On the doorstep of Coalford Campers, the North East 250 explores everything for which Scotland is famous in a unique road trip taking you through the whisky distilleries of Speyside, the spectacular mountain passes of Cairngorms National Park, the famous castles of Royal Deeside, the Granite City of Aberdeen, the rugged North Sea coastline to the east, and the picturesque seaside villages of the Moray Firth.
Scotland's answer to Route 66 and a driving experience not to be missed. The North Coast 500 was created in 2014 by the North Highland Initiative. Bringing together a route of just over 500 miles of stunning coastal scenery, the route path naturally follows the main roads across the coastal edges of the North Highlands taking in the villages and towns of places like Ullapool, Durness, John O'Groats, Dornoch and Inverness.
Royal Deeside is a picturesque, mountainous part of the north east.
It follows the River Dee into the heart of the Grampian Mountains, with some right royal sights along the way, including the Royal Family's favourite Balmoral Castle.
The rarefied royal air still pervades the neat chocolate box towns and villages of Deeside, such as Ballater and Braemar, which are unsurprisingly thronged with tourists in season. Braemar is famous for its Highland Gathering - one of Scotland's best.
Skye is a truly magical place. The largest of the Inner Hebrides, it's home to some of Scotland's most iconic landscapes. Whether you are visiting for a few days whilst on a tour of Scotland or staying for a longer spell, the island has countless ways to enchant you, with its mountain ranges, miles of dramatic coastline and captivating history.
If there's one thing about Skye that'll leave a lasting impression on you, it's got to be the scenery. Just driving around, you can see many of Skye's most majestic geological features, such as the Old Man of Storr, the Quiraing and the Cuillin.
Whisky is Scotland's national drink and our biggest export, enjoyed across the globe as well as right here in Scotland. Skilled distillers take pure water from crystal-clear streams and plump, golden barley from the fields and transform them into a precious spirit, which is then poured into oak casks and tucked away to mature. The spirit can't be called Scotch until it has aged in Scotland for at least three years. However most single malt whiskies sleep for much longer, before emerging for their moment to shine.
There are over 100 active distilleries in Scotland spread across five whisky regions, with many offering fascinating tours.
If you want to experience the Scotland of your dreams, it’s definitely here. Travel from the buzzing cities of Aberdeen or Edinburgh to the off-the-beaten-track beauty of the Highlands and islands, untouched by time.
You can stretch your legs hiking majestic mountainscapes, or wander pristine beaches where your footprints will be the only ones in the sand. So look beyond the bagpipes and whisky and you’ll uncover a dynamic country where you’re as likely to find experimental music and theatre as you are tweed and tartan.
CAMPA (Campervan & Motorhome Professional Association) has published guidance for freedom camping in Campervans and Motorhomes in Scotland.
A campervan or motorhome holiday is an ideal way to explore Scotland. In addition to campsites there are many opportunities to freedom camp with your vehicle (wild parking overnight). As there are an increasing number of people wanting to enjoy this way of experiencing Scotland, it is important to follow the simple, and common sense guidance below. In doing so, you’ll hopefully help support a sustainable way of experiencing Scotland.
Scotland is rightly very proud of its access rights and it is important to bear in mind the following:
· Scottish access rights and Scottish Access Code don’t apply to motor vehicles.
· The road Traffic Act 1988 states that you can drive a vehicle up to 15 yards off a public road for the purpose of parking, but this does not confer any right to park the vehicle. Most un-metalled roads, unfenced land and beaches are private property, and you don’t have a right to park unless it’s authorised by the landowner by verbal agreement or signage.
· In practice, informal off-road parking takes place in many parts of Scotland, often in well-established locations, without causing undue concern.
· Some communities have established their own specific guidance and the use of designated overnight parking spaces…..if you’re in such a place, follow the guidance!
Common Sense Guidance – Do:
· Use common sense and think whether the spot you have found is suitable for your vehicle.
· Think about the cumulative effect of camping in the ideal spot you have located.
· Take great care to avoid fragile ground and sensitive habitats – never drive down to beaches or onto grass verges as it destroys the habitat.
· Avoid overcrowding. If another vehicle is parked in a secluded spot – try not to park right next to them and find your own spot elsewhere.
· Use only biodegradable detergents and drain waste water tanks in campsites. If it has to be emptied in the wild, keep away from water courses and be aware that animals will be attracted to the scent.
· Ensure your vehicle is self-contained with toilet facilities and waste water tanks.
· Take ALL your rubbish, and any you found there already, away with you.
· Support a sustainable tourism industry – buy groceries and supplies in local shops.
Common Sense Guidance – Don’t:
· Park in areas where signs state ‘no overnight parking’ or where there is a campsite nearby.
· Park overnight within sight of people’s houses, even in car park bays.
· Block access tracks to estates and fields.
· Light BBQ’s or fires unless it is safe to do so, and you can supervise it properly. They should be fully extinguished when finished and no evidence left behind.
· Empty any chemical toilet waste anywhere other than at a designated chemical waste area. Public toilets are not suitable places to empty chemical toilets as it upsets the sewage treatment process.