There’s definitely more to Scotland than the mysterious Loch Ness monster. The Scottish Highlands and its rugged, rural landscapes are dotted with castles and inviting waves that appeal to everyone, whether a fan of Mel Gibson’s periodic movie, Braveheart, or not.
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If you’re raring to taste Scottish whiskey and wear this land’s androgynous costume, the kilt, make your road trip around Scotland unforgettable and highly enjoyable by renting out a campervan. A campervan hire is one popular way to explore your holidays and the weekend around Scotland’s rough terrain.
What is a campervan?
More popularly known as an RV (recreational vehicle) in the US, a campervan is simply a van that has undergone internal and external modifications, making it ideal for camping. A campervan’s interior is remodeled to accommodate basic facilities similar to what you have in your home. Some panel van conversions have limited roof height, while some have been fixed to have a high-top roof for extra headroom and beds when on site.
Choosing the right one can make or break a great trip, especially around the interesting terrains of the rural areas.
Not convinced? Read these compelling reasons why you should hire a campervan on your next trip to Scotland.
1. A campervan hire saves you on accommodation and other costs
Hiring a campervan would cost you as low as 20 GBP daily, and these motor vans are equipped with basic facilities that allow you to cook your food or skip booking cheap hotels, which, by the way, would cost you almost the same price as a daily campervan hire. Scotland is campervan-friendly, and you can find free places to park your motor home by downloading an app to locate these sites.
A campervan hire to tour around Scotland is helpful especially during the peak season, where accommodation rates are high and rooms, few and far between.
2. A campervan hire can help you get that epic adventure
With campervan hire and a map (or a phone app), you will have more freedom to explore the exotic and less-crowded spots, making your trip more exciting and unforgettable. With a motor home, you can stay and leave as long as you want, and visit places you wish without restraints. All you have to do is switch the vehicle on and drive off for that scenic drive.
A campervan holiday around Scotland allows you to explore non-traditional attractions in the country. There’s a lot to see, hear, taste and experience; whether you’re a historical or cultural geek, a stunning view of natural attractions await you. Lochs, castles, mountains, geoparks, beaches and country parks, are all yours to explore.
Major cities and smaller towns in Scotland have a varied and unique feel to them. For instance, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen each have different sub-cultures. So are lesser-known places such as Paisley. After going to the best attractions in these locations, pack up your bags and head on to the countryside. You’ll be greeted by Scotland’s rural area which houses over 2000 castles and more than 31,000 freshwater lochs.
3. A campervan hire gives you freedom
You don’t have to wait for favorable weather before camping in any of Scotland’s breathtaking sites. Instead of looking for a dry area before pitching a tent, all you have to do is stop in any spot with a picturesque landscape to rest and enjoy the view.
A campervan hire in Scotland gives you the liberty to go wherever you want, and there are no major restrictions. Drive along the famous North Coast 500, which is touted as one of the best coastal road trips in the world. This scenic drive is dotted with wild beaches, ancient castles and hidden trails. It’s not surprising why so many tourists find this route one of the world’s best.
And while you’re at it, consider leaving your campervan hire in the designated parking site for a short while. Jump on a ferry towards the Islands of Scotland’s West Coast, namely Jura, Mull and Islay.
By traveling a long stretch of road during the day and camping, picnicking or surfing along the shore, you can explore the best of both worlds. If you’re tired of the waves, opt for a calmer mood and park your campervan along with the rugged cliff-top spots. The choice is yours to make.
4. A campervan hire gives comfort and convenience
As its name implies, motor homes are equipped with basic facilities similar to what you have in your home. Campervans have a heating and air conditioning system, kitchen and bathroom facilities, including a hot shower, and the more modern ones have an entertainment system such as DVD player and television.
Instead of stopping by often for bathroom breaks, or waiting for your morning breakfast and coffee, you can continue having that scenic drive and reach more destinations in the process, with a campervan hire. If you see a picture-perfect site, just stop by and take out your chair to appreciate the scenery.
