Well after months of planning a route, finding post codes for the sat navs, booking hotels and identifying points of interest photo opportunities our road trip around Scotland is nearly here. Me and my son Tom are leaving Halifax on Sunday morning in our Fiesta ST 180's and have 5 days of driving planned going up the west coast, across the north and back down past Loch Ness and Cairngorms to Edinburgh and home. Approximately 200-300 miles and some 6 hours driving each day.
The GoPro, stills camera, two way radios (in case of poor mobile signal), sat navs and various bits and bobs including several charges are all ready. We're now hoping for good weather, not concerned about it being hot but hopefully it will stay dry so the views are not obscured by low clouds and the roads are not wet.
I've listed below an overview of our route and will try and post a daily update each evening. The videos will be edited when we get home and I'll post them later, likely to be quite a few hours to view back and edit down to the more interesting and scenic bits.
Day 1 - 344 miles
From Halifax taking the A65 via Skipton, Ingleton to the M6 and M74 stopping off at Lockerbie to visit the memorial. Back on the M74, M8 and M898 past Glasgow. No more motorways now for 5 days.
A82, A83 to Arrochar and onto Inveraray. Then A819, A85, A82 to Glencoe and on to Fort William for our overnight stop.
Day 2 - 203 miles
A quick viewing of Ben Nevis from the Commando memorial then along the A82 to Invergarry. Pick up the A87 to Dornie and Eilean Donan Castle. Then the A890 to the start of Bealach na Ba (Applecross Pass) 3rd highest road in Scotland some 2054 feet above sea level. Search you-tube there are lots of videos of cars driving this road and it looks awesome.
Arriving in Applecross which is on the coast after descending all 2054 feet I suspect the brakes are going to be cooking! We'll then follow the coast road past Cuaig and Sheildaig to pick up the A896, A832 all the way up to Ullapool and the end of day 2.
Day 3 - 204 miles
From Ullapool we will drive along the A99, A9 and A862 to Dingwall, A837 to Lochinver and Ardvrek Castle. You will all recognise this castle even if you don't know the name.
We continue up the coast to Scourie and Durness. Then straight across the north coast on the A836 to Thurso, stop off at Dunnett Head the most northerly point on the UK mainland and onto John O'Groats. Then down the A99 to Wick and our next stop over.
Day 4 - 293 miles
This is our longest day in the highlands so will be quite a challenge. After following the A99, A9 and A862 to Dingwall a quick sortie inland to come out at Drumnadrochit and Urquhart Castle on the shores of Loch Ness. Down the A82 to Fort Augustus. We are then driving back up the other side of the loch on the B862, B851 and minor roads across to Findhorn bridge. Then following the A9, A938, A95 and A939 to Tomintoul and !Removed! Bridge via the second highest road in Scotland at 2133 feet. From !Removed! Bridge via the Cairnwell Pass the highest road at 2198 feet high down to Braemar, the Spittal of Glenshee and across the B950 to Pitlochry and our final nights rest.
Day 5 - 321 miles
Leaving Pitlochry we take minor roads to Kenmore and pick up the A822 to Crieff and Greenloaning before joining the A9 and M9 to Falkirk were we will visit the Kelpies and Falkirk wheel. Then onto the Forth bridges and bikers grove cafe.
Then back to Halifax.
Total is over 1350 miles but with a few unplanned detours and re-runs to get photos and videos I expect it to be nearer 1500 miles in total. Probably need new tyres and brakes by the time we get home.
If any of you guys up in Scotland see a blue and a white Fiesta ST along this route give us a wave and we'll stop and have a chat with you.
I hope this also might inspire some of you guys to plan something similar, perhaps you've already done a road trip. Let me know where you went and how you got on.