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Scottish Trip - campsites heaving

Norfolk Jim

Norfolk Jim

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Norfolk
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T6.1 Ocean 204
My view on the situation on campsites in Scotland following our last 2 weeks there.................sorry for long post but it might help others!

Firstly we were shocked at how busy everywhere was even with schools back - normally on walks in the remote Highlands you hardly see anyone which is bliss. Not this time; it was more like being in the Lakes pre COVID. We normally go for 2 weeks in early May and 2 weeks late September; obviously May didn't go ahead so we decided we'd book into 3 sites and see where to go from there. All site confirmed facilities were open. We decided 2 nights each at the first 3 sites simply to cut down on daily driving.

First site - Tyndrum By The Way site - £22 /night with EHU. Having left Norwich at 5 am we arrived here about 2.30 pm quite up-beat as site appeared quiet. Set up, checked facilities and went for a walk. By 5.00pm site was absolutely heaving with walkers off West Highland Way. No respect for the sign saying 'Max 3 persons on toilets at any one time' and hardly any using the sanitiser on the wall outside. At one point I went to enter and found 9 in there so left and waited till later. Hardly a mask in sight! The next morning we and it seemed the other campervans waited till walkers disappeared and things were a little normal.............I did mention it to the staff and they said they'd tried police it but got so much abuse the only thing they could have done was shut it!

Second site was Sands Caravan and Camping site Gairloch - £20/night without EHU - forgot how long it takes to get here from Tyndrum - 6 hours! This site was already busy by the time we arrived late afternoon but there's plenty of space here if you don't need EHU. Again signs limiting number of people in toilet bocks and masks to be worn but no way of knowing how many folk in there before you enter! Generally people did respect this and you'll always get those who think it doesn't apply to them so ignore. Oddly showers never seemed busy? Either smelly folk on site or have their own on board lol! Or swim in sea. We did have a laugh watching some show off kno6 get his Porsche stuck in sand and have to get owner on his tractor to tow him out. Poor chap must have been embarrassing with around 30 folk watching :bananadance2. 2 decent nights spent here.

Third booked site - Port a Bhaigh, Altandhu - £22/night without EHU. Only couple of hours to get here so did Stac Polliadh first. Arrived about 2.30 and site was pretty full but managed to find a spot away from the front. Those that know this site know the facilities are good but for those needing Wi-Fi you get it near the toilets so you know what I'm going to say................... slowly but surely every camper/motorhome on the road pulled in up until around 8 pm. The site was absolutely heaving with any tiny space taken by a tent. Vans were even being parked on the car park for the night; talk about cramming them in. What happened next left me dumb founded! We were doing some cooking outside at the rear when I heard a door slam shut and the chap next to us in a VW start shouting. Some old guy in his Hymer motorhome had got out and shut the other chaps door and was trying to manoeuvre his big white between us! We both explained the 7m fire safety rule and told him to respect this. Now the toilets - signs saying only 3 in toilets at any one time and keep distance - that's all well and good but again you have to enter and see how many are in to start with! Then it seems Wi-Fi prevails over social distancing as everyman and his dog were outside the entrance (some sitting on deck chairs) trying to get Wi-Fi signal leaving only a small gap of at time less than 1.0m to pass through. Some were even inside in the lobby!!!!! Again no policing and it seemed they wanted to get as many in the site as they could - I'd love to see their planning permission and insurance to see how many pitches they are allowed! Oddly again showers never seemed busy unless we were simply early at 7.00am?

After this we decided the coast was simply to busy so headed in land across to the east away from NC500 and ended up on nice site near the golf course in Dornoch for 2 nights - plenty of space and £20/night for no EHU. Facilities fine and never busy and had a nice tour around the Black Isle. Then off into Cairngorms to a nice site in Grantown-on-Spey for the night - posh site, not that busy and hardly saw anyone in facilities; wardens do police this site and ensure everyone is ok. Nice treat - mobile fish & chip bar goes every Tuesday.

