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Campervan hire Scotland

Mountainous wilderness, shadowy glens, glittering lochs, majestic ruins: Scotland makes looking good seem easy.

 

In the north of the UK is a land of windswept beaches, rugged mountain ridges, dark brooding lochs, and moody moorland. Scotland, small in size, stuffs an outrageous number of natural wonders into its square metres. Indeed, the country’s national animal is the unicorn — a fitting choice for a landscape so out of this world. A land trod by Romans, Vikings, ancient clansmen, and kings, Scotland’s past is rich and alluring. But so is its present. Home to warm, welcoming, and proud people, over 170 languages may be spoken here but Scotland’s sense of its unique heritage remains strong. So how better to explore this breathtaking terrain than on four wheels? This is a country designed to be driven through. Ideally in an RV. Hire a campervan in Scotland and pass through glacial glens and alongside crumbling castles. You’ll discover waterfalls and drive captivating coasts. Spend the night in one of the country’s many vibrant cities. Climb Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis. Explore Britain’s most enigmatic, most fantastical lake: Loch Ness. Spy dolphins, seals, whales, otters, and endless varieties of birds. Sleep on your campervan under vast skies, graced by the Northern Lights and Golden Eagles by turns. Scotland: keeping it wild and wonderful since always.

 

Getting around Scotland by campervan

 

Fuel in Scotland is slightly more expensive than other European countries. Fortunately, it’s also relatively small so you’ll use less petrol during your campervan hire in Scotland. Plus, our Indie campervans run on diesel — a cheaper choice.

Knowing the rules of the road is essential for a campervan hire in Scotland. In urban areas, the limit is 30 mph (48 km/h) unless otherwise indicated. Elsewhere, it’s 60 mph (96 km/h), while on motorways and dual-carriageways, the limit increases to 70 mph (112 km/h).

Highways here are generally in good condition. The only trouble you may have when driving your campervan in Scotland is with animals on the road, weather changes, and rural roads that are one lane with passing places. There are also fewer petrol stations in the countryside so keep your motorhome topped up if travelling to remote areas.

There are no toll roads or toll bridges here — an added bonus for a campervan hire in Scotland!

While wild camping is legal here, unfortunately for your campervan hire in Scotland, that doesn’t include motorised vehicles. However, camping informally, not at a campsite, is more or less tolerated if you do so responsibly and seek the landowner’s agreement first. Avoid parking your campervan or motorhome overnight in Scotland within sight of houses or blocking access to tracks or fields. And there are plenty of campsites around if you’d prefer a night with all the necessary facilities.

 

As the value of the pound has dropped in recent years, the UK is an increasingly budget-friendly travel destination. Groceries are cheap in Scotland while a standard pub lunch will cost you around £10 and a pint around £3.50 — cheaper than elsewhere in the UK. Of course, with an Indie campervan hire in Scotland you’ll be saving money on accommodation.

Comedian Billy Connolly said “There are two seasons in Scotland: June and Winter”. But that’s not entirely true. In fact, you can easily encounter all the four seasons in one day. So, be prepared for any weather conditions, including sun. And if it rains (which it will), remember that’s one reason why the whisky is so good in Scotland.

People in Scotland have a reputation for being some of the friendliest, kindest, and most generous in the UK and one of the many reasons travellers flock here. Just don’t make the mistake of calling them English.

English is the main language spoken in Scotland today and has been since the 18th century. However, a wide range of different languages and dialects are also spoken, including the ancient Celtic language of Gaelic which is experiencing a renaissance.

From Aberdeen Angus steaks to seafood, from black pudding to haggis (of course), Scotland may be home to the deep-fried Mars Bar but it has plenty of more refined food for you to enjoy during your campervan road-trip. You should also enjoy a dram or two of whisky. Or there’s that ‘other national drink’, the alarmingly orange IRN BRU. Don’t knock it ‘till you’ve tried it.

 

About Scotland

Scotland. Rugged coastlines, lush green valleys, and looming mountains. Almost 800 islands and three different oceans: the icy North, the Wild Atlantic, and the stormy Irish sea. Home to the UK's highest mountains, deepest lochs, largest swathes forest — Scotland does everything the rest of the UK does, but better. With a campervan hire in Scotland, discover dynamic cities and natural beauty on an enormous scale. Edinburgh, the capital, with its majestic hilltop castle, home to the spectacular annual arts festival, The Fringe. Or, culture capital Glasgow, a former industrial hub with its finger well and truly on the pulse. But it’s on leaving the urban world behind that the magic truly begins. Drive your rental motorhome through a landscape beloved of photographers, film directors, and intrepid travellers everywhere. Da Vinci Code, Harry Potter, Skyfall, and The Dark Knight Rises: epic movies call for epic landscapes and Scotland is happy to provide. Soaring mountains and lakes full of mystery. Beaches that could pass for the Caribbean — minus the palm trees. Islands steeped in the romantic Celtic and Norse culture. Medieval crofts and Gothic castles. Haggis, whisky, tweed, and bagpipes, but also people who are generous with their hospitality, and even more so with their smiles. Raucous New Year Hogmanay celebrations, Burns’ Suppers, St Andrew’s Day and boisterous cèilidhs — park up your campervan and you’ll see that Scotland can throw a banging party too.

