Film Fan Guide to Scotland: Trainspotting

Film Fan Guide to Scotland: Trainspotting

A Rockin Vans motorhome rental for travel around Scotland can open up a ton of possibilities – too many. There are so many awesome locations just waiting for you to discover them, that choosing somewhere to go can be tricky. We’ve discovered a unique take on picking out your next journey. All you have to do is pick one of your favourite films that feature Scotland and then you can visit the filming locations. Not only will you get to see where some iconic scenes were shot, but you may also discover a new favourite small-break destination.

The black comedy ‘Trainspotting’ (1996, directed by Danny Boyle) is an obvious choice as it entirely set in Scotland. We’ve selected a number of filming locations that you can visit with your motorhome rental, so you can see what Scotland has to offer.

Princes Street, Edinburgh

Seeing as the novel the film is based on is set in Edinburgh, you’d probably assume that most of the locations on the list are within Edinburgh. Well, you know what they say about assuming. As it turns out, most of the film was actually shot on the streets of Glasgow. That doesn’t mean that Edinburgh doesn’t show up at all. The film opens with Renton and his group raiding a bookstore and running down Princes Street. Princes Street house the main shopping district in Edinburgh, and you’ll be able to browse many high-street stores if you visit this area in your motorhome rental.

Calton Street Bridge, Edinburgh

The last part of Edinburgh you see in the film is Calton Road and the Calton Street Bridge, and this is the location in the film in which you see Renton get struck by a car. This is the area of Edinburgh in which the modern streets transition into the Old Town and the Royal Mile. Full of history and tourist attractions, this section of Edinburgh offers you a totally different experience than the one offered on Princes Street. There are a ton of museums here, all of them totally free and we would recommend the ‘Surgeons’ Hall Museum’ if you’re wanting something more niche than the National Museum of Scotland.

Firhill Health Complex, Glasgow

From here on out, most of the locations are within and about Glasgow. The infamous five-a-side match at ‘Calton Athletic’s Ground’ was filmed within the Firhill Complex, in Hopehil Road. The centre is still open, and they run a number of events throughout the year, such as a Gala Day that runs during the summer. This location is a great spot for football fans in generals, as not only is it still a great place for a wee game of five-a-side and the Partick Thistle Football Club is really close by so football fans can pop in for a quick visit.

Cafe D’Jaconelli, Glasgow

Fairly close to the Firhill Complex is the Cafe D’Jaconelli, the retro diner where Renton and Spud shared a milkshake before Spud’s mess of an interview. Amazingly, the Cafe D’Jaconelli is still there and it still retains the look that it had in the scene. A 1950s jukebox and classic red booths give the cafe a unique charm that is a nice location to visit in of itself. You can pop in and get a milkshake, just like in the film but minus the illegal drugs.

Corrour, Rannoch Moor

Going outside of Glasgow and Edinburgh, we have a rather unique location that takes you up towards the highlands. We get a shift from the ‘clydeism’ depicted throughout most of the film, and a look at the stunning Scottish landscape that tourists flock to the country for. Corrour station houses the spot in which Renton gives a legendary rant to his pals in “the great outdoors” scene. If you do choose to visit this area, please be aware that the main road stops seventeen miles away from the exact spot and you’ll have to access it by train or on foot. You can leave your motorhome rental and walk, or visit Scotland’s other stunning locations in the vicinity instead.

While the film is depicting a more grim view of Scotland, your trip through some of the films iconic locations can be anything but that. It’s a fantastic excuse to take a visit to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Fort William and even London if you’re willing to venture outside of Scotland in your quest to see all of the filming spots. A motorhome rental in Scotland means that you can visit the iconic filming locations of tons of films, for more information on how our rental works, please feel free to get in contact.

Abandoned Scotland: Other-Worldly Spots To Visit With Your Campervan Hire

Abandoned Scotland: Other-Worldly Spots To Visit With Your Campervan Hire

Not everyone wants a campervan hire to visit Scotland’s more idyllic spots. Sure a trip to Helensburgh or Saltcoats is a great wee holiday, but it doesn’t lead to adventure and dramatic photographs. Scotland has some amazing abandoned locations that can give you a special look at history that has remained unaltered by humans. Instead, these buildings have been left to the mercy of nature and time. A campervan hire in Scotland can allow you to explore these amazing sites, without having to worry about finding travel or nearby accommodation.