We'd visited Edinburgh once before but only for a short time so over evening meal toyed with idea of finding site on outskirts and spending the next day in the city before traveling home. So we set off early with brief stops to look around the wonderful royal cairns on Balmoral estate and a walk round Braemar (their site was full all week). After that I simply drove stopping at Queensferry services on M90 to search sites. I use a fantastic app called Archies Campings which searches area giving details of all sites around including type, number of pitches, website, contact number and driving directions. First site I found was a Caravan & Motorhome site near Cramond (only 15 mins drive away) - spaces ok for 2 nights £56 for members or £80 non!!!! We made decision to join there and then as we'd recover this joining fee after 2 more nights on club site and after all this is in Edinburgh so expected costs to be higher. V Posh site and they used wrist band system which just about worked. Pot with sterilising solution out side in which 3 blue and 2 red bands. Non in pot not entry. Blue was toilet and basins only and red was showers as well - didn't really work but was never busy......found no red bands in pot but no-one on shower block lol. There's local bus service just up road to get into city or from 9.30 am there's minibus into city every half-hour till 12.00 and return every half hour from 4.30pm - return £6 - was excellent and all v safe.

Well that's it - basically we couldn't believe how busy the middle & north west was and nothing like we expected and they way in which people behaved relating to social distancing etc was somewhat bizarre! Note we called all sites and never simply turned up like we used to.

One last thing - we never holiday abroad and love Scotland for it's scenery, remoteness and friendly people. Never once did we see anything other than welcoming behaviour from local people. On one site in north west my wife was washing up and a rather well spoken chap with English accent started to chat to her saying his first time there and how nice it was. She simply agreed but said how busy it was. He asked where we were from so she said Norfolk and he said he now lived in Aberdeen and went on to say well of course it's the 'staycation' so everyone from the south was up there. His next comment stumped my wife - he said 'of course we'd normally be abroad on holiday now so would avoid all this'!
 
My view on the situation on campsites in Scotland following our last 2 weeks there.................sorry for long post but it might help others!

Firstly we were shocked at how busy everywhere was even with schools back - normally on walks in the remote Highlands you hardly see anyone which is bliss. Not this time; it was more like being in the Lakes pre COVID. We normally go for 2 weeks in early May and 2 weeks late September; obviously May didn't go ahead so we decided we'd book into 3 sites and see where to go from there. All site confirmed facilities were open. We decided 2 nights each at the first 3 sites simply to cut down on daily driving.

First site - Tyndrum By The Way site - £22 /night with EHU. Having left Norwich at 5 am we arrived here about 2.30 pm quite up-beat as site appeared quiet. Set up, checked facilities and went for a walk. By 5.00pm site was absolutely heaving with walkers off West Highland Way. No respect for the sign saying 'Max 3 persons on toilets at any one time' and hardly any using the sanitiser on the wall outside. At one point I went to enter and found 9 in there so left and waited till later. Hardly a mask in sight! The next morning we and it seemed the other campervans waited till walkers disappeared and things were a little normal.............I did mention it to the staff and they said they'd tried police it but got so much abuse the only thing they could have done was shut it!

Second site was Sands Caravan and Camping site Gairloch - £20/night without EHU - forgot how long it takes to get here from Tyndrum - 6 hours! This site was already busy by the time we arrived late afternoon but there's plenty of space here if you don't need EHU. Again signs limiting number of people in toilet bocks and masks to be worn but no way of knowing how many folk in there before you enter! Generally people did respect this and you'll always get those who think it doesn't apply to them so ignore. Oddly showers never seemed busy? Either smelly folk on site or have their own on board lol! Or swim in sea. We did have a laugh watching some show off kno6 get his Porsche stuck in sand and have to get owner on his tractor to tow him out. Poor chap must have been embarrassing with around 30 folk watching :bananadance2. 2 decent nights spent here.

