7 Reasons why you should explore Scotland in a Campervan!

campervan scotland guide

Thinking about visiting Scotland? Debating whether to travel around Scotland in campervan? Well, here are 7 reasons to convince you why you should explore Scotland in a campervan! There are many reasons why a campervan is a great way to travel around Scotland from waking up next to a loch and being able to cook whenever you like to having a portable wardrobe and the ultimate flexibility when exploring. Scotland is a beautiful country and here are 7 reasons to discover its wonders in a campervan!

7 Reasons why you should explore Scotland in a campervan

  1. Waking up to loch views
  2. Travelling around Scotland in a campervan gives you the ultimate flexibility
  3. Wild swims in Scotland are better with a campervan!
  4. Exploring Scotland in a campervan means lunch whenever you want it
  5. Travelling by Campervan in Scotland means you have a perfect rain shelter
  6. Scotland is very motorhome-friendly
  7. A Campervan equals a portable wardrobe

1. Staying in a campervan in Scotland means waking up to loch views

A wildcamping spot near Glencoe

The best reason for exploring Scotland in a campervan is waking up to incredible views.

Scotland has many incredible wild camping spots. There are some breath-taking spots that you can stay for free and wake up to awe inspiring views.  

There are lots of great campsites, but there is something really nice about waking up, peeling back the curtain and seeing nothing between you and a loch or a moor. Make a warming porridge and wave at a friendly squirrel outside. Enjoy a cup of tea while admiring mountain views. Put your wellies on and go for an early morning explore. Feeling brave – go for a dip in a loch and come back into the campervan to warm up.

Scotland, unlike the Lake District, is much more tolerant of wild camping which means there are plenty of incredible spots to spend the night in a campervan in Scotland. Use apps like Park4Night which often have photos as well as reviews to help you find the perfect place to stay in a campervan in Scotland.

A few of my favourite wild camping spots in Scotland were by Lochan na h-Achlaise, along the shore of Loch Ness and in a forest in the Cairngorms.

While wild camping in Scotland is great, it is important to stay at a few campsites too if you are doing a grand Scottish road trip. One reason is so that you can fill up water and use electricity as well as empty your waste. Another reason is that paying to use a campsite supports the local economy.

Waking up next to a beautiful Scottish loch is one of the best things about travelling around Scotland in a campervan!

2. Travelling around Scotland in a campervan gives you the ultimate flexibility

glencoe glen etiv waterfall

One of the best things about a campervan road trip in Scotland is the ultimate flexibility this mode of transport gives you.

It can be so hard to plan a grand itinerary of Scotland. When we went to the USA, we planned every night of our 3 weeks so that there was no flexibility. Often, we realised we wanted to spend more time in one place such as Death Valley and slightly less in another. Yet this was not possible as we had booked everything. That is not the case with a campervan.

You can of course, and it is recommended to, come up with a rough route of where to visit in Scotland. The planners among us may prefer to work out camp sites and wild camping spots well in advance. Yet one of the best things about travelling in Scotland in a campervan is that you can be flexible. If you do fall in love with a particular place leave yourself the flexibility to stay a while longer. Often you can ring up a campsite on the day and ask if they have any last-minute spots. Of course, during the summer months this may not be the case but the abundance of wild camping spots means you don’t have to worry too much about not finding a place to stay.

We loved being able to decide on the day where we wanted to go. Also it was nice not having to worry about check out times which you have to when staying at a B&B

3. Wild swims in Scotland are better with a campervan!

Early morning dip in Loch Ness

Ever fancied swimming in a loch? Why not have a go at wild swimming?

Wild swimming is swimming outdoors in places such as rivers, lakes, the sea and lochs! It has become very popular recently and there are plenty of places in Scotland to try a little wild swim!

How does this relate to going around Scotland in a campervan I hear you ask? Well, you might have guessed that the lochs in Scotland are a little bit chilly. After the initial bracing cold, the tingling sensation and feeling is amazing. Yet nothing prepares you for getting out of the loch. Depending on how long you have been in the water you may experience teeth chattering and shivering. While you can of course put on a robe nothing beats going into a heated campervan, getting out of your wet swimming suit and grabbing a hot cup of tea. If you were really prepared, make some toasties beforehand that you can quickly heat up after your swim. Now that is a great way to end a wild swim!

