Local Hero

Local Hero

Celebrate 30 years of Local Hero with Rockinvans

Local Hero

 

Perhaps, one of the best Scottish comedies of all time, Local Hero, celebrated it’s 30th anniversary earlier this year. With beautiful scenery and a traditional Scottish backdrop, this movie was loved by millions and proved to be great advert for the country.

If you’re a fan of the Bill Forsyth film, as so many of us are, why not tour the locations? You’ll notice that was locations – plural.

Local Hero was set in Furness, but that’s an imaginary place; it was actually largely filmed in the village of Pennan on the Moray Coast. Despite the Moray Coast being voted the 11th most scenic beach in the world by the National Geographic magazine, the beach scenes we filmed 140 miles away in Arisaig!

 

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So, if you want to celebrate 30 years of Local Hero in style, you could hire a campervan and tour the film locations.

 

Moray Coast

Despite the Moray Coast being one of the most spectacular coastlines in the world, the Local Hero beach scenes weren’t actually shot here. Saying that, Cullen beach is still definitely worth a visit, so make it your first stop before moving on to other areas. Keep an eye on the weather, you should manage to get a glimpse of the sunshine as it’s actually one of the sunniest parts of Scotland!

Remember the red phone box? You’ll be able to spot it at soon as your drive down into the village of Pennan, which portrayed Furness in the film). Although the phone box is popular with visitors to the area, the actual one from the film was made from wood and is situated down the coast (shhh… don’t tell anyone!) Stop off in Banff too, if you fancy a pint in one of the pubs.

Before moving on to the other locations, find a suitable place in Cullen to get your head down in the campervan. There aren’t many campsites in the area that cater for the van or tents, so wild camping might be your only option unless you’re willing to travel a little further.

Arisaig & Camusdarach

 

What appears to take two minutes in the Local Hero movie, is actually a 3-4 hour drive from Aberdeenshire over to the west coast of Scotland. The drive will take you through Speyside so it’s worth stopping off for a dram of whisky. Depending on how much time you have for your journey, you might want to make the most of it and spend a couple of days in the Highlands.

 

When you arrive at Fort William, you’ll then come to the “Road to the Isles”, which perhaps unsurprisingly leads you to the coast and the western isles. After a short journey down here, you’ll come to Arisaig. You’ll know which beach was used for filming when you spot Rhum and Eigg in the distance. Again, these are a great place to visit if you have time on your side.

If you like the sound of celebrating Local Hero in a campervan, hire one of our Rockinvans today!

A guide to the Scottish Borders

A guide to the Scottish Borders

A guide to the Scottish Borders

The Scottish Borders is a beautiful place to visit any time of year, with so much amazing scenery and lots of different things to do and see, you’ll never be short of activities. The Scottish Borders cover around 1,800 square miles and is just south of Edinburgh and the Lothians.

You can discover the rolling hills and picturesque forests whilst enjoying many outdoor activities and soaking up all the history within this truly magnificent place. Whatever you enjoy doing it’s not easy to get lost in the beauty of landscape.

Things to do

There are so many different things to do around the area, including numerous free activities, but if you don’t mind spending a bit of money, there’s a lot more on offer. From watersports to cycling, golf, mountain biking, fishing, sailing and even a bit of rugby.

If those kinds of things aren’t for you there are many different attractions and historic places you can visit too. Why not visit the Paxton House Gallery and Country Park, or the beautiful Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh? These places are known for their stunning acres of riverside, woodland, parkland and gardens. There are also many golf courses around the area.

Maybe you’re worried about entertaining the children? Well, there are many family places which are child-friendly and the kids will love. The National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh is a great historic place to visit and is full of the culture of Scotland, they also have a children’s zone where the kids can learn and have a great time whilst doing so.

If you just want a bit of quiet time then there are so many scenic areas around the Borders, you won’t have to look very far.

Where to shop

Perhaps you’re a shopaholic? Well don’t worry, Scotland isn’t short of places where you can shop till you drop. No matter what your style or interests, there is something for everyone! If you’d like to take advantage of the farmers’ markets, or just shop around Scotland’s great shopping centres or boutiques, you’ll have no problem finding something to suit you. You can even learn more about Scottish crafts by joining in on one of the many trails, visting the potters, glass blowers, jewellers and even painters.

Where to eat

After you’ve finished all your watersports or gazing around the local scenery and you’ve shopped until your feet hurt, you are more than likely to be getting very hungry. Well fear not, there are countless eateries where you can eat many different delicacies and get yourself something to drink too. Scotland in renowned for its produce and varied weather which means they are able to grow a large variety of fresh fruit and vegetables and produce much meat and fish too.

If you want to eat out then there are so many different places to choose from, such as all kinds of restaurants, bars and pubs and much more.

Where to stay

Wherever you choose to stay you want to be close to the sights and places of interest, rather than right in the middle of nowhere. It’s also useful to know where you are and know the area, so it’s easy to find and you don’t end up getting confused or lost.

