This year we carved time out of our busy pet sitting schedule to spend April ticking off a big travel item from our bucket list – road tripping on the North Coast 500 route in Scotland! We aimed to visit a good mix of popular spots and hidden gems, as well as adding other parts of Scotland to our trip along the way. Our schedule was a packed one as this was our first big road trip in our van, so we wanted to cram in as much sight-seeing as we could! Our itinerary is by no means a suggested route – we want to share our trip with you purely in order to add inspiration to your own itinerary! We’ll add our campsites and park ups too, as well as including links to our Instagram posts from our trip so you can see more photos from each place – like this one that tells you what it’s really like to drive on the NC500. Use the table of contents below to skip to the areas you’ll be travelling to, or go through our trip day by day.

Day 1: Arriving in the Cairngorms

The first day of our trip was spent travelling up to Scotland, visiting some sights in North England along the way before arriving at our first campsite. We chose to stay at Glenmore campsite for the duration of our time in the Cairngorms as it’s a good central base for a lot of activities in the area. Our secluded pitch in the forest was super peaceful, and we loved that we could walk along footpaths through the trees as soon as we stepped out of our van!

Day 2: Highland Wildlife Park / Loch Morlich

For animal lovers, we highly recommend a visit to the Highland Wildlife Park! Home to over 200 animals, the Park is owned by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland whose aim is to educate the public about endangered animals. We saw snow leopards, Scottish wildcats, Arctic foxes, European grey wolves and even polar bears! The drive-through reserve was a real highlight as we saw got to see red deer, elk and bison up close as we drove around in our van.

After a long day visiting every single one of the enclosures, we took a slow walk around Loch Morlich which backs onto Glenmore campsite. It was so perfect watching the sunset from the beach, and we loved the fact that we could walk back to our van in just a few minutes!

Day 3: Cairngorm Reindeer Herd / Loch An Eilein

When we learned that the Cairngorms are home to Britain’s only free-ranging reindeer herd, we HAD to pay them a visit! We booked onto one of the daily hill trips to hike 30 minutes to the mountainside, where our guides told us lots of information about the history and daily habits of the herd, before we were allowed to feed them their breakfast! All money from ticket sales is spent on the upkeep of the herd, and booking onto one of the hill trips is the only way to enter the enclosure, see the herd up close and get the opportunity to feed them. One of the most unique experiences in the Cairngorms!

That afternoon we drove ten minutes from Aviemore through stunning scenery to visit Loch An Eilein. The name means ‘Loch of the island’, as there is a small island with a castle in the middle of the loch. We enjoyed a relaxing 6km loop walk here, strolling through the pine woods and admiring the mountains – we were lucky to spot some red squirrels too!

Day 4: An Loch Uaine

An Loch Uaine a.k.a. The Green Loch is another pretty loch to visit just outside of Aviemore. We began walking the trail from the main road in Glenmore, winding through the pine forests until we reached the loch itself. When you see the colour of the water you’ll understand why it’s called the Green Loch! The deep green colour is hard to capture in photos – all the more reason to sit on one of the carved wooden benches and appreciate it in the moment. The walk is a relatively easy one as the path is clearly marked out. From start to finish the 10km walk took us 2 hours, as we added on a visit to Ryvoan Bothy at the top of the hill to take in the spectacular mountain views.

Day 5: Balmoral Estate / Prince Albert pyramid

Balmoral Castle has been the Royal family’s holiday home since 1852, so there is a lot of history to discover here! Our top tip for visiting Balmoral is to lean into being a tourist and get the audio guide. We learned so much about the history and workings of Balmoral that we just wouldn’t have known without this guide. We wandered through the kitchen garden that the late Prince Philip planted, saw the garden cottage where Queen Victoria took her breakfast and wrote her diaries, and spent ages looking through more than 200 photographs of monarchs at Balmoral over the years, in the ballroom exhibition. It’s not possible for visitors to tour the rest of the Castle, so getting a sneak peek in the ballroom was amazing.

Once we’d wandered the wider estate we headed into the forest to find Prince Albert’s pyramid – a memorial cairn built by Queen Victoria in the wake of his death. The view beyond the pyramid took our breath away, as you can see the Balmoral estate below and across the Cairngorms National Park beyond.