Before we start with our small list of places to check out, we should say that we’re by no means suggesting that you enter any of the listed abandoned buildings. The exterior of these locations is excitement enough and the photographs you come away with will still look great. If you do choose to enter, please do so safely and legally.

Gartloch Asylum, Glasgow

Victorian-era asylums are terrifying, both in fiction and reality. If you’re wanting to go to a spot that will leave you with chills, there is no better place. Asylums have a horrific reputation for being a place of oppression and torture, perhaps unfairly so. Of course, the stories are larger than life, but that doesn’t make the spot any less creepy. Opened in 1896, the asylum also served as a tuberculosis sanatorium between 1902 and 1945. Most of the Gartloch buildings have been demolished and transformed into a nice residential area. However, the main reception building still looms over the new builds, the gothic architecture making it appear as if it came right from a horror story. It’s located right next to Drumpellier Country Park and is fairly easy to find.

Inchkeith Island, Fife

Located within the Firth of Forth, Inchkeith is a strangely sinister island that is shrouded in mystery. It has been inhabited for about 1800 years, but not consistently, very on again and off again like Ross and Rachel from Friends. It has prominence as both a military tool and a site for quarantine. In 1497, people with the disease that would be eventually known as Syphilis were transported to the island and left there and until “God provided for their health.” Basically, people were brought to the island and left there to die. This history of quarantine was repeated in 1589 when passengers of a plague-ridden ship were abandoned there and then again in 1609 with mainland plague sufferers being quarantined on the island. While the island technically belongs in Fife, at Rockin Vans, we advise accessing it via Edinburgh with your campervan hire.

St Kilda, Outer Hebrides

For those who don’t want to visit a place of suffering, but still want to experience the eery stillness of an abandoned place, the island of St Kilda is a fantastic option. It’s technically a group of volcanic islands, but they’re protected by the National Trust for Scotland. Along with a village that was abandoned in the 1930s, you’ll be able to visit the largest colony of Puffins in Britain. The opportunities for photographs and exploration are endless, but be aware that you don’t get phone signal on the island. Keeping safe while looking around is pretty important in general, but especially for this reason. Like Inchkeith, you cannot bring your campervan hire all the way to the island, so we recommend parking up in Skye and going via boat.

Bangour Village Hospital, West Lothian

Scotland seems to be full of abandoned psychiatric hospitals. Unlike Gartloch, this hospital took the style of a village rather than one big looming structure. It was based off a German asylum, one that is still currently in operation. When it was at its peak, the Bangour housed it’s own railway station, bakery and school. Since 2004, it’s been left abandoned. Most of the buildings still remain though, as they are A listed and protected. It’s located near Livingston, and while the temptation to explore is there, we would advise that you admire the structures throughout the village from the outside. Since 2005, security has been assigned to make sure people don’t enter the buildings as they been deemed unsafe.

A campervan hire in Scotland can grant you easy access to these awesome abandoned locations and many others that are spread throughout the country. As long as you remain safe, visiting abandoned spots can give you a special look at an untouched history. For more information on our campervan hires for Scottish travel, please feel free to get in contact with us. Our team will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Campervan Hire UK and Beyond: European New Years Events

Campervan Hire UK and Beyond: European New Years Events

Over the past month or so, Rockin Vans has been giving you some fantastic tips for how you should make the most of your campervan hire in the UK this winter. The countries throughout the United Kingdom have some great annual events, and these really shouldn’t be missed. However, if you have the freedom to travel, why limit yourself to just the United Kingdom. Europe also has some amazing sites that must be seen and some spectacular events for you to ring the new year in with. If you want to do something special to start off your 2019, a campervan hire in the UK could potentially lead to an unforgettable European trip.

