VisitScotland has highlighted the benefits of a motorhome or caravan staycation when exploring some of its lesser-known locations. While the North Coast 500 remains popular, there are plenty of other places to explore that are just as appealing but likely to see fewer visitors as the country opens up post-pandemic.
Lyndsey Richardson from VisitScotland told CaravanTimes: “When planning a staycation, it can be difficult to narrow down where exactly to visit. However, if travelling by caravan or motorhome, you have the luxury of visiting multiple destinations in comfort and working to your own agenda.
“With the freedom of being able to pull over, where appropriate, and explore rugged landscapes and scenic coastal environments, Scotland has many caravan and motorhome sites and holiday parks – perfect for setting up base for a night or two, before continuing to explore all that Scotland has to offer.”
Scottish routes featuring hidden gems
Glasgow to Machrihanish
The first of the routes recommended by VisitScotland is Glasgow to Machrihanish, which takes in the Kintyre peninsula – one of Scotland’s most secluded destinations. Not only that but the route leading to it is positively spellbinding, according to the experts.
To get there, drive your motorhome or caravan from central Glasgow, following the A82 as it winds past Loch Lomond, before embarking upon a breathtaking three-hour journey down the A83. This section of the route is sometimes referred to as ‘the long and winding road’ and is one of the UK’s most scenic drives in the UK.
Along the way, you’ll take in the Rest and Be Thankful Pass, skim the shores of the picturesque Loch Fyne, and pass the stately Inveraray Castle. Continue along the beautiful Kintyre coast to Campbeltown, before making the short cross-country drive to Machrihanish.
Here you can pitch up at the well-equipped Machrihanish Holiday Park, which offers a complete range of home comforts including free Wi-Fi and a view overlooking the acclaimed Machrihanish Dunes golf course. Don’t forget to bring your clubs!
Alternatively, why not celebrate Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters with an adventure that takes in swathes of Scotland’s coastline?! The Coig is a combination of five driving routes, where visitors can enjoy exceptional scenery, outdoor adventure, nature and history.
Each one is circular and they’re of varying sizes, so you could choose the route that matches the amount of time you have available for your staycation or combine multiple itineraries for a longer trip. Select from The Shire, The Shiel, The Arran, The Bute and The Cumbrae to explore various sections of Scotland’s west coast.
- The Shire is 138 miles long and takes in the landscapes that inspired Robert Burns, who was born in the area.
- The Shiel has connections to the Vikings and its 55-mile length offers a magical mix of heritage trails, wild dunes and rock pools.
- The Arran is perfect for outdoor activities, so throw your bikes into the motorhome before you set off on this 70-mile route.
- The Bute is the 22-mile drive for architecture lovers, with highlights including Mount Stuart House and Gardens, and the recently refurbished Rothesay Pavilion.
- The Cumbrae is only ten miles long, but offers the chance of spotting a selection of the island’s 125 bird species, seals, porpoises and basking sharks.
Getting back into caravan and motorhome trips in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic requires a little bit of adjustment. While they represent a great way to enjoy a self-contained staycation, there are a number of things to take into consideration.
Ms Richardson said: “When planning a road trip across the UK, it’s important that visitors get the most out of where they are going by doing their research and booking ahead where possible. Particularly important, given the events of the past year, is that visitors make sure they know [the current rules] before they go.
“This includes checking the Scottish Government website, the VisitScotland website and any local destination websites to ensure they are aware of all rules, restrictions and safety procedures relating to Covid-19. Visitors are asked to do their research before travelling, pre-book where possible and be aware that restrictions will vary in different parts of the country.”
VisitScotland also recommends looking for the Good to Go Logo, which is an industry-wide standard and consumer mark developed to demonstrate businesses have completed a Covid-19 risk assessment to ensure they have everything in place to open safely.
VisitScotland is an exhibitor at the second online edition of Destinations: The Holiday & Travel Show: Destinations presents Travel 2021, which is online now and until Sunday 16th May.
Photo credit: Pixabay/Daniel Manastireanu