We used the Forestry Commission ‘Stay the Night’ scheme to find a nearby park up for the night. The scheme allows up to two campervans to park in a select number of their car parks overnight in exchange for a small fee. Don’t expect any facilities, or even a flat pitch, but if you’re looking for a cheap stopover then these first come, first served pitches are perfect. We hope the scheme will expand to more Forestry Commission sites as it’s such a fantastic system, and we loved our stopovers in the forest during the course of our trip!

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Day 6: Fairy Glen Falls

The beginning of our time on the NC500 route! Day 6 was a relatively relaxed day as we spent a lot of time driving and admiring the scenery, so pausing to visit the Fairy Glen Falls in Fortrose was our only big stop of the day. There are two waterfalls to see here, and it’s just 2.5km from the carpark to the furthest waterfall and back. Being the start of the NC500, and with our visit coinciding with school half term (groan), this was the first stop on our trip that was full of tourists and daytrippers. If you visit in the summer, the small car park will fill up quickly so make sure you arrive early!

We booked onto Fortrose Bay campsite for the night as we’d heard people often spot dolphins in the bay. While we didn’t manage to see any, we enjoyed the atmosphere of sitting on the beach with dozens of other hopeful wildlife spotters! And we had a back up planned for the following day…

Day 7: Ecoventures boat trip / Rogie Falls / Wee Hoose / Falls of Shin

Our day began with an Ecoventures boat trip in Cromarty. We spent 2 hours on their wildlife watch on the Moray Firth, where we saw porpoises, seals and a host of sea birds. While we didn’t spot any of the resident Bottlenose dolphins, our guide was incredibly knowledgeable and friendly, and even gave us a cup of hot chocolate and a biscuit on the boat to keep us warm!

Our next stop was Rogie Falls, a Forestry Commission site. This series of waterfalls are best seen from the suspension bridge where you can stand directly over the rushing water! Our short walk to and from the falls was around 1.75km over relatively easy terrain, and turned out to be a popular spot for dog walkers as we made lots of four-legged friends during our visit.

On our way to our park up for the night, we made a quick stop at the famous Wee Hoose in Lairg. There are many conflicting stories about the Wee Hoose on Loch Shin – our favourite tale is that it’s home to Scottish water sprites. The truth is that the Wee Hoose was constructed about 20 years ago for a local gala, and organisers didn’t have the heart to throw it out! A sweet place for a brief stop – use What3Words ///ordering.skyrocket.vessel to find it!

We ended the day at the Falls of Shin, where it’s free for campers to stay the night. There are a few facilities like bins and a freshwater tap, with the option to pay for electric hook up too. The Falls themselves can only be viewed from a small viewpoint, but there are also some lovely short woodland walks here where you can adventure through the trees and admire hand-carved wooden statues.

Day 8: Dunrobin Castle / Whaligoe Steps / John O’Groats

Our first stop on day 8 was Dunrobin Castle. This is the largest great house in the Northern Highlands, with views overlooking the Moray Firth. We arrived at this fairytale castle early in the morning so we had the gardens almost entirely to ourselves! Unfortunately there were a lot of flowers not quite in bloom yet, but we caught an incredible falconry demonstration with birds of prey flying over our heads. Afterwards we headed inside to wander around the grand halls and some of the 189 lavish rooms in the Castle – well worth a visit!

Next up, we visited the Whaligoe Steps. Back in 1808, fishing boats came into port in the naturally formed harbour between the two sea cliffs here, and people would to haul their fish up these 365 steps to the clifftop! At the bottom of the steps is the ruin of a building that used to store salt to cure fish – it’s mind-boggling to see this part of Whaligoe’s history still standing, even if only partially!

To end our day we headed North to John O’Groats to snap a pic with the famous signpost! John O’Groats is one end of the longest distance between two inhabited points on the British mainland, with Land’s End lying 876 miles South West in Cornwall. Having visited the Land’s End signpost back in 2019, it was very satisfying to finally visit the other end!

