The newly restored Moat Brae House is just one of the sites to see on Scotland’s newest touring routes, South West Coastal 300 and North East 250.
VisitScotland’s Nicole Graham says the south and north-east regions have great opportunities to seek out those roads less traveled.
“In addition to the stunning scenery, rolling hills, beautiful coastlines and one-of-a kind wildlife viewing opportunities, these regions offer accommodation options with greater flexibility and more availability, fantastic new attractions and far less crowds. It’s worth extending an itinerary,” she says.
The South West Coastal 300, just over 300 miles, encompasses Dumfries and Galloway; Scotland’s highest village, Wanlockhead; towns along the Solway Coast like Kippford and Kirkcudbright; and the country’s most southerly point, the remote Mull of Galloway. There are harborside pubs and restaurants to find in Portpatrick and rich history to discover on the Machars Peninsula.
During a stop in Dumfries and Galloway, groups can see the Moat Brae House and Garden, which inspired author J.M. Barrie’s “Peter Pan.” The enchanted Georgian home was saved from demolition and will open in the spring with tours and events for people of all ages.
The North East 250 takes visitors through the whisky distilleries of Speyside to quaint villages of the Moray Firth Coast, and Aberdeen, known as the Granite City. They can see the famous castles of Royal Deeside, like the royal family’s summer home, Balmoral Castle, and attend the Braemar Gathering and Highland Games on the first Saturday of September and see Highland dancers and athletes, top pipe bands and possibly the royal family.
Also in the south of Scotland is the newly opened Borders Distillery, located in Hawick in the Scottish Borders. It’s the first Scotch whisky distillery to operate (legally) since 1837. Visitors can see the mashing, fermentation and distillation processes during a tour of the facility, which is located in a restored Victorian-era industrial building.
Top photo: Mull of Galloway
Photo by Kenny Lam/VisitScotland