6 Scenic Roads in Scotland for Unforgettable Truck Road Trip

Best Scottish driving routes

Scotch whisky, historic castles, and breathtaking landscapes are what come to mind when you think of Scotland. This country is one of Europe’s most beloved for its craggy Atlantic coastline and challenging terrains that make it a road trip-worthy territory.

A week’s itinerary to the Land of the Brave will expose you to the relaxing and majestic mountainous views, romantic islands, and rolling farmlands. Get ready with your GPS, picnic goodies, and a raised suspension pickup truck for a Scottish adventure.

Scotland’s Scenic Roads for A Memorable Pickup Truck Adventure

If you’re planning your next off-road adventure in Scotland, get ready for the most dramatic road adventures in Caledonia. Here are the top 10 scenic Scottish roads worth visiting in a pickup truck.

6. Loch Carron – Applecross Route

The Loch Carron to Applecross route offers a 17-mile-long road trip that’ll take about 40 minutes to an hour to explore. Loch Carron is a true gem for those seeking tranquility and relaxation. It’s a small town in Scotland’s western Highlands, offering an abundance of scenery and wildlife.

Start your trip on the shores of the sea loch in Loch Carron and wind your way through the pristine countryside until you reach the Pass of the Cattle (Bealach Na Bà). Bealach na Bà is Scotland’s famous road for adventure lovers looking to discover what the Scottish landscape offers.

This route is popularly dubbed the Road to Applecross and is coupled with highlands that rise to 2,053 feet above sea level and stunning views. As you drive on this route, you’ll come across tight bends, meanders, and single-track pathways that create an outstanding experience for the brave-hearted.

5. Glasgow – Edinburgh Route

This road trip is one of the most exciting but also mind-rejuvenating, as you’ll encounter magnificent landscapes with fresh mountain breezes. It’s a 92-mile trip from Glasgow to Edinburgh and will take approximately 2 hours if you make roadside stops.

Kickstart your journey at Glasgow and pass via Glencoe, one of Scotland’s scenic routes dominated by the volcanic highlands. The looming hills and mountains, set side by side to form meandering paths, create dramatic pathways to drive through. You can stop at Glencoe’s Visitor Center for an expedition and learn about glens and their connection to the landscape.

You can also choose Edinburgh as your starting point instead of Glasgow. Either way, the views, and experiences are exciting. Start in Edinburgh for a spectacular view of The Kelpies, attributed to Andy Scott, and the historic Stirling Castle.

If you can spare more time and explore Fort William, you’ll experience another exciting Glencoe drive. Fort William is just a 30-minute drive from Glencoe and offers enthralling views of Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain, and the chance to tour the Ben Nevis Distillery.

4. Edinburgh – St. Andrews

This route is short but full of excitement and pristine landscapes that draw you closer to nature. The 64-mile trip passes the Firth of Forth through the Forth Road Bridge, a suspension bridge connecting Edinburgh to Fife. Continue your journey following the East Neuk coastal path, where you’ll come across old-fashioned fishing villages such as Elie and Anstruther.

Stop at the quaint villages to explore the scenic views and sites and enjoy the off-road experience of the rugged North Sea coastline.

Going further from the fishing villages, you’ll meet the Kingsbarns Distillery, famous for single-malt Scotch whiskey and with a history dating back to 1800. While here, tour the distillery and learn about gin and whiskey distillation before proceeding to St. Andrews.

As you approach St Andrews, the iconic ruins of the cathedral will welcome you. Take a moment to visit the famous Old Course. You’ll have plenty of tourist hotspots to visit, such as the British Golf Museum and St. Andrews Botanic Garden.

3. The Hear 200 -Sterling or Perth Loop Trip

The Heart 200 is the latest road-trip addition to the list of exciting Scottish expeditions. It’s a unique 158-mile route that takes you through remote rural areas of Scotland. The itinerary can kick off at Perth or Stirling and will take you through the southern part of the Cairngorms, the eastern section of the Trossachs, and Loch Lomond.

While exploring Heart 200, you’ll realize it narrowly misses Dundee, Glasgow, and Edinburgh. However, it compensates for that with plenty of unexplored areas. So, consider this route if you’re looking to explore the most exhilarating and hidden Scottish gems. This route also passes through lovely Scottish towns such as the Bridge of Allan, Callander, and Pithlochry.

2. Greenloaning – Ballinluig Route

If you’d like to have a similar experience as the Heart 200 route, but just briefly, the Greenloaning to Ballinluig route is a good alternative. It’s a 43-mile route that passes through the heart of rural Perthshire. Kickstart the road trip at Greenloaning, a little village just off the A9 motorway, and proceed through the lush greenery of the countryside and rolling hills.

The trip will also take you through broad pastures with a grazing herd of cattle and flocks of sheep. Since the route is short, take a moment to experience the cool countryside breeze as you explore the scenic loch, woodland, and river.

Within a few minutes of driving, you’ll enter Ballinluig, which is located on the banks of the river Tummel. It’s a little countryside village with plenty of attractions to explore. Some of the local attractions in the area include Fish Ladder, Pitlochry Dam, and charming town shops and streets.

1. Northern Scotland’s North Coast 500

The North Coast 500 is one of the most exciting routes you wouldn’t want to miss.  If you plan a single road trip to Scotland, choose the NC 500 route. It spans an entire 500-mile loop, passing through the far northern regions of the Scottish Highlands.  As you explore this route, don’t forget to appreciate the stunning mountain views, beaches, lochs, cliffs, and villages.

If you love hiking, this route has one of the most breathtaking hiking trails. So, if you’re up to the hiking challenge, you’ll come across beautiful spots. One of the favorite hiking trails lies along the northern section of the West Coast. You’ll also find other relaxing and pristine hiking spots at Gairloch, Ullapool, and Torridon.

Unique highlands to look forward to along this route include:

 The Black Isle

This peninsula lies between Cromarty and Ross, a short distance north of Inverness. While here, you’ll enjoy picturesque villages, coastal views, and wildlife.

North West Highlands Geopark

It was awarded the UNESCO Geopark designation in 2004 and is the first in Scotland, home to the world’s oldest rocks and spectacular landscapes like the Knockan Crag National Nature Reserve.

 Wester Ross

This sparsely populated and remote section of the Scottish Highlands is famous for its rugged landscape and beauty. Notable features to look forward to are the Torridon mountains and Gairloch beaches.

The Northern Coastline

Experience Scotland’s most breathtaking views, including Durness Beach and Cape Wrath Cliffs.

The East Coast

This is the final bit of the NC500 road trip and offers an exciting journey along the Scottish east coast. This area offers an opportunity to explore historic towns like Dunrobin Castle, Wick, and Moray Firth Village.

You need time and patience to explore the NC500 to the fullest and experience the real thrill of a Scottish road trip. Some travel guides would want to rush and reduce the trip to a 2-day adventure. But if you need to experience it better, this road trip shouldn’t take less than three weeks.

Summary

Scotland has beautiful, pristine landscapes and attractions such as lochs, highland mountains, and renowned historic castles. Exploring this adventure-worthy territory sounds simple, but it can be challenging if you don’t prepare well. While getting ready, ensure your pickup truck has lifted suspensions to explore the mountainous terrains and rugged coastlines.

Some scenic routes worth exploring include Greenloaning to Ballinluig, Edinburgh to St. Andrews, Glasgow to Edinburgh, and the North Coast 500. Before kicking off your trip on any routes discussed, be ready with the essentials to make your trip fun. These include a GPS, wayside picnic goodies, a valid driver’s license, water and snacks, credit cards, and travel insurance.

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