Viewing 40 posts - 41 through 80 (of 81 total)
  • Campervan overnighting spots, Loch Lomond, Balloch-ish
  • Premier Icon aberdeenlune
    Free Member

    I have noticed recently when passing Tomintoul several folk camping in the car park next to the tee junction with the Lecht road. The Tomintoul campsite is never full so these folk are just too miserable to pay. Saw one family in a VW van set up with a toilet tent and table chairs etc out in the grass next to the car park. Certain folk have some brass neck.

    Premier Icon Marin
    Free Member

    Social media is killing off all the good spots by people broadcasting where to park up. Better to be unhelpfull on these occasions.

    Premier Icon dovebiker
    Free Member

    We live in Tobermory – house is down a nondescript gravel track that leads to a building site between a builders yard and merchants. It is not on any maps. I heard a vehicle coming down the track as I was in the garden – a brand new 21 plate camper was coming down the track and promptly U-turned when I walked out. He was parked in the Tobermory harbour car park the next morning – there were still places at the campsite. I’m sorry, I’ve got no time for freeloaders, particularly ones driving £50k+ campers.

    Premier Icon kcal
    Full Member

    had this discussion (well, agreement) the other day while out for walk with mrs kcal. Prompted by the number of CVs at Burghead and by association at Findhorn. I suspect they do think they’re putting one over the greedy (*) campsites by doing their own thing, while as you say swanning about in 25/45ks worth of ‘van.

    Not all I know, there’s flexibility as well, but groundswell turning against I feel.

    Maybe arbitrary decimation of CVs entering a specific e.g. NC500 ‘zone’ ?

    Premier Icon TheBrick
    Free Member

    Social media is killing off all the good spots by people broadcasting where to park up. Better to be unhelpfull on these occasions

    Same with lots of unofficial trails I fear.

    I’m sorry, I’ve got no time for freeloaders, particularly ones driving £50k+

    I’ve got a double standard / inverse snobbery on this one. Stealth camped, more hippy types, no camp site set up out side the van, arrive late leave early. No issue. Big obvious motor home sat outside with deck chairs all evening, go pay £20 for somewhere.

    Premier Icon IHN
    Full Member

    Stealth camped, more hippy types, no camp site set up out side the van, arrive late leave early.

    This would have been us. I didn’t want to camp, I wanted to park.

    Premier Icon duncancallum
    Full Member

    I’m hypocritical

    Aa I’ve done it. Out of site of people houses nice and out of the way etc in a very low key van.

    But I dislike seeing huge beige wobble boxes bunched up in a lay by.

    Went the shop yesterday and in .5 of a mile passed 4….

    Premier Icon stevemuzzy
    Free Member

    Part of the problem is us scots see tourists as a nuisance, as opposed to the cash cow they should be.

    There has to be opportunity for locals to sell stuff to these campervans. Even things like “10 quid and I take your rubbish” or a bag full of beer etc.

    America embraces the rv, maybe its time we did too?

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    Part of the problem is us scots see tourists as a nuisance, as opposed to the cash cow they should be.

    I do agree with you on that, absolutely, but to be honest it’s questionable if any of them bring any financial benefit to the area they’re in. The cat is out the bag though, they ain’t going away, infrastructure is required to milk it and improve the whole situation.

    Premier Icon tuboflard
    Full Member

    I suspect they may buy perishables from the local supermarket, beer and wine and fill up at the petrol station along with a bag of Murray Mints but that’s about it and most of that cash goes to multinationals not independent traders.

    That might be a gross over simplification of the situation as some may purchase local goods too and services (museum visits for example) but suspect the majority come with the RV loaded with most of what they need for the trip.

    Premier Icon nbt
    Full Member

    having seen @IHN’s “RV” and the sapce in it, and seen him eat and drink, I can say fairly confidently that over the course of a week he would be spending a fair chunk at local enterprises selling food and drink 😉

    Premier Icon holmesy
    Full Member

    I have a lot of sympathy for people invaded by folk randomly overnighting in inappropriate places – whilst each van may spend just a single night, it must get pretty wearing if there is a different van outside your house every night. Even more so when there is anti-social behaviour.

    Selfishly, I am interested in how this situation develops as I picked up a camper in March, with the purpose of enabling me and the family to enjoy doing stuff across Scotland, eg see there’s decent weather forecast in eg West Highlands, head over there at short notice without needing too much planning. As opposed to always booking accommodation weeks ahead, therefore condemning weather to be mince…

    I was generally assuming it would generally be easy enough to either get a campsite at short notice or find somewhere out of the way to park up for the night, without too much hassle. So far I have struggled to find camp sites with space in places we want to go – so the only way we have been able to use the van has been finding out of the way spots. But we haven’t tried in the popular areas because of the congestion and lack of site availability – I don’t want to be part of the problem.

