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5 Beautiful Weekend Road Trips in Scotland

There’s no doubt about it, Scotland is an awesome place to go for a drive. Endless long hills leading up to panoramic vistas, gentle winding roads through the quiet countryside and routes where you might not pass another car for miles (although perhaps the occasional wandering sheep) – what more could you possibly wish for on a road trip in Scotland?

No time? No worries. We’ve picked a few short road trips in Scotland that can be done over a long weekend or just a couple of days, depending whereabouts in Scotland you’re starting from.

All of these are perfect for 2-day road trips in Scotland (or even longer if you’re lucky enough to have some extra time):

1. Glasgow to Oban

McCaig's Tower above Oban town centre

McCaig’s Tower above Oban town centre

Flee the city and drive from Glasgow for a weekend in the west coast. Travelling north west from Glasgow, along the A82, your first stop has got to be Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, one of the great places to go for a drive from Glasgow. As well as Munros, lochs and forests to explore, the National Park has some beautiful drives of its own, with uniquely designed viewpoints installed throughout the landscape, including the An Ceann Mòrat Inveruglas.

Hop back in the car and continue onwards to Oban, where you’ll pass many beautiful sights along the way; the highest point on the road is called the Rest and Be Thankful, where you can stop to ogle the Instagram-worthy views, say hello to the hairy Highland cattle dotted across the countryside, or have a wee break in the traditional town of Inveraray on the banks of Loch Fyne.

Once you arrive in Oban, many islands are right on your doorstep with regular ferry connections to the Isles of MullIonaStaffaTiree and many more.

2. Aberdeenshire Coastal Trail

Bow Fiddle Rock, Portknockie

Bow Fiddle Rock, Portknockie

If you like a good dose of fresh sea air, the north east of Scotland won’t fail to deliver. Follow the signposted Aberdeenshire Coastal Trail for plenty of coastal wonders, including dramatic cliffs, hidden beaches, fascinating wildlife and quaint harbour towns.

There are lots of wonderful days out to choose from along the route, including a visit to St Cyrus National Nature Reserve and the majestically ruined Dunnottar Castle. North of Aberdeen check out the long stretches of pink sands and rolling dunes at Cruden Bay or travel on to the Moray Coast and stop at Portknockie to see Bow Fiddle Rock, a 50 ft high sea arch which sits just a short distance from the shore.

3. Over the sea to Skye

The Quiraing, Isle of Skye

The Quiraing, Isle of Skye

The Isle of Skye’s intoxicating scenery, with its windswept mountains, sheer cliffs and other-worldly geological features, make the whole island a fabulous driving destination. It doesn’t matter which direction you take, exploring the length and breadth of Skye will be a weekend well spent.

The A855 road loops around the northernmost region of the island – the Trotternish Peninsula – which is framed by the majestic Quiraing mountain range. To the north west lies Dunvegan Castle and beautiful coral beaches, while in the south you can see the spectacular Cuillin mountains and visit Armadale Castle.

Tip! During the peak summer season finding accommodation on Skye can be tricky. Visiting out-with peak times and booking in advance is the best way to get the accommodation you want and you can see the island when it’s quieter.

4. Edinburgh to Dunbar and North Berwick

A fibreglass replica whale bone located on North Berwick Law.

A fibreglass replica whale bone located on North Berwick Law

Drive from Edinburgh for a weekend by the coast. The delightful towns of East Lothian are great places to go for a drive from Edinburgh and are ideal if you love to be beside the seaside, but don’t want to be in the car for too long.

Head to Belhaven Bay for a morning surf lesson with Coast to Coast Surf School, roughly a 40 minute drive from Edinburgh along the A1, then try your hand at some cable wakeboarding at Foxlake Adventures in the nearby town of Dunbar.

Head northwards up the coast to North Berwick, a route which passes picturesque villages and the magnificent Tantallon Castle. Pay a visit to the Scottish Seabird Centre, or see all the exquisite birdlife up close with a boat tour around the Bass Rock. From here, travel back to Edinburgh via the villages of Gullane and Aberlady.

5. Inverness to Moray Speyside

Nairn beach

Nairn beach

This drive will take you right across whisky country, into the peaceful countryside of Aberdeenshire where you’ll cruise past castles, rivers and of course, distilleries. Travelling from Inverness to Nairn, make a stop at Nairn Beach, a pristine white sandy beach ideal for picnics!

From Nairn, keep heading east into the Moray Speyside region, where you can admire the area’s vast history at Brodie Castle in Forres, Spynie Palace and Elgin Cathedral, before sampling some of the local larder – the area is famed for its seafood as well as its single malts and craft beers.

From here, you’re also on the cusp of the Cairngorms National Park, if you’re looking to inject a little adrenaline into your weekend adventure. Why not head south and explore the magnificent mountains, perfect for mountain biking in the summer, and snowsports in the winter?

More driving route inspiration

Check out more of Scotland’s driving routes and road trips and head to the iKnow Community for more advice, including Lochgmarcp’s post on awesome Scottish drives and FunkyEllas_Travel’s three day trip to Lochaber.

Before you set off, be sure to read our FAQs on driving in Scotland.

As always, don’t forget to share the pictures from your road trips with us using the hashtag #VisitScotland



  • Katie

    Thank you so much for this website!! We are getting ready for a big road trip in Scotland and everything here has been so helpful. We are so excited!!

    • Thanks Katie 🙂 That’s very exciting indeed! Have a wonderful time 🙂

    • Enid Cruickshank

      I hope you stop off in the Borders, M1 then cross the Border by the A68 come down the valley to the first of the four Border Abbeys in Jedburgh – and if you manage to get to Edinburgh after that you’ve missed swathes of beautiful country full of castles, fantastic big houses and history that Visit Scotland never tells you about

  • Siobhan Liddington

    Don’t miss out on Ayrshire’s coastal route from Skelmorlie to Ballantrae. There are points where the road hugs the coast and you have amazing views across to the iconic Ailsa Craig, Isle of Arran and to the Mull of Kintyre. There are some great places to stop along the way for something to eat as well. have fun!

    • Thanks for your comment, Sioban 🙂 A brilliant suggestion, we’ll keep it in mind for future road trip inspiration 🙂 – Annierose

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