One of the most beautiful drives in Scotland (although too short) is on Road A83 through the Argyll Forest Park. It takes you from Tarbet up through Glen Croe. And after a pause at the famous Rest & Be Thankful Pass Scotland, you drive down in Glen Kinglas. Below are my tips and photos of the drive.
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Why drive the 183 road ?
Well, words cannot explain so let me show you a picture taken along the road...
Worth considering for your Scotland itinerary, isn't it?
More photos of the landscapes after the planning tips.
Planning Tips - Road A83 through the Argyll Forest
How to get to Glen Croe, the Argyll forest and the Rest and be Thankful pass
- A83 is between Tarbet (on the West shore of Loch Lomond) and Cairndow (on Loch Fyne)
- It drives through the Northern part of the Argyll Forest Park and in Glen Croe
- After the viewpoint at the edge of the Argyll Forest Park you enter Glen Kinglas
- Edinburgh to Tarbet = 2h drive
- Glasgow to Tarbet = 1h drive
- Between Tarbet and Cairndow it is a 30min drive
- The road is in good condition and the drive easy (if you are a little stressed, you can also check my Scotland driving guide with video)
You can find this drive in my travel guide that facilitates the planning of your road trip through Scotland:
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Visiting the Argyll Forest Park
- You can either get a glimpse while driving A83 to Inveraray Castle and Loch Awe (like you will see in this post)
- or if you have time you can drive down and explore more of the Foret with the drive to Loch Goill or the scenir road along Loch Eck on A815 (towards the town of Dunoon)
- At Ardgartan is a visitor center for the Argyll Forest to get information on walks and activities
- Learn more about the Argyll Forest Park on its official website
Drive through Glen Croe, Scotland
After passing Arrochar on Loch Long, you start getting up in Glen Croe. The drive used to be long and very steep at the end. Now the road climbs steadily to the pass with high summits on each side. Some mountains in the area are above 900m high.
The dense tree line on each side confirms that you are in the Argyll forest park, Britain's oldest Forest park. Established in 1935, it is located at the end of the Highland Boundary Fault, the crack in the Earth’s surface that marks the line between Lowland and Highland Scotland. The surrounding peaks are called the Arrochar Alps.
Rest and Be Thankful Scotland (mountain pass & viewpoint)
At the top of the Glen Croe is a mountain pass with a large parking.
You cannot miss it! Take the time to stop, rest and be Thankful.
It is at the turn towards Loch Goill:
About the Rest and be Thankful pass Scotland
The viewpoint is spectacular. You are at the edge of the Argyll Forest Park and at the end of Glen Croe. The viewpoint is called Rest & Be Thankful which is the inscription on a stone at this location. It was there for, back in history, when the road was difficult and people would stop and appreciate to have made it that far.
Here is the view:
And if you turn around and cross the street at the viewpoint, you find the small Loch Restil. It is apparently a great place for fishing trout. You you can just relax and enjoy the scenery.
Glen Kinglas, Scotland
After that you leave Glen Croe and the Argyll Forest Park and drive down in Glen Kinglas towards Loch Fyne and Inveraray Castle.
The Kinglas Water run for 9km (6mi) down to Loch Fyne. As you drive down there is apparently a photogenic small bridge built in 1745. I did not see it. Learn more on the Hazel Tree.
As you drive down the hills get less rugged and greener:
If you like stunning road trips check out some of the best roads in Scotland:
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