Best Places for Seafood in Scotland

Best Places for Seafood in Scotland

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Scotland has had a strong relationship with the North Sea for as long as anyone can remember. Whether you’re in Glasgow city centre or in the middle of nowhere up in the Highlands, you are not too far away from a beautiful coastline.

This connection with the waters is one of the reasons that Scottish fish is famous for being some of the best all around the world. Salmon is probably the first that springs to mind, and quite rightly so, but that’s not all there is to offer.

So how do our super-duper Rockin’vans have anything to do with Scottish seafood? Well, the only way to experience everything is a roadtrip. Yes, a good old fashioned road trip around the country, only this time you’ve a route to follow.

The Seafood Trail is the best way to enjoy some of the world’s best seafood. The route takes you through the west of Scotland, where you will see spectacular scenery from the rolling green fields to jaw-dropping coastlines.

This trail has been specifically designed to show off the absolute best of Scottish seafood, from tasty fresh crab rolls to the finest mussels on Michelin star menus. Although the chefs do a pretty darn good job of cooking the seafood, the stars of the show are, without any doubt, the fisherman.

What are you waiting for? Jump in a Rockin’van and head on Britain’s first ever seafood trail. If time is not on your side, we have narrowed down the trail and handpicked two of the best haunts.

Loch Fyne

Loch Fyne is one of the most famous places for seafood in the whole of the UK, not just Scotland, so it only makes sense to start here. On your travels, it’s worth keeping the in mind “take the unbeaten path” as many of these seafood havens are tucked away.

If you stick to this rule, you’ll soon find yourself in Cairndow tucking into a bowl of oysters overlooking the very loch they came from. The food is exquisite yet simple. You won’t find any unnecessary fancy sauce or ‘jus’ on your mussels, just a splash of lemon juice and pinch of salt. The quality of the seafood here speaks for itself.

Oh, and don’t even think about leaving Cairndow before visiting the Loch Fyne Farm Shop.

Telephone:          01499 600264

Website:               www.lochfyne.com

Address:               Loch Fyne Oysters, Cairndowm PA26 8BJ

Cairnbaan Hotel

Heading towards to the top of the Kintyre peninsula and you will find the Cairnbaan Hotel sitting on the banks of the Crinan Canal. It was once notorious for being one of the roughest pubs around. That’s all changed now of course, Bill Clinton and Princess Anne have dined here for heaven’s sake.

The Cairnbaan Hotel is anything but fine dining, which isn’t an insult of course as the food here is absolutely delicious. Just about anything from the menu will start off a tango on your taste buds, but if I had to recommend anything it would be the trout pâté or scallops in bacon.

Telephone:          01546 603668

Website:               www.cairnbaan.com

Address:               Cairnbaan, by Lochgilphead, Argyll, PA31 8SJ

Although these two are my favourites on The Seafood Trail, it would be an injustice not to give the others a mention too.

Creggans Inn

Telephone:

+44 (0)1369 860279

Website:               www.creggans-inn.co.uk

Address:               Strachur, Loch Fyne, Argyll, PA27 8BX

Royal An Lochan

Telephone:            01700 811239

Website:               www.theroyalanlochan.co.uk

Address:               Tighnabruaich, Argyll, PA21 2BE

Dunvalanree

Telephone:            01583 431226

Website:               www.dunvalanree.com

Address:               Port Righ, Carradale, PA28 6SE

Inver Cottage

Telephone:            01369 860537

Website:               www.invercottage.co.uk

Address:               Trathlachlan, Strachur, Argyll, PA27 8BU

The Seafood Cabin

Telephone:           01880 760207

Website:               www.skipnessseafoodcabin.co.uk

Address:               Skipness House, Skipness, by Tarbert, Argyll, PA29 6XU

Pierhouse Hotel

Telephone:           01631 730302

Website:               www.pierhousehotel.co.uk

Address:               Port Appin, Argyll PA38 4DE

Top 5 Visitor Attractions in Scotland

Top 5 Visitor Attractions in Scotland

Road tripping around Scotland in a Rockin’van is a truly unique experience; it’s great fun, you’ll see some amazing sights, meet some fantastic people and explore some incredible attractions.

