Summer’s here, and while good weather’s not guaranteed, in Scotland the scenery is
Here we pick out some of our favourite driving routes in Scotland, in partnership with Kombi Campers.
The winding descent at Applecross (Shutterstock)
Billed as Scotland’s answer to America’s iconic Route 66, the NC500 is so named because it stretches for 500 miles along the north coast of the country.
As a driving route, it’s got it all, as it snakes around the winding coastline of the North West Highlands, including stunning scenery, amazing local produce, and wildlife sights like dolphins, puffins and majestic stags.
Starting in Inverness, the route heads west to the steep climb of Applecross, then north through Britain’s most barren wilderness to Durness, and along the north coast to John O’ Groats.
Argyll Coastal Route
The banks of Loch Lomond (TSPL)
On this 149 mile (238 km) journey from Tarbet on the bonny banks of Loch Lomond, you will travel up through Argyll and on to Fort William in the Highlands. As you climb steadily be sure to enjoy the famous viewpoint, the Rest and be Thankful, before descending to Inveraray and continuing on along the shores of Loch Fyne to Lochgilphead.
Turning north, you’ll pass the lovely Crinan Canal and reach the bustling port town of Oban, which is a gateway to many of the west coast islands. Enjoy the fine view across the Firth of Lorn and the Sound of Mull to the Inner Hebrides. From Oban, cross the impressive Connel Bridge and journey on up through Ballachulish to Fort William, which nestles at the foot of Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest mountain.
Borders Historic Route
Crossing the border into Scotland (TSPL)
Discover the dramatic scenery of the Scottish Borders on a 95 mile (142 km) journey between the English city of Carlisle and Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh. You will travel through an area which has been at the heart of Scotland’s history and culture for centuries, and which was a major inspiration for Sir Walter Scott’s romantic novels.
Follow in the footsteps of the Border Reivers by crossing the Border between England and Scotland at Scots Dyke and enjoy the peaceful countryside, castles and grand houses of the royal burghs.
Be sure to stop off to enjoy or even pick up unique crafts and clothing made by artists and designers who have long been attracted to the area’s breathtaking natural beauty at places like the Borders Textile Towerhouse. You also may wish stock up on tasty treats such as Galashiels Soor Plooms and the Selkirk Bannock before continuing on to Edinburgh.
Deeside Tourist Route
Near Blairgowrie (TSPL)
The Deeside Tourist Route begins in the new city of Perth and runs north for 107 miles (171 km) to Aberdeen. You will travel through the area around Blairgowrie, which has long been associated with the growing of soft fruit, before the Highland landscape takes over and the route climbs 2,182 ft (665 m) on the A93, Britain’s highest main road.
Enjoy spectacular mountain views in every direction as you pass through Glenshee, which is home to one of Scotland’s five snowsports centres and offers has an excellent array of other outdoor pursuits, before descending to Braemar.
As you drive through Royal Deeside, you will pass Balmoral Castle, a summer residence of the Royal Family since the days of Queen Victoria and the newest addition to Scotland’s only Castle Trail. Follow the route through the delightful villages of Ballater, Aboyne and Banchory before finally reaching Aberdeen, the Granite City.
Fife Coastal Route
The historic village of Culross (TSPL)
The Fife Coastal Route runs 85 miles (136 km) around the beautiful north east coast of the Kingdom of Fife. Follow the route north from Edinburgh or south from Dundee. Starting from Edinburgh, cross the iconic Forth Road Bridge and stop just before reaching Fife at Deep Sea World where an underwater tunnel will take you exploring far beneath the waves.
Following the signs west will take you further into the Forth Estuary, where, around half an hour from Scotland’s modern capital, is the country’s ancient capital Dunfermline and the Royal Burgh of Culross, which is an outstanding example of a 16th century town.
The coastal route can also be followed east from the Forth bridges, where you will find lovely sandy beaches such as Aberdour, Silversands and Kinghorn and the picturesque villages of the East Neuk with their distinctive red pantiled roofs, arts scenes and unspoilt beaches. Keep following the route and you will reach St Andrews, the Home of Golf , seat of Scotland’s oldest university and a fascinating historic town.
Highland Tourist Route
From Aberdeen, follow the 118 mile (189 km) Highland Tourist Route to Inverness. On the way you can visit the Grampian Transport Museum at Alford, which offers an insight into the history of transport in the north east.
The route continues through the lovely valley of Upper Donside and the heather-clad slopes of the Lecht,where you will find one of the country’s snowsports centres, and fringes the Cairngorms, where there is another.
Travel into Speyside, the heart of whisky country where you might want to stay a few days to enjoy guided tours around some of the Scotland’s Malt Whisky Trail distilleries, and sample a complimentary ‘wee dram’ . The last lap of the route takes you through Grantown-on-Spey, a popular salmon-fishing centre and then on to the city of Inverness, the capital of the Highlands.
About Kombi Campers
Hire a Classic Campervan for holidays, weekend breaks, weddings, music festivals, proms, parties, special occasions and corporate events. Based very near to Glasgow Airport, you set off and explore Scotland’s fabulous west coast. Within an hour, you’ll be at Loch Lomond and the gateway to the Highlands. Whatever the occasion they have five lovingly restored right hand drive Volkswagen campervans for hire. Enjoy the freedom and romance of the open road, comfortable facilities and fond memories.
More info at www.kombicampers.co.uk