10 of the Best Scotland Road Trips - The Camping and Caravanning Club
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Scotland Road Trips: A Guide to 10 of the Most Scenic Drives

Pack your camping gear and set off on an unforgettable Scotland road trip. Drive past overgrown valleys, towering mountains and rugged coastline as you make your way through the beautiful country.

Not sure which route to follow? Whether you’re visiting the country for a weekend or a week long trip, there is a Scotland driving route perfect for you.

Getting to Scotland

Depending on where you’re coming from, there are multiple ways to get to Scotland. You can drive, catch a train, coach or aeroplane.

If you’re travelling by plane, there are six main airports to fly into. Here you can hire a car and start your road trip.

  1. Edinburgh Airport: You can access the Borders Historic Route or Forth Valley Tourist Route.
  2. Aberdeen Airport: You can access North East 250, the Highland Tourist Route, the Deeside Tourist Route and the Angus Coastal Route.
  3. Glasgow International Airport: You can access the South West Coastal 300 and Argyll Coastal Route.
  4. Glasgow Prestwick Airport: You can access the South West Coastal 300.
  5. Inverness: You can access the North Coast 500 and the Highland Tourist Route.
  6. Dundee: Angus Coastal Route.


Where to stay on your Scotland road trip

Whilst road-tripping around Scotland, finding a hotel or Airbnb can be tricky, especially as you explore more rural and secluded areas. Camping is a great way to immerse yourself in nature, watch as the stars shoot across the sky and discover new wildlife.

We have over 50 campsites in Scotland where you can safely pitch up and use our handy on-site facilities whilst camping. By booking in advance, you can secure your spot and enjoy a stress-free road trip.

Psst, we have many brilliant member-exclusive campsites that can be found on these Scotland road trip routes. To book your stay, join the club today.

If you’re looking to wild camp whilst travelling around Scotland, make sure you’ve read our guide to wild camping. Here we go through the restrictions of wild camping in Scotland and the rules you must follow. Some of these include:

  • You must not be camping as part of an organised group
  • Two or three nights is the maximum amount of time you should stay in one place
  • If you are asked to move on, you should do so
  • You need permission from landowners to camp on enclosed private land
  • You must leave the area as you found it. Meaning disposing of any rubbish or waste and leaving no trace.

Click here for more on wild camping in Scotland.

When to take a Scotland road trip

Scotland is truly beautiful all year round, so no matter what season you fancy visiting, you’ll definitely have a magical experience.

Summer is probably the most popular time to visit as the weather is great. You’ll have clearer skies, perfect for stargazing, warm days that are great for lounging around on the beach or enjoying watersport activities, and you’ll come across stunning birds and wildlife whilst hiking through mountains and the countryside. The country also hosts many events during the summer, including the Highland Games and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Although there’s plenty to do around the country, the downside to a Scotland road trip in summer is the vast amount of traffic and campsites booking up fast. We highly recommend setting off early and booking your stay far in advance to avoid disappointment.

You may also need to be wary of biting midges in the summer and carry bug spray. For more summer camping advice, click here.

If you’re looking for a quieter season to visit, autumn and spring are perfect for a Scotland road trip. In the spring, you’ll find fields flooded with bright flowers and baby animals finding their feet. In autumn, you’ll be comforted by the warm tones of fall, crispy leaves, and a cool breeze refreshing for those long hikes.

Winter camping during your Scotland road trips is fabulous if you want to tick the northern lights off your bucket list. You can see the country transform into a winter wonderland with sheets of snow resting in the Highlands to festive Christmas markets, lights and music bringing cities to life.

10 of the best Scotland road trips

  1. Argyll Coastal Route
  2. Mountain view

    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, Argyll Coastal Route passes three of our West Scotland campsites, including,

    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.

    For the full Scotland road trip route, click here.

    Top 5 things to do on this Scotland road trip:

    1. McCaig’s Tower: Sitting on top of 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 range 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.

