Campervan Travel Routes

Itinerary One: To Inverness and Beyond!

Day 1:

Pick up camper from agreed location and hit Inverness for some supplies.Head north to Chanory Point near Fortrose and see whether you can spot some bottle nose dolphin - The Moray firth is home to about 130 Bottlenose Dolphins. They are normally seen as small "bands" of six or seven animals comprising two or three females and their calves. The males tend to be solitary and are not often present. The Moray Firth Dolphins are one of only a few known groups, in British waters. In the summer months they often frequent inshore waters where they can be easily seen, to the delight of visitor and resident alike.If you’d like to go out onto the Moray Firth there are several companies offering trips: http://www.ecoventures.co.uk/wildlife.asp http://www.dolphintripsavoch.co.uk

Day 2:

Heading north on the A9 why not stop at the Tain Pottery on your way to visit Dornoch Jail (http://www.jail-dornoch.com). Dornoch is an exceptionally pretty town with an outstanding golf course and a fantastic sandy beach. There are plenty of places to grab a bite to eat before either taking it easy and finding a camp site or heading a wee bit further north to Golspie for a visit to Dunrobin Castle, the family home of the Countess of Sutherland and the perfect fairytale castle. It also has outstanding gardens which can be visited from April – October (http://www.castles.org/Chatelaine/DUNROBIN.HTM) http://www.tainpottery.co.uk

Day 3:

Poor old camper is going to have to tackle some fairly steep hills today, staring with the renowned Berridale Braes! Head on up to Wick and then onto John O Groats – the most northerly part of the British Mainland and the beginning of many a John O Groats to Lands End challenge. Head onto Dunnet Bay and watch the surfers at play or onto Thurso where the O’Neill Highland Surfing Open is held towards the end of April each year! A stop at the Castle of Mey (http://www.castleofmey.org.uk/) is a must – it’s the most northerly castle in Scotland and more to the point was the Scottish home of HRH The Queen Mother. Spend the night in Bettyhill overlooking the stunning beach.

Day 4:

A leisurely start to the day with a short drive to Tongue and get your cameras out for some stunning Scottish scenery! This is also the step that will take you into the real wilds of Scotland. First stop is Durness, from here you can take a trip by minibus to Cape Wrath. Here you will see the lighthouse built by Robert Stevenson in 1828. The name Cape Wrath isn’t because of the stormy seas here or the fairly horrific weather on certain days but the name derives from the Norse for ‘turning point’. Trundle on down to Kinlochbervie and head for the Fisherman’s Mission for reputedly the best fish and chips on the west coast.

Day 5:

Up early to hit the fish market. The main species caught by white fish trawlers are monkfish, haddock, cod, whiting and skate. The main shellfish fishery consists of lobsters, prawns, crabs and velvet crabs. Take the day to get down to Ullapool (some seriously big hills so today won’t be a ‘fast’ day). Have a slap up meal at the Ceilidh Place (booking essential). In 2005 it was voted best hotel in the ‘Good for the Soul’ category! The Ceilidh Place (www.ceilidhplace.com) also has one of the best bookshops on the West Coast.

Day 6:

Final day! Leaving Ullapool and head for Gairloch – stop at Inverewe Gardens http://www.gardens-scotland.co.uk/inverewe.html on the way – one of the most amazing gardens in Scotland if not the UK. Try and get there early before the bus loads arrive. Head on to Gairloch for a long lunch at some of the excellent pubs – the Badachro Inn www.badachroinn.com being a particularly good find! Enjoy a good seaside walk to work off that pudding! Head back towards Inverness stopping off at Strathpeffer to sample the spa waters at the Pump House and a walk around the Victorian town. Have an easy night beside the River Glass at the Blackrock Camping site in Evanton.

Day 7:

Breakfast at The Storehouse on the A9 before returning our camper in perfect condition before 10am!!