The Beginner’s Guide to Travelling Across the Scottish Highlands
With its stunning scenery and winding country roads, a road trip through the Highlands of Scotland is definitely an experience not to be missed. With the roads winding endlessly into the mist descending from the towering peaks above, waterfalls and rolling fields at each side, don’t be surprised if your road trip consists of pulling over and taking photographs time and time again. But, driving in the Highlands can be dangerous if you’re not prepared. With the weather being renowned for being wet, windy and misty most of the time, we’ve prepared this guide for driving in the Scottish Highlands to make sure that you have an awesome and safe experience.
Take it Slow
The roads in the Scottish Highlands are filled with rest areas, laybys and pullover bays which are highly recommended. With the huge number of caravans and buses slowing down the procession of tourist traffic, it’s highly likely that you’ll need to use these rest stops quite a few times – and what better way to stretch your legs for a few minutes and take some stunning photographs of the wonderful surroundings. There’s plenty to be seen from the car, but if you get out and take a ten-minute stroll you can see even more, with literally thousands of pedestrian pathways leading to stunning views, picnic areas and more. If you’re unsure about leaving your car at a rest stop, click here to pre-book a safe parking space.
The Scottish Highlands are full of winding, narrow country roads – with many of them being barely wide enough for one car, let alone two. With many of these roads still being two-way passageways, it’s important to drive slowly and be vigilant in order to make sure that you don’t end up with a collision with an oncoming vehicle travelling in the opposite direction. Luckily, you will find plenty of passing areas on these narrow roads, so just remember that careful, slow driving and courtesy to other drivers is of utmost importance when you want to have a safe and stress-free trip.
Snow and Ice
Depending on the time of year that you plan your road trip, you may be met with snow and ice on the roads. If you travel to the Scottish Highlands in the winter, you will find that the majority of the roads are covered in snow and ice, and in some areas, there are no grit trucks to make the roads easier to drive on. If you do plan to visit at this time of year, it may be worth getting winter tyres as well as driving carefully and taking your time. De-icer for your car is also essential in the winter.
Last but not least, remember that the weather in the Scottish Highlands can be very unpredictable. You can be battling with a thunderstorm one minute, only to be met with gorgeous sunshine the next. For this reason, make sure that you dress appropriately with plenty of layers that you can take off and put back on as needed. Don’t forget walking boots, either!
Finally, it’s absolutely essential when driving in the Scottish Highlands that you have breakdown cover if the worst was to happen and your car was to break down. You can compare breakdown cover deals to get the best deal but make sure you choose one of the household brands to ensure that you’ll get a speedy service if you were to need their assistance in a remote area.
Share your best Scottish Highland driving tips in the comments below.