There are still spare campervans if anyone is looking for a last minute October getaway next week?
One of the best things about the nights drawing in, is the feeling of contentment you get when snuggled up in cosy spaces. I think our Danish guests would call it ‘Hygge’.
Lola & Oor Wullie have ‘Propex’ heating for wild camping. All of our campervans come with an electric heater for hook-up in campsites. It’s so cosy being tucked up inside the campers at this time of year. So grab your fairy lights and get packing!
There are some great campsites that have fire pits like the Red Squirrel in Glencoe (no electric hook-up though.) Or camp beside the beach in one of the many great sites dotted around our coastline, in places such as Arisaig or Fortrose. A fire on the beach is one of the best ways to beat the chill.
The sound of the rutting of the stags is another of my favourite things about camping at this time of year. Eerie and majestic those mating calls can be heard easily throughout the countryside now.
Or just enjoy the dark skies & see if you can get a campervan & Northern Lights photo. The Aurora Borealis is often best seen in the Highlands but as Galloway has the UK’s only ‘Dark Sky Park’ you can head in any direction to spot them, so long as you’re away from light pollution.
Campervans are great for chasing the sun, or the Northern Lights. With your holiday home on wheels you can get a taste of vanlife this autumn in Scotland.
Grab a last minute holiday bargain at £99 per night when you book 6 nights now. Price includes fully comprehensive insurance for up to 4 qualifying drivers and all of the camping equipment you could need.
What to do for the Weekend?
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.
(Which aren’t in Edinburgh or Glasgow, or even on Skye!)
Edinburgh and Glasgow are both amazing cities with great architecture, galleries, history, people to meet and places to go. But what if you have time to spend elsewhere in this beautiful country and you’d like to know where the locals would go?
Most of Scotland’s population live in ‘the central belt’ and since 2013 many of them have been flocking to marvel at the world’s largest equine sculpture: The Kelpies. Designed by sculptor, Andy Scott, the two horses’ heads are built over 30ft high in steel. Situated in Helix Park in Falkirk, a five minute drive from Vintage VW Campers HQ. The nearby Falkirk Wheel is the world’s only rotating boat-lift, which links the Forth & Clyde with the Union Canal and is also a must-see when in the area.
Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is on our doorstep, just under an hour’s drive brings you to the bustling town of Callandar. Several lochs are in this area providing fishing by permit or other water sports activities. The walking and wildlife watching opportunities here are also fantastic. The Park has become so popular with locals that a byelaw has been passed preventing wild camping in the area; fortunately, there are plenty great campsites to choose from.
A three hour drive from Falkirk will bring you to another favourite town, Oban. Oban is a fun port town with opportunities to buy seafood from the pier, take a hike up to McCaigs Tower to see the amazing view. Visit the Oban distillery and take a boat trip to watch seals or take a ferry to Mull, which is a great island to camp on. A boat trip from Mull or Oban brings you to the famous sea cave, Fingal’s Cave on Staffa.
Also a three hour drive from Falkirk will take you north to Lochaber and Scotland’s most famous glen, Glencoe. The drive through Rannoch Moor, just before the glen is similarly spectacular. Glaciers and volcanoes formed the breath-taking scenery around here. Glencoe mountain resort is great for thrill-seekers; hiking, climbing, mountain biking and skiing are all popular pastimes here. There is a National Trust for Scotland Visitor Centre to help you discover the history of the Glencoe massacre.
A further two hour drive brings you from Glencoe to Arisaig. Arisaig is a small village at the start of sandy coastline which runs up to the Sands of Morar. Not only are the white sand beaches stunning but the views to the Isles of Eigg and Rum are similarly so. A perfect spot to catch an amazing sunset from the many great campsites along the shoreline.
If you have time to drive the North Coast 500, then do not miss Sango Sands, a mere 259 miles from Vintage VW Campers HQ is this other-worldly beach at Durness. As you are now at the end of the Scottish mainland, you could say you are at the end of the earth in some respects. The beach is surrounded by cliffs and conveniently at the top of those cliffs is a great campsite. Durness is the village where John Lennon spent his childhood holidays and understandably had to bring Yoko for a visit in later life. Also check out nearby Balnakeil Beach and Craft Village. Be sure to have a hot chocolate at Cocoa Mountain.
So now only the sea separates you from the Orkney Islands, the nearest port from Durness is Scrabster, but you can also take ferries here from Aberdeen or Gills Bay. The west Orkney mainland is a magical pre-historic landscape protected by its UNESCO World Heritage Site status. The Ring of Brodgar standing stone circle was built between 2500 and 2000 BC and its unconfirmed purpose adds to the mystery. The nearby Skara Brae was built in 3200 BC and is an amazing Stone Age village.