Third booked site - Port a Bhaigh, Altandhu - £22/night without EHU. Only couple of hours to get here so did Stac Polliadh first. Arrived about 2.30 and site was pretty full but managed to find a spot away from the front. Those that know this site know the facilities are good but for those needing Wi-Fi you get it near the toilets so you know what I'm going to say................... slowly but surely every camper/motorhome on the road pulled in up until around 8 pm. The site was absolutely heaving with any tiny space taken by a tent. Vans were even being parked on the car park for the night; talk about cramming them in. What happened next left me dumb founded! We were doing some cooking outside at the rear when I heard a door slam shut and the chap next to us in a VW start shouting. Some old guy in his Hymer motorhome had got out and shut the other chaps door and was trying to manoeuvre his big white between us! We both explained the 7m fire safety rule and told him to respect this. Now the toilets - signs saying only 3 in toilets at any one time and keep distance - that's all well and good but again you have to enter and see how many are in to start with! Then it seems Wi-Fi prevails over social distancing as everyman and his dog were outside the entrance (some sitting on deck chairs) trying to get Wi-Fi signal leaving only a small gap of at time less than 1.0m to pass through. Some were even inside in the lobby!!!!! Again no policing and it seemed they wanted to get as many in the site as they could - I'd love to see their planning permission and insurance to see how many pitches they are allowed! Oddly again showers never seemed busy unless we were simply early at 7.00am?

After this we decided the coast was simply to busy so headed in land across to the east away from NC500 and ended up on nice site near the golf course in Dornoch for 2 nights - plenty of space and £20/night for no EHU. Facilities fine and never busy and had a nice tour around the Black Isle. Then off into Cairngorms to a nice site in Grantown-on-Spey for the night - posh site, not that busy and hardly saw anyone in facilities; wardens do police this site and ensure everyone is ok. Nice treat - mobile fish & chip bar goes every Tuesday.

We'd visited Edinburgh once before but only for a short time so over evening meal toyed with idea of finding site on outskirts and spending the next day in the city before traveling home. So we set off early with brief stops to look around the wonderful royal cairns on Balmoral estate and a walk round Braemar (their site was full all week). After that I simply drove stopping at Queensferry services on M90 to search sites. I use a fantastic app called Archies Campings which searches area giving details of all sites around including type, number of pitches, website, contact number and driving directions. First site I found was a Caravan & Motorhome site near Cramond (only 15 mins drive away) - spaces ok for 2 nights £56 for members or £80 non!!!! We made decision to join there and then as we'd recover this joining fee after 2 more nights on club site and after all this is in Edinburgh so expected costs to be higher. V Posh site and they used wrist band system which just about worked. Pot with sterilising solution out side in which 3 blue and 2 red bands. Non in pot not entry. Blue was toilet and basins only and red was showers as well - didn't really work but was never busy......found no red bands in pot but no-one on shower block lol. There's local bus service just up road to get into city or from 9.30 am there's minibus into city every half-hour till 12.00 and return every half hour from 4.30pm - return £6 - was excellent and all v safe.

Well that's it - basically we couldn't believe how busy the middle & north west was and nothing like we expected and they way in which people behaved relating to social distancing etc was somewhat bizarre! Note we called all sites and never simply turned up like we used to.

One last thing - we never holiday abroad and love Scotland for it's scenery, remoteness and friendly people. Never once did we see anything other than welcoming behaviour from local people. On one site in north west my wife was washing up and a rather well spoken chap with English accent started to chat to her saying his first time there and how nice it was. She simply agreed but said how busy it was. He asked where we were from so she said Norfolk and he said he now lived in Aberdeen and went on to say well of course it's the 'staycation' so everyone from the south was up there. His next comment stumped my wife - he said 'of course we'd normally be abroad on holiday now so would avoid all this'!
The first sites you mention sound very unpleasant! Let’s hope that the situation gets better in the coming months and that 2021 allows wider travels.
 
My view on the situation on campsites in Scotland following our last 2 weeks there.................sorry for long post but it might help others!

Firstly we were shocked at how busy everywhere was even with schools back - normally on walks in the remote Highlands you hardly see anyone which is bliss. Not this time; it was more like being in the Lakes pre COVID. We normally go for 2 weeks in early May and 2 weeks late September; obviously May didn't go ahead so we decided we'd book into 3 sites and see where to go from there. All site confirmed facilities were open. We decided 2 nights each at the first 3 sites simply to cut down on daily driving.