Our stop for the night was at Little Croft Highlands, just 15 minutes drive from John O’Groats. The campsite is small with just 5 hard standing pitches and a little grassy area, but the main reason we booked here was because they have animals! We loved meeting the goats, turkeys and chickens right next to our pitch. There’s also a kitchen, a lounge area with WiFi, and a bathroom with a piping hot shower for guests to use – it’s a fantastic place to stop if you’re on the North coast!

Day 9: Duncansby Head sea stacks / Dunnet beach / Melvich beach / Strathy Point lighthouse

Our morning began with a breezy walk along the cliffs at Duncansby Head to see the magnificent sea stacks. We parked our van next to the lighthouse and followed the well-trodden grass paths along the coast for about 20 minutes, until we spotted these impressive sea stacks looming out of the water. It’s like something from the set of Star Wars!

We then made two quick stops at Dunnet beach and Melvich beach, before heading to Strathy Point. Strathy Point lighthouse looks a little tired up close, but the views from the surrounding cliffs certainly make it a worthwhile visit! We headed up the hill to sit and admire the lighthouse from a distance, taking in the calm sea and watching out for seals and dolphins… While we only spotted various sea birds, it was a peaceful stop off point (and Suze is a bird nerd so she was happy!)

We chose Sango Sands Oasis in Durness as our stopping point for the night. We didn’t particularly rate our time here – there aren’t a lot of guidelines and campers can pitch or park anywhere on the expansive grassy site, so we found ourselves surrounded by other campers without much privacy. We chose this site purely for its proximity to our first stop the following morning…

Day 10: Smoo caves / Ceannabeinne beach / Clashnessie Falls

We started day 10 with a 5 minute drive to one of the busier sights on our trip so far – Smoo cave. Archaeological digs here discovered Viking artefacts like boat nails and fish bones, indicating that the processing and eating of sea creatures took place inside the cave. The cave became busy quickly so we took a little look around inside before heading out. We much preferred the walk up the cliff and along the top of the cave, as we got to admire it from a distance and appreciate just how huge it is!

It wouldn’t be a day at the coast without a visit to a beach, so we headed to the gorgeous Ceannabeinne beach where we enjoyed a little stroll. Here the white sand and blue waters could give the Maldives a run for their money!

We rounded off day 10 with another well-known tourist spot – Clashnessie Falls. There’s a short hike from the road to view this waterfall, over wet and grassy land. We saw a few ill-prepared groups struggling, though if you wear good walking shoes you’ll have no problem! The Falls are magnificent and it’s also worth visiting Clashnessie beach nearby for a walk on the expansive stretch of sand.

We had quite a drive to reach our campsite for the night at Port A Bhaigh, though we loved the beautiful scenery here so much that within an hour of arriving we booked an additional night! After a long day of driving we headed to the pub, which is run by the same owners as the campsite, just to sit at the top of the hill and watch the stunning sunset from the outdoor seating area (with a much-deserved bowl of chips!).

Day 11: Port A Bhaigh campsite

One of our few rest days. Just a stone’s throw from our pitch there was a gate to get down onto the pebble beach, where we discovered rock pools to inspect and large flat rocks to sit and watch the waves rolling in. Blissful! The facilities here are also spotless which is always appreciated.

Day 12: Stac Pollaidh / Ullapool

We had hoped to begin day 12 with a 5km hiking route at nearby Stac Pollaidh… However, the car park on the narrow road here has very limited space, so by the time we arrived there were none left. We drove up and down the road a few times, hoping to find a point nearby from which we could begin the hike, but to no avail. Lots of cars chose to park in the passing places, but this is incredibly bad practice on the NC500 where the roads are so narrow, and the passing places so vital. We had to concede that we wouldn’t complete the hike that day, but we intend to return another time!

With our main plan for the day scuppered, we headed to Broomfield holiday park – our campsite for the night in Ullapool. The campsite is laid out in a large, elongated shape, with pitches lining the edge of Loch Broom. We ended up enjoying another unexpected rest day, leisurely wandering around the town and preparing for a big day ahead the following morning.

