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Hello everyone, hope you are all keeping safe. 

I'm hoping to tour the north east of Scotland in June /July (fingers crossed) . Can anyone suggest a route from Colchester driving for about 4hours(nice and leisurely) up through the black country into Lake District and onwards from there. 

I'd like some nice sites to stay on for a few nights on our journey.

Thank you

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Kendal CMC is ten mins from J36 of the M6. Near a place called Stainton and in an old gunpowder works. Tis woody not open. 

I would avoid a CL on the southern edge of Kendal. 

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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Any particular areas of NE Scotland you’re intending visiting and for how long? There are a number of decent locations along the Moray Coast, an area we’re familiar with. I’ve spotted one or two sites we fancy in Aberdeenshire. We’ve also stayed at a small friendly site on the north bank of the Moray Firth too.

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No idea what or where would interest you on your way north - but with your four hour limit from home, then Alton Towers, National Trust at Biddulph, or even a day in Chester might all be in that range for your first day.  Then the Lake District is an easy run from there. 

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Surely your route takes you to the North West of Scotland.

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Deckchair, in the times we've travelled down south from NE Scotland (Aberdeenshire), I've stopped at Chapel Lane Birmingham usually on the south bound leg and Kendal club site when north bound (both CMC sites) and both easy to get to from motorway. Advantage of being club sites you can just book the one night for a stop over.

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We did three weeks in North WEST Scotland in 2018. What draws you to North East Scotland over the West? We did feel that the West side has more to offer.

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The advantages of the NE Scotland over NW in June and July is that there are no midges at the coastal sites, the weather is normally drier and it is less crowded.  The NW is becoming overrun since the NC500 was invented and staycations were made much more popular.  Be aware that Scottish school holidays start towards the end of June; much sooner than those in England.

 

We like the Banff Links site which is on a mile long lovely beach.  It is family run, has a mix of statics and tourers and is very popular with  families from the area who go there year after year.  Further West the small site at Findochty (pronounced Finechty) is adjacent to the harbour and a pub and has wonderful sea views - we have watched dolphins whilst sitting outside the van.  It is family run, situated on a rocky part of the shore, the facilities are old but kept immaculate.  It seems to have become relatively expensive given the facilities but maybe the view and location are worth it.

 

The CMC site at Banchory is the usual regimented high standard and is ideally situated to visit both Deeside and Aberdeen.  We have yet to use the  CMC Stonehaven site but have heard the usual good reports.

 

I would recommend having a few nights in Edinburgh on your way up.  Lots to see either in the city or within reasonable driving distance: Forth Bridges,  Falkirk Wheel, the Kelpies and lots more.  The CMC site, is well places has transport direct to the centre or a short walk for several buses gives you more flexibility.

 

 

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If you went up the A1 - Ripon/Thirsk/York are about 4 to 5 hours from Colchester.

 

I live in North Yorkshire and visit NE Scotland once or twice a year.  My usual route is up the A1, cut across to the M6/M74 at Scotch Corner, then up the A9 (this avoids the Edinburgh bypass which I hate).  About 4 hours from North Yorkshire would bring you to Hamilton and a stopover at Strathclyde CMC site would let you have a quick visit to Glasgow.  From Hamilton its another 4 hours to Elgin or Banff.  If going to Banff, its better to head for Dundee (new V & A museum), then round the new bypass at Aberdeen.  

 

To those who have never been to the North East of Scotland - Banff Links is fantastic (Banff less so), West Beach at Hopeman towards Elgin is another great site (though a bit pricey).  As Burstneraddict mentions - there are no midges.  Although the scenery is perhaps less picturesque than the west coast - its a lovely area and less touristy. 

 

There is the Culloden battlefield, a number of whiskey trails, Pennan village (where they filmed Local Hero), there is a small aquarium at MacDuff, Duff House in Banff, numerous coastal golf courses, Cullen Skink soup (in Cullen), a motor museum in Elgin, a very small aircraft centre at RAF Kinloss, even visit the Baxters factory 

Edited by Aitch
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another +1 for Banff, or slightly further round the coast, Portsoy and Sandend, inland Ballater, Braemar and Tarland are all good deeside sites.

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11 hours ago, burstneraddict said:

The advantages of the NE Scotland over NW in June and July is that there are no midges at the coastal sites, the weather is normally drier and it is less crowded.  The NW is becoming overrun since the NC500 was invented and staycations were made much more popular.  Be aware that Scottish school holidays start towards the end of June; much sooner than those in England.

 

We like the Banff Links site which is on a mile long lovely beach.  It is family run, has a mix of statics and tourers and is very popular with  families from the area who go there year after year.  Further West the small site at Findochty (pronounced Finechty) is adjacent to the harbour and a pub and has wonderful sea views - we have watched dolphins whilst sitting outside the van.  It is family run, situated on a rocky part of the shore, the facilities are old but kept immaculate.  It seems to have become relatively expensive given the facilities but maybe the view and location are worth it.

 

The CMC site at Banchory is the usual regimented high standard and is ideally situated to visit both Deeside and Aberdeen.  We have yet to use the  CMC Stonehaven site but have heard the usual good reports.

 

I would recommend having a few nights in Edinburgh on your way up.  Lots to see either in the city or within reasonable driving distance: Forth Bridges,  Falkirk Wheel, the Kelpies and lots more.  The CMC site, is well places has transport direct to the centre or a short walk for several buses gives you more flexibility.

