Some must see areas of Scotland to visit in 2023 by campervan. These Scottish gems have huge amounts to offer and several of them have exciting things to shout about in 2023.
- Dunbar, East Lothian
A haven for outdoor adventure, take a walk on the wild side on Scotland’s East Coast.
With a coastal outlook and train connections to Edinburgh, you can enjoy the seaside town of Dunbar and hop on the train to our capital city for a day trip.
Things to do: Get ready to stretch those legs and take on the Cliff Top Trail. The walk is perfect for family outings and takes just under an hour to complete. You’ll pass by redstone cliffs, a golf course, Dunbar Harbour and down the High Street where you’ll find popular attractions along the way including John Muir’s Birthplace. Explore the route on two wheels by hiring a bike from Belhaven Bikes. If you’re feeling adventurous, ditch dry land and go surfing. Brave the chilly sea temperatures with Coast to Coast Surf School who offer surf lessons and courses on Belhaven beach, or enjoy an adrenaline rush with Foxlake Adventures where you can try your hand at wakeboarding, test your skill, balance and willpower on the FoxFall obstacle course or slip and slide at the Aqua Park. Dunbar is home to two golf clubs, Winterfield Golf Course which offers impressive views of the Firth of Forth, the Bass Rock and the Isle of May while you play, and Dunbar Golf Course which has previously hosted many national and international championships.
You don’t have to break the bank to enjoy your time here in Dunbar. Take a self-guided tour around the town with the Dunbar Art Trail. There are lots of surprises at every corner you turn, from large sculptures and artefacts to colourful street art murals. The Dunbear is just one of the town’s star attractions. Created by Andy Scott, this 18 ft sculpture pays homage to conservationist John Muir who was born in Dunbar in 1838. The bear symbolises his work through the far-off wilderness of America’s west and his advocacy for National Parks.
Travel: Dunbar is well connected road and rail with regular services running daily across Scotland. It’s also a regular stop on the East Coast mainline with trains travelling north from London, the east coast of England and even as far afield as Penzance in Cornwall. Enjoy a scenic bus journey with services running from Edinburgh and Berwick-Upon-Tweed with a journey time of just under an hour.
Food & Drink: Seek shelter at The Brig & Barrel. You’ll be served with a warm and exceptional service with delicious hearty pub fare. The pub is dog-friendly too so make sure to bring your beloved pooch along where they’ll be able to meet the resident pub dog, Fozzie.
Stay: Dunbar, Longniddry or North Berwick
2. Isle of Raasay, north west Highlands
A wee island, sitting just off the Isle of Skye’s eastern coast, is about to steal your heart.
Raasay is the isle on everyone’s wish list at the moment with its recent award from Conde Nast Traveller as one of the ‘Best Islands to Visit’.
Things to do: You’ll quickly find yourself on one of the most beautiful small islands of Scotland. Admire Skye’s Cuillin mountain range and beyond to the Outer Hebrides on clear days. Make a visit to the Isle of Raasay Distillery or climb the isle’s peak, Dun Caan.
Food & Drink: Tuck into delicious dishes at Raasay House Hotel.
Travel: It can be reached by a short 25-minute ferry ride (running regularly every day) from Sconser on the Isle of Skye.
Stay: Isle of Skye
- Aberfeldy, Perthshire
This small market town certainly packs a punch on things to see and do. It’s even been given an honourable mention by our very own Rabbie Burns.
Feel a sense of adventure in Aberfeldy. There are castles to be explored, wildlife to meet and lots of whiskies that are waiting to be tasted.
Things to do: Follow in the footsteps of our National Bard along The Birks of Aberfeldy. Situated just on the outskirts of the town, this circular walk takes you through mixed woodland where you’ll find lots of pretty waterfalls along the way. It’s really no surprise that this beauty spot inspired Robert Burns to write the poem The Birks Of Aberfeldy when he visited the area with his friend William Nicol in 1787. For history buffs, take a step back in time and learn more about the Menzies Clan at Castle Menzies or spot your favourite animals on an off-road adventure with Highland Safaris & Red Deer Centre.
A day of sightseeing can be thirsty work. Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery run a range of tours where you’ll discover the process of crafting the Aberfeldy Single Malt, the artistry that goes into blending and be given the chance to sample some rare whiskies.
