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Driving from Oban to Inverness: Straight up north or detour through Aviemore in the National Park?

After lodging and exploring the Isle of Mull, we plan to drive from Oban to Inverness. Which route would you recommend and why? We have read of nightmarish traffic, and we have done a lifetime of that growing up in LA. We Love LA, but we escaped the traffic and like life that way. We appreciate natural vistas and would enjoy stretching our legs on a walk to break up the road trip. Thank you for recommendations.

Posted by
971 posts

I drove a bit back and forth in the area a few weeks back and I did not find the stretch along the main road west of Loch Ness particularly scenic. The bit of the road we drove through Aviemore was not that scenic either. The minor road east of Loch Ness was nicer. However the most scenic drive we did was the drive from Invercarry to Dornie that we drove from Oban to the Isle of Skye (which also gets you past the Eilean Donan Castle). The drive from Dornie to Inverness was also very scenic, but it was on smaller roads, some of them single lane. It is a bit of a detour though, but a nice one.

Posted by
834 posts

I always think the scenery of the Great Glen is relatively dull and the A82 west of Inverness is no joy to drive ,on the few straight bits its a racetrack.
the route to Aviemore is less busy and better scenery, a leg stretch in Upper Glen Nevis to Steall can be recomended

Posted by
5467 posts

The A82 can be very traffic congested in peak season. I was last there in June and it was busy. Aviemore isn't that picturesque and is a bit like a tacky theme park, but the surrounding Cairngorms are worth a stop - hit Grantown on Spey or Boat of Garden rather than Aviemore. If you are there in the summer, you could visit the Ospreys before they return to Africa for the winter at Loch Garden near Nethy Bridge.

Posted by
1335 posts

You might consider the east side of Loch Ness. From Fort Augustus to Inverness via the B roads that side rather than the A82.