Scotland is such a unique and beautiful country that it really deserves a lot of your time. there is so much to see and do that fitting it all in is quite impossible.
However, if you are pushed for time but want to explore Scotland by car and do a road trip then we highly recommend this looped route from Loch Lomond through Glen Coe, Fort William, Oban, Inveraray and back.
Of course, you can break up the journey by staying overnight and below we’ve listed a few places we would recommend.
We have a deep appreciation for Scotland, and our number one area is Loch Lomond, closely followed by the road to and including Glencoe.
This road trip is one of our all time favourites and we are lucky enough to have done it multiple times already, and we can verify any season is perfect for this trip (but do note if there is heavy snowfall some of the roads may close but there is always alternative routes).
Why do we love this road trip so much? There is everything that makes Scotland so beautiful and magical – from lochs and mountains to quaint villages and ruined castles, and from James Bond and to Harry Potter, with majestic deer’s thrown into the mix too!
You can start this route anywhere be it Edinburgh, Glasgow or further afield. We are starting in Loch Lomond, and definitely feel free to stop here and explore for longer.
We have a Comprehensive Loch Lomond Itinerary for you to check out too!
Luss, Loch Lomond
Luss is a picturesque conservation village in the heart of Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, take a wander through the village passing stone cottages which were built in the 18th and 19th centuries to house workers in the nearby quarry, and make your way to the pier which overlooks Loch Lomond, spot Ben Lomond and marvel at the islands dotted around. You can also get out on the water here on kayak like us!
Stay here overnight: Lodge on Loch Lomond. Rooms from £150. Loch Views and even a sauna in the Deluxe Corbett’s and Suites
> Luss – Inveruglas 18 min / 12 miles
There are many viewpoints along the A82 which takes you through Loch Lomond but one we suggest is Inveruglas. There is a short woodland trail that leads you to An Ceann Mòr – the Inveruglas Pyramid which is a viewing platform / art installation. There is also a shop and café at the carpark and from here you can hike some of the many nearby hills and mountains or hop on a Loch Lomond Cruise boat which takes you around the loch with commentary of the local areas history
> Inveruglas - The Drovers Inn 11 min / 6 miles
The Drovers, Inverarnan
If you like ghost stories then stop by the Drovers Inn which is rumoured to be one of the most haunted hotels in Britain. If nothing else it certainly is a quirky place to stop in for a drink or a bite to eat
> The Drovers Inn - Falls of Falloch 3 min / 2.2 miles
Falls of Falloch
Situated at the north part of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park you will find the easily accessible Falls of Falloch which is a stunning 30ft high waterfall surrounded by woodlands
Views enroute near the village of Crainlarich 'the gateway to the Highlands'
> Falls of Falloch - Loch Tulla viewpoint 25 min / 20 miles
Loch Tulla Viewpoint
Staying on the A82 and passing through the small village of Bridge of Orchy you will soon drive past Loch Tulla where you start to gain height as the roads starts an ascent to Rannoch Moor and Glencoe
At the top of the road there is a viewpoint, be sure to pull in here to apricate the valley and road you’ve just travelled along. Loch Tulla is set against the backdrop of mountains and more often than not you will also find deer strolling around here!
View our blog post of stunning winter scenes
> Loch Tulla Viewpoint - Rannoch Moor 6 min / 4.2 miles
So called, one of the last remaining wildernesses in Europe, Rannoch Moor is an extensive area of boggy moorland and lochs. Try to stop somewhere safe or just drive at leisure and take in the scenery which looks like a film crew ought to use this area for filming some other worldly scenes
> Rannoch Moor - Glen Etive 37 min / 15 miles
Detouring off the main road you will now be on single track roads with ‘passing places’ and this road is very popular with tourists, so it can get congested in peak season, but it is totally worth it. Glen Etive is astonishingly beautiful with the road winding along mountain sides and the Etive river flowing into Loch Etive. In Glen Etive in the right season you will spot deer - hundreds of them! Also this area is so popular as it starred in the James Bond film Skyfall – where M and James Bond stopped in his Aston Martin to look down the misty glen
Check out our post all about Glen Etive
> Glen Etive – Glencoe 39 min / 16 miles
Back on the 82 you are now heading for Glencoe, the well surfaced road winds its way around mountains and valleys, look out for waterfalls too and be sure to pull into the Three Sisters viewpoint carpark and take time to stretch your legs and marvel and the scenery all around you. For Harry Potter fans head to Clachaig Gully and Clachaig Inn where Hargrid’s Hut was set for the film Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, whilst his hut is long gone you can still appreciate and recognise the backdrop
> Glencoe – Loch Leven Ballachulish 11 min / 6.8 miles
Loch Leven, Ballachulish
From Glen Coe the road leads along the shores of the pretty Loch Leven and over the Ballachulish Bridge to take you to Fort William (or take the road to Oban if missing out on Fort William)
> Loch Leven, Ballachulish - Fort William 24 min 15 miles
Fort William is known as the outdoor capital of Scotland, and it is home to Scotland and indeed the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, which at 1345 metres is a spectacular climb
Fort William town centre is full of tourist shops, whiskey stores, outdoor clothing boutiques, bars and restaurants, it is also where the hiking route – the West Highland Way finishes after 96 miles from Milngavie and takes in a huge variety of scenery along the way
Also nearby be sure to visit the ruins of the 13th-century Old Inverlochy Castle, it is one of the the best-preserved castles of its age in Scotland
If you are a Harry Potter fan or a train spotter then a highlight is to visit the Glenfinnan Viaduct and twice daily during the summer months the Jacobite Steam Train, most commonly known as The Harry Potter Train passes by, this was featured on the way to Hogwarts when Ron and Harry fly Mr Weasley’s car. You can also take a trip from Fort William to Mallaig on the steam train, just check times for both the journey and the when to spot it from the vantage point on the hillside overlooking the viaduct
> Fort William – Castle Stalker 37 min / 25 miles