Three Perfect Islands for a Scottish Road Trip

Perfect Islands for a Scottish Road Trip

Three Perfect Islands for a Scottish Road Trip

I’m Kay, the Scottish Travel Blogger who loves a road trip, but doesn’t know how to drive. I compensate for this shortfall in my skillset through my perfectly polished adventure-planning abilities, and my conviction when pitching said adventure plans to a pal who has a driving license. As such, I fondly frequent Scotland’s public transport network, but also enjoy an epic road trip when the opportunity arises. I mean, who doesn’t love a Scottish road trip?Perfect Islands for a Scottish Road Trip

There is nowhere I love more than the Scottish Islands (my bed is a close second), and I regularly forfeit overseas adventures in favour of a trip to the islands. My walking boots and local buses have served me well on many of these wanderings, however there are some Scottish Islands that are just screaming out for a road trip. I would love to set off on a campervan holiday, where I could rest up for the night overlooking any bonnie vista of my choosing. Long distances can be travelled freely, remote gems can be discovered effortlessly, and I can hop out after sudden-shouting-and-pointing-like-a-lunatic requests for yet another photo-stop. Here are three  islands which are perfect for a Scottish road trip.

1. Lewis & Harris

Being the largest of Scotland’s Isles, Lewis and Harris is a real show-off with its abundance of scenic roads, attractions, and varied landscapes. On Lewis – the north of the island – there’s Uig beach (where the famous Chess Men were discovered), the mysterious Callanish Standing Stones, the Butt of Lewis, and Gearrannan Blackhouse Village; all served on stage of barren beauty and dramatic coastline.

Harris is stunning, from gnarly mountain to turquoise sea. The beaches of West Harris (my favourites are Seilebost and Luskentyre) are devastatingly dreamy, while the Golden Road on the east coast is like driving across the surface of the moon. Lewis & Harris is definitely my favourite island for a Scottish road trip! Check out my blog The Isle of Harris: Much More Than Just Beaches for extra inspiration.

Perfect Islands for a Scottish Road Trip

Luskentyre Beach

Perfect Islands for a Scottish Road Trip

Callanish Standing Stones

  Top Tips:

  • Grab freshly made sweet & savoury treats for the road from Croft 36 in Northton, Harris
  • Enjoy a sit-in meal at The Anchorage in Levenburgh or Digby Chick in Stornoway
  • Fill up at Ardhasaig Filling Station on Harris, or from a number of stations on Lewis including Engebret Ltd in Stornoway

2. Arran

The Highland Boundary Fault Line runs through the Isle of Arran, providing this wee isle with its very own Highlands and Lowlands. As such, Arran is the picture of geological uniqueness, and is affectionately dubbed ‘Scotland in Miniature’. This nickname is entirely accurate, as all quintessential Scottish charms can be found within the island’s 167 square miles; castles, glens, forests, beaches and mountains.

Discover the romantic ruins of Lochranza Castle, search for seals on the beach in Brodick, and pop in for a tour at the Isle of Arran Distillery. Those feeling more adventurous can see the island from above, by tackling the highest peak, Goatfell (this is my plan for the next time I visit!)

Perfect Islands for a Scottish Road Trip

Perfect Islands for a Scottish Road Trip

  Top Tips:

3. Mull

The Isle of Mull is magical; rainbows hover over Loch Scridain, just as the mist circles the summit of Ben More. Mull will undoubtedly capture your affection, from the small-town bustle of picture-postcard Tobermory, to the wildly beautiful three-tiered Eas Fors waterfall, and idyllic beach at Calgary Bay. Keep an eye out for Duart Castle from the ferry, as it welcomes you to the island on the journey from Oban.

A widely appealing destination in itself, Mull is also the gateway to further island exploration; Iona, Staffa and Ulva are all within easy reach. That’s probably why I love it so much!

Perfect Islands for a Scottish Road Trip

Perfect Islands for a Scottish Road Trip

  Top Tips:

  • Pick up some fresh mussels from the Inverlussa Mussel Farm (leave money in the honesty box)
  • Try a hand dived scallop and Stornoway black pudding roll from The Creel, Fionnphort
  • Fill up at MacKay’s Garage in Tobermory, MacDonald’s at Dunora or Ardfenaig Filling Station

Which of these three islands would be YOUR ideal road trip?

Perfect Islands for a Scottish Road Trip

If, like me, you would love to take off on a road trip adventure in a campervan or motorhome, the lovely folks over at the ‘Scottish Caravan, Motorhome & Holiday Home Show’ (jings, that’s a mouthful) have been in touch to offer my readers a wee discount for the big event. Happy days!

Tell me more…

The show is the largest of it’s kind and is packed full of exhibitors who can inspire your next Scottish holiday. It has the biggest and best selection of caravans and motorhomes under one roof, as well as holiday parks and luxury lodges, all with lots of deals and offers. There is even a tent section for all you happy campers! If you would like to attend the details are:

  • 8th – 11th February at the SEC Glasgow
  • Offer = £9 per adult advance ticket (instead of £11pp) plus 10% booking fee
  • Kids under 16 go free
  • Tickets can be booked on Eventbrite using discount code CHAOTICSCOT18
  • For more information visit the Caravan Show Scotland website.

This blog post is sponsored by the Scottish Caravan, Motorhome & Holiday Home Show.

As always, all content / advice / blethering is my own

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4 Comments

  • Mull has to be my favourite, I think. So much character and plenty picture perfect views too.
    The diversity of wildlife for such a small place is a real draw to us.

    • Kay says:

      Mull is wonderful! I usually prefer smaller islands – like Eigg and Iona – but when the opportunity for me to be a car passenger arises, it makes sense to explore the big ones. Have you ever seen any sea mammals on your adventures? I haven’t, but would love to!

  • Alex says:

    Having driven or cycled on most of the 23 Scottish islands I’ve been to, I can’t disagree.

    Driving towards Lewis from Tarbert on Harris when the mountains come into view is breathtaking, and that’s far from the only spot where that’s the case. This would be my choice if I had to pick one island.

    I mostly used my feet and public transport on Arran, but rented a car for a day, and it’s a perfect little place to drive around.

    Mull is awesome. I didn’t know of Eas Fors waterfall (and I love waterfalls) and didn’t get to go inside Duart Castle. A walk I did along the south coast is one of my favourites ever. And the smaller islands accessible from it are great. I’ll be back.

    I hope you like my more concise attempt at responding. 🙂

    • Kay says:

      The mountains on Harris are pretty special. I haven’t imagined it being so mountainous so it was a lovely surprise!

      Arran is a great size for a short trip. The longest I’ve spent there is 2.5 days and I still feel like I’ve seen and done loads.

      Definitely check out Eas Fors next time you’re on Mull. I’ve not been inside Duart Castle either. Would definitely like to spend some more time on Mull, and get out to Ulva and Erraid.

      This was very concise for you Alex

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