Top 8 Scotland Road Trips
Pack your camping gear into the boot of your car and set off on one of Scotland’s iconic road trips. Drive past overgrown valleys, towering mountains and rugged coastline as you follow the trail of a Scottish road trip. Not sure which route to take? Find inspiration in our list of the top 8 Scottish road trips everyone should follow once in their life.
1. Argyll Coastal Route
Setting off from the banks of Loch Lomond and finishing in the loch-side town of Fort William, the Argyll Coastal Route is perfect for fans of expansive coastline, delicious seafood and breath-taking views. Stretching for nearly 130 miles, the Argyll Coastal Route passes four of our West Scotland campsites.
Encapsulating everything wonderful about the Scottish coast, this road trip passes the shimmering waters of sea lochs and the snowy peaks of towering Munros. On your way, uncover the fascinating history of the Kingdom of Dalriada and sample some locally-caught seafood at Loch Fyne.
Distance: 129 miles
Top 5 things to do:
1. McCaig’s Tower
Sitting atop Battery Hill and overlooking the harbour town of Oban, McCaig’s Tower is a prominent structure said to have been inspired by the Colosseum in Rome.
2. Ben Nevis
Finishing your trip in Fort William leaves you on the doorstep of the UK’s tallest mountain, Ben Nevis. Standing at over 1,300 metres, scaling Ben Nevis is likely to feature at the top of your Scottish bucket list.
3. Inveraray Jail
Step through the doors of this eerie 19th century prison and experience what life was like for the prisoners who lived at Inveraray Jail.
4. Kilmartin Museum
Located in one of the world’s most significant archaeological landscapes, Kilmartin Museum displays a diverse array of ancient artefacts found in the local area.
5. Seafari Adventures
Jetting off from their base in Oban, Seafari Adventures offer wildlife and nature boat trips with a good chance of seeing whales, dolphins, sharks and sea birds.
2. Borders Historic Route
The only road trip on this list that begins outside of Scotland, this route picks up near Carlisle, passing through charming villages in the Borders before finishing in the historic Scottish capital of Edinburgh. Drive through 89 miles of south Scottish countryside, stopping over at two of our club sites.
Teeming with rolling hills and sloping valleys, the Scottish Borders are the ideal location for a meandering long-distance road trip. Immerse yourself in the heart of a Sir Walter Scott novel before uncovering the history of Scottish textiles, learning how Scotland became synonymous with tartan and kilts.
Distance: 89 miles
Top 5 things to do
1. Edinburgh Castle
Situated on Castle Rock, Edinburgh Castle is Scotland’s most visited attraction and boasts panoramic views across the city.
2. National Mining Museum Scotland
Located in a former colliery in what was once Scotland’s largest mining village, the National Mining Museum is an award-winning day out for the whole family.
3. Abbotsford House
In 1811, iconic novelist and poet, Sir Walter Scott, purchased a modest farm and transformed the dwelling into an opulent castle. Wander through the house and discover the home that inspired his greatest works.
4. Dalkeith Country Park
Situated on the outskirts of Edinburgh, Dalkeith Country Park’s 1,000 acre park is home to Fort Douglas Adventure Park and the Restoration Yard – a former eighteenth century stable yard and Tuscan-inspired courtyard.
5. Stewart Brewing
Established in Edinburgh in 2004, Stewart Brewing takes you through the process of brewing their award-winning beer and offers plenty of samples along the way.
3. Deeside Tourist Route
Driving through the heart of the north-western Highlands, from Perth to Aberdeen via the wilderness of the Cairngorms National Park, the Deeside Tourist Route is one of Scotland’s most epic road trips. Passing the pristine landscape of Royal Deeside and the fruitful farmland of Blairgowrie, this route is 108 miles of archetypal Scottish beauty and heritage.
The Deeside Tourist Route is an ideal trip for all campers interested in Scotland’s colourful history, passing museums, palaces and castles. Come face-to-face with some of Scotland’s wildlife at Mar Lodge Estate, including majestic red deer, soaring golden eagles and skittering pine marten.
Distance: 108 miles
Top 5 things to do
1. Scone Palace
Located in the small medieval village of the same name, on the outskirts of Perth, Scone Palace is one of Scotland’s most important stately homes.
2. His Majesty’s Theatre
Set in the heart of the Granite City, His Majesty’s Theatre is Aberdeen’s most distinguished, beautiful auditorium and consistently hosts Scotland’s best original productions.