 

 

Funnily enough Banff Links was one I was alluding to, been going since I was a kid (and that wasn’t yesterday haha) and we intend going with our van this year if possible. Another good site as far as standard goes is Hopeman but we now refuse to go as the owner is a rude idiot.

North of the Moray Firth there’s Fortrose and it’s neighbouring site Rosemarkie.

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1 hour ago, BM Bairn said:

Another good site as far as standard goes is Hopeman but we now refuse to go as the owner is a rude idiot.

 

I've been going to hopeman for about 7 years (includes a year or so before the current owners took it over) and was going to mention the current owners but thought it was just me that had a not very high opinion of them....

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Thank you all for your input, much appreciated.

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Is there a particular reason you want to go via the Black Country by which I assume you mean Dudley/ Wolverhampton area ?

 

If so then, using CMC sites :-

Oxford - Bladon Chains

Solihull

Leek

Royal Vale (Northwich area)

Lake District

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When you say "leisurely" and "4 hours" are you meaning motorway or non-motorway? There is a world of difference, particularly through the Black Country!

If you want motorway, how far do you stray from the motorway for each stop?

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I had thought A14 , M6 and stopping off at various places on the way,  I'm not too bothered how far to stray from motorway,  just want some nice scenic stopovers on the way.  As for visiting the black country I wanted to visit some cotton mills and steam engines. 

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Then see Queen Street Mill near Blackburn. The world's biggest weaving shed with about 300 looms driven from line shafting from a steam engine. Original engine and boilers. Defo a site to be seen and maybe 40 mins off M6, probably around J29'ish. 

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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20 hours ago, Aitch said:

I've been going to hopeman for about 7 years (includes a year or so before the current owners took it over) and was going to mention the current owners but thought it was just me that had a not very high opinion of them....

No, you’re not alone. It’s really annoying as I would go as far as to say it’s one of the best touring sites we’ve stayed at as far as location, pitches, facilities are concerned. We initially saw some of his replies to customers on tripadvisor and thought his replies were a bit cutting. But no, he’s like that with everyone. He shouldn’t be anywhere near a customer facing role. No doubt they will keep getting the trade but we decided never to go back purely on his shocking manner and our dealings with him last season where he sent an email to another of his staff about us accidentally copying us in. Would rather give somewhere else my cash.

Edited by BM Bairn
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If heading to the North East of Scotland from Essex I would use the M11/ A1. That would give you lots of site options after 4 hours driving as you will be well into Yorkshire. 

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19 hours ago, Deckchair said:

I had thought A14 , M6 and stopping off at various places on the way,  I'm not too bothered how far to stray from motorway,  just want some nice scenic stopovers on the way.  As for visiting the black country I wanted to visit some cotton mills and steam engines. 

I have news for you! The Black Country never was famous for cotton milling so I don't think that there any preserved Mills.

As to steam engines, your best bet is the Black Country museum in Dudley.

I'm not sure where you could stay, but to the west is actually fairly rural and I am sure that there must be some CLs.

No doubt others will suggest specific sites.

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54 minutes ago, Stevan said:

I have news for you! The Black Country never was famous for cotton milling so I don't think that there any preserved Mills.

As to steam engines, your best bet is the Black Country museum in Dudley.

I'm not sure where you could stay, but to the west is actually fairly rural and I am sure that there must be some CLs.

No doubt others will suggest specific sites.

 

Wassell Grove Camping at Hagley  is 7 miles from Black Country Museum.

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If you want to go to the Black country Museum you could stop,at the CMC site at High  Onn , not too far from the M6 or Affiliated site at Bridgnorth. 

There are also steam engines at Blists Hill museum in Ironbridge. Its not mills but ironworking like the Black Country Museum. 

 

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If you are going from Colchester then you would normally use the A1 up to Berwick and on to Edinburgh and the M9/A9 from there. Going via Lancashire and the lakes is a lot further although the East coast one way and the West coast the other might work.

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The downside of the A14 after Huntingdon is the huge number of roundabouts - you get dizzy!

I would suggest stay on A14 and join A1 which is an easy run and not too busy most days. It takes us 2½ hours from Harrogate to just north of Cambridge, so I would expect maybe 3½hrs to here from Colchester. There is a caravan site at the Great Yorkshire Showground that has a food shop/cafe/restaurant close by and you can walk in the Showground at any time, and 150yds further is a Sainsburys. There is also a CMC site at Scotton just outside Knaresborough which also has a bar and bistro. For both of these you can leave the A1(M) at 46 or 47 and for a bit of variation you can go via Ripon and back onto the A1 at J50. Then stay on the A1 all the way to Edinburgh - there are a couple of sites in Northumberland inland and coastal. At Edinburgh go on the A720 by-pass up to the Forth Bridge, and for preference I would go up the coast road to Aberdeen or Fraserburgh, along the cost to Lossiemouth and possibly Inverness, and then back through the mountains past Balmoral to Perth, or run down Loch Ness to Fort William and across to Oban.

The A1 is a much more pleasant road to drive than the M6/M74 and there is some superb scenery. If you want a stop near Edinburgh try CMC Yellowcraig which is close to the Firth of Forth coast.

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3 hours ago, 664DaveS said:

If you want to go to the Black country Museum you could stop,at the CMC site at High  Onn , not too far from the M6 or Affiliated site at Bridgnorth. 

There are also steam engines at Blists Hill museum in Ironbridge. Its not mills but ironworking like the Black Country Museum. 

 

Good idea, Ironbridge also gives easy access back to Telford and onward via the A5 to the A38 to head north to the M1.

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