The Clyde Coast on the west of Scotland has a lot to offer anyone touring in a motorhome, so much so that a single driving route just isn’t enough. The Coig, Gaelic for ‘five’ is the name of five driving routes that you can follow to explore this beautiful part of Scotland.
The Shire Driving Route
This route explores quaint towns and villages of Ayrshire in the south-west of Scotland. The area has an industrial history of fishing, farming and mining as well as a rich cultural history, not least because it is the birthplace of famous poet Robert Burns.
You’ll see castles and stately homes, rolling country hills and towering cliff tops, The Shire is an eclectic journey. Historically the area has ties to William Wallace and Robert the Bruce that have been immortalised in local folklore. As we mentioned, Robert Burns was born locally in Alloway where you can visit the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum and Burns Cottage, with a stroll along Poets Path between the two.
Another thing that The Shire is renowned for is its beautiful golf courses and Turnberry and Troon, attracting visitors from around the world to play. You’ll also find local produce on sale in independent shops and eateries along the route with plenty of hidden gems to be found.
The Shiel Driving Route
Stretching from North Ayrshire to Inverclyde and encompassing the Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park, The Shiel Driving Route is a wonderful mix of seaside towns and incredible country park landscapes.
With hills, moorland, forests, lochs and waterfalls, this area is abundant with wildlife and has plenty of scenic spots to snap a photo. You don’t have to be confined to your motorhome as you explore the area as there’s numerous walking and cycling routes to get lost in or enjoy a picnic while taking in the spectacular views.
If you’re a keen nature enthusiast then you’ll find a range of habitats to spot wild creatures in the Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park. From nature reserves and woodlands to lochs and waterfalls, you’ll find it all, there’s even a visitors’ centre at Greenock Cut and water sports to try out at Castle Semple.
For lovers of the seaside and dramatic coastlines this route has plenty to offer, there’s secret bunkers, formidable castles, classic seaside towns and sandy beaches. Kelburn Country Park brings the historical and modern together with the brightly and creatively painted Kelburn Castle. The country park has extensive woodland, secret gardens, nature trails and adventure parks that make it the perfect place for a family day. Nearby you’ll find towns that are filled with walking trails, harbours, rocky coastlines and independent local shops and eateries with local produce.
A visit to Largs is highly recommended as the town is famous for its ice cream that you can enjoy while strolling along the promenade. The town is also famous for its Viking connections, you can find out about the famous Battle of Largs and much more at Vikingar! an exciting, hands-on cultural and heritage centre that kids will love. You’ll also find the Pencil Monument in Largs at a scenic spot on the shire, commemorating the defeat of a Viking fleet in the 13th century.
The Arran Driving Route
Taking you around an island with a lot to offer, The Arran Driving Route is an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Incredible scenery, rich history and a vibrant local culture, Arran is an island you immerse yourself in. Arran is also a popular destination for nature lovers, with golden eagles and white deer on the island and sharks & dolphins in the surrounding waters, so keep your eyes peeled when you’re on the ferry.
If you enjoy exploring the outdoors then Arran has plenty to offer. The island is home to mountainous scenery to explore on foot, scenic coastal cycle routes, and kayaking & diving on the south coast.
If you’re more interested in a more relaxed time then Arran is a great place to take a laid-back approach. There’s a thriving music and arts scene on the island and a range of distilleries and breweries to sample. For foodies there is a wealth of excellent restaurants that allow you to sample locally-sourced food that won’t disappoint.
The Bute Driving Route
The Isle of Bute has long been a popular resort with holiday-makers from Scotland’s mainland looking to enjoy the island’s beautiful beaches. Rothesay, the main town on Bute, is popular as well, with a Victorian promenade and beautiful gardens and buildings it’s a pleasant place for a stroll.
Rothesay is also home to a number of independent shops, pubs and eateries. If you’re looking for something a bit different or quirky then this is the place to explore. You’ll find menus of restaurants and cafes are filled with locally-sourced food but there’s also a surprising array of restaurants with food and drink from around the world.
The island can be easily explored on foot, with the West Highland Way providing marked footpaths to follow. Across Bute you’ll find relics from its past stretching back as far as the Neolithic, including cairns, tombs and a variety of relics on display in the museum.
As we’ve already mentioned the island’s beaches are extremely popular, and there’s plenty to choose from. Ettrick Bay Beach on the west coast offers vast golden sands and even has a nearby tearoom that serves food all afternoon. Also on the west coast you’ll find Scalpsie Bay, a more secluded beach that has historical significance relating to both WWII and the Cold War due to the island’s strategic position at the mouth the Clyde. Other beaches you’ll find include St Ninian’s Bay, which has stunning views, Kilchattan Bay, ideal for bird watching, and Langalbuinoch, which has picturesque views over to Arran.
The Cumbrae Driving Route
This tiny island has so much to offer! A short hop over from Largs and you’ll find yourself on an island that is bustling with life. Millport, the only town on the island, is a popular destination that has seaside shops, pubs and restaurants along its promenade. A particularly quirky point of interest is Crocodile Rock, a seaside rock that is, you guessed it, shaped like a large crocodile and regularly painted in vivid colours by locals.
The route around the island is flat and safe, making it popular not only for vehicles but also cyclists if you fancy getting out of your motorhome for some exercise and to breathe in the sea air. You’ll find plenty of scenic stops along the way to take a rest and enjoy a picnic.
If you want to be away from the busy town of Millport and find somewhere quieter then you’ll find idyllic beaches on the island’s west coast with views of Bute and Arran. There’s plenty of wildlife to enjoy, with birds, seals, porpoises and basking sharks all to be spotted.
Discover The Coig in a Motorhome Hire
If exploring one or more of The Coig’s incredible driving routes sounds like fun then why not do so in a luxury motorhome hire to travel in comfort and style. We have a wide range of motorhomes and campervans for you to choose from, from large vehicles with all mod-cons, to compact yet practical campervans. Visit our Motorhome Hire page to find out more about our vehicles and you can Get a Quote online when you’ve made your choice.