Many roads in Scotland make a pleasurable and scenic drive
Things To Do
Catch up on some culture in Glasgow with a walking tour to spot the Art Nouveau work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. A great starting point is the iconic Glasgow School of Art, not forgetting Mackintosh House or The Willow Tea Rooms.
Have a paddle in a canoe along the Caledonian Canal. Select from a three- to four-day trek to cover the full distance or hire a kayak for a day. There are plenty of activity companies offering guided kayak trips too, if you’re not confident to go it alone.
Visit the free-ranging Cairngorm Reindeer Herd near Aviemore. Britain’s only herd of reindeer, the animals roam the mountains so you’ll see them in their natural environment, and, maybe, have the opportunity to feed them. During the summer months there are half-day reindeer treks across the mountains.
If you’d prefer to see lake, forest and mountain from the air, take a scenic overhead tour of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, taking off from the waters of the loch in a seaplane.
Nominate a driver and explore the world of whisky on the Malt Whisky Trail around Speyside. You’ll come across famous names like Glenlivet and Glenfiddich alongside lesser known, but no less charming, distilleries like Strathisla and Cardhu.
When To Visit
Annual events include things like the mighty Burns Night on 25 January, the anniversary of the birth of Scotland’s most loved writer, Robert Burns. The Scottish Snowdrop Festival takes place throughout February at various locations around the country, but particularly in Dundee and St Andrews.
May is Whisky Month, with related events across the country, particularly on World Whisky Day. And at the beginning of May it’s the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, a combination of drinks all round with music, comedy and local crafts. Later in May is the Cairngorms Nature Festival, providing opportunities for visitors to get up close and personal with nature in the national park.
Taking place countrywide, although predominantly in the Highlands during the summer months, are the Highland Games and Gatherings. While in the towns of the Scottish Borders, summer sees the Return to the Ridings, one of the oldest equestrian festivals in the world.
St Andrew’s Day, 30 November, is deemed a Bank Holiday with many events laid on. And let us not forget Hogmanay, which sees out the old and brings in the New Year. Edinburgh, in particular, holds the focus on New Year celebrations, but then the city has become the capital of festivals.
The most famous is the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August but the city also hosts the Edinburgh International Science Festival (April), the Edinburgh Children’s Festival (May), the Edinburgh International Film Festival (June), the Jazz and Blues Festival (July), the Art Festival (August), The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo (August), the International Festival (classical music, dance, theatre and opera – August), the Book Festival (August), the Mela Festival (August) and the Scottish International Storytelling Festival (October).
If you intend to take your motorhome and visit Scotland, use the M6/A74(M) and the M8 for the west of Scotland and the M90/A90 for the east to Aberdeen. The M8 links Glasgow and Edinburgh. Thereon north, the roads are predominantly single carriageway, but for the dual carriageway to Aberdeen. Many roads in Scotland make a pleasurable and scenic drive, but plan fuel stops carefully, as there can be large distances between service stations. Check with your destination campsite for any difficulty with access when driving a large coachbuilt once off the main roads.