Take a Scottish road trip through Burns country - Select Car Leasing
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Take a Scottish road trip through Burns country

There’s more to a Scottish road trip than the famous North Coast 500.

Because there’s another, arguably better, route that charts a circular course through the far south west of Scotland.

And because the so-called ‘South West Coastal 300, or ‘SWC300’, sees you travelling through prime Robert Burns country, it’s perfect to enjoy this month!

Burns was, of course, the legendary Scottish poet who gave the world works like ‘Auld Lang Syne’ and ‘Tam o’Shanter’ before passing away in 1796 aged 37.

Barring a brief stint in Edinburgh, Burns spent most of his life in the counties of Ayrshire and Dumfries & Galloway.

Burns fans flock to the ‘Burns Cottage’ in Alloway, South Ayrshire - Burns’ first home (below) built by his father - as well as to the nearby ‘Burns House Museum’ in Mauchline, East Ayrshire.

And as the annual Burns Night celebrations kick-off on January 25th, it might be time to plan your own journey through the land that inspired his writings.

South West Coastal 300

Everyone knows about the North Coast 500 - Scotland’s most popular road trip and which is a 516-mile jaunt around the north coast of Scotland, beginning and ending at Inverness Castle.

But less well known is the South West Coastal 300. And if you want to escape crowds of other road-trippers, and sundry caravans and motorhomes, the SWC300 might be just the expedition for you.

The road trip is a relatively new phenomenon, launched in 2018, and aimed at bringing more visitors to south west Scotland.

It was kick-started through a campaign by Visit South West Scotland, while the website Motorcycle Scotland also played a big role in developing the route, too.

So, what can you expect?

The long story short is that the SWC300 starts in Dumfries and is around 300 miles long.

It takes-in the stunning coastlines of Dumfries & Galloway and South Ayrshire, before heading across to Sanquhar, through to Moffat and finishing back in Dumfries.

Most people take between three and four days to complete it.

And besides the obligatory stop-off at Burns Cottage in Alloway, here are some of the other highlights you can expect along the way:

Crafty Distillery (Newton Stewart)

Crafty was voted Scottish Gin Distillery of the Year, and there are tours as well as spirits to explore. Find a hotel nearby and it goes without saying, don’t sample and drive.

St Ninian’s Cave (Whithorn)

Said to have once been the hideaway for an early Christian saint, this dramatic coastal cave overlooks the beautiful Port Castle Bay.

Crawick Multiverse (Sanquhar)

No, it’s not a new Marvel film - this is a land art installation, complete with amphitheatre and ‘Comet Walk’ made up of huge boulders.

Adventure Carrick (Girvan)

Whether you fancy a bit of canoeing, paddleboarding, or mountain biking, Adventure Carrick runs trips all year round.

Culzean Castle (Ayr)

More a massive manor and country park than a ‘castle’, this attraction is perched above woods, beaches, secret follies and play parks and is well worth a visit.

7stanes mountain biking (various locations)

You’ll find these mountain biking meccas in locations like the Forest of Ae, near Dumfries, and Glentress, and there are trails for all abilities - including ‘Severe’ black runs and ‘Extreme’ orange downhill sections.

*To find out more about the SWC300 and to book accommodation, head to: Scotland Starts Here website.

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