Adventure by Campervan: 10 Days in Scotland

Tempted by Scotland’s green hills and spectacular lochs, but short on time? Don’t worry, we’ve designed the perfect route for you, and managed to cram everything you need to see into ten short days. You’re welcome!

Day 1

As we arrived in Scotland by overnight bus from London, our journey began in Glasgow. Most car/campervan rental companies are headquartered here, and it’s Scotland’s transport hub, so it’s a good idea to start off here. We were lucky enough to partner with the awesome folk at Rockin’ Vans for our Scottish adventure, and would highly recommend their super campers to anyone planning a trip to the UK. After picking up your car or van, drive straight over to Edinburgh, Scotland’s cultural epicenter. Take a quick walk down the Royal Mile and poke your head inside the incredible Edinburgh Castle. At the end of the Royal Mile is the carpark for hiking Arthur’s Seat, and if you’ve got time and energy, spend an hour or two climbing up the hill for ridiculous views of Edinburgh. When you’re done, a quick drive north will take you to historic St. Andrew’s, where you can park your van and sleep between the ocean and the golf course on which the game itself was invented.

Day 2

Wake up in sleepy St. Andrew’s, where a walk around the now-ruined ancient cathedral is well worth it. Try to get on the road early after this, and head up towards the Cairngorms National Park via the Old Military Road (A93). Although not the main route into the park, this drive is spectacular, with beautiful mountain passes, rolling hills, and snowy peaks. Make the most of it, and stop often – this is some of the most beautiful scenery that Scotland has to offer. After a busy first day, stop in the late afternoon just south of the tiny town of Braemar, where a narrow paved road branches off the main highway and runs alongside a trickling creek. Here you’ll find some beautiful spots to park off and have a lazy evening around the campfire, but beware the midges – they’re VICIOUS around these parts!


Day 3 

Head north as soon as you wake up, traveling deeper into the magical Cairngorms towards Aviemore. This drive is just as stunning as the previous day’s, and after all the stops, it will likely take you a bit longer than anticipated! Once you reach Aviemore, you’ll find yourself in the heart of the national park - around here there are a number of beautiful lochs, such as Loch an Eilein, mountain views, awesome hikes, and historic castles and estates. Spend your afternoon exploring, and when you run out of steam, Loch Morlich is a great spot to park for the night. You’ll be treated to beautiful lake views right out of your back window – what more could you wish for?


Day 4 

Wake up early to watch the sun rise over the loch, and then leave the Cairngorms behind and head toward Inverness. For those who love a good waterfall (ie. everyone), stop in at the beautiful Falls of Foyers, where a quick hike will take you to two viewing platforms with great outlooks. When you arrive at Inverness, stop briefly, if only to take a quick peek at the home of the famed Loch Ness Monster. Before long, the swarms of tourists and excessive ‘Nessie’ paraphernalia will get overwhelming, so head onwards. Travel west towards Strathcarron, taking in even more beautiful views of lochs and hills along the way. Strathcarron is the gateway to what is probably one of the UK’s most ridiculous mountain passes, the mind-boggling Applecross Pass. Spend your afternoon driving the endlessly winding road, making sure you stop off at every pullout and wander along the little foot tracks for insane views. If it’s not too windy up on top, find a safe spot near the summit to park for the evening.


Day 5

 A jaw-dropping view out of your back window is always a pretty good start to a day, but it only gets better from here. Head back down the pass towards Kyle of Lochalsh, the gateway to the Isle of Skye. Here is where the pace slows a little, as trust us - you’ll want to take your sweet time exploring this otherworldly isle. As you cross the bridge, you’ll notice that everything already begins to look that little bit more magical. Drive the A87 until you pass through Broadford, take a left turn down the road toward Elgol. This beautiful route winds around coastal lochs surrounded by imposing peaks. While Elgol itself isn’t much to look at, if you have the time (and cash), it’s well worth considering one of the boat trips that depart from here to Loch Coruisk. The trip is spectacularly beautiful, and you’ll find yourself floating amidst the rugged Cuillin hills for the afternoon. Upon returning to Elgol, drive back towards Broadford. There are some beautiful camping spots just before you pass through Torrin, right at the mouth of Loch Slapin. Park here for the night and camp in the shadow of Bla Bheinn.


