Sorry it’s been a while! We’ve been so busy with planning out our future routes and, well, our future in general. Including a job interview for me! It’s been hectic and sometimes blogging takes a backseat. So while I’m back in the backseat of Esme, lets finish up our final adventures in Scotland!
We last left off in the Isle of Skye. Our next destination, Fort William, right smack bang in the middle of Lochaber, a large rural area found in the west of the Highlands. Fort William is known as the outdoor capital. We found this to be very true! As we pulled into the town there are hikers with backpacks everywhere! Obviously on their way to, or coming from, a hike up Ben Nevis; Britains highest mountain.
On our way through to Fort William we stopped in at Eilean Donan castle. This historic castle is located at the crossroads of 3 lochs; Loch Duic, Loch Long and Loch Alsh. The way it is situated on the water, on it’s very own island, makes it all the more magical. The first structure was built for defensive purposes to protect the lands against the Vikings who raided, settled and controlled most of Northern Scotland and the Western Isles between 800 and 1266.
Since then the castle has expanded and been destroyed multiple times. The castle as its stands today was rebuilt in 1932 by John Gilstrap-Macrae. Admission is only 7 pound, making it one of the cheaper castles to get a peek at that we’ve found so far. As we wandered around the grounds and inside the displays are very detailed. My favourite was the kitchen that had an extensive range of dishes, they were plastic, that gave you an idea of the types of meals that were cooked down here. No photography is allowed inside but it was a lovely experience with a vast range of immersive displays that take you back in time. There were even current photographs of the family who own the castle today, desecndants of the Macrae Clan.
As we closed in on Fort William along the Great Glen Road we saw the Commando Memorial against the stunning backdrop of the glen. This memorial was erected in 1952 to commemorate the 25,000 Commandos who were trained in the area during World War II. The inscription reads “United we conquer”. Come for the memorial and stay for the dramatic panoramic views from Ben Nevis to the Grey Corries.
Our next stop was at Bunroy Park Caravan and Camping Site. We were so excited to be invited by Alex and Flora to stay for a couple of nights and enjoy their slice of heavenly peace and quiet that is located in Roy Bridge. There really is options for everyone at Bunroy Park whether it be a lovely grassy pitch for your tent, or by the idyllic river Spean if you like, to camping pods and self-catering holiday lodges. We pulled Esmeralda up in one of the many hard standing pitches for caravans and motorhomes. Be sure to book if you are heading here in the summer time!
The park is very well loved and cared for by Flora and Alex who live on site in their home and have owned Bunroy Park for the past 7 years. All the facilities including male and female toilets and shower blocks, laundry room, drying room, meal prep and dishes sinks, campers fridge and freezer, WIFI access and the grass and grounds themselves are immaculately clean and maintained perfectly.
We were very well looked after by Flora and Alex and implore anyone with a campervan to make this a stopping point they can’t afford to miss. A true holiday away from your holiday!
Bunroy is open from the 23rd March – 26th October so check availability here! It is in a fantastic location to access many things to do and sites to see among the area.
Close by is the Nevis Range Mountain Experience. Here you will find Britain’s only cable car That will take you 2150 feet up the side of the mountain. Once you’ve reached the top you can find walking trails to two different panoramic viewpoints and if you’re feeling hungry grab a bite at the restaurant.
Unlucky for me, I got sick while we were in the area and wasn’t feeling up to the grueling hike to the summit. It is recommended that only experienced hikers have a go and you must have the right clothes as it gets very chilly the higher up you go! We must go back one day to give it a try. It looks spectacularly beautiful, I’m not surprised anymore as Scotland has truly wowed and amazed us with its natural and rugged beauty.
Our next stops were going to be Glencoe and westward to Mallaig but our plans were very abruptly changed as I was offered a job interview back in London. The van life is great for flexibility that’s for sure! As we were making our way back the drive along Glen Nevis nestled into the surrounding mountain ranges was gorgeous and I feel that no photos can do the drive justice but we’ll try anyway!
Unfortunately as we are no longer in Scotland that is so far the end of our Van Life adventures of Scotland for the foreseeable future. However we plan to be back their after our journey takes us in a clockwise direction now (from current location of Brighton) towards Wales and eventually across to Ireland!
Sam, Kirsten and Esméralda x