Travel: Travelling by campervan is the best way to see Aberfeldy in all its glory and is served by an extensive number of road networks across Scotland’s cities. You can use a combination of both train and bus by getting the train to Perth or Pitlochry and then by catching a bus with services running regularly throughout the day.
Food & Drink: It’s time to take a seat and sample the flavours of fine Scottish cuisine with an international twist at Thyme Bistro at Errichel. The restaurant prides itself on using fresh quality ingredients here.
Stay: Aberfeldy or Kenmore
Scotland’s sunniest city continues to shine bright this year!
Known as Scotland’s fourth largest city, Dundee has it all. From museums and art galleries to urban beaches and open-top tour buses, the city offers lots of inspiration for your next trip. Did you know it’s also a UNESCO City of Design?
Things to do: Birthday celebrations are in order for the V&A Dundee as it turns 5! A new year brings a new exhibition and it’s set to be a stylish one. From April, discover the history behind Scotland’s most iconic fabric at the Tartan exhibition. Learn more about how this textile revolutionised the fashion, film and art industries around the world up to the present day. Just next door, climb aboard the RRS Discovery at Discovery Point and follow in the footsteps of Captain Scott and his crew on their remarkable journey in the Antarctic. The attraction has recently undergone a major refurbishment, creating a new public art gallery with a 360° panoramic view over the city and the River Tay, which also features the brand-new art installation, Gaia.
We hope that you’ve got your bucket and spade at the ready. Feel the sand between your toes and put on those sunnies as we’re heading to the beach. This urban area has proved popular amongst families for a spot of relaxation. Admire the stunning Tay Whale sculpture, make a splash in the colour-lit fountains, or cool down with an ice cream from Jannettas Gelateria nearby.
With so many cool sights to see, there are plenty of ways to travel in style. Xplore Dundee’s open-top bus tours are ready to take you on a whistle-stop tour around the city. Running every 30 minutes from April to September, hop-on/hop-off at some fabulous places including The McManus, Verdant Works and the city centre where you might recognise some statues of familiar comic book characters. Why not swap four wheels for two wheels? Hire a bike at the Dundee Cycle Hub with a selection of electric bikes to choose from.
Travel: Dundee is easy to get by road and rail, with services running regularly from Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth, Birmingham and London.
Food & Drink: Refuel your energy levels by stopping off at Vandal & Co. There’s lots of delicious food and drink options that are bound to whet your appetite. If that’s not enough, let us tempt you even further with its Main Eats Daily Deals available from Monday-Thursday. If you like all things beer, BBQ’s and live bands, we think Dukes Corner will be right up your street.
- Inverclyde, Ayrshire & Firth of Clyde Islands
The blissful isles of Cumbrae and Bute are both within an hour of Glasgow each with regular, short ferry crossings.
This part of the west coast is bursting with great things to see and do. Enjoy accessible islands reachable by public transport from Glasgow, fascinating maritime and cultural history, pretty beaches and even a clifftop castle.
Ayrshire is home to some truly scenic coastal towns which are lovely to visit and get to know.
Things to do: The new driving route, The Coig, is made up of five unique routes stretching from Ayrshire, Arran and Cumbrae to Inverclyde, Renfrewshire and Bute.
Travel: The blissful isles of Cumbrae and Bute are both within an hour of Glasgow each with regular, short ferry crossings.
Stay: Girvan or Troon.
- Caithness, Highlands
For fiery sunrises, colourful skies and remote beauty, look no further than Caithness.
This eastern tip of north Scotland, part of the famous North Coast 500 driving route, is an untouched and beautiful part of Scotland, just waiting to be discovered.
Did you know it has the highest concentration of brochs and ancient monuments in Scotland?
Things to do: There are some incredible geological features here too such as the Whaligoe Steps, sea caves and castles on cliff edges, including Castle Sinclair Girnigoe and Keiss Castle.
Stay: John o’ Groats or Wick.
Visit Caithness and Sutherland
The smallest county in Scotland, this is a little countryside haven within close distance of Scotland’s most key historic moments.
Sandwiched between the Trossachs, Stirling and Perthshire, Clackmannanshire is full of little surprises and scenic spots. The Ochil Hills are a quiet paradise with far-stretching views, whilst the Alva and Dollar Glens lying at the foot of the hills are ideal for leafy, forest walks with waterfalls around every corner.
