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International dialling code: +44

Driving on the left

Police, Fire, Ambulance, Mountain Rescue and Coastguard 999

European Emergency Dial: 112

Border Crossing(s)

Entry:  Gretna Green via M6

Additional information: No border checks. 

Approximate time to clear:​ Normal traffic conditions

Exit: Gretna Green via M6

Additional information: Normal traffic conditions

Approximate time to clear:​ NA

Pets

Vets can be found in most towns and cities. For active dogs (and their owners!), harnesses and jackets are recommended to be carried in the mountains. Flashers can be helpful in poor visibility when in areas suitable to allow walking off the lead. 

Things to do and places to see

 

Some useful planning websites:

The trip - 'The Great Haggis Hunt'

 An extended 'shake-down' trip. An opportunity to revisit the much loved West Coast, the Scottish Highlands and just a few Islands. An overland expedition of approximately 48 days incorporating Land End to John O'Groats and the North Coast 500. For the curious, further information about the illusive Haggis can be found here

  1. Lands End. The most south western point of the United Kingdom and the starting point for many for many adventures across mainland UK to John O' Groats in Scotland. Eden Project, Minack Theatre. St Michael's Mount. 

  2. Balquhidder. Home of the Balquhidder Stewarts. Church ruins ..... graveyard may reveal interesting people? Enroute to Glencoe could stop to see Glenfinnan viaduct tour / walk and / or Doune Castle. 

  3. Glencoe. Aonach Eagach Ridge. Glen Etive. Clachaig Inn, great atmosphere and a welcome pint at the end of a day in the mountains. Lost Valley, Loch Leven, The Devils Staircase walks. 

  4. Fort William. Ben Nevis.

  5. Port Appin / Oban. Fresh seafood! Home of the Appin Stewarts. 

  6. Isle of Mull - ferry from Oban to Craignure (approx 35 mins). Fare approx  £18.50. 

    • Walking, mountain biking. Day / short trip to Iona. Iona Heritage Centre has well written information boards showing fishing and crofting, school life, social history, artists and craft workers. 

    • Staffa Island. Short trip (approx 3 hrs with ~1 hr ashore) by fishing boat to this uninhabited island. Fingal’s Cave is always splendid and atmospheric with its basalt columns formed during a period of volcanic activity 59 million years ago. Puffins can be seen ashore in season as well as shags, oystercatchers and black guillemots. We often see guillemots, razorbills, fulmars, kittiwakes, shearwaters gannets, great skuas and other birds from the boat. If you’re lucky, you might see a passing otter, porpoise, dolphin, basking shark or whale!

    • Duart Castle. The seat of Clan MacLean. Explore the turbulent past of the Clan, the battles and the love stories. Stand under and admire the stone Clan Crest or enjoy the blossoming Rowan Tree in the Castle Courtyard.  Explore the ancient 14th Century Keep and ghostly Dungeons.  Browse the magnificent Banqueting Hall and quaint Edwardian State Rooms.  Walk the Battlements and lose yourself in the breathtaking views looking out across the Sound of Mull.

    • Glengorm Wildlife Project. Guided Walks, Land Rover Safari’s, Wildlife Events, Seasonal Events and more – whether going on an adventurous trek off the beaten track, discovering Glengorm’s charismatic wildlife or just taking in the breathtaking views. 4WD 'safari' tour. 

    • Tobermory. The Mishnish Pub and Restaurant (live music). Mull Pottery. Macgochans, a lively pub overlooking the harbour. Mull Museum is a small museum crammed with information about the history of Mull and its people - crofting, the Spanish galleon, WW2 naval base, and more. Variety of shops and supermarkets for provisions. 

    • Calgary Bay & Art in Nature Sculpture Trail. Follow the artwork trail on your way to one of Mull’s most popular beaches and stop for coffee and cake at the lovely art café.

    • Treshnish Coast and the Whisky Cave Walk. One of the finest coastal walks which includes a stop-off at the Whisky Cave – where the best Moonshine on Mull was once distilled. 