Day 6

Continue your trip back towards Broadford this morning, and when you hit the A87, take a left towards Sligachan. This route winds around inlets and lochs with incredible views of the Cuillins, so drive sloooowly and soak it all in. When you reach Sligachan, stop off at the old stone bridge to take a (fairly cliché) photo of the view, and then continue on, branching off onto the A863. Your first stop will be the Fairy Pools at Glenbrittle, where you can stretch your legs with a beautiful walk amongst brilliantly blue pools and flowing waterfalls. When you’re sufficiently annoyed by the midges, continue along the A863 towards Dunvegan. When you get close, take a left onto the B884 and head towards Neist Point, where you’ll find what might potentially be the world’s most beautiful lighthouse. Spend some time finding the perfect angle to snap a shot of it, and then make your way back towards Dunvegan and continue on towards Uig. As you get close to Uig, there are a few pull-outs along this road with ocean views that make perfect camp spots, so nab one if you can.


Day 7 

In the morning, rise early and make your way over to the Quiraing via the mountain pass leading out of Uig towards Brogaig. Park in the carpark near the end of the pass, and if you’ve managed to rise early enough, you’ll hopefully be able to soak up the incredible scenery sans the insane crowds that gather here around noon. The views from the carpark alone are breathtakingly beautiful, but spend a couple of hours hiking out towards the Quiraing and you won’t regret it. When you finally manage to drag yourself away, head south on the A855. Your next stop is the Kilt Rock viewpoint, where you’ll find a waterfall tumbling into the sea. Take some snaps and continue south, until you reach the carpark for the Old Man of Storr. If you can handle another hike, don’t miss out on this one -  a short climb up a hill takes you to jaw-dropping stone formations and rocky crags. Spend some time up here soaking it all in, and then head towards Portree, Skye’s most charming town and tourist hub. Stop to admire the beautiful harbour and grab a coffee, and then continue south until you find a suitable campsite. There’s a few good spots along the A87 between Portree and Sligachan, so take your pick.


Day 8

In the morning, follow the A87 south back to Broadford and then cross back to the mainland, leaving Skye behind (probably reluctantly). Continue until you reach Dornie, the home of one of Scotland’s most beautiful castles, Eilean Donan. Admire it from afar, and then continue on until you meet the A82, when you turn towards Fort William. Just before you reach town, follow the road towards Glenfinnan. If you’re a Harry Potter fan (again, who isn’t?) you’ll appreciate the next stop: the railway viaduct made famous as part of the route taken by the Hogwarts Express. The information centre here can let you know when the old-fashioned steam train will be passing through, and it’s definitely worth the wait. Climb up the hill that looks down on the viaduct, stake out a good spot and wait patiently for the sound of the approaching train. When you’re satisfied, return to Fort William and spend some time exploring Glen Nevis, the area surrounding monstrous Ben Nevis. If you’ve got an extra day, opt to tackle this challenging hike the following day, otherwise, stake out a good campsite around the Glen and turn in for the evening.


Day 9

Try and rise early to get a head start on the day, and head towards Glen Coe. This is one’s of Scotland’s most picturesque areas, with rolling hills and tricking streams, and trust us - you’ll want sufficient time to explore. Some good stops to make include the viewpoints for the Three Sisters and Buachaille Etive Mor, and there are a number of good hikes in the area, including Devil’s Staircase. When you’ve seen enough, drive into nearby Glen Etive, where scenes from the Bond movie Skyfall were filmed. This drive is every bit as beautiful as the road through Glen Coe, and typically less crowded. Because of this, it’s the perfect spot to camp for the night, so after driving up and down the Glen once (or maybe twice), pick a spot and spend the evening soaking up your spectacular surroundings.


Day 10

It’s totally understandable if you’re desperate for another drive through Glen Etive this morning, so unless you’re hurrying back to Glasgow, make the most of your last day. When you’re ready to head onwards, continue south on the A82 towards Tyndrum. If you’ve got an hour or two to spare, take a quick detour from here to beautiful Kilchurn Castle. If not, continue south through Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Depending on how much of a hurry you’re in, this drive is beautiful, and there are plenty of good spots to stop off around the loch. From here, it’s only a short way back to Glasgow, where you can either depart from, or overnight if time allows.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!