The sun came out to play last weekend, so once we’d finished working at a local wedding on Saturday afternoon, we headed to East Lothian in Lola. We had been lucky enough to get a last minute booking on our favourite pitch at Thorntonloch and unbelievably despite the weather, Lola had a weekend off, so we seized the opportunity.
Pitch C9A is the perfect size for a campervan and looks directly onto the beach. Thortonloch is a very handy site to get away for a night, without travelling far at all. The beautiful beach is often empty and it’s hard to believe, you’re just south of Dunbar.
We BBQ’d chicken satay, enjoyed the beach and sunshine and then retreated into Lola when the midges came out at dusk.
I love chilling out in any of our campervans, they’re always fun and cosy to shelter in, when you don’t want to be outside any longer.
After a great night’s sleep and BBQ’d bacon butties for breakfast, we drove south on an adventure over the border.
Mighty Dub Fest
We had a rare Sunday off and our friends at Lothians Volkswagen Club had told us about a VW Festival they were going to for the whole weekend at Alnwick Castle, The Mighty Dub Fest.
To be honest we never dreamt we’d be able to make any of the numerous English VW Festivals, as they’re usually quite a drive and at our busiest time of year. So who were we to not let fate and Lola guide us to our closest one.
Once again the weather was glorious and as we’d hoped the selection of VWs on show was different from the ones we see at Volksfling, Route 90 and other Scottish car shows.
The setting in the fields below Alnwick Castle (of Harry Potter fame) was beautiful and the show was in two areas, making good use of the space. The Show and Shine display area could have been bigger but this is only an observation from someone who didn’t see what the festival looked like at its busiest, as some campers had left on the Saturday or Sunday morning before we arrived.
We enjoyed seeing some beautiful and rare models of air-cooled VWs, bumped into some friends, caught a little of the entertainment, browsed the stalls and ate at the catering campers before heading home.
Camping in Lola, for a sunny, summer weekend in the country, meant no sunburn or midge bites and huge grins all round.
Congratulations, you’re getting married! Your to-do list has ‘Wedding Car’ unchecked but what to consider before booking?
Here’s a 15 point checklist, based on our experience. We hope it will ease the journey.
Do you need a wedding car?
If you are getting ready at the venue but would like a special drive or vehicle for photos there are ways to achieve this.
Meg, our 1965 VW Splitscreen Microbus can transport Brides to the venue the day before. It’s more about the fun of the drive, than the professional photos. There could be somewhere special you want us to stop on the way.
We can collect you from hairdressers or home in the morning, when getting into dresses at the venue. We then collect the Groom and wait for photos after the ceremony.
How many people do you need to transport?
Some Brides wish to travel with only the person giving them away or with Bridesmaids, children, photographer… Meg seats seven besides the chauffeur.
Do you need one or more vehicles?
We are often asked to collect Groomsmen/ first Bride (when there are two Brides getting married) then Bridesmaids and a third run with Bride and Father. It depends on locations whether a double or triple run works.
This can be more cost effective than two vehicles. Our price is £390 for up to a 30 mile round trip from our Falkirk base. After this the price goes up £10 for up to 40 miles, £20 for up to 50 miles and so on.
While on the subject of pricing, check if the car goes up in price after a certain number of hours. Our price is for up to four hours, most weddings don’t need us longer and we don’t charge extra if we run over a bit but some companies do.
Bear in mind Meg can become part of the entertainment, as guests love to sit inside and pose for photos.
How much room do you need for your dress?
Will your dress fit in the vehicle? Can you get in and out easily without your dress getting crushed and how clean is the vehicle?
Are you having a theme, what is your style?
Be true to this with your vehicle choice but dare to be different if you wish as well. Classic ivory ribbons and bows are a popular choice but plenty Brides choose colours or flowers for decorations to personalise Meg’s appearance.
Are you choosing a reputable company?
Be sure to read reviews, ideally in more than one place. This could include Facebook, Google or Scottish Wedding Directory. Do they have a website? If not have you visited their premises?
Are you able to view the vehicle before booking?
A Wedding Transport company will have premises and welcome the opportunity to meet you. Not all Brides take this opportunity, you may be happy with online photos. We have 360o interior tours on our website, so you can see what our vehicles look like inside, in case you can’t come to view at our premises. I really love to meet our Couples, so I hope you do though!
Does the vehicle come with extras?
Are Champagne and a ‘Just Married’ sign included, are there umbrellas, mints, tissues and other emergency items on board? Meg has all of these and more. If you’d prefer something other than Champagne, no problem just let us know.