 

What to discover

In and around the country

Eilean Donan

This island fortress is one of the most photographed and iconic buildings in Scotland. For a reason. Straight from a fantasy novel, it’s set on a small grassy outcrop, surrounded by the waters of three vast sea-lochs and forest-covered mountains. The emblematic ancient and eerie castle, it’s been home to bishops, kings, Jacobite leaders, and a colonel, and its shape and size has changed multiple times — often for reasons that remain a mystery to us. If you’re planning on getting married, you can (and should) do it here.

Garden of Cosmic Speculation

A 30-acre garden inspired by the laws of modern physics might sound a bit stuffy and academic. In reality, it’s a bizarre trip into a dream world. Snail-shaped grassy mounds, twisting helix sculptures, swirling waves of flowers, lakes, and zigzagging terraces — the design is intended to capture the elements that have created the universe. Wander overwhelming displays of geometric fractals and past shrubbery that is actually a representation of space-time. You may think you’re strolling through a picturesque garden; you’re actually strolling through the cosmos.

Dunino Den

Step into an ethereal otherworld with a visit to Dunino Den, a site of pagan worship. Believed to be haunted by fairies, the den is hidden away in the woods behind Dunino church. Here you’ll find an altar and a well, plus eerie faces, symbols, and a large footprint carved into the cliff face. Druid ceremonies are said to have taken place here, but even today people leave offerings at the site. It’s hard not to feel a sense of the uncanny and unearthly as you explore the den’s shadowy secrets.

 

Top Regions

The Isle of Skye

The magnificent Isle of Skye, second largest of Scotland’s islands, is no longer a secret. But despite its popularity, the island remains wholeheartedly untamed. Connected to Scotland's northwest coast by bridge, here you’ll find a 50 mile long array of natural treasures. And road-trip terrain straight from your wildest dreams. With a campervan hire in Scotland, whether in Glasgow or Edinburgh, drive up way North and through these rugged wilds — but be prepared for photo stops every mile or so. Idyllic fishing villages, ancient castles, serrated mountain ranges, and moorland carpeted with heather. If magic were to happen, it would happen here. Climb the mighty and majestic Old Man of Storr. Explore waterfalls and wind-battered cliff edges. Drive your campervan over to visit the twinkling lochs of the Waternish Peninsula, the spectacular Trotternish Ridge or the weathered and wonderful Red & Black Cuillin mountains. Hike the dramatic Quiraing. Discover the mesmerising blue waters of the Fairy Pools — portals to another world. Indeed, Skye takes its name from the old Norse sky-a, meaning ‘cloud island’ — a reference to how the tips of the Cuillin Hills are often shrouded in a supernatural mist. Or, for a more prehistoric kind of magic, walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs at An Corran beach, Staffin, where prints have been found from 165 million years ago. And when all these natural wonders get too much (it happens), make a stop in the town of Portree to enjoy quaint harbourside pubs and boutiques shops.

 

Loch Lomond & the Trossachs

This national park located in western Scotland has much to tempt any aspiring road tripper. With a campervan hire in Scotland, you can explore these rolling green lowlands and gentle hills in the south, before heading for the towering mountains, wild river torrents and craggy peaks of the Trossachs, said to be the Highlands in miniature. And then there’s Loch Lomond, Britain’s largest freshwater lake, a vast, shimmering mass of water where you could easily spend your whole holiday. But refuse to give in to its charms — there’s plenty of other visual treats that will blow your hiking boots right off. For one, East Loch Arklet, with its vistas of the Arrochar Alps. Visit the cascading waters of Dochart Falls, Killin. Or take a cruise on the romantic Loch Katrine. Drive your motorhome along to the picturesque Scottish Luss Pier village. Or out to Aberfoyle, home to the legendary Doon Hill and Fairy Knowe where a reverend obsessed with the supernatural mysteriously died. It’s believed fairies are behind his disappearance, so stay vigilant. However, you’re more likely to spot beautiful red deer, or the exotic sika deer. And birds such as ospreys, capercaillie or a black grouse. Because while this national park is just thirty minutes from Scotland’s busiest, most populated city, Glasgow, city-life never felt so far away.

 

Highlands

The Highlands. This is the Scotland you’ve been told about. With a campervan hire in the either Glasgow or Edinburgh, you’ll get to drive it over to the Highlands and know Scotland at its finest. Begin with the barren and forbidding Rannoch Moor. Then drive your motorhome on to explore the staggering mountains, raw beauty, and eerie history of Glencoe National Park, the site of the notorious massacre of the MacDonald Clan in 1692. You may recognise the landscape that was used in the movies Skyfall, Harry Potter and Braveheart. The highlands are also home to Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain. But if you don’t fancy the climb, there’s also the fairytale-esque castle of Eilean Donan, perched on a tiny island where three lochs meet. Then, of course, you’ve got the Cairngorms, Britain’s largest National Park, with its mountain peaks, steep gorges, dense forest, and clear rivers, home to reindeer, ospreys, eagles and wildcats. North of the Cairngorms is the Moray Firth, where you might spot dolphins frolicking off the coast. And Loch Ness. The Highlands is indeed home to the world’s most monstrous lake. With its endless expanse of dark water, it’s clear that if there was going to be a monster anywhere, it would be here. You should spend at least half a day hunting for the beast, because why else did you come? Oh yes, that’s right. For the whisky. The Highlands are home to countless distilleries, and a great choice is one of Scotland's highest distilleries, Dalwhinnie, the perfect place to finish off a day on the road.  

