We recently packed our bags and went to Scotland in a motor home. WOW, what a holiday. We loved it. We chose to stay in a mix of camp sites and wild camping (in suitable places). The latter meant we could keep ourselves completely to ourselves, whilst enjoying the beautiful scenery.
Day 1 – it was a little bit borderline whether we could actually work the gadgets on the motor home. We had solar panels allowing us to stay off grid in comfort. A large water tank, boiler, toilet and shower. Due to an incorrect setting on the valve on the boiler, we ran out of water. Number 1 life lesson….tea made with salt water is disgusting!
Following a broken mug, we devised pre-movement checks to ensure all cupboards were secure.
Day 2 we misplaced a bedroom window?! Pre-travel checks not sufficient and a cupboard flew open, broken glass! Pre-travel checks are now the responsibility of Eliza and I. Full loo was not ideal but luckily we parked close to public loos!! In a previous life, I was an insurance surveyor, I was queen of finding the public loo, this skill has been back in action this holiday! Kids showered but we daren’t waste the water on us?! We hadn’t quite realised about the valve….yet – that light bulb moment came on day 3.
Already we were grateful that we had packed flip flops, onesies for kids and our handheld hoover – handy when you have broken glass and sand! It was however a sad moment when it ran out of battery.
When it came to making the window water tight, we realised every family needs a travelling maintenance man! Introducing Fix It Fred….
We visited Inverary Castle, the Home of the Campbell Clan. A truly beautiful, fairy tale castle with lovely walks in the Gardens and Grounds as well as an impressive display of armaments. It cost £35 for a family ticket which includes a lovely guide book.
From here we drove to Oban and took the ferry to Mull. We stayed in a lovely campsite on the banks of the Sound of Mull called Pennygown. Here we got our motor home back in order and learnt how to use it effectively. Better late than never….the boiler valve is now in the right place to not waste water!
We went on an amazing day trip with Staffa Tours. A boat departing Tobermory for Staffa to visit Fingal’s cave and Lunga to see razorbills, shags and puffins – amazing! You could get so close! It felt like a bit of a camera lens competition on the boat but we still got some great shots (I think so anyway) with an iPhone! (A lot lighter to carry!) We saw seals, a beautiful array of sea birds, dolphins, porpoises and a pair of white tailed eagles. The kids loved it…..as did we.
We had a go at Crabbing using a net. Ham was a must! We caught swimming crabs, but beware they nip! One key tip would be to not drop your crabbing pot unlike Henry who found himself going for a quick swim to fish it out! No crabs were harmed and all returned to the sea.
Mull is a beautiful Island with loads to see and do. Calgary Bay, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, is well worth the drive as is the trip to the south of the island. We have loads more to see on another visit. We did make a visit to Duart Castle. Situated right on the cliffs of the Sound of Mull, it is a very interesting place with lovely grounds to explore. Inside was fascinating and home of the Macleods, plus the resting place over the cliffs for a Cromwell ship called the Swan and whose occupants reside in the dungeons…. £20 for a family ticket – great for a rainy day!
Oban was our stopping point before heading to Skye. It happened to be Henry’s birthday so we visited Ee-Usk, an amazing seafood restaurant. Great place for a treat. We popped our crab net in the harbour whilst we ate and had 3 crabs to look at afterwards!
On Skye, we truly had an adventure! We visited fairy glen, coral beaches, saw dinosaur footprints, body boarded in the North Atlantic in Talisker Bay and walked to Neist Point. It was wonderful and so much fun. Most places take longer than expected to get to, but it certainly didn’t matter! One thing we all agreed though was that midges are awful creatures – we had loads of repellent including a plug in but they do their best to make their presence felt. They were particularly aggressive around Dunvegan on the Isle of Skye.
Henry was desperate to find Nessie so Loch Ness it was. We found an amazing place to camp near the Falls of Foyers. We did however, stick to the hard standing unlike a fellow motor home driver who chose to drive into the trees and found themselves up to their axles in lovely sticky mud! Loch Ness Exhibition Centre is great for a rainy day. Good social distancing measures in place. Family ticket for £23.95. Young Loch Ness Explorers Book a big hit in our house for £3.95. Loads of engaging activities for kids. Both our kids pleased with them, Eliza (5) needs a bit of help but they were really good. Henry has spent a lot of time discussing what the Loch Ness Monster actually is…
Our last night took us back to the East Coast, staying in St Abbs on the harbour side (small payment to the harbour master) and a day on the beach at Coldingham Bay – it is a lovely bay. A bit more body boarding, a lot of sandcastles dug and we buried Daddy!
How we have laughed and just had a thoroughly nice time! No major dramas. We are coming back with one less window and one cracked?! Other than that, Mike the Moho (the kids named him) remains intact….as do we! We have survived two stormy nights and stayed dry – we were relieved to find he was water tight on that stormy morning!
We ate well. We took a large shepherds pie for night one. Leftovers made a lunch. As well as plenty of sausages, burgers, steak, chops etc and bought salad along the way. The Cadac Carri Chef together with our trusty oven, grill and hob meant we ate well. Variety packs of cereal meant most tastes were catered for and we boiled eggs in the kettle to save washing up! Granny’s home made biscuits were a big hit. We did have a couple of meals out too but they were few and fair between.
We had a TV with us but we didn’t watch it. The kids took games and Henry took books. At night we played family Scrabble which was brilliant. Both kids loved it, as did we. Charlie also found out, that I am pretty good at Scrabble….
Tips to make camping more enjoyable – alcohol definitely helps! Plenty of bin bags, a dish brush with fairy incorporated, disposable wipes – for cleaning and humans!, cooking oil spray, bikes for us all and Dock & Bay Quick Dry Towels (from Kemps General Store). Be prepared for four seasons in one day – suites Eliza who likes a lot of outfits! But parents, need to be ready for a lot of coat carrying!
We have seen the fairy glen, coral beaches, dinosaur footprints, hunted Nessie, chatted to puffins and razorbills, seen dolphins, swum in the North Atlantic and the North Sea whilst driving 1,400 miles making fantastic memories and having lovely family time…..what more would you like from a stay-cation?