What photos would you like and is there anywhere special you’d like to go?
As an option we offer a Champagne drive to get photos at another location. It will depend on your venue grounds if you need this. Sometimes it’s just good to spend precious time, as a couple, away from the crowds. Other Brides don’t like the idea of being away from their guests or the party!
Is there heating?
What if the imagined sunshine in reality is rain or worse. Does the open topped or vintage vehicle you are dreaming of have heating? We have a modern heating system in Meg.
Is there music?
This is important to some Brides. We have had Bridal Party sing-alongs but details of what goes on in Meg, stays in Meg!
Meg has a selection of CDs at the ready, if you haven’t requested anything particular in advance or brought your own music. There’s an aux. cable for ipods and phones also.
What’s the spec of the vehicle?
Is it vintage or a kit car? If vintage and a VW is it the older splitscreen version, manufactured up to 1967 or a baywindow (’68-’79)? Is it a campervan used for camping with a sink & cooker in it, or a microbus with more seats like Meg?
If you or your intended would like to drive themselves, this is possible in our bay window campervans. Destination weddings, festival themed weddings with camping, weddings & honeymoons combined are examples of when Vintage VW Campers Couples may choose to self-drive. People have been using campervans for the convenience of carrying lots of people or lots of clobber since they were first around. Up to 4 people can go on our insurance, so others can help with the drive, if you let them!
We offer our Couples who book Meg for their Wedding a 20% discount on a self-drive holiday in a campervan. This can be used up to and including your first wedding anniversary.
When should you book?
It depends on luck or destiny if the vehicle you choose is available for your date. We are taking bookings up to 2019 but still have a few 2017 dates available. If you are a 2019 Bride and know what you want then secure your date and lock in today’s prices. Meg’s price hasn’t changed since 2015 and we have no foreseeable plans to change them. It’s £150 deposit, with the balance payment 8 weeks before your Day.
Gift for Bride or Groom?
Some of our Couples have surprised their intended by Meg turning up unexpectedly to transport their partner instead of the taxi or car they thought they were travelling in. This is such fun and can be a very treasured memory of the day. We have other surprise bookings coming up, so it could be you!
If we haven’t covered anything or you’d like to arrange a viewing or check availability please call Ishbel on 0131 344 4146 or email [email protected]
Our featured image is Rachael & Don by Matt Marcus. We always do our best to credit photographers & if not they have been taken by ourselves.
Are you looking forward to a summer in Scotland? Even if you live here or have visited before, there may be some hidden gems to discover.
Visit Scotland have given us the staycation term and 2017 as The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, so get behind the wheel of a 1960s or 1970s VW Campervan and go exploring on a nostalgic roadtrip.
If your bucket-list dream is to relax by a moonlit lochside or stunning beach, in one of our genuine Vintage VW Campers, then grab the opportunity to book while we still have 2017 campervan hire availability.
Near Vintage VW Campers HQ visit Kinneil House in Bo’ness, which has Open Days on 25th June, 27th August, 16th September & 29th October. The grounds are good to visit on any day of the year and their museum is open year- round but getting to step foot inside the former home of the Dukes of Hamilton and see the renaissance wall paintings is a rare and amazingly free opportunity.
For classic car lovers there’s a real treat on 2nd and 3rd September, when the Bo’ness Revival takes place at Kinneil Estate. The highlight of the weekend festival is the Bo’ness Hill Climb and 2017 marks the 70th anniversary of when the speed hill climb first took place, at Scotland’s first ever motor racing venue.
You can rev up for Bo’ness Revival by visiting the Doune Hill Climb first on 17th & 18th June. While you’re in Doune, if you haven’t been to the castle a lot of the world have already seen on Monty Python & The Holy Grail and Outlander, as Castle Leoch, you may want to stop off there.
Go to nearby Cardross Estate on 18th to 20th August for Doune the Rabbit Hole Festival, besides music there’s various arts and craft entertainment options for adults and kids. Camping with electric hook-up is available.
VW fans shouldn’t miss Route 90 at Lathalmond Vintage Bus Museum on 21st to 23rd July. Close to Dunfermline and now in its third year, this VW Show keeps getting bigger and better. Camping is available and the vehicles and people you meet are guaranteed eclectic but all connected by VWs.
Have a fun day out at Jupiter Artland. The sculpture park has incredible Charles Jencks landforms, like those you may have seen at The Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh. Or if you were lucky enough to have gone to the one day a year opening of The Garden of Cosmic Speculation at Portrack House near Dumfries, you will know his work. (Keep an eye on ‘Scotland’s Gardens’ for the 2018 Open Day date for the Garden of Cosmic Speculation.)
