RE: Loch Lomond - Campbeltown : My Dream Drive

RE: Loch Lomond - Campbeltown : My Dream Drive

Thursday 31st July 2014

Loch Lomond - Campbeltown : My Dream Drive

North of Glasgow is a very long way but the roads around Loch Lomond really are worth it



Name: Matt Bird
Where: Loch Lomond to Campbeltown Airport, A85 and A816, West Scotland
Car:Bentley Continental GT Speed

Roads always great, weather perhaps not
Roads always great, weather perhaps not
The route:
"The drive begins on the banks of Loch Lomond, the A82 staying close to the water until the A83 and then A85 take you west. At Oban get onto the A816 and track south past Loch Melfort and then through, well, not an awful lot really until Stonefield. Here the '816 is incorporated into the A83. Follow it towards Brackley and Loch Gilp (you'll know that when you see it!), a brief stint on the B8024 around Tarbert and then continue on the A83 all the way to Campbeltown. The airport probably won't let you max your car on arrival though."

Why it's a dream drive:
"This part of Scotland is quite sparsely populated as well as spectacularly beautiful. Ergo even 'major' roads like the A82 and A83 are a) relatively quiet and b) run through some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world, let alone Britain. Moreover, as the primary roads between a few Scottish settlements they seemed well looked after too. Again the fairly light traffic will help here.

If you could match car with road...
If you could match car with road...
"The vast open expanses of water up here are totally captivating. Gorgeous weather on the days I was there certainly heightened the experience but to drive along huge lochs with sun glinting off the surface is a special experience.

"With so much space, lots of the roads are fast and flowing if not always the widest. Perfectly matched to the Bentley we were there for actually, the corners long and open, the straights stretching off into the distance. But don't think the route is dull by any stretch. Quick direction changes abound, the roads climb up hillsides and there are tighter, technical sections in the forest too. Here the two-ton Bentley felt less at home..."

Highlights and lowlights:
"There isn't really a lowlight to the route, just sections that are marginally less amazing than the rest. The very appropriately named Loch Awe is certainly a highlight; keep an eye out for the train station in the town and a very scenic track. Searching for trains shows it's a 13-hour journey from PH Towers there or thereabouts...

Views really are worth stopping for
Views really are worth stopping for
"Traffic can be a bit of a problem. As major routes, sparsely populated or otherwise, you can come across trucks, tractors and other big stuff. On the stretches with good visibility overtakes are easier but in wooded sections that obviously becomes harder. And much more frustrating. Having a gigantic Bentley probably didn't help the cause either.

"For me the best section of road was after the stop at the (exceptionally nice) Loch Melfort Hotel. You'll see on the map that there's very little between Loch Melfort and Lochgilphead on the A816. Drag Streetview across and you'll see mile after mile of superb roads; twisting, turning and with more stunning views. That stretch alone is worth however long it takes to get that far north. Probably."

Sights, stop-offs and diversions:
"The route incorporates Oban, a noteworthy stop for single malt fans. We of course couldn't make a stop at any distilleries during the drive...

Scotland does A-roads rather well
Scotland does A-roads rather well
"Predictably enough the Cameron House hotel Bentley put the journos up in is a fabulous place to stay and is perfectly sited for further exploration of the loch and the surrounding National Park. In fact you can take your pick from lochs in the area, with Goil, Long, Eck, Craignish and Nant all on or close to the route

"As you travel further west Scotland becomes more desolate so it's worth bearing in mind that Loch Lomond is only about 30 minutes from Glasgow Airport. Just if you want a little less isolation. And as you are so far north, Fort William won't seem quite so far away.

"So there it is. Get the flight to Glasgow and rental car booked ASAP!"

Follow the route here.

 

 





Author
Discussion

f1ten

Original Poster:

1,681 posts

87 months

Thursday 31st July 2014
quotequote all
I cannot disagree. I spent most of my life there around loch lomond and the light traffic and scenery is exactly the point. yes the alps are stunning but you have to pick your times of day like 7pm to have a thrash to avoid the caravans

b14

553 posts

122 months

Thursday 31st July 2014
quotequote all
Absolutely - blast up the Rest and Be Thankful, stunning roads on the other side as well. Heaven.

thatguy11

566 posts

57 months

Thursday 31st July 2014
quotequote all
Well that's my weekend sorted....

5STM5

259 posts

83 months

Thursday 31st July 2014
quotequote all
Agreed. I live close to Loch Lomond and as long as you pick the time right it is a fantastic drive.

