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Scotland by Land Rover


SvBeek
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Hi all,

I'm visiting Scotland this summer in our 110. Arriving in Newcastle and then travelling up north via Fort William to Skye in the first two days. We stay in Skye for a few days in a rented cabin, all the other nights will be spent camping. Second week is stil a bit open. Perhaps travel some further up north and then back trough Cairngorms or the east coast. Does anyone have some tips for us on nice routes to take with the Land Rover or good places to stay? Both commercial campsites (not too crowded) or wild camping are fine for us. We carry everything with us to spend a night somewhere.

Many thanks!

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We've just returned from Scotland and had a good day driving the logging tracks in the Galloway national park, it is also a dark skies park so wild camping is good there.

There is also a nice beach just outside Dunbar where we have wild camped a couple of times.

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how did you gain access to logging tracks in a national park ? ...any pic's of your trip ET ?

...not travelled Scotland yet , but looking at road maps there are lots of good routes and ancient monuments - standing stones etc

cheers

Steveb

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Killiechronan campsite on Mull is brilliant if lacking in facilities.You camp a few metres from the sea. No showers but there is a public swimming pool not too far away with sauna etc. Its has floor to ceiling glass with view over the sea with the mountains behind.

I had an interesting time there, caravan electrics failed before we reached Scotland, fixed in a B&Q car park in Penrith.

Flat tyre after landing on Mull, spare was perished. Had to wait 3 days for caravan tyres to Mull.

Landed on Skye 3 miles later downpipe sheared off. Rang RAC who informed me i was only covered within 10 miles of home.

Luckily they contacted a local garage who ended up welding it for £50.

2 miles before Applecross i pulled over to let a car pass. Didnt realise at the time but i had removed a corner of the caravan.

Got to Applecross campsite to be greeted by a shower of foam coming out of the caravans innards.

Opened the door to find a new floor covering had appearing made from instant coffee granules!

Certainly was a memorable holiday.

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In full pedant mode now, but technically it's a forest park not a national park.

For access to the forest roads you'll need to apply to the Forestry Commission for a vehicle access permission. Or get in touch with the company that does 4x4 treks in the area now. Don't just find an open gate and head in, vehicles are prohibited other than where a permission has been issued as above.

Definitely worth doing though, not as dramatic as north/west Scotland scenery wise but still very nice. There are a couple of hills with radio towers on which means a road to the top and a cracking view :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

There's a 'B' road just south of Mallaig that winds along the coast parallel to the main 'A' road, I think it's the B80008. Absolutely stunning views and it's scattered with camp and caravan sites. Popular but with good reason, and close enough to Skye that your fish and chips are still warm!

A Skye ferry comes into Mallaig so it could form part of a circular trip.

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Tips, midge spray and a net.

Kinlochleven is 10 minutes away from Fort William.. and probably cheaper, we stayed here, family owned. http://www.macdonaldhotel.co.uk/

The cabins are good value as they offered a midge free experience over camping, the food, drink and hospitality was second to none. The campsite is small but popular with biking/walkers.

They have a scruffs bar for the camping guys/backpackers and a restaurant for the smart dressed/guests of hotel. The do specialty ales and fresh cooked food.

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Hi all,

I'm visiting Scotland this summer in our 110. Arriving in Newcastle and then travelling up north via Fort William to Skye in the first two days. We stay in Skye for a few days in a rented cabin, all the other nights will be spent camping. Second week is stil a bit open. Perhaps travel some further up north and then back trough Cairngorms or the east coast. Does anyone have some tips for us on nice routes to take with the Land Rover or good places to stay? Both commercial campsites (not too crowded) or wild camping are fine for us. We carry everything with us to spend a night somewhere.

Many thanks!

Fort William - good routes to do - just before town if coming from north or just out of town if coming from south, take Glen Nevis road (dead end) up to the top of the glen. Park at the very end and walk along the gorge path to Steall. VERY spectacular and only a short detour from town.

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Ben Nevis from Achnacarry.

