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.
(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.
Seeking a classic Volkswagen Campervan?
Having now been lucky enough to buy five VW Bay Window Campervans and one VW Splitscreen Microbus, I’ve learnt from a few mistakes and picked up a few tips, which I hope may in turn help you.
Buy this book and actually read it: VW Bus Buyers Guide- The Essential Buyer’s Guide by Richard Copping & Ken Czervenka
Unless you already know a lot about air-cooled mechanics, the book will give you lots of useful information but it will probably also demonstrate the one most important thing in this buying process- TAKE AN EXPERT WITH YOU. Good air-cooled mechanics are few and far between but unless you know what you’re doing, you will need to build a good relationship with one anyway. Ask them to come on a pre-purchase inspection with you.
You could waste a lot of time and energy running around the country looking at campervans which don’t meet your requirements. All of our campers are same but different. Create a wish list of what you would like and if something doesn’t tick the boxes, ask yourself if you could add or take away to meet the requirement. Ask the right questions of the seller, before driving hundreds of miles. If you buy local, you’re more likely to build a handy relationship with the seller, which could lead to loads of advice everytime you meet them at a local VW show. (You know who you are, thanks!)
Try not to buy at peak season, it is more of a sellers’ market in Spring and the start of Summer. Don’t buy in Autumn or Winter, unless you already have a dry garage to store it in though.
Have a budget and stick to it, don’t be swayed by all the romantic notions of roadtrips, campfires and beaches which will run through your head as you view. Never ever name a campervan (even if only in your head) before the deal is done.
Know that you will be spending a lot after buying the campervan. Rust never sleeps it spreads rapidly. A magnet can help you see where there’s hidden filler but rust can be hidden and a lovely shiny paint job can sometimes demonstrate this. You need a proper old school mechanic with T2 experience, unless you are lucky enough to be able to look after the myriad of mechanical parts which can fail yourself. Our fleet is kept in their amazing condition by Solway Campers.
If there’s not much petrol in the tank, ask to see it full. That way you won’t buy a campervan, where someone has put a screw through the petrol tank from the back seat/rock and roll bed. That way you won’t discover this as petrol is spilling out onto the forecourt the first time you fill up. (Again, you know who you are, thanks!)
Join a local VW Club and see if you can even purchase from one of their long term members or friends. If you are lucky the amount of advice and friendship these guys will share with you is priceless.
Once you’ve bought it, use it! Don’t hide it away. You will invest a lot of time and money into it over the years and you must know that you will get the use of it for holidays and daytrips for years to come. Enjoy!
Here’s a sneaky peek at our newest family member, meet Agnes…
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!
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?
Wedding Shows Vintage VW Style
As 2014 creeps past Halloween into an unseasonably warm November it seems an appropriate time to assess the wedding shows we have attended, to aid our planning for next year.
Two of them have been the Vintage Wedding Shows in Edinburgh; the Roxy in March and The Caledonian Waldorf Astoria in September.
Each bringing specialist, stylish vintage suppliers to what might have been described as ‘a happening’ back in the ’60s.
Then the two local ones, The Falkirk Wedding Show in that homage to ’60s architecture that is the Falkirk Town Hall and the far more beautiful, Callendar House Wedding Fair.
Finally the biggest, busiest extravaganza that was The Scottish Wedding Show at SECC. Three very different types of wedding show, all great fun to be at.
The shows all had something in common though; a real buzz of excitement, a feeling of love and joy and some seriously overwhelmed brides. As I invited the brides-to-be to step into Meg’s calming interior, I witnessed many creased foreheads smooth and many tensed shoulders relaxing.
” This is exactly what I want” was on many beautiful lips.
Sure Meg isn’t for everyone; she is very unique, fun and bright. Among a sea of silver and white wedding cars she stands out, as the ‘something blue’ for couples who like to be different. She can also of course be your ‘something borrowed’.
That’s precisely why she has been booked as a wedding gift from one fiance/e to another several times. Imagine the surprise on your betrothed’s face, when expecting the family car to turn up, they are met by Meg.
Realistically there are many romantic reasons why you may choose to book Meg, not least because she will be 50 in 2015 but there is also a smart, economical fact as well. She seats seven besides the chauffeur and if your venue and pick-up points aren’t too far apart, you can use her to transport both groomsmen and bridal parties. Now that’s canny!
Meg can be booked for all kinds of special occasions, more on that later. It’s also worth noting that Meg can also double up as your photobooth, should you want one. This will allow your guests to experience sitting in a beautifully restored 1965 Volkswagen Splitscreen Microbus as well. Sharing the joy- just the way we like it!
Next week we will be without a camper but taking bookings inside The Edinburgh Corn Exchange Wedding Fair.