Essential Scotland

Essential Scotland

Distance: 500 miles

Places Visited:

Glasgow
Loch Lomond
Arisaig
Skye
Applecross
Loch Ness
Cairngorms National Park
St Andrews
Edinburgh

We have put together our favorite campervan or motorhome tour that fits in all of the top Scottish landmarks. This is great for first time visitors who want to experience everything that beautiful Scotland has to offer. Starting at Glasgow and ending in Edinburgh, this is an example of the oneway trip Rockin Vans can help you plan.

At 500 miles this needs to be part of a longer trip, but you can guarantee you will leave Scotland feeling like you have seen everything! From cities, lochs, all the way to the highlands – you will have well and truly experienced Scotland!

Glasgow > Loch Lomond (46 miles)

Start your trip by collecting your campervan in Glasgow City Centre; this means you get to experience the largest city in Scotland for a day. Check out some of Glasgow’s world-class museums and tourist attritions.

Once you have collected your campervan, take the 1-hour journey to Loch Lomond. The Cashel Camping in the Forest site is right on the banks of Loch Lomond in amongst the forest, giving you a real camping experience without too far to travel on your first day.

Loch Lomond > Arisaig (111 miles)

The tiny village of Arisaig is a perfect introduction to the West Coast of Scotland. Here the stunning views to the islands of Eigg, Rum and Skye begin and the beautiful sandy beaches that stretch along the old road towards Mallaig. The beaches here look like something from the Bahamas! We recommend staying at Sunnyside Croft, an award-winning site nestled right on the magnificent coastline.

Arisaig > Skye (Ferry)

When you are ready to tear yourself away from this beautiful coastline. Head to the ferry port of Mallaig. This 1-hour trip boasts fantastic views of the Scottish coastline. The ferry docks at Armadale on the Sleat peninsula, which is great for beaches, lochs, forests and glens. In the north you’ll find the stark Trotternish ridge and the rocky pinnacles of The Storr. Stop off in the middle for the harbour town of Portree, with pretty cottages in pastel colours. Stay in the beautiful Torvaig Campsite with its stunning mountainous backdrop you wont want to leave. Don’t miss the fairy pools for a wild swim in crystal-clear waters, and for a dip into early human history, go to the Mesolithic site, An Corran – one of the oldest in Scotland (dating from around 7000BC).

Skye > Applecross (40 miles)

From Skye head back onto the mainland. This time via the Skye Bridge for more breath-taking views. Applecross Peninsula is quintessentially Scottish. Home to just 238 people, and accessed by only two roads, this is a haven from the noise and clutter of modern life. Amazing views to the Outer Hebrides and over to the South the Kintail mountains. Stop at The Applecross Inn to enjoy the views further with their outstanding seafood menu. For the chance to wake up with these vistas stay at the Applecross Campsite.

Applecross > Loch Ness (94 miles)

No trip to Scotland would be complete without going on a hunt for Nessie! Take a tour of the Loch on board Deepscan, search the depths of Loch Ness by using the sonar equipment on board. Then visit The Loch Ness Project for the history being the exploration of Loch Ness and its famous monster mythology. Had enough of monsters? Visit the impressive Urquhart Castle, on the shores of Loch Lomond the views are truly stunning.

Stay at Loch Ness Shores Camping and Caravanning Club site, with award winning facilities and panoramic views of the Loch, it’s a must for anyone visiting the area.

Loch Ness > St. Andrews (159 miles)

The 3-hour drive from Loch Ness to St. Andrews takes you through Cairngorms National Park, the largest National Park in the UK. You will see beautiful views, and a variety of traditional and unique villages. Either enjoy as part of your journey or stop and take advantage of some of the amazing attractions including whiskey distilleries and outdoor adventures.

St. Andrews is traditionally know as the home of golf, but is steeped in history and culture. Visit one of the many historic monuments like Blackfriars Chapel and St Andrews Cathedral. Pitch up at Nydie Campsite, views over St Andrews Bay and walking distance to a local tavern make it an ideal base while in St. Andrews.

St. Andrews > Edinburgh (50 miles)

The 2-hour journey from St. Andrews to Edinburgh is a great way to end your trip. You will feel yourself leaving the Scottish countryside and gaining a different perspective of Scotland in one of the most famous cities in the world. The inspiring capital of Scotland has centuries of history alongside a vibrant modern city. Visit The Castle, climb The Scott Monument or go underground at The Real Mary Kings Close.

For your final nights either camp at Morton Hall Caravan and Camping Park or stay at The Caravan Clubs Edinburgh site for easy access to the city.

Camping near Stonehenge and Salisbury.

Blessed with good weather more often than not, Cornwall is a great place to get involved in some of the many outdoor persuits available. From stunning coastal walks to picturesque cycle trails and and golf courses, there are plenty of opportunities to get a tan without ever leaving England.

