The latest in our ‘Best Drives’ series sees us look to Scotland, which boasts some of the very best and most beautiful routes in the UK.
As the weather starts to improve and the evenings begin to get lighter, let’s take a look at some of the best drives north of the border!
A9, Stirling to Inverness
Also known as the “spine of Scotland”, the A9 is the longest road in the country and in the top 5 UK-wide A-roads.
It’s 273 miles long; a journey that includes historic sites such as Dunblane, Auchterarder, Gleneagles, Perth, Dunkeld, Pitlochry, Blair Atholl, the Grampian Mountains and Aviemore, all on the way to Inverness, where you can enjoy some sea after sampling the mainland.
It’s been called “The most beautiful A-road in the world” by a writer for The Telegraph and we certainly think it’s a box that needs ticking.
Glenelg to Skye
A different kettle of fish altogether in comparison to the A9, this drive includes lots more water, the only manually operated turntable ferry in Scotland and a hop over to the Isle of Skye for more spectacular views.
Take the narrow, winding road for ten miles down to Glenelg and then head across the Kylerhea straits, which split Skye from the Scottish mainland, taking the time to spot some local wildlife.
Once on the island, enjoy the rugged landscapes, lovely fishing villages and medieval castles. We also recommend you get down to Dunvegan Castle and Talisker distillery, but don’t drink and drive!
Bealach na Bà (Pass of the Cattle)
Not too far from Skye is Bealach na Bà, a historic pass through the mountains of the Applecross peninsula.
Scottish Gaelic for Pass of the Cattle, it was historically used as a drovers’ road.
The famous twisting, single-track mountain road is one of only a few in the Scottish Highlands that is engineered similarly to roads through the great mountain passes in the Alps.
It includes fun ascents and hairpins, as well as narrow single-track sections, but best of all is the greatest ascent of any road climb in the UK, rising from sea level at Applecross to 626 metres (2,054 ft).
We also wanted to mention the relatively new North Coast 500, launched in 2015 and promoted as a Scottish drive as iconic as Route 66 in the US.
The NC500 has been designed to bring together the best of the North Highlands and the beautiful coastline.
This one’s worth visiting in greater detail, so we’ll be back to talk more about it soon.