SETTING off early from our base near Dunkeld we head to the outskirts of the small village of Murthly in Perthshire to pick up Peach Melba – our luxury campervan for the next 48 hours. Our mode of transportation and our home from home for the following two nights is provided by North Bound Campervans, a campervan hire and conversion company.

For our very first campervan staycation experience the lovely Peach Melba charmed us from the outset. On sliding the side door open the first thing to catch your attention is the bold multicoloured geometric flooring, and with a Belfast sink, fridge, generously sized bed, electrics, and a gas stove it’s clear attention to detail and expert craftsmanship has been ploughed into its creation.

HeraldScotland:

With only 2000 miles on the clock and the smell of freshly cut wood still permeating throughout the van, we were eager to hit the road. But first, coffee. To pick up some road trip essentials we pop along to the ever-popular Aran Bakery in Dunkeld. After nabbing the last pistachio croissant, a sausage roll, iced coffee and a hibiscus tea, and showing off the campervan to some local friends, it’s time to get the show on the road.

NORTHBOUND

We head north along the bustling A9 in search of a coastal escape. Prepped and packed for all seasons, the rain eventually ceases by the time we reach our first stop, Gairloch Beach. The sheltered beach boasts a long, smooth stretch of sand with far-reaching views of nearby islands, making an ideal pit stop for families, couples and anyone with a four-legged companion.

HeraldScotland:

Next, we take Peach to The Badachro Inn, only a short drive away, for some dinner. Despite its remote postcode, Badachro is buzzing with a warm atmosphere of locals and tourists enjoying meals, drinks, and the view over the Badachro Bay.

It’s a Friday night and the restaurant is fully booked, though we manage to secure a table last minute thanks to an earlier cancellation. The staff couldn’t have been more accommodating and hospitable, seating us in the charming conservatory dining area overlooking the calm bay.

To take advantage of our coastal positioning, we ordered the scallops to start, followed by salmon and fish and chips. The food is wholesome and prepared with care.

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Owner Martyn Pearson bids us a friendly farewell from his horsebox trailer serving fresh pizza from a wood-fired oven situated outside, as some eager visitors pull up to collect their takeaway pizza.

For our first night we have booked the Sands Caravan and Camping Park. We park atop a flat grassy hilltop. There’s no one within close vicinity and, best of all, we have a direct view of the sunlit sea. We open all the campervan doors to take in the impressive display and feel instantly settled.

To make the most of the sunset, we walk the few yards over the dunes to the Big Sand Beach. Popping open a bottle of prosecco, we toast our journey while listening to the waves lapping against the shore, before retiring to the cosy confines of our campervan.

The placid Scottish sunshine makes it easy to wake early in the van. We make the most of the campsite’s numerous facilities, which include clean, well-presented toilet and shower blocks, a café, water stations, grocery shop and a covered indoor cooking and eating area.

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After enjoying breakfast in the campervan, we head down to the beach once again for a morning stroll along the water’s edge. The beach is brimming with families enjoying activities, dogs running joyfully, paddleboarders and kids being towed on a banana boat in the sea. We even spot a spearfisherman.

SOUTHBOUND

We leave Sands campsite around noon and, as Peach needs to be handed back at 10am the next morning, tonight’s camp will have to be further south. We have nothing booked. Instead we plan to find somewhere off-grid.

Before we do, however, we drive half an hour to Gruinard Bay. The site is featured on the North West Highlands Snorkel Trail, and as wild swimming and snorkel enthusiasts, we fully intend to take advantage of the great low tide exploration.

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After donning wetsuit and snorkel we’re instantly captivated by the abundance in seagrass, fish, shellfish, crabs, starfish and rare maerl visible close to shore.

The underwater forests enchant us so much that by the time we leave the water the tide has come so far out the two beaches have joined to become one long stretch of sand.

HeraldScotland:

As we let our wetsuits dry in the afternoon sun, we’re once again grateful for Peach. Before heading south, we pop the kettle on the gas stove for a cup of tea and some noodles, opening the doors to soak in some more rays of sun.

Next stop, Aviemore. We drive leisurely down towards the popular holiday resort situated in the northwest corner of the Cairngorms National Park and swap beaches for lush forests. To stretch our legs after the drive, we opt for a woodland walk close by called Uath Lochans, which offers a viewpoint over three charming lochans.

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We let ourselves digest the expansive forest view before hunger demands our attention. We come across a place called Pizzariach in Aviemore, a wood-clad outpost attracting plenty of traffic for takeaways. Pulling out the campervan’s retractable table, we tuck into our piping hot pizzas.

After securing a fairly secluded, quiet spot for the night, we fall asleep in our comfy double bed to the sound of the forest. The next morning, we awake bright and early and head back on our merry way towards Perthshire – a straight track down the A9.

HeraldScotland:

We hand Peach Melba back exactly 48 hours after picking it up and we can’t quite believe our micro-adventure is over already. We suspect it won’t be the last campervan trip we enjoy in Scotland. One thing’s for certain though: we’ll be hard-pressed to find a campervan as luxurious as Peach Melba.

 

Prices start from £100 per night. To make a reservation (minimum seven-day hire during high season) or enquiry about van conversions visit

northboundhire.co.uk