Scotland's 12 National Tourist Routes are perfect for planning a road trip in Scotland. These 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. They're easy to follow and well signposted - simply look out for the distinctive brown and white signs.

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

Angus Coastal Route  

St Cyrus NNR

Discover the spectacular coastline and fertile countryside of the east of Scotland. Enjoy views of picturesque seaside resorts and the scenic splendour of the Angus Glens and the Grampian Mountains.

Start: Dundee

Finish: Aberdeen

Length: 68 miles (103 km)

Nearby towns: Broughty Ferry, Monifieth, Carnoustie, Arbroath, Montrose, Inverbervie

Nearby attractions: Carnoustie Golf Course, Lunan Bay, House of Dun, St Cyrus National Nature Reserve, Dunnottar Castle

Argyll Coastal Route  

Rest and Be Thankful

Absorb stunning mountain landscapes and glittering loch views as you travel through the majestic west coast scenery of Argyll. Look out for the famous Rest and Be Thankful viewpoint, fine views across the Firth of Lorn to the Inner Hebrides, the towering peaks of Ben Nevis and the Outdoor Capital of the UK, Fort William.

Start: Tarbet

Finish: Fort William

Length: 129 miles (208 km)

Nearby towns: Inveraray, Lochgilphead, Oban

Nearby attractions: Loch Lomond, the Rest and Be Thankful viewpoint, Loch Fyne, Crinan Canal, Connel Bridge, Ben Nevis

Borders Historic Route 

Abbotsford House garden exterior

Discover the lush scenery of the Scottish Borders on this historic route through the south of Scotland. Take in the peaceful countryside that inspired Sir Walter Scott's romantic novels, discover the unique Border textiles that are produced in the area and buy tasty treats and Scottish crafts in nearby towns.

Start: Carlisle

Finish: Edinburgh

Length: 89 miles (143 km)

Nearby towns: Langholm, Hawick, Selkirk, Galashiels, Newtongrange

Nearby attractions: Scots Dyke, Borders Textile Towerhouse, Abbotsford House, National Mining Museum Scotland

Clyde Valley Tourist Route

Strathclyde Country Park Dinghy

Follow the River Clyde through lush farmland and rolling hills as you journey up through the south of Scotland to the bustling town of Hamilton, close to Glasgow.

Start: Abington

Finish: Hamilton

Length: 38 miles (61 km)

Nearby towns: Biggar, Lanark, New Lanark, Blantyre

Nearby attractions: River Clyde, New Lanark World Heritage Site, Chatelherault Country Park, Strathclyde Country Park, David Livingstone Centre

Deeside Tourist Route

Ballater River Dee aerial

Travel along Britain's highest main road - the A93 - from the Fair City of Perth, via the Cairngorms National Park, to Aberdeen, the Granite City. Take in views of soft fruit fields near Blairgowrie, majestic mountains in the Cairngorms and the lush splendour of Royal Deeside.

Start: Perth

Finish: Aberdeen

Length: 108 miles (174 km)

Nearby towns: Scone, Blairgowrie, Braemar, Ballater, Aboyne, Banchory

Nearby attractions: Scone Palace, Glenshee Ski Centre, Balmoral Castle, Royal Lochnagar Distillery, Deeside Activity Park, Drum Castle

Fife Coastal Route

Fife aerial coast village

Enjoy views of the impressive Forth bridges as you drive along Fife's sparkling coastline. On route you'll pass rolling farmland, picturesque seaside towns, and beautiful beaches. Why not finish your trip by crossing the Tay Bridge into Dundee and enjoy the many attractions in this fantastic city?

Start: Kincardine

Finish: Newport on Tay

Length: 77 miles (124 km)

Nearby towns: Dunfermline, Dalgety Bay, Elie, Anstruther, St Andrews

Nearby attractions: Royal Burgh of Culross, Deep Sea World, Dunfermline Abbey, Aberdour Silversands beach, Kingsbarns Distillery, Old Course at St Andrews

Forth Valley Tourist Route

Blue skies over The Falkirk Wheel

Take in views of rolling hills and sprawling farmland on this route through central Scotland. Explore the historic towns you pass through and discover their fantastic attractions.

