If you like me have spent a lifetime devouring car magazines, you will be aware that at one time or another any motoring journalist you care to mention has waxed lyrically about the roads and scenery of the northern reaches of the UK particularly northern Scotland. This tour has been designed to prove to you why. You will discover narrow lanes bordered by hedges or moss covered stone walls, there will be waterfalls dropping almost onto the road way, there are the barren dales where you can see the road winding it’s way into the distance and the dark heavily forested glens where the light disappears on you and then there is the sheer size of the Scottish Landscape. I tried to photograph it but you can only get a small portion of the majestic whole, you just have to experience this amazing landscape for your self. I have set the tour for mid-summer, OK there is no guarantee that the weather will be perfect but with twilights stretching until after 11pm, you can fit a lot into a day. The best way to describe the driving? Well i’m not sure I have the words but I will tell you that I lost count of the times I came over a crest and broke into a broad grin when I saw the road ahead or the number of times I came through a bend and said “Oh Wow” out loud as you take in the new scene that has opened up for you.
This is a special trip.
All this might be unique to this particular tour but rest assured that we stay true to the Driving Adventures traditions of first rate hotels, fine dining, amazing sight-seeing along brilliant roads selected for driving enjoyment. You will be supplied with a detailed road-book and your own Sat-Nav unit that details our selected route each day. This allows you to set your own timetable and take any side trips that might desire.
Sunday 11 June Newby Bridge
An easy day, arrive at your leisure, take in the sights of the Lake District before the tour meets for dinner at the Swan Hotel.
Monday 12 June Newby Bridge 120.4 Miles
A nice cruise day to ease you into the tour. Today is all about Country Lanes, Stone Walls, Ancient Farmhouses and Country Pubs. We pass through Ambleside and Keswick both are full of quaint shops and cafes and are worth a walk. There are a couple of Mountain Passes unlike anything else you have tackled. Bumpy, narrow and very tight in places. Your average speeds will be low but these offer an amazing drive. Dinner tonight is at a small country pub not too far from our hotel.
Tuesday 13 June Port Appin 267.1 Miles
This is a pretty big day as I thought it best to head straight to the Highlands. The first 180 miles or so will see you transported up the M6 Motorway, into Scotland and through Glasgow to the shores of Loch Lomond. We then head into the heart of the Highlands as we turn west tracking along valleys beside Lochs and up over the ridges. There are some lovely little towns to explore, oysters to eat and great roads to enjoy. Our hotel is a small inn right on the water with an amazing restaurant.
Wednesday 14 June Portree 126.2 Miles
An easy run today as we head towards the Islae of Skye. I haven chosen to reach the Isle via the ferry from Malliag. This way you pass the beaches and scenery featured in the movie Local Hero. Once onto the Isle we take a back road past the Tallisker distillery and onto the first of the unique Scottish B road that leads us into Portree.
Thursday 15 June Ullapool 155.3 Miles
The road off Skye is spectacular enough but once we turn off after 30 odd miles it become truely memorable. You will climb hills, dive down gorges, skirt lochs and lakes and drive through amazing scenery. Just a good day.
Friday 16 June Ackergill 172.9 Miles
The North Coast of Scotland! This is why we came. Amazing scenery and unique roads. Lots of single lane bitumen with passing bays followed by glorious sweeping bends and always the scenery. There is time for plenty of stops and walks to discover more. We travel to Dunnet Head the most northerly point of Britan. Our home for the night is a 16th century tower right on the coast. A special place.
Saturday 17 June Carrbridge 167 Miles
The run down the east coast is very different from the west and north, everything seems more orderly, lots of stone walls but always the amazing views of the coast. We turn inland to pick up a great driving road that delivers us to Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle. A whiskey for the first one to spot Nessie. We then pass through Inverness before hitting the main road to Carrbridge and a very Scottish Lodge. Try deep pile tartan carpets on the stairs.
Sunday 18 June Edinburgh 166.8 Miles
Today has to rank as one of the best drives anywhere. Lots of corners but the ups and downs are amazing and there is very little traffic. We pass a string of distilleries, Balmoral and Braemar Castles, Gleneagles Golf Course, Knockhill Race Circuit and Murrayfield. Something for everyone. Our home for the next 2 nights is a boutique hotel on the edge of the city. Only a 10 minute walk into the centre or a 2 minute bus ride from the front door.
Monday 19 June Edinburgh
A day to explore the amazing city of Edinburg or if you are keen it is about 90 minutes out to St Andrews. A day to do your own thing.
Tuesday 20 June Grange Over Sands 205 Miles
This is my favourite day of the tour. It is a fairly big drive but I will be surprised if you would want to shorten any of it. The first hour or so is along a major road to small towns that seem to be dormitories for Edinburgh but soon enough we are into the Yorkshire Moors, stark treeless hills populated by sheep and stone walls. We occasionally drop into the dales and the quaint stone villages straight from the TV show Heartbeat. We eventually wander back to the bottom of the Lake District and a favourite hotel of mine overlooking Morecambe Bay.
Wednesday 21 June Meani Bridge 203 Miles
I couldn’t say goodbye to the Yorkshire Moors without one more quick run, so first thing this morning we head back for a bit more fun before looping into Lancashire and back onto the motorway to Wales. Our hotel is a Chateau overlooking the inlet opposite Bangor at the very top of Wales.
Thursday 22 June Bath 244 Miles
I was looking for today to be a fitting farewell to a great tour and I think you will agree that it fits the bill. We are into the fabled mountains of Snowdonia pretty quickly and then onto the A and B roads to my favourite Welsh town, Welshpool. we then head along the roads the magazines all rave about to Brecon in the heart of the Beacons and then on to an amazing hotel in the centre of Bath.
Friday 23 June Goodwood 102 Miles
We say our official goodbyes early today. If you want to explore Bath, you are in the best location possible. If you still haven’t enough of cars, well then it is an easy two and a half hours to Goodwood and the Festival of Speed.
There are a number of options for cars for this tour. If you don’t mind left hand drive then the Renault/Peugeot lease car option which is the favoured option for the European Tour is a straight forward option. If you would be more comfortable with a right hand drive then Avis Prestige offer a range of desirable models from Audi A3’s to 911’s, Jaguars and Bentleys. I am currently negotiating for them to widen their range to possibly include Golf GTis, Mazda MX5s and Toyota 86s all of which would be perfect for the tour.
One of the keys to the flexibility of the tour is a system that allows you to explore all the amazing back roads at your own pace and with the confidence that you will find your way to the next hotel or lunch stop. I have put in place a 2 stage system that will ensure you will not have any problems finding your way. First, every car will be supplied with a Sat-Nav unit that has our route programmed into it. Just select the day of tour and it will take you through every turn along the way. You will also receive a comprehensive road-book that not only details every turn along the way but also gives you an over-sight of each days drive and a list of hotel and emergency numbers that ensure that you are always in touch.
The cost of the tour is $15,000/car/2 people. This includes all accommodation and a cooked breakfast each morning. Your own pre-programmed Sat-Nav Unit, Comprehensive Road-Book and myself as the Tour Leader to smooth the way and ensure that everything happens as it should.
There is only 10 places available for this tour. Places will be allocated on a first in basis. To secure your place you will need to place a $1,500. non refundable deposit with the remaining $13,500 to be paid in 2 further deposits closer to the tour.
If you require any further information or would like to talk about this tour, please contact David at;