Guide to Oban

Guide to Oban

Guide to Oban

Oban

 

Oban, known as ‘the gateway to the isles’, is situated on the west coast of Scotland, with spectacular views over to Kerrera an Mull. This waterside town is a peaceful place to visit, and thanks to its location on the west coast, has plenty to see and do.

The town itself isn’t particularly large, but with a number of restaurants and pubs, and its connections to the western isles, it’s a popular tourist destination.

Where to stay

If you’re planning on hiring a campervan to explore the islands, there are a number of places in and around Oban that act as a great basecamp.

The Oban Caravan Club site is situated 13 miles outside of the town, in a walled vegetable garden. It’s right next to Sutherland’s Grove and on the doorstep of may forest walking trails. As with all Camping & Caravan Club campsites, there is a fee for the pitch (£7.20) and per person (£6.05-£9.55 depending on the time of year).

Slightly closer to the town is the Oban Camping & Caravan Park on Gallanchmore Farm. There is loads of space for campervanners, so there’s no need to pre-book – ideal if you’ve popped up to Oban on a whim. It’s £16 per night for an economy pitch, but £19 if you need an electric hook-up.

Another good basecamp is Roseview Caravan Park, just three miles from the town centre. It’s £5 per pitch per night, plus £5-7 per adult, with kids for free.

Gateway to the isles

Although Oban is a lovely place in it’s own right, the main reason for campers to visit is to explore the islands.

From the south pier you can travel to Mull, Coll, tiree, Bara, South Uist, Colonsay, Lismore and Islay. If that’s not enough to satisfy your appetite for islands, you can travel further to Iona, Staffa and a number of other isles from there. Not too far from the south pier you’ll find the embarkation point for the ferry to Kerrera. Due to the proximity of Oban to many of the isles, it’s possible to enjoy a number of day trips, using Oban as the basecamp, rather than simply passing through.

Caledonian MacBrayne  is the Scotland’s largest ferry operator and manages all of the services from Oban to the isles. You can find more information about ferry crossings on the CalMac website.

 Things to do

If you decide to see more of Oban, rather than simply dashing off to the isles, you might be pleasantly surprised.

The 1745 House at Dunollie, a museum, culture centre and heritage site, is found at the Seat of Clan MacDougall. It’s only open during the peak season (March-November), but you might be lucky to find an exhibition open during the winter. Admission is just £4.50 for adults and free for under 16’s, so it’s worth stopping by.

If you’re a thrill-seeker looking for a bit of excitement on your relaxing Scottish holiday, check out Oban Adventure Activities. You’ll be able to take part in a whole host of activities, including sea kayaking, climbing, scrambling and much more.

Slightly further away from the main town on the shores of Loch Creran, is the Scottish Sealife Sanctuary – one of Scotland’s top attractions. You’ll be able to explore natural habitats, watch feeding demonstrations and go on nature trails. Admission is £13.20 for adults or £10.80 for children.

Guide to Edinburgh Festival

Guide to Edinburgh Festival

Guide to Edinburgh Festival

Royal Mile Entertainment

 

The Edinburgh Festival is the collective name for a number of arts and cultural festivals held in the Scottish capital each summer. They’re technically all separate events, but are usually regarded as one big annual festival.

What’s on

There are seven events held through the summer, starting with Edinburgh International Film Festival, which is on right now until 30th June, to a number of events that end on 1st September.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to stay

Edinburgh is flocked with visitors during the summer, whether it’s to be a part of the festivals or just to enjoy the atmosphere in the city during the summer, it makes finding accommodation quite difficult.

Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of choice in Edinburgh; from budget hostels to luxury boutique hotels, but the problem is that the vast majority will be fully booked months in advance and you’ll probably find that the rates have been hiked too.

To avoid an accommodation dilemma, we recommend hiring a campervan for the festival period. Not only will you be able to benefit from your own private space, but you’ll also be able to hit the road and explore the rest of Scotland.

Find out where the nearest campsites are at the Visit Scotland website.

What’s free

If you want to experience the magic of the Edinburgh Festival, but simply don’t have the budget to splash the cash on tickets, accommodation, eating out and getting around, here’s a guide to what you can do without spending a penny.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Free Fringe: this non-profit organisation promotes the free shows an venues in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. It started in 1996 when there were complaints of expensive tickets and has gone on to become one of the highlights of the summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Fringe on the High Street: Edinburgh’s Royal Mile is packed with street performers every single day and you can watch them busking for absolutely nothing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Edinburgh Art Festival: this particular festival is held throughout the whole of August and most of the exhibitions and events are free.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Edinburgh Festival Fireworks: although you can buy tickets to this 45-minute spectacular, you can also hang around on Princes Street, Castle Street, Waverley Bridge and Calton Hill to see the pyrotechnics light up the summer skies.

 

Top festival tips

 

 

 

 

 

  • If you’re dining out, don’t bother booking a table as they’ll usually be full, just allow plenty of time and roll up to the restaurant in the evening – be prepared to go somewhere else if it’s a long wait

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Don’t be afraid to talk to the locals – taxi drivers are some of the most knowledgeable people around and will be able to give you an idea of the best shows to see.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • The festivals are often sold out in plenty of time, but if there’s a show you really want to see, you might still be able to bag tickets. Turn up to the venue earlier in the day and ask if there are any cancellations.

