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6 of the best driving routes in Scotland

Written by Fiona

March 13 2020

Scotland has spectacular scenery, from rolling hills, to dramatic mountains, to fantastic beaches, coasts and lochs and forests. Travelling by car you can enjoy the landscape and views, stopping where you fancy for a walk or a bike ride to fully immerse yourself.

But where should you head to for the best driving routes in Scotland?

6 of the best Scottish driving routes

The A82 runs through beautiful Glencoe.

Glasgow to Fort William

The A82 from Glasgow to Fort Willian boats many fabulous views starting with great vistas over Loch Lomond and towards the mountain of Ben Lomond.

The west shore of the loch, where the A82 hugs the shore, is long and winding so you should plan to take you time. In any case, you will want to pull over into laybys a number of times to enjoy the best of the views.

Heading north, you’ll travel through the moorlands of Rannoch and then on to the stunning mountain valley of Glencoe. The road winds through the base of the glen with truly breath-taking vistas of high mountains on either side.

Fort William is an outdoors town north of Glencoe and located on the west coast, so you’ll be treated to sea views as well.

Top tip: Don’t rush your journeys. Scotland’s roads are not big enough for high speed driving and it is better to go slower and enjoy the views than becoming stressed over your speed.

Anstruther on the Fife coast.

Edinburgh to St Andrews

This drive will take you across the Forth Road Bridge to the Kingdom of Fife, where you can follow the east coast road through an area known as the East Neuk.

A string of pretty fishing villages, including Anstruther, Elie and Pittenween, offer lovely stops for a walk, before arriving at St Andrews and The Home of Golf.

Top tip: If you are setting off on a driving tour, shorter or linger you could save time and money with www.icompario.com.

Glenfinnan.

The Road to the Isles

Starting at the base of Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, in Fort William, this drive takes you to the port town of Mallaig.

This route heads through Glenfinnan, where Bonnie Prince Charlie famously raised his standard in 1745, and on to the shores of Loch Morar abefore reaching remote Camusdarach beach between Arisaig and Morar.

Look out for the Jacobite steam train on the rail line between Fort William and Mallaig during the summer.

Arrochar.

Rest and Be Thankful

This is a famous pass between mountains in Argyll & Bute on the A83. It takes drivers across the Arrochar Alps in Glen Croe to the Rest and Be Thankful pass.

There’s a roadside viewpoint that allows you to fully take in the stunning views.

Top tip: Pack a picnic and a flaks of coffee to enjoy eating a lunch outside at a viewpoint

Luskentyre beach, Harris.

West coast on Isle of Harris

The A859 that departs the ferry terminal on the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides is a wonderful route.

Around almost every corner you’ll discover sublime white beaches and turquoise seas.

The white sands of Luskentyre are most famous here but there are plenty of other beautiful bays and beaches, too. Many beaches are edged by a carpet of flowery machair.

Road to Applecross, Sutherland

The Applecross in the far north west of Scotland is also known as the Bealach Na Bà. It is an Alpine-style pass that zig-zags 11 miles from sea level almost to 300ft, then back down again to the coastal village of Applecross.

Longer driving tours in Scotland: Consider the North Coast 500, North East 250, South West Coastal 300 and the new Heart 200.

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