LifeinourVan | Starting our 10 Day Winter Roadtrip to Scotland
We first introduced our girls to plenty of Scotland’s Glens, Lochs, Castles, Scenic Drives or Munros on our 2016 Scottish Roadtrip (highlights here) …. Leaving us all hopelessly in love with the wild surroundings of this beautiful country. So much so that we’ve been planning this return trip for over 12 months now…. So whilst everyone knows Scotland is perfect for outdoor pursuits are there more reasons to visit one of the most scenic countries in Europe?
Having chosen to honeymoon in Scotland (at Loch Rannoch) over 15 years ago… it almost feels like we’re returning home when we cross the border north.. So with Burns Night in full swing, where better to start this next roadtrip adventure than in Dumfries & Galloway (home to the famous Scottish and Ayrshire bard ‘Robert Burns‘)
Making Dumfries the perfect place to be on 25 January every year. A date when Scots and Scots-at-heart come together to celebrate the life and works of their national poet, Robert Burns. Sadly the centrepiece of almost all Burns Night celebrations is the traditional Burns supper… but for us haggis never quite made it into either van….. just scrambled eggs on toast!!
The scenery certainly has both Welsh and Scottish feelings about it, with the heather and small lochs/fjords/lakes .For any other motorhomers looking for an easy place to base themselves, then look no further than the Ayshire area. For us, that meant setting up camp on the Southern Uplands at Auchenwynd CL Caravan Site.
Playing host to a series of spacious hard standings… it’s a great all year round option (and probably even more picturesque in the summer). Yet for us visiting in winter, the snowdrops were spectacular. Carpeting the green grassy areas that house the wooden playground areas. It lends a certain charm despite the wild winds outside!
Apparently, there’s a common misconception that Scotland is all about steep hills, and vast lochs. But we’ve come to realise that there are subtle differences which make each region special in their own right. Yet sadly for us, the conditions we encountered in Southern Scotland were far from photogenic… so we’ve decided to push north and return at a later date to explore highlights nearby including Galloway Forest Park (the best natural family adventure park in Scotland ), Crossraguel Abbey (one of the best preserved abbey ruins in Scotland), Culzean Castle (and it’s rambling estate).
Not forgetting the scenic Ayr coastline with it’s coastal path dotted with sandy beaches. Perfect for bikes, just like the Sustrans cycle route 7′ that passes directly by the Auchenwynd CL site.
Heading north of Ayr, the irony of Loch Lomond (one of our favourites) is that although people come here in a bid to get away from it all, in reality you often can’t move for the crowds that flock here in the summer months… But a jaunt up Loch Lomond in winter can be both atmospheric and peaceful…..A chance to enjoy one of Scotland’s biggest draws without queuing for teashops or pleasure boats.
At times you’re only a metre or so from the loch’s edge, with territorial birds keeping a beady eye on you from the reeds as you pass by….Making it the perfect place to take a hike along the banks. Where huge moss covered, ancient trees shelter you from the overhead droplets of rain whilst the smell of moist earth hangs in the air. Nature is utterly rampant here… even the steep sided loch banks seem to be luxuriating in a cloak of green moss.
For us always, we always approach Loch Lomond clockwise, but others may disagree. Exploring the western side that offers plenty of picnic spots (like the above near Cameron House Hotel). But if you’re looking to stay on Loch Lomond in a motorhome then it’s worth leaving a good 2-3hrs to work your way around the loch to the quieter campsites on the eastern banks…
But as for us, as we’re back on the road again with the girl’s grandparents and their new Burstner motorhome… we’re grabbing each and every chance to put it through it’s paces. So over the next couple of days, we’ll be heading over Glen Coe towards the Argyll Tourist Route… Wish us luck and we’ll look forward to keeping everyone updated with our progress!