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Can’t-miss scenic drives across Scotland

by October 24, 2013 4 Comments

Whether you want to explore the majestic mountains of the north, rolling valleys, the rugged Atlantic coastlines, or romantic islands, a drive through Scotland’s landscapes offers scenery as diverse as it gets.

So what are you waiting for? Prep the GPS system, grab some roadside picnic goodies and jump in the car – your great Scottish road trips start here! Roll down that car window to experience a feast for the eyes, and with the right company and a perfect playlist, you’re guaranteed scenic drives that you’ll be talking about for loooong time to come.

This is by no means a complete guide to Scotland’s best driving routes – there are simply too many! But no matter which one you choose, you’ll have plenty of that jaw-dropping ‘WOW’ sights and ‘this is THE MOST beautiful’ moments along the way.

1.  Rest and Be Thankful pass on the A83

Drive across the Arrochar Alps in Glen Croe to the Rest and Be Thankful pass where you can pull off to the roadside bay viewpoint and picnic area to stretch your legs and soak up some stunning vistas.

Rest and Be Thankful

2. Traigh Sheileboist at Seilebost

Admire the breathtaking seascape at Traigh Seilebost on the Isle of Harris’s western coast in the Outer Hebrides. The seemingly endless white sands of Luskentyre with crystal clear waters and a stunning backdrop of machair is a truly breathtaking view.

Isle of Harris

3. Glencoe to Fort William

No road trip through Scotland is complete without driving along the magical road through Glencoe to Fort William. Situated on the main route north through the Highlands, the description ‘spectacular’ doesn’t really merit the beauty of Glencoe.


4. Edinburgh to St Andrews

Drive across the stupendous Forth Road Bridge to Fife and follow the scenic coastal route around the East Neuk. Call at some of the enchanting fishing villages, e.g. Anstruther, Elie or Pittenween before you reach St Andrews, The Home of Golf.

Forth Road Bridge

Check out the below video of a drive along the road to Applecross recorded by a biker (YouTube nickname snazbaz) using his on-helmet digital camera. If this doesn’t inspire you to explore the country, then what will?

Why not tell us what fuels your travel destination choices? We’ll help you choose a drive that will get your motor running!

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Aldona Krzemien

Content Editor at VisitScotland
Originally from Poland, she's now based in Edinburgh and can't imagine life without four things: travels, photography, fishing for antiques and haggis!


  • Shirley Johnston

    Just love my native scotland. It has some of the best beaches in britain. Lewis,harris,the uists and berneray are some of my favourite places. Really is god’s country !

  • Neutral909

    Hmmm, I guess favourite road trips partly come down to the ones that have the best memories as well as scenery but I wouldn’t have 2 of these in my favourite drives in Scotland. I have done 3 of the 4 journeys (Isle of Harris being the exception) in my short life of car driving and I would have to say that although the Forth Road Bridge itself, St Andrews and some of the small villages like you have mentioned, plus Crail, are nice the actual east Fife coastal road is horrendous, still passes through some right shabby towns and feels like a right drag (never again!). The Rest and be Thankful is another one that I enjoyed but didn’t really captivate me like some other drives I have embarked on have.

    Personally, the Isle of Skye from Fort William is a mountainous route I hold in much higher esteem than The Rest and Be Thankful and the same can be said of the journey up the A9 past Inverness toward Thurso as a nicer coastal route than the East Fife tourist route. The Dukes Pass and some of the roads in the Cairngorms also rate highly in my list of scenic drives.

  • Tim Auger

    Cairn o’ Mount – go there in daylight then go back after dark and prepare to have your breath taken away

  • Windy Miller

    Yes enjoy the scenery as soon as you can please, it won’t be like that for much longer as Alex Salmond is covering the Highlands of Scotland with Windfarms.

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