Do you picture a rugged landscape dominated by burly men with bright red hair, wearing kilts and playing the bagpipes? Well, you’d be right. We eat haggis, tattie scones and human bones too. Ok, I may have been joking about the bones. The point is that these things may be true, but it’s not all we have to offer.

Most of the top 5 visitor attractions in Scotland are derived from our fantastic culture and heritage. The rich history is still celebrated in towns and cities around the country today and is the reason Scotland is now such a popular tourist destination.

If you are planning on touring the country, there are some places that just shouldn’t be missed. Here is a rundown of our top 5 visitor attractions in Scotland.

Edinburgh Royal Mile

 

Don’t have any ideas of doing this mile in four minutes, more like four days. The Royal Mile is an incredibly busy and popular stretch between two major attractions in the Old Town, Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace.

You will find a multitude of gift shops selling Scottish memorabilia, but I’ll let you decide whether that’s good for the local economy or ‘Tartan tat’.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum

 

Glasgow may not be the Scottish capital but many people would argue it should be due to its bustling nightlife and variety of attractions. One of the most popular visitor attractions in the city is the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, which is worth seeing just to establish whether it really was built back to front.

It’s free to enter so there really is no excuse not to visit and browse around the wonderful collections of art and natural history.

Battlefield Live Dundee

 

The top 5 visitor attractions in Scotland aren’t just all about stuffy museums and art galleries. Oh no, this combat experience is designed to be as authentic as possible without actually getting hurt. Spend the day feeling as though you have just walked into a video game in this indoor combat arena.

LaserQuest just isn’t enough for the Scots, so for less than a tenner enjoy 30 minutes of real battle. If you want to make a day of it, there are sometimes all day passes for £25.

 Aberdeen Maritime Museum

 

The city of Aberdeen has strong connection to the sea, a relationship which is celebrated in style by the Maritime Museum. Take some time to explore exhibitions and interactive displays which tell the story of the North Sea industries, such as oil, shipping and fishing.

The Leading Lights Café might have you wondering whether the museum is really the main attraction!

 Go Ape! Aberfoyle

 

Ok, so Go Ape! May not be exclusively a Scottish visitor attraction but it’s still well worth a visit. Situated on Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, this adventure course mixes beautiful scenery with high-flying fun.

Zoom down one of Britain’s longest zip wires more than 150 feet in the air and see if you still have the energy to explore the forest afterwards.

Scottish campsites that are open in the winter

Scottish campsites that are open in the winter

Camping in the winter can be a truly magical experience. If you’re travelling to the north of Scotland and get your timing right, you could be treated to a blanket of snow. RockinVans have always given you the freedom to sleep around, so why not take advantage and do it all year round?

You might be wondering what’s so special about wild camping during the winter. What can be done that can’t be done in the (not so) hot Scottish summer? Well, in truth, nothing, but it’s not until the winter that you will truly appreciate the comfort and warmth of your camp.

Camping in the winter can be a truly magical experience. If you’re travelling to the north of Scotland and get your timing right, you could be treated to a blanket of snow.

Rear view mirror

 

It can be really peaceful waking up in the depth of the forest with nothing but the sound of the birds and fluffy white snow as far as the eye can see. For some reason, sights, sounds and smells are just so much crisper in the winter.

Wild camping may not be for you even if it is the height of summer, so if you would prefer the comforts of a campsite, check out some of these Scottish campsites that are open in the winter.

Lomond Woods Holiday Park

Situated in the woods around Loch Lomond, this campsite is in an area of natural beauty but still has good links to Glasgow. The camp itself has all the necessary modern facilities and outdoor play areas for the kids.

Braids Caravan Park

This full facility park has both grass and hard-standing pitches, plenty of facilities and a high level of security. The caravan park is just a few miles from Carlisle, the English border and Gretna, so it’s ideal if you want to explore Scotland a little further.

