The Snow Roads is Scotland’s latest driving route - and it’s a thriller.
Starting in Blairgowrie and ending in Grantown-on-Spey, the route crosses the eastern side of the Cairngorms National Park through Glenshee, Royal Deeside, The Lecht and Tomintoul.
The route takes in castles, two ski centres, distilleries, a stunning array of natural beauty and three new art installations positioned at key viewpoints where motorists and their passengers can stop and soak up the surrounds.
The works can be found at Devils’ Elbow in Glenshee, close to Corgarff Castle and at Tomintoul.
The Snow Roads Scenic Route has been devised by the Cairngorms National Park Authority in a bid to drive more visitors into this part of the protected area on the A93 and A939.
Peter Crane, head of visitor services at the NPA, said: “It’s lovely to think that we invented the route but its really been used for many years by antique motor car enthusiasts and motorcyclists. Cyclists have been using it more in recently. We are just really polishing what is already there.
“We also think it has got huge potential. We have seen the huge success of the North Coast 500 and we are in a great place to make the Snow Roads a world class experience.”
Mr Crane said the linear route offered motorists a selection of onward travel destinations, including Speyside whisky country, Fort William or the NC500.
He said the project had been almost 10 years in the making and driven by a need to open up the eastern and southern side of the Cairngorms to more visitors. Around 80 per cent of visitors head into the Aviemore and Badenoch areas, he added.
The Snow Roads will pass the Devil’s Elbow at Glenshee, the challenging double bend that was bypassed in 1971 when the road was upgraded. It can still be walked or carefully cycled.
Motorists will also hit the Cairnwell Pass, the highest main road in the United Kingdom that reaches 2199ft above sea level.
Recent research found that visitors from the US were most likely to find the concept of the Snow Roads appealing followed by those from Scotland, the rest of the UK and then Germany.
The Cairngorms National Park Authority has been encouraged by recent research that visitors attracted by the Snow Road would be expected to spend two to three days exploring the area.
Potential visitors from Germany said they would most likely spend one to two weeks on the Snow Roads trail.
Drivers are encouraged to check the weather before they embark on their journey through the Snow Roads.
The route recently won two Scottish Government Quality in Planning Awards, including the people’s choice prize.