2 July 2021 Travel
Scotland's vast landscapes, full of wilderness and raw beauty, are what makes it the perfect destination for a road trip by campervan. Enjoy your stay in the heart of nature, discover ancient castles rich in history and marvel at panoramic views, which take your breath away. This article will show you everything you need to know to prepare your next road trip: Two itineraries of 7 and 14 days through Scotland with all the must-see places, information about wild camping in Scotland and advice on which campsites to stay the night at.
While it is practised a lot, wild camping by campervan is illegal in the United Kingdom, at least without explicit permission of the landowner. While the Scottish Outdoor Access Code does allow wild camping by tent under certain conditions, this does not apply to motorhomes or campervans.
There however do exist spots where campervan wild camping is accepted, our advice is to well inform yourself - for instance by means of specific applications like Park4Night, Brit Stops or specific Facebook groups. Valuable information can also be found through travel bloggers like dadimatto, who created a video about his road trip experience in Scotland with Yescapa:
A great possibility is also informal “wild camping” in National Parks, which is often allowed for a small fee. Please be aware, that wherever you stay the night, the general rules of camping apply: Do always care for the environment and leave the place as you found it. Do not have open fires, do not leave anything behind (including toilet paper), avoid large congregations of motorhomes and do not stay for more than one night.
With a little preparation and research, you will have no problem finding great spots to stay the night. And there is always the possibility to stay at one of the many campsites and support the local camping industry.
This 7 day itinerary through Scotland will lead you to many must-see places in this stunning country. Starting in Glasgow, we will go up north to the Isle of Skye before descending to Loch Morlich, Glamis castle and Edinburgh.
Total driving time: 13.45 hours
Total kilometres: 580 miles
Begin your trip by spending the day at Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest city and home of an impressive cultural offer. Excellent museums, galleries and music festivals are waiting to be explored by more than 2 million visitors per year. The city also holds many historic buildings, such as the Glasgow Cathedral, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, George Square and the University of Glasgow. Other recommendations are Kibble Palace and Glasgow Botanic Gardens, Glasgow Green and Necropolis, a Victorian Gothic Garden. If you fear having missed important sights and places, don’t worry, as there will be time at the end of our trip to visit everything you did not get the chance to do today.
For now, take your motorhome and head north to Loch Lomond, a 36.4 kilometres long freshwater lake. Enjoy the great view on Great Britain’s largest lake, one of the six natural wonders in Britain and one of Scotland’s most idyllic regions.
Campsite tip: Loch Lomond Holiday Park
Today’s destination is Fort William, which is about 2 hours north from Loch Lomond. Going there, you will cross Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, enjoying a beautiful drive alongside Loch Lomond. Why not enjoy the stunning landscape a little while longer and do a canoeing or kayaking tour on the Loch?
Fort William is the second largest settlement in the Highlands (behind Inverness) and a paradise for everyone interested in hiking or climbing due to its proximity to Ben Nevin, the UK’s tallest mountain. But also the town itself has a lot to offer. Take a stroll in the historic city centre, visit the castle and dive into Scottish history in the West Highland Museum. Further recommendations are Saint Andrew’s Church, Glenfinnan Church, Neptune’s Staircase and Steall Falls.
Hopefully waking from a good night sleep, prepare yourself for quite a bit of time in your motorhome, as today's route will take us about 4 hours to the north and east of Scotland.
Today’s first stop will be the famous Isle of Skye. Most of you will already have heard of it, as it is a major tourist destination of Scotland and blessed with a captivating countryside. Impressive mountains surround idyllic valleys, stunning waterfalls, beaches and hiking trails. In case you have more time to spare, we highly recommend spending at least two days in Skye! Visit its main town Portree, head to beautiful Trotternish or take a hike to the majestic rocks of The Storr. Another highlight of the island is also Kilt Rock, a 90-meter high sea cliff, Fairy Pools and Sligachan. The list of must-see places in Skye is long and requests an itinerary for itself.
There still is one stop to make today: Eilean Donan, a small island in the Western Highlands of Scotland. Its highlight certainly is its castle, which is a reconstruction of the original one, destroyed in 1719. It is nevertheless an impressive sight worth visiting before calling it a day and allowing yourself a restful sleep after an exciting day.
Almost half of our Scotland tour is already over; let us make sure to get the most out of the remaining four days as possible! Hop into your motorhome and drive to Loch Morlich, a freshwater loch surrounded by sandy beaches. Keen to learn a fun fact? On a closer look, it is not sand covering your feet, but small broken glass. They are leftovers from World War II when the area was used as a commando school. Today, Loch Morloch is a paradise for lovers of water sports, as many activities such as Paddleboarding, Kayaking and Canoeing are available.
Ready to move on? Then let’s head to Pitlochry. Go visit one of Scotland’s oldest working distilleries, the Blair Atholl Distillery, take a hike to Queen’s View and enjoy the unforgettable view on Loch Tummel and try your luck fishing in it.
Our campsite tip: Aberfeldy Caravan Park
Day number five of this 7-day Scotland itinerary starts with a one-hour drive to Glamis Castle, the childhood home of Queen Elisabeth The Queen Mother. Glance at this impressive majesty with its turrets and towers and go visit its insight by means of a guided tour. Afterwards, do not forget to take a walk in the beautiful gardens, which are vast and diverse: The Italian Garden Walk, the Nature Trail Walk, the Pinetum Walk and the River Dean Walk.
Just 45 minutes from Glamis Castle lays Scone Palace, an historic site, where several Scottish kings were crowned. The stunning house, built out of sandstone, is bedded in a big garden, besides a star-shaped maze of 2,000 beech trees.