First site - Tyndrum By The Way site - £22 /night with EHU. Having left Norwich at 5 am we arrived here about 2.30 pm quite up-beat as site appeared quiet. Set up, checked facilities and went for a walk. By 5.00pm site was absolutely heaving with walkers off West Highland Way. No respect for the sign saying 'Max 3 persons on toilets at any one time' and hardly any using the sanitiser on the wall outside. At one point I went to enter and found 9 in there so left and waited till later. Hardly a mask in sight! The next morning we and it seemed the other campervans waited till walkers disappeared and things were a little normal.............I did mention it to the staff and they said they'd tried police it but got so much abuse the only thing they could have done was shut it!

Second site was Sands Caravan and Camping site Gairloch - £20/night without EHU - forgot how long it takes to get here from Tyndrum - 6 hours! This site was already busy by the time we arrived late afternoon but there's plenty of space here if you don't need EHU. Again signs limiting number of people in toilet bocks and masks to be worn but no way of knowing how many folk in there before you enter! Generally people did respect this and you'll always get those who think it doesn't apply to them so ignore. Oddly showers never seemed busy? Either smelly folk on site or have their own on board lol! Or swim in sea. We did have a laugh watching some show off kno6 get his Porsche stuck in sand and have to get owner on his tractor to tow him out. Poor chap must have been embarrassing with around 30 folk watching :bananadance2. 2 decent nights spent here.

Third booked site - Port a Bhaigh, Altandhu - £22/night without EHU. Only couple of hours to get here so did Stac Polliadh first. Arrived about 2.30 and site was pretty full but managed to find a spot away from the front. Those that know this site know the facilities are good but for those needing Wi-Fi you get it near the toilets so you know what I'm going to say................... slowly but surely every camper/motorhome on the road pulled in up until around 8 pm. The site was absolutely heaving with any tiny space taken by a tent. Vans were even being parked on the car park for the night; talk about cramming them in. What happened next left me dumb founded! We were doing some cooking outside at the rear when I heard a door slam shut and the chap next to us in a VW start shouting. Some old guy in his Hymer motorhome had got out and shut the other chaps door and was trying to manoeuvre his big white between us! We both explained the 7m fire safety rule and told him to respect this. Now the toilets - signs saying only 3 in toilets at any one time and keep distance - that's all well and good but again you have to enter and see how many are in to start with! Then it seems Wi-Fi prevails over social distancing as everyman and his dog were outside the entrance (some sitting on deck chairs) trying to get Wi-Fi signal leaving only a small gap of at time less than 1.0m to pass through. Some were even inside in the lobby!!!!! Again no policing and it seemed they wanted to get as many in the site as they could - I'd love to see their planning permission and insurance to see how many pitches they are allowed! Oddly again showers never seemed busy unless we were simply early at 7.00am?

After this we decided the coast was simply to busy so headed in land across to the east away from NC500 and ended up on nice site near the golf course in Dornoch for 2 nights - plenty of space and £20/night for no EHU. Facilities fine and never busy and had a nice tour around the Black Isle. Then off into Cairngorms to a nice site in Grantown-on-Spey for the night - posh site, not that busy and hardly saw anyone in facilities; wardens do police this site and ensure everyone is ok. Nice treat - mobile fish & chip bar goes every Tuesday.

We'd visited Edinburgh once before but only for a short time so over evening meal toyed with idea of finding site on outskirts and spending the next day in the city before traveling home. So we set off early with brief stops to look around the wonderful royal cairns on Balmoral estate and a walk round Braemar (their site was full all week). After that I simply drove stopping at Queensferry services on M90 to search sites. I use a fantastic app called Archies Campings which searches area giving details of all sites around including type, number of pitches, website, contact number and driving directions. First site I found was a Caravan & Motorhome site near Cramond (only 15 mins drive away) - spaces ok for 2 nights £56 for members or £80 non!!!! We made decision to join there and then as we'd recover this joining fee after 2 more nights on club site and after all this is in Edinburgh so expected costs to be higher. V Posh site and they used wrist band system which just about worked. Pot with sterilising solution out side in which 3 blue and 2 red bands. Non in pot not entry. Blue was toilet and basins only and red was showers as well - didn't really work but was never busy......found no red bands in pot but no-one on shower block lol. There's local bus service just up road to get into city or from 9.30 am there's minibus into city every half-hour till 12.00 and return every half hour from 4.30pm - return £6 - was excellent and all v safe.

