van mountains road scotland Van Life Scotland: A Complete Guide to Campervanning in Scotland
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Van Life Scotland: A Complete Guide to Campervanning in Scotland

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What’s campervanning in Scotland like? Are you considering taking a road trip with a van, RV, or motorhome through Scotland? We set out to answer all the questions in our complete guide to Van Life Scotland.

Campervanning Scotland, living and traveling in a van through Scotland is not a novel idea. Campervan travel is unbelievably popular among both Scots and visitors.

It makes sense; the country undoubtedly lends itself to overland travel with stunning scenery, charming villages, and more walks, castles, and various attractions scattered throughout than you can shake a scone at.

Van travel is so widespread and entrenched here that van and motorhome facilities can be found everywhere. Numerous well-driven road trip itineraries take travelers through some of Scotland’s most famous sites to some of its most remote reaches.

We set out on a Scottish van life adventure to discover everything we could about traveling Scotland by camper van.

Is Scotland Good for Vanlife?

A woman sitting in the front seat of a van parked next to a pretty loch in Scotland

Gee, we might be biased, but we think traveling Scotland by van is the best way to see the country.

Scotland might be compact but it is also jam-packed with gorgeous scenery, fantastic cultural and historical sites, and charming villages. The ability to travel at your own pace and choose what you do and see along the way is a fabulous benefit of traveling by camper.

Furthermore, Scotland is quite well set up for camper van travel with many campsites, motorhome parks, and facilities that make van travel relatively comfortable and stress-free.

The main drawbacks of van life in Scotland are the narrow country roads that connect much of the country, the crowds that come in the busy summer season, and the fierce midges that plague the country in July and August.

Van Life Scotland Van Life Scotland: A Complete Guide to Campervanning in Scotland
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Is Van Life legal in Scotland?

Sort of.

There isn’t actually any specific legislation that governs camping in motorhomes or campervans in Scotland. However, unlike some countries where we have traveled, where van travel is unusual to the locals like in Mexico, or to somewhere campervanning is looked down upon as some sort of modern hoboism like in Australia, in Scotland, campervanning is, or at least was, in a way a part of the culture. Camping, tramping and rambling culture here is well-established and accepted both culturally and legally, and for a while campervanning was seen as an extension of that culture.

However, the rapid rise in popularity in van travel here is putting a strain on the local’s tolerance of campervanners, especially when they make a menace of themselves.

In general, as long as you are not in the way, a nuisance, or parked on private land without permission, you are unlikely to fall foul of the law, be woken up in the middle of the night by police, or even raise the ire of the neighborhood watch.

What’s more, the government here has put a lot of money into making Scotland RV-friendly. There are public facilities for campervans and motorhomes throughout the country, including daytime and overnight car parks, public toilets (and occasionally showers), and infinite pullovers and laybys at the side of beautiful lochs and wild places. These amenities make it easy to safely and legally navigate the country by van.

This being said, the overwhelming number of campervanners in Scotland over the last year has led to some issues, especially in the busy high season. The number of large vehicles on the road leads to challenging navigation, especially in remote areas, often serviced by single-carriageway roads. The pressure on campsites and campervan facilities is also becoming a problem. Finally, the misuse and abuse of wild camps and overnight stopovers is, understandably, drawing the frustration of locals, especially in smaller communities.

Camping, free Camping, and Wild Camping for Campervans in Scotland

A van pulled over in a Layby in scotland, bright Autumn colours on the trees

Scotland is amazingly well set up for campervans and motorhomes with facilities throughout the country, from major cities to the most remote lochs and isles. There is a wide variety of both paid and free campsites.

The best way to find campsites in Scotland is through the app Park4Night. The app maps user-generated waypoints like campsites, wild camps, parking, and services.

Everywhere throughout the country, you can find paid campgrounds and campsites, from small, basic sites offering simple pads to large holiday parks with pools, playgrounds, cafes, and other amenities.

Camping usually costs between £25 – £40 per night. This will include access to a level pad and may be either inclusive or exclusive of extra amenities such as electricity, toilets and showers, and black and grey water dumping.

Many sites throughout Scotland also allow travelers to pay just to access black water and grey water disposal and fresh water for a small fee (normally £5). This way, you can empty waste tanks and take on fresh water cheaply while free camping.

Is Wild Camping Legal in Scotland?

