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Journey of Discovery

A road trip through Scotland is one of the best ways to experience the landscape, culture and cuisine of this beautiful country.

Words by Patrick Tillard

Driving up through the Quiraing on the Isle of Skye
Fishing for Atlantic salmon on the world-renowned River Spey
Success in the Boat Pool on Beat B of the Tulchan waters
Heading into remote regions in Torridon
The incredible Old Man of Storr on Skye
On the edge at the Old Man of Storr
Oysters at The Three Chimneys - an absolute must if visiting Skye.
Talisker Distillery, where one of Scotland's finest single malt whiskies is produced
Inside the Talisker Distillery at Carbost
On the road to the River Alness from the Isle of Skye
Casting a fly across the Hoch Pool on the River Alness
Castle Stalker at low tide, located near Port Appin in Argyll.
Dramatic skies over the Scottish Highlands
One last cast on the River Awe in Argyll
Heading home via Glencoe
End of the road

A road trip is one of the most compelling ways to experience a new country: you’re free to stop where you want, when you want; free to move at your own leisurely pace; and as you move from one place to another you’re able to watch the landscape and culture changing around you. The potential to cover great distances, but not feel disconnected from the surroundings, enables you to absorb a huge amount of detail in a relatively short period of time. And while a good road trip starts with a plan, great road trip features an element of spontaneity.

In Scotland this is par for the course.

Firstly, there are the bumpy single tracks that peel off invitingly from the main roads, following narrow spate rivers into hidden glens. The itch to know what is at the end of them can be overwhelming – how can it get more remote and wild than the stretch you’re currently travelling? It’s usually worth the detour. These long, winding diversions tend to lead to isolated lochs with Gaelic names you can’t begin to pronounce, to crumbling relics steeped in history and beauty, or to rugged coastlines battered and shaped by strong oceanic forces.

Seafood in this part of the world is literally minutes from creel to crunch

Then there are the handmade signs hammered into heather verges, prompting a pit-stop to visit a local café or seafood restaurant. Again, it’s worth taking your foot off the pedal – anything these unassuming establishments lack in aesthetic appeal they more than make up for in the quality of their seasonal menus. Choose the right spot and you can often watch fishing boats returning to the harbour with a successful haul – seafood in this part of the world is literally minutes from creel to crunch.

And, most influential of all, are the locals you meet along the way, who politely rip up preconceived plans and encourage you to try something you hadn’t thought of – usually over a whisky or two. If the tour buses are turning right, you listen to the man who tells you to turn left. “You can’t go there and not cast a fly on the river”…“Don’t leave without trying the oysters”…“You’d be a fool to miss the view from the ridge”… And so you start chopping at your ideas, with absolute freedom to do so, fully aware that they’ll probably change again tomorrow. Try as one might to stick to the route, it’s all too easy to get a little distracted when exploring the beauty of Scotland; this is when a road trip becomes a journey of discovery.

The Vehicle

pelorus-roadtrip-scotland-landrover

This road trip was done in partnership with Land Rover. The model used was a new Discovery Td6 HSE Luxury, starting at £66,595. One of the key ingredients to any road trip is to use a vehicle that is part of the experience rather than simply the means of getting from A-B. We covered more than 2000 miles over the course of the 10 days and each leg was a memorable part of the journey – from carving through towering glens around Torridon to bumping through thick forest to reach the riverbank in Alness. The Discovery is a masterpiece of engineering; the height of comfort and practicality on the road, and a gritty, immensely-capable machine when off it.

Fancy planning your own road trip? Contact a member of our Special Projects team to get some inspiration, whether it’s in Scotland, Patagonia, Iceland or Namibia…

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