Well that's it - basically we couldn't believe how busy the middle & north west was and nothing like we expected and they way in which people behaved relating to social distancing etc was somewhat bizarre! Note we called all sites and never simply turned up like we used to.

One last thing - we never holiday abroad and love Scotland for it's scenery, remoteness and friendly people. Never once did we see anything other than welcoming behaviour from local people. On one site in north west my wife was washing up and a rather well spoken chap with English accent started to chat to her saying his first time there and how nice it was. She simply agreed but said how busy it was. He asked where we were from so she said Norfolk and he said he now lived in Aberdeen and went on to say well of course it's the 'staycation' so everyone from the south was up there. His next comment stumped my wife - he said 'of course we'd normally be abroad on holiday now so would avoid all this'!
Thanks Jim really appreciate this information as we plan to set off for Scotland a week on Wednesday and so far only have first two nights booked. Might have a rethink of strategy as School Holidays now will be coming into play from 9th. A bit apprehensive now......
 
Thanks Jim really appreciate this information as we plan to set off for Scotland a week on Wednesday and so far only have first two nights booked. Might have a rethink of strategy as School Holidays now will be coming into play from 9th. A bit apprehensive now......
I think if you can avoid anything within a radius of about 10 miles you might find it better but believe me we avoid people in general and felt even wilding would be difficult. There are lots also that are shut completely and one surprise (even though we'd never stop at it) was the CC&C at Poolewe was completely shut with sheep grazing!!!!!
 
Would imagine everywhere will be busy; Alot of people are working from home again & if you don't have kids at school its just as easy to work from a van if you have a decent data connection.
 
A really interesting read Jim. We too have just returned from 2 weeks in Scotland but didn’t suffer the heaving sites you did but we did stay clear of the far north & the west. We prebooked 5 C&CC sites, Dunbar, Scone, Dingwall, Loch Ness & Loch Lomond (Milarrochy), not something we would normally do as we prefer to go where the fancy takes us but given the current circumstances it worked well for us. Sites were busy but despite having only 50% of the shower & loo facilities open we rarely had to queue & we encountered few social distancing issues. There was also plenty of space between units (C&CC’s 6m rule!). All in all we had a fabulous time, lots of lovely walks, the weather was kind & like you we experienced nothing but welcoming & friendly behaviour from all the locals we encountered
 
I think if you can avoid anything within a radius of about 10 miles you might find it better but believe me we avoid people in general and felt even wilding would be difficult. There are lots also that are shut completely and one surprise (even though we'd never stop at it) was the CC&C at Poolewe was completely shut with sheep grazing!!!!!
Passed through there a few days ago on the way to Gairloch (Sands)
 
Jim, here’s an odd thought from me.

Sorry to hear about the nice campsite in Altandhu being raided. We were there with our Cali some years ago, with only a hand full of campers, be it in gale force nine and horizontal rain... What a site! The modern toilet block had just opened, indeed wifi was only there.

If I may add a thought about being it rather busy over there these days. It’s not only school hollidays and covid, I presume. I’m living in Amsterdam, where tens of years of city marketing resulted in a “succes”: the streets are filled 24/7 all year around with wheeled suitcases of one and a half million tourists, from all over the world. Our mayer tried to stop this plague last year, but she has no chance, as we say: the spirit is out of the bottle (don’t now how to say this in correct English). As soon as the lockdowns here were eased this summer, the streets have filled again.

Now for Scotland: some clever marketing guys began to promote the 500 route around the Scottish North several years ago. On every travel marketing event all around Europe I visited the last few years, they showered glossy advertisements for the C500: come to Scotland with your big white campers.
And so they came. And now, with lockdown, they also arrive from England, to clog the single track roads and the beautifull campings.
As we say in Dutch: “de geest is uit de fles“ , the spirit is out of the bottle. How to push it in again? Will this be over after covid? I tend to doubt It.

Like to see your pictures, Jim.


Regards from Amsterdam,

Marc.
 