A sign that reads, Passing Place No Parking in Layby next to a narrow road in a pretty valley in Glencoe, Scotland

Wild camping for campervans and motorhomes falls into a grey area under Scottish legislation, and there aren’t any specific provisions for motorhomes or campervan camping.

While it is a legally recognized right to free camp and wild camp throughout Scotland (on both public and private land) under the Scottish Public Access Code, that right doesn’t extend to vehicles. Nevertheless, perhaps as a flow-on effect from the otherwise liberal camping laws, overnight camping in wild camps is widely tolerated.

The general expectations of campervanners in wild camps should be common sense, but they are

a) Follow the rules and regulations where applicable; these are generally well-signed in Scotland.

b) Leave no trace; have a toilet on board if you plan to wild camp, take all your rubbish when you leave, and dump black and grey water at the appropriate facilities (found throughout Scotland).

c) Have a net positive effect on the communities you visit aka don’t be a nuisance – Be aware of your surroundings. Ensure you are parking in pullovers or laybys where you are entirely off the road. Are you camped in an area that people will use during the day? Make sure you arrive late and leave early. Are you near to a business on a popular tourist route? It would be polite to ask them if you can stay overnight, where you should park, and where possible patron the local businesses as well.

d) Don’t outstay your welcome – Generally, this means using a wild camp to pull up to for the night and moving off in the morning, definitely not pulling out the awning, setting up tables and chairs, and treating public land like your own personal caravan park for the week.

If you can’t handle these basic responsibilities, go to a paid campsite or better yet stay home.

Wild Camping and Free Camping on Public Land

The view of the scottish country side as seen out the window of a van
The view from a free overnight park beside the Ben Nevis trail head and Ben Nevis Inn

The local authority is responsible for administering rights to the public lands. In most cases in Scotland, the rules governing most areas are clearly signed. Many areas, like national parks, expressly forbid overnight camping. In remote areas without any signs, you likely can wild camp following the rules outlined above.

Many travelers make use of the many laybys off the side of the road throughout the Scottish road system. Again, use common sense, and don’t pull up in a passing place (common in many single-carriageway roads in Scotland). Don’t take up a place where drivers may need to park during the day. Don’t make a mess of the area.

Most public car parks restrict overnight camping and such restrictions are usually well-signed. Some public car parks (mostly in larger towns or cities) allow overnight parking for a fee (often £5 – £12), and in these cases, it may be possible to camp overnight.

Wild Camping and Free Camping on Private Land

It is generally not allowed nor tolerated to camp overnight on private land without the express permission of the landowner. In most cases, private parking lots, such as those found at supermarkets forbid overnight parking or camping.

Pub Stopovers

Some pubs throughout Scotland will allow campervans or motorhomes to stay in their car park overnight. Obviously, you need to ask and receive permission beforehand.

The expectation for using a pub stopover is that campers will purchase a meal or buy a few beers at the bar and follow the above guidelines and general common sense.

There are several lists online of available pub stopovers throughout Scotland but every pub is a potential pub stopover. If there is a pub on your route and you would like to pay for a meal instead of a campsite, try calling ahead to see if they would be open to letting you park up overnight.

How Long Do I Need to Campervan in Scotland?

A woman walking over a stone bridge in the pretty town of Dunkeld Scotland

As long as you’ve got!

It felt like we could have spent a lifetime exploring each loch, hiking every mountain, and enjoying an ale by the fire at each charming wee inn we came upon.

Alas, most of us don’t have a lifetime. Thankfully, Scotland is a relatively compact country, and you can enjoy

  • A great road trip on a long weekend
  • See many fabulous highlights in a week
  • Travel the length of Scotland and back in two or three weeks
  • See pretty much the entire country if you have four or more weeks.

Scotland road trip itineraries and Routes for Campervanning

A winding road with a stone barrier in the Glencoe Scotland
Don’t miss the epic drives in Glencoe

There are a variety of well-driven routes and itineraries for campervanning in Scotland.

The best Scotland road trip itinerary for you will, of course, depend on your personal preferences. Do you prefer hiking in the mountains, visiting seaside villages, or exploring ancient castles? Are you comfortable picking your way along narrow, windy roads into the remotest areas, or do you prefer to travel the tourist circuit from town to town along modern highways?

There’s a trip for everyone in Scotland; check out these popular routes and see if any float your boat.