Things to do: Take in the historical highlights that include the 700-year old Alloa Tower or Castle Campbell, the Lowland stronghold of the powerful Clan Campbell in Dollar.
Food & Drink: Spend time wandering around the pretty loch at Gartmorn Dam, and enjoy a cup of tea at Dam Good Coffee.
Stay: Alloa, Tillicoultry or Menstrie.
- Ballater, Aberdeenshire
This small village in Aberdeenshire has been given the royal seal of approval where you’ll find one of Scotland’s most famous castles.
Situated in the heart of Royal Deeside, this beauty spot was a favourite with Queen Victoria describing it as, “my dear paradise in the Highlands”. Today, you’ll find visitors enjoying Ballater’s wide range of outdoor pursuits.
Things to do: Visit Balmoral Castle, the Scottish residence of the British Royal family. From April until August, the grounds, gardens and exhibitions are open to the public. A trip to Scotland wouldn’t be complete without some whisky tasting. Enjoy a distillery tour at Royal Lochnagar Distillery where you’ll learn the history behind one of Scotland’s most exclusive whiskies.
You’ll no doubt have a summer to remember in Ballater. The second Thursday in August marks The Ballater Highland Games where you can expect lots of fun. From piping competitions and Highland Dancing to caber tossing and tug o’ war. You might even be lucky enough to rub shoulders with the Royals as King Charles III has previously attended.
Travel: Ballater can be easily reached by campervan or public transport from across Scotland.
Food & Drink: Start your day off with a selection of hot filled rolls at the Bridge House Café. For lunch, satisfy your appetite with its deli sandwiches, homemade soups, baked potatoes and quiche. If you’re bringing the dog along, they’ll be able to enjoy some tasty treats too. Doggy ice cream and dog friendly chicken pancakes will certainly get tails wagging. In the evening, enjoy the very best of Scottish cuisine at Rothesay Rooms.
- Dumfries, Dumfries & Galloway
Robert Burns’ old stomping ground is a great base for exploring the glorious region of Dumfries & Galloway.
From the town, you are just moments away from making memories. The Annandale Distillery is a short drive away and makes one of the newest whiskies in Scotland, with a state-of-the-art visitor centre and delicious café.
Things to do: Further south, travel to Gretna Green, just a short train journey from Dumfries to discover the romantic spot where young couples have travelled for centuries to tie the knot. There’s also great retail therapy at the Gretna Gateway outlet shopping centre.
To the west, head to the Galloway Forest Park for walks, wildlife and adventure. The Solway Coast is also on your doorstep for bright sunny days, with brilliant beaches and coastal walks with views for miles around – on clear days, you can even see out to Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man.
Food & Drink: The Victorian town of Moffat is a great place to head for a lunch, a trip to the woollen mill and a chance to try the local specialty, Moffat Toffee!
- Kelso, Scottish Borders
Discover the picturesque town of Kelso, just an hour or so from Edinburgh.
You’ll quickly fall for Kelso, nestled in the heart of the Scottish Borders. There’s plenty to keep you busy – from marvelling at its grand architecture to hanging out with some new furry alpaca friends.
Things to do: Head to Floors Castle and marvel at its incredible interior and exterior design work. Just a short walk away, you’ll find the Victorian Walled Gardens and plenty of waymarked woodland and riverside walks to enjoy. Meet some new four-legged friends at Beirhope Alpacas. Choose between a leisurely stroll or if your legs are feeling up to the challenge, take on the Alpaca Trek where you’ll climb the hills of Beirhope and be treated to the stunning views of The Cheviots and Eildon Hills. Remember to bring your camera and smile with your new trekking buddy too!
Travel: There are good road connections to Kelso and the surrounding areas.
Food & Drink: Make a reservation at The Waggon Inn. This family restaurant caters for all tastes and budgets. On the menu you’ll find pub classics including steak & ale pie and fish and chips and a mouth-watering selection of stone baked pizzas and burgers. There is also a Kiddies Playroom for the little ones to let off some steam.
Book a campervan hire today
Counting sheep Campers have wide a range of campervans and motorhomes to hire in Scotland and are conveniently located at the gateway to Scotland. Just a short drive from Edinburgh or Newcastle. If you wish to leave your car with us, no problem we offer free on site secure parking. We also offer a free local Train station Meet & Greet service, if you wish to travel to us by public transport. We are in the perfect location to start your holiday, exploring Scotland or Northern Britain.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.