Open Road Scotland turned ten years old this year and this feels like an event worth celebrating! It’s been an incredible decade for the company and we’re feeling very optimistic about the next ten years. To take stock of where we are (and how we got here), we thought we’d ask our founder, Andy McCluskey, a few questions about Open Road Scotland and publish them here, on our blog.
Questions for Andy
What was your motivation for setting up Open Road Scotland?
After years of working for big soulless corporate firms, I always wanted my own business, and I fell in love with campervans when I went on holiday to the Basque country in the French/Spanish Pyrenees back in 2005. I hired a van there and traveled around; it’s very similar to the west coast of Scotland, with beautiful mountains and a genuine sense of wilderness that I find very appealing. When I got home, I did my research and discovered that there were not many people offering campervan rental in Scotland at that point — so I spotted a gap in the market and went for it.
What is your best memory of Open Road Scotland over the last 10 years?
My best memory is of when we moved into our depot next to Glasgow Airport in 2010. I felt that was big moment for the business as we were no longer a new startup and we were growing rapidly. It was an exciting time for me, and for the business.
Where is your favourite destination(s) to drive to in Scotland?
There are so many to choose from, but one perhaps stands above the rest: Gairloch, Poolewe, and the roads around Loch Maree. Simply stunning. The Ratagan Pass from Glen Shiel to Glenelg is another favourite of mine.
What would be your perfect road trip itinerary in Scotland?
There are too many to choose just one, but here is a favourite short trip that I love that also includes some ferry journeys — I think if you include a ferry you always feel you are on a real adventure!
Ferry from Gourck to Dunoon, then up the quiet — and criminally overlooked — Cowal Peninsula before arriving in Inveraray. Head west to Lochgilphead and then down the Kintyre peninsula to Macrihanish and Campbeltown.
Take the short Claonaig to Lochranza ferry then have a tour round the Isle of Arran. Finish off with the ferry from Brodick to Ardrossan and then back to Glasgow.
What has been the funniest, or strangest, request from a customer?
I had to provide the band AC/DC with two motorhomes for their backstage area when they performed at Hamden a few years ago. As the main dressing rooms were on the opposite side of the stadium from the stage, the band needed somewhere to relax in after they came off stage and before their encore. Inside the vans, they wanted scented candles, Irn Bru and Tunnocks Tea Cakes, and Classic FM playing on the radio. They were lovely customers and left my two vans very neat and tidy. Rock ‘n’ Roll!
Do you have any exciting plans for Open Road Scotland in the next few years?
I’m particularly excited about the phase over to electric vehicles in the coming years. With the growth in tourism in Scotland we need to think about the environmental impact on our beautiful country. I’m going to be concentrating on opportunities in this area and I suspect any efforts to provide a more environmentally friendly service for my customers will be very well received.