Guides, Vanlife

Scottish #Vanlife Adventure Tour

I have long recognised Scotland as the wildest area of the UK and the best place to seek genuine wilderness.  It is unparalleled when it comes to the sheer scale and variety of environments, from surging whitewater rivers to vast lochs, remote mountain ranges to dramatic coastlines.  It is also a brilliant place to tour by adventure sports campervan as there are lots of places to park up for free, immersed in the environment close to active adventure spots.

…I wanted to share a few of the locations I really enjoyed to help you plan a #Vanlife adventure of your own…

On my last trip I decided to extend my visit to 3 weeks to give longer to explore and in this blog wanted to share a few of the locations I really enjoyed to help you plan a #Vanlife adventure of your own…

Parked up in a lay-by for the night in Glenmore…

Drumlanrig Castle – I visited this castle for the wonderful MTB trails in the grounds and the whitewater rapids of the River Nith that run through the estate. It is a great, and somewhat overlooked area of the country and I found a sweet little parking spot at the Glen Airlie picnic site off the A76 (NS834058), which has a public toilet block open throughout the night.

Rothiemurchus, Cairngorms – The Cairngorms is a huge National Park with plenty to offer visitors. One of my favourite areas is Rothiemurchus forest to the south east of Aviemore (itself a lively highlands town where you must have breakfast at The Mountain Cafe). The whole area is crisscrossed with trails for hiking and biking, Loch Morlich is great for watersports and there is even skiing in the winter. There are multiple free parking spots, especially in the Glenmore area, but I also highly recommend Glenmore Campsite where you can park in the forest area by the loch and enjoy the use of the facilities…

The only way to get to Lochindorb Castle is by boat or board…

Carrbridge, Strathspey – This little town is not in itself a particularly picturesque location, but Carrbridge has one of those rare finds; a free car park, walking distance of local pubs, cafes and shops, with public loos open all night that seems to openly tolerate campervans. We spent two (non consecutive) nights there using it as a base for a SUP paddle to Lochindorb Castle and visits to the whitewater rapids of the rivers Findhorn and Spey.

Enjoying a hike on the West Highland Way above Loch Lomond…

Loch Lomond – The Loch Lomond coastline is heavily regulated, especially the east side, but it is still a stunning place to stay so don’t avoid it, just lean in. I planned for it to be a campsite stop rather than a wild park for this reason, and stayed at the wonderfully located Milarrochy Bay Campsite. With the loch shore literally a stones throw from the driving seat it is the perfect campsite for stand up paddleboarding, kayaking and swimming in the loch or exploring the West Highland Way. Oh, and check out the haggis pizza at the Oak Tree Inn!

No shortage of trails into the wilderness in the Cairngorms…

Callander, The Trossachs – This is another area that has lots to offer. Callander is a quaint little town, and there is a concentration of picturesque lochs in the area, such as Venachar, Lubnaig and Katrine. I found myself there to swim in the lochs, ride the trails and enjoy the whitewater of the River Leny. The parking spot I used is in Kilmahog, just off the A821 on the southern side of the river; quiet parking place in the trees, a short walk from The Lade Inn and a couple of km’s from Callander.

Love the rapids of the Scottish rivers…

There were a number of other places I stopped but often these had very limited space so it wouldn’t be right to publicise them, you’ll have to scour the OS maps to find that kind of place yourself…

I’d heartily recommend a #vanlife trip to Scotland and if you enjoy just one of these spots yourself I’d love you to leave some feedback in the comments. Happy travelling!

If you enjoyed this blog you may enjoy my other #Vanlife blogs such as Simple Tips for #Vanlife, Top Tips for Planning a #Vanlife Adventure and Top Tips for Long #Vanlife Drives.

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