Scotland Road Trip Itinerary 2 – 3 days

  • Perthshire Tourist Route – This popular route runs between Dunblane and Ballinluig. This beautiful woodland route offers plenty of opportunities to hike, explore, and visit local producers and distillers.
  • Galloway Tourist Route – Museums, castles, woodland trails, and loch views await on this short road trip.
  • Moray Firth Tourist Route – Beginning in the northern city of Inverness this route takes in the beauty of the highlands, visiting  Beauly, Cromarty, and Dornoch Firths.
  • Boarders Route – Travels from northern England in Scots Dyke, across the Anglo-Scottish Border and onto Edinburgh. A good route for visitors from south of the border.
  • The Argyll Coastal Route – This beautiful seaside route begins in Tarbet 40 miles northwest of Glasgow. It runs for 129 miles along the coast to Fort William, taking in Loch Fynn, Inverray, Glencoe, and Ben Nevis along the way. It’s a great route for those wanting to take in some of Scotland’s most breathtaking coast as well as charming seaside towns, whiskey distilleries, and spectacular scenery.
  • Inverness to Isle of Skye – This route covers one of Scotland’s most famed tourist destinations, Loch Ness. In just 105 miles, you will travel by some of the most picturesque wee villages and breathtaking scenic vantage points. And, just maybe, a chance to spot the Loch Ness Monster.

Scotland Road Trip Itinerary 5 days +

  • The North East 250 – The North East 250 is a picturesque journey stretching over 250 miles across Scotland’s northeastern region, encompassing the vibrant city of Aberdeen, the serene Moray Firth, the whisky-rich Speyside, and the majestic Cairngorms. This scenic route showcases the area’s dramatic coastal landscapes and cultural sites including the historic castle that sparked Bram Stoker’s imagination for ‘Dracula’.
  • The South West Coastal 300 – The 300-mile South West Coastal 300 is one of the least traveled routes in Scotland. Starting in Dumfries, this route is known for its quiet country roads through small villages, impressive castles, and a chance to visit Scotland’s most southern point.

Scotland road trip itinerary 7 days +

A two lane Scottish road next to a Loch in Scotland

For a seven-day road trip, consider combining some of the longer drives connecting Scotland’s cities.

  • Edinburgh to Inverness Road Trip – The route from Edinburgh to Inverness takes in fabulous towns and villages in the south, the beautiful Cairngorms National Park, the town of Inverness, and the famous Loch Ness. Extend this route by traveling east toward Aberdeen or North along the NC 500.
  • Glasgow to Skye Road Trip – Travel past the hauntingly beautiful Loch Lomond, the Argyll Coast with its fantastic scenery and delicious seafood and distilleries, and continue on onto the famed Isle of Skye before returning.

Scotland Road Trip Itinerary 14 days +

If you are touring Scotland by van for two weeks or more, then you should have time to see many of the country’s most famous highlights and spend time exploring some of the more remote reaches, such as the Isles of Skye or Mull or the North Coast 500 drive.

  • North Coast 500 – This 500-mile circuit has become one of Scotland’s most famous drives. The route takes in the breathtaking coastal landscapes of Scotland’s North Highlands, and the region’s fascinating culture. Be aware that during the popular summer months the route becomes exceptionally crowded and navigating the narrow roads amongst hundreds of other motorhomes and campers can be challenging and stressful.
  • The Vanabond 700 – Without enough time to see the whole country, we designed a two-week itinerary to visit some of Scotland’s most famous and recommended highlights. We traveled from Edinburgh to Dunkeld, then onto Aviemore and Glenmore forest (stopping at the Falls of Bruar along the way). From there it was onto Inverness, before spending a day exploring Loch Ness, and its villages. Next, we drove to the Isle of Skye and spent two days exploring before returning to the mainland to visit the Argyll Coast. We traveled to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs for two days. Finally, we visited Glasgow for a night before heading back to Edinburgh to drop off the car.
A map of Scotland showing a road trip routeand several landmarks
The Vanabond 700 Scottish Road Trip Itinerary Taking in many of Scotland’s most beautiful sights

Scotland Road Trip Itinerary 3 weeks +

If you have three weeks or more, you should be able to combine several of these itineraries to make a fairly comprehensive exploration of the country.

When is the Best Time to Experience Campervanning In Scotland?