It’s not really a huge surprise is it ? There is a massive choke on capacity as so many sites have simply not opened and there are a lot more people in a shorter timeframe wanting to travel around. Outside school holidays the demand is much higher from those that want to avoid those times so all in all it’s a bit crazy and has been since July 15 when it opened up again. Give it another 10’days and you won’t be able to travel anywhere so that will solve the problem
 
We were very shocked at Port a Bhaigh though and would have thought they would be a little stricter rather than cram folk in. It is a lovely spot and we are both fit and well in our 60's and will happily walk 15 - 20 miles a day to get into wild areas so happily walked to Polbain and visited a wonderful local art/jewellery shop which cheered my wife up. Couple of pictures for you marchugo - the first is the beach at Sands Caravan site Gairloch looking at Torridon Mountains. The second is looking across at the Summer Isles near the Port a Bhaigh site and then sunset on beach at Port a Bhaigh :) All taken on my Samsung S10

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A really interesting read Jim. We too have just returned from 2 weeks in Scotland but didn’t suffer the heaving sites you did but we did stay clear of the far north & the west. We prebooked 5 C&CC sites, Dunbar, Scone, Dingwall, Loch Ness & Loch Lomond (Milarrochy), not something we would normally do as we prefer to go where the fancy takes us but given the current circumstances it worked well for us. Sites were busy but despite having only 50% of the shower & loo facilities open we rarely had to queue & we encountered few social distancing issues. There was also plenty of space between units (C&CC’s 6m rule!). All in all we had a fabulous time, lots of lovely walks, the weather was kind & like you we experienced nothing but welcoming & friendly behaviour from all the locals we encountered
We found it a lot quieter on east side but trouble is I love the mountains! I'm very glad we steered clear of Skye!! It was bad enough with the traffic on A890 from Auchtertyre to Strathcarron. That roads terrible at the best of times but it was pretty scary this time and was my only real option from Tyndrum to Gairloch as diversion on other route due to the landslide. We did wonder about venturing up in perhaps November when wife has a week off unless she's locked down as a nurse!
 
Think it looks about time to sell our beloved Colin the camper and find a nice Cali for one reason simply to get bed set up much quicker! Bit of a palaver moving all bed cushions before pulling bed out while door shut lol!
 
Yes what you say about the NC500 is unfortunately true. I grew up at the very top of it but have since moved away but still visit as my parents are up there. For some reason the West coast is proving to be a bad experience, not sure if folk aren’t planning in advance etc and are filling sites up as they have had enough of single track roads for one day or they are spending more time on west coast due to its spectacular scenery. The north, East and South of the route is definitely less crowded.
 
Yes what you say about the NC500 is unfortunately true. I grew up at the very top of it but have since moved away but still visit as my parents are up there. For some reason the West coast is proving to be a bad experience, not sure if folk aren’t planning in advance etc and are filling sites up as they have had enough of single track roads for one day or they are spending more time on west coast due to its spectacular scenery. The north, East and South of the route is definitely less crowded.
After just completing it I would agree, we did east to west and spent more time in the north west/west. Lots of Petrol heads, loved the Aston Martins, however supprised they enjoyed some of the rough roads.
 
We had a week S Highlands 2 weeks ago. Had 2 nights at Achindarroch near Duror. Never stayed there before and it was fine. They seemed to limit numbers and there was never more than the limit of 2 in the washroom. Then had 3 nights at Pinetrees at Tyndrum, never had a bad stay here. Lovely friendly and clean site again no issues with facilities. Despite being on the WHW they had closed to tents for the year, which is probably why they were all next door.
NC500 a place to avoid this season I think. May just get quieter in November when furlough finally ends.
 
My view on the situation on campsites in Scotland following our last 2 weeks there.................sorry for long post but it might help others!

Firstly we were shocked at how busy everywhere was even with schools back - normally on walks in the remote Highlands you hardly see anyone which is bliss. Not this time; it was more like being in the Lakes pre COVID. We normally go for 2 weeks in early May and 2 weeks late September; obviously May didn't go ahead so we decided we'd book into 3 sites and see where to go from there. All site confirmed facilities were open. We decided 2 nights each at the first 3 sites simply to cut down on daily driving.

