The West Coast, Argyll and Bute
Scotland road trip map
Scotland road trip map
Roads that wind their way around sea lochs, stunning coastline, white beaches and small secluded coves, sailing and kayaking opportunities abound. You will see castles, you can visit islands, stop off at beautiful gardens and walk in woodlands.
Loch Lomond-Inverary Castle-Loch Fyne-Oban-Glenfinnan Viaduct (where you can ride the Harry Potter train). Then head back to Edinburgh or extend your trip and visit the Isle of Skye.
Edinburgh to Glenfinnan via Loch Lomond and Oban takes around 4 hours without stops. The return journey down the A9 will take just over 3.5 hours.
Leave Edinburgh and head north to the Trossachs on the M9 and then take the A84 to Lochearnhead. The Mirror Man stands in the Loch at St Fillans (A85) – The Mirror Man is sculpture by Rob Mulholland – the official title is STILL; he stands 3 metres tall and is quite magical whether it is sunny or cloudy. 1 hour 45.
From Loch Earn head south on the A84/A81 towards Glasgow and Finnich Glen where you will reach the moss covered 100 ft deep gorge. Within the gorge the Devils Pulpit stands proud, a rock formation similar to the pulpit in church. The water running through the gorge is pale red in colour which comes from the surrounding pink sandstone. If magic happens anywhere in Scotland it happens here.
From Finnich Glen head back on to the A82 and take the road round Loch Lomond. Wonderful views of Ben Lomond and the hills of the Trossachs can be enjoyed with plenty of places to stop and walk or just enjoy the view. You can take a boat trip out onto the Loch for an hour. After Tarbet, take the A83 which takes you towards the West Coast and the routes to the Isles. The road reaches it’s peak at Rest and Be Thankful where the route divides Glencoe and Glen Kinglas. This route will remind you of Top Gear scenery!
You’re aiming for Inveraray (1 hour 20 mins) and a visit to Inveraray Castle, home to the Duke of Argyll, and set in beautiful grounds. https://www.inveraray-castle.com. You can enjoy the small town and catch up on a coffee and food as well as enjoy the setting at the foot of Loch Fyne.
Places to camp
https://www.argyllcaravanpark.com mostly motorhomes but some really scenic pitches.
From Inveraray head West to Lochgilphead and here you need to decide if you are heading South towards Campletown and the many ferry routes to the Isles of Gigha, Islay, Jura and Colonsay. This is the Mull of Kintyre which sits on the edge of the Gulf Stream and offers wonderful white sand beaches (Dunaverty) and ruins of medieval castles.
Heading North towards Oban direct (1 hour) and here you can catch ferries to Mull, Coll and Tiree. You can also take day trips on the ferries. On route there are some lovely places away from the main road, the first being to head towards the sea and visit Crinan. At Crinan you can take a steep walk through the oak woods to Castle Dounie and take in the amazing views down the Sound of Jura. Sometimes it is possible to see Ben Nevis in the North.
From Crinan head up to Ardfern, a lovely boating community with a great pub and camping, or take the road over the hill and camp at Croabh Haven, a tasteful modern marina again with a great pub. These villages are vibrant and active all year round and there are plenty of walks and opportunities for boat trips, kayaking, swimming, sailing and more.
Places to camp
From Oban head north on the A828 and take the Corran Ferry (1 hour) to the Ardnamurchan and Morven Peninsulas. Head to Glenluig, enjoy the local whisky and take a kayak out onto the calm seas and enjoy the coastal waters. From Glenluig take the coast road up to the A830 and head inland to Glenfinnan. Here you can visit the viaduct and see the Harry Potter Express or you can head back to the A82, go North, and take the A87 to Kyle of Lochalsh where you can cross over to the Isle of Skye.
From Glenfinnan to Edinburgh will take about 3.5 hours.
From Glenfinnan to the Skye Bridge will take about 2.5 hours.