Start: Edinburgh

Finish: Stirling

Length: 43 miles (69 km)

Nearby towns: South Queensferry, Linlithgow, Bo'ness, Grangemouth, Falkirk

Nearby attractions: Forth bridges, Hopetoun House, Linlithgow Palace, Bo'ness and Kinneil Steam Railway, The Falkirk Wheel, The Kelpies at Helix Park, The Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre

Galloway Tourist Route

Burns Birthplace Museum and statue

Explore the land that inspired Scotland's National Bard, Robert Burns, on this route through the south west of Scotland. Look out for Burns attractions in Dumfries and Alloway in Ayrshire and take in the beauty of the Galloway Forest Park.

Start: Gretna

Finish: Ayr

Length: 92 miles (148 km)

Nearby towns: Dumfries, Dalbeattie, Castle Douglas, Carsphairn, Dalmellington, Alloway

Nearby attractions:  Gretna Green Famous Blacksmiths Shop, Burns House Museum, Threave Gardens, Threave Castle, Galloway Forest Park, Robert Burns Birthplace Museum

Highland Tourist Route

Culloden Battlefield sunset

Travel through the heart of the Highlands as you journey from Aberdeen on Scotland's east coast, past majestic mountains in the Cairngorms National Park, and on to the Highland Capital of Inverness.

Start: Aberdeen

Finish: Inverness

Length: 116 miles (187 km)

Nearby towns: Alford, Strathdon, Tomintoul, Grantown-on-Spey, Cawdor

Nearby attractions: Grampian Transport Museum, The Lecht Ski Centre, Glenlivet Distillery, Cawdor Castle, Culloden Battlefield

Moray Firth Route

Jumping Atlantic Salmon

Explore the north east corner of the Highlands on this scenic semi-circle from Inverness around the Beauly, Cromarty and Dornoch firths. Along the way, stop off to take in majestic views of the Dornoch Firth at the Struie viewpoint, Ardgay, or see salmon leaping at the Falls of Shin.

Start: Inverness

Finish: The Mound on Loch Fleet (north of Dornoch)

Length: 80 miles (128 km)

Nearby towns: Beauly, Muir of Ord, Dingwall, Alness, Bonar Bridge, Lairg

Nearby attractions: Beauly Priory, Glen Ord Distillery, Storehouse of Foulis, Fyrish monument, Struie viewpoint, The Falls of Shin, Ferrycroft visitor centre 

North and West Highlands Route

Balnakeil Beach

Explore Scotland's stunning north west and north coast and visit John o' Groats, located at the northernmost tip of the British mainland. You'll travel through some of the most magnificent scenery in Europe - wild mountains and lochs, foaming salmon rivers, rugged coastlines with mighty sea cliffs and secluded sandy bays.

Start: Ullapool

Finish: John o' Groats

Length: 158 miles (254 km)

Nearby towns: Ardmair, Strathcanaird, Ledmore, Scourie, Durness, Tongue, Thurso

Nearby attractions:  Knockan Crag, the ruins of Calda House and Ardvreck Castle, Durness Golf Club, Cocoa Mountain, Smoo Cave, Strathnaver Museum, Caithness Horizons, Castle of Mey

Perthshire Tourist Route 

Drummond Castle Gardens autumn

Enjoy views of lush, cultivated landscape on the first part of this route, through the heart of Scotland. Watch as the scenery changes dramatically, giving way to the rugged splendour of the Sma' Glen, located north of Crieff, where scree, rocks and heather covered slopes tower up on both sides.

Start: Greenloaning

Finish: Ballinluig

Length: 43 miles (69 km)

Nearby towns: Braco, Crieff, Aberfeldy, Grandtully

Nearby attractions:  Muthill Golf Club, Bennybeg Garden Centre, Crieff Hydro, Crieff Golf Course, Drummond Castle Gardens, Splash White Water Rafting, Dewar's Aberfeldy Distillery, Iain Burnett The Highland Chocolatier

Find out more on the National Tourist Routes.