    • Ferry Tobermory to Kilchoan - approx 35 mins back to the mainland. Regular Mon-Sat service between 08:00 and 18:00 (from to Kilchoan).Sunday service in May-August only. (Fare approx £12.30)

  7. Sanna Beach. Walking. Fishing. Great chill out spot. Sanna bay is one of the most stunning beaches on the Ardnamurchan peninsula. This relatively large size bay with climbing dunes consists of four smaller sandy bays, separated by rocky headland.

  8. Camusdarach Beach. Made famous by the movie Local Hero. Walking. Visit Mallaig. 

  9. Isle of Skye. Mallaig to Armadale Ferry (passage time approx 35 mins). Fare approx £13.40.

    • Scavaig River / Glenbrittle. The road down Glenbrittle affords great views of the western side of the imposing Black Cuillins, until it ends at the campsite and shore at the foot of the glen. From Glen Brittle there are numerous paths leading up to the corries of the Black Cuillins. Elgol, seaside village that looks into the Cuillin heart as well as out to sea; the cave that Bonnie Prince Charlie stayed in waiting to escape to France can be found near here. Wainwright said of the view, “…a beautiful foreground to a classic view, the finest in Britain… a picture that would defeat a Constable or a Turner”. 

    • Carbost, Small village on Loch Harport and handy for Skye's only distillery down the road at Talisker. Wonderful sunsets, great walking country and very handy for the nearby Cuillins.The Old Inn at Carbost. Talisker Bay surfing. Sligachan walk along Sligachan Glen with mountains on each side that provides an unforgettable view of the dramatic mountains. Great bar to reward you at the end. Talisker Distillery

    • Dunvegan Castle. Many tributaries of the River Brittle run down from the Cuillin into the glen including a stream with waterfalls known as the Fairy Pools, a popular place for walkers. The Fairy Pools are beautiful rock pools of crystal clear spring water fed by a series of waterfalls. 

    • Portree has everything a visitor could wish for – banks, churches, cafes and restaurants, a cinema at the Aros Centre, a swimming pool and library at the school, gift and book shops, a tourist information centre, petrol filling stations and supermarkets, one in the village and a larger one out on the Dunvegan Road.

    • Uig is a charming port with ferry links to Uist and Harris. There is accommodation and a number of places to eat out in Uig. The Trotternish ridge provides an obvious focus for walkers but there are other shorter walks suitable for all abilities; the Fairy Glen is a beautiful whimsical walk through a valley produced by many small landslides. The standing stones at Eyre where legend had Fingall make a campfire to cook a whole deer or a short walk to see Captain Frasers Folly in Uig.

    • Kyleakin. Has a small marina, high quality hotels, a backpackers’ hostel, bars and restaurants. Lobster and Chips from the 'seafood shop'. 

    • Return to the mainland via the Skye Bridge (no tolls). 

  10. Kyle of Lochalsh. The land of castles, hills and lochs, is a gateway to the Isle of Skye and the wonderful north west coast.

  11. Plockton.  The picturesque village of Plockton is  located on the sheltered bay of Loch Carron, as is Scotland’s highest waterfall, the Five Sisters of Kintail, and the walks on Glen Shiel which are steeped in Jacobite history.

  12. Applecross. Via Bealach na Bà (Pass of the Cattle) a winding, steep single track, narrow road. Heritage Centre. Applecross Inn

  13. Torridon. Torridon is a small village in the Northwest Highlands of Scotland. However the name is also applied to the area surrounding the village, particularly the Torridon Hills, mountains to the north of Glen Torridon. It lies on the shore of Loch Torridon. One of the remotest mountain regions in the UK. 

  14. Mellon Udrigle. Fine silver sands, backed by gentle dunes and grassy areas, slope gently into the crystal clear waters of Gruinard Bay.  In the right light the waters can appear a stunning shade of turquoise blue.  Rocky promontories add interest to the terrain. This place is a mecca for budding artists and photographers. 

  15. Ullapool. Ferries to Stornoway from here. Restocking victuals. Fuel before push north. Achiltibuhie. Fishing and boat trips, mountain biking,  walking. The Sea Food Shack

  16. Lochinver. The huge fish market is probably the town’s main focus. Other tourist attractions include Highland stoneware, one of the Highland’s most successful and distinctive potteries. Inland, near Elphin, visitors can pet animals at the Highland and Rare Breeds Farm. Experienced climbers can scale the distinctive sandstone peak of Suilven. If approaching from the south, consider the monumental coastal drive from Achiltbuie. On the way take a look at Stoer Lighthouse and spending a day with Assynt Crofters Trust for fishing and deer stalking and fly fishing lessons. Boat trips. Loch Duart Salmon Farm visit? 

