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sampvt

The North Of Scotland ?

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My mate has just got back from the anti clockwise route in the north of Scotland starting at Inverness and he had a blast. Hes gone again to Spain so I cant speak to him but would anyone have any info on this route. It is supposed to be very scenic but can it be done in a caravan.

 

Looking to do it on Da and CL sites with 3 or 4 day stop overs and probably 2 or 3 weeks for the loop. Any ideas would be gratefully received.

Edited by sampvt
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If you mean the North Coast 500, then no, it can't all be done towing. From memory, there's only one section that would be a total no go. Caravans are prohibited on the Bealach Na Ba, near Applecross, for good reason.

 

There are also some lengthy sections of single track road with passing places, in particular around Glen Torridon, up towards Durness, and near Bettyhill. They may be ok if you're a confident tower, but there's definitely some tight sections.

 

If you've never been,it's a cracking part of the UK, I get up there a couple of times a year on the motorbike or for climbing trips. The scenery and mountains are more spectacular on the west than the east, in my opinion. And of course, if you're stopping for a few days in places, you can find easier towing routes, then explore from your site.

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I have done it all at some point exept the afore mentioned Bealach Na Ba as stated because vans are banned for a very good reason, I did it with a Skoda felicia 1. 6 towing a twelve foot van, it is doable if you are brave enough as some of the roads, mainly the one to Apple cross are not for the fainthearted ie the other half hated every inch of that road. all the rest is fine though as a lot more of the roads and now full width,, GO FOR IT!

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There are actually 2 sections which are stated to be unsuitable for caravans on signs by the road. The section around the Applecross peninsula has already been mentioned above. It is spectacular and well worth driving solo. The Kinlochewe CC site makes a good base to do that stretch. The other section is further North on the West Coast beyond Lochinver where the section from Clachtoll via Drumbeg to the A894 is quite rightly not recommended.

 

All the other sections are towable and there are relatively few single track with passing places sections these days. All the route from Inverness to Thurso is good twin track and it is only some sections across the top that are still single track and from 10 miles South of Durness it is all twin track. I have towed them all with no problems and you rapidly adapt to driving on the single track roads. They are mainly across clear areas so you can usually see a long way ahead and you will find that the motorists driving the other way see your large white caravan in the distance and pull into the passing place or wait beside it, if it is on your side of the road. You usually raise a hand in acknowledgement and thanks. There are no hills that will give you a problem when towing.

 

There are relatively few CLs along the route - I think only Kinlochbervie and Elphin on the West coast from memory. However, there are many well run privately owned sites along the way, most of which do not take bookings and are realistically priced. The ones at Durness, Scourie and Ardmair Point have super views whilst the Ullapool and Gairloch sites have very easy access to bars and restaurants etc.

 

You are allowing a generous time to do the loop. Activities that you may wish to consider are a solo drive onto the Black Isle to see the dolphins at Chanonary Point (or take the van and stay at the Fortrose site within walking distance), a day trip as a foot passenger to Orkney Islands from John O Groats, from Durness taking the small ferry and minibus to visit Cape Wrath itself, taking the rib across to Handa Island and seeing the masses of sea birds including Puffins, take the boat trip to the Summer Isles from Ullapool (we saw dolphins on it last Sep) and just enjoy the ever changing magnificent scenery.

 

For timing, I would recommend May/June or September to avoid the crowds and keep your fuel tank topped up.

 

Anymore questions - just ask.

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Its magnificant - go there!

Fill up with fuel when you can, plan your route and book sites.

If/when we do it again 6 weeks would be about the right time.

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September to avoid the midgies!

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Not only keep your fuel tank topped but also your wallet. Fuel up there is far more expensive than the supermarkets further south. eg Inverness.

Might be a consideration to carry a can of diesel with you on the remotest part of journey.

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