Day 13: Ferry to Lewis and Harris / Luskentyre beach

Our main reason for staying in Ullapool was to catch the ferry from here to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis and Harris, and the drive from the campsite to the ferry port took us all of 2 minutes! The ferry crossing to Lewis and Harris from Ullapool takes 2.5 hours and is by no means a small cost – our return tickets were £152.50 all together – but visiting the island was without a doubt one of the top highlights of our trip!!

Just over an hour after arriving in Stornoway we had our feet on the sands of one of the largest beaches on the island – Luskentyre. This beach consistently ranks highly in lists of the best beaches to visit in the world! Arriving here we could see why – the brilliant white sand and turquoise waters against the dramatic backdrop of the mountains make for an incredible view!

That evening we parked up for the night at one of six designated camper pitches along the beach. Campers can donate a very reasonable £5 to stay on one of these pitches – the money from which goes into the local area and the maintenance of these camper pitches. Lewis and Harris is incredibly welcoming to campers and is well worth the visit. When you’ve finished gaining inspiration from this post, head to our Lewis and Harris blog post for more reasons why you need to add this island to your itinerary!

Day 14: Golden Road / Eagle observatory / Huisinis Gateway

Waking up to sheep grazing on the grass outside our van against the backdrop of the turquoise beach was heavenly! In order to gain an insight into what island life is like, we spent the morning driving on the Golden Road. This scenic (and very winding!) route along the coast of Harris is supposedly named because of the cost to build a road through the rocky landscape here. We were lucky enough to spot dozens of seals en route at Finsbay, and we loved admiring the small, remote cottages scattered along the coast.

In the afternoon we walked the scenic 5km path to reach the North Harris Eagle Observatory. There is a small car park by the road where the path begins, with towering mountains on either side. The cosy wooden observatory was the perfect viewpoint to sit for a while and look out for the resident Golden Eagles. While we didn’t manage to spot any, the walk is worth the stop alone.

Our park up for the night was another incredible set up for campers. We paid £12 for overnight parking at Huisinis Gateway, where there is a small building with showers, toilets, vending machines and indoor picnic benches to enjoy the view over the beach from the floor to ceiling windows. This was also one of the best spots we visited for finding Highland Coos!! A herd of these big, fluffy cows greeted us as we arrived and didn’t mind posing for a few photos. It was an incredible experience in such a hidden place!

Day 15: Callanish standing stones / Mangersta sea stacks + beach / Uig sands / Bosta beach

There is so much ancient history to discover on Lewis and Harris. The Callanish standing stones were erected around 5,000 years ago – this predates Stonehenge! What’s great about these stones, over Stonehenge, is that visitors can walk right up to the stones. There are three stone circles all within walking distance of one another. It’s fascinating to stand among them and imagine the rituals that took place here thousands of years ago.

Next we headed to the coast for a quick photography stop at Mangersta sea stacks. These jagged rocks were formed by huge waves crashing against them over many years, leaving behind pointed stacks that tower over the water. We recommend heading to Mangersta beach just down the road too, though there are only a handful of parking spots.

Our next stop of the day was a short walk along Uig sands, where the low tide created an expansive stretch of land that seemed to go on until the horizon! The dramatic, mountainous backdrop made the beach all the more impressive.

Our park up for the night was at Bosta beach – yet another beautiful bay on Lewis and Harris! We were spoilt for sea views on the island and it was here at Bosta that we saw one of the most incredible sunsets of our entire trip, as the sun dipped below the horizon and created a brilliant pinky red sky! The facilities here leave much to be desired as the toilet block looked like nobody had attended it in weeks, but the location can’t be faulted.

Day 16: Gearrannan blackhouse village / Callanish alpacas / Butt of Lewis / Garry beach

Eager to discover more of the island’s history, we started our day at the Gearrannan blackhouse village. This cluster of picturesque stone houses were home to a small crofting community in the 1800s. It’s fascinating to walk through the village here, where one house has been preserved as a museum, and learn more about what life would have looked like for the families that lived and worked here. We were even treated to a live weaving demonstration of the famous Harris tweed, on one of the remaining original looms.

