A Scotland adventure - 3 spectacular routes to try
Our campervan hire customers love Scotland. We do too. What's not to love about remote roads, wild wildernesses, misty lochs, dramatic coastlines, and crumbling castles? Not to mention the option of wild camping. Here are 3 of the most spectacular road trips in Scotland.
Scotland by campervan - route 1 - North Coast 500
The North Coast 500 is the grand tour of Scottish road trips. This jaw-droppingly beautiful 516 mile loop takes in some of Scotland's finest coastal scenery.
Allow 5 days for this road trip
We recommend at least 5 days to drive this route and to take in its full beauty. Many of the roads are single track so you'll be taking it slow anyway.
First stop from Inverness is the Black Isle peninsula. Not an island in itself, more a peninsula (bordered by two firths) that was originally covered by dark 'black' forests.
You could make a whole week of it here, but two definite must-dos are (1) a visit to the Black Isle Brewery to stock up the campervan fridge with delicious local beer, and (2) a magical walk along a wooded glen to see the twin Fairy Glen waterfalls.
Stay at the Fortrose Bay Campsite with spectacular views of the Moray Firth, it's one of the best places to view dolphins in their natural habitat.
Then it's time to head off along the only Alpine pass in Britain, the Bealach na Ba. This is Scotland by campervan at its very best. A hair-raising mountain road full of blind bends, steep slow inclines, and single-track lanes.
Stop a while at Applecross with its coral beaches and sandy bays, and dig in to delicious local shellfish at The Applecross Inn. From Applecross Campsite you can see of the Isle of Skye.
Next, narrow single-track country roads and exhilarating views are all that you'll encounter for the next 100 miles or so. Apart, of course, from sheep, lambs, and herds of Highland cattle, and the odd deer or two.
As you travel along the north eastern part of the North Coast 500 past Thurso and John O'Groats, this vast open landscape bombards you with incredible scenery and 'off the beaten track' opportunities.
Go off track for some wild camping
Be brave and go off-route in one of our adventure seeker campervans. They're equipped with everything you'll need for a wonderful wild camping experience. It's the best way to discover remote parts of the stunning Scottish landscape and to get close to nature.
We recommend that you read the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and their 'leave-no-trace' policy.
And check-out our campervan specifications. Our campers are well-equipped for a long-haul road trip, with good storage for those wild-camping extras, an on-board leisure battery, and hot air-blown heating for chillier nights.
Back to Inverness
Drive back down to Inverness along the spectacular eastern coast of the route, find time to see the 5000 year old burial tombs of Camster, and drop in to the Glenmorangie House distillery on the Ross-shire peninsula.
This is a just a snippet of this incredible road-trip campervan adventure. Find out more on The North Coast 500 website.
Scotland by campervan - route 2 - Stirling to Skye
Combine this route with a longer break to Skye, or linger along the way and enjoy a scenic road trip through some of Scotland's most spectacular landscapes.
Take the A85 from Edinburgh and stop off at Stirling. A visit to the castle is a must, it sits high up on a volcanic outcrop above the river Forth.
Then up into the Highlands, through The Trossachs National Park and past vast expanses of heather-clad Rannoch Moor,
Stop at the towering mountains of Glencoe at the top of a deep valley, and take a walk up to the 'Lost Valley'. Seen James Bond's Skyfall? This is where much of the filming was done.
More wild camping in the campervan?
Stay overnight for some wild camping at the hanging valley at Coire Gabhail (corrie of the booty). It's a beautiful valley created by a glacier, guarded on all sides by mountains, with a high flat meadow.
Ballachulish Bridge takes you over Loch Leven as you drive towards Fort William. Up over Spean Bridge, left at Invergarry on to the A87, and on through a beautiful wild mountain landscape over the steep Ratagan Pass.
If you only get to see one Scottish castle, it has to be Eilean Donan
Drive on past Loch Duich and stop a while at Eilean Donan Castle. A picturesque 13th century castle that's situated on an island at the point where three great sea lochs meet. It's surrounded by majestic scenery. Check out the Ardelve campsite, just across the bay from the castle.
On to Kyle of Lochalsh, home to the salmon and the stag. And then to Skye via the 1.5 mile long curved Skye Bridge, or by ferry from Gleneig to Kylerhea.
The Isle of Skye deserves an article of its own, we'll save this for another day.
Scotland by campervan - route 3 - Loch Lomond to Lochgilphead
A road trip of 220 miles past mountains and lochs and through glens and woodlands. This Scotland by campervan road trip is brimming with wildlife.
Travel north from Glasgow on the A82 and enter Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, a vast expanse of mountains, water and countryside. Pitch up for a few days at an idyllic loch-shore campsite and explore the richness of the landscape.
Loch Lomond is the largest loch in the UK (by surface area)
It's definitely worth taking a few days to explore around Loch Lomond and the Great Trossachs Forest. The Loch has more than 30 islands, including Inchmurrin, the largest fresh-water island in the British Isles. Catch the ferry or a waterbus to the island, and camp overnight.
There's so much to do here, including kayaking, canoeing, water-boarding and wake surfing. And the forests and woodlands along the loch shores are full of wildlife. See if you can spot red deer, otters, grouse, eagles, red squirrels, and many bird species.
This route is full of scenic beauty - simply 'Rest and Be Thankful'
Turn off onto the A83 at Tarbet, and you'll soon reach the village of Arrochar at the head of Loch Long, a sea loch. This village is set amongst some of the most beautiful scenery on the Cowal Peninsula.
On up to the highest point of the A83 to the 'Rest and Be Thankful' beauty spot. It'll be tough tearing yourselves away from such spectacular views looking down towards the old valley road in Glen Croe.
Stop off at Inveraray on Loch Fyne, visit the 15th century castle, and the Inveraray Jail - it's one of the finest and best preserved jails and courtrooms in the world.
Drive along the peaceful waters of Loch Fyne past wonderful pine forests to your final stop at Lochgilphead, at the head of Loch Gilp. Again, another wonderful destination to spend a few days exploring the beautiful coastline that's dotted with small hamlets and a series of small lochs.
Scotland by campervan - there's so much more!
We could have gone on forever, Scotland deserves so many more articles
So, get behind the wheel of one of our luxury campervans and experience the freedom of discovering remote Scotland and setting up camp where and when you choose.
We hope these 3 road-trips have whetted your appetite. Please do get in touch to chat about any aspect of our campervan hire, and your dream adventure road-trip to Scotland.
Laura and Dan