    So from both a selfish point of view and for the local communities, I do think there needs to be a solution where this is managed. Assuming we are experiencing a peak this year/last year, due to limited foreign travel, then it might be expected to ease a bit? – so with some sensible policies protecting the communities – and simple facilities (Aires) – there should be a workable solution that encourages and manages the tourism more effectively.

    Premier Icon IHN
    Full Member

    Absolutely, being fully paid-up middle-class-camping-van-****, we’d have been all over the local farm shops, organic butchers and artisan bakers 🙂

    Premier Icon nbt
    Full Member

    and brewers, and distillers…

    Premier Icon downshep
    Full Member

    Loch Lomond laybys have been rammed for weeks, Glen Etive is a tip and whoever ‘invented’ the NC500 needs a repeated hoofing to the knackers. Skye, Oban and the Cairngorms are also hoaching more than usual. Whilst the baw isn’t quite fully burst on the right to roam and camp, there’s now so much pressure on the most popular areas that national restrictions can’t be too far away. Yes, there is increased income for some locals and perhaps continental style Aires would help sanitation issues but current levels of visitor numbers are surely unsustainable? Anyone who thinks they are ‘wild camping’ in a CV / RV / MH needs to read up on the current SOAC. It’s genuinely sad for those who have roamed responsibly for years but if this continues, the whole country may end up as a ‘camping management zone’, ignored by the neds and with only the law abiding missing out.

    Premier Icon TheBrick
    Free Member

    To be honest as a tent camper (with family) I have found scotland quite hard to find campsites compared to England and Wales. Seemed to be mainly caravan sites or massive commercial ones if they do take tents much less small sites that take tents.

    Premier Icon duncancallum
    Full Member

    @downshep agree the nc500 thing has ruined it.

    They’re trying to do other ones the SW and a mid point one.

    I’ve found its driven the responsible tourists away and left the **** and people who aren’t really outdoorsy which leads to behaviour problems.

    Saw a thing on FB from visit hebrides and I commented that they’ll run the risk of the NC500 issues. Got a reply saying never we are on a boat crossing so cant get too busy….

    2mths later complaining about over crowding and poor behaviour… I pointed them back to their it wont happen comment.

    I think the explosion in hire Van’s hasn’t helped. If they made a condition of hire you needed to use a site I think that would go a long way to stopping some issues that occur through ignorance rather than malice

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    I do agree with you on that, absolutely, but to be honest it’s questionable if any of them bring any financial benefit to the area they’re in. The cat is out the bag though, they ain’t going away, infrastructure is required to milk it and improve the whole situation.

    ^that.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    To be honest as a tent camper (with family) I have found scotland quite hard to find campsites compared to England and Wales. Seemed to be mainly caravan sites or massive commercial ones if they do take tents much less small sites that take tents.

    Which reminds me of the evening spent on a campsite with LD of this parish – while we smelly canoeists brewed up some pasta over a trangia and a Vango 200, the nearest ‘caravan’* owner was pulling out full BBQ, table, chef’s hat and sharpening knives. His wife was installing the 67.3″ TV, brought in the second car in the front of the ‘caravan’*.

    *caravan = 4 wheeled, mahoooosive shed with en-suite….

    Premier Icon TheBrick
    Free Member

    I feel for you guys. with the NC500. Looks hell and destroys what we have been coming to Scotland for years for (well me at least, partner visits family). I think Bhutan has the right idea, although it would exclude me in a different way!

    His wife was installing the 67.3″ TV, brought in the second car in the front of the ‘caravan’*.

    Goes on holiday, watches tv. I’m a member of a few Facebook camping groups and I am amazed at the number of people for whom electric is considered a basic site facility. ITs something that has never even occurred to us! Different strokes for different fokes I know but surprised when in that bubble how much oa majority they are

    Premier Icon dovebiker
    Free Member

    Part of the problem is us scots see tourists as a nuisance, as opposed to the cash cow they should be.

    Our island community means that ‘peak’ season means a long queue outside the Co-Op to find the shelves bare – fresh fruit and veg are non-existent and even basic staples like baked beans are sold out. However, online supermarket delivery doesn’t exist; the ferries are fully-booked for the next month so a day trip to Oban is out of the question therefore the only option is a 4 hour, 4 ferry, 100 mile round trip to Fort William – down £50 in fuel and ferries before you’ve even spent anything.

    How can we ‘milk’ the cash cow when many fill up their vehicles with petrol and food before arriving and are reluctant to pay to use facilities?
    10 years of austerity and now COVID means that councils have no funding to build or maintain facilities – some public toilets aren’t open and bin collections inadequate.

