Scotland is a country that offers a real mix of things to see and do. And with only a few hours’ drive between us, for most in the UK, Scotland and the wonders it beholds are right on our doorstep.
That was what inspired Remee, Lexham’s Lead Creative Designer, who over the summer of 2021 took a week to explore what the country has to offer by motorhome.
Join me as we follow Remee’s journey and discover what made Scotland so special for her as well as the tips, recommendations and advice on how to best travel it in your motorhome.
Norwich to York
“With Norwich as our starting point, we packed up the motorhome and set off fairly early on our journey to Scotland. It was set to take us eight hours to get to Scotland from here. We weren’t keen on doing this all in one day, (who would be?), so we decided to make our way to York first.
“When deciding on our stopping point, York really just fell into place. Marking halfway, it worked out well and was always a place we wanted to visit so it made sense to add it onto this trip. We were eager to see the medieval architecture, cobbled streets of The Shambles (the best-preserved medieval shopping street in Europe) and York’s City Walls (the longest medieval walls in England), as well as try one of the famous Yorkshire pudding wraps from the York Roast Co! Neither disappointed us! York is a stunning city with so much Roman, Viking and even Gothic history and having a whole roast dinner wrapped in a Yorkshire pudding was, as you can imagine, delicious!
“It was a 4-hour drive and marked halfway so was a good place to break up the journey. We spent the night at the Rowntree Park Caravan Club. This campsite was surrounded by trees so whilst it was within walking distance to the city, it gave the impression of being much more rural. I’d highly recommend it staying here because you get the best of both worlds. We enjoyed our time here, even though it was only for the night because it gave us plenty of peace and quiet to rest up for the 4-hour drive ahead of us!”
York to Loch Lomond
“We wanted to get to our next destination in decent time so, with another early start, we set off from York to Loch Lomond. I had used the Park4night website to find a free overnight parking spot here, which has been extremely helpful throughout the whole trip and something I’d definitely recommend using.
“When we arrived, we headed straight for the side of the Loch but found there weren't many places for parking, however, we did manage to find one a stone’s throw away from the Loch. We found toilets in the carpark and there was a pub just a two-minute walk away which served both food and drinks.
“It goes without saying that Loch Lomond is a gorgeous and tranquil place and is one of those quintessential destinations to visit when in Scotland. What made it even better was the fact we had such good weather; it really made our surroundings even more beautiful and as we were on the less-touristy side of the Loch; it was also very peaceful and quiet.
“To add to that, this area really was ideal and one I’d recommend staying at because as well as the picturesque surroundings, there was also a walking trail that led you straight up the mountain Ben Lomond. Once at the top, we had the most panoramic views which were breath-taking!”
Tip: Be aware the walk to the top is fairly long but it’s definitely worth it!
Loch Lomond to Portree, Isle of the Skye
“The next day, we set off early again to get to Portree at a reasonable time. Portree is on the Isle of Skye but there was no need to catch a ferry because there is a bridge connecting from the Scottish mainland to the Isle of Skye that is completely free to cross.
“We stayed at the Portree Campsite as this was the closest to the picturesque town or Portree – it was only a short walk away. “In the morning, we decided to look around the town and the shops. The first thing we saw was the cluster of brightly coloured houses that aligned the harbour. It was so beautiful and definitely a very ‘Instagrammable’ location, I’ve never seen a town so pretty! For more destinations that look good on the gram, read our guide on the Top 10 Most 'Instagrammable' Destinations for UK Motorhome Holidays.
Recommendation: Make sure to stop off at one of the chips shops along the harbour. Everything is fresh and so yummy!
“After our mooch, we then returned to the campsite for a BBQ and to watch the sunset.
“The campsite was really clean and had hot showers which is definitely a bonus, especially if you've been traveling for a while. The campsite was full of other motorhomes, caravans and tents too and everyone was very friendly and shared stories of their travels.
“We had a pre-booked seafari experience the following day so we decided to have an early night.
“We woke early and started the day with a nice fry-up on the BBQ. We walked back into town to the harbour which was the meeting point for our seafari. It cost £32 each but was definitely worth every penny! It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience and a must if you are visiting Portree!
“The team running it were all very friendly and knowledgeable and the trip itself offers you the chance to see dolphins, seals, minke whales and even basking sharks.
“When we set off, the weather was pleasant, with clear blue skies which were pretty good for the start of September. We met the tour guide 15 minutes before, and he briefed us on what we’d hopefully see and what to watch out for.”
Tip: make sure you wrap up warm and bring a waterproof coat because when you're out on the water it is freezing!