GroundEffect

10,973 posts

90 months

Thursday 31st July 2014
quotequote all
The Alps might be more dramatic but the West Coast of Scotland is still the most beautiful place in the world to me.
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thatguy11

566 posts

57 months

Thursday 31st July 2014
quotequote all
GroundEffect said:
The Alps might be more dramatic but the West Coast of Scotland is still the most beautiful place in the world to me.
Yep, no arguments here! Although as stunning as the Campbeltown area is, further north on the west coast is even more beautiful I think. from Glencoe, through Ullapool and right up to Durness is an absolutely staggering drive

oldtimer2

632 posts

67 months

Thursday 31st July 2014
quotequote all
thatguy11 said:
Yep, no arguments here! Although as stunning as the Campbeltown area is, further north on the west coast is even more beautiful I think. from Glencoe, through Ullapool and right up to Durness is an absolutely staggering drive
Agreed. We spent a couple of weeks earlier this year driving these roads and further north as far as Lochinver, including Skye, the Pass of the Cattle to Applecross and many of the minor, single track coastal roads. Wester Ross takes a lot of beating.

wooooody

915 posts

171 months

Thursday 31st July 2014
quotequote all
Sorry, but its a pretty poor drive considering what else is on offer. My partner of the last 5 years hails from Campbeltown and the 3 hour drive there is almost as bad as getting there and realising you're essentially in Cumnock by the sea.Its a relatively dull road with pretty average views.

If you're planning a 3 hour drive from Glasgow, there are far far far better options with better roads, spectacular scenery and you might end up somewhere nice (albeit without Springbank distillery which as far as I can make out is the sole redeeming feature).

sjabrown

1,224 posts

94 months

Thursday 31st July 2014
quotequote all
Some cracking roads. The stretch up Loch Lomond by far and away being the worst of them (this time of year normally a queue of caravans and motorhomes interspersed with HGVs). The stretch between Oban and Lochgilphead is a cracker as it climbs from loch to glen to loch to glen. Just watch the villages as police are active with hairdryers in that area.

monthefish

19,218 posts

165 months

Thursday 31st July 2014
quotequote all
"So there it is. Get the flight to Glasgow and rental car booked ASAP!"

Don't. Nothing to see here. whistle

Axionknight

8,338 posts

69 months

Thursday 31st July 2014
quotequote all
Very nice indeed but for me you have to head further north, up beyond Oban to Ullapool and right up to the northern coast, which I will be doing this weekend in the Clio, along with a mate in his Type R, hoping for some nice weather and a few quiet roads to go exploring.

Cannot wait! bounce

thatguy11

566 posts

57 months

Thursday 31st July 2014
quotequote all
Axionknight said:
Very nice indeed but for me you have to head further north, up beyond Oban to Ullapool and right up to the northern coast, which I will be doing this weekend in the Clio, along with a mate in his Type R, hoping for some nice weather and a few quiet roads to go exploring.

Cannot wait! bounce
Me and a mate did a whole lap of the highlands a few months ago, 800 miles biggrin can't recommend it enough

LeighW

1,480 posts

122 months

Thursday 31st July 2014
quotequote all
Axionknight said:
Very nice indeed but for me you have to head further north, up beyond Oban to Ullapool and right up to the northern coast, which I will be doing this weekend in the Clio, along with a mate in his Type R, hoping for some nice weather and a few quiet roads to go exploring.

Cannot wait! bounce
You'll have a blast, we did when we went last month, even driving a VW T5! A detour to Applecross for lunch is worth it (for the road, and the food!).

WokkaWokka

420 posts

73 months

Thursday 31st July 2014
quotequote all
I had the pleasure of being able to drive up here and I spent a weekend at Loch Etive. Coming back I dropped someone off at home in Glasgow and they suggested that we drive back via Loch Lomond.

Just brilliant roads and great scenery.

g3org3y

12,565 posts

125 months

Thursday 31st July 2014
quotequote all
Some lovely roads round there. We did a Scotland road trip a couple of years back (in January in a convertible obviously!) and had a lovely time. cool (bit chilly though!)

We also stayed at the Cameron House, a very nice hotel indeed (great breakfast and great steak!).

A couple of shots:





Write up heresmile

Tyre Tread

9,013 posts

150 months

Thursday 31st July 2014
quotequote all
Shhhhhhh or they'll all be clogging up the roads.

Hedgerley

608 posts

202 months

Thursday 31st July 2014
quotequote all
Its no wonder Lotus chose the Cameron House and these roads for the Evora launch. I spent that day pootling around in the Esprit Evora spotting and then up and over the Rest and Be Thankful. Stunning. A couple of years ago we spent several days further up the coast around Gairloch, having come across the tops from equally stunning roads on the East coast.

We really are spoiled for choice up here - fortunately for some if us its not a long drive to get there...

Recreation of a famous EVO cover at the Rest and Be Thankful following the Evora launch...





Edited by Hedgerley on Thursday 31st July 15:44

lamboman100

1,445 posts

55 months

Thursday 31st July 2014
quotequote all
Scotland, particularly the western half, is the second most beautiful country on Earth (Afghanistan no.1).

Well worth a visit and drive.

delboy735

1,654 posts

136 months

Thursday 31st July 2014
quotequote all
Fancy a stop off in the lap of luxury during the trip, complete with hot tub overlooking the stunning islands, try this. www.corrie-house.com

Owned by Yorkshire folk as well. It's simply amazing.
The trip is worth it just for the views, and wildlife. Visit the highlands twice a year at the mo, until I can secure a job there !!



ps, the owner has a FFRR Supercharged, and a boat,so you'd be in good company.

BigDj

17 posts

87 months

Thursday 31st July 2014
quotequote all
As a young Rep. I drove this very road every month ie. 12 times a year.