3. Blairgowrie Golf Club
Scotland is famed for its golfing heritage, so why not pitch up at the stunning Blairgowrie Golf Club before returning to the award-winning clubhouse for a Scotch whiskey.
4. The Black Watch Castle and Museum
Set in the cobbled city of Perth, the Black Watch Castle and Museum exhibits the iconic story of Scotland’s oldest Highland regiment, the Black Watch Regiment.
5. Muir of Dinnet National Nature Reserve
Situated in the Cairngorms National Park, the Muir of Dinnet National Nature Reserve is home to untamed woodland, overgrown heathland, a glistening loch and Burn o’ Vat – a giant pothole carved during the Ice Age.
4. Highland Tourist Route
Running through the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, from Inverness to Aberdeen, the Highland Tourist Route is a wonderful way to explore the north-western Highlands. Collating some of Scotland’s best castles, battlefields and museums, the Highland Tourist Route is the perfect road trip for anyone fascinated by the long and colourful history of Scotland.
Taking in over 116 miles of untamed Highland countryside, as well as two of Scotland’s best cities, this road trip also passes traditional whisky distilleries and a popular skiing resort. Keep an eye out for wildlife as you pass through the Cairngorms, especially capercaillie, red squirrels, ospreys, red deer and golden eagles.
Distance: 116 miles
Top 5 things to do
1. Culloden Battlefield
Culloden Battlefield is a powerful and emotive exploration into the 1745 Jacobite Rising and how this battle brought a tragic end to the movement.
2. Fort George
Built in the wake of the Battle of Culloden, Fort George is one of Britain’s most impressive artillery fortifications and provides a fascinating insight into the life of an 18th century soldier.
3. Cawdor Castle
Famed for featuring in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Cawdor Castle is a magnificent example of Scottish Baronial architecture.
4. Grampian Transport Museum
Located between Aberdeen and the Cairngorms National Park, the Grampian Transport Museum takes you on a tour through the history of travel and transport in the north-east of Scotland.
5. Gordon Highlanders Museum
Take a trip to the Gordon Highlanders Museum in Aberdeen and uncover the compelling 200-year story of the Gordon Highlanders, from the Napoleonic Wars to the present day.
- Rosemarkie Club Site
- Nairn Club Site
- Speyside by Craigellachie Club Site
- Glenmore Club Site
- Tarland by Deeside Club Site
5. Moray Firth Route
Passing the glistening waters of the Beauly Firth, Dornoch Firth and Cromarty Firth, the Moray Firth Route is an idyllic road trip soaking up the beauty of the northern Highlands. On your way, you’ll experience some breath-taking views from locations such as Struie Hill and Fyrish Monument, as well as some traditional Scottish drinks at the Black Isle Brewery and Dalmore Distillery.
Meandering for over 80 miles, from Inverness to Loch Fleet, the Moray Firth Route passes through the rugged landscapes of Sutherland and Easter Ross. Take a trip to Rogie Falls and the Falls of Shin to see two of Scotland’s most spectacular waterfalls.
Distance: 80 miles
Top 5 things to do
1. Rogie Falls
Situated off the main road to Ullapool, the Rogie Falls are a series of waterfalls on the Black Water, surrounded by a network of delightful walking routes.
2. Beauly Priory
Today only beautifully preserved ruins remain, but Beauly Priory was once a Valliscaulian monastic community and home to a group of monks from Burgundy, France.
3. The Falls of Shin
Most famous for being one of the best places in Scotland to view salmon leaping upstream, the Falls of Shin is a waterfall on the River Shin in the midst of a peaceful pine forest.
4. Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
Displaying a diverse array of artefacts and collections from the local area, Inverness Museum and Art Gallery exhibits an exclusive insight into the unique history and culture of Inverness and the Scottish Highlands.
5. Fyrish Monument
Sat upon Fyrish Hill, overlooking the peaks and lochs of the Scottish Highlands, the Fyrish Monument was commissioned by Sir Hector Munro, who served as a general in India and wanted the monument to represent the Gate of Negapatam in Madras, India.
6. North Coast 500
Labelled as “Scotland’s answer to Route 66”, the North Coast 500 traces the main roads along the coastal edges of the North Highlands. Passing through over 500 miles of breath-taking coastal scenery, the North Coast 500 has been praised by visitors from around the world. The North Coast 500 passes three of our Scottish campsites, including Rosemarkie Club Site, Dingwall Club Site and Inverewe Gardens Poolewe Club Site.