 

 What to see

Edinburgh is the Scottish capital, so there is plenty to see and do in the area as well as spending time at the festival. Make the most of your time in the city by visiting some of the local attractions, including:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The capital is also a great base for exploring the rest of the country. Scotland is a fantastic place to visit, whether you want to spend a couple of days island hopping in your camper, hiking up to the top of Ben Nevis, the UK’s tallest mountain, visiting Edinburgh’s noisy neighbour, Glasgow, or relaxing on an isolated beach.

Guide to Loch Ness

Guide to Loch Ness

Guide to Loch Ness

Monster in the moonlight

Deep in the Scottish Highlands, nestled between Inverness and Fort Augustus is Loch Ness, one of Scotland’s most mysterious lochs. Legend has it that Nessie, the elusive loch monster, lives beneath the 23 square miles of cold water.

Unfortunately, visitors are more likely to see Nessie in one of the local exhibitions and on keyrings in sourvenir shops, than in real life. Nevertheless, Loch Ness is still one of the most popular holiday destinations in the UK.

Where to stay

The long summer nights make campervanning or camping a great choice when staying in and around Loch Ness. Wild camping is legal in Scotland, provided you stick to the rules laid out by the Outdoor Access Code. There’s nothing better than waking up to the beautiful scenery and sound of the birds, rather than the noise from the caravan next door. However, you might have to park up your camper somewhere suitable before spending the night in a tent if you want to sleep  under the stars.

If you do like the idea of a campsite, rather than the responsibility of fending for yourselves in the Scottish countryside, here are a few suggestions:

Visit the main pages of our website to hire a campervan for your Loch Ness trip.

What to see

If visitors haven’t headed up north to Loch Ness to see if they can spot the monster, then they must have been drawn by the spectaclar views. 2013 is the Year of Natural Scotland, so hy not celebrate the country’s natural beauty up in the Highlands?

Loch Ness is set against a backdrop of dramatic mountains, lush forests and rapid white waters. A complete lap of Loch Ness (around 70 miles) will allow you to see the everything this area has to offer, but remember to travel anticlockwise for the most spectacular views.

For those that would rather explore the area on foot, the Trail of the Seven Lochs, is a 50-mile  route for walkers. Although sections are suitable for people of all abilities, the terrain does vary, so be sure to check out the guide before embarking on an adventure.

Things to do

Loch Ness may well be a beautiful area, but the kids and thrill-seekers will be pleased to hear that it’s not all about taking in the views. Mountain biking enthusiasts will find themselves in a riding heaven as they can explore the trails down Great Glen Way and Caledonian Canal.

Being a loch, it’s no surprise that fishing is one of the most popular activities. Whether, you’re trying to catch salmon, trout, pike or char, you can spend all day relaxing at the water side. If you’d rather get on the water than sit next to it, don’t be afraid to try out sailing, canoeing or even waterskiing.

After a day of strenuous activity, you can explore another side of Loch Ness, it’s rich history and heritage. Urquhart Castle, just a couple of miles away from Drumnadrochit, has a visitor centre and video theatre, as well as an exhibition of items found in the castle. Delve further into the local history at the Clansman Centre, where you’ll be able to watch live demonstrations and visit a workshop, where you can buy replica swords crafted on-site.

To find out more about Loch Ness and the surrounding area, head to the Visit Loch Ness website.

Guide to Fort William

Guide to Fort William

Guide to Fort William

Fort William – Scotland’s adventure capital

 

Fort William is a small community located in the Scottish Highlands at the foot of Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest mountain. It also happens to be a fantastic camping holiday destination. If you’re hiring one of our campervans this summer, here’s our guide to Fort William and the surrouding area.

Outdoor activites

Fort William is considered as the UK capital of outdoor sports and activities. If you’re looking for an action packed holiday this summer, there is nowhere else in the country quite like it. Whether you like the idea of biking down some spectacular mountain trails, hitting the waters of Loch Lomond with your kayak, white water rafting or even scaling the side of Ben Nevis.

Outdoor activities are often associated with thrill-seeking sports, but that’s not all Fort William has to offer. You could also spend an afteroon fly fishing or going for a gentle stroll across the natural landscape; there really is something for everyone.

Dining out

Although you can cook up a storm in your camper, you might want to spend a couple of evenings in one of the local bars and restaurants. The tourism in the area means that there are plenty of places to visit with a wide range of foods.

One of our top recommendations would be Cobbs Bar, which you can find in the High Street, but also Crannog Seafood Restaurant on the town pier. There are plenty of other eateries in the villages around Fort William, from up and coming fine dining restaurants to budget and family friendly diners.

What’s on summer 2013

There’s always plenty to see and do in Fort William and this year’s summer programme is much the same. The last weekend in June is the Fat Tyre Event, a mountain biking extravaganza held in Leannachan Forest; moving into July and you’ll find the Glen Nevis River Race, a fundraiser for race down the River Nevis and at the very end of the month is the Arisaig Highland Games.

