Ian and Jackie’s Scotland Tour September 2019

It was with great anticipation that we picked up the rental camper van to embark on our Scottish adventure. We had planned a 1600-mile tour of the West Coast of Scotland and a drop through the Highlands to see the beautiful scenery and unwind on our “Road Trip”!

Our first stop was in the Lake District very near Hadrian’s Wall. The campsite was great and very friendly, and we would recommend it to anyone travelling in the area.

      

We moved on up to Loch Lomond and a Caravan and Camping site in Luss on the shores of the Loch, literally as seen below.

I have to say at this point anyone considering touring Scotland should not be worried about site facilities. The sites we used over the course of the two weeks were the best we have ever used, and we have been campers for over 30 years on and off.

We did experience some extremes of weather with torrential rain and beautiful sunshine. However, don’t let that put you off as the walking and scenery is spectacular whatever the weather.

We moved up the coast through Oban and went to the Glencoe Visitor Centre and camping site. Situated in the bowl of the hills surrounding Glencoe the site was spectacular even though we only saw two thirds of the mountains due to the rain.

The atmosphere here is amazing and for the lovers of history there is a wealth of things to research and discover. The walking is also amazing, and we did some great walks in both the dry and the rain.

You are also near to Fort William here and Ben Nevis. We drove up to Fort William and down the pass of Ben Nevis. There are numerous spots where you can “stop and take in the view with a brew”

Just two of the spectacular view we took in on the pass of Ben Nevis. The roads are packed with parking/passing places so there is no need to feel any pressure when out in the camper.

 

From there we took a trip to the seaside. We stopped in a very small place called Arisaig. This area is renowned for its white sands and is one of my favourite places to visit. Very quiet and no real tourism to speak of but real peace and tranquillity for sea lovers.

It was our first adventure in a camper van, and we did lots of “finding a lovely spot, getting the kettle on and relaxing”.

It would be fair to say that we are now converted !

From Arisaig you can take the ferry over to the Isle of Skye. Once again it was a good option and relatively cheap at £15.00 for us both and the campervan.

Whilst on Skye we came upon an art exhibition of Jackie’s favourite artist Pam Carter. This happened purely by chance and really made Jackie’s holiday spectacular as this for her was like meeting a pop star. You might argue that the ferry trip was not quite as cheap as I stated earlier as we ended up buying an original painting which now hangs in our house with pride of place

Here is Pam the artist pictured with the painting we bought and me looking out over the Isle of Skye working out if we could afford to eat for the rest of the holiday!

 

We travelled across Skye and northwards to Loch Ness. Travelling through Fort Augustus and watching the boats/cruiser navigating the many lock gates that take you into the expanse of Loch Ness was quite an experience. Lots of lovely places to eat here too. Our site on the shores of Loch Ness was again great (SPOT THE CAPER KING VAN)!

From there we travelled North again to Nairn. A lovely seaside town that was worth the visit.  In fact, the whole of that coastline is spectacular if you prefer the sea to the mountains.

From there we spent a couple of days in the Cairngorms near Aviemore. Glenmore was the busiest site we used and yet again facilities were fantastic. The walking was spectacular and there is plenty of other outdoor pursuits if you want to get adventurous. Lots of mountain trails to follow as well as lovely walks/cycle trails around the lochs.

This was one of the views from the van in Glenmore.

Travelling south we took the high roads and passed through the mountains to Pitlochry. These roads are amongst the first to be closed in bad weather in the winter. The scenery was wonderful and at times awe inspiring with miles of unspoilt glens and mountains. You can see why people go there to ski.

When in Scotland you have to go to a distillery and we did just that. The Edradour distillery is certainly worth a visit although I suggest you have a decent breakfast before you go. We went on the 10am tour and were sampling whisky by 10:10am!

We then set off South again towards Aberfoyle and the head of Loch Tay. We stopped at a place called Kenmore for a walk and a sandwich. Being able to simply stop and relax when you want is a real positive with a camper van and we have some wonderful memories of doing just that.

However, all good things come to an end and we eventually arrived home having stopped in Lochwinnoch with relatives and visiting very close friends in the Lake District in Kirkby Stephen. This is a small town but worth a visit as the walking is excellent.

Although we covered 1600 miles it didn’t feel that far as we took our time and enjoyed the scenery. Some good tips for anyone doing this route would be to join the Caravan and Camping Club (if you are not already a member). Their sites were superb and very well organised. Being a member gets you on the best sites and at a reduced price.

As for the van, it was great. Never missed a beat and the diesel heater was a real blessing when the weather was less clement. So thanks to Jodie Hall and the team at Camper King for an amazing holiday.

Ian and Jackie Hall 02/10/2019.