First site - Tyndrum By The Way site - £22 /night with EHU. Having left Norwich at 5 am we arrived here about 2.30 pm quite up-beat as site appeared quiet. Set up, checked facilities and went for a walk. By 5.00pm site was absolutely heaving with walkers off West Highland Way. No respect for the sign saying 'Max 3 persons on toilets at any one time' and hardly any using the sanitiser on the wall outside. At one point I went to enter and found 9 in there so left and waited till later. Hardly a mask in sight! The next morning we and it seemed the other campervans waited till walkers disappeared and things were a little normal.............I did mention it to the staff and they said they'd tried police it but got so much abuse the only thing they could have done was shut it!

Second site was Sands Caravan and Camping site Gairloch - £20/night without EHU - forgot how long it takes to get here from Tyndrum - 6 hours! This site was already busy by the time we arrived late afternoon but there's plenty of space here if you don't need EHU. Again signs limiting number of people in toilet bocks and masks to be worn but no way of knowing how many folk in there before you enter! Generally people did respect this and you'll always get those who think it doesn't apply to them so ignore. Oddly showers never seemed busy? Either smelly folk on site or have their own on board lol! Or swim in sea. We did have a laugh watching some show off kno6 get his Porsche stuck in sand and have to get owner on his tractor to tow him out. Poor chap must have been embarrassing with around 30 folk watching :bananadance2. 2 decent nights spent here.

Third booked site - Port a Bhaigh, Altandhu - £22/night without EHU. Only couple of hours to get here so did Stac Polliadh first. Arrived about 2.30 and site was pretty full but managed to find a spot away from the front. Those that know this site know the facilities are good but for those needing Wi-Fi you get it near the toilets so you know what I'm going to say................... slowly but surely every camper/motorhome on the road pulled in up until around 8 pm. The site was absolutely heaving with any tiny space taken by a tent. Vans were even being parked on the car park for the night; talk about cramming them in. What happened next left me dumb founded! We were doing some cooking outside at the rear when I heard a door slam shut and the chap next to us in a VW start shouting. Some old guy in his Hymer motorhome had got out and shut the other chaps door and was trying to manoeuvre his big white between us! We both explained the 7m fire safety rule and told him to respect this. Now the toilets - signs saying only 3 in toilets at any one time and keep distance - that's all well and good but again you have to enter and see how many are in to start with! Then it seems Wi-Fi prevails over social distancing as everyman and his dog were outside the entrance (some sitting on deck chairs) trying to get Wi-Fi signal leaving only a small gap of at time less than 1.0m to pass through. Some were even inside in the lobby!!!!! Again no policing and it seemed they wanted to get as many in the site as they could - I'd love to see their planning permission and insurance to see how many pitches they are allowed! Oddly again showers never seemed busy unless we were simply early at 7.00am?

After this we decided the coast was simply to busy so headed in land across to the east away from NC500 and ended up on nice site near the golf course in Dornoch for 2 nights - plenty of space and £20/night for no EHU. Facilities fine and never busy and had a nice tour around the Black Isle. Then off into Cairngorms to a nice site in Grantown-on-Spey for the night - posh site, not that busy and hardly saw anyone in facilities; wardens do police this site and ensure everyone is ok. Nice treat - mobile fish & chip bar goes every Tuesday.

We'd visited Edinburgh once before but only for a short time so over evening meal toyed with idea of finding site on outskirts and spending the next day in the city before traveling home. So we set off early with brief stops to look around the wonderful royal cairns on Balmoral estate and a walk round Braemar (their site was full all week). After that I simply drove stopping at Queensferry services on M90 to search sites. I use a fantastic app called Archies Campings which searches area giving details of all sites around including type, number of pitches, website, contact number and driving directions. First site I found was a Caravan & Motorhome site near Cramond (only 15 mins drive away) - spaces ok for 2 nights £56 for members or £80 non!!!! We made decision to join there and then as we'd recover this joining fee after 2 more nights on club site and after all this is in Edinburgh so expected costs to be higher. V Posh site and they used wrist band system which just about worked. Pot with sterilising solution out side in which 3 blue and 2 red bands. Non in pot not entry. Blue was toilet and basins only and red was showers as well - didn't really work but was never busy......found no red bands in pot but no-one on shower block lol. There's local bus service just up road to get into city or from 9.30 am there's minibus into city every half-hour till 12.00 and return every half hour from 4.30pm - return £6 - was excellent and all v safe.