A woman looking at the stone bridges and red and yellow autumn colours of the trees in Invermoriston, Scotland
autumn colors in Scotland are beautiful and there are fewer people to share therm with

This depends on your preferences.

Many say the summertime, between May and September, is the best time for a Scottish road trip. This way, you’ll have the most sunlight and the best weather to make the most of the epic outdoor activities here. The downsides of this season are the crowds of people and the midges, which can make camping miserable between July and August.

In our opinion, autumn was a beautiful time to see Scotland by van. We traveled in October and November, and it was magic. Granted, it rained almost daily; nights were occasionally below zero, and mornings were dark and grey. But, the sea of changing color in the trees, the mountains that were sunny and hikeable one day and covered in a blanket of snow the next, the near-empty roads and campsites, and the thrill of seeing Scotland in all its grey grizzly beauty was well and truly worth it.

If you’re into winter activities, Scotland has plenty from December onward, including skiing, winter festivals, Christmas Markets, and unique celebrations. Of course, if you visit at this time, be prepared for short cold days and dealing with snow and ice on the roads.

Be aware that Scotland has a distinct tourism season that generally finishes around the end of October. This means many tourist attractions such as castles and tours, especially those in remote regions or small towns, may be closed from November to April. Additionally, a lot of campsites and motorhome parks run seasonally as well. Finally, services like ferries or public car parks may be closed or have reduced capacity over the quiet period. For this reason, it’s essential to plan and book ahead if traveling after October.

Driving a Campervan In Scotland

A van making its way along a narrow road in Scotland in the picturesque Glen Etive in the Glencoe region
Many of the roads in Scotland are very narrow

While the country might be great to see by camper, the road system is not necessarily well-designed for large campervans and motorhomes. Many roads linking the towns and villages throughout Scotland are quite narrow country roads. Many remote areas, even those popular with tourists such as the Isle of Sky or the NC 500, are serviced by single carriageways with passing places along the way.

If you are planning on visiting more remote destinations, you should consider using as small a vehicle as possible and, indeed, only one you can manage. You should be confident reversing your vehicle accurately down a narrow track for several hundred meters, as that is potentially the only way forward sometimes.

Moreover, when driving a campervan or motorhome below the speed limit or when cars are queued behind, always pull over to let them pass; outside of highways, overtaking lanes are rare in Scotland.

The amount of campervans on the road in the busy season is becoming a sore point for locals, so do your part not to be a nuisance when driving.

Be aware that the Scottish are very polite drivers, if you are turning across a lane, drivers coming the opposite way may pull up and flash their lights at you indicating for you to take the turn. It’s the kind of politeness that actually makes driving more unpredictable than it would be if people just followed the rules, but it’s hard to fight someone trying to be nice.

Hiring a Campervan in Scotland

If you don’t have your own wheels, you don’t need to worry. There are over 50 companies offering campervan hire in Scotland. The biggest problem we found finding a campervan for hire was there were too many options.

To rent a campervan in Scotland, you must

  • be at least 21 (between 25 and 75 in some cases)
  • hold a valid driver’s license
  • and provide secondary Identification such as a passport or EU card

The best way to find the best place to hire from is to work backward from your requirements.

Where will you be leaving from? Edinburgh and Glasgow have the largest number of rental companies, but there are also companies in other cities, such as Inverness and Aberdeen. If you just wanted to tour the north, for example, it might make sense to rent here.

What kind of vehicle do you want? Large motorhomes offer more space and comfort while camping but can be more challenging to drive and park, especially if you plan to travel to some of Scotland’s more remote destinations, many of which are serviced by narrow single-lane roads.

What facilities are you going to need? If you plan on wild camping, being self-sufficient is critical, and having an onboard toilet is essential. If you are traveling in autumn, a heater will make your life a LOT more comfortable, in winter, it becomes a matter of life or death.

Finally, consider that many rental companies do allow pets (often for an extra cleaning fee). If you’re bringing Fido, this could narrow down your search again.

Once you have a list of your needs and wants, it will be much easier to narrow down a suitable rental company and start looking for a van. Be aware that in the busy season, camper van rental is very popular be sure to book as far ahead as possible to avoid disappointment.

Campervan Rental Companies in Scotland

Big Camper

Several large multinational camper rental companies are operating in Scotland alongside dozens and dozens of smaller independent companies. They often offer (seemingly) lower rates and have flash advertising, but they can end up being more expensive, offer little to no support on the road, and can be a real headache if something goes wrong.

