In my last blog post, I debated the pros and cons of taking a motorhome holiday in the UK. If you decided it was for you and your family here are some top tips and things we wish we had known before our first trip to the west coast of Scotland.
Buy a detailed map of the area: do not rely on your smart device, signals can be intermittent, particularly in more isolated areas. Not only will it aid navigation, you can also annotate the map marking your favourite spots.
Wild camping is illegal in England and Wales, but checkout this website for wild camping in Scotland. One of the joys travelling north of the border is being able to camp wherever you want and having a real chance to get away from folk. For several nights we were the only ones around; at first our daughter was a bit frightened, particularly after dark, but she soon got used to the solitude, peace and the sounds of nature.
Take a portable charger if you’re planning to go off-grid for several days. On our first trip our mobiles ran out of charge so we couldn’t have made a call, even in an emergency.
Take dry shampoo/ wet wipes for extended wild camping. There’s nothing like being a bit feral for a few days!
Book into a campsite every 2/3 nights to refill the water tank and take a shower. Occasionally, you can find a water tap. We found one at a petrol station in Fort William and another in Skerray, a tiny fishing village between Bettyhill and Durness in the far north.
Book into a campsite the night before you return the motorhome as they will require an empty toilet (grey waste).
Bring basics with you – tea, bread, loo roll, kitchen roll, bin bags, tea towels and breakfast, cleaning products. Oh and a good, sharp kitchen knife – there are never any decent ones.
Stock up at a supermarket before heading beyond towns and into more remote areas. We ate nearly all our meals in the motorhome and stocked up in the large Morrisons in Fort William before heading up the west coast. There are more shops on the east coast, but once you leave Thurso to head west, shopping opportunities become sparse.
If travelling to Scotland in the summer, take midge spray: Avon ‘Oh So Soft’ moisturiser seems to work a treat or Smidge. If it’s windy, the little bleeders aren’t around, but on a still day they can be a nightmare. Despite two weeks north of the border, we only had trouble one evening in Applecross. I was pleased to be in a motorhome rather than a tent.
Dog stake is useful for campsites as most expect the dog to be on a lead at all times.
Take a wetsuit for splashing in the sea, rockpool jumping and canyoning. The water is cooler than down south. Brrrrrr.
An inflatable SUP is a good idea and gives you more options for water fun.
Take a wide selection of clothes from shorts and flip flops to winter jackets plus hats and gloves (yes, really) and waterproofs.
And most importantly, pack your sense of adventure with a good dose of humour and prepare to enjoy yourself more than you expected. Have fun!
Ta ta for now,