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Quirky ways to see Scotland in style

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Ard Neakie on Loch Eriboll, between Durness and Tongue, Highlands © Richard Elliot/VisitScotland

Every seasoned traveller knows that a regular journey can quickly become an adventure of a lifetime. And in Scotland, travelling to your final destination can be the biggest thrill of all.

Here are a few quirky ways to get around Scotland. Which one will you choose?

On dry land

From bumpy rides off-the-beaten track to pootling down peaceful country paths, road trips always have one essential ingredient – the right set of wheels.

Motorbike

© Detlev Louis Motorrad-Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH

For motorcycle-mad explorers, the mere prospect of a two-wheeled journey is enough to start the adrenaline pumping. So imagine the feeling of zooming past mind-blowing Scottish scenery with the wind in your hair. Unbeatable!

Where can I go? The North Coast 500 is an absolute must for any avid motorcyclist. Or, discover more epic road trips.

Campervan

‘Skooby’ the campervan on Traigh na Beirigh, Uig, Isle of Lewis © Simon Carr

To the clever person who invented the concept of the campervan – we applaud you. Enjoy all of the comforts of home whilst hitting the road, and just worry about having some classic good times. Park up and wake up to the views.

Where can I go? Start planning a caravan and camping holiday.

4×4

Bealach na Ba – The Road to Applecross, looking towards Applecross Bay, Highlands

It’s true: Land Rovers and 4×4 vehicles might not offer the smoothest ride, but they are the ultimate adventure vehicle. For generations, these cars have allowed us to discover the remotest countryside landscapes, no matter how many twists, turns and muddy moments are encountered along the way.

Where can I go? Find off-road driving experiences.

Electric car

Tesla (Model 3) driving at Elgol on the Isle of Skye © Whitecar

Why not explore the landscape without leaving a trace on our beautiful environment. For those of us conscious of our carbon footprint, you can also hire an electric car. With several new charging points installed across Scotland, including at the Macdonald Aviemore Resort, charging up your ride is easy peasy– it happens while you sleep, eat, or are out and about enjoying the landscape.

Where can I go? Take a Tesla for a spin with rentals from Whitecar.


Up in the air

Swap the open road for the open air, and take in the views from a higher vantage point.

Helicopter

Flying over Knoydart, Highlands © Michael Turek

Soar over engineering marvels, iconic cities and mystical valleys and glens from the comfort of your very own helicopter. Have you always wanted to be a pilot? You can even have a go at flying one yourself.

Where can I try it? Find helicopter experiences in Scotland.

Seaplane

The Loch Lomond Seaplane

Here’s another handy (and awesome) way to get from A to B. Sit back and relax aboard the Loch Lomond Seaplane, which takes off and lands on the glistening waters of Loch Lomond.

Where can I try it? Discover all seaplane tours on offer, including the incredible West Coast Explorer.

Mountain gondola

The Mountain Gondola at the Nevis Range, Fort William

Take in the sights aboard the Nevis Range mountain gondola and drift effortlessly along the north face of the Aonach Mor, and enjoy awe-inspiring views of the Great Glen and Ben Nevis, and sometimes even the Inner Hebrides on clear days.

Where can I try it? Take the 12 – 15 minute gondola ride at the Nevis Range, near Fort William. Or, why not go downhill instead with snowsports during the winter season?

Microlight

East of Scotland Microlights, East Fortune, East Lothian © Graeme Ritchie

Microlights are small lightweight, two-passenger aeroplanes. Soar through the air and get a bird’s eye view of Scotland, as well as an unrivalled sense of freedom. For those with a head for heights and a thirst for adventure, microlighting might become your new favourite hobby.

Where can I try it? Get training from specialist schools, including East of Scotland Microlights in East Fortune.


From the water

From coastal seascapes to lovely lochs, you’re never far away from water in Scotland. So you might as well find your sea legs.

Yacht

Dinghy sailing off Cumbrae, with views towards Largs © Ayrshire & Arran Tourism

Whether you’re a skilled sailor or you don’t know your port from your starboard, a sailing trip can be an idyllic way to escape the stresses of modern life. With sailing schools located across the country, master the basics on calm lochs, or confident sea dogs can set sail for a nautical adventure out at sea.

Next voyage: Set sail and embark on our 7 day sailing itinerary along the west coast.

Sea kayak

Sea kayaking in Argyll © Seafreedom Kayak

No sails or wind required for this one – take to the seas inside a sea kayak. Sitting comfortably and travelling at your own pace, make friends with local marine life and paddle wherever you like. There will be many coastal discoveries afoot, from the secrets of sheltered bays to the choppy challenges of the open ocean.

Next voyage: Book an exhilarating break with Wilderness Scotland and spend a few days mastering the skills.

Paddleboard

Loch Insh, Cairngorms National Park

The trendier cousin of sea kayaking, this ingenious sport originates from the beaches of Hawaii. Explore the lengths and breadths of our calm lochs or coasts and take a paddle tour to visit some of the more far-flung isles.

Next voyage: Rent a board or have a lesson at Loch Insh Watersports, near Aviemore.

Get moving with more tours and road trips around Scotland.