11 Lesser Known Motorhome and Campervan Road Trips in Scotland for 2021
When you hire a campervan in Scotland you want to be on the open road and not sitting in traffic. In peak season – particularly in this year of the great British staycation – some of Scotland’s best known driving routes will be nose-to-tail with visitors, while the best kept secret driving routes have epic scenery to spare.
We’re all doing our best to be more responsible tourists and to “leave no trace”, but did you know that heading off the beaten track to explore Scotland by motorhome and campervan can also help preserve Scotland’s communities and landscapes?
Here’s some of Scotland’s best hidden driving routes (ordered north to south):
- Moray Firth Route
- Highland tourist route
- Deeside tourist route
- Angus Coastal route
- Argyll Coastal route
- Perthshire tourist route
- Fife Coastal route
- Clyde Sea Loughs trail
- Forth Valley tourist route
- Borders historic route
- Galloway tourist route
80 miles / 128 km
This remote northeast Scotland driving route sets out from Inverness and takes in the east coast of the Highlands. A firth is a sea bay or inlet (in Norway these waters would be called a fjord) and this route skirts the shoreline of three: Beauly Firth, Cromarty Firth and Dornoch Firth. Highlights include Inverness and its Museum and Art Gallery, Rogie Falls on the Blackwater near Bealy, sweeping views from Fyrish Monument and Struie Hill Viewpoint, and (between May and November), watching salmon leaping upstream at the Falls of Shin.
116 miles / 187 km
We can’t celebrate Scotland campervan hire without a mention of the Highlands tourist route and the splendour of Cairngorms National Park. The slice of Highlands between Inverness and the “Granite City” of Aberdeen invites history buffs and those who love outdoor adventure. Stop at the traditional 14th century Cawdor Castle and the sprawling fortification of Fort George and then immerse yourself in ancient forest at RSPB Loch Garten, visit the ski and mountain bike resort at The Lecht 2090, and go hiking and biking at Pitfichie Forest (3 miles from Pitfichie hamlet). Aberdeen is home is home to His Majesty’s Theatre and the Gordon Highlanders Museum.
108 miles / 174 km
A drive fit for royalty through the towering mountains of Cairngorms National Park between Perth and Aberdeen. This is Scotland motorhome and campervan hire at its finest: exploring Royal Deeside and passing Balmoral Castle, the Queen’s Scottish holiday home. Golf enthusiasts will be delighted with Blairgowrie Golf Club, as well as Dalmunzie Golf Club, Alyth Golf Club and Strathmore Golf Centre. Book a tour at a distillery given Royal approval by Queen Victoria, soak up Scottish history at Scone Palace (pronounced “skoon”) and Drum Castle, Garden and Estate, and spend time at Mar Lodge Estate NNR, which protects a vast wedge of the Cairngorms – including 4 of the 5 highest mountains in the UK.
68 miles / 109 km
Angus Coastal Route links Aberdeen with Dundee and meanders lazily along Scotland’s east coast, with glorious North Sea views. Dundee is riding high on its recent transformation into a dynamic and cosmopolitan city of culture. A drive north from here takes in sights including Broughty Castle with its far reaching views of the Tay Estuary, Arbroath Abbey (don’t miss traditional Arbroath Smokies at the nearby harbour), the wide open sands at Lunan Bay, and the wild coastline at St Cyrus NNR. There are plenty of touring and camping sites along this stretch of coast and this is a Scotland driving route you’ll want to take your time over.
129 miles / 208 km
A road trip on the Argyll Coastal route is the best motivation to hire a campervan in Scotland – this scenic route from Loch Lomond to Fort William is all about seafood, sea views and stunning sunsets. An Ceann Mòr at Inveruglas is a great place to get a your bearings and a great view of Loch Lomond before setting out for the big blue of Loch Fyne and the original Loch Fyne Oyster Bar and Restaurant. Highlights on this craggy coast as you wind your way north towards “the Outdoor Capital of the UK” at Fort William include a Corryvreckan Wildlife Tour on an open rib and views from McCaig’s Tower in Oban and of Castle Stalker and Loch Linnhe. Looming Ben Nevis marks the end point of this tour.
43 miles / 69 km
If you’re looking for a short but stupendous road to drive your campervan in Scotland, look no further than the Perthshire tourist route from Greenloaning to Ballinluig. With all of the best things to do in Scotland condensed into 43 miles, read rare editions and trace your ancestry at Innerpeffray Library, stroll the terraced grounds of Drummond Castle Gardens and treat yourself to artisan chocolates at the Highland Chocolatier.
77 miles / 124 km
The Firth of Forth coastline is rich in history and home to traditional fishing villages and seaside towns – families with children will want to include a short diversion to the aquarium at Deep Sea World. Historic highlights along this route include the cobbled streets of the Royal Burgh of Culross, Dunfermline Abbey and Palace (when Robert the Bruce is buried) and the British Golf Museum, which is unsurprisingly at St Andrews, the home of British golf.
65 miles / 104 km
Just a short distance from the busy shores of Loch Lomond, an alternative loch-side driving route beckons. Beginning on the north banks of the River Clyde in Dumbarton, take time to explore the castle dramatically perched on volcanic rock. Then get behind the wheel to drive towards Helensburgh, passing the pretty village of Cardross and the viewpoint at Ardmore Point. At the north tip of Loch Long, Arrochar is the gateway to Argyll Forest Park. Loch Lomond Holiday Park is just north of here – a great spot to break up the route and a short drive from Rosneath Peninsula, which marks the picturesque end point of the Clyde Sea Loughs trail.
43 miles / 69 km
Scotland is a hotbed of industrial and engineering innovation and this short driving route takes you from World Heritage site Forth Bridge and Bo’ness and Kinneil heritage railway, to the Falkirk Wheel and Helix Park with its 30ft stainless steel Kelpies. That’s not to say that the route is all industry: there’s also Roman connections to explore at Antonine Wall and Outlander filming locations at Blackness Castle and Linlithgow Palace. Stirling is the final destination, with its crenulated Castle and Wallace Monument.
89 miles / 143 km
The Anglo-Scottish border is an interesting place to begin or end your Scotland campervan hire driving holiday. Borders history on the “Debatable Lands” can be uncovered at Gilnockie Tower and at Abbotsford you can learn more about famous Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott. Those with an interest in Scottish tartan or glassmaking should stop at Lochcarron of Scotland and Lindean Mill Glass, and those with the family in tow might like to visit Edinburgh Butterfly and Insect World. The city of Edinburgh and its mighty Castle need no introduction.
92 miles / 148 km
The southwest of Scotland is often overlooked by those in a hurry to get to the Highlands, but linger here and you’ll find an unspoilt region perfect for exploring by campervan. Start out at the famous blacksmiths shop in Gretna Green and drive west towards Dumfries with its Museum and Camera Obscura Observatory. Continue towards Galloway Forest Park “the highlands of the lowlands” where mountain bikers should make a beeline for 7Stanes Dalbeattie and watersports enthusiasts for Galloway Activity Centre. The penultimate stop is the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory, before things get more poetic at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum.
As recommended by the Sunday Times – August 2021, click here to read their review exploring the Galloway Forest Park in a Bunk Camper.
Why Bunk Campers?
Our Scotland motorhome hire depot is conveniently located between Edinburgh & Glasgow, the perfect starting point to any hidden Scotland campervan road trip. Plus, whether you’re touring the sights, searching for adventure, or relaxing with home from home comfort, we have a camper for that.
Choose from our range of 2-6 berth campervans and motorhomes available for your own Scotland road trip today! To book, use the quote and book button on our website, email [email protected] or call our team on +44(0)2890813057.