If heading north on the A82 go to Lochy Bridge and take the left turn to The Road to The Isles (signposted to Mallaig). Cross the long straight that goes over the moor until you get to the Caledonian Canal and immediately after the canal crossing turn right and follow the small road to Achnacarry- this route out of Fort William gives the best views of Ben Nevis you'll get. This small road eventually rejoins the A82 after 7 or 8 miles but you can do a detour first through Achnacarry and Clunes and up to Loch Arkaig first before returning to the A82. This is another dead end, but long, wild and spectacular (and pretty well hidden). Well worth the detour. This is the view:

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If heading on to Skye you take the left turn at Invergarry and go up the side of Loch Garry and this is very spectacular too. There's another detour there (dead end) to Loch Hourn but this is a long one and only worth doing if you have time, although it is very remote and wild.

Skye must see - take wee road to Elgol from Broadford - which takes you out onto the west side of Skye and views across to Rum and Eigg, and into the back of the Black Cuillins.. This is Elgol:

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There's a small pier there where the boats trips to Loch Coruisk leave. If you have the time, do the boat trip. It is spectacular and makes 'Lord of The Rings' look pedestrian!

After Skye take Pass of the Cattle from Kishorn over into Applecross then on up to Shieldaig. Camping on top of the pass is good, great sunset views (see below). Go through Glen Torridon to Loch Maree (wow! scenery). See below:

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Loch Maree area:

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Then follow coastal route up through Ullapool to Lochinver. Just out of Lochinver take the coast road north to Kylescue through Achmelvich and Stoer. There's a detour to Stoer Point and lighthouse thats well worth taking as the view back to Suilven is very impressive (see below). Walk up the little dirt track above the lighthouse (or take LR up). Keep a look out on the coast here as you often see whales and dolphins passing/feeding. Lots of nesting seabirds too. And the cliff walk from Stoer point is great with a giant sea stack a mile or so along the coast that is hidden until you get to it.. Views from here are amazing - really - to all the big mountains to the east. to the Western Isles on the western horizon, Isle of Skye to the south and up towards Cape Wrath and Orkney.

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Then carry on to Durness at the top which is a great spot, huge beach and cliffs lots of camping. Great views. Follow route round Loch Eriboll and cross the top end of the country to John o'Groats and then do a walk out to Duncansby Head to see the stacks:

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When you get back down to Inverness just before you get to the city take left turn to Cromarty and Avoch and go to Rosemarkie and find Chanonry Point and lighthouse. Stand here any time during the day and you'll see this:

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The most northerly resident bottlenose dolphin population, and HUGE animals, up to 4M long and 300+KG. They hunt close to shore right through the summer and they can be within a few metres of the shore. Worth a stop for sure. (I can see this from my house!).

This is only a few of the things you'll be be able to see. There's much much more.

There's lots of commercial campsites, some small, others larger, and loads of wild camping spots you'll find as you go. There are several good spots to park up, I wont name them, you'll find them if you look around as you go. Generally no problems pulling over and camping providing you leave no trace. General rule is gates are there to stop livestock getting out, and sometimes people getting in. Former generally unlocked, latter locked. Best thing is to avoid sharing fields with animals in them as the famers/crofters are not too happy about that. But just pulling over onto grass is fine. Just dont assume because the land looks 'wild' and 'empty' that its not used, it will be, and occasionally you'll get someone stopping to see what you're up to. Chances of being given a hard time are slim.

One big warning - Land Rovers are commonly used by farmers, and sheep and cows are not stupid and associate the Land Rover shape with food. If you go into a field with livestock they may run towards you. Best that can happen is they get bored. Worst is they use you as a rubbing post bend your wing mirrors and scratch your paint and carp all over the place and you end up wading in manure!

Just to add: insects can be hellish. Take good anti-bug stuff. You can buy this locally, and also midge head net is a good idea. Again buy locally. Mossie nets are rubbish - the holes are too big! Buy midge nets. Watch the stuff you buy to keep the bugs off - anything high in DEET will make your lips numb and melt plastic. There are other types of repellent available all of which are ok. In truth there will be times when you'll wonder what the hell is going on with the midges as they try to overwhelm you, going in your ears, eyes and up your nose. But these are not often - they only really bother you when it is overcast (they are photosensitive) and still. Generally daytime is ok, except in sheltered woodland, or if it is very dull and still. Evening can be the worst time. Being prepared for this can make it manageable. Camping high, or coastal ups the chances of breezes.

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Some good advice there. And great photography!

1 thing I will say about midges. They absolutely hate smoke. Whether it's from a BBQ, open fire, or whatever you happen to be smoking....

Just take care with BBQ's and fires. Make sure they are properly extinguished before you turn in/leave..

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