Despite living in Scotland for over 20 years I, took for granted all the wonders that were on my doorstep. I don’t know if it has been a form of homesickness or impractical planning but I have actually taken the time to explore much more of my beautiful homeland since moving to London.
This week I returned from a brilliant week celebrating New Year with some of my friends on the Isle of Mull so I thought it was the perfect time to share my tips for making the most of a Scottish road trip.
1. Expect the unexpected
Scotland is a land of glorious hills, glens and unpredictable weather. Taking this into account will make for a much more pleasant journey as there can be many unexpected obstacles on a simple drive including road and bridge closures, flooding, high winds and ferry cancellations. The good news is that Scotland is a small country so there is usually an alternative route, so try and take it in your stride and think of it as part of the adventure.
2. Plan ahead
In the event of one of the above incidents you may find yourself in a bit of a pickle if you have not planned ahead as all those big hills often means that phone signal is scarce, so having an alternative route or some nearby places to stay jotted down is always a smart idea. Saying this, if spontaneity is more your style I always seem to find a local who is more than willing to help in-between telling me their life story. Also, from my experience, packing a few extra layers and a torch never goes a miss when hitting the road.
3. Fill Up
If you are heading into rural Scotland then you can go miles without seeing man, woman or beast, which is part of the country’s charm, but can quickly turn a relaxing trip into a nightmare if you have not filled up with petrol in advance. Also, if you are like me and suffer from severe hanger make sure that you have plenty of car snacks.
4. Make An Offline Playlist
Radio signal is also sporadic in Scotland so if you want a theme tune to your trip I would highly recommend downloading one in advance.
5. Give Yourself Plenty Of Time
This is not just in case one of the afore mentioned disasters strike, but because I assume the reason that you have chosen to travel in Scotland is because, despite of its often bleak weather, it is truly stunning. So give yourself plenty of time for unexpected stop off’s to take in the scenery, visit attractions and make friends with some locals instead of scooting by and seeing it out of a window.
What are your guys top tips for a successful road trip?