Fife

The Kingdom of Fife does, in fact, deserve such a regal title. Home to Scottish monarchs for 500 years, this is a uniquely beautiful corner of Scotland. From eastern Fife's swathes of green to St Andrews, home to Scotland's most prestigious university and some exceptional golfing, there’s plenty that makes a campervan hire in Scotland’s capital for a short trip to Fife a superb idea. Drive your campervan or motorhome along Fife’s coast for Blue-Flag beaches, grassy dunes, seabirds, seals, and dolphins. When you reach Fife's East Neuk, you’ll find delightful white-stone coastal villages such as Pittenweem and Elie. Or Crail, home to the Secret Bunker, a vast underground complex that was the British government's civil defence centre during the Cold War. Make a stop in Lower Largo to see the statue of Alexander Selkirk, a sailor left on a desert island after quarrelling with his captain. He survived four years there and is the inspiration for Robinson Crusoe. Take a boat trip from Anstruther to the Isle of May, a nature reserve where cliffs are alive with kittiwakes, razorbills, and guillemots. You’ll also find the spooky ruins of an old monastery, the oldest lighthouse in Scotland, and enough shipwrecks to satisfy any pirate enthusiast. And, as sunsets, get a bag of chips from the award-winning Fish Bar, find a view of the ocean, and take a good inhale of that fortifying fresh sea air. Not bad Fife, not bad at all.

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Aberdeenshire

This green and fertile region is most famous for its Aberdeen Angus beef cattle. But vegetarians, fear not. Aberdeenshire has so much more than steaks to offer. From majestic castles to ancient pine forest, from rugged cliffs to mile-long sands beaches, it’s clear this region is a road trip-worthy destination. With a campervan hire in either of Scotland’s two largest cities, you’ll up to Aberdeenshire and then through rolling hills, past looming mountains, and alongside pristine beaches. You’ll visit Iron Age hill-forts, medieval fortresses, baronial castles, Jacobean mansions, and, of course, Balmoral Castle, the summer residence of the Royal Family since the 19th century. But you don’t need to be a British royal to sample the region’s treats. The Aberdeenshire coast is one of the best places in Scotland to spot dolphins, and you’ll maximise your chances if you choose to drive your campervan throughout the 165-mile coastal route, with its dizzying cliffs, stunning dunes, and hidden beaches. Further north is the Banffshire coast, all sea and sky, with beautiful bays, precariously perching fishing villages, and even a chance of seeing the Northern Lights. And when you’re craving more urban delights, visit the lively city of Aberdeen, nicknamed the UK’s sunniest city — not sarcastically. In mid to late June it never really gets dark in this north-eastern corner. Or, for craft-beer enthusiasts, Ellon, just north of Aberdeen, is home to the iconoclastic Brewdog beer. Plus, there’s whisky for everyone in this region where clear springs and moorland peat combine to create a peerless dram. So all in all, enough to keep you busy, don’t you think?

 

The North Coast 500

Stretching out across 516 miles of dazzling countryside and craggy coastline, the North Coast 500 makes such perfect driving it wouldn’t be surprising if Vikings also road tripped here. Starting in Inverness and weaving and winding along the west coast to Applecross and then northwards towards Ullapool, this is Route 66, Scottish-style. Each corner, each turn, brings a new landscape: jagged and wild, then serene and idyllic. With a campervan hire in Scotland - either Edinburgh or Glasgow -, you’ll travel north to this remote coastline of Caribbean blue beaches, velvety moors, and ancient and romantic castles. Drive steep green cliffs with views of the endless North Sea. Explore some of Scotland’s most northerly points, including John o’Groats. On your way you’ll pass the enigmatic and dilapidated remains of Ardvreck Castle, or Dunrobin Castle, where you should take a moment to indulge the princess we all have within us. Ascend Stac Pollaidh in Wester Ross for a challenge and exceptional photo. Top-quality surf and secluded sands can be found at Balnakeil Beach near Durness, or at Brims Ness and Thurso East. The limestone cave of Smoo, with its 50-ft entrance and hurtling waterfall, is the exact place you might expect mermaids to hang out. Walk to Sandwood bay with its cliffs, beach and the Am Buachaille sea stack. And, as the sun sets, enjoy dreamy pink sunsets. Dramatic and gorgeous at once, this drive needs to be right at the top of your bucket list once you hire a campervan or motorhome in Scotland.

Campervan hire in Edinburgh

Indie Campers Edinburgh Depot
Edinburgh EH12 9DN, UK

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Campervan hire in Glasgow

Indie Campers Glasgow Depot
Paisley PA3 2SW, UK

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