“Firstly, we saw jellyfish and seals. A little later, we also saw dolphins, which was amazing! There had been a sighting of minke whales a few weeks prior but unfortunately, we didn’t get the chance to see them.”
Tip: If you do want to see whales, our tour guide said that there’s more chance to see orcas on the west side of the island (Niest Point).
“The tour lasted 1 hour and 45 minutes in total, so when we got back, we had lunch, did a quick food shop to stock up on supplies (and road trip snacks, of course!) and walked back to the caravan site to start cooking dinner. Enjoying the boat trip, stunning scenery and getting to see wildlife including dolphins swimming so elegantly within a matter of just a few feet just beside the boat, it’s fair to say it was a pretty good day, and actually one of the best experiences I’ve had in my life!”
Tip: Make sure to take a mosquito hat and high percentage deet! Midges are absolutely everywhere and it’s hard to stay out in the evening unprotected.
Portree to the Fairy Pools
“After yet another early start, we took a 30-minute drive from Portree and found ourselves at the Fairy Pools.”
Tip: The road leading to the Fairy Pools is very tight and will only fit one vehicle most of the way. So, start your journey early to miss the traffic.
“We arrived at the car park which costs £5 all day. There is another car park which is free further down the road, but you will have a longer walk to the Fairy Pools from there. When arriving at the paid car park you are given a walking guide with a selection of walking trails varying in length. However, everything is well signposted, so you should be able to navigate your way without the guide.
“We made our way to the Fairy Pools along a footpath which was easy to walk along. The Fairy Pools themselves really are breath-taking and are definitely a sight to see when on the Isle of Skye! The sun was out and that made it even more magical!”
Tip: You really need to wear a mosquito hat here as the midges are everywhere and you will get eaten alive. I went in shorts and a top as it was warm and sprayed deet on the parts of my body where the skin was showing. My boyfriend Ryan on the other hand just wore shorts and a top with no protection and was absolutely covered in bites! The deet managed to deter them off slightly but a mosquito hat will make the experience so much more pleasurable.
Fairy Pools to Lochness
“After enjoying the sights of the Fairy Pools, we started the journey to Lochness and another night of wild camping. For information on wild camping, read our Wild Camping Guide. This journey was set to take 3 hours, but we didn’t mind because the drive was stunning! There were so many stop-off points between the mountains where you could have lunch or a coffee and admire the views.
“We used the Park4Night website again to find a free parking spot close to the Loch and ended up staying in a layby with a path that led straight to the Loch’s edge. We had a BBQ and got to know our neighbours who were a couple from Leeds. Being so close to the Loch meant we could take our camping chairs to the stony shore and enjoy a few drinks.
“The following morning we took our boat out on the Loch with the couple from Leeds and enjoyed the view.”
Lochness to Edinburgh
“After the long drive to Lochness, we got settled in the motorhome and took a few hours to relax. We stayed at the Mortonhall Caravan and Camping Park because it had a good bus link that stops just outside the park and takes you straight into the city of Edinburgh.
“Later that night, we went into the city for food and drinks with a few friends we had met when travelling through Vietnam in 2019. The nightlife in Edinburgh is amazing and there are so many bars, pubs, and clubs to choose from! So I’d definitely recommend staying here for a few nights if you can!
“The next day, after waking up late with a sore head, we ventured into the city by bus and grabbed a bite to eat.”
Recommendation: If you love Asian food, visit the restaurant Ting Thai. The food is delicious! But always be sure to book beforehand to avoid disappointment!
“After lunch, we took in what the city has to offer. I’ve visited Edinburgh before and would 100% visit again and again and again! It’s one of my favourite cities because there is so much to do!”
Recommendation: Although we didn't visit the castle as we already had on a previous trip, it’s well worth a visit and one of the highlights of the city!
Edinburgh to Norwich
“And before we knew it, it was time to come home! This had been our first trip in the motorhome and one we won’t forget any time soon! I have a real passion for travel and with a motorhome, you get so much freedom to explore different places.
“It definitely won’t be the last trip we take in the motorhome! We’re hoping to go to the South of France next for a week so stay tuned!”
For more European travel inspiration, check out:
- 7 best European Motorhome Road Trips
- Winter Motorhome Destinations in Europe
- 7 of the Best Global Motorhome Routes!
The last stop!
So there you have it, we hope you enjoyed the run-down from Remee's Scottish adventure!
Feeling tempted to get out on the roads and explore? Check out our 12 Reasons Why You Should Travel in a Motorhome article!