The scenery around Glencoe makes for some truly stunning drives. From winding lochside roads to long, steep-sided glens in the shadow of imposing mountains – it really is the best of the Highlands.
Drive north to Port Appin, and catch the five-minute passenger ferry to the garden of the Inner Hebrides, Lismore. It’s a beautiful drive, and the island itself is perfect for walking, with plenty of wild flowers and rare birds to spot along the way. We recommend the Pier House Restaurant at the ferry slipway at Port Appin for lunch or dinner.
Road to the isles
Follow signs from Fort William to Mallaig, and stop at the historic Glenfinnan monument for a bit of history and an excellent view. At Arisaig and beyond, you can enjoy the silver sands and views to the Hebrides and the Cuillin of Skye. We recommend The Old Library in Arisaig for lunch. It’s about 58 miles in total.
Drive south from Glencoe to Appin and delve into the setting for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped. The views of Castle Stalker are excellent, and you can take a diversion to Cuil Bay and Lismore if you like.
Take a detour round the head of Loch Creran in early summer, when the Gardens at Drumavuic House are in full bloom. There are plenty of other attractions along the way – the Sea Life Centre, Appin Pottery and Ardchattan Priory & Gardens – all signposted.
At Port Appin, you can park the car and take a great stroll along the coast – there’s a signposted loop that takes about half an hour.
Ardgour and Moidart
Many obvious roadside stops all the way for lovely views. Try Castle Tioram, or the Singing Sands for a major diversion. Recommended eating stops are Salen Crafts, Kinacarra Restaurant, Loch Moidart and the Glenuig Inn.
A long but beautiful journey to the cradle of British Christianity. You’ll need to start early – the route is about 80 miles. You cross over to the Morvern peninsula on the Corran ferry, then drive south to Lochaline for the ferry to Mull. From there, drive south and get the passenger ferry to Iona, where you can visit the Abbey and explore the colourful rocky and sandy beaches of the island.
Drive up along the shores of Scotland’s largest loch – just follow the A82 up towards Inverness from Fort William. The views are spectacular, of course – and there’s a good turning point at Urquhart Castle near Drumnadrochit. Keep your eyes peeled for Nessie.
Take the long and winding road on the northern shore of Loch Etive and you’ll find yourself deep in a quiet, remote glen. The hills are huge, snow-capped in winter, and in autumn the glen echoes with the sound of rutting stags.
Ardnamurchan: the mainland’s most remote peninsula. Drive out along the single track roads for lovely views of Scots Pine, Loch Sunart and the Hebrides. There’s an impressive lighthouse at the tip of the peninsula, which is the most westerly point of the British mainland. Nearby Sanna Bay is delightful on sunny days – and if you need somewhere to stop on the way, try Cosy Knits, Strontian, Salen Craft Shop or the Ardnamurchan Natural History Centre at Glenborrodale.