Advertised prices exclude ‘service charges’, proper insurance, sufficient mileage, and required bits and pieces like gas, bedding, or toilet tablets, meaning that the final price is often equivalent to or more than all-inclusive rates.

Support from these large companies is often lacking. One notable company off-shores its text-only support line, and the operators know quite literally nothing about campervanning in Scotland.

Finally, there are some serious horror stories of renters being left to deal with defective vans during their holidays and then being saddled with the costs of repair and maintenance to boot.

On the other hand, it is possible, especially when they have deals, that this is where you’ll get the most bang for your buck. If you’re not too risk averse and happy to go it alone, without support on your trip then Big Camper might be the go.

Undoubtedly, smaller, reputable local companies will offer a much more comprehensive service, ongoing support and info about Scotland, and a local contact to deal with in an emergency.

Here are several campervan companies that we recommend renting through.

Live the Wild Scotland

Emma is a passionate explorer and van lifer who has traversed Scotland by van and on foot. She has lovingly converted her own van to share with other enthusiasts and is currently working on a second van.

Book directly at Live the Wild Scotland.

All Is On Camper

All is on Campers in Glasgow have modern and compact VW Transporters that are perfect for getting to some of the more remote regions of Scotland. Their clever design provides seating for five and sleeping for 4 with 2 double berths. Their vans are well equipped with everything you need for a comfortable tour in any season and very reasonably priced,

Book directly at All is On Campers.

Luxury Winnebago Scotland

If you are looking for a camper or motorhome with all the bells and whistles, try Luxury Winnebago Scotland, located outside Glasgow. They offer a broad range of campers, motorhomes, and caravans from 2 birth to 6-berth options.

Book directly at Luxury Winnebago Scotland.

How Much Does it Cost to Van Life in Scotland?

A woman looking over a small lake that is reflecting a mirror image of the trees and mountains
Views are free!

Traveling by campervan in Scotland can be done very cheaply. Combining your accommodation and travel costs offers immediate savings.

If you’re prepared to free camp and cook most of your meals, it can be one of the cheapest ways to explore Scotland. We were pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to travel throughout Scotland without using paid camps.

Obviously, how much you spend will be dependent on your personal financial situation. Still, we can share how much things cost in Scotland for campervanners and how much we spent campervanning in Scotland.

Campervan Costs of Campervanning in Scotland

Campervan Rental Costs Scotland

Camper van rental costs vary depending on the vehicle you are looking at, the company renting it, and the time of year.

The cheapest rental in low season starts at around £50 per night for two berth campervans without basic equipment or insurance and with restricted mileage.

During high season, giant, modern campervans with all the bells and whistles and enough berths for the whole family may cost as much as £200 per night through a local rental company.

Most vans will fall somewhere in the middle, between £90 and £150 per night.

Beware of rental companies that offer dirt-cheap nightly rates that are exclusive of service fees, realistic mileage, insurance etc, etc, etc.

Camping and Accommodation

Camping fees are quite expensive in Scotland generally ranging between £25 and £40 per night. Services like electricity may incur an extra fee.

As described above it is possible to wild camp and free camp throughout Scotland to keep camping fees low. Remember if you wild camp you will need to pay to use facilities like black and grey water dump points and fresh water. Budget around £5 every two or three days for this service.


Petrol / Diesel

Fuel is pretty expensive in the UK. At the time of writing, fuel costs £1.63 per liter of diesel to fill up, making fuel one of the most significant expenses on a campervan trip in Scotland.

Gas / Propane / Butane

Gas to run a gas stove or gas heater is also quite expensive. We paid £35 to swap a 6kg gas cylinder (after we finally tracked one down).


Much of the public parking around Scotland is paid, especially in cities or near attractions. Parking might range from £1.50 an hour to £12 for 24 hours depending on where you are.

Attractions and Activities

The Eileen Donan Castle and bridge on a sunny day
To view the outside of castles is free but admission inside costs

We didn’t spend much on activities and attractions, preferring to explore the hikes and view castles from outside rather than inside, however, there are tons of paid attractions, activities, and tours on offer throughout Scotland here are some example costs:

Food and Beverage

You can’t travel through Scotland without sampling a few Scottish delicacies and a wee dram (drink usually whiskey). Food and drink aren’t cheap in Scotland, but it isn’t terribly expensive either. Here are some example costs for food in Scotland.