When it comes to the type of accommodation you’re looking at, hotels an B&Bs can become quite expensive, but with so many different places to stay you won’t be short of choice. For a real budget-friendly trip, consider hiring one of our Rockinvans.

There is a broad range of holiday parks to choose from in Scotland and when they are open all year round and in just about every corner there is no excuse but to enjoy the beautiful sights. When visiting the Borders, what better way to see it than sleeping under the stars?

Wild camping is legal in Scotland as long as you abide by the Outdoor Access Code and the Borders has plenty of great spots. However, if you prefer the idea of a campsite, just some of the holiday parks in the area are:

Guide to Fife

Guide to Fife

Kingskettle Fife

The Kingdom of Fife is renowned for two things; first and foremost it’s plethora of top quality golf courses, but also it’s shape, which resembles the head of a dog. Situated on the east coast of Scotland, just north of the capital city, Fife is a small, but perfectly formed county – albeit dog-shaped.

Things to do

This region of Scotland has an important place in history, as it’s the birthplace of many famous names, including Adam Smith (philosopher) and Andrew Carnegie (industrialist). Dunfermline, the ancient capital has a regal past, with Dunfermline Palace and Abbey at the heart of it. If you fancy hitting the green, head over to St. Andrews, which is famous for being the birthplace of golf. Other attractions include Falkland Palace, Scottish Fisheries Museum and St. Andrew’s Cathedral.

Although steeped in history, the Kingdom of Fife is also a modern holiday destination, with musicals on at the theatres and local bands playing gigs. If you happen to be visiting in the summer, make sure you take the time to go to the East Neuk Festival – one of the highlights of the calendar.

Where to shop

Celebrate the local economy by heading to the shops in one of the main towns or smaller villages. Whether you’re looking for quaint handmade crafts to take home or clothing from one of the many boutiques, you’ll be able to find it in Fife. St. Andrews has a wide range of independent shops for you to enjoy, but if you’re after something a bit more crafty, try Pittenweem or Crail Pottery.

Where to eat

With a natural larder on your doorstep, it’s easy to see why the cafes, bars, restaurants and other eateries have so much pride in using the local produce. There are award-winning restaurants across the whole of the Kingdom of Fife, so whether you’re looking for fine dining or a laid back lunch, there’ll be something to suit your budget.

Top 5 eateries:

Everest Inn, Dunfermline
Critchon’s Kitchen, Methil
Room With a View, Aberdour
Clippies Fayre, Kelty
Peat Inn, St. Andrews

Where to stay

Camping and campervanning is incredibly popular for Scottish holidays – there are parks all over the Fife region, but wild camping is also allowed. Fife is also home to a number of hotels and B&Bs, but where’s the fun in that?

A camper gives you the freedom you need to explore the entire region. Traditional accommodation will restrict you to seeing snippets of Fife, rather than the whole Kingdom. So, if you’re looking to hire a campervan, head on over to Rockinvans now!

Top 5 campsites:

Nydie Caravan And Camping Site, St. Andrews
Woodland Gardens Caravan Site, Leven
Craigtoun Meadows Holiday Park, St. Andrews
Duloch Hamlet, 10 miles outside of Edinburgh
Tayport Links Caravan Park, Tayport

Guide to Inverness

Guide to Inverness

Guide to Inverness

The River Ness

Inverness is known as the capital of the Scottish Highlands and is a definite ‘must-visit’ if you’re travelling around the country. It differs from most tourist hotspots due to the lack of conventional attractions, but that somehow makes it all the more appealing.

Despite being one of the most popular spots in the Highlands, Inverness is home to just 550,000 people, helping it retain the feel of a market town, rather than big city. At the heart of Inverness is the River Ness, which flows from the infamous Loch Ness into the Moray First.

Things to do

One of the most obvious things to do is a spot of Nessie-hunting. Legend would have it that a giant loch monster lives at the bottom of the loch. There have been numerous ‘sightings’, but nothing has ever been confirmed. Visit the loch to see for yourself and take in the spectacular scenery while you’re there.

If you’re something of a history buff, you might be interested in the Highland Aviation Museum, just opposite the airport on Dalcross Industrial Estate. Look around the various aircraft components, learn a bit about them and even jump in the cockpit!

Brodie Castle, a 16th century tower house is one of many National Trust properties in Scotland. It was built by the Brodie family after King Malcolm IV gave the land away. Learn more about it’s past and take a look at the fine daffodil collection.

Where to shop

The great thing about Inverness retaining some of that small town charm is that there are still plenty of smaller independent retailers. You can enjoy the big high street names and department stores, but also get a taste of the local flavour. For a large selection of independent traders, head over to the Old Town, but for a more modern shopping experience, the East Gate Shopping Centre will be the best bet.

