You have decided to do a road trip through Scotland. Great! Now what?
The first step is to think about where exactly you’d like to go and what you’d like to visit/see. Scotland might not be a big country but it will still take you quite a lot of time to explore sites you’d like to see. Especially if you want to see some of the famous, most instagrammable spots.
Our trip took 9 full days, 7 days if you take off 2 days of travelling from Essex to Scotland and back. Sure we saw loads in that time and travelled some on of the best roads, but I still wish we could have added a few more days and a few more stops. Speaking of some of the best roads, check out the last post on some great routes to take.
In this part of the ultimate guide, I will focus on the details that are useful when planning a road trip. Or any trip for that matter.
Food, glorious food!
When you think of Scotland and food, the first thing to cross your mind is probably a deep fried Mars bar. No, we haven’t tried it.
Some of the traditional food is haggis (of course), neeps and tatties, smokies, scotch pies and don’t forget porridge. A bowl of hot porridge with berries and honey is the best breakfast for cold and miserable weather.
But there is a lot more than just deep fried, heavy, meat diet; we found a place that served vegetarian haggis and it was really tasty.
Bigger towns have most of the worldly cuisine so you can take your pick. And guess what? The prices are so much lower than in England!
We got a Munchie box (big thing in Scotland btw) for about 15 pounds. We made a mistake and ordered 2 (who can resist 50% off) not knowing how big it actually is. Let me put it this way, it’s a XL pizza box, full of chicken strips, chips, ribs, veggies, onion rings and loads of other things.
If you eat fish, I wholeheartedly advise to try a Smokie. Arbroath is a small seaside town famous for its smokies. And they are divine <3.
I will just leave this here…
Jokes aside, you can’t really predict the Scottish weather. You can travel in mid June and have cold and rain all the time, but then end of October will be clear skies and sunny with temperatures over 10 degrees. Summer months tend to be wetter and it tends to rain more on the west coast.
Just wear layers and pack waterproofs. And plan things to do if do you end up having days of non stop pouring rain.
Good to know
I think the most important think to remember when planning a Scotland road trip is to know where your petrol stations are! There are plenty of them around towns and down south, but as soon as you go further “into the wild”, they are not that easy to come by. Sundays can be especially tricky as a lot of them are closed on Sundays.
Scotland is the land of midges. If you are prone to insect bites and them flaring up, don’t forget a lotion of sort to keep the itching to the minimum.
I really loved the little parking stops along the road all throughout Highlands. We found them really helpful for photo stops.
Believe it or not, wild camping is legal in Scotland (excludes some areas)! This is one of the reasons it’s so popular with backpackers, cyclists and bikers. It’s a great way to discover remote parts of our stunning landscapes and get close to nature. All you gotta do is follow some basic rules and common sense.
Lastly, paying with a card was widely accepted – in the middle of Cairngorms, half way around Loch Ness and in a roadside café on the Isle of Skye.
Scotland really is a gorgeous country, even if you managed to miss a Scotsman wearing a kilt in windy weather 😀 (not as common a site as one might think).
We hope the posts on the blog have wet your appetite for the wild beauty of Scotland. If not, worry not, there are still a few posts to come.