Scotland’s most scenic driving routes

If you’re looking for top scenic drives in Scotland for touring by car, these driving routes will take you through some of the country's most awe-inspiring landscapes, and you'll find plenty of fantastic attractions and charming towns and villages to visit along the way.

Each route varies in length and offers a scenic alternative to main trunk roads and motorways - ideal for a self-drive tour of Scotland. These driving tour routes are easy to follow and well signposted - simply look out for the distinctive brown and white signs.

Don't forget … all these scenic routes can also be done in reverse!

  1. Moray Firth route Inverness to Loch Fleet

    Covesea Lighthouse on the Moray Coast Trail

    © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

    On the Moray Firth Route, journey through the north east corner of the Highlands on this scenic semi-circle from Inverness around the Beauly, Cromarty and Dornoch firths.

    • Length of the route: 80 miles (128 km)
    • Start and finish: Inverness/The Mound on Loch Fleet
    • Time to drive: 1 hour 50 minutes
  2. Deeside tourist route Perth to Aberdeen

    Cyclists on the Deeside Way, Ballater

    On the Deeside Tourist Route, travel along Britain's highest main road - the A93 - from Perth, via the Cairngorms National Park, to Aberdeen.

    • Length of the route: 108 miles (174 km)
    • Start and finish: Perth/Aberdeen
    • Time to drive: 2 hours 55 minutes
  3. Angus Coastal Route Dundee to Aberdeen

    The beach at Lunan Bay

    © VisitScotland / Paul Tomkins

    Stretching from Dundee to Aberdeen, the Angus Coastal Route takes in the spectacular coastline and countryside of the east of Scotland.

    • Length of the route: 68 miles (103 km)
    • Start and finish: Dundee/Aberdeen
    • Time to drive: 1 hour 40 minutes
  4. The Snow Roads scenic route Blairgowrie to Grantown-on-Spey

    The Watchers in the Cairngorms National Park

    © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

    Admire the drama of The Snow Roads Scenic Route through  the eastern portion of the Cairngorms National Park. It gets its name by traversing the highest public roads in Britain which are the first to close due to snowfall.  

    • Length of the route: 90 miles (144.8 km)
    • Start and finish: Blairgowrie/Grantown-on-Spey
    • Time to drive: 3 hours
  5. Argyll coastal route Tarbert to Fort William

    Ardkinglas Woodland Garden on Loch Fyne

    © VisitScotland / Stuart Brunton

    Absorb stunning mountain landscapes and glittering loch views as you travel through the majestic west coast of Scotland on a scenic drive through the Argyll Coastal Route.

    • Length of the route: 129 miles (208 km)
    • Start and finish: Tarbet/Fort William
    • Time to drive: 2 hours 55 minutes
  6. Borders historic route Carlisle to Edinburgh

    Melrose Abbey

    © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

    Discover the lush scenery of the Scottish Borders on this historic route through the south of Scotland.

    • Length of the route: 89 miles (143 km)
    • Start and finish: Carlisle/Edinburgh
    • Time to drive: 2 hours 20 minutes
  7. Galloway tourist route Gretna to Ayr

    The Mull of Galloway, Wigtownshire, Dumfries and Galloway

    © VisitScotland / Visit South West Scotland / Damian Shields

    Stretching from Gretna to Ayr in south west Scotland, the Galloway Tourist Route weaves through the picturesque landscapes that inspired Robert Burns.

    • Length of the route: 92 miles (148 km)
    • Start and finish: Gretna/Ayr
    • Time to drive: 2 hours 10 minutes
  8. The South West Coastal 300 South west

    Culzean Castle and Country Park

    © Barry Dawson / Ayrshire & Arran Tourism Group

    The South West Coastal 300 is a wonderfully scenic route around one of Scotland's most picturesque coasts. If you want stunning scenery, pristine coastline and plenty of things to see and do, this is the road trip for you.

    • Length of route: 300 miles (482.8 km)
    • Start and finish: Ayr
    • Time to drive: 5-6 hours
  9. Fife coastal route Kincardine to Newport

    West Sands, St Andrews

    Enjoy views of the impressive Forth bridges as you drive along sparkling coastline on the Fife Coastal Route. You'll pass rolling farmland, picturesque seaside towns and beautiful beaches.

    • Length of the route: 77 miles (124 km)
    • Start and finish: Kincardine/Newport on Tay
    • Time to drive: 2 hours 10 minutes
  10. Highland tourist route Aberdeen to Inverness

    Cawdor Castle and Gardens

    © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

    If you're looking for more good places to drive in Scotland, follow the Highland Tourist Route through the heart of the Highlands, passing through the rugged landscapes of the Cairngorms National Park and charming Highland towns.

    • Length of the route: 116 miles (187 km)
    • Start and finish: Aberdeen/Inverness
    • Time to drive: 2 hours 50 minutes
  11. Clyde Valley tourist route Abington to Hamilton

    Falls of Clyde Wildlife Reserve

    Follow the River Clyde on the Clyde Valley Tourist Route through lush farmland and rolling hills as you journey to the bustling town of Hamilton, close to Glasgow.

    • Length of the route: 38 miles (61 km)
    • Start and finish: Abington/Hamilton
    • Time to drive: 30 minutes
  12. North and west Highland route Ullapool to John o'Groats


    © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

    You'll travel through some of the most magnificent scenery in Europe on the North and West Highland Route - wild mountains and lochs, foaming salmon rivers, rugged coastlines with mighty sea cliffs and secluded sandy bays.

    • Length of the route: 158 miles (254 km)
    • Start and finish: Ullapool/John o’Groats
    • Time to drive: 3 hours 45 minutes
  13. Forth Valley tourist route Edinburgh to Stirling

    The Kelpies in Helix Park

    © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

    The Forth Valley Tourist Route makes for a brilliant day out discovering some of Scotland's top attractions and historic towns.

    • Length of the route: 43 miles (69 km)
    • Start and finish: Edinburgh/Stirling
    • Time to drive: 1 hour 30 minutes
  14. Perthshire tourist route Greenloaning to Ballinluig

    Den of Alyth, Perthshire

    © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

    Enjoy views of lush, cultivated landscapes followed by the rugged splendour of the Sma' Glen, Aberfeldy and Grandtully on the Perthshire Tourist Route.

    • Length of the route: 43 miles (69 km)
    • Start and finish: Greenloaning/Ballinluig
    • Time to drive: 1 hour 15 minutes
  15. North Coast 500 North coast

    Driving the Bealach na Ba

    © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

    Widely regarded as one of the best driving roads in Scotland, the North Coast 500 route offers the ultimate Highlands road trip experience.

    • Length of the route: 500 miles (805 km)
    • Start and finish: Inverness
    • Time to drive: 13 hours 35 minutes (note: this is without stopping. We recommend taking several days to complete the NC500)

Planning your trip

Please remember to plan your trip in advance. It is crucial for the wellbeing of Scotland's landscapes, as well as for local residents and businesses, that the areas around these routes are respected and looked after properly.

 A few things to keep in mind:

  • Take all litter, waste and rubbish away with you to dispose of correctly.
  • Book your accommodation in advance; don't park or stay outwith designated camping/caravan areas.
  • Follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code to ensure the landscape is left how you found it.

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