Road Trip!

By Jo Phillips

Top 5 road trip routes in Scotland

Scotland is famous for its picturesque scenery, and sometimes staying in one place is just not enough. With over 150 million visits to Scotland from around the world in 2019, this small place sure has a lot to offer. That’s why many tourists choose to experience its true beauty by embarking on a road trip. Here are the top routes the country has to offer, along with some tips for your stay.

The Routes

North Coast 500 – Arguably the most famous of Scotland’s driving routes, this map will take you on a round trip that begins and ends in Inverness – the Highland’s much-beloved capital. This northern route is perfect if you want to experience all the coast has to offer, from sandy beaches to rocky cliff edges, the North Coast 500 has it all! Experts recommend taking your time with this trip and treating it as a full getaway. 

Fife Costal Route – If you’re a lover of the coast, but don’t feel committed to embarking on a lengthy trip, this route will take half the time of the North Coast 500. Beginning in Kincardine and ending in Newburgh, this map will take you through beautiful fishing towns and beaches. This is perfect for road trip rookies!

North East 250 – Similar to the iconic North Coast 500, this route ticks the boxes of big attractions such as Balmoral Castle and famous whisky distilleries, but also will get you closer to nature by passing through glens and farmlands, with the opportunity to explore the Cairngorms National Park. You can also cut through Aberdeen and make a stop in the city as well. This is the best of both worlds!

Isle of Skye – The driving loop on the Isle of Syke is a rare beauty, and will make for stunning natures shots. You can visit the Island via bridge or ferry, and once there you will be welcomed by large hills and enormous sea stacks. Travelling anti-clockwise you can visit Portree’s picturesque harbour, Trotternish Peninsula’s volcanic cliffs, and all the beautiful swimming spots, beaches, and castles in between.

South West Costal – This road trip can really be treated as a retreat. Far away from everything going on, this route will accustom you with nature and leave you feeling rejuvenated. Starting in the town of Dumfries you can visit the Sweetheart Abbey before moving on to the Mull of Galloway Lighthouse, and the Culzean Castle. Although this may be more out the way, there’s still plenty to do!

Your stay in Scotland

Before choosing your desired road trip route, make sure you consult who you are going with as different people are likely to have a different preference. For example, if you have a friend equally as adventurous as you, you may opt for the Isle of Skye or the North Coast as your chosen destination. However, if travelling with small children or the elderly, you’re going to want to pick something that isn’t so long and difficult to navigate – try to remove as much stress as possible.

Whilst on the topic of stress, the best way to ensure a smooth-running trip is to plan a detailed itinerary. This may include planned pitstops for snacks and bathroom breaks right down to where you will be staying overnight. Pre-made healthy snacks which are also high in energy are ideal for long road trips – think nuts, cereal bars, dried fruit, olives, and the odd bit of chocolate for good measure!

As far as accommodation is concerned, there’s no need to break the bank! There are a number of holiday homes around the whole of Scotland which you can easily hire online – whether you prefer a static caravan or a wooden lodge – the choice is yours.

With the correct planning and attention to detail, you can create the perfect retreat without needing to board a boat or plane! Happy road-tripping!

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