  • Pub / Restaurant Meal: £15 – £25
  • Pint: £5 – £7
  • Wee dram: £5 – £15
  • Fish and Chips (or other local fast food): £7.50
  • Coffee: £3 – £5

How Much Did We Spend Campervanning Scotland?

A woman playing a dice game and recording a score with a pen inside a camper van
Entertaining ourselves on our Scottish Campervan Trip

We spent around £800 ($1,000 USD) weekly for two people campervanning in Scotland. We didn’t have our own van when we toured Scotland, so we had to pay to rent a camper van, which was our most significant expense. Our costs of living outside the campervan rental were about £400 per week.

This is how our expenses broke down;

Van Rental£400
Eating Out£150
This is what we spent campervanning Scotland

Campervan Gas in Scotland

We would be remiss if we didn’t share something about the propane situation in Scotland, which is a bit funny. If you are relying on propane for cooking or in the cooler months, heating your van, you should know how (and where) to get gas when you run out.

If you have traveled in other countries where it is possible to re-fill your gas cylinder or those where it’s possible to swap any canister for any other canister of the same size at the petrol station or camping store, you will be in for a bit of a surprise here.

Traditional gas cylinders can seemingly not be refilled here, so they need to be swapped. There is a refillable type of canister sold at some outlets.

The leading gas suppliers here are Calor and Flo Gas, with Calor being far and away the most dominant. To get a Calor or Flo Gas cylinder, you need to have an existing cylinder of the same size and type to swap. Suppliers that sell Calor can’t also swap Flo Gas. To make matters worse, it seems that there is a bit of a shortage of gas cylinders in Scotland, so if you don’t already have one, it might take some running around to find one.

If you have a camping stove that uses Campingaz, there are a number of suppliers that will exchange cylinders.

All of this to say, make sure you plan ahead if you think you might need to refill gas as we were caught out without heat or cooking for two days when we found ourselves in the wrong part of the country with a Flo Gas Cylinder.

You can find stockists here or visit the individual company websites to find suppliers.

What to See On a Scottish Campervan Trip

a man looking at the view of mountains and lochs in Scotland from the top of Ben Nevis
Don’t miss the view from Ben Nevis

These are some of the best things to do and see when campervanning in Scotland.

  • Edinburgh – A picturesque medieval old town with castles, churches, and cobblestone streets makes Edinburgh a must-see on a Scottish road trip. Discover some of the best things to do in Edinburgh.
  • Glasgow – The architecturally beautiful city of Glasgow is packed with museums and cultural experiences as well as some of the best restaurants and bars Scotland has to offer
  • Cairngorms – Scotland’s largest national park is stacked with walks, hikes, and scenic vantages. You can skirt the edges of this mammoth park and dip in to check out the scenery or delve deeper and spend a few days camping and exploring. In the winter the Cairngorms is home to one of Scotland’s ski resorts.
  • Inverness – The gateway to the highlands Loch Ness and the NC 500, Inverness is also a worthwhile stop in its own right with castles, forts, museums, and galleries throughout the picturesque city
  • Aberdeen – Scotland’s third biggest city is known as the granite city for the pale stone that it was constructed from. The city is filled with beautiful museums, cathedrals, gardens, and cemeteries built on the back of the oil trade for which Aberdeen was famous.
  • St. Andrews – The scenic beachside town with wonderful architecture and historical ruins. It also has the first golf course, where golf was played in the 15th century!
  • Stirling – The small city of Stirling is Scotland’s youngest city, only granted city status in 2002. Known as the gateway to the highlands but has plenty to offer in its own right. The walkable city has plenty of beautiful architecture to gawk at as well as the historical castles, whiskey distillers, and golf courses you would expect of a Scottish city.
  • Loch Ness – One of Scotland’s most famous landmarks you probably already know about this loch and the mystery that surrounds it. However, the beauty of the loch and the surrounding scenery cannot be overstated.
  • Apple Cross – Just off the popular tourist route that navigates Skey, Apple Cross is an equally beautiful drive and the tiny charming village of Apple Cross and its legendary Inn.
  • The Isle of Skye – Famous for its strikingly beautiful landscapes Skye’s reputation as a tourist destination is backed up by many attractions, including distilleries, waterfalls, and iconic landmarks like the Old Man of Storr.
  • The Isle of Mull – Less famous than Skye, Mull is well worth a visit for its beautiful scenery including white sand beaches.
  • Glencoe – Here lies some of the most beautiful landscapes in all of Scotland and that is saying a great deal! The landscapes might be familiar because they often appear in media, including as settings in Highlander and James Bond.
  • The Argyll Coast – Fresh seafood, beautiful lochs, fascinating history, picturesque seaside towns, and distilleries make this stretch of Scotland’s coast one of the most iconic.
  • Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park – A favorite amongst outdoor enthusiasts the enchanting loch and its islands are surrounded by hills and mountains, woodlands and forest to hike through, and plenty of beautiful and historic settlements to discover.

