5 reasons to motorhome Scotland

By: Laura Batten, Photography by: Laura Batten


5 reasons to motorhome Scotland Emme searches for seals out on Duncansby head 5 reasons to motorhome Scotland
5 reasons to motorhome Scotland Urquhart Castle 5 reasons to motorhome Scotland
5 reasons to motorhome Scotland Instead of 'cheese', Emme and I were told to say 'Freedom'! 5 reasons to motorhome Scotland
5 reasons to motorhome Scotland A big highlight was seeing these adorable puffins on the Isle of May 5 reasons to motorhome Scotland
5 reasons to motorhome Scotland Orkney Island town 5 reasons to motorhome Scotland
5 reasons to motorhome Scotland Getting our Outlander on at Inverness 5 reasons to motorhome Scotland
5 reasons to motorhome Scotland Our eyes were glued to the horizon for the Lochness monster! 5 reasons to motorhome Scotland
5 reasons to motorhome Scotland A meal by the river at Wick, before catching the bus up to John O'Groats 5 reasons to motorhome Scotland

NZMCD’s editorial assistant Laura Batten fulfilled a dream to do a road trip of Scotland recently, and discovered why so many visitors love to do the journey by motorhome

Scotland has always been a dream of mine to visit. High vast valleys, misty lochs, great accents, history as far as the eye can see; there isn’t much not to like about the Scottish land.

My sister Emme and I headed over in September this year, equipped with heavy tramping packs ready to travel the highlands in the height of summer. With a gas cooker, a BritRail pass, and a few Airbnb bookings, we thought we’d have no complaints.

Leaving our Scottish expedition very last minute, we had little idea how much a vehicle would have positively impacted our trip. Here are five reasons why travelling in a motorhome would be most ideal to tackle peak season Scotland.

1. Sleep in beautiful locations

Although we had no worries finding Airbnbs and hostels in England during peak season, the same couldn’t be said for Scotland, with most of the places we had set our eyes on – such as the Isle of Skye, Kyle of Lochlash, and pretty much the entire western side of Scotland – all booked out.

But with many parts of Scotland allowing freedom camping (or ‘wild camping’ as it is better known in the UK), travelling by motorhome opens so many more possibilities for travel. Like New Zealand, not all regions allow freedom camping, so be sure to check ahead and prepare to book early for campsites if needed.

There are a number of great apps available to assist with finding a place to park, such as Siteseeker, Sites UK, Campmate, and the AA Caravanning and Camping Guide app.

2. Cook gourmet under warm shelter

Despite it being summer, Emme and I were caught in the rain while cooking our meals more times than I care to remember! And thanks to dietary requirements, buying a cheap sandwich from the supermarket wasn’t an option. We dreamt of having a nice campervan to cook in during the rainy times, shielded from the cold weather that is Scotland summer.

3. Go everywhere

Train passes are great, but they definitely don’t take you everywhere. Trains travel less diversely than England. The Great Caledonian Sleeper is a great option for the long distance if you are travelling from England, but it’s also an expensive one.

If you’re a hiker and plan on travelling via train with the hope that buses will take you to the best tracks, you may find yourself in a pickle.

Buses only go to the most famous of mountains, but not the best of them. If you’re one of those I’ll just hitchhike kind of thinkers, be warned… we tried! And it is a lot more difficult than you may think, not to mention a bit dangerous and unreliable! To have the freedom to go to wherever you like, and know your bed is following you, would be the best.

4. Motorhomers are well respected in Scotland

If you think motorhoming Scotland isn’t popular, you’d be well wrong. We bumped into many motorhomers, notably in Edinburgh, Inverness and countless up at John O’Groats. In fact, motorhome rentals are not too expensive, and there are many motorhoming camps, communities and resources available.

5. You’d get so much more done in Scotland

Not having to wait awkwardly for when the next train leaves, or buses that only travel to Ben Nevis on every odd day – you can travel whenever you like,  get so much more done,  and see all the sights you wish to see.

Being stuck at the top of Scotland in John O’Groats with no buses for the weekend is no fun. Accommodation is much more open for motorhomers, meaning you won’t be as restricted as we were.

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