    I’m of the view that there needs to be a levy/ permit for camper vans and motorhomes. Proceeds are use to pay for new facilities and a Ranger service to patrol the areas. I’m a camper van owner – I wouldn’t mind paying a quid or two each night knowing that it is helping improve facilities.

    Premier Icon sparksmcguff
    Full Member

    I think the explosion in hire Van’s hasn’t helped. If they made a condition of hire you needed to use a site I think that would go a long way to stopping some issues

    The mechanic I take my van to also services vdubs for a local hire company. Last time I was talking to him someone had just totalled the front suspension by parking off road. 000s £ of damage and lost bookings. Apparently folks are given some guidance but…

    Premier Icon kenneththecurtain
    Free Member

    Our island community means that ‘peak’ season means a long queue outside the Co-Op to find the shelves bare – fresh fruit and veg are non-existent and even basic staples like baked beans are sold out. However, online supermarket delivery doesn’t exist; the ferries are fully-booked for the next month so a day trip to Oban is out of the question therefore the only option is a 4 hour, 4 ferry, 100 mile round trip to Fort William – down £50 in fuel and ferries before you’ve even spent anything.

    How can we ‘milk’ the cash cow when many fill up their vehicles with petrol and food before arriving and are reluctant to pay to use facilities?

    I’m confused, are they buying stuff or not?

    Premier Icon espressoal
    Free Member

    A toll on the Kessock bridge, camper vans/caravans/RV’s pay based on size of vehicle, cars take the open lane, they can get a permit in advance to display in the windscreen and drive on through.

    The money collected is sent to highland councils to do whatever they want, and visitors are reminded that this should not raise expectations of free parking facilities, they come because it’s wild, not a free holiday park with vehicle access, councils can decide how they play that.

    I am of course as guilty as them/everyone else, I camp wild(tent) where I can but prefer not to be seen, but often it’s a campsite, we all want the spontaneity, nip off for a weekend, park up in a wild place overlooking the sea or whatever, then hypocritically get hacked off when others want to do the same thing, there are some that really rip it though, a 30′ long RV for 2 OAP’s? is that really necessary?

    The long and short of it is there is no wilderness left to explore, not in a motor vehicle at least, and now that tens of thousands have invested a small mortgage in a new camper they aint taking any foreign holidays for a while.

    Sorry about being negative, I just don’t see a solution that restores it back to the thing that made it so appealing in the first place.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Full Member

    A toll on the Kessock bridge,

    I’m pretty sure the Black Isle isn’t actually an island 🙂

    if van owners don’t want to pay site fees and instead endure the inconvenience of life without conveniences then they’re not going to pay a toll when there’s a scenic detour to be had.

    they’ve paid tens of thousands of pounds buying into the fantasy of being free and easy

    Premier Icon squirrelking
    Free Member

    They did the same down here with “The Coig”, the Cumbrae ferry was bad enough with day trippers as it was but now the town gets crippled on a sunny weekend. Again, they were warned but did they listen?

    RET has a lot to answer for as well. It was great for islanders but equally meant more fannies taking vehicles to islands with not enough facilities.

    My folks did the NC500 before it existed. Stupid 7m caravan, couldn’t reverse it for shit but hardly saw a soul. Utterly ruined. I remember parking overnight in laybys when I was a boy (about 30 years ago), that’s the complete point of mororhomes but there’s a point where there’s no more room and something has to give. Folk dumping toilets and rubbish though, that’s just wrong on so many levels.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Full Member

    I just don’t see a solution that restores it back to the thing that made it so appealing in the first place.

    midges

    Up til now it’s the midges that have stopped the highlands being like the Lake District. People will learn that life in a van in Scotland actually is life IN a van for much of the time either because the weather is too bad or because the weathers too good.

    Premier Icon dovebiker
    Free Member

    I’m confused, are they buying stuff or not?

    Some are, some aren’t but the huge numbers + Brexit haulage difficulties means that the only food shop in town is struggling and often has little stock.

    Premier Icon dave28
    Free Member

    I cycle loch lomond once a week . usually sunday morning
    both sides at the moment are very busy and looking like a shit hole to be honest,
    balloch would be a no go,
    best to get futher away , there is a motor home stop over at tarbet across from hotel, in betwen tarbet and arrochar is another one at the slanj. two places in the car park at the far end of helensburgh beside the park , all of these are better options than balloch . tyndrum has a pop up site if you go further on . my best advice would be the slanj , get up early and get passed the road to crainlarich , or take the alternative route past inveraray. its a better drive ,

    Premier Icon espressoal
    Free Member

    if van owners don’t want to pay site fees and instead endure the inconvenience of life without conveniences then they’re not going to pay a toll when there’s a scenic detour to be had.