Who knew how many times a campervan in Scotland would come in handy!

4. Exploring Scotland in a campervan means lunch whenever you want it

Hot soup and fresh bread by Loch Lomond… Alex put the butter on the bread!

One amazing thing about travelling around Scotland in a campervan is that you can have lunch whenever you like!

Of course, you should support the local economy as often as you can when exploring cities, towns and villages. However, if you are in the middle of nowhere about to start a hike, why not make a hot tasty soup before going into the hills?

One of the best things about a campervan road trip in Scotland is the flexibility to eat whenever you like. Fancy a toastie after a wild swim? Would you like to enjoy the view by the loch with a hot soup? Are you in the middle of nowhere and its pretty cold so would a cup of tea be amazing right now? Well in a campervan you can eat and drink whenever you like! No more hangry arguments about finding a café shut or the next restaurant is miles away.

We particularly liked the ability to eat something warm before starting a hike like up to the Lost Valley in Glencoe. It was also wonderful to have a hot cup of tea after a hike as we did during our trip to Loch Garten.  

While making your own meals and drinks is cheaper, it is still important to support the local economy when you can. Often such as our day in Glencoe, we realised we didn’t have to pay for parking, we had stopped off at a supermarket chain the day before and there were no small cafes between Loch Lomond and the village of Glencoe. It is too easy to pass through, take photos and not contribute to the local economy at all. Therefore, just be mindful and don’t be those campervan people who take more than they give

5. Travelling by Campervan in Scotland means you have a perfect rain shelter

It rains in Scotland. It can rain quite a lot in Scotland. While you can of course put all your waterproofs on, if you are in for a prolonged period of rain a campervan comes in quite handy as a rain shelter.

If you are doing a grand Scotland road trip, having a campervan gives you the ultimate flexibility that a b&b does not necessarily give you. For example, during our second week in Scotland, we noticed that the rain was due to stop around midday. Therefore, we would have a lazy morning in the campervan then go outside once the rain had stopped. This is not always possible when staying at a B&B due to various check out times ect. Also, if you have just got soaked, coming back into the campervan and being able to change beats driving for hours in wet clothes before you are able to change at a hotel.

I don’t recommend trying to avoid the rain during your Scotland road trip but the campervan does come in very handy as a rain shelter when you do need a break from the Scottish weather

6. Scotland is very motorhome-friendly

Sunset on the Isle of Skye

Another great reason why Scotland is perfect for a campervan road trip is that Scotland is very motorhome-friendly. While there is a grey area regarding the legalities of wild camping in Scotland, it is much more tolerated that in other parts of the UK.

There are many great wild camping spots in Scotland. Other motorhome drivers wave at you at you drive past. Once we reached the route 500, we swear that over half of all vehicles we passed were campervans! Scotland is a very popular place to explore via campervan.

Just please bare in mind that during the summer of 2020, many first-time campervanners did not adhere to leave no trace rules and have upset locals with not disposing of waste properly and littering. Make sure you are a responsible campervanner.

7. A Campervan equals a portable wardrobe

glencoe tartan scotland
Tartan is a must-have item on any Scotland packing list!

This is another weather-related reason why travelling around Scotland in a campervan is a great idea.

The weather can be quite changeable in Scotland. One moment you are in the sunshine and the next it is tipping it down. The great thing about travelling around Scotland in a campervan is that you have a driving wardrobe! No worries if you got soaked as you can quickly change when you get back to the campervan. For example, we got very muddy shoes on our hike in Argyll so it was great to change into alternative shoes back in the vehicle.

Has it suddenly warmed up? You can leave your extra layers in the campervan and maybe even change into your shorts. Also, for instagrammers, you can change into as many outfits as you like without having to awkwardly change in public. Having a portable wardrobe is just another advantage of travelling around Scotland in a campervan.

Have you been inspired to explore Scotland in a campervan?

Have you been inspired to explore Scotland in a campervan? There are more benefits such as not having to pay for luggage on a flight or you can bring your dog!

Would you like to do the Scotland 500 or drive to Skye in a campervan? Let us know in the comments below!

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