Uig Bay Campsite

You will find some the most stunning views Scotland has to offer at the Uig Bay Campsite, thanks to its unique position on the coast of the Isle of Skye. A complete refurbishment means that this campsite has great modern facilities and Wi-Fi access

Deeside Holiday Park

It’s a joy to spend a few days in the winter in Deeside as it is a truly tranquil retreat, perfect for escaping from it all. It’s a great place to stop if you fancy a trip into Aberdeen but want to avoid the hustle and bustle.

The Ranch Caravan Club Site

Loch Mochrum is just over a mile away, the surroundings are made up of rose gardens, great facilities and internet access. This great caravan site is clean and modern, so you’ll soon find yourself at home during the cold winter months.

Whether you to choose one of the campsites that are open in the winter or fancy wild camping, make sure you’re prepared for the Scottish weather. It’s not just about wrapping up warm, the winter is often wet and windy too.

Top 5 things to do on the Isle of Skye

Top 5 things to do on the Isle of Skye

Top 5 things to do on the Isle of Skye

Scotland is an incredible place to road trip; it has some outstanding scenery, unique activities to try out and plenty of attractions to visit. Our Rockin’ Vans have toured the whole country, but one place that seems to be pretty darn popular is the Isle of Skye.

 

Getting there

There are a few ways to reach the Isle of Skye, some a little more controversial than others. If you’re hiring one of our Rockinvans then you can opt for the Road to the Isles from Fort William and then sail over on the Caledonian MacBrayne ferry, or alternatively you could drive straight over Skye Bridge. There is also a private ferry, Skye Ferry, in operation during the summer months.

Staying there

Once you’ve crossed the water, you’ll be looking for a place to set up your Rockinvan. Due to its popularity, there’s a pretty big choice of campsites on Skye, but we’d recommend Skye Camping & Club Site and Kinloch Campsite. Both of these sites have hard standings with electrical hook-ups and other facilities such as a laundry room, hot showers and Wi-Fi.

 

Things to do

1.     Rubha Hunish

 

Look out for seabirds and mammals at the northernmost point of the Isle of Skye. To reach this beautiful place, you will have to take the 3km walk to the very tip of the island. There are a couple of challenging sections, particularly one steep section down some rocks, but it shouldn’t cause too many problems. The patch will soon reach the lookout, which is now a bothy maintained by the Mountain Bothies Association.

2.     Armadale Castle

Despite its name, this mock-castle country house is now ruins, but it is still well worth a visit. Armadale Castle was once home to the MacDonalds, often referred to as Clan Donald, but in 1925 the family moved somewhere smaller and left the castle to the island. Spend a couple of hours taking in the castle gardens and ruins. The castle façade itself is very impressive, a popular spot for wedding photos.

3.     The Museum of the Isles

If you decide to take a trip to Armadale, you won’t have to travel far to the museum as it is located within the grounds of the castle. In the early 1970’s the Clan Donald Lands Trust bought the estate and opened up the Museum of the Isles.  There are six galleries in total, which tell you the 1500 year history of the area and the family.

4. Boat to The Cuillin (Black)

The Cuillins are a range of rocky mountains on Skye, known as either the Black Cuillin or Red Cuillin, distinguished by the colour of the rock. Although climbing these treacherous mountains might not appeal to you, it would still be a shame to miss them. Instead, experience them by a boat trip, where you will see breathtaking views of the mountains and Loch Coruisk. Check out Bella Jane Boat Trips and Misty Isle Boat Trips.

5. Talisker Distillery

There are few things that remind me of Scotland more than a good whisky. Talisker Distillery was built on the shores of Loch Harport in 1830 and is now the only single malt distillery on the Isle of Skye. The distillery offers guided tours so you can see for yourself how the whisky is made. You can treat yourself without feeling guilty too as you’ll be handed a discount voucher for a bottle of malt from the shop.