    And another on the A862…£2 off.

    Premier Icon espressoal
    Free Member

    I’m confused, are they buying stuff or not?

    if you drive up the A9 Inverness Tesco is well positioned for refueling, that’s often all you need till you pass it again on the way home(I do this in a car) it’s also a bit cheaper because it’s tesco and not one guy trying to pay rent selling Mars bars and lighters.
    And when you stop you can go for a coffee, stretch the legs, buy all the supplies you need for a week, your favourite wine(because you won’t get that at the Coop) and some fancy cheese and anything your heart desires.
    Of course those living in the highlands drive down and do that too so I’m not attacking anyone for it, it’s just the way it is, that one Tesco store probably absorbs a fair chunk of the whole highland retail market, it’s not just every town center that is starved of shops now due to supermarkets.

    So you get an economic double whammy, the money is spent south of the Kessock bridge because their favourite wine is not in the highland shops or is more expensive, and the highland shops don’t have the footfall to compete anyway…in a cyclical sort of way.

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    @squirrelking I’ve seen the coig loads of times on social media, didn’t have a clue what it was!.

    Premier Icon espressoal
    Free Member

    Ah, the Ailsa Craig thing? brilliant, love it, what is it?

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    See, another one that hasn’t a clue! Apparently it’s 5 wee touring routes around Ayrshire and the Clyde islands.

    Who knew?! 🙈🤣

    Premier Icon gordimhor
    Full Member

    Dovebiker +1

    Premier Icon jeffl
    Full Member

    Interesting times. Not a campervan owner but we’ve holidayed up in Scotland a number of times. Ranging from Loch Fyne, Loch Lomond and the Cairngorms.

    We’re up this week staying just outside of Crianlarich. Roads seem much much busier than previous years and lots of tape/no parking signs up on roads near lochs. Speaking to the owners of the accommodation (part of a larger sight) they’re saying that’s it’s been crazy busy this season, they think due to foreign travel restrictions. Also spoken to some other holiday makers and this is the first time they’ve been up here and would usually go abroad.

    So in some respects great for the local economy but does seem kinda busy.

    Premier Icon squirrelking
    Free Member

    Apparently it’s 5 wee touring routes around Ayrshire and the Clyde islands.

    Who knew?! 🙈🤣

    I only know because the usual idiots were **** themselves into a coma over it on Facebook.

    Aye, go tae Millport, spend 2 hours in a ferry queue, drive ten minutes, have an ice cream, drive another ten minutes, wait another 2 hours, **** off home. Brilliant. Not like there’s a bus over there.

    They also tried to promote the Brisbane Glen. The lovely feature @trail_rat camped next to a few years back was only removed this year (burnt out Discovery Sport IIRC).

    Premier Icon espressoal
    Free Member

    Best avoid Brisbane glen in the camper van then.

    Premier Icon poly
    Free Member

    Part of the problem is us scots see tourists as a nuisance, as opposed to the cash cow they should be.

    There has to be opportunity for locals to sell stuff to these campervans. Even things like “10 quid and I take your rubbish” or a bag full of beer etc.

    No way people will pay £10 to drop rubbish! They can pretend to be responsible by dropping it in/beside a public litter bin. They can actually be responsible by driving through a local recycling centre. They can fling it over a fence when no one is looking. Even if you persuade someone they should pay £10 to say fill their water, drop their waste and park up on spare ground for the night – the neighbour who isn’t getting this but still gets disturbed by the van reversing, doors slamming, kids shouting, BBQ smoke blowing in their window, etc will probably report you for not having a waste transfer license! Similarly if you are selling them beer without a license!

    For every entrepreneurial sole who might find a way to milk a little bit of value out of the tourist there is someone who isn’t getting the money (and possibly doesn’t want it anyway – nobody is getting rich on £10/night for the summer season).

    Premier Icon phil5556
    Full Member

    Turns out that away from the hotspots Scotland is still quiet enough.

    Glenshee was quiet, just about in to the third row of cars in the car park. Ballater yesterday had a nice vibe to it, we did Heartbreak Ridge and only saw 2 other people riding and about 4 walkers. And now at Glenlivet trails, about 5 vans here and still very quiet.

    Actually Ballater was lovely, we’ll be back, hopefully before the summer is out.

    I don’t think I’ve seen any of these places promoted on any of the routes, which is presumably why they’re not rammed.

    We did stop at some parking just outside Tomintoul as I thought there was a toilet there, it was bird hide, and there were 5 vans and a family setting up a big tent. Nowhere left for the bird watchers to park, which is presumably why the car park exists. This is the problem and what upsets people. I wouldn’t consider staying somewhere like that, but some people just don’t care / don’t consider others.

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