one of the islands for water on all four sides of the wheels.
You enjoy the peace and quiet
Scotland has its fair share of busy cities – Glasgow and Edinburgh are the fourth and seventh largest cities in the UK respectively. Scotland also has some pretty crowded roads, but most of all, it’s about peace and quiet. And how better to enjoy the serenity than on one of the designated Scottish road trips. Designed to take you off the beaten track and discover the essence of tranquillity, driving holidays in Scotland can be blissful.
You do as you wish
Not only do you get to choose which Scottish road trip you go on, you say when you go on it. When you set off in the morning. Where to stop off. Which hidden corners you explore. Where you break for morning coffee, lunch, afternoon tea, pre-dinner drinks… In short, a road trip is yours for the making. But don’t expect the choosing to be easy – Scotland comes with lots of the best so decisions can be tough.
You don’t mind the weather
Lets face it – Scottish weather is very unpredictable. If you’re out hiking or climbing bad weather can be a problem. Get inside a car, however, and it’s a different story. You can take a Scottish road trip whatever the time of year and no matter the weather.
You catch up with everyone
Even if you’ve gone for the shortest route, a road trip means spending time with the same people. And what a great opportunity to catch up with your nearest and dearest. Time to chat, re-bond, reminisce, compare notes on great playlists, play I spy with the kids… And all as you take in the glorious landscape.
You make memories
Holidays are all about making memories and there’s something about being on the road that creates extra special ones. Chances are that everyone in the car will look back on your Scottish driving adventure and feel so nostalgic they’ll want to do it all over again.
You find a great base
Whichever Scottish road trip you choose, you’ll need a base for you and your car companions to stay in. This is where we come in – check out our selection of great places to stay in Scotland. And like the drive, they’re all so memorable you’ll be coming back for more!
Look out for our dedicated posts on every single one of the 13 official Scottish road trips. We look at each one in detail and highlight the must-sees and must-dos along the way.
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