From Ullapool or Skye you can catch a ferry to the adjoining islands of Lewis & Harris, once again history and beaches are two of the main attractions here for many. The Callanish Standing Stones are as unexplained and magical as the Ring of Brodgar is. The west coast Harris beach of Luskentyre regularly appears in lists of top beaches of the world and it is indeed stunning but do not miss Ardroil Beach in Uig Bay on Lewis. Like Sango Sands it has an ends of the earth feeling and given there’s not much between here and America except ocean, you can understand why.
Back down the country, this time on the east coast is the charming East Neuk of Fife. Just over an hour’s drive from Falkirk brings you to this stretch of coastline, peppered with quaint fishing villages and beaches. Neuk is the Scots word for corner and this is indeed a very special corner of the world.
So most people have now heard of the North Coast 500 but did you know that the West Coast 400 is now a packaged adventure roadtrip you can dip in and out of covering Oban to Campbelltown? We also have a South West 300 roadtrip and this takes in stunning drives like The Devil’s Beeftub and favourite spots like Moffat & Kirkcudbright.
I have a deep, life-long love of Skye, having holidayed here in the 70s and every decade since. It is the most popular location for Vintage VW Campers guests to go but it can get crowded in summer months and I’d recommend going here in Spring or Autumn if you can.
We have other itinerarysuggestions and recommended campsitesto help you plan your roadtrip. Or choose your favourite campervan on our fleetand get bookedwith us for an adventure of a lifetime.
Vintage VW Campers, based in Falkirk hire out Volkswagen Bay Window campervans for self-drive holidays and a chauffeur-driven VW Splitscreen Microbus for Weddings and events. They are among the select number of businesses to be featured by the ‘Small Biz 100’ campaign each day for the 100 days leading up to Small Business Saturday on December 3rd.
The business started trading in 2014 and was born out of a lifetime love of exploring Scotland, demonstrating Scotland’s famous hospitality and of course campervans. All of the 1960s & 1970s vehicles have been lovingly restored and are fine examples of classic Volkswagens.
Ishbel Moffat, owner of Vintage VW Campers, said: “We are delighted to be part of the Small Biz 100; championing independent, smaller businesses is very close to our hearts. Like many we look back nostalgically on 1970s shopping trips to exciting, independent retailers and wish our High Streets were just as bustling now.
The Scottish Tourism industry is made up of so many small businesses and we can achieve more working in collaboration. We actively promote the small businesses at home and on our regular tourist routes.
Richie Baird, my partner and I set up Vintage VW Campers following redundancy from separate employers. Redundancy has led to the creation of thousands of small businesses and if we don’t buy from them now, we will lose them all over again.”
Christmas Shopping VW Campervan Event
“On Saturday 3rd December we will be holding an open day at our Granary Square HQ. A chance for visitors to get up close and personal with some of our VWs and perhaps do some Christmas shopping as well. We will be selling campervan experience gift vouchers, upcycled VW parts (think clocks made out of hubcaps) and our campervan photobooth could provide the perfect image for your 2016 Christmas Cards! Everyone purchasing something on the day will be entered into a prize draw for a night away in one of our campervans as well. This includes online sales, so you don’t need to be there to enter but as we are a five minute drive from The Kelpies, Callander House & The Falkirk Wheel you may want to make a day of it.”
If you can’t make the Open Day but would like to view any of our VWs, please email [email protected] to arrange an appointment.
If you would like to buy gift vouchers online learn how to here
What is Small Business Saturday?
In its fourth year, Small Business Saturday is already the UK’s most successful small business campaign – in 2015 it saw £523m spent with small businesses across the UK, an increase of £119m from the previous year.
Last year the campaign trended at number one in the UK on Twitter on the day, with more than 100,000 campaign-related tweets being sent.
Small Business Saturday is a grassroots, not-for-profit organisation, originally founded by American Express in the US in 2010 as part of its ongoing commitment to encourage consumers to shop small.
The campaign also benefits from the backing of leading business organisations including the Federation of Small Businesses.
Catriona Cripps, FSB’s Chair in Forth Valley, said: “It is fantastic to see a great Falkirk business like Vintage VW Campers to be selected as one of prestigious “Small Biz 100”. I am delighted for Ishbel.
“We have lots of amazing independent smaller firms in Falkirk, and we want the people in Falkirk to get behind Small Business Saturday campaign by buying, eating or playing with local firms. Small businesses are the backbone of Falkirk’s economy, and Small Business Saturday is an opportunity to highlight their great role and give them a bit of extra love.
“Although the campaign focuses on one day, the goal is to have a lasting impact on small businesses by changing mind-sets, so that people make it their mission to support small businesses all year round.”
VW Camper Adventures in Scotland
As we reflect on what feels like a very quick year at Vintage VW Campers HQ, we are delighted by looking back over our guests’ photos and sharing them with you. Hope they delight you too!