Things to Do on a Campervan Trip in Scotland

a man hiking up Ben Nevis trail in Scotland on a sunny day
Walking and hiking are popular in the scenic Scottish countryside

As you can already see, Scotland has a wealth of things to do, even if you only have a few days to do it. There is, however, a “bucket list” of sorts of the best things to do on a campervan trip in Scotland. Do you think you can do each one on your campervanning trip in Scotland?

  • Hike a Mountain – The mountains in Scotland aren’t too high and there’s plenty to be conquered.
  • Wild Camp at Least Once – Take the opportunity to really explore the Scottish wilds by spending one night wild camped in your campervan.
  • Try Scottish Food – The Scottish may not be globally recognized for their food. Still, you can’t leave without trying Haggis neeps and tatties, made from sheep offal cooked in a sheep stomach served with mashed potatoes and turnips (much tastier than it sounds), a steak and ale pie, fish and chips or cullen skink, a  thick Scottish soup with smoked haddock, potatoes, and onions.
  • Try Scottish Dram – A wee dram is a little drink, and in Scotland that means scotch whiskey. Famous for their distinct whiskey Scotland has the highest concentration of distilleries in the world, with over 140 spread throughout the country. Stop at a distillery and take a tour, or try a flight at one of the many whiskey bars in Scotland.
  • Try a Scottish Ale – In the tradition of cask ales or ‘real ales’ the Scottish Ale is served room temperature, is slightly less carbonated, and usually has a stronger flavor profile than the keg beers you are probably used to if you’re not from the UK. While it is different it’s very suited to the climate and perfect for enjoying by the fire on a grizzly day.
  • Count Sheep – We couldn’t believe how many sheep we passed driving in Scotland, spotting the beautiful farmland pastures covered in shaggy white sheep never got old.
  • See the Wee Coos – Highland cattle are distinct and quite cute with their short stature, shaggy coats, and long horns.
  • Visit an Inn – On a rainy day (and there will be a rainy day) head for the nearest charming and historic inn, find a place near the fire, and enjoy a wee dram or Scottish ale.
  • See the Famous Movie Locations – Scotland has been the setting for many dramatic moments, check out the Eilean Donan Castle used in Highlander, the beautiful countryside of Glen Etive made famous in James Bond: Skyfall, and the numerous filming locations for the Outlander series.
  • Enjoy Seafood on the Coast – Oysters, mussels, haddock, langoustine and Scottish salmon are some of the absolutely delicious seafood this part of the world is known for.
  • Visit the Isles – Isles like Skye and Mull and the hundreds of others. Many of them feel like stepping back in time.
  • Stop at the West Highland Campsite – One of the only of its kind in Europe this not-for-profit campsite and hotel reinvests camping profits into creating a first-class campsite in a beautiful area north of Glasgow. The campsite is made available for free to local van lifers who may need it. A night stay here includes water, electricity, wifi, breakfast, access to a beautiful common room, pads with great views, and it’s for a good cause.
  • Stop for Tea and Scones – A right of passage in the UK, fresh scones with cream and jam and a hot tea is a fantastic combo, especially after a morning hiking or a long drive. Our favorite place for scones and tea was Ocho in Inverray (where you can swap your tea for a bloody mary).


Hopefully, we have been able to answer all your questions about van life and campervanning in Scotland. However, if you have a question or a comment please leave it in the comments below.

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  1. This is a super helpful, and very well written outline. And the video was fabulous too! Great production values! Thanks to you, I suspect we won’t run out of propane!

    1. Hi Beth, glad you found it useful. If we can save one road trip the discomfort of running out of gas we have done our job. Have a great trip.