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Scotlands West Coast

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Birmingham, United...
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Scotlands West Coast

Would really love to travel in our motorhome, myself, partner & dog up the West Coast of Scotland in August 2013 possibly for 12 night round trip from Birmingham...can anyone give us some advice..... best route, views, overnight stops with hook up & water ect Heard a lot about weather, being bitten to bits??? Any help please. Thank You 8-)

M E
Lincolnshire...
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1. Re: Scotlands West Coast

As to the weather, being in the area where the windiest point of the UK is hope for the best prepare for the worst, and It never rains but it pours :) That’s the sad truth. I always ignore weather unless climbing, in which case is a no, no. Most of my hiking done in the rain with sunny spells though. Right clothes and problem sorted. Splendid scenery and lots of attractions on the Isle of Skye will bring you joy for a couple of days, at least, I stayed six nights and going back to see more.

As to the motorhome, no help from me, but I would strongly recommend the bridge rather than the ferry, you will go past Eilean Donan castle which is a great place for a break, Fort William and Ben Nevis, all on the way to the island. Wonderful beaches on Harris and breath-taking views at the Butt of Lewis, but it involves ferry crossing to Western Isles.

Good luck and enjoy!

Stanley, Falkland...
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2. Re: Scotlands West Coast

"As to the weather, being in the area where the windiest point of the UK is hope for the best prepare for the worst, and It never rains but it pours :) That’s the sad truth. "

I think you can safely ignore this. It's not true.

Head for the Outer Hebrides for a different part of the UK.

Use www.calmac.co.uk

M E
Lincolnshire...
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3. Re: Scotlands West Coast

"I think you can safely ignore this. It's not true."

I think you should be prepared for bad weather conditions in that remote place, better to be safe than sorry. I was struggling often due to a very strong wind, especially when you are close to cliffs.

By no means have I wanted to discourage you from going to that wonderful corner of the UK, only please do not ignore severe weather warnings, as some do, and stay safe. When I was there one guy went missing.

Of course it is not always the case and I hope you will have nice time with good weather throughout your stay.

Edinburgh...
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4. Re: Scotlands West Coast

No it doesn't always pour. Otherwise no-one would ever think of going to Scotland. And given you're in the UK you can make up your own mind about the weather forecasts, via the BBC

Yes you should prepare for inclement weather, otherwise you might get miserable. Just like visiting Manchester in the rain :-)

Peterscot's point about the Hebrides is valid, and especially the Uists - somethimes fronts head in to scotland and break on the mountains on the mainlands, not on the low lying islands on Uist. I've been in brilliant sunshine there when the mainland has been black with cloud.

If you are heading past Skye (and I really recommend Torridon's mountain Scenery) then an itinerary which includes

Loch Lomond, Oban, Mallaig, Skye, Kyle, Torridon, Ullapool

will give you miles and miles of the very best West coast scenery

Edinburgh...
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5. Re: Scotlands West Coast

Bitten to bits? Midges like damp still conditions, and areas with lots of undergrowth. So boggy, brackeny areas, or woodland.

If it's really sunny or really rainy you don't see them much. If it's windy, likewise. I camp in the wilds a lot and yes I've been bitten. But sometimes moving a couple of hundred metres onto a rise where you catch a breeze is enough to put them off.

Midge antidote: either Avon Skin So Soft spray oil, or Smidge. Available in outdoors shops. And some people never get bitten.

Edinburgh...
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6. Re: Scotlands West Coast

Best to think itinerary first, then overnight places. No shortage of campsites with hook-ups, you can find these easily once you know roughly where you are going.

Birmingham, United...
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7. Re: Scotlands West Coast

Thank you all

As for the weather, I think we always pack for a variety of possibilities....!!!! Went to Wales for the weekend expecting wet weather after listening to the forcast & had fantastic weather so we will just have to wait & see..... 8-)

London
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8. Re: Scotlands West Coast

The weather can be unpredictable - but it's rarely pouring down everywhere. Careful listening/watching weather forecasts should allow you to adjust your itinerary to get the best of the available weather.

Languedoc-Roussillon...
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9. Re: Scotlands West Coast

It's a lovely area; we used to take our ancient caravan up for years, then graduated to hotels when my back got worse.

Yes, always be ready for heavy rain, but it's nice to be surprised sometimes; we often found in Wester Ross that the weather forecasts speak with forked tongues!

Getting bitten - yes, a lot if you're near pools, streams etc and it's not pouring or windy. Our first trip to Kinlochewe started by seeing the warden at the campsite wearing a hood - against mozzies - it was very amusing! until we got out of ther car and started to set up the caravan - and found them everywhere! The poor couple who arrived to pitch their tent ended up wearing towels over their heads. However, we had a great trip, and continued to visit that wonderful area for many years despite mozzies loving me; it's a magical area.

We were talking about Wester Ross at the weekend and got quite nostalgic; it would be great to head up there this summer.

Fort William...
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10. Re: Scotlands West Coast

The scenery in NW Scotland is the best in the UK and it's well worth going as far to the NW as you can, the road to Durness is stunning. From Birmingham I'd take the A82 round Loch Lomond, then down Glen Coe (with a stop for food at the Green Welly!) to Fort William. Although the road to Mallaig is good, it's probably best to head over to Kyle of Localsh to get to Skye. Then just carry on round the top until you get bored of the scenery (the geology changes so the big mountains go).

The weather is changeable and will almost certainly rain and will be windy. The advantages of the bad weather is that it keeps the midges away (get a midgie net - they really can be bad and don't wear shorts or shirt sleeves in the evening).

The main thing to be aware of is the driving in a camper van / mobile home. I have been driven off the road by someone who couldn't corner properly and I had to go on the verge where I hit a drain cover and took the tyre off the rim. Did the ****hole stop - of course not - probably went off to cause havoc elsewhere? The basic rule is that if someone catches you up, they are going faster than you so pull over as soon as you can to let them past. That is why there are a lot of lay byes on these roads, not for picnics. It is intensely annoying to be delayed by a campervan (caravan drivers tend to pull in more for some reason) who doesn't have the courtesy to let you pass (and that's me putting it very mildly!). On single track roads with passing places, the passing places are for cars coming the other way AND to allow over taking.

For petrol, the best places in FW are Morrisons and Esso. The Gleaner is very pricy and BP is usually 2p/l more than Esso. However, Strontian is known as the most expensive petrol in the mainland UK and Lochinver prices make your eyes water (but there's no alternative).

Finally, the advantage of a camper van is you should have your own water and don't need electricity, so why would you want a hook up every night. NW Scotland is great for solitude so stop somewhere really remote, commune with the midges and red deer and enjoy.