Travel Blogs

A Wee Scottish Road Trip 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

Written by Lynsey Oxton, September 2020

Everyone knows, you don’t go to Scotland if you want a sun tan – but with Covid putting a stop to us travelling abroad safely, we thought we’d try it out for 12 days.

And we were glad we did!

So here’s my ‘bumper blog’ that takes you along on the trip, starting in Glasgow and finishing in Inveraray – covering 1463 miles round trip from our home in Manchester, England.

You’ll see as we go along that you can click on the places we visited to read more about them. There’s lots of information, hints, tips (and of course photos) to help you plan your own road trip to bonnie Scotland!

Stop 1: Glasgow (outskirts)

Our first night was spent at the Sherbrooke Castle Hotel, just on the outskirts of Glasgow and a convenient place to ‘break up the journey’ before moving on. The hotel turned out to be a good choice to get our heads down for the night, with a nice bedroom, a good bar and a tasty meal. Good start.

Sherbrooke Castle Hotel, Glasgow

Early the next morning we took the scenic, coastal road up to Inverness, passing through the green, winding roads of Loch Lomond, past Ben Nevis and through the impressive Glencoe mountains. This route may not be the quickest (at over 4 hours) but it is most definitely preferable to motorway driving!

{PIT STOP} Fort William is a good halfway mark for a leg stretch and a refreshment stop. Typical of a Scottish fishing town, it has a waterfront, tourist gift shops and plenty of places to grab something to eat. Those with a marine interest may instead prefer to stop a few miles up the road at Spean Bridge, where the Commando Memorial sits.

Loch Lomond, Spean Bridge, Fort William, Glencoe

Stop 2: Inverness

Four hours on from Glasgow, we made it to the Highlands capital!

We made the decision to base ourselves in Inverness for seven of the twelve nights. We did this knowing that its central location would be perfect for taking day trips and exploring the Northern coastline and surrounding area. Not only that, but we had heard that there was so much to see in Inverness in its own right.

Click below to read about our adventures in Inverness City! Warning: seriously yummy food photos.

Day Trip from Inverness: Loch Ness

It’s no lie that when planning our road trip, I was most excited about seeing the famous Loch Ness! Naturally a bit of Nessie-hunting was first on the itinerary.

The great thing is that Loch Ness is only a short 20 minute drive from Inverness City centre – so we were there in no time. Lots kept us busy including walking, visiting the exhibition centre and looking around Urquhart Castle.

But did I spot Nessie? Click below to find out.

Day Trip from Inverness: The Moray Firth

We spent the day, from dawn ‘til dusk, driving up the Moray Firth; a stretch of coastline boasting beaches, cute villages and the opportunity to see some of Scotland’s wildlife up close.

The furthest point took only 90 minutes or so to reach from Inverness so it was easily doable!

Click on the photo below to find out what delights you’ll find in Spey Bay, Lossiemouth, Nairn and Fochabers – oh and if you love seals, you’ll love this!

Day Trip from Inverness: The Black Isle

The Black Isle is a peninsula, just a hop, skip and jump away from Inverness (around 10 miles). It’s home to old fishing towns such as Cromarty and the ‘best place in Scotland to see dolphins’ – Chanonry Point.

Whilst we were over on the Isle, we also made a visit to the Glen Ord Distillery to undertake a bit of whisky nosing. Of course, we had to drag ourselves there, kicking and screaming….

Click below to learn what you can expect to see if you venture onto the Black Isle.

Day Trip from Inverness: North Coast 500

The North Coast 500 is known as the Scottish ‘Route 66’, for the hundreds of miles of unmissable scenery and challenging roads. Since the NC500 starts and ends at Inverness, it made perfect sense that we drove some of the famous stretch.

One such ‘challenge’ is the Bealach Na Ba in the Wester Ross region – classed as one of the UK’s most dangerous roads. Of course we wanted to give it a go, to see what all the fuss was about.

We’d also heard that Torridon was a nice stop off, so we had a couple of hours here, walking along the pebbled beach and looking for wildlife.

Click below to find out how we faired on the infamous BeLach na Ba! There’s a short video of the route too.

Stop 3: Braemar, Royal Deeside

After a week in Inverness, it was time to head East to Aberdeenshire for a couple of nights. After two hours in the car (no pit stop needed), we arrived in the Royal Deeside area – home to Balmoral Castle, open roads, woodland, lochs and plenty of beauty!

We stayed in Braemar, at Moorfield House and found that our room overlooked the Highland Games arena. With lots to see and a massive four hour walk around a loch under our belt, we spent our time indulging in fancy cocktails and a touch of fine dining. If it’s good enough for the Royals, it’s good enough for me!

Click below to read about the gorgeous Royal Deeside and to see if I met the Queen! Don’t miss my photos of the Fife Arms either – what a place!

After two nights in Braemar, it was time to jump back in the car and head West to the Argyll and Bute area, where we would spend our last two nights and complete our Scottish road trip!

{PIT STOP x 2} The journey between Braemar and Inveraray took little over three and a half hours – and with a bit of time before we could check into the next guest house, we decided to stop halfway in the town of Pitlochry and have a walk around the shops for an hour. Nice little place.

An hour or so later, as we neared our destination, the need for a toilet stop was too great, so we stumbled across The Green Welly – a well known landmark, truck and biker stop. It served its purpose nicely. Strange little place.

Stop 4: Inveraray, Loch Fyne

As we arrived into Inveraray, the sun was shining and Loch Fyne glistened. Gorgeous! What a first impression!

It soon dawned on us that we had somehow managed to save the best for last with this stay. Our last two days were spent walking on the beach and in woodland, visiting the (tv famous) Inveraray Castle and going to jail. Yes, you read that right. We also had a great time scoffing the biggest seafood platter I’ve ever seen in my life!

Click below to see exactly why we loved this part of our journey the most. Once you’ve read about Inveraray, I’m almost certain you’ll want to book a stay yourself!

And that concludes our wee trip around the highlands. Yes, I was sad too! Considering this holiday should have been Greece, I couldn’t have asked for a more relaxing and enjoyable break. It just goes to show, sometimes you need not look any further than your own front door…

Thank you for reading! If you liked this blog, please visit my website (click below) to read more of the same!

6 thoughts on “A Wee Scottish Road Trip 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s