Touring the Scottish west coast
Touring the beautiful Scottish Coast by car is the best way to experience this spectacular area. Scotland’s best beaches are found on the West Coast. This is a place of splendid scenery, rugged mountains, fjords, blue sea and islands.
The weather on the west coast is warmer than the east but does get more rain, so whilst beach weather can’t always be guaranteed, the natural beauty of the area certainly is.
Ferry across the Clyde
Start your drive in Glasgow and take a ferry across the River Clyde to the Isle of Bute. The island is described as “The Jewel in the Clyde” and you will find many quiet beaches and historic sites to visit such as Rothesay Castle, where the Kings of the Stuart Clan spent their summers, St. Mary’s Chapel and numerous pre-historic sites including the infamous Stone Circles. Spend the night on the island where there are a range of guesthouses and hotels to choose from.
The next day we’d advise you enjoy the scenic journey by road and ferry, and on the shores of Loch Fyne you will discover the quaint village of Inveraray which was founded in 1745. It is known as the gateway to the Highlands and the Islands. There is so much to do here from museums, historic castles and monuments to simply taking in the splendid scenery. Make sure you don’t get carried away at Inveraray’s famous Whisky shop though, before driving to Oban for an overnight stay.
Oban is a busy fishing port, a popular tourist town and the capital of North Argyll. The views from Oban Bay are nothing short of spectacular!
Ferries travel to Islay, Colonsay, Coll, Tiree, Mull, Lismore, Barra and South Uist. There’s a replica of the Colosseum, McCaig’s Tower, which is a distinctive feature of the skyline. It’s well worth spending the day sampling the delights of Oban. Enjoy the wildlife of the coastline; take a trip to the 13th Century Dunstffnage Castle which overlooks the entrance to Loch Etive and watch whisky being made at the Oban Distillery. (You may even get a wee dram for yours’ to try!) The tourist office is found in an old church near the railway station and the staff there will be very happy to advise you of all the things to do and see in Oban.
Isle of Mull
A short trip away from Oban you can discover one of the world’s most beautiful islands. It is home to the Chief of the MacLean Clan and also home to wildlife such as whales, puffins, otters and basking sharks.
The Isle of Mull is a must see. Tobermory is the beautiful main village which hugs the harbour. Take a trip from here to the Iona, also known as “The Cradle of Christianity”, a glorious island with sandy beaches and hidden coves and while away a few days in total relaxation.
The coastal route from Oban to Fort William is magnificent. Wend your way along Loch Linnhe, enter the heart of the Scottish Highlands, and here, nestled in the foothills of the famous Ben Nevis, you will find the town of Fort William. There is plenty of great accommodation here, and it is advisable to make Fort William your base for a night or two as the area offers much to be explored.
The Ardnamurchan Peninsula is the most westerly point of mainland Britain. Driving along you will take in superb views of the Isles of Rum, Eigg and Much. Ardtoe offers up beautiful sandy beaches where you can relax before taking a ferry over to the Isle of Skye
Isle of Skye
The coast of the Isle of Skye is dotted with sandy estuaries and picture postcard villages, such as Portree, Dunvegan and Uig. It is the largest island of the Inner Hebrides and is well known for its scenery, culture and heritage.
Whether you take the high road or the low road, no trip to this area is complete without visiting the famous Loch Lomond. From Fort William, you will travel through Glencoe across the Rannoch Moor and then along the banks of the Loch. The village on the side of the Loch offers wonderful accommodation and we recommend you spend a night enjoying the ambience of this magical place.
Whichever road you choose in this magical part of the world, you are assured of experiencing outstanding natural beauty. The west coast of Scotland is overflowing with unspoilt charm from miles of golden sands to rugged mountains and picturesque vistas.