Meanwhile, back at Jupiter Artland, children and adults alike will be entertained by the interactive nature of the many other installations. This beautiful parkland is open to the public from May to October every year.
Travelling east to Tantallon Castle, built in the mid- 14th century but still impressive even as ruins today. Here you can climb to the towers and battlements and enjoy the views to Bass Rock. Take in the abundance of seabirds and the massive drop of the biggest remaining wall of this medieval castle, straight into the crashing waves below.
Ok, it is listed in our itineraries but we should mention the next few months are the best time of year to visit nearby St Abb’s Head Nature Reserve, the noise from the seabirds nesting on the cliffs is phenomenal.
The Borders & Dumfries
Head south to Scott’s View near St Boswells in The Borders. This magnificent viewpoint inspired some of Sir Walter Scott’s literature and he spent so much time here the horses pulling his hearse to Dryburgh Abbey are said to have paused here from habit or to allow their master one last look at the stunning landscape.
Spare the horses, as the campervan’s air-cooled engine takes you west to The Grey Mare’s Tail, one of Scotland’s highest waterfalls at 60m. Our recent rainfall has the advantage of making this more spectacular than ever! Around here you can spot birds of prey and enjoy some fine wild-camping spots.
Not far from here at Drumlanrig Castle, Dumfries, you can enjoy bands like Peter Hook & The Light, Frightened Rabbit, Dizzee Rascal and The Jesus & Marychain at Electric Fields Music Festival on 1st and 2nd September. If you’re quick they still have limited campervan passes available.
Head north-west to Kelburn Castle and Estate near Largs. Gaze in wonder at the modern graffiti on the ancient 13th century castle, camp in the grounds and enjoy some unique festivals. Looking for somewhere to take Dad on Fathers’ Day? It’s only a week away on 18th June and you can still treat him to our Fathers’ Day Campervan Gift Experience Offer. Or take him to Ginger Day at Kelburn Castle where you can enter suitable heads of hair into ‘The Ginger Prince’ and similar competitions.
From the 30th June to 3rd July the Kelburn Garden Party is a boutique music and arts festival worth a visit in the Castle grounds.
If you are interested in Scottish Wildcats, of which fewer than one hundred remain, then you should head for Newtonmore’s Wildcat Centre. You aren’t likely to spot one of Britain’s most endangered mammals in the wild but The Wildcat Experience is highly entertaining for children and adults too. This is possibly the best treasure hunt ever, as you have up to 131 model wildcats to spot hiding around the village.
There’s a serious side to the information available at the Wildcat Centre, as they need donations to the conservation project aiming to prevent the extinction of Britain’s last large mammal predator.
So, we hope it won’t be a busman’s holiday as you venture forth into a country you already love but wish to take a different perspective on. What better way than in a slow- moving campervan that allows you to marvel more at the place you are lucky enough to call home, even if it is just home while you park your vintage VW camper.
With just over a week until Fathers’ Day, you may be seeking inspiration for what to get the most important man in your life? (Well even if he isn’t now, he probably once was!)
In honour of all the great Dads out there, we’ve decided to run a special offer for the next ten days, up to & including Saturday 17th June 2017. We aren’t excluding any other campervan fans in your life, you can buy this gift for anyone but the special offer is only available for the next ten days, or while stock lasts.
So all you need to do is buy the campervan fan any one of our gift experience vouchers, which start at £50. Then when we post out the voucher, we’ll send with it a 15 x 10 x 2.5 cm photo block featuring The Kelpies and our VWs. And when the recipient arrives for their campervan holiday, they will receive a further gift of a 284mm ceramic mug, with another cool Kelpie and Campers photo on it. RRP of the two extra gifts combined is £20 and our gift also includes all postage costs worldwide. This offer will close either when we run out of our gift stock or in 10 days’ time, whichever arrives first.
A 1960s & 1970s VW Campervan trip is on many people’s bucket list and is all about making memories, being close to nature and enjoying the retro drive with proper reconditioned air-cooled engines. If you’re lucky whoever you buy the vouchers for may take you along with them!
Sorry The Royal Mail can’t guarantee delivery for UK Fathers’ Day on worldwide postage and the last postal date for UK delivery guaranteed in time for Fathers’ Day on Sunday 18th June 2017 is Wednesday 14th.
If you’d prefer to collect vouchers and gifts from our Falkirk HQ, this is possible but please call us on 0131 344 4146 to ensure we’re around before you pop in.
For other T&C’s check out our Campervan Gift Voucher page.