Booked a VW Camper Van, West coast Scotland tips pls

in Scotland
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  • scurrscurr Forumite
    295 Posts
    Hope you're looking at South West Scotland too - Ayrshire's lovely!:j
  • youngyoung Forumite
    87 Posts
    ... so, how was the trip then?
  • SORRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    and Big thank you to everyone that replied!
    I completley forgot id written this thread and to all of you that sent me messages I only just checked my inbox!
    Im such a dullard!!!!!!

    So ill tell you all about our trip!! Hope your sitting comfortable with a good cup of tea!!!!

    We had the most fantastic holiday EVER! We both work for airlines and get to go to some lovely foreign places but in all honesty this was the best holiday we have had. From the fun of the campervan to the views, people, food everything, we cant wait to do this again.

    Ill start from the beginning....
    We hired "Hannah" a 1967 split screen, right hand drive, bright yellow VW Campervan from https://www.classiccampers.com
    There was Myself Clare (26 yrs old) my partner Neil (36 Yrs) and our two Westie dogs, Max and Millie.
    We went for a week (7 days) and it cost us £480 from 26th July - 01st Aug. We paid out about £160 in fuel and stayed on 2 campsites at about £14 each, the rest of the time we Wild Camped. I would recommend buying Midge nets, Jungle Formula and Avon skin so soft and use all 3 at the same time. This worked for us, oh and we took an antihistamene tablet every morning. I would also suggest buying the Cool Camping Scotland book and the Rough Guide to Scotland, these were our Bibles for the trip. Dont bother taking the portaloo unless you really dont like the thought of using pub toilets and the great outdoors. We also didnt need the awning and next time will leave that to save space.
    We would definatly go for longer next time and plan our route better as we did feel a little rushed to get to AppleCross and back and see everything.
    I cant explain how it feels to have the privalidge of driving Hannah. Everywhere we went we got waved at, honked at, talked to, even bowed down to at one point. A truelly memorable experience. Cant recommend Classic Campers enough. Service was great and the Van wasnt plastered in FOR HIRE signs like many of the others we saw on route. So we truelly felt like she was ours for the week. and maybe showed off a little bit ;)

    So we picked Hannah up in Carlisle and took her firstly to Dumfries, Went to Drumlandrig Castle in Thornill and then on to Loch Lomand. We stayed the night in Balloch at the bottom of Loch Lomund where there was a fantastic Folk Festival on. Hannah had managed to break down right in the middle of it (such a clever girl) so Paul (the owner) bless him, drove all the way up and fixed her for us. AA membership is included but as they couldnt fix her Paul came up. FANTASTIC service from him. We really didnt mind as it was just one of Hannahs quirks and she had managed to break down at the festival so we had a fab night anyway.

    Next day we went on up and turned right at Tarbet, along Loch Fyne, to Inveraray. Stayed the night at a campsite there (lovely site but Very busy). For people with dogs, Inveraray is a VERY dog friendly place. The George pub is lovely and allowed them in, giving them water bowls, the village itself is very pretty and we went to the Jail museum which is great fun, and they let the dogs come round with us and have little water bowls all over the museum for the dogs. Fantastic.

    We then went up the A819 Glen Aray to Lochawae, stopped at the Cruachan Power Station for a cup of tea , stunning views and great fudge shortbread!!!

    Then we did a MASSIVE dive up to Fort William and then on up to Plockton. This drive was too long and we really should have stopped along the way for the night. We wild camped that night on the road between Plockton and the Kyle of Lochalsh, next to Badicaul. Cant stress enough that we should have stopped earlier as it was just getting dark as we set up camp. Also we didnt get to see much of Plockton and we regret that as it did look lovely.

    Next day we went over to Skye, had a lovely slow day on Skye. Took the terrifying journey back to the mainland on the tiny Kylerhea Ferry. Great fun !!!
    Then back up to Applecross!!!!!

    EEEEEKKKK Applecross is an experience, or should I say the road to Applecross! There are two ways to get there, the log way or the short death defying way. We got scared about a fifth of the way up so turned back and went the long way!!! Not for the faint hearted but well worth going either way to get to Applecross.
    Stayed the night on the beach, it was stunning, hardly anyone there. Midges were AWFUL however we covered ourselves in Jungal Formula and Skin so soft and we had midge nets and we had a lovely roaring fire with lots of smoke by putting seaweed on it. The only bad point about this night were the eejits parked next to us blairing out " Vooolez voooooous ah ha" at the top of their stereo and other such abba classics at sundown. I mean for gods sake, i love Abba at the best of times but NOT in the most idylic place in Britain at Sunset Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Anyway it was stunning and def recommend to everyone.