You still have some time left? Then take your campervan and go to Perth, which is just a 10-minute drive away. Our recommendations of what to do in Perth: Balhousie castle, River Tay, Branklyn Garden, George Street and Kinnoull Hill.
South Queensferry (“The Ferr”) is a charming Scottish town, just 10 miles from Edinburgh. Take a stroll through the city and visit the Forth Bridge, take a boat tour or a coastal walk on the John Muir Way.
The next stop of today and the last one of our trip is Edinburgh. Exciting city which it is, it is not surprising to find that it is the second most visited city in the UK. If you are interested in art, you should not miss a visit to the Scottish National Gallery, while history enthusiasts should pass by St Giles Cathedral and the Museum of Childhood. A walk in the city’s centre to the Royal Mile and Grassmarket is always recommended, just as to take a hike in Pentland Hills Regional Park.
Our campsite recommendation: Linwater Caravan Park
Our 7-day itinerary through Scotland is near the end. Use this last day to visit everything which you did not already cross off from your list in Edinburgh and Glasgow. If you feel like important places have been left out in this itinerary, or you would like to spend more time in certain ones, continue reading and take a look at our 14-day itinerary, which also includes Northern Scotland and the North coast route 500.
In order to fully absorb all of Scotland's beauty and richness, a certain amount of time is needed. While it is possible to visit it in just one week, we recommend spending rather 2 weeks there. The following 14-day itinerary will begin at Glasgow, before leading you and your campervan all the way up to the Isle of Skye, Wick Sea and descending to Inverness, Cairngorms National Park and Edinburgh.
What to visit in Glasgow: Glasgow Cathedral, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, George Square, University of Glasgow, Kibble Palace, Glasgow Botanic Gardens, Glasgow Green, Necropolis
Culinary tip: Go have a beer or whisky at one of the city’s oldest bars, The Old College Bar on High Street
Campsite Tip: Loch Lomond Holiday Park
Highlights of the day: hiking in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, climbing Ben Nevin and visiting Fort William’s city centre with Saint Andrew’s Church, Glenfinnan Church, Neptune’s Staircase and Steall Falls
Campsite tip: Camping Skye
Take a day of rest and enjoy the amazing landscape of Skye, going hiking, discovering beaches, waterfalls and valleys
Sightseeing tips in Skye: Portree, Trotternish, The Storr, Kilt Rock, Fairy Pools, Sligacha
Highlights: Hiking in Beinn Eighe Nature Reserve by means of paths of different degrees of difficulty, passing mountain sides and ancient pinewoods and discovering Inchnadamph, Scotland’s largest cave system
Stroll around in calm Scrabster Harbour, an important port of the Scottish fishing industry and take a delicious dinner at Wick, a small historic village with view on the coastline
Campsite tip: Wick camping site
Discover the 189 rooms in Dornoch Castle, the largest Castle in the Northern Highlands and its impressive gardens, which are inspired by the Palace of Versailles. Glance at Inverness Castle and St. Andrew’s Cathedral, located right beside the River Ness.
Campsite tip: Inverness Caravan Site
Resting days are important and essential on a road trip. Enjoy this day by taking a relaxed walk through Inverness, having a nap next to the River Ness and enjoying a good dinner in one of the many good restaurants of this town.
From Urquart Castle you will enjoy a perfect view on Loch Ness - a once in a lifetime opportunity to discover the famous Scottish monster… Visiting the many Scottish castles does not only mean visiting impressive buildings, but also getting an insight into the country’s past! During 500 years as a medieval fortress, Urquhart Castle has a lot to tell! Its ownership switched frequently between Scots and English, and it was regularly raided.
Highlights in Cairngorms National Park: Bungee jumping, Strathspey Railway, Kayaking and Canoeing, Hiking, Highland Wildlife Park, Skiing
Culinary advice: Blair Athol Distillery in Pitlochry
Campsite tip: Faskally Caravan Park
Fun fact about Glamis Castle: Did you know that it was home to a big mystery once? From about 1840 to 1900 there were many theories: a hidden room with an unknown captive, mysterious initiations, a secret passage... Even without all these rumours, it is certainly a place worth visiting! And because one majestic building is not enough, go take your motorhome and visit Scone Palace, the famous crowning place of Scottish kings!
Discover calm and idyllic South Queensferry by taking a relaxed walk through the town before heading to Edinburgh, the exciting capital of Scotland.
Must-sees in Edinburgh: Scottish National Gallery, St Giles Cathedral, Museum of Childhood, Royal Mile and Grassmarket is always recommended, Pentland Hills Regional Park
Because one afternoon is not enough to discover Edinburgh, let's take a day to fully discover everything this city has to offer. Did you know for instance that Edinburgh is home to 112 parks?
Tips for arts lovers: The Edinburgh Fringe Festival - the largest arts festival in the world with over 50,000 performances!
Campsite tip: Blair Drummond Caravan Park
What do see in Stirling: Stirling Castle, Bannockburn (setting of several of Scotland's most defining battles), Wallace Monument and William Wallace's actual sword, Blair Drummond Safari Park
After two weeks of road trip it is now time to return home and maybe come back another time, as even fourteen days is not enough to discover a country as rich in beautiful sights, places and history as Scotland. We hope this itinerary inspired you and wish you a great campervan vacation in Scotland!
You don't have a motorhome to accompany you yet? Lucky for you, there are a lot of great campervans and motorhomes to hire in Scotland with Yescapa! In case you already have a campervan, why not join the Yescapa community and hire out your vehicle to fellow travel lovers? Here you can find more information.