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4 incredibly scenic weekend road trips in Scotland

LOOKING OVER THE CALM WATERS OF LOCH FYNE TO INVERARAY- A SMALL TOWN AND FISHING PORT ON THE WEST SHORE OF THE LOCH, ARGYLL & BUTEInveraray, Loch Fyne

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? Whether you love cruising in your vintage camper, exploring the land in your trusty run-around or zooming across the country on your motorbike, in Scotland the journey can be just as enjoyable as the destination itself.

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

Highland CowHighland cow © Neil McIntyre

Glasgow to Oban

Flee the city to the west coast for a weekend. Travelling north west from Glasgow along the A82, your first stop has got to be Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, where you’ll find an enchanting myriad of 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 Mòr at 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 Mull, Iona, Staffa, Tiree and many more.

The Quiraing, Isle of SkyeThe Quirang, Isle of Skye

Over the sea to 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 Quirang mountain range.

When you’re in the south of Skye, don’t forget to park the car for a refreshing dip in the mystical Fairy Pools!

A fibreglass replica whale bone located on North Berwick Law.North Berwick Law

Edinburgh to North Berwick

Travel from Edinburgh via the daring and delightful towns of East Lothian, for a weekend by the coast. This drive is ideal for those who 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 a 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.

NairnNairn Beach

Inverness to Moray Speyside

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.

A CAR ON A SINGLE TRACK ROAD NEAR THE 'REST AND BE THANKFUL' PASS ARGYLL. BEINN AN LOCHAN IN DISTANCE.The road at Rest and Be Thankful

Check out more of Scotland’s driving routes and road trips and read some of our tips on driving in Scotland. We’ve also got a lot more ideas for short breaks. Or, how about tackling the mighty North Coast 500? This long distance route travels 500 miles around the northerly tip of Scotland, starting and finishing in Inverness.

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

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Annierose Knox

Originally from Castle Douglas, Annierose's favourite things include being by the seaside, road trips, jogging around Edinburgh, taking pictures and exploring the rest of Scotland.

Comments

  • 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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