How to travel by motorhome in Scotland
Scotland, the country where I have lived for 10 years, is a perfect mix of medieval towns, castles and nature. It is the ideal place to consider a trip different from the typical one of going alone to the big cities.
I always wanted to travel by motorhome in Scotland and despite having been in this country for so many years, I never did.
As fate would have it, I have adopted a dog named Tía and it has been the perfect excuse to rent a motorhome and go out to explore part of Scotland.
Here I am going to give you tips on how to rent a motorhome in Scotland. I also want to talk to you about how I have managed not to spend so much money and a flexible itinerary that I really liked.
How to hire a campervan in Scotland
If you do an internet search on renting a motorhome in Scotland or renting a campervan in Scotland, you will get a thousand options.
I'm not telling you any secrets. What I have done is visit motorhome comparison websites to avoid walking from one side to another.
There are also websites that offer rentals directly with individuals, a kind of Airbnb but of campervans.
read the fine print
As with car rental there are always things that are not very clear and you have to read them twice.
- Sure. Look carefully if it is fully comprehensive or not.
- Mileage. There are daily limit options or you can walk as much as you want.
- Fuel. Do you have to return the full deposit? Should you pay for Addblue?
- Gas. See if it includes gas or not and what happens if you spend more.
- Return. Read the conditions in which you have to return, if they ask you to clean or not, etc.
- Battery. Some companies ask you to return the vehicle with a full battery.
Mountain and coast itinerary
My itinerary for this trip has been tentative because I wanted the freedom to stop and spend the night wherever I wanted at the time.
What I did was draw a route in broad strokes and see how I felt.
5 days of route
The itinerary covers a total of 5 days of travel with trips of approximately two to three and a half hours.
That is to say that you spend it resting more than driving.
The itinerary begins in Edinburgh covering the mountains and heading down the coast.
My proposed route
Get ouf of Edinburgh and set course for Dunkeld. Dunkeld is a beautiful place where few international tourists go and is the gateway to the Highlands.
Continue towards Pitlochry where you can have a coffee, see the town and find a place to camp nearby. I found a point in the middle of nowhere on a secondary road where nobody passed and it was only 7 kilometers from Pitlochry.
Leaving Pitlochry behind you can go visit Blair Atholl, its surroundings and the whiskey distillery there.
Then you continue to Aviemore where you must stop to take a thousand photos before continuing.
At this stage sores up to Inverness. You can find campsites in the same city or go a little outside.
Leaving Inverness you will cross the bridge to go a little further up to Chanonry Point. This site is very important because there you can see dolphins, as well as see the calm North Sea and the very beautiful lighthouse.
You will pass through the outskirts of Inverness again to go to Nairn Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in Scotland.
From there you continue through Gardenstown in the North East of Scotland and then Fraserburgh.
My advice is to look for a quiet campsite in this area of the coast to spend the night.
Once on the coast, my advice is to be flexible and stop where the view advises you.
go down to Aberdeen where you do NOT have to go because it is a big but ugly place.
But my advice yes or yes is that you visit Dunnottar Castle and the town of Stonehaven with a very pretty port.
And here is the best advice of all. Go to the Fowlsheugh Nature Reserve. There are a total of three houses there, many birds, one of the most incredible views of this trip and a free parking lot where no one goes and you can spend the night.
Head down towards Edinburgh past Lunan Bay, one of the largest beaches in Scotland. Continue without stopping to visit charming coastal towns such as Arbroath or Carnoustie.
If you have time and desire you can visit Dundee He has a lot, a lot to do.
How to save money on the trip
Here are some tips that can help you spend less money on your trip to Scotland with a motorhome.
In Scotland you are free to camp anywhere. That is to say that if you bring your tent you can do camping almost wherever you want.
Almost the same thing happens with motorhomes. You can find many places to park and not tell you anything.
I have slept in front of the sea and in the middle of the mountains totally free.
If your campervan doesn't include a bathroom (which I really recommend) use Google Maps to tell you where there are public bathrooms. Scotland is full of public toilets and they are in good condition.
On your motorhome tour of Scotland, surely, like me, you will focus on small towns. But go to slightly larger cities where you can find supermarkets like Lidl or Aldi because they will save you a lot of money.
Things to keep in mind
Here are little things I've learned as a beginner traveling around Scotland by motorhome.
- Bathroom. If you can rent a motorhome with a bathroom, it's much better because it allows you to park anywhere.
- Camping. From time to time you will have to park to charge the battery of your accommodation. You will need it for the fridge and light.
- Be flexible. I didn't book anything before (keep in mind that it was low season) and that gave me wonderful freedom.
- Nature. Scotland is a country with a lot of nature so focus your attention on it and not just on towns and cities.
- Gas stations. Keep in mind that there are areas where it can be difficult to find them. Don't risk it.
Coat. Bring enough bedding to keep warm.