I planned a week off work and asked my friend Sally if she wanted a week away to Scotland. Sally is a great friend who lives near Liverpool and I hardly get to see her, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to catch up and test the new Sprinter conversion.
Sally did come out to visit me last year when I was traveling around Europe in my last camper. We enjoyed a week in Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary which was amazing.
So I arranged to meet Sally in Leeds on Sunday as she went to a club night with a friend Luke and as I was currently in Hull that week. We met for breakfast which turned to lunch in Leeds dock just near the station. (they got up late after a late night)
After lunch we said our goodbyes to Luke but he wasn’t feeling great to drive and was going to stay another night in Leeds, but then I thought he could come to the Lake District with us and enjoy the lakes, BBQ, and chill in the sun, then get a train back to Leeds the next morning.
The view when we arrived was amazing and I managed to get the drone out for some shots……but it did land in the water but it started to work a few days after…..very lucky.
The sleeping arrangements in the van were interesting since I build the van for just myself for work etc I only have 1 bed in the back, but I did have a camp bed that we built for Luke and it fitted perfectly between my seats and kitchen units.
I slept on the 3 front seats which were surprisingly comfortable but the downfall was it got light very early and woke me up so I went for a morning run before those 2 woke up. We took Luke to the Windermere train station and myself and Sally got back on the road towards Scotland.
Our first stop in Scotland was Glasgow, we found a secure car park for the van and also got a cheap hostel for a shower and freshen up. We went for a few drinks and food but also remembered Glasgow has Tim Hortons coffee so it’s would be rude to not get a French Vanilla coffee and some TimBits (Ex-girlfriend is Canadian and I lived off these when I was over there)
Carrying on the Canadian theme I also bought some Poutine for dinner…lovely.
The next morning I had to be on a conference call with work so Sally went to the Tennants Brewery and said it was really good for just £10, plus it’s near the Cathedral.
Lunchtime we headed north past Lake Loch Lomond and jumped out the van for various photo opportunities.
We stopped at a lovely place called Luss and walked towards the lakefront then randomly we got a speedboat ride on the water before getting some proper country pub food.
We managed to get up to Glencoe that evening and found a little spot on a quiet lane layby near a river and perfect for Vanlife, we also met a guy in his campervan from the Netherlands (location 56.682310, -5.091914 in Glencoe).
The next morning I went for a morning run again and it was so hot I just jumped into the river to cool down, so refreshing to do that. We headed to Glenfinnan, the place the famous Harry Potter train goes over the viaduct, (Map56.8715287,-5.4384317,17.63z)
When I came here last year I didn’t have my drone, and nearly didn’t have it this year because it went into Lake Windermere. When we arrived they were signs saying no drones and permission needed, so I called the number and a guy called Alistair who owns the estate asked for £10 fee which then goes towards maintenance of the estate, fair really since it’s his place he lives. I posted this video on my Instagram page (Instagram: Campervan.life).
We then headed to get the ferry to the Isle of Skye from Mallaig to Armadale which cost £15.50, like always I always leave things to last minute and we just made the crossing with minutes to spare. https://www.calmac.co.uk/
The destination was always going to be the Isle Of Skye as its gorgeous up there and amazing views. I really wanted to show Sally the island as best as I could with the limited time we had, first stop was the Fairy Pools which I had been to before but the weather last time was really bad, today we could see the top of the mountain but due to the lack of rainfall the pool falls were just trickling with not a lot of water.
We decided not to walk up to the top and instead carried on the road until the campsite (Glenbritte Campsite @56.950704,-5.8270447,8.96z) and relax near the beach and have a nice shower. When we checked in we were offered half-price stay for just £5 because they didn’t have any hot water (so much for the hot shower lol). The campsite doesn’t take reservations but there have always been places for people to pitch a tent or park a camper, their website is http://www.dunvegancastle.com/your-visit/glenbrittle-campsite-cafe/glenbrittle-campsite/
We decided to have a few drinks and relax and have some food and watch the sunset. The next day I wanted to show Sally a bit more of the island as time wasn’t on our side as she only had 8 days holiday from work, so we headed North and went to Portree for some breakfast and then went to see the Old Man Of Storr and the Kilt Rock Waterfall into the sea.
I managed to get some footage on my drone since it was a gorgeous clear hot day.
We then took a drive along the North coastal road of the island and took in the sights of the ruin castles and cliffs up there.
We then started to head towards Edinburgh via LochNess which we knew would be a long drive but we wanted to spend the Saturday in Edinburgh and go a night out after exploring the city. On the way, we stopped off at a place called Port Augustus and I also realised a slight problem with the van engine and had to make a call to my mechanic friend to see why I had oil in water radiator water bottle. We continued the journey as it wasn’t causing any problems but I decided to find a campsite to stay in for the night as we both wanted a shower and I wanted to check the van over.
The next day I got in contact with two friends who I met in Croatia when I traveled Europe last year (Dave and Morag), they were also traveling Europe in their self-built van with their dog Buddy. They invited us for a late breakfast at their parent’s house in Dunblane, near Stirling. It was great to see them all and have a catch up with a coffee.
We then we arrived in Edinburgh we went to a car park that I’d stayed in before just outside the city centre but walking distance from everything.
The car park at Holyrood park does have signs saying no overnight parking but many campers do stay and move on the next morning.
We explored Edinburgh towards the Calton Hill, Edinburgh Castle, Royal Mile, Grassmarket and much more, we then went to a Gin place Sally wanted to visit which was really nice and after this, we went around town on an unplanned bar crawl and met some people also traveling and exploring.
Sadly the Sunday was the last day of mine and Sally’s trip to Scotland and we headed back down South for the long drive to Leeds for Sally to get the train back to Liverpool. We had one more stop on the way down to see one of Sally’s friends Becky and Mike who live in Chester-le-street. We met their little baby boy, had a coffee then headed off saying our goodbyes. After dropping Sally off at Leeds train station I headed to Hull to see my family, this past 8 days was really good to catch up with Sally and explore Scotland the best we could with the time we had. Another great vanlife experience shared.