Drive through the Cornish country side stopping into some of the many quaint sea side towns for a pastie along the way. Driving through Cornwall will show you first hand what it is about this beautful place that has inspired generations of writers from DH Lawrence and Charles Causley to Sir John Betjeman and Daphne du Maurier.

Loch Lomond to Skye Road Trip

Loch Lomond to Skye Road Trip

No experience of Scotland is complete without a road trip.

But without local knowledge how do you make sure each day is jam-packed with the best sights and activities each area has to offer?

That’s where we come in. We’ve used our experience to round up the very best things to do, see and eat on a trip from Loch Lomond and Skye. At 200 miles, it’s a manageable journey that will take about four hours one-way, but by splitting it up you can make the most of the towns you’ll pass along the way.

This is Scotland off the beaten track. All you need to do is drive

Loch Lomond > Arrochar (10 miles)

Just ten miles out of Loch Lomond you’ll find Arrochar – a great base for climbing and walking. The town is home to the Cobbler, one of Scotland’s most distinctive mountains thanks to a tall, rocky outcrop at its peak. Paths are clear and walkers can expect a relatively smooth ascent and descent with some steep parts. As you would expect it’s a particularly popular route on sunny days so start early to avoid having to overtake groups every five minutes.

If the Cobbler’s not enough of a challenge, Arrochar is also at the foot of the Argyll Forest Park and is situated at the head of Loch Long. After a brisk stroll or swim, refuel at the Village Inn – a well thought of restaurant with rooms offering hearty grub.

Arrochar > Glencoe (53 miles)

Glencoe is one of the most picturesque settings in Scotland and is best accessed via the south. It’s a great spot to ski, weather permitting: there are 18 runs and routes on Glencoe Mountain as well as seven lifts. Because of the wild scenery, it’s a thrill to discover the locale by bike – mountain or otherwise. Take in waterfalls, corries and pyramidal peaks as if you were back in a high school geography class all over again. Glencoe Café, in Ballachulish, is a good place for a cake and a coffee, while something more filling can be found at Bulas Bar and Bistro, part of the Ballachulish Hotel. Pull up at the Glencoe Camping and Caravanning Club Site for the night and wake up the next morning to unparalleled views of Argyll.

Glencoe > Kinlochleven (6 miles)

Eschew strenuous activity for a trip to River Leven Ales for enjoyment of a more drinkable kind. Established in 2011, the brewery isn’t open to the public but its brews are available in pubs in the general area. Take a look at the historic, riverside factory that the brewing equipment is housed in before making a beeline for nearby pub. Alternatively, spend an afternoon at The Ice Factor – an all-purpose center for indoor ice wall climbing.

Kinlochleven > Dornie (87 miles)

No trip to Skye would be complete without a peek at the wold-famous Eilean Donan. Situated on a small tidal island in Kyle of Lochalsh, this castle has appeared in myriad films including James Bond – The World is Not Enough. It also has an incredibly rich history revealed on a tour of its walls and grounds, though check its opening hours as they change slightly with the seasons. Shielbridge Caravan Park and Campsite is a good place to stay overnight, and is located just seven miles from the castle.

Dornie > Skye (58 miles)

The last leg of the journey to Skye is also one of the most spectacular, with vistas of Scotland at its wildest and most beautiful. Travel over the toll-free Skye Bridge to access the island before cruising up Skye’s east side, taking in the neighbouring islands of Scalpay and Raasay along the way. Stop off at Portree, the largest town on the island, where the Aros Centre is situated. Take in a show, watch a film or have a bite to eat at its on-site restaurant.

Return journey

Skye -> Fort William (123 miles)

Found just before Fort William, The Ben Nevis Distilery is worth a look – book a tour 24-hours in advance and enjoy tastings in the boardroom before picking up a bottle or two in its shop. Fort William itself, otherwise known as the ‘outdoors capital of the UK’, has plenty to offer active types. The West Highland Museum is where more studious visitors can lose themselves for a few hours while others enjoy the Great Glen Cycle Route, mountaineering, or check out Claggan Park – the home of Fort William Football Club.

Fort William -> Crianlarich (51 miles)

The A82 en route to Fort William flanks the glorious Loch Linnhe, while the country’s tallest mountain Ben Nevis can also be seen. Crianlarich is at the heart of the lush Trossachs and is a haven for climbers looking for steep slopes to try out. Ben Lui, a range of mountain peaks designated as a National Nature Reserve is close, as is the Colin Burt Reserve, where visitors can learn about wildlife indigenous to the area (and there’s also a café). Spend your last evening star gazing in the un-obscured night sky from the Glen Dochart Caravan Park.