    Next day we headed back to Skye and took the big ferry back to the mainland from Armadale to Mallaig (£25 one way) again they were great about dogs and let us take them in the passenger bit of the ferry (outside only).
    Mallaig and the road there is stunning, it has a beach to dye for if youare looking to wild camp.

    From Mallaig we went back down to Fort William, Past Loch Linnhe again but turned right at South Ballachulish to Glen Coe.
    WOW is all I can say. We stayed in Glen Coe at the Red Squirrel Campsite. IT IS THE MOST STUNNING campsite I have ever seen. really really cant wait to go back. Not even going to tell you about it, you will have to go and find out.

    Next day we headed through the Black Mount to crianlarich and down past loch lomund again. All stunning scenery.
    Back down to Dumfries and stayed the night there.

    Finally we had to take her home to Carlise :( Genuinly had a tear in my eye on the way home. But she gave us one final bit of pleasure about an hour away from Carlise........ Her horn started to randomly go off!!!!!!! We were crying with laughter as we drove, all we had was "Meeeeeeerrrrrrr meeerrr merr meeeeeeerrrrrrrr" for about thirty minutes until we got hold of Paul and he told us how to turn the horn off! It was THE funniest thing, like driving Herbie, she was shouting that she didnt want to go home hahahaha brilliant. People were waving and honking back thinking we were doing it but it was her not us hahahaha!!!

    Truelly the best experience and we will def be booking her again next year.
    We want one of our own now but to buy one exactly like her in her condition would set us back approx £20k!!!!!
    So im now settling on a Subaru Sambar (look on ebay), to use as a day to day car that looks just like Hannah!!! Wooo hooooooooooooo

    Hope your all still awake!!
    Thank you again to Bev and Paul at https://www.classiccampers.co.uk
  • Sounds like you had a great time - thanks for telling us about it !
  • weldawelda Forumite
    600 Posts
    You should carried on and did the full run up the Bealach nam Bo (the pass of the cattle) views to die for. Understandable tho, it does get scary at bits!! Then take the road towards Shieldaig. The views down Loch Torridon are magnificent. Shame you missed the sea food served at the Plocton Hotel, fresh scallops ect. I could go on and on about our North West Coast, I never tire of the beauty around this part of the UK.

    Pleased to hear you had a memorible trip........and an introdustion to oor dreaded midge!!
  • youngyoung Forumite
    87 Posts
    great write up - superb
  • arealhighlanderarealhighlander Forumite
    597 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Combo Breaker
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    Your coming in July? Nah, peak time for Midgies is August, so I wouldnt get so worried about them.

    All what they said. If you want to visit more islands get a Hopscotch ticket from Caledonian Macbrayne www.calmac.co.uk. You can get the ferry from Skye to the Isle of Harris, drive through Harriss to Lewis and ferry from Lewis to Ullapool (or the other way round).
  • frugallassfrugallass Forumite
    2.3K Posts
    Your coming in July? Nah, peak time for Midgies is August, so I wouldnt get so worried about them.

    All what they said. If you want to visit more islands get a Hopscotch ticket from Caledonian Macbrayne www.calmac.co.uk. You can get the ferry from Skye to the Isle of Harris, drive through Harriss to Lewis and ferry from Lewis to Ullapool (or the other way round).

    :wall:

    they have been and gone (and probably got the t-shirt)
  • competitionscafecompetitionscafe Forumite
    4.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
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    There is programme on BBC2 on Sunday nights at 8:30pm which is set in Applecross.
    It's on iplayer too. Might bring back some happy memories. Thanks for the great holiday report, sounds fab. :)
    http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/uk/applecross-peninsula-the-end-of-the-road-871285.html

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/search/?q=great%20escape

    By the way don't click on the classiccampers dot com link in the post above - it seems they have closed down or forgot to renew their domain as it now goes to one of those holding pages that blasts you with masses of pop-up and pop-unders.
    "The happiest of people don't necessarily have the
    best of everything; they just make the best
    of everything that comes along their way."
    -- Author Unknown --
  • jm2926jm2926 Forumite
    901 Posts
    By the way don't click on the classiccampers dot com link in the post above - it seems they have closed down or forgot to renew their domain as it now goes to one of those holding pages that blasts you with masses of pop-up and pop-unders.

    Site is back again.
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