Scotland is so enchanting! You may be considering sightseeing, much like in any other alluring area of the world. Well, what better way to encapsulate everything than take a road trip around Scotland? Well, before your amazing trip, here are 8 things you must know:
- Download My Scotland Google Map
Okay, so you’re in a new place and you’ve gotta find your way. For this, your best bet is a Scotland Google Map. That’s because it’s tried and tested. I used this map and pinned all the places I stayed, ate, bought some water, enjoyed some recreational activities, and others.
With my map, you can access all of my recommendations whenever and wherever you want just by opening it on your computer or mobile device. You can use my points as a guide when you’re planning to chart your route, and you can pull out the map while driving to see what’s interesting nearby.
- You Generally Need To Arrive Early To Secure Good Wild Camping Spots
First come first served is the rule of thumb in Scotland. That said, even if you have a specific place in mind, first come first serve applies in almost all wild camping spots. That’s especially the case if you’re planning a road trip between July and September which is peak season.
Of course, finding the perfect spot is a wonderful part of wild camping but unfortunately, such spots are not reservable. Granted, if you could reserve them, they would be fully reserved. The good thing is that even if your perfect wild spot is already occupied, you could easily find another great spot that surprises you. Wild camping is wild. It’s spontaneous, unpredictable, and thrilling… that’s what makes it beautiful!
Nevertheless, there’s a chance that you could miss a great spot. That said, I recommend that you make the most of your mornings and days then leave early in the afternoon for the wild camping location of your choice. This way, you can reduce disappointment and visit some of the great wild sites I’ve marked on the Google Map legend. Get there early and enjoy laid-back evening cooking and relaxing by the fire.
- Check Out the park4night App for Recommendations on Wild Camping Spots
Park4Night is well-known among travelers, so if you’re new, install it. It’s a user-driven app where travelers can rate and share their favorite locations. It provides you with some excellent suggestions and guidance on locations to park RVs, bigger vehicles, and wild camping spots as well.
- If You Can, Reserve Campsites in Advance
Similar to wild camping areas, I would advise booking your camping reservations in advance if you’re planning a road trip to Scotland during the peak seasons. If you prefer campgrounds, therefore, book them as soon as you can. Campsites are in high demand, especially along routes like the fabled NC500. Find NC 500 accommodation deals here.
We spent the entire month of July traveling, and we never made reservations for campsites. In reality, we only stayed one 2 campsites, though. The first was on the Isle of Skye, where we arrived during the day and snagged the final three pitches, and the second was in Ullapool. Although I’m not sure if we were just before the busy season, we were still able to reserve campsites when we needed them.
- Go Swimming in the Wild! But First, Do Some Research
Scotland has sooo many areas to go wild swimming. If you like to swim in open water, take chilly dips, or even paddle in the shallows, this place is paradise—seriously! You don’t have to travel for a morning swim, you’ll easily find a loch or the ocean close by!
You can’t go in blindly though. Visit the Wild Swimming Website in Scotland for advice and suggested areas. Remember that although wild swimming is a thrilling outdoor pastime, it carries some risks.
if you’ve never been exposed to cold water before or if you’re a beginner, do your homework, swim close to the shore, and be sure someone is keeping an eye on you! With that though, enjoy the water—take it all in. One of the most notable ones is in n Aviemore, Loch An Eilein.
- Get the Alltrails App if You Enjoy Hiking
The app is a fantastic way to explore all the hiking and walking spots near your while visiting Scotland. It also has numerous activities planned for hikers of various skill levels from midday strolls to lengthy day treks and everything in between. Best hiking spot in my opinion?—Scotland’s Loch Lomond National Park
- You Frequently Need Change or the Ringgo App for Parking Lots
Let’s face it, who carries cash/change these days? That’s why we’ll go to option 2 which is downloading the Ringgo App. I found myself using the RingGo app a lot when parking for waterfalls and hikes. It seems it’s a popular app across Scotland. Downloading this app before visiting can save you time and hassle.
- Treat People and the Environment With Respect
Driving around Scotland comes with a responsibility. And that is to respect everything around you, both the land and its inhabitants. As you may expect, a lot of people take the p***. That naturally enrages and frustrates the locals. Even though we were respectful and left no trace, the villagers gave us some of the energy’s tails which made it obvious that it left some sour taste in some mouths.
Let’s do it differently next time. If you go, let’s show the locals that we aren’t there to plunder their country. How? Don’t leave your trash, toilet paper, or vans in inappropriate places. Keep Scotland beautiful!
With these 8 tips, your road trip in Scotland can be a walk in the park. Enjoy it! If you’ve got any queries, feel free to reach out. Otherwise, soak in the beauty of Scotland!