Scotland Easter Tour - advice please?

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Scotland Easter Tour - advice please?

Postby claire85cat » 09 Oct 2012, 21:35

We are thinking of touring Scotland over the Easter school holidays next year. We have wanted to see Scotland for ages but never quite managed the long trip from the South West! We plan to break the journey there and back by breaking the journey halfway overnight in both directions. This is a suggested itinerary that I've pinched from a Scottish tourist website which seems to cover a good area (we've got 2 children so don't want to spend long periods in the van every day so this sounds ideal):

Day 1 - Edinburgh, to Loch Lomond. Stay 1 night near Loch Lomond.
Day 2 and 3 - Arrive at Oban for 2 nights. Possible day trip to Isle of Mull or Isle of Iona
Day 4 - Stay 1 night at Fort William by Ben Nevis,
Day 5 - Take the ferry over to the Isle of Skye
Day 6- From the Isle of Skye travel eastwards via the mountains of Kintail to Loch Ness or via Wester Ross to Inverness. Stay in Inverness 1 night.
Day 7 - Drive to Edinburgh
Day 7 and 8 - Finish by staying in Edinburgh for the last 2 nights.

The main question is, what's the weather like at Easter - will it be really cold? We have tent camped at Easter before very successfully but always in the South of England, never that far north - will it be freezing?

Also - although we are happy to wild camp sometimes, we would like to spend some time on campsites and usually camp on either C&CC Club sites or CS sites. The issue seems to be that most of them take a minimum 2 or 3 night booking over a bank holiday/school holidays which doesn't fit in with the touring we want to do. Any suggestions of good sites which will allow us to only stop for a night at a time (have had a look at fun place 2 camp already and have a couple of ideas from there) would be appreciated.

Plus any other tips or advice will be gratefully received.

Thanks very much.
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Re: Scotland Easter Tour - advice please?

Postby T'Onion » 10 Oct 2012, 07:32

Easter can be a good mix for weather , we have been and had sun , showers and snow :pimp
Your route is a long one to do in a week , just out of interest why Edinburgh twice ? I'd go straight to Loch Lomond and loop back to Edinburgh (or visa versa) but thats your choice :ok

We stayed at a site at the foot of Nevis which was a cracker , had a wander up Nevis and found snow :mrgreen:

We have a similar tours over the years , Mull is great and I'll never forget my daughter seeing Tobermory for the first time and saying 'look its Balamory !!' ,and wild camping next to the sea listening to whales sing ( ok I got a wee bit worried :pimp ) ,

Skye is another cracker and loads of wild camping to be had ,Staffin being one of our favourites.

As for the campsites , we never stayed more than 1 night and were never turned away or told we had to book for more (maybe we were lucky) .
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Re: Scotland Easter Tour - advice please?

Postby rubarb » 10 Oct 2012, 07:41

Instead of starting in Edinburgh maybe driving up the M74' through Glasgow on the M8 then over the Erskine bridge would be a good option. That way you are only about 20 mins from Loch Lomond and the campsite at Luss is lovely but they may be strict about the amount of nights stayed. I would consider 1 night at Oban which would give you time to explore Ullapool and surrounding areas using that spare night. Driving over to Skye is now possible.

Easter 2013 being in April won't be too cold but cold enough that the midges won't be around

Have fun
Last edited by rubarb on 10 Oct 2012, 19:46, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Scotland Easter Tour - advice please?

Postby Cruz » 10 Oct 2012, 07:43

We also stayed at the big site at the bottom of Ben Nevis in Glen Nevis and walked up the Ben on a cloud free september day 8)

As people have said Good Friday is in March and Easter Monday is in April so the weather is really in the lap of the gods. It will most likely be bitter at night and warm during the day...unless it's windy and wet :lol:

I have a suggestion for Inverness. We stayed at a site called Fortrose near Channory Point on the Black Isle. The site itself was OK and consisted of grass pitches either side of the road to the lighthouse/golf course (strange I know but it had great sea views..see pic below) but the reason we stayed there is because at high and low tides you can watch the Moray Firth Dolphins from the beach by the Channory Point lighthouse. It is within 10 minutes stroll from the campsite and the dolphins come to about 6 feet from the beach as the beach must drop away around there and it's where a tidal convergence concentrates the Dolpins food source. We went in September but the Dolphins live in the firth all year round.



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Re: Scotland Easter Tour - advice please?

Postby Gogso1 » 10 Oct 2012, 18:15

Pah, forget Glasgow and edinburgh, you should visit the Falkirk wheel and spend a night at the excellent Witches Craig (which is also close to Stirling castle and right underneath The Wallace Monument). Great for kids. In fact, just north of Stirling there's also Blair Drummond safari park, with glencoe and fort William a couple of hours beyond that.

Whatever you do, and wherever you go, have a great time! :ok
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Re: Scotland Easter Tour - advice please?

Postby donnieg » 10 Oct 2012, 19:23

As someone has already stated Luss right on the banks of loch lomand is a good site as is the one in Fortrose,Morton Hall is a large campsite just off the Edinburgh bye pass and there is a bus stop at the top of the road if yoy want to go into the city.The weather can be a hit or a miss although it is usally quite good on the west as for the midges it should be a bit to early for them.
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Re: Scotland Easter Tour - advice please?

Postby claire85cat » 10 Oct 2012, 21:00

Thanks so much everyone for all the good advice. I did think after I'd posted that it doesn't make sense to start and finish in Edinburgh as we are driving up the western coast of England and it definitely makes much more sense to head towards Glasgow and then to Loch Lomond from there. It's just the itinerary I nabbed started and finished there, wasn't really thinking at the time! Will definitely look at the Luss campsite and love the idea of the Inverness one near the dolphins.

We don't want to rush the trip but we do want to try and see as much as we can. I've done some calculations on google maps in terms of distances and the stopover points are only a couple of hours or so at most so hopefully this will feel fairly leisurely.

I think perhaps we'll give it a go and chance whatever the weather does - will be ok i'm sure. Any further comments/suggestions very much welcomed!
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Re: Scotland Easter Tour - advice please?

Postby wee bugger » 13 Oct 2012, 06:27

April is a great time for Scotland...for the last few years April and May have given us our "summer" before winter begins in June...

This was our journey up the A82 at Easter this year, and me and 9 y/o daughter were heading for a tent camping trip...



but it served in our favour as it actually drove all but 2 other campers from the site at Kinlochleven...they all left and took the snow with them! We arrived to this


and woke up to this...



Was still a bit of snow on the hill tops, but the weather changes so much, so quickly you will at least see everything on tour 8 day trip! Last year we headed for Skye for Easter weekend, again rain and sleet on the Saturday, and on the Sunday we were in shorts and T-shirts paddling in the sea :D

As to where to go? thats an impossible question to answer - i have lived in Scotland for 40 years and have probably only seen 10% of the places you should visit :oops:
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