Driving Through Northern Scotland: Which Roads Must You Take?

Driving Through Northern Scotland: Which Roads Must You Take?

Take a look at our top picks for Scottish road trips below.

Staycations are all the rage right now, and it’s no wonder when it turns out our home is full of so many hidden gems. Some aren’t even so hard to spot. There is a lot to love, from the attractions to the views to the people.

Scotland, in particular, is a great option for a staycation, but it is enjoyed best when you’re driving through it. If you’re someone who loves a road trip, the rural towns separated by long stretches of country roads, with views that have to be seen to be believed is a great option. If that sounds good to you, pack up the car, motorhome or converted van and make sure you pack the essentials! It’s also a great idea to have the right car or van insurance before you head out so that you’re ready for anything!

But where should you go? Well, lucky for you, there are a lot of established routes through the highlands and islands that are designed to allow you to see the best parts of rural Scotland, and we’re only covering three of them. Take a look at our top picks for Scottish road trips below.

The North Coast 500

The North Coast 500 is definitely the most famed and the most extensive route on this list. Where the Argyll Coastal route will show you all the best hotspots over a 129-mile route, as you can guess from the name, the North Coast 500 takes you 500 miles over the north coast of Scotland. Starting at Inverness to say Hi to Nessie, you can stop by the Beinn Eighe nature reserve for a hike, take part in whale spotting with a Hebridean whale cruise, touch the very tip top of the mainland at Duncansby Head and swing back around to Inverness, passing Dunrobin Castle in Sutherland on the way.

It’s a route that begs you to take your time. There are so many places to stop, so many things to do, and a lot of nature to take in on the way. There is so much to do, in fact, that the North Coast 500 website has a list of personalised itineraries depending on what you’re interested in, like spas, golfing, castles, distilleries and more.

This is a trip that is made for the motorhome. Travel from village to secluded area at a pace that suits, able to park up and relax whenever you need to. You can find a reliable motorhome to rent at www.ariescape.co.uk, which will provide the quality vehicle and amenities you need to fully realise the NC500 experience.

The Argyll Coastal Route

The Argyll Coastal route takes you on a wonderous journey around the towns and villages that make up the mainland west coast. Of course, no one would stop you or blame you if you strayed to hop a ferry to one of the beautiful west coast islands, like Bute, Jura, Islay, and beyond. They all offer views that have to be seen to be believed.

Your journey starts a short drive from Glasgow at the An Ceann Mor view of Loch Lomond, which is worthy of getting the big camera out, and finishes at the tourist hotspot of the west: Fort William. Along the way, you can stop at the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar for seafood that people drive for miles to try, visit the Kilmartin Museum for a tea and cake amongst the fascinating items of the stone museum, or try out one of the Seafari Adventures boat trips at Eathie and head to Glencoe for a ski trip or an outdoor cinema experience.

Fort William has a lot to offer, not only as the gem of the west, but being the closest town to Ben Nevis, it is a clear winner for those who like a challenge. Dubbed the Outdoor Capital of the UK, Fort William offers beautiful landscapes to hike, snowboard or ski down, swim through, and dark skies to admire, and, if you’re lucky, even see the northern lights.

See – or ride – the famed Jacobite steam train, aka The Hogwarts Express, or simply enjoy a relaxing wander through its many restaurants and gift shops.

The North East 250

If you’ve always wanted to visit Aberdeen, this is the route for you. Aberdeen is a thriving little city that is full of students and charm, but it’s also surrounded by a captivating coastline to enjoy. This relatively small route at, you guessed it, 250 miles, circles the east northern corner around Aberdeen, hitting the lists of Peterhead and its historic prison, Fraserburgh and the Museum of Scottish Lighthouse, and the historic Duff House in Banff, which showcases the grounds of Scottish aristocracy.

The ski resort The Lecht 2090 is one of the most popular in Scotland and intersects the North East 250 and the Highlands Tourist Route if you fancy swaying from the beaten path.