You’ve made an excellent choice in picking Scotland for your next campervan road trip.
This country has unbeatable scenery, with dramatic coastlines, soaring mountains, an abundance of wildlife, and more. There are so many incredible destinations in Scotland to choose from, and staying in a campervan will allow you to see as many as possible and camp in the heart of nature.
Campervan Road Trip Tips for Scotland
We’ve rounded up the five most important tips for a campervan trip in Scotland so that you’re ready to get behind the wheel.
1. Choosing the right campervan
Finding the right campervan for your trip is a subjective choice, as there are many things to consider.
Firstly, how many sleeping places do you need? If you’re travelling with one other person, we recommend going for a two-berth or even a four-berth, as the size doesn’t differ too much.
Also, consider how much time you’ll actually spend in the van. If you plan to be out and about every day, then you can go for something smaller. But if you see rainy and cold days as a likely possibility, which it certainly could be in Scotland, then you might want to ensure you have the room to stretch around and rest inside.
Many assume they need a campervan with a toilet and shower, but if you plan to predominately pitch at campsites, then it may be more trouble than it is worth. Don’t underestimate the effort required to clean out a toilet tank.
Also, when choosing the right campervan for a road trip in Scotland, it’s worth going for something a bit smaller. A large Swift motorhome will struggle along the narrower roads of the Highlands and could get you stuck more than once.
If you intend to dive into the wild heart of Scotland, go for a smaller campervan like a Volkswagen or Mazda Bongo. You’ll have the most campervan options in larger cities, so you might wish to arrange your campervan hire in Edinburgh or Inverness.
2. Planning your campervan road trip route
Now, this raises another important question: will you plan ahead or take a laissez-faire approach? There are benefits to both. Some feel uncomfortable having nothing in place, whilst others quickly feel restricted by a day-to-day plan.
The perfect campervan trip has a bit of both. Perhaps a rough idea of where you’ll sleep each night, but enough space to let you dictate your plans for the day over your morning cup of coffee. This allows you to adapt to weather conditions. Also, to how you’re feeling, but also ensure you cover all of your intended destinations.
We often recommend that you and your travelling companions make a ‘bucket list’ for the trip, This includes the things you really want to do or places you simply must visit. You can plan these in to ensure everyone is content, but leave the rest up for grabs.
3. The best campervan road trip road trips
That being said, we’ve got a few places in Scotland in mind for your bucket list! Nothing beats a road trip in Scotland, as this allows you to take in as much of this glorious country as possible. To help, we’ve comprised a list of the best road trips in Scotland:
- North Coast 500 – It starts and ends in Inverness, takes you along the coast and includes highlights like John O’Groats and Applecross!
- South West Coastal 300 – Explore the gorgeous region of Dumfries and Galloway, easily done within a week.
- Fife Coastal – Through ancient forests, seal colonies, fantastical castles and more, this is a great road trip to take from Edinburgh to explore Fife.
4. Where to pitch
If you’re travelling in peak season, we recommend booking your campsites ahead of time to avoid disappointment. Scotland is an extremely popular destination, so better safe than sorry! Wild camping isn’t legal in Scotland, but it can be tolerated in certain areas. If in doubt, ask the local landowner!
On apps like Park4night, you’ll find places that allow you to free camp, such as parking lots and fields. Make sure to leave the place as you found it and remember this isn’t a place for proper camping behaviour, in that case, you’ll need to pitch at a campsite.
And where can you find campsites to pitch at?
There are plenty of options. We recommend checking out PitchUp to look through the campsites nearby. You can filter based on location, pitch type, amenities, and more!
5. Packing list for a campervan road trip
One of the perks of campervans is the extensive storage space available. Unlike other accommodation options, you don’t have to repack your bag each time you move, so you can really settle into your little home on wheels. So bring whatever you think you might need – when in doubt, pack it!
For a campervan holiday in Scotland, it’s all about layers! It can be gloriously sunny in summer when the campervan might even get a bit warm.
But autumn, winter and spring can be harsh, so make sure you’ve got extra sweaters, a scarf and a waterproof jacket. This might also mean you’ll have a few rainy days in your campervan, so pack some board games or other things to keep you busy.
You are ready for your Scotland campervan road trip
Now that you’ve completed these five steps, you’re ready for the perfect campervan trip in Scotland. It’s time to book your campervan, arrange your campsites and hit the road. But be warned, this country is so beautiful that you’ll definitely feel the urge to return many times after!
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Are you ready to plan for a campervan road trip in Scotland?
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About the author
Fleurine has grown up in numerous countries, leaving her with a deep love for travelling. Combining that love for travelling with writing for Goboony is a dream come true, and she can most commonly be found behind the wheel of her VW campervan!