For the first week of the Easter break this year we decided to break from the norm of visiting family so we decided to hire a camper van and go on an adventure! We live in the heart of Burns Country in Ayrshire, Scotland and so are well situated for travelling to the North of Scotland and have often done this as a family of 4 (me being the only girl) in our tent. But with our unpredictable weather we wanted the assurance of a more solid roof over our heads for our adventure. We were delighted to discover the local hire company Rockinvans we were thinking of using had a discount deal on so we booked up and the countdown was on. Ahead of the trip my (very organised) husband had planned our route in a loop around the west coast that would incorporate some places we had never quite made it to before along with some of our all time favourite places to be. We were after some much needed “time out” and could not wait to get started. On day one we collected the van at 11am and were on our way!
((We were to start our tour on the Isle of Arran as it was close to home but somewhere I had never been before. (Our plans quickly changed though when we arrived at the ferry terminal only to discover there was no availability to get onto the Isle until a few days later). ))
So we quickly changed plans and promptly set off up round the side of Loch Lomond and then onto Glen Orchy where we parked the van at the side of the road on the banks of the river. It was late afternoon and as we hadn’t yet decided where we would stay that night we decided to cook dinner and then keep driving before it got too dark. Dinner was a prawn stir fry with noodles. (see above pics) After dinner we headed north again in search of a place to spend the night. As we came up through Glencoe my husband turned off the road to the ski centre to show our son where he used to go snowboarding and the closer we got we realised they now had camping facilities; we made enquiries & they had a space so we parked up. The toilet and shower facilities were spotless and warm and in the morning after breakfast we took the chairlift to the top of the mountain then walked back down in time for lunch. The view from the top was spectacular with the Trossachs National Park visible away in the distance.
After lunch we set off via Kinlochleven (the scenic route) to Fort William where we had decided we would cook a chilli on arrival and then stay for the night in one of our favourite sites at Glen Nevis
The surroundings as you step out of the van at the campsite are just amazing and so peaceful, just nature at its best!If you were planning to climb Ben Nevis this is where you would start from. We opted for the easier route of Glen Nevis and the scenery there was just gorgeous too. After our walk which was around 2 hours we headed to the local swimming pool in Fort William for a swim, sauna & steam room! It was bliss. Lunchtime again and off we set towards the Isle of Skye. Rather than take the Road to the Isles which we have been on many times before we took another new scenic route through Spean Bridge then on up through Invergloy, Invergarry and Invershiel towards Kyle of Lochalsh where we would then travel over the Skye Bridge onto the Island. It was late in the afternoon and the sun was shining on the Scottish Highlands beautifully. There were wild feral mountain goats going across the road and it all felt rather otherworldly. Then as you least expected it just around a corner, there was the beautiful infamous Eilean Donan Castle
As it was just after 5pm and the castle was closed we had a quick walk up to the outside of the castle then it was back on the road again to Skye. Wow! The scenery in Skye is absolutely outstanding! It is so natural and rugged and beautiful and I felt almost as if we were stepping back in time to a land of long ago. What I was not prepared for was the sheer size of the island! Being so close to the Isle of Arran at home I had just always thought in my head that Skye must be around the same size. How wrong I was; we plan to hire a van at some point in the future and just exclusively tour around Skye! Our campsite we stayed at was a Club site on a farm and once again was immaculate and well equipped with its own shop selling produce, freshly laid farm eggs and the most friendly docile resident Highland Cows. We had a full fry up next morning for breakfast in the van and set off to see some of the Island before catching the ferry back to Mallaig on the mainland just in time to have one of our all time favourites… fish and chips sitting at the harbour in one of our favourite places.
Nice Neighbours in the Car Park