Where to eat

Inverness is a vibrant city with plenty of restaurants and cafes to dine in, but also pubs and bars to stop for a quick pint. If you’re fed up of eating in the van every night, treat yourself to meal out at one of these top eateries:

Where to stay

As Inverness is such  a small city, it’s worth getting out and about so you explore the rest of Scotland. The best way to do this is to hire a campervan, so you can park up and spend the day seeing the sights or hitting the road to another Scottish destination.

Whilst it is legal to wild camp in Scotland (provided you abide by the Outdoor Access Code), there aren’t too many suitable spots near the city. Take a look at these top campsites for campervans:

A guide to Dundee

A guide to Dundee

A Guide to Dundee

Desperate Dan takes a stroll

 

 There are likely to be more popular city break destinations in the the UK and Europe, but Dundee is a great choice. If you can put aside the busy roads, this city has a lot to offer visitors from all over Scotland and the rest of the UK.

Dundee is closer to the sea than any other Scottish city; it sits on the north shore of the Firth of the Tay and also boasts a number of attractions. Whether you want to explore the local history or enjoy the vibrant nightlife, there’s something for everyone.

Things to do

Whilst you might be used to seeing statues in major cities, such as Nelson’s Column in London or Sir Walter Scott in Edinburgh, Dundee’s City Square is home to Desperate Dan – as in The Dandy and The Beano.

After passing Desperate Dan in the heart of the city, you can walk up to riverside along the Tay Rail Bridge and spot seals down on the sandbanks or head up to the top of The Law. There’s a whole lot more to this Scottish city than spectacular views though; it some how seems more authentic and cultural than it’s famous cousins – Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Visit the McManus Art Gallery and Museum, which houses a number of special exhibitions and rare collections. There are eight galleries to choose from, as well as taking in the magnificent building itself.  Once you’ve finished up there, how about soaking up the history at Broughty Castle?

For a glimpse past the city boundaries, go to Mills Observatory, the only full-time public observatory in the country. You can see the stars and planets through the telescope, as well as watching astronomical displays and planetarium shows.

In a couple of years the V&A will be the city’s centrepiece, which will showcase the very best of Scottish design.

Where to stay

Being such a small city there are plenty of places to stay, but they’ll often be booked up in advance. The best way to explore Dundee and the surrounding area is to hire a campervan as you’ll be able to park up and spend the rest of the day

If you like the idea of wild camping, park the van and head to the peaks of Dreish and Mayar for somewhere to pitch a tent – you’ll bag a couple of Munros whilst you’re at it. You could also choose to camp on the cliffs or beach. Remember to read up on the Outdoor Access Code beforehand though.

Some prefer the structure of a campsite; if so, there are a couple of good ones nearby:

Guide to Whisky

Guide to Whisky

Guide to Whisky

Do you know the difference between whiskey and whisky? Well, true single malt Scotch whisky has no ‘e’, whereas whiskies from the US are Ireland are far more likely to be spelt ‘whiskey’.

The reason behind the difference in the spelling is that the word whisky comes from ‘uisge beatha’, which is Gaelic for ‘water of life’. Despite whisky being the country’s number one export these days, that wasn’t always the case. The US insisted on including the ‘e’ to ensure that consumers knew the difference between the two producers.

However, that’s all changed for the better as Scotland is now the world’s finest producer of whisky and it has even become the national drink. If you’re visiting, it’s well worth exploring the main regions – you can even follow the Malt Whisky Trail, the only one of its kind in the world.

What better way to find out more about Scotch whisky than by hiring a campervan and spending a week or so touring the country’s finest distilleries? You can find out more about the trail and the eight Highlands distilleries on it here.

However, the Highlands is not the only area producing fine whisky. There are five main whisky production regions in Scotland: Highlands (including Speyside), Islands, Islay, Lowlands an Campbeltown. Although every single whisky will taste slightly different, each region tends to have its own characteristics, from light and mellow to deep and smoky.

Lowlands

Despite covering quite a large area, the Lowlands is home to just three working distilleries: Aisla Bay, Auchentoshan and Bladnoch The whiskies distilled here tend to have very malty and grassy undertones, and remain lighter than others.

Highlands

Further north is the Highlands, probably the region with the biggest varieties of whisky; particularly because it is also home to Speyside, which is often named as a standalone region due to the strong characteristics and number of distilleries. Some examples of whiskies from the Highlands include Glenmorangie, Talisker, Glenfiddich and Glenlivet.

Islay

Islay, known as Whisky Island, is a small island in the Inner Hebrides. There eight distilleries on the island, which products some of Scotland’s most distinct malts. Islay whisky tends to be very smoky and heavily peated.

Campbeltown

Campbeltown has just 10% of the distilleries that it used to because of US Prohibition. Springbank, Glen Gyle and Glen Scotia are the three remaining, although only two are still producing whisky. You should expect a dry, full bodied whisky with little peat and salt.

Islands

Again, the islands are technically part of the Highlands, so this area is not recognised by the Scotch Whisky Associated, but many people still refer to it as a standalone region. The proximity to the sea plays a big part in the flavour of the whisky, but each distillery has a distinctive flavour, some much smokier than others.