  3. Borders Historic Route
  4. Sunset on Arthurs seat

    This Scotland road trip is the only one on this list that begins outside of Scotland. If you’re travelling by plane, you can land at Newcastle airport and start your journey there. The route picks up near Carlisle, passing through charming villages in the Borders before finishing in the historic Scottish capital of Edinburgh. Whilst on this road trip, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in the heart of a Sir Walter Scott novel before uncovering the history of Scottish textiles and learning how Scotland became synonymous with tartan and kilts.

    If you’re flying into Edinburgh, you could also start this driving route in the capital and work your way down south. Whilst exploring the Borders Historic Route, you’ll pass two of our popular Club Sites; Lauder Club Site and Jedburgh Club Site.

    Distance: 89 miles.

    For the full Scotland road trip route, click here.

    Top 5 things to do on this Scotland road trip:

    1. Edinburgh Castle: Situated on Castle Rock, Edinburgh Castle is Scotland’s most visited attraction and boasts panoramic views across the city.
    2. Arthur’s Seat: If you’re looking to stretch your legs when touring Scotland by car, park up next to Arthur’s Seat and set off for a hike to the top. What was once an active volcano is now a popular hiking destination. If the weather’s good, bring along your own picnic food and admire the surrounding greenery and views.
    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. Edinburgh Zoo: A great day out whilst on your Scottish road trip is Edinburgh Zoo. Set on 82 acres, Edinburgh Zoo is home to the UK's only giant pandas and more than 1000 other amazing animals.
    5. Stewart Brewing: Established in Edinburgh in 2004, Stewart Brewing takes you through the process of brewing their award-winning beer, and they offer plenty of samples along the way.

  5. Deeside Tourist Route
  6. Bridge

    When touring Scotland, driving through the heart of the north-western Highlands, from Perth to Aberdeen via the wilderness of the Cairngorms National Park, is an experience like no other. The Deeside Tourist Route is one of Scotland’s most epic road trips. It passes the pristine landscape of Royal Deeside and the fruitful farmland of Blairgowrie.

    The Deeside Tourist Route is the ideal road 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.

    Campsites en-route:

    Distance: 108 miles.

    For the full Scotland road trip route, click here.

    Top 5 things to do on this Scotland road trip:

    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 grab your clubs and take a swing at the luxurious Blairgowrie Golf Club? After a day of enjoying the surrounding scenery, return to the award-winning clubhouse for a Scotch whisky or bite to eat.
    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, this nature reserve is home to untamed woodland, overgrown heathland, a glistening loch and Burn o’ Vat – a giant pothole carved during the Ice Age.

  7. Highland Tourist Route
  8. Countryside view

    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 Scottish history.

    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.

    Campsites en-route:

    Distance: 116 miles.

    For the full Scotland road trip route, click here.

    Top 5 things to do on this Scotland road trip:

    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 northeast 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.

  9. Moray Firth Route
  10. waterfall

    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 breathtaking views from locations such as Struie Hill and Fyrish Monument, as well as enjoy 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.

    Campsites en-route:

    Distance: 80 miles.

    For the full Scotland road trip route, click here.

    Top 5 things to do on this Scotland road trip:

    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, the 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.

  11. North Coast 500
  12. North Coast 500

    Arguably the most famous Scotland road trip and 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 breathtaking coastal scenery, the North Coast 500 has been praised by visitors from around the world. This route passes three of our Scottish campsites, including,

    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.

    For the full Scotland road trip route, click here.

    Top 5 things to do on this Scotland road trip:

    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.

  13. North East 250
  14. Bow Fiddle Rock along the route of the 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. You can start this circular route 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. This route has ideal stop-overs at three of our fantastic Scottish Club Sites, namely:

    Distance: 250 miles.

    For the full Scotland road trip route, click here.

    Top 5 things to do on this Scotland road trip:

    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 it’s 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.

  15. South West Coastal 300
  16. Mull of Galloway Lighthouse

    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 breathtaking panoramic views.

    This route passes through a diverse list of landscapes, including sandy bays and ancient forestry. Whilst touring through Scotland, 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.

