Our camper van road trip around the north coast of Scotland…
Published on 05th November 2019
by Happy Kampers Nick & Toria.
Our intrepid travellers headed up to the Scottish Highlands for a camper van holiday that really took them away from it all...
Day 1 – Lochcarron to Smithstown
To kick off our five day Scottish tour, our trusty VW California took us around the pretty village of Lochcarron, on the shore of beautiful Loch of the same name. Peace, tranquility and whitewashed cottages galore, our camper van was the perfect place to take it all in from. From there we winded our way towards Smithstown - meandering at our own pace and parking up for sustenance or a wander whenever the mood took us.
Day 2 - Smithstown to Lochinver
The stunning Corrieshalloch Gorge with its awe-inspiring waterfall was top on our list of ‘must-see’ and it didn’t disappoint. Ullapool along the way (the last biggish town we would pass) provided provisions and ice cream. There was plenty of room in the camper van kitchen to stash everything and we were soon back on the road, heading to a fantastic overnight camping spot at Achmelvich Beach.
Day 3 - Lochinver to Gills Bay
After waking up with a view of endless sky and sea, we explored miles and miles of winding roads which the VW California ate up with ease. Barely anyone else around (apart from the wildlife) but stunning scenery round every corner. We squeezed in a pit stop at Smoo Caves (just outside Durness) before heading to Ferryview Night Stop (a friendly family-owned site in the converted garden of a croft owned by Royston and his family). The day ends with our first sighting of seals and a wonderful sunset.
Day 4 – Gills Bay to Black Isle
John o’Groats is generally hailed the most northerly point of Scotland, but Dunnet Head is a little bit more northerly - so we made sure we made it there. Then on to Helmsdale which is a great place to visit. We spent the morning at the Timespan museum learning about “The Clearances” and then grabbed a well deserved, hearty lunch at the local (and excellent) chip shop. An overnight stop at the glorious Fortrose Campsite, meant having to wake up to a view of the beach, again….
Day 5 – Black Isle to Inverness
Before leaving Fortrose, we made an early visit to Chanonry Point to see the Dolphins’ and seals. When we say early - we arrived at 5.30am and it felt like we were the only people in the world. The Route 500 which we followed starts and ends at Inverness castle in the city centre so a quick visit brought us back to reality - and back onto the homeward road. Wild Scotland was wonderful and made so much better by having our camper van to get us around. We slept so well too - must have been the combination of all that fresh air and the VW California’s super comfy and cosy beds. We’ll definitely be hiring again - and perhaps heading back to Scotland again soon.