We actually could do with your help please in choosing an overall winner from the top twenty featured here. Not only will you be in with a chance of winning a £50 voucher to put towards your own Vintage VW Campers adventure, simply by voting for the winner; you will also be helping our winning guest get a fabulous goodie bag.
Lola at possibly the best picnic bench in the world by Andrew Webster
Lola in Glencoe3 by Jonny Danks
Oor Wullie with Ava by Alison Peden
Ziggy in sunshine by Gareth Walker
Thanks for looking, now please cast your vote on Facebook or email the title of your favourite to [email protected] If you vote for the winning photo, you will be put in a draw to win £50 voucher towards a trip with us, what a great way to start 2016!
Our ‘New’ Teardrop Trailer: The Nodpod T2
What is a Teardrop Trailer?
Teardrop Trailers are mini caravans, which became popular in the US in the 1930s. Their popularity has never waned but recently they have crossed into mainstream popularity thanks to the glamping phenomenon and modstalgia.
We became custodians of The Nodpod when we bought Lola, our orange 1972 VW T2. ” Don’t ask me to sell them separately” said Paul, whom I’d recently become acquainted with through his ebay advert for Lola. “I wouldn’t dream of spliting them up”, replied I.
My reasons were: I believe VW T2 heritage should be maintained wherever possible, I would no more split the vehicles up than change their names, asthetically they looked amazing together and I loved the practicality of having a seperate vehicle towed behind your VW Camper, creating two unique living areas, bedrooms and kitchens.
We have recently rebuilt our Teardrop Trailer A.K.A The Nodpod, by using our old one as a template. It had become necessary as the wood was rotting and we wanted an improved and watertight version. Luckily we had a very talented carpenter on hand, Steven Clark. Stevie hadn’t build a teardrop before but he had built campervan interiors. His skills and up for it can do attitude, merged well with those of Mr Vintage VW Campers and together over several days and nights they took the old trailer apart and used it as a template to build the new one in marine ply timber.
Stevie introduced us to dibond, a composite material used in sign-making and also the talented Paul Connelly of Connelly Design, who after the marine ply had been wrapped in dibond, was able to vinyl wrap the ‘Pod. This along with the hurricane hinge sourced from a US Teardrop firm make the Nodpod as watertight as we hoped.
The End Result
We have a fantastic pair in Lola and the Nodpod, they are perfect for a family or group of friends holiday, for those who don’t want to spend the entire holiday in each others pockets. We have also found The Nodpod is popular with couples who want extra storage space, when going away in Lola. If Lola is booked without the Nodpod, then you can hire the Nodpod to tow behind your own vehicle, if you have a tow bar with single electrics and a seven pin point.
The Nodpod is great for events and festivals, the kitchen area can be used as a bar, with the living/sleeping area providing great storage potential.
Go on the Best Camping & Glamping Holidays in Scotland
2014 has been an amazing year for us and our customers, we have all been on journeys of different sorts and collectively we’d like to share the highlights.
When we started posting our guests’ photos on Facebook back in April, we promised to award a prize for the most popular; that means we now need you to please vote for your own personal favourite from these cool images below. To do this either email [email protected] or hop over to www.facebook.com/vintagevwcampers and leave a comment on this post.
First up, some fantastic images from Alison Scott and friends on Easter holiday with Lola & The Nodpod-
Then Sami and Celine on Easter holiday in Oor Wullie-
Next up, beautiful Ava & Lola
Andrew was snug as a bug in Oor Wullie’s pop top roof-
Then the lovely Burns’ family’s adventures with Lola-
As Germany were winning the World Cup, Dirk and Lily were venturing into the Highlands with Lola-
Christine & Lyn treated Oor Wullie to a fun weekend at 80’s Rewind Festival-
Pau went into the forest with Lola-
Then to Skye with Ziggy and Laia
Liz and Reece got this shot of Oor Wullie and The Kelpies from a safe layby. The Kelpies are 5 minutes away from our HQ and best visited by Shanks’s Pony.
Heather treated her husband to a surprise tour of The Hebrides in Lola-
The intrepid Batchelor Family ventured into the mist with Lola & The Nodpod
Oor Wullie was getting a bit of a party animal reputation, as he headed to Wickerman Festival with Sandra & friends
Sandra & Wullie at Wickerman
Two icons were caught on camera together by Scott Hughes-
We were also sent lots of brilliant photos of Meg the splitscreen microbus, at weddings and on day trips but as they were usually taken by professional photographers, it wouldn’t be fair to share them here. Thanks to all our 2014 guests who shared photos with us of their VW dreams becoming reality.
Time to get planning, the 2015 roadtrip is about to begin: will it be the year for your Vintage VW Campers adventure?