  17. Kinlochbervie. Just 20 miles from mainland Britain’s most northwesterly corner. Yet despite its location – 60 miles from the nearest supermarket! Kinlochbervie is a thriving village home to a welcoming community. Situated on a rugged coastline among thousands of acres of wild land, Kinlochbervie makes the perfect base to get away from it all and explore Scotland’s spectacular northwest. The area is a haven for mountaineers and walkers, with the unique, quartzite-capped Foinaven to the east and coastal walks both north and south. Sea kayaking. Day trip to Handa Island Wildlife Reserve for Puffins. pedestrian ferry service to Handa Island which runs on demand from Tarbet on the mainland during the visitor season.  

  18. Durness. Smoo Cave boasting one of Britain’s largest cave mouths at a whopping 50 foot! The cave can be explored by foot, aided by walkways, up to a point – then to explore deep into it (which we highly recommend!) you can be taken by rubber dinghy into the inner cave – complete with a waterfall into the rear chamber where a small burn tumbles down a gap in the cave’s ceiling. 

  19. Cape Wrath. The furthest North West point of the British mainland – a dramatic headland with its whitewashed lighthouse perched atop the cliffs. The road itself is not connected to the main public road network so access is by the Cape Wrath Ferry, a foot passenger boat from Keoldale a mile south of Durness (make sure you arrange a return time as there’s no other way back).Trips to Cape Wrath depart from Durness. See Visit Cape Wrath

  20. Gills Bay. The harbour shelters some small local boats together with those used for working the sheep on the off lying island of Stroma. In the right sea conditions the area is sometimes used for surfing. Home of the Orkney ferry terminal. Pentland Ferries for trip to Orkney, fare approx £188 return to St Margarets Hope. 

  21. Orkney. Highland Park Distillery. Scapa Flow.  

  22. Westray. Amazing birdlife including Puffins and Peregrine Falcons. Fresh seafood. Crofting. Ferry to Westray with Orkney Ferries approx costs £63.90 return. 

  23. Scrabster. Daily ferry services to Stromness, Orkney (30 miles) with North Link Ferries

  24. John O'Groats. The 'End to End Challenge' complete. 874 miles by the direct route; we will have covered a few more than that! Local craft shops. Surfing for those inclined. 

  25. Altnaharra.  A small hamlet in the beautiful, rugged far north of Scotland between Lairg and Tongue. Remote and beautiful, the local weather station sometimes records the coldest temperatures in the UK! Originally a drovers road. Fishing and shooting. Altnaharra Hotel. 

  26. Inverness. Archery. Battlefield tour at Culloden (£11 for adults)

  27. Braemar.  A village in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park and close to Balmoral castle in Royal Deeside. Braemar has its own community run castle, a Highland Games exhibition centre and the award winning Fife Arms Hotel. Walking  - the Quoich and Loch Muich (north of Ballater) and Lochnagar. Close to Balmoral. 

  28. Fort Augustus.  On the southern tip of Loch Ness and on the Caledonian Canal that runs for about 60 miles between Inverness and Fort William. Visit the Caledonian Canal Heritage and Clansman Centres. Great Glen Cycle Route.

  29. Garth Castle. The castle was built by Alexander Stewart, the Wolf of Badenoch, Lord of Badenoch and Earl of Buchan, 4th son of Robert II. 

  30. Edinburgh. Dinner at The Little Chart Room. Edinburgh Castle. Arthurs Seat. 

 

Places to stay 

 

Hotels and AirBnB properties are widely available around the major cities but are found more sparsely in the West and North.  

Camping Associations and Clubs

Campsites in the UK can be found on the internet as follows. Campsites including places (like hotels) that allow camping within their grounds. The average price per night for two adults in the UK is €25.33 (GBP £21.63) ​

  • The Camping and Caravanning Club. 100 club sites owned and operated by the Club. Saving up to 30% on club sites. A total of about 1300 member sites. Membership approximately GBP £42.00 per annum.