Of course as animal lovers we couldn’t pass up the chance to visit the Callanish alpacas! This family-run smallholding is home to dozens of rescue animals, from alpacas, chickens and ducks to pigs, peacocks and rare four-horned Hebridean sheep! The family offer drop-in visits and informal tours which we were lucky enough to catch – their passion for animal care really shines through! There is no charge to visit but donations are welcome, with all proceeds going directly to care for the animals.

Our last sight to see on Lewis and Harris was the Butt of Lewis – the most Northerly point on the island. It’s also in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the windiest place in the entirety of the UK! We enjoyed seeing the towering lighthouse and sea birds nesting along the coast here.

That night we had planned to park up on the coast, but with heavy winds and an early start to catch the ferry the following day, we chose to stay over in a large car park in Stornoway opposite the council building. While this was probably the least picturesque park up on our trip, we were surrounded by other campers and motorhomes so we felt safe and we had a good night’s sleep.

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Day 17: Ferry from Stornoway to Ullapool

Our ferry departed at 7.30am so we found ourselves feeling grateful for the 4 minute drive to the ferry terminal that morning! Once we arrived in Ullapool we checked back into Broomfield holiday park as we already knew the lay of the land, meaning we could settle in for another slow rest day.

Day 18: Lael forest / Corrieshalloch gorge / Gairloch beach / Glen Docherty viewpoint 

Back on the road, we headed to Lael Forest for a short 2km loop walk through the trees, stopping on the bridge to admire a rushing waterfall that runs through the forest below.

For our next stop we used our National Trust membership to gain free entry to Corrieshalloch gorge. This mile-long gorge was created by glacial meltwater and is an awesome sight to behold! We walked over the suspension bridge to gain a top-down view of the Falls of Measach below, before following the well-maintained paths through the woods to take in the lush green scenery.

Then a quick stop over at Gairloch, where we walked along the busy beach to find a secluded rocky spot to sit and reflect on our journey so far, and watch the waves crashing against the shore below. It’s at this point in the trip that we’d visited dozens of beaches, but each one is beautiful in its own way!

Our final stop for the day was another brief one, to take in the scenes at Glen Docherty viewpoint. With mountains on either side sloping down to the road, standing here we could see all the way down to Loch Maree. A truly beautiful stopping point for a picture-perfect view of the Scottish Highlands!

That evening we used Park 4 Night to find a stopover overlooking Loch Carron, where we were treated to another gorgeous Scottish sunset over the forest and Loch below! Park 4 Night can be hit and miss, but every time we used the site in Scotland we found the most gorgeous places to stay the night.

Day 19: Plockton / Eilean Donan Castle / Isle of Skye / Elgol beach / Glenbrittle

A relaxed start to our day as we wandered around the charming coastal village of Plockton. The population here is in the low hundreds, making it a tranquil place to visit. The colourful houses lining the water were completely dreamy!

Onto a popular tourist spot – Eilean Donan Castle – which is often called Scotland’s most picturesque castle as it is famously the most photographed! Eilean Donan is a small tidal island at the intersection of three lochs in the Western Highlands, and the castle in its picturesque setting has featured in films like Highlander, The World is Not Enough, and Entrapment, making it a popular place for visitors. As we only really came to admire the exterior, we headed further up the road to find a lesser-known viewpoint to get away from the crowds. (What3Words – ///aced.strikers.advice)

Next we made the short drive over the Skye bridge to arrive on the Isle of Skye! Being so accessible from the mainland means that the island is a lot busier than those that require a ferry crossing, but we found a pocket of calm at our first island stop – Elgol beach. This ended up being one of our absolute favourite places on Skye as the beach was so peaceful, and we found a secluded spot with a big, flat rock to sit on for a while to enjoy the mountain views in the sunshine.

To end day 19 we parked up at Glenbrittle campsite for the night. The facilities here are great, with the usual toilet and shower blocks, washing up and chemical disposal, but they also have laundry facilities and an amazing cafe and well-stocked shop. The staff were super friendly too which always helps us to have a positive experience!

Day 20: Glenbrittle campsite

We chose Glenbrittle campsite for its proximity to the Fairy Pools, but when we awoke to pouring rain the following day we decided to stay at the campsite another night, and head to the Fairy Pools the next day when sunshine was forecast. This meant we had time to use the laundry facilities on site and spent the day relaxing in the van, listening to the sound of the rain on our roof while gazing out over mountain views on one side and sea views on the other!

Day 21: Fairy Pools / Neist Point lighthouse / Fairy Glen

If we could give one piece of advice about visiting the Fairy Pools, it’s to arrive as early as you can! After a slow start to day 21 we arrived mid morning to find the waterfalls were already quite busy with visitors. The Fairy Pools have become increasingly popular in recent years – so much so that a purpose-built car park now sits at the beginning of the trail with hundreds of parking spaces for tourists. We found though, the further we walked along the paved pathway here (another recent addition to cope with rising visitor numbers) the fewer people we saw as most come to take a photo of the series of waterfalls as a whole, without walking too far along the trail.

From here we headed back to the coast to visit Neist Point lighthouse – the most Westerly place on Skye. We walked the steep path down from the car park to the lighthouse in about twenty minutes to take a look at the lighthouse up close. Unfortunately it’s not possible to go inside any more and while it was interesting to see it up close, we much preferred the stunning views of the lighthouse and ocean from the clifftops!

Our second ‘fairy’ named site of the day – Fairy Glen. This surreal landscape was created by a series of ancient landslides and volcanic activity, and there’s not actually any fairy folklore here! Still, we loved exploring the oddly-shaped hills and climbing the tallest one, known as Castle Ewan due to its turret-like shape. From the top you gain an incredible panoramic perspective of the lumpy land below.

We found another gem of a stopover on Park 4 Night on the Northern tip of the Trotternish peninsula. We were joined by 3 or 4 other campers which always feels reassuring – safety in numbers! Wherever you choose to stop on the island, there’s nothing like a sea view to end a day of exploring.

Day 22: Quairaing hike / An Corran dinosaur footprints / Portree campsite

We began our day with a 7.6km hike at Quiraing where, like Fairy Glen, the unusual landscape was created by a landslide. The narrow path winding up the hillside made us feel like we were in Lord of the Rings, especially in the midday sun when the journey became more of a challenge! But the views at the top over the oddly-shaped mountains made the climb all the more worth it!

Afterwards we stopped off briefly at the beach at An Corran to see the series of well-preserved dinosaur footprints. The footprints in the stone here date back to the mid-Jurassic period – 170 million years ago! They can be hard to spot so do as we did and head for the crowds of people pointing at the ground to find them!!

We didn’t plan anything else for day 22 as we needed time to rest after our morning hike. We chose Portree campsite to park up, where the friendly owner greeted us and gave us our pitch. There are good facilities here, including nice, hot showers which we very much appreciated after our hike! The mountain views are fantastic too.

Day 23: Portree

As we’d found another lovely, quiet campsite we booked in for another night to enjoy the peace and rest up – this had become a theme on our trip! In the afternoon we strolled down the hill to the town of Portree, to view the Insta-famous row of coloured houses along the harbour, and treat ourselves to a ginormous, delicious ice cream at The Wee Isle of Skye Ice Cream Shop!

Day 24: Old Man of Storr / Lealt falls / Ratagan Pass / Fort Augustus, Loch Ness

The unusual landscape on the Isle of Skye makes it fantastic for hiking. One of the most popular hiking routes on Skye is at The Storr, which became apparent to us when we arrived to a steady stream of people heading up the hill! The hike took us around an hour and a half, and we stopped often to appreciate the landscape as well as the jagged rock known as the ‘Old Man’ protruding from the hillside. There are many great viewpoints along the route to stop and take it all in, or have a rest!

A short 10 minute drive from the trails at The Storr you’ll find Lealt Falls. The higher falls can be viewed from a platform that juts out over the water, while the lower (and maybe more impressive) falls are accessed via a steep descent, meaning fewer people choose to visit them. As this was our last stop on the Isle of Skye we took some time to admire the rushing waters here before heading off to drive back onto mainland Scotland.

