Exploring The Parks of Scotland in your Motorhome
We all love a motorhome adventure. There’s nothing like packing up your palace on wheels, buckling the family in and pointing your wheels towards the horizon as you set off to explore. While it can be tempting to stick to England’s relative familiarity, or head to Europe for a bit of sunshine, perhaps you might consider venturing North of the wall (Hadrian’s wall that is). They don’t call it ‘Bonny Scotland’ for nothing. The beauty is a little wild and a little raw, but it’s definitely there and for the most part, untamed.
Head through Gretna Green on M6 in the West road or, on the A1 through Berwick Upon Tweed on the East coast and you’ll find yourself crossing the border and travelling through open countryside lined with heather. You’ll still have a fair few miles to travel before you hit your first Scottish Cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh respectively. There’s still plenty to see along the way, so don’t rush!
Galloway Forest Park
Take a detour to the West on your way North to Glasgow and head through Dumfries. Before long, you’ll pick up the signs for the Galloway Forest Park and it’s well worth the diversion. Know affectionately as ‘The Highlands of the Lowlands, it’s three hundred square miles of rugged and above all, unspoiled forest. Featuring all manner of scenery and wildlife. Mountains, trees, valleys, woodland and lochs. Think of any outdoor sport you like, from orienteering, to archery and even horse-back riding, chances are there’ll be somewhere to do it within this vast expanse of natural wilderness. If you have time, it’s definitely worthwhile to plan an overnight stay. The relative isolation of the forest means that there’s limited ‘light pollution’, in fact it’s the UK’s first ‘Dark Sky Park’ – an area that gets so dark at night, that all the stars become more visible at night, you’ll be amazed and possible awed by the sheer majesty of the night sky.
The Trossachs National Park & Loch Lomond
Go beyond Glasgow and you’ll find yourself approaching the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs. Incorporating 220 square miles of woodlands, mountains, glens and of course inland bodies of water, Climb the mountains, take a cruise along the lochs or just lose yourself in the scenery.
Cairngorms National Park
Further North still, you can’t miss the Cairngorms National park. The green heart of the Scottish Highlands, this is the largest National park in the UK incorporating five of the UK’s six highest mountains, a quarter of the UK’s endangered species, three rivers, eight nature reserves, 60 locks and as much scenery as you can drink in. All spread over an area of over1,700 square miles. To put that in perspective, the Cairngorms is around three times the size of Greater London. You can’t see it in a day, you might need (and want) to spend considerable time here. In a motorhome, you can pitch up overnight under a different set of trees and explore to your heart’s content.
All the way to John O’Groats
If you’re exploring the Scenery of Scotland and you’ve ventured far enough to see the major national parks, it’d be a shame not to brave the northernmost roads of Scotland and take your motorhome adventure all the way to John O’Groats. With the greens, golds and purple of the open moors surrounding you, it’s a long drive to one of the Northernmost points of the country, but well worth the trip, even if only to say you’ve been there. With waves to rival the best in the UK, but much, much cooler temperatures the surfing off John O’Groats is only for the dedicated!
Scotland will make you feel glad to alive, but make sure you wrap up warm and keep your waterproofs handy. We challenge anyone to explore the majesty of Scotland’s scenery without feeling renewed.