  • Caravan and Motorhome Club. Doesn't seem to cover Scandanavia. Annual membership £64. Saving of up to £150 per year when staying at 2700 member sites. Discounts on campsites, ferries  and insurance

  • PitchUp. A UK based website promoting Camp sites in UK and Europe. 

  • Camping Card International. Discounts of up to 25% in 3061 campsites  in 40 countries. Must be a member of an FICC organisation or club to qualify. A plastic ID Card that can be used globally. 

  • The CampingCard ACSI, which provides a low season touring discount across European campsites. Cost €12.95 per annum.

  • Visit Scotland

  • Scottish Camping

  • Campsites.co.uk. An online booking platform for campsites.

Campsites 

Campsites to support the proposed route and activities below​ are as follows, please note there are others:

  • Sennan Cove Camping and Caravan Club. Situated on the Land’s End peninsula, within a few miles of both the north and south coasts of Cornwall. A couple of miles north of Sennen Cove, the campsite enjoys sea views over the cove from some pitches. From £7.35 per night. 

  • Bristol Mendip View Camping. CCC certified CSI site. Price £20-£30 per night. 

  • Moffat Camping and Caravan Club site. Price from £6.65

  • Cruachan Farm Caravan and Camping Park. A family run site near western end of Loch Tay. Dogs welcome. From £15 per night. Balquhidder visit.

  • Glencoe Camping and Caravan Club Site

  • Ben Nevis Holiday Park. Five minute drive from Fort William. Cycling and walking paths are close to this park – including the famed Great Glen Way along the Caledonian Canal. Price from £25 per night.

  • Lagnha Farm. Small privately run site approved by the Camping and Caravan Club. Price £15-£19 per night. 

  • Glen Sonas Oban. A CSI site. No electric. £10-£12 per night. 

  • Fidden Farm Campsite, Isle of Mull. Basic site which allows camping on the shore beside small sandy bays. Portacabin for showers and toilets in farmyard. Allows small campfires on beach. No electric or Wifi. Close to ferry to Iona. 

  • Iona Pods. Self-catering accommodation on the beautiful island of Iona. Price £50 - £90 per night. 

  • Salen Bay Campsite. Lies off the beaten track, providing elevated camp grounds with 360 degree mountain and sea views with easy shore access. A short walk from the village centre and hidden down the ‘old pier' road, which was once an essential route for the islands groceries and livestock that came in off the ferry, up until the late 60’s! Price £21 per night. 

  • Calgary Beach. This wild camping site relates to a small area opposite the public toilets, for tents and small campervans only. NO CARAVANS OR LARGE CAMPERVANS. 

  • Ardnamurchan Campsite. Near Kilchoan. No Caravans at this site. See Lochan nan al below. 

  • Lochan nan al Campsite. Alternative to Ardnamurchan Campsite for those with caravans. 

  • Camusdarach. Beach made famous by the movie Local Hero. 

  • Glenbrittle Campsite and Cafe.  Electric hookups are available and dogs are welcome. Price is around £32 per night. 

  • Skye Camping and Caravan Site, Portree. A Camping and Caravan Club site. Price from £8.35 per night.

  • Reraig Caravan and Camping. At Balmaccara on the shores of Loch Alsh, a quick 10 minute drive takes you to the Skye bridge, with a picturesque village nearby and the world famous Eilean Donan Castle only 5 minutes away. Price £48 for two nights. 

  • Moyle Park Campsite. At the head of a Scottish glen surrounded by hills and woodland. It’s a quiet site on a working croft, about 10 minutes’ drive from the coastal village of Glenelg in the Highlands and Islands. Prices from £25 per night.  

  • Shieldaig Campsite. A new campsite specifically established to support travellers on the North Coast 500, Torridon and the Applecross Peninsula. A local pub and seafood restaurant, a fabulous coffee shop serving amazing coffee and cakes and a local shop to stock up on essentials are all within a 5 mins walk. Price £24 per night. 

  • Inverewe Gardens Camping and Caravan Site. An oasis of peace and calm. This pretty tree-lined site enjoys glorious views that extend over Loch Ewe. From £6.65 per night. 

