Every year since it became extremely ‘popular’, our customers head to the North of Scotland to complete the North Coast 500 in droves. They all come back telling stories of the extreme beauty Scotland beholds and the amazing sights they see, the people they meet and campsites they stayed at on the way. Well, it was our turn!
As a small friendly family motorhome hire business, we are quite restricted to the time off we get due to the seasonal business we run. Where most people want to holiday in the spring/summer or have a last-minute dash in the autumn, we get time away in the winter.
Unlike some people who would automatically fly to the sun, our passion is exploring in a motorhome. Hence why we started the business.
After researching the open all year campsites and the route, we headed off on Monday 28th January 2019 in ‘Ariel’ our newest large family 6 berth motorhome. We had been weather watching and knew snow was expected in parts of Scotland, England and Wales, but took our chances with what was on our very own doorstep.
Like a lot of Scottish people, we were quite ignorant and never fully took advantage of our own country.
What an adventure…
Winter is one of the best times to travel the North Coast 500. The roads are quieter (albeit still busy in parts), but much more enjoyable. We used the passing places and pulled in to let locals through as we always tell all our customers. It is all about respect.
We set off and our first stop was Inverness…
We spent our first night at Loch Ness Shores, it is a Camping and Caravanning Club Site. From the minute I called, to our actual arrival at the site, the customer service was exceptional, and it was clear it was well maintained.
We would highly recommend this campsite. They were all extremely friendly and the heated toilet and shower blocks were spotless. If you are ever in the area, please stop and stay at this site, and say hello from us.
We were limited to time and wanted to make the most of the time we had left. We travelled the route, through Invergordon, Tain, Dornoch, Golspie, Brora, Dunbeath and many more and then stopped off in Wick for some supplies.
We obviously stopped (we are tourists after all…) for the customary photos at the John O Groats sign. The second night was spent at Stroma View, Huna, it is a friendly, little hardstanding area (site). Due to the extremely weather, the shower pipes were frozen, but we had access to the toilet block and electric hook up – what else do you need when you have everything in your motorhome.
Next stop John O Groats…
We decided to make an early start the next day and head to Ullapool via Turso, Melvich, Bettyhill, Tongue (AMAZING view point), Loch Eriboll and had a pit stop at Durness (beach below) for a
wee tea and coffee break.
Next stop Ullapool…
The route has the most amazing scenery and it honestly takes your breath away. We spent the night at ‘Port A Bhaig Campsite’ at Altandhu. The views were amazing to wake up to as we were looking right over the water. Again, the service was friendly and welcoming, and the shower block and toilets were spotless. There was an on-site shop for supplies with a small hot food counter.
We had the campsite to ourselves. It was great, another recommended stop off. The weather had started to close in on us and some of the roads were icy in parts. The motorhome was great (or maybe that was helped by the driver – Iain).
Next stop the Isle of Skye…
We decided at this stage to head straight for the Isle of Skye. As we travelled the temperatures outside hit -8 at 11.15am
We stopped at Kyle of Lochalsh, wow, just wow, and then travelled through Skye to our next overnight location ‘Uig Bay Caravan and Campsite’, friendly and welcoming site. What a beautiful part of Scotland. You must see it yourself to believe it. Truly breathtaking. We stayed at Uig for 2 nights and used it as a base to travel around.
We travelled the coastal road through Totscore, Balgown, Kimuir, Duntulm to Staffin where you got to see the Dinosaur Footprints and then stopped off for lunch in Portree. Sadly, there was not enough time left for us, we had to head back to the office. We will certainly be heading back the Isle of Skye whenever we can to spend more time there.
Next Stop Newtongrange…
It was a gorgeous drive home through Shiel Bridge, Invergarry, Strathpeffer. Through the Glens and alongside the Lochs, the sun shining, snowy scenes that you would only expect to see in Austria, but no, Scotland has it all.
We travelled onwards until finally reaching the A9, then home. We thoroughly enjoyed it and have a new-found love for what Scotland truly has to offer… Go on, give it a try.
For more information, please contact the team at Lowland Motorhome Hire today