    Campsites en-route:

    Distance: 300 miles.

    For the full Scotland road trip route, click here.

    Top 5 things to do on this Scotland road trip:

    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 southwestern tip of Scotland, Logan Botanic Garden’s collection of unusual and beautiful plants makes 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. Devils Beef Tub: Grab your camera and walking boots and head to the Devils Beef Tub. North of the Scottish Town of Moffat, the Devil's Beef Tub is a dramatic hollow formed by four hills. There are many walking routes to explore this landscape, including exploring Moffat town while seeing Devil's Beef Tub.

  17. Forth Valley Tourist Route
  18. Bridge

    Forth Valley Tourist Route is one of Scotland’s shortest road trips. It’s perfect for those camping in Edinburgh but looking for a scenic adventure. This Scottish driving route follows the south bank of the Firth of Forth, and despite it being only 43 miles long, it’s packed with great attractions.

    Distance: 43 miles.

    For the full Scotland road trip route, click here.

    Top 5 things to do on this Scotland road trip:

    1. Forth Rail Bridge: Opened in 1890, this famous bridge is recognised worldwide. It’s the world's first steel structure and a key milestone in the history of modern railway engineering. It not only holds the record as the world's longest cantilever bridge, but it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
    2. Antonine Wall: Another UNESCO World Heritage Site is the Antonine Wall. The Wall was built around 142 AD by the Romans to mark the northwest frontier of their empire. It was a symbol of their power and authority.
    3. The Kelpies: Book yourself a tour to view the Kelpies. These are the world's largest equine sculptures you can view from the outside and in. On a tour, you’ll be able to marvel at the complex yet creative engineering of these phenomenal works of art.
    4. Stirling Castle: Pay a visit to one of Scotland's largest castles. Its impressive architecture, scenery and history make for a fun day out for the whole family. Various guided tours are available for all ages, so you won't miss anything.
    5. Blair Drummond Safari Park: A great activity for the whole family is Blair Drummond Safari Park. You can drive through the grounds, where you’ll come across over 300 animals, including giraffes, rhinos, monkeys, tigers, lions and more. You can also see a fun dinosaur display, birds of prey exhibit and chimp island. If you don't fancy driving through the park, you can also explore on foot.

  19. Angus Coastal route
  20. Castle

    Travel from Aberdeen to Dundee, or Dundee to Aberdeen and discover the wonders of the Angus Coastal route. You’ll be driving along the east coast of Scotland and passing a range of charming towns, stunning nature reserves and fun attractions.

    Distance: 68 miles.

    For the full Scotland road trip route, click here.

    Top 5 things to do on this Scotland road trip:

    1. Aberdeen Harbour: A great place to spot dolphins is Aberdeen Harbour. You can see them from the shore or get a closer look by booking a boat tour. If you want to learn more about the history of Aberdeen Harbour, visit the Aberdeen Maritime Museum, which is close by.
    2. Dunnottar Castle: Sitting on top of a 160-foot rock and surrounded by the North Sea, Dunnottar Castle was once home to one of the most powerful families in Scotland. It’s a breathtaking place to photograph and a history lover's dream visit. The castle is both romantic and carries haunting stories ready to be told.
    3. St Cyrus National Reserve: This unmissable nature reserve has towering volcanic cliffs, beautiful beaches and a diverse range of wildlife. If you’re lucky, you may be able to spot some great sea creatures, including seals, dolphins and killer whales.
    4. Dundee Science Centre: For a fun and educational hands-on learning experience, the Dundee Science Centre is a great family visit. When visiting, you’ll find a sensory zone, a space play area, an operation theatre for curious kids wanting to learn more about the human body and multiple live exhibitions.
    5. Lunan Bay: At Lunan Bay, you’ll find views of the dramatic Angus coastline, sandy beaches, towering cliffs, and the crumbling ruins of a red castle.

For more things to do on your road trip through Scotland, check out our What’s On page. To book a campsite on your Scotland driving route, check out all of our campsites and join the club for some member-exclusive campsites.

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