  • Broomfield Holiday Campsite, Ullapool. On the shores of Loch Broom overlooking the Summer Isles.  

  • Clachtoll Beach Campsite, Lochinver. Set right by a sandy beach in beautiful Highland scenery, offering sea views right from your pitch and a great stopping point along the North Coast 500. This family run and dog friendly base is quiet and peaceful, ideal for snorkelling the blue waters or days spent hill walking and exploring. Price from £21 per night. 

  • Shiegra Beach Honor Campsite, Kinlochbervie. 

  • Sango Sands Oasis Campsite Durness. Adjacent restaurant and bar. Price approximately £19 per night.

  • Dunnet Bay Campsite. Away from the bustle of busy towns and crowds. It's set beside Dunnet Head's beauty and otherworldly surroundings.

  • Pool Farmhouse,  St Margarets Hope Orkney. Just 10 mins from the ferry terminal. 

  • Chalmersquoy Campsite, Westray. A family-run campsite in Westray. Price £12 per night.

  • Altnaharra Caravan Club Site. On the shores of Loch Naver. About 70 species of birds can be found here. Closest shop is about 20 miles away! Price £16 per night. 

  • Culloden Moor Club Site. Sheltered on one side by an abundant belt of mature trees to afford extra privacy and wind protection. The caravan site is only about 1.5 miles from the famous Culloden Battlefield and about 6 mils from Inverness. Ideal for dog walkers. Prices from £14-20 or,

  • Ardtower Caravan Park, Inverness. Close to Culloden battlefield. Price £33.50 per night.

  • Braemar Caravan Park, Campsite & Caravan Park. Price £29.50 per night. (Note: 25 m electric cable run required at some pitches)

  • Glengoulandie Camping & Caravanning site near Garth Castle. Price £28 per night. 

  • Edinburgh Caravan and Motorhome Club. The site is only a stone’s throw away from the waterfront where campers can walk along the promenade of Cramond and, only a short drive away, visitors can enjoy the popular coastal suburb of Portobello with its pubs, restaurants and shops. Price from £12.15 per night. 

Wild camping 
Rules on wild camping vary across the UK. Generally it is not allowed with the exception of: 

  • Scotland: 

  • Dartmoor

    • Guidelines on wild camping on Dartmoor can be found here

    • Wild backpack camping is allowed in the Dartmoor National Park. ​

    • Campervans and caravans should use campsites. 

    • Some of the roads may not be suitable for larger vehicles. Take a look at the map of Coach and Motorhome Routes for Dartmoor

 

Park4Night. It is recommended that you install the App 'Park4Night' on your mobile telephones or Tablet. This App is really designed for Campervans and Motorhomes but it provides details of places that you can stay for the night if you don't want to use a mainstream campsite. Not all sites are free and many may not have facilities but most allow you to get off the beaten track a little. 

Brit Stops Guide. The Brit Stops book contains details of over 1000 hosts who are all looking forward to meeting Britstoppers. The book features country pubs, farm shops, vineyards, breweries, craft / antiques centres, etc. all offering an invitation through the Brit Stops scheme to stay over for one night in your motorhome or campervan in a safe environment - free of charge! These are not camp sites, so they won't have shower blocks or overnight toilet facilities, and you can't book a pitch, but you do get a pleasant stopover somewhere off the road, and a bit different. Price £28 plus postage and packing. (Note: Brit Stops is not suitable for caravans, unconverted vans, cars or tents. Campervans and Motorhomes need to have a toilet onboard). 

Any other suggestions / Information: 

1. Consider adding the Scottish 'South West Coast 300' (see above Haggis Hunt route  map). The route takes you to Stranraer, Alloway, Sanquhar to Dumfries, Newton Stewart, Sandhead and back to Stranraer (through various places like Girvan, Ayr, Moffat, Lockerbie, Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbright, Gatehouse of Fleet, Wigtown, Glenluce and Portpatrick). 

2. TBC

Media

BBC News. The UK's national news broadcaster.

BBC News Scotland. News in Scotland. 

Sky News

Daily Record. News in Scotland especially around Edinburgh and Glasgow.​