GlamperRV Trip of the Month – North Coast 500
I am not quite sure what happened to January but thank goodness we are through to the other side. The glimpses of sunshine today make us smile here at GlamperRV HQ as we look forward to brighter, warmer, drier times ahead!
January has been extremely busy with so many of you booking up your GlamperRV adventures for the summer, our new GlamperRV 2018 models arriving and last but certainly not least we are thrilled to welcome our first franchisee, LuxRV Limited.
LuxRV has bought a brand new 2018 GlamperRV and will be operating it on identical terms to our existing fleet from their base in Oxfordshire, OX12. Do take a look at their booking calendar (www.GlamperRV.co.uk/hire-me/oxfordshire-ox12) as you may well find that they have availability when our fleet is already fully booked for popular summer dates!
For those who have already booked a GlamperRV for a trip in 2018 (or are planning to!) we are delighted to share with you yet another stunning Trip of the Month to get you dreaming . . . .
If you have a couple of weeks to spare and fancy exploring the turquoise beaches and stunning landscapes of Scotland then the well documented Northcoast 500 promises a truly sensational drive. Setting off from Inverness, which whilst 535 miles from our base will only take you eight and half hours according to Google Maps (yes, set off at 10am and you could be parked up in the highlands for dinner!), the route travels across to the West coast and then up to the North coast and across to John O’Groats before returning south!
The beauty of a motorhome tour of Scotland is the abundance of places to park up overnight – no strict laws on wild camping, friendly locals who actually welcome visitors and plenty of small community campsites offering a quiet spot for the night.
The Northcoast 500 conveniently avoids large towns and that blissfully means no more supermarket sweep (although you may wish to stock up on a few essential provisions before you leave). Now is your time to enjoy the first class local produce that you will find on your travels – fish straight from the sea, locally farmed venison, beef and lamb and seasonal vegetables. Not only will you enjoy an authentic taste, you will be helping to sustain the local communities.
There is a vast array of information online about the Northcoast 500 with a range of itineraries, places to stay and things to do however if you only visit one website it must be that dedicated to the Northcoast 500 where you will find everything you need as well as a very handy interactive map packed with ideas of places to stay. Whilst you won’t want to plan your every move (and the beauty of touring in a GlamperRV is that you don’t have to) it is worth having a few key stops booked up during the busy summer months.
So what are the highlights of the Northcoast 500? This obviously depends on what gets you going but here are just some of the many that appealed to us:
Our GlamperRV team is packed with adventurous type and reviewing the options the highlights include walking to the Rogie Falls on the Black River, scuba diving at Lochcarron, a whale-watching cruise from Gairloch, a boat tour of Britain’s largest sea cave, Smoo Cave near Durness and mountain biking on the Highland Wildcat Trails at Golspie.
No trip to the Highlands would however be complete without climbing a Munro or two (Scottish mountains over 3,000ft of which there are 283 in total). The towering peaks of Suilven and An Teallach can be reached from the Northcoast 500 route and offer breath-taking views of the northern Highlands. Alternatively, hike Scotland’s most northerly Munro, Ben Hope – an isolated mountain, accessible from the village of Tongue on the north coast of Sutherland. I can speak from experience on this one – the views are sensational if like us you are blessed with a clear day.
On that note, Scottish weather is rarely suitable for traditional beach going however they do lend themselves to some stunning walks and the golden sandy beach and turquoise waters at Shandwick Bay near the villages of Shandwick and Balintore is one of Scotland’s finest. Here you can explore the extensive coastal paths to the beach and clamber on the dunes and rocky areas to the north and south.
If you’re looking for a more cultural tour and hey you may have a wet day or two when indoor options are useful, you can visit the world-famous sub-tropical Inverewe Gardens, Dunrobin Castle at Golspie, the late Queen Mother’s Castle of Mey near John o’ Groats (as featured in The Crown!), the Ullapool Museum, housed in a church designed by Thomas Telford and the ruins of Ardvreck Castle on Loch Assynt.
Finally, you will no doubt want a little souvenir to take home and enjoy as you share your memories with friends and family so pick up a wee dram from one of the many whisky distilleries en route. As you head down the East coast from John O’Groats you will be spoilt for choice. Visit the home of home of Glenmorangie Whisky at Invergordon, Tain, the Dunnet Bay Distillery (home of Rock Rose Gin) or Glen Ord to name a few.
The roads of the Northcoast 500 really do offer sensational views and with your panoramic windscreen you won’t miss a thing. Do however beware that many roads are single carriageway and whilst easy to navigate (all bar the ‘Bealach Na Ba’ stretch which is not suitable for large motorhomes such as GlamperRV) make sure you give way when you can and let faster vehicles pass when it’s clear. Remember the more time you take the more you will see.
Do watch out on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages (@GlamperRV) where we will be sharing photos of customer trips to Scotland throughout 2018.