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Our Scotland Road Trip

Last Autumn we took a 6 week Scotland Road Trip in our Motorhome. I have to start by saying hats off to any Travel Bloggers out there who manage to travel and post articles and videos on a weekly basis whilst away. Trust me it’s not easy as I came to realise on our recent trip.

Our 6 weeks away in Lexi Van was super busy every day. From the minute we woke up until bedtime it was dog walks, breakfast, van tidy up, drive on to our next location, more dogs walks and exploring all day. Oh and the odd Scottish beer or two. 🙂 Phew! Most days we were shattered by 9pm, so all I managed to do was write daily notes in a journal before falling asleep.

My laptop has toured all around Scotland and was never switched on! 🙂 For me that’s a sign of a great trip when you’re out and about all day having fun. We spend as much of our day as possible out exploring and experiencing local life. We start by heading to some of the popular visitor attractions but we then head off in search of hidden gems. We have found that chatting to locals is the best way to find the secret beauty spots or jaw dropping scenery.

During our Scotland road trip we drove a section of the North East 250 (NE250) coastal road as well as the majority of the North Coast 500 (NC500) route. Why didn’t we drive all of the NC500? Simply because our motorhome is nearly 7 foot long. We took on the advice from friendly locals and skipped a couple of sections that are notorious for vans getting stuck. This is not only stressful but a real issue for local businesses when their main access routes are blocked by annoying tourists. We decided not to be those annoying tourists! We sincere hope you do the same.

If you dream of taking a Scotland road trip, or you’re currently planning a trip to drive the NC500 then follow my series. Let me help you plan your route, I’ll be sharing our favourite dog friendly beaches, stunning motorhome stops and tips and places to see or avoid. We learnt so much during our Scotland road trip, which I wish I’d known before we went, that’s why I’m sharing them here. Before I dive into the details here’s a quick summary of our trip itinerary and what’s coming up in my Scotland road trip series.

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National Trust Scotland Gift Shop

Scotland Road Trip Summary

When Did We Go?

Our Scotland road trip began over the August bank holiday weekend, and we returned home to Wiltshire at the end of September. When we started our Scotland Road Trip in our motorhome it was peak holiday season. The roads, motorway services and campsites heading north were really busy for the first couple of weeks. As we travelled through September most of the campsites were fully booked, especially on the Isle of Skye where we couldn’t book in anywhere during our visit.

For those travelling without kids I would recommend skipping August and early September. Late September, October and even November is a much more relaxing and quieter time to visit. Scotland is truly stunning during Autumn with breathtaking displays of colour during sunrise and sunset. If you love landscape photography then this is definitely the place for you.

Sunset_Autumn Scotland Road Trip
Autumn sunset over Loch Leven during our Scotland Road Trip

Where Did We Go?

Our route started in convoy with friends who had hired a motorhome for the week. We headed from Wiltshire up to Lockerbie staying at Hoddam Castle before moving on to visit Loch Lomond, Fort William and Aviemore. We then sadly waved off our friends as they headed back to work and university. Dave and I headed east to pick up the NE250 coast road taking in Aberdeen and several pretty coastal towns along the route. Following a couple of campsite rest and laundry days we drove onto the NC500 route and spent two weeks exploring the very top of Scotland including the Isle of Skye.

Scotland Road Trip Related Posts:

There are more Scotland Road trip posts coming up, see list below.

National Trust Scotland Gift A Membership

Where Did We Stay?

We own a Chausson Titanium Motorhome called Lexi, which we used for our Scotland road trip. If you don’t own a motorhome or camper van don’t let that stop you. You can hire a motorhome or trendy camper van before heading to Scotland. Alternatively there are several motorhome and camper van companies based in Scotland, just Google Scotland van hire for a list. We saw plenty of happy campers in hired vans whilst on our Scotland road trip. As a couple of examples, we spotted quite a few hiring from JustGo motorhomes on the NC500 route as well as this pretty cool and quirky camper van, they have several int their range so check these guys out too.

Quirky campers van spotted on our Scotland road trip
Quirky Campers – check out their instagram for some pretty cool interiors

Highlights Of Our Trip

We absolutely loved Scotland, we had so much fun but for us the highlights included;

  1. Cold Water swimming with our dogs in Scottish lochs, rivers and dog friendly beaches (yes the water was freezing but it was so much fun).
  2. Climbing The Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye. What a view (and the dogs loved it too).
  3. Meeting other van owners on a similar tour. You can’t beat an impromptu firepit and beer night with new friends.
  4. Chatting to friendly locals who were nore than willing to share recommendations on places to visit nearby.
  5. Waking up by the beach, in a forest or by a loch and seeing how excited our dogs were at somewhere new to explore

I could go on and on. But for now I’ll leave you with a sneak peak of what’s coming up on my Scotland road trip series.

Blog Posts Coming Up related to our Scotland Road Trip

Ok Miche, enough with the highlights and Introduction, where’s the interesting stuff and top tips? Don’t worry it’s coming I promise… Here’s what’s coming up in my Scotland Road Trip series:

  • Loch Ness and Drumnadrochit
  • Durnoch Beach
  • Skilbo, Loch Fleet Nature Reserve
  • Embo Beach
  • Dunbeath
  • Dunrobin Castle
  • John O’Groats
  • Strathy Beach
  • Sango Bay peninsula
  • Smoo Caves
  • Balnakeil Beach
  • Kylesku Bridge and wailing widow falls Loch Na Gainmhich
  • Ullapool
  • Mellon Beach
  • Big sands
  • Motorhome Break Down! 🙁 – What we learnt
  • Contin Forest
  • Black Water Falls
  • Black Veil Falls
  • Old Man of Storr & Isle of Skye
  • Fort Augustas and Loch Ness
  • Fort William
  • West Highland Trail
  • The Kelpies and Helix Park
  • Top Tips for Touring the NC500

Phew, that’s quite a list, I’d better knuckle down and get on with writing. If you don’t want to miss the series then why not follow Touring Tales on Twitter or Instagram where I’ll be sharing each new post as it’s published.

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