5. A campervan hire helps you become a traveler, not just a tourist
While both a tourist and a traveler go to different locations, each of them has a different approach in going for a trip. A tourist typically visits a new destination to enjoy the place. In doing this, however, a tourist stays in his or her comfort zone and is limited to visiting popular spots.
A traveler, on the other hand, makes an effort to experience not only the sights and sounds but spends time to meet the people and visit lesser-known places, to understand the culture. For instance, you can do two things in Scotland to show that you’re a traveler.
Enjoy Scottish Whisky. There’s no doubt about whisky being Scotland’s best product. And the best mixes are located in Scotland’s Highlands. A campervan hire allows you to access whisky breweries, being that there are self-drive malt whisky tours around Scotland’s world-famous Whisky Distilleries in the rural areas.
If you want a great tummy filler, try the traditional haggis, shortbread and other Scottish cuisine staples.
Mingle with the Residents. A campervan hire lets you explore Scotland’s Highlands, where it’s less crowded, giving you enough space and time to interact with locals and understand what makes their community unique. People living in the countryside are typically more welcoming and their subculture remains intact and untouched by the modern lifestyle changes called for by living in the big city. With your campervan hire taking you to remote and exotic destinations, the chances of experiencing the traditional and authentic Scottish culture are better. You’ll get more fruitful and memorable interactions with the country lads.
6. A campervan hire gives you peace of mind
If you want to enjoy your holidays going around Scotland or practically anywhere in the world, completely switch off your worry, stress, and problem radar.
Because there are virtually no restrictions in hiring a campervan to move around Scotland’s countryside, you will be able to enjoy your tour better, having nothing to worry about, in terms of time, destination, logistics, and the like. With a campervan, you’ll have the freedom to go wherever you want, so you can travel without guilt or worry.
7. A campervan hire allows you to travel with friends and family
A car rental can only fit three persons the most. When you’re a group of more than three people, you need a bigger vehicle, and a campervan fits the bill. With a campervan, you can fit all the passengers and their luggage easily and have some free space to boot.
You already know the basic facilities in some motor homes, and agree that modern types of campervans are perfect for spending your holidays in Scotland, especially if you’re tagging your kids along or want to have an adventure-packed trip with your loved one.
Another advantage of a campervan hire is that you can take your furry friend along while exploring Scotland’s famous and exotic spots. Not only are the Scottish friendly to travelers, but they’re also accommodating to your pets, too.
How to choose the right campervan
In Europe, campervans and motorhomes are classified in the following categories:
- Class A- This is the poshest version of the motorhome, and aptly called the ‘King of the campground’ due to its luxurious feel and spacious interior. Class A motorhomes are typically up to 25 feet in length but can reach as much as 40 feet.
The size of a Class A motorhome allows it to have the best amenities possible; among them a heating and air conditioning system, a refrigerator, bathrooms, televisions, entertaining and living spaces.
- Class B- A true campervan falls under this category. They’re the smallest of the family of recreational vehicles and are highly popular for their ideal and compact size. A campervan is more than a van with sleeping space, some can be classified as a home on wheels. Most campervans are equipped with a small kitchen and dining space, beds, and some storage space. Some larger models or self-converted vans have a toilet or wet room facility. These types are appropriate for travelers who just want to get from point A to point B and explore the place rather than spend too much time inside the vehicle when not driving. Simply check out Camper Champ for the best deals.
- Class C- Vehicles under this category are called motor homes and not campervans. They’re the smallest in the group and thus offer limited levels of comfort and luxury.
Motorhomes parked at scenic coastal campsite in the North West Highlands of Scotland
Generally ranging between 20 – 33 feet in length, these modified vehicles can sometimes accommodate up to eight people, with the least space left for storage, though.
Being familiar with what’s inside a campervan and determining whether the vehicle has all the basic facilities that you need is the key in choosing the right vehicle. For those hiring a campervan for the first time, a basic one will suffice in going around Scotland, since you’ll likely spend most of your time enjoying the area.
Hiring a campervan to spend a holiday in Scotland also means you have to be a responsible traveler. Park only in designated areas so you don’t damage the landscape. And as they say, take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints.