Sponsored

Old Military Road, Scotland: Ultimate Driving Destinations

In association with Michelin, we take a look at the Old Military Road near Glenshee in Scotland, which is possibly one of the best roads in the UK. Read the full story here

You could make a very good argument that the Old Military Road near Glenshee in Scotland is the best stretch of driving road in the UK, and at over 80 miles long, it’s certainly the most sustained. We made the trip in early 2013 with an Aston Martin V12 Zagato. To get there you need to head towards Perth and then pick up the A93 towards Blairgowrie, where the road starts to get interesting. At first it’s a lovely relaxed cruise on a lightly trafficked, fast-flowing A-road, but as you reach the Bridge of Cally the scenery starts to rise up around you and, depending on the time of year, snow will begin to appear. In fact, winter tyres might be wise if you’re visiting in the colder months.

The next section is a real rollercoaster of a road, with lots of yumps to catch out the unwary as you head to Glenshee ski station. Once there, you’re faced with the most spectacular stretch, which follows the path of the river down through a long valley towards Braemar. Fill up with fuel here if you’re running low, because you’re back out into the wilderness thereafter as you head for Balmoral. Here you can either take the narrow B976 up over the moor, which is lovely in good weather, or continue a little further towards Ballater and then turn left onto the A93. Both options take you to the same place.

Subscribe to evo magazine

If you're passionate about the world's greatest performance cars, experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Try your first 5 issues for £5.

After these narrower sections, the road reverts to comfortable two-lane fare and you keep following the A939 and signs to Grantown-on-Spey. There are some steep hairpins to be enjoyed up towards the second ski station at Lecht, followed by a wonderful plunge down the other side. Just when you think it must be all over as you crawl through the predominantly grey town of Tomintoul, there is a final stretch of (slightly) less scenic but wonderfully engaging driving that spits you out in Grantown-on-Spey. 

Start point: 56.59957, -3.33915 (Balmoral Road, Blairgowrie)The route: A93 and A939 via BallaterDistance: 83 milesTime: 2 hours 15 minutesGreat for: a Ferrari F12 (as long as it’s dry)

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Where to stay

The Angus in Blairgowrie does a good plate of food and reasonable rooms. If you’re on a budget, then try The Royal, also in Blairgowrie. Meanwhile, if you fancy driving the route in a Caterham, give Boyd at Highland Caterham Hire a call on 01343 842657 or visit www.highlandcaterhamhire.co.uk

Watch out for

There is wildlife aplenty up here to watch out for (deer, snow rabbits, grouse). There are also a few distilleries, so if you like whisky, allow time and budget to visit them. Royal Lochnagar is just off the route at Balmoral, while you’ll see signs to the Glenlivet and Glenfiddich distilleries around Tomintoul. If you want to visit the Balmoral estate, it’s open to the public between late March and the end of July. 

Michelin tyre recommendations

For more information, size and fitments visit www.michelin.co.uk

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/toyota/yaris/201932/toyota-yaris-gr-4-hot-hatchback-teased-successor-to-the-grmn-and-a-true-wrc
Toyota Yaris

Toyota Yaris GR-4 hot hatchback teased – successor to the GRMN and a true WRC homologation special

6 Nov 2019
Visit/audi/r8/201931/entry-level-audi-r8-v10-rwd-added-to-the-range
Audi R8

Entry-level Audi R8 V10 RWD added to the range

6 Nov 2019
Visit/bmw/m2/201929/track-only-bmw-m2-cs-racing-unveiled
BMW M2

Track-only BMW M2 CS Racing unveiled 

6 Nov 2019
Visit/volvo/v90
Volvo V90 estate

2019 Volvo V90 T6 R-design review - the great estate?

5 Nov 2019
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/alfa-romeo/21322/alfa-romeo-to-launch-new-700bhp-8c-and-600bhp-gtv-coupe
Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo culls sports car programme in wake of FCA merger

Italian’s future performance models killed off in favour of more profitable SUVs
11 Nov 2019
Visit/caterham/201924/caterham-620r-v-ariel-atom-35-v-elemental-rp1
Caterham

Caterham 620R v Ariel Atom 3.5 v Elemental Rp1

Flight Club - lightweight track day toys with heavyweight powertrains, Steve Sutcliffe compares them on track at Anglesey circuit in Wales
5 Nov 2019
Visit/toyota/yaris/201932/toyota-yaris-gr-4-hot-hatchback-teased-successor-to-the-grmn-and-a-true-wrc
Toyota Yaris

Toyota Yaris GR-4 hot hatchback teased – successor to the GRMN and a true WRC homologation special

Gazoo Racing to follow up its 2019 WRC championship with an all-new car based on the GR-4 hot hatch
6 Nov 2019
Visit/hyundai/201819/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-nurburgring
Hyundai i30 N

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Nurburgring

We brought the Hyundai i30 Fastback back to its spiritual home in Germany's Eifel mountains, where there is a racing track you might well have heard o…
7 Oct 2019