To get you started, here are just some offerings from the European countries that are closest to the United Kingdom.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

It’s well known that Amsterdam is the place to be for parties. There are a ton of New Years events held throughout the city centre annually. You can participate in the Netherlands tradition and ward off evil spirits by eating oliebollen as these are sold by street vendors throughout the city. Every year visitors are treated to unofficial street parties and spectacular firework displays. While the fireworks usually take place near to the National Maritime Museum, the iconic display is taking place at Kop van Java this year. The celebrations have been known to get pretty rowdy, so for those wanting a quieter affair, there is the option of observing the fireworks from the comfort of one of the many stunning restaurants in Amsterdam.

Paris, France

Paris is one of the most stunning cities in the world. It is consequently an amazing space to spend New Year’s Eve. There are a ton of unique events that are worth checking out. You could spend New Year’s Eve swimming and partying at the Aquaboulevard de Paris at an event that starts at 21:00 and goes on to dawn. Equally as amazing, is the party held at the Aquarium near the base of the Eiffel Tower. However, it is worth noting that while the capital of France is a fantastic place to celebrate the New Year, Paris is a place worth planning ahead for as if you make mistakes the experience can become really unpleasant. The street parties are great during the early stages, but folk get really drunk and it quickly becomes a riot. The team at Rockin Vans recommend that you go to a planned event or a private party or retreat to your campervan hire relatively early.

Berlin, Germany

Berlin hosts one of the biggest street parties in Europe. Celebrated between Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Column, the two-kilometre stretch of hosts a festival that includes a number of live music performances, DJ sets and light shows. The festival area also includes a number of food stands that provide guests with some of the best food offerings from all over the world. A spectacular firework display will begin at midnight on the dot, and the party lasts well into the small hours of the morning. Admission to the event is totally free and so if you can make it to Germany during the festive season, it is a fantastic way of ringing in the New Year.

While there is an extra charge for European travel with our campervan hire in the UK, it is something that we are happy to accommodate. There is no point in limiting yourself in your travels, especially as for a limited time we still have the right of freedom to travel in the EU. For more information, please feel free to get in contact and our team will be happy to help!

Best Scottish Restaurants to Visit With Your Motorhome Rental

Best Scottish Restaurants to Visit With Your Motorhome Rental

Best Scottish Restaurants to Visit With Your Motorhome Rental

If you’re from a busy city like Glasgow, you may think that you’ve seen the best culinary delights that Scotland has to offer. There are a variety of top-quality restaurants, with a range of cultures represented, so it is easy to see why you would assume that one city can give you all that you need to try. However, to taste the best food around Scotland, you need to be willing to travel. With a motorhome rental in Scotland from Rockin Vans, you can explore some of the best Scottish eateries that serve traditional Scottish foods. We don’t claim to be food experts, but we do have a couple of favourites that we recommend you try out.

Loch Bay Seafood Restaurant, Isle of Skye

If you search for the best Scottish restaurants, Loch Bay Seafood Restaurant is at the top of many lists. Ran by Chef Michael Smith and his wife, this stunning restaurant makes use of its surroundings and uses only the freshest seafood for his menu. The contemporary Scottish restaurant with a French twist is a bit of a trek away, being that it is located within the Isle of Skye, but a motorhome rental in Scotland can help you get there, and it is definitely worth it.

Glen Nevis Restaurant, Fort William

Featuring a fusion of traditional Scottish dishes, pub classics and Asian seafood dishes, the Glen Nevis Restaurant is a real find. The food is fantastic, but the real bonus is that you get to dine with a gorgeous view of Ben Nevis. It’s just a few minutes away from the Glen Nevis Visitor Centre which has ample room for you to leave your motorhome rental. The food and service here are widely regarded as being some of the best in the area, and it is for sure worth trying.

Inver Restaurant, Strachur

Based upon the shores of Loch Fyne, the Inver Restaurant is an eccentric little establishment that has delighted clients since 2015. It is admittedly in the middle of nowhere, but the food that they serve more than makes up for the journey. If you’re looking for a hearty meal with locally sourced ingredients, the Inver is the place for you. With steaks, lamb and seafood to choose from, there is something that everyone will enjoy. As a bonus, by going to the Inver, you get to see the sites of Loch Fyne.