On our way to our park up for the night, we drove to Ratagan Pass. This is a spectacular vista over Loch Duich and the mountain range called the Five Sisters of Kintail. This area used to be part of the main route to Skye, and ferries still run from here to the island, though the route is nowhere nearer as popular as it used to be since the construction of the Skye Bridge.

From here we headed to Fort Augustus to stay at a relatively new motorhome stopover site. There are no facilities here, save for a couple of bins, but we imagine once it gets properly set up it’ll be a great stopover point close to the town. As we knew we could only stay for one night, we headed out to explore the town and try to spot the monster at Loch Ness! Unfortunately we didn’t manage to find Nessie, but we did like walking around the picturesque town full of characterful buildings, and grabbing some chips from Monster Fish and Chips for our stroll back to the van!

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Day 25: Dog Falls / Glencoe

We spent our morning walking 6.5km around the Coire Loch trail at Dog Falls. This route takes you through shaded forest and provides a good stopping point with a view over Coire Loch before looping back around with a view over the Falls. The trail was almost deserted when we visited which made this peaceful walk all the more special.

From here we spent 2 hours driving through the Highlands, passing the jaw-droppingly-tall Ben Nevis on our way, before reaching Caolasnacon Caravan & Camping Park in Glencoe. We were lucky to grab one of the pitches on the edge of Loch Leven, and spotted some wild deer as we walked around the site!

Day 26: Glencoe Lochan

Staying in Glencoe, we began winding down our trip by spending a couple of days here completing local walks. The first was a short 3.5km loop around Glencoe Lochan, passing through forest and circling the lake before arriving back at the beginning. A sweet, short trail with easy terrain.

Day 27: Glencoe Ann Tor and Signal Rock / The Kelpies

Our second Glencoe hike was another 3.5km route, this time through the Ann Tor woodland passing by the famous Signal Rock. We also made the pilgrimage to Clachaig Gully to see the Harry Potter filming location where Hagrid’s Hut was based. We spent a few minutes looking at pictures of stills from the film to compare them to the landscape around us!

Clachaig Gully – the site of Hagrid’s hut in the Harry Potter films!

Driving through Glencoe signified the end to our epic Scotland road trip, but upon passing through Falkirk we spotted the enormous Kelpies statues from the road and made a last minute decision to stop and take a look. We’re so glad we did and we’d highly recommend you add them to your itinerary – it’s incredible to stand at the foot of these 30-metre-high statues and appreciate the craftsmanship that went into making them, as well as the beautiful story behind them!

On our last overnight stop of the trip we booked a pitch at Seton Sands, a Haven holiday park, purely because of the low cost at the time (£15/night) and the site’s proximity to Edinburgh… Even though the facilities were fine, we wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re looking for a cheap stopover – we found the site noisy with holiday makers and constant traffic.

Day 28: Edinburgh / Chihuahua Cafe

Our very last stop on our Scottish adventures. The last time we travelled to Edinburgh was 2013, when we spent a week ticking off all the tourist spots. Looking for something more unusual and more ‘us’ this time around, we travelled to Edinburgh mainly to visit the Chihuahua Cafe! This is Scotland’s first dog cafe, and for £10 you get just under an hour of Chihuahua cuddles and the chance to learn about each Chihuahua’s personality, while indulging in tea and cake! We loved spending time with these sweet doggos after a month without four-legged friends – it’s a must-visit for dog lovers!

When planning your own trip to Scotland…

Our top tip would be to make a loose plan. For our trip we pin-pointed places to visit and campsites or park ups for stopovers, but we still left some flexibility in case we needed to change our plans. We recommend having an idea of where you’re going for the next few days, but don’t necessarily give yourself a time limit unless you absolutely have to. We were glad that we had four full weeks to explore Scotland, but even so our time in some places ran over meaning we had less time in others – you never know which spots are going to really inspire you and mean you spend longer there, and which ones will take less time than you thought. We had a full day in our itinerary dedicated to hiking at Stac Pollaidh, only to arrive and find there was no space to park, and we had to move on. Similarly we hadn’t planned to visit the Kelpies until we were driving past, and we were glad we had time to stop and see them. Have a plan, but leave room for those plans to change!

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