The Scottish east coast route from Edinburgh to Aberdeen is one of the best driving experiences in the country, meandering from major cities through idyllic rural regions.
Drivers embarking on this trip can enjoy the modern convenience and beautiful landscapes of the A90 motorway, whilst also being able to detour on to local routes to visit must-see attractions along the way. Taking between two and three hours flat out, motorists could spend an entire day hopping between historic sites and landmarks on their way to Aberdeen.
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Read on to find out about the best places to stop on your journey north and why this road trip is such a special one.
Stop 1 – Forth Road Bridge
Spanning the expansive Firth of Forth, the Forth Road Bridge is an icon of modern British engineering. The 2,500 metre suspension bridge connects South Queensferry with its northern neighbour and is used by around 65,000 cars every day.
Drivers heading north can stop in South Queensferry to take some snaps of the bridge and the adjacent Forth Rail Bridge. Travellers could also visit the area’s popular Hopetoun House before continuing on their journey.
Stop 2 – Deep Sea World
But don’t get too comfortable – the next stop is just across the bridge in Fife.
Deep Sea World opened in 1993 and is now one of the region’s most popular attractions. Visitors are able to wander through its underwater viewing tunnel to delve into the mysterious world of marine life at the centre. As well as stingrays, seals and countless species of fish, brave travellers could also arrange to go swimming with sharks before getting back on the road.
Stop 3 – Kinross
After the excitement of Deep Sea World, drivers can stop and enjoy the tranquillity of Kinross. The small town overlooks the picturesque Loch Leven, which is home to a National Nature Reserve that can be explored by travellers. Motorists can then grab a quick bite to eat in one of the town’s cafes before continuing northwards to Aberdeen.
Stop 4 – Lomond Hills
Fife might sit in the notoriously flat Lowlands of Scotland but the Lomond Hills are two of the most prominent peaks in the region. Known locally as the ‘Paps of Fife’, the hills are home to a regional park that provides stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Active road trippers should also make sure their journey coincides with Falkland Hill Race so they can join in the contest to the summit of the eastern peak.
Stop 4 – Dundee
Renowned for jam, jute and journalism – well, the Beano anyway – Dundee is Scotland’s fourth largest city. The A90 passes right through the city, with road trippers able to stop to visit the world-famous RRS Discovery, which carried passengers such as Ernest Shackleton and Robert Scott to Antarctica, or attend a concert at the Caird Hall auditorium.
Dundee’s city centre is also packed full of restaurants for you to have dinner at before getting underway again, ranging from the Italian cuisine of Café Sicilia to the seafood specialties of The Blue Marlin.
Stop 5 – Stonehaven
The final stop before reaching Aberdeen’s bright lights, road trippers should make the most of the rugged charms of Stonehaven. The town is famous for its fishing heritage, with it home to some of the best seafood restaurants in the region which serve the finest catches of the day. Drivers passing though Stonehaven can also stop at the Haven Fish Bar, the site where the deep-fried Mars Bar was first created.
Visitors road-tripping through the town should also attend the area’s Highland Games or Stonehaven Folk Festival if their dates overlap.
Chris Mustaine is a freelance writer who has travelled all over the world, but always returns to his adopted home of Scotland. He is currently writing a travel book on folk beliefs from around the world. You can follow him on twitter: @MeChrisMustaine