Wee Lochan, Glasgow

Located within the city centre, Wee Lochan is well known for being a relaxed and laid-back restaurant. They offer a fantastic menagerie of cultural dishes, ranging from the Far East and the Mediterranean, but merging them back to Scottish recipes. Even if you’re from Glasgow, this is still a good shout for a place to try. As we have a Rockin Vans motorhome rental based in Glasgow, it can be a great place to start off a longer road-trip around Scotland.

Pibroch, Edinburgh

The Pibroch is unapologetically Scottish. As soon as you walk in the doors, you are bombarded with bagpipes, thistles and Scottish music blaring through the sound system. The menu matches this heavy theming, as you’ll be treated to a range of traditional Scottish dishes; everything from haggis to haddock. If you’re heading to the capital and want to embrace the Scottishness of it all, you won’t find a better restaurant than the Pibroch.

The Ship Inn and Waterfront Restaurant, Dundee

With a giant panoramic window framing a stunning sea view, The Ship Inn and Waterfront Restaurant is a fantastic establishment located in Dundee. The nautical-themed restaurant serves some of the best seafood in the country. The fish is renowned for being both well portioned and delicious. With a motorhome rental for travel in Scotland, you could spend a day enjoying the museums and attractions Dundee has to offer and then round the time off by tasting some delicious seafood at The Ship Inn.

These are just a tiny sample of some of the great Scottish restaurants that are out there. There are many more to be discovered, and you can’t do that if you are limited to one city. With a motorhome rental, you could travel throughout Scotland without any limitations and get to taste some of the culinary delights that are right at your doorstep. For more information on how you can book a rental with us, please feel free to get in contact.

Christmas Gifts for VW Camper Van Fans

Christmas Gifts for VW Camper Van Fans


Great Gifts for VW Camper Van Fans

While we haven’t yet reached full-festive mode, it is definitely that time of year when shops start stocking up on this years hottest Christmas gifts. You still have plenty of time to decide on what to buy your loved ones, but coming up with original ideas year after year is hard. We here at Rockin Vans are big fans of the VW Camper Van, with the two T4s being how we started our rental business. So we’ve made a convenient list of some more eccentric christmas or birthday gifts that you can buy the VW Camper Van fan in your life.

Volkswagen 3D Campervan LED Fairy Lights

Well we warned you that this was going to be a quirky list. Nothing will get you into the festive spirit like lining a small tree within your camper van with officially licensed mini VW Camper Vans in multiple colours. Powered by battery, these fairy lights are an easy way to spruce up your motorhome, or even just your living room.

A Lego Camper Van

You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy lego; it’s universally loved and we all know it. The lego store offers us a couple of different options but the absolute best by far is the authentic model of the Volkswagen T1 Camper Van. This product is highly detailed; from the VW air-cooled flat four cylinder engine to the iconic pop top roof. A perfect gift for any fan of the classic VW.

Volkswagen Toaster

This one is great because it can enhance your travelling experience. It has all the features you want in a toaster; it can toast, defrost and reheat. It comes in red and blue and will give fans of the Volkswagen Camper an eye-catching accent that they’ll love having in their kitchen at home or in their camper.

VW Barbeque Hamper

With this set you get a VW branded thermally insulated cool bag that comes with a lightweight metal frame that acts as the stands and platform for a disposable BBQ. Even better, a disposable BBQ comes with it so you can use it right away. Possibly more ideal for the Summer if you’re planning on using in the UK, but a great gift nonetheless. Perfect for those wanting to go on a picnic with their campervan.

Official Volkswagen Remote Control Campervan

Everyone loves a remote-control car. This officially licenced remote control VW Campervan is the next best thing you can get next to buying your loved one the full size counterpart. Unlike a full size van, this miniature can perform tricks and maneuvers, creating hours of entertainment.

A VW Camper Van Hire with Rockin Vans

The perfect gift. Why settle for an imitation when you can have a trip around the UK in the real thing. A Camper Van Hire is the gift of giving someone the ability to have a holiday doing whatever they want in a vehicle they love. A truly unforgettable experience that will help your friends and family create memories that will last a lifetime.

To hear more about our VW Camper Van Hire please get in contact and we’ll be happy to help.