What you need to know
Driving on unfamiliar roads with an alien car and jaw dropping scenery to the left and right may cause you to worry, however there is no need to be concerned. Here we talk you through the do’s, the don’ts and how to get the most out of travelling in Scotland …. Plus, we’ll show you how to find us in our beautiful location on the West Coast of Scotland.
If coming from abroad, particularly from countries where the steering wheel is on the wrong side (the left hand side !) be sure to note that in Scotland, we drive on the left hand side of the road – which is the correct side of the road ! We’d recommend not driving long distances until you have become accustomed to your new perspective whilst driving a car.
Common sense rules supreme in Scotland, there is a legal alcohol limit but you’ll be best to go without drinking anything before driving. Keep your mobile phone in your pocket, it’s not worth it, we assure you that (pull over at a safe place for that Instagram worthy snap!). It’s also best to get enough sleep before journeys… Scotland is a big country and the drives can be long, a great excuse for a lie in! Set out in plenty of time, heaps of snacks, turn the radio up to 11 and have a good sing-song. Journeys always seem to take longer than anticipated so prepare and leave yourself plenty of time.
The choice of vehicle
Not sure what car to hire? Unsure whether the campervan you’ve bought will fit on some single track roads? Well the first thing to realise is that we are based at the end of quite a lengthy single track road and we receive coaches daily coming to visit our ticket office and see the area. If a coach can do it, so can your Winnebago. If you’re hiring, pick the car that best suits you and makes you feel comfortable. More accustomed to automatics? The ‘stick-shift’ or manual is more common in Scotland so make sure to check if you’d like an automatic.
Other points of note
The weather is unbelievably changeable throughout Scotland, four seasons in one day is not uncommon, so get extra layers in the car ready and sun cream at hand. Ferries go to many outer islands and take vehicles, something to bear in mind for visitors looking to really get away from it all.
When driving along single track roads make sure to keep an eye out for passing places for oncoming vehicles, but also local drivers who are very accustomed to the roads coming up behind you – please use the passing places but don’t expect an effusive wave of gratitude ….. be proud if you receive a pointed finger from the other driver’s steering wheel, that is the local way of saying "thanks for letting me pass". Best to let them through so you can enjoy the roads at your leisure.
To sum up
- Plan your trip around what your vehicle can do, and make sure you’re in one you feel comfortable in.
- Keep your mobile phone away and don't drink and drive.
- Be prepared for all weather.
- Be a courteous driver.
- Remember to drive on the left!
- Pull over often, when safe to do so, to enjoy the views rather than whilst driving.
How to find us
What you need to know
Bearing in mind all the above points you are now ready to jump behind the wheel and join us in Easdale for a fantastic Wildlife Tour on board one of our RIBs. Most of our customers begin their journey to us from Oban – it is a 16 mile drive through some gorgeous landscapes. To set you on your way here are some photos of what to expect :
From Argyll Square follow signs for the A816 towards Lochgilphead.
Heading out of Oban this roundabout signals where the scenic drive begins.
About 8 miles down the road you will see this sign for Easdale and Seafari (that’s us !) – turn right here (Tom, our crew, isn't always standing there to guide you !).
Oh, by the way, if you are coming from the south – maybe Loch Melfort, then you will need to turn left after Kilninver School – you should see this sign :
But if you miss that turning you will get another bite of the cherry a wee bit further down the road :
You will now be on a single track road so lots of passing places to look out for.
Next landmark on your wee road trip is the famous Bridge over the Atlantic – don’t worry, coaches and campervans or Winnebagos can all get over. Take a moment to glance to the other side of the bridge to check for any oncoming vehicles :
Pass through the village of Balvicar :
… and the road turns sharply to the right – do not go straight on towards the Isle of Luing but bear right on the same road !
Make sure you have time to enjoy the stunning view of Easdale Island as you approach the village of Ellenabeich :
… then into the conservation village of Ellenabeich and you are very nearly with us ..
This row of white houses signifies your arrival – drive down the road and you will see signs for the free car park to the right, our ticket office is to your left on the harbour square.
You have safely arrived with us, now relax and let one of our skippers do the driving (of a boat) as we head out for a Wildlife Tour.