10 of the most scenic drives in Scotland

Bealach na Ba is among Scotland's most epic drives (Photo: Flickr / Christian Kadluba)
Bealach na Ba is among Scotland's most epic drives (Photo: Flickr / Christian Kadluba)
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Dense with wild countryside and often empty roads, Scotland is a haven for adventure seeking drivers. If after road trip inspiration, take a look at ten of the most scenic driving routes in the country.

Bealach na Ba (Lochcarron to Applecross)

Consisting of multiple alpine-like hairpin bends and gradients of up to 20%, this road isn't for the feart.

Originally a drovers road linking the village of Applecross to civilisation, the single-track road is now a Mecca for cyclists and a highlight on the North Coast 500 (NC500).

As drivers climb to the road's climax (626 metres) views back over Loch Kishorn and of the surrounding mountains are ever improving. The final reward is a view over the oft turquoise Applecross Bay.

Simply put this is the most epic drive in Scotland.

Distance: 17 miles

Tyndrum to Glencoe

The A82 through Glencoe is hardly a secret, but it's difficult to be cynical about the clogged roads when you're surrounded by some of the most rugged and spectacular terrain in Scotland.

By starting from Tyndrum, passengers can first enjoy spectacular views of the beacon-like Beinn Dorain, before climbing over the hauntingly beautiful Rannoch Moor.

The climax of the drive is a winding ride through the hallowed Glencoe, home to the Three Sisters, the Aonach Eagach Ridge and Buachaille Etive Mor.

There are plenty of car parks and laybys en-route, allowing for perfect photo opportunities.

Distance: 30 miles

Achnasheen to Kinlochewe

The descent through Glen Docherty to Kinlochewe is a highlight for all tourists who undertake the NC500.

The A832 is draped along the glen like a piece of spaghetti - enticing for petrol heads.

Start at Achnasheen and follow the road to the banks of Loch Maree - at this point look right (if it safe to do so) and admire views of the wonderful Slioch mountain.

Finish off at the charming village of Kinlochewe.

Distance:10 miles

Connel to Ballachulish

This route follows the Argyll west coast and provides great views of Loch Linnhe and Castle Stalker.

Castle Stalker itself is a ruined castle that floats over the loch by Port Appin and exudes a mystical feel.

Start the drive at Connel and cross Loch Etive, following the A828 up to Ballachulish - the gateway to Glencoe. If you want to extend the drive, merge it with the fantastic Tyndrum to Glencoe route.

Distance: 28 miles

Inverness to Loch Fleet

A drive from Inverness to Loch Fleet offers fantastic views of the Moray, Cromarty, Beauly and Dornoch Firths.

Avoid the Kessock bridge and instead head west towards Beauly before turning north along the scenic A862. There are several places of interest worth stopping at on the way, including Beauly Priory, Rogie Falls and the Fall of Shin.

If you're a fan of craft ale, consider making a detour the Black Isle Brewery and stocking up for a post-drive refreshment.

Distance: 57 miles

Aberfeldy to Killin via Bridge of Balgie

Though the A832 along the banks of Loch Tay is undoubtedly the quickest route between Aberfeldy and Killin, a detour via Bridge of Balgie serves up views of the charming Glen Lyon.

Between Aberfeldy and Bridge of Balgie, ensure that you stop at the Fortingall Yew - possibly the oldest tree in the British Isles. From Bridge of Balgie, take the winding and scenic road by the Allt Bail a' Mhuilin through the Ben Lawers range.

Note: the road between Bridge of Balgie and the A827 may be closed off during winter.

Distance: 35 miles

Tayport to Elie

Skirting around the East Neuk of Fife, this route takes you through countless picture-perfect towns and villages.

Stops at St Andrews for tours of the city's ruined cathedral, Crail for its pleasant ocean views and Anstruther for its famous fish and chips are essential on this road trip.

A stroll along Elie beach is a fine finish to your whistle-stop tour of east Fife.

Distance: 30 miles

Ullapool to Durness

Located in the very northern reaches of Scotland this driving route is another hugely popular section of the NC500.

Taking you through the wild and remote countryside of Assynt, this drive takes you past magnificent mountains Suilven and Stac Pollaidh.

Finish at Durness and marvel at the wild and rugged north coast.

Distance: 68 miles

Dumbarton to Inverarnan

Following the west bank of the country's most famous loch, this route provides excellent views of Scotland's southernmost Munro, Ben Lomond.

Starting at the town of Balloch on the south tip of Loch Lomond, follow the A82 and enjoy views of islands Inchtavnnach and Inchlonaig.

Consider stopping at Inveruglas for a picture opportunity and the Drovers Inn at Inverarnan for a refreshment.

Distance: 37 miles

Arrochar to Inveraray

Sat in the shadow of the Arrochar Alps, the village of Arrochar is a great vantage point to view the Cobbler mountain.

If you aren't content with just the one view drive along the Rest and Be Thankful and enjoy views of Beinn an Lochain and Glen Croe.

Next descend to the banks of Loch Fyne and the whitewashed village of Inveraray.

Distance: 22 miles