Taking in everything the Highlands has to offer, this route is perfect for lovers of food and drink – passing breweries, distilleries and some of Scotland’s most revered restaurants. Starting and ending at Inverness, the route also passes historic castles, sandy beaches and diverse wildlife. For active campers, there’s a diverse selection of outdoor experiences to try, including surfing, kayaking, snorkelling, water rafting, mountain biking and hiking.
Distance: 516 miles
Top 5 things to do:
1. Dunrobin Castle
The most northerly of Scotland’s great houses, Dunrobin Castle resembles a lavish French chateau and overlooks the Moray Firth.
2. Smoo Cave
Situated around a mile east of Durness, Smoo Cave is a spectacularly dramatic sea cave engraved into the limestone cliffs in Sutherland.
3. Duncansby Head
Marked by the charming lighthouse that overlooks the North Sea, Duncansby Head is the most north-easterly point on the British Isles and a popular pilgrimage spot for visiting tourists.
4. Glen Ord Distillery
Sitting on the edge of the Black Isle, the Glen Ord Distillery takes visitors through the process of distilling traditional Scotch malt whiskey
5. Hebridean Whale Cruises
Operating from the North West Highland village of Gairloch, Hebridean Whale Cruises take you on a trip to see some of the ocean’s most beautiful creatures, including whales, dolphins, sharks and seals.
7. North East 250
Exploring everything for which Scotland is famous, the North East 250 takes in whisky distilleries, mountain passes, ancient castles, rugged coastline, quaint seaside villages and the Granite City. This circular route allows you to start from whichever point is most convenient for you. At over 250 miles, this road trip allows you to experience many of Scotland’s diverse landscapes.
Tracing the coastline of north-eastern Scotland before coming inland through the Cairngorms National Park, the North East 250 incorporates interesting history, adrenaline-filled activities and some of the country’s best driving roads. As one of the longest road trips on this list, this route has ideal stop-overs at two of our fantastic Scottish Club Sites.
Distance: 250 miles
Top 5 things to do
1. Peterhead Prison Museum
Now a museum dedicated to telling the stories of the prison officers that worked here, Peterhead Prison was arguably Scotland’s most notorious prison from 1888 to 2013.
2. Drum Castle
Located near the village of Drumoak in Aberdeenshire, Drum Castle is home to over 700 years of Scottish history and surrounded by acres of ancient oak trees, fragrant roses and local wildlife.
3. Museum of Scottish Lighthouses
Housed in an 18th century lighthouse, perched upon Kinnaird Head, the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses exhibits Scotland’s maritime history.
4. Bow Fiddle Rock
Situated just off the coastline near Portnokie, the Bow Fiddle Rock is a unique bow shaped geological structure and a photographic attraction for tourists.
5. Gordon Castle and Walled Garden
Take a walk through the beautifully restored Walled Garden at Gordon Castle, with over 200 years of interesting history, rare plants and espaliered trees.
8. South West Coastal 300
One of Scotland’s newest road trip routes, the South West Coastal 300 collates over 300 miles of thinly populated Scottish countryside, winding tarmac and breath-taking panoramic views. This route passes through a diverse list of landscapes including sandy bays and ancient forestry. Stop at the numerous seaside villages, each one prettier than the last.
This circular route follows the coastal road of Dumfries and Galloway, taking in part of a UNESCO Biosphere and the Galloway Forest Park. The South West Coastal 300 is the perfect road trip for exploring the unique character and beauty of South West Scotland.
Distance: 300 miles
Top 5 things to do
1. Culzean Castle
Set on a dramatic clifftop, surrounded by woodland and a rugged coastline, Culzean Castle is one of Scotland’s most impressive fortresses.
2. Logan Botanic Garden
Located at the south-western tip of Scotland, Logan Botanic Garden’s collection of unusual and beautiful plants make it Scotland’s most exotic garden.
3. Sweetheart Abbey
Founded by Lady Dervorgilla of Galloway in the late 13th century, Sweetheart Abbey is a romantic red-sandstone ruin and an interesting insight into Scotland’s turbulent history.
4. Mull of Galloway Lighthouse
Built by Robert Stevenson in 1828, the Mull of Galloway Lighthouse is perched on the edge of a high cliff at Scotland’s most southerly point.
5. Scottish Dark Sky Observatory
Nestled in the heart of the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park, the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory allows you to gaze at the wondrous stars, planets and constellations above.
Do you want to visit Scotland, but not sure where to start? Take a look at our Scottish Club Sites to help you decide.