Where to stay

If you decide to hire a campervan to tour Fort William, you don’t necessarily need to prearrange accommodation as in many cases, you can find somewhere to park up for the night. However, if you do prefer the structure of a campsite, there are a few to choose from, including:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make sure you contact the campsites in advance as they can get very busy in the high season and may close for the low season.

Guide to Edinburgh Tattoo

Guide to Edinburgh Tattoo

Guide to Edinburgh Tattoo

Our guide to Edinburgh Tattoo Scotland

 

It’s getting to that time of year when everyone is talking about The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. It won’t be long until the beat of the drums and sound of the pipes are played out over Scotland’s capital city as this year the event will be held from 7th – 29th of August.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo has sold out every single year for the past 10 years, so if you don’t want to miss out on this spectacular event, get your tickets here.

The history

The Tattoo is now into its 61st year and has become an iconic event for Scotland, but it had much humbler beginnings. The sound of the military band would act as an alarm or signal for the pub landlords who had to call last orders, allowing the soldiers to return to their barracks.

The band then turned into entertainment for the soldiers and was later followed by performances for civilians. The performances became a spectacle and is today one of the most anticipated festivals on the calendar.

The festival

Every year the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is held in August as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Around 200,000 people, visit Edinburgh Castle in order to watch and take part in the festivities, with around 70,000 travelling from overseas.

It’s not just band performances on offer at the festival, there are also firework and pyrotechnics displays for spectator to enjoy. This year’s event will also tie in with the Year of Natural Scotland, so there will be a heavy focus on the natural beauty and landscapes found across the country.

The accommodation

As the Tattoo is held in the city centre, there is a minefield of hotels and B&Bs to choose from, but don’t be surprised if they book up fast. In most cases, hotel owners will inflate the price around the time of the Tattoo because of the huge influx of visitors to Edinburgh.

In many cases, getting somewhere to stay for a reasonable price is near impossible. One of the alternatives growing mor popular every year, is hiring a campervan.

 Exploring further afield

This time around, the Tattoo will also celebrate the Year of Natural Scotland, so what better time to take advantage of camper see what else the country has to offer?

You can explore the whole of Scotland in your campervan, without having to pay extra for accommodation or travel. From Edinburgh, just in your van and head on up to Dundee and Aberdeen for a city break; take in the spectacular scenery on the west coast and islands; or even get your adventurous hat on and try bagging your very first Munro. Whatever you decide to do, it’s easy to get around Scotland in your campervan.

With up to 10% to be saved on long term hire at Rockinvans this summer, it’s time to book your campervan for the Tattoo.

Scottish Highlands

Scottish Highlands

Scottish Highlands: get up close & personal with nature

Stags in the highlands

 

The Scottish Highlands are an incredibly popular holiday destination for campers. The beautiful coastlines, quaint towns and villages, dramatic mountain scenery and rich heritage are all big attractions.

However, that’s not all you’ll find up north. How do you like the sound of embarking on a mountain or forest safari? This is the perfect way to explore the Scottish Highlands in a completely different way. So, why not hire a campervan and book yourself onto one of these spectacular tours?

Mountain Safari

Take a trip through the natural landscape of the Scottish Highlands on your Land Rover and explore the mountains to find what lurks between the trees. Try spotting the elusive Mountain Hare, and watch in awe as the Golden Eagle soars above your head. You might even get to see the Famous Grouse – and not just the whisky.

The safari lasts around 2 ½ hours and kicks off at 9.30am or 1.30pm each day. The £40 price tag includes the mountain safari; binocular and telescopes for spotting the wildlife; refreshments, such as hot drinks, shortbread and whisky; information sheets and factfiles on the animals.

Forest Safari

Explore a different environment on the Forest Safari as you and your guests enter the Caledonian Pine Forest deep in the Scottish Highlands. You’ll be able to search for a variety of animals, from the red squirrel to the rose deer. You will come across much more than just wildlife though as crack clues and head deeper into the forest on hidden tracks and trails.

It may only last for an hour and a half, but it provides an afternoon of fun and entertainment. This safari departs four times a day: 9.30am, 11.15am, 1.30pm and 3.15pm. For £20 per adult and £15 per child, you’ll get the safari, a guided nature walk, binoculars and wildlife factfiles.

Cycling Safari

If you’ve hired a campervan for your trip to the Highlands, you might want to get out of a car and into the fresh air. Why not head on one of these awesome bike safaris instead? You’ll be given a route map an notes for a self-guided safari throughout Perthshire. There are a number of different routes to choose from for every ability. So, whether you want to stick to the tarmac or hit the forest tracks, you’ll come across jaw-dropping views and natural wildlife.

At just £17.50 for adults and £12.50 for children, these biking safaris offer an entire day of activity. You don’t even have to have your own bikes as you can hire for just £15.

 If you’re looking for a campervan holiday, but with a bit of twist, why not book one of our Rockinvans and head on up to the Highlands for an adventure you’ll never forget?