Scotland’s answer to the Route 66, it has swiftly established itself as one of the world’s most iconic driving routes. It follows a sweeping loop around the whole northern tip of Scotland; from Inverness all the way to John O’Groats in the north east, along jagged coastline overlooking the North Sea to Durness, then down the west coast before returning inland at the Applecross peninsula.
Discover the dazzling white sands of deserted beaches like Balnakeil, endless views of the Atlantic, geological marvels like the mysterious Smoo Cave, and lofty heights along the single-track roads through the mountains.
Along the way you’ll encounter the French-style chateaux of Dunrobin Castle, countless ancient standing stones at Hill O’ Many Stanes, drams of the finest malt at distilleries Glenmorangie and Old Pulteney, and the occasional free-roaming Highland coo.
The North East 250
The North East 250 is Scotland’s best-kept motoring secret, encapsulating everything that makes Scotland so enchanting. Much like the North Coast 500, this is a circular route that winds through such captivating regions as Speyside, the Cairngorms, Royal Deeside, Aberdeen, the East Coast and the Moray Coast. Its condensed length makes it perfect for those who want to spend less time driving and more time exploring the attractions that are all within easy reach of the route.
Spanning the Malt Whisky Trail, the route offers the opportunity to visit some of the most famous distilleries in the world such as Glenlivet. Dozens of Munros – mountains over 3,000 ft (914.4 m) – also line the route.
Just off the route lies the Banffshire coast, home to some of the finest beaches in Scotland. Feast on freshly caught seafood in delightful fishing villages.
South West Coastal 300
After a leisurely drive over a long weekend? The South West Coastal 300 is a joy to drive. Enjoy over 300 miles of quiet roads through the beautiful countryside of Dumfries & Galloway and south Ayrshire.
Along the way, encounter wonderfully secluded stretches of beach and rugged clifftops, colourful towns and villages, and gently rolling hills purple with heather. Soak in postcard-perfect beauty spots like Sandyhills Bay, browse handcrafted artworks in the creative hotspot of Kirkcudbright, and delve into a world of Vikings, saints and Iron Age life at Whithorn, the earliest known Christian site in Scotland.
With the romantic ruin of Sweetheart Abbey and gorgeous gardens, as well as the dazzling starry skies visible from the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory on the edge of the Galloway Forest Park; the South West Coastal 300 boasts splendid locations and rich heritage in equal measure.
Snow Roads Scenic Route
Spanning 90 miles of snow-capped peaks, rugged glens, outdoor adventures, cycling and delicious food and drink; the Snow Roads Scenic Route is a distillation of the finest elements of the Cairngorms National Park.
Running through the eastern portion of this magnificent landscape, the route owes its name to the highest public road in Britain, and boasts some of the wildest, most dramatic Highland scenery imaginable. Steep climbs, ‘blind’ summits, and sharp twists and turns makes this one of the slower driving routes, and the gentler pace allows you the time to soak in the extraordinary views at ‘Instagram-ready’ vantage points and explore the various attractions along the way.
From whisky distilleries including Royal Lochnagar and fairytale castles such as Corgarff, to the jewels of Royal Deeside and the winter sports playground of Glenshee Ski Centre and The Lecht; the Snow Roads offers plenty of short, easily accessible detours during the course of your journey.