Of course, you don’t have to climb Scotland’s mountains or sail our lochs to enjoy them. Scotland is blessed with several spectacular Highland roads which provide thrilling, breath-taking and, at times, heart stopping adventures and many of them take you past and through some of our majestic mountain ranges and alongside mirror-like lochs. Indeed, a road trip is a perfect way to see so much of what Scotland has to offer, taking in beaches, coves, wildlife, villages, castles and distilleries, as well as spectacular eateries and hostelries.
Our most famous route is the North Coast 500, which starts in Inverness and follows 500 miles of stunning coastal scenery on the edges of Wester Ross, Sutherland, Caithness, Easter Ross, the Black Isle and Inverness-shire however there are many less promoted routes which are just as awe-inspiring. The A82 across Rannoch Moor, past Loch Tulla, Loch Nah-Achlaise, Loch Ba, Loch Leven and Loch Linnhe, and through Glen Coe to Fort William is breath-taking and from there, the A830 to Mallaig, from where you can take the ferry to the Isle of Skye, is just as impressive. Known as the ‘Road to the Isles, this stunning drive takes in the Glenfinnan Memorial, the Glenfinnan Viaduct (made famous by the crossing Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter movies), seven Lochs, white sandy beaches with turquoise clear waters which look like they should be in the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean.
The A87 and A887 from Loch Ness to Skye via the Kyle of Lochalsh has to be seen to be believed, twisting and turning thousands of feet in the air to sea level, through awe-inspiring glens and mountain ranges and alongside a handful of lochs and taking in arguably the second most photographed castle in the world Eilean Donan, made famous by the movies Highlander and Entrapment. And the A93 from Aberdeenshire, through Royal Deeside to Perth is a delight, including as it does the Cairngorm National Park, Glenshee, the picture postcard towns and villages of Ballater and Crathie, woodland, rivers and Balmoral, the favourite retreat of monarchs since Queen Victoria.