You’ve likely heard of the drive to Applecross, as it is considered one of the most scenic drives in Scotland – with good reason, the views are breathtaking. This drive begins just before the western bridge to the magical Isle of Skye (and we highly recommend a few days on the island beforehand).
However, for this road trip you will be turning north to Achmore and hug the shores of Loch Carron all the way around. Then, you’ll embark on a series of hairpin bends up to Applecross. This last section is known as Bealach na Ba, and with those bends and 20% gradients, it’s pretty hair-raising!
Distance: 35 Miles
Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes
When you think of the best Scotland road trips, you’re likely thinking of an adventure deep in the Highlands, but the Lowlands has its fair share of treasures and you can see a huge swathe of them on this route.
It follows Ayrshire’s rugged coastline, through the fishing villages of Dumfries and Galloway, and up and around the region’s extraordinary biosphere. Expect sunsets over the sea, stately castles, ancient forests and historic towns on this scenic drive in the south.
Distance: 300 Miles
Time: 4 Days
One of the best things about this route is that it’s perfect for day trippers. Setting out from Edinburgh will take you across the impressive Forth Road Bridge into the Kingdom of Fife.
The key is to stick to the coast, which will lead you to the East Neuk of Fife, a region that is replete with golden sand beaches and lots of pretty seaside villages, like Elie and Anstruther. Once you’re at St. Andrew’s, you can see the famous Old Course, tour the old cathedral, and stroll through this gorgeous university town filled with restaurants, bars, and shops.
Distance: 64 Miles
Time: 2 Hours
The contrast of driving out from Glasgow’s busy streets to the wilds of Glencoe is truly extraordinary, not least because you’ll pass the glittering shores of Loch Lomond before you get there.
Glencoe is rightfully one of the most celebrated spots in Scotland, as the village offers access to views of Buachaille Etive Mor and Loch Leven. The drive up also affords you the chance to see the landscape change from the gentler hills of the Lowlands to the majestic might of the Highlands. This is one drive that’s not to be missed.
Distance: 92 Miles
Time: 2 Hours 15 Minutes
Well, we made space for the South West Coastal 300, it seemed only right to offer up its counterpoint. The North East 250 is probably the least well known drive on our list, but that’s what makes it so darn exciting.
This route loops through Speyside, the Cairngorms, Royal Deeside and takes in a good deal of the eastern coastline to boot. Best of all, it encompasses the Malt Whisky Trail, and for anyone that is a fan of Scotch whisky, you’ll be delighted to learn you’ll be passing through some of the most famous distilleries in the world. Beyond the charms of places like the Glenlivet Estate is the rugged beauty of Scotland’s largest national park, the Cairngorms, and even a famous castle or two – psst, it’s Balmoral.
Distance: 250 Miles
Time: 3 Days