There are so many great routes in Scotland for enjoying a motorhome or campervan holiday and here we focus on the stunning area of the north west Highlands. While many people choose to take their hired motorhome, campervan or motorcycle to Skye, Lochalsh and Loch Ness, just a little further on is the wonderful area of Gairloch.
Motorhome trip to north-west Highlands
After picking up your motorhome from Open Road Scotland take the short trip over the Erskine Bridge and join the A82 heading north. Around 2.5 hours will comfortably take you to the head of dramatic Glencoe, just south of Fort William.
Why not stop a night or two in magnificent Glencoe, amid the fabulous mountains? You can choose from some excellent campsites in the area. Two that we know well are Invercoe Campsite on the shores of Loch Leven and the stunning Bunree Campsite (pictured below) on the shores of Loch Linnhe.
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You can use your time in this area to explore and walk in Glencoe, take a day trip up Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest mountain or spend some time in Fort William the adventure capital of Scotland. If you are planning any walks (especially Ben Nevis) then please make sure you are adequately prepared with proper walking boots, appropriate clothing including waterproofs, water, a map and a mobile phone.
Detailed info on walks can be downloaded from the WalkHighlands website or from local tourist offices.
From here, continue heading north on the A82 along the shores of Loch Lochy and Loch Oich, through Fort Augustus and on past Loch Ness to Inverness. Cross the Beauly Firth over the Kessock Bridge in Inverness and hit the A835 heading north and west for Ullapool. After around 25 miles, when you get to Loch Garve, look for the A832 for Gairloch and start heading west.
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Picture postcard opportunities en route
Make sure your camera has plenty of charge in the battery as you are going to want to to take a lot of photographs as you travel this route. Through Achnasheen and along past Loch Maree, the views are just stunning as you head along to Gairloch. Take your pick from some excellent sites in Gairloch including Gairloch Holiday Park and Poolewe Camping and Caravanning Club site.
The incredible NTS Inverewe Gardens created by Osgood Macenzie back in the 1800s are a must-see when you are in this area.
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After Gairloch and Inverewe continue heading in a clockwise direction on the A832 passing Aultbea and the picture postcard Gruinard Bay with its chalk white beach and turquoise waters.
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As you reach the end of the A832, before rejoining the A835, you will reach the layby for another National Trust site, the Corrieshalloch Gorge. This awesome natural wonder was created by glacial meltwater. Water now thunders through the canyon dropping 100 vertical metres in just over one kilometre, including a 45 metre drop at the Falls of Measach.
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Rejoin the A835 and enjoy the beautiful run into Ullapool alongside the spectacular Loch Broom. Ullapool is a town with a fascinating history. It was established as a dedicated fishing town and thrived with a booming mackerel industry. It has now re-invented itself as a pretty tourist destination.
The Summer Queen boat in Ullapool runs fantastic sea cruises from the harbour. These will take you through the head of Loch Broom and out to the Summer Isles through the Minch. Dolphins, porpoises, basking sharks and Scotland’s only Orca (Killer whale) pod are often spotted in these waters. Up above white tailed sea eagles and all manner of birds will be pointed out by the knowledgeable crew.
Below is some footage from our trip in June 2013.
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In the next blog we will offer more ideas of great motorhome and campervan trips by heading north towards the spectacular landscape of Wester Ross and the peaks of Stac Pollaidh, Ben More Coigach and Suilven.