Well that's it - basically we couldn't believe how busy the middle & north west was and nothing like we expected and they way in which people behaved relating to social distancing etc was somewhat bizarre! Note we called all sites and never simply turned up like we used to.

One last thing - we never holiday abroad and love Scotland for it's scenery, remoteness and friendly people. Never once did we see anything other than welcoming behaviour from local people. On one site in north west my wife was washing up and a rather well spoken chap with English accent started to chat to her saying his first time there and how nice it was. She simply agreed but said how busy it was. He asked where we were from so she said Norfolk and he said he now lived in Aberdeen and went on to say well of course it's the 'staycation' so everyone from the south was up there. His next comment stumped my wife - he said 'of course we'd normally be abroad on holiday now so would avoid all this'!
Sorry to hear about your experience at Tyndrum. Just so you know, it's forty years since the creation of the WHW which is why it might be particularly busy just now.
Also, with almost every campervan and motorhome in the UK being snapped up now and with a slight easing of some o0f the lockdown rules, we shouldn't be surprised to see most accessible sites hoaching.
Don't Give [!
 
Hi, that’s an interesting post. We visited Inverness, Dornoch, Dunnet Bay and Durness in July/Aug. No problem with facilities and social distancing.

Went to Grantown on Spey for 3 nights last weekend (schools were off Fri/Mon) so busy at site but as you said well policed, no issue with social distancing. Very well manicured and washing facilities are amazing.

I personally find that social distancing in supermarkets harder than at campsites as there is usually room to move away at sites. maybe we all need to buy an extendable 2m stick to push people out of our way
 
Mmmmmh! We live in Scotland and would normally have done many nights away in the van in Scotland over the summer. This summer, once we unlocked a bit, the place was rammed and to be honest, we couldn't face it. So no nights away in 2020! Plenty of day trips thought, but even so you really need local knowledge to 'get away from it'. Re the last para, there may be people up from 'down south' but every Scottish motorhome/campervan is also on the road. It seems that everyone is out and about, camping, walking, dog-walking etc. I'm sure that is a good thing. Personally, I hope things quieten down a bit. I really don't want to have to get used to it!
 
I'd get used to it. There won't be the volume of overseas travel and you also have a lot of people who are WFH now and thus may be looking to 'get away'a bit more. We've had about 30 nights away since July and at only one point did we think it was 'rammed' - Oakwood in Aviemore I'm looking at you. We were in N East and N West and D&G and we've not felt it too busy, last weekend in D&G we spent the day in the sun on a secluded beach about 20 mins bike away from a C&C site. I'd honestly just get in amongst it as otherwise you'll be waiting for something that is a long time away.
 
My view on the situation on campsites in Scotland following our last 2 weeks there.................sorry for long post but it might help others!

Firstly we were shocked at how busy everywhere was even with schools back - normally on walks in the remote Highlands you hardly see anyone which is bliss. Not this time; it was more like being in the Lakes pre COVID. We normally go for 2 weeks in early May and 2 weeks late September; obviously May didn't go ahead so we decided we'd book into 3 sites and see where to go from there. All site confirmed facilities were open. We decided 2 nights each at the first 3 sites simply to cut down on daily driving.

First site - Tyndrum By The Way site - £22 /night with EHU. Having left Norwich at 5 am we arrived here about 2.30 pm quite up-beat as site appeared quiet. Set up, checked facilities and went for a walk. By 5.00pm site was absolutely heaving with walkers off West Highland Way. No respect for the sign saying 'Max 3 persons on toilets at any one time' and hardly any using the sanitiser on the wall outside. At one point I went to enter and found 9 in there so left and waited till later. Hardly a mask in sight! The next morning we and it seemed the other campervans waited till walkers disappeared and things were a little normal.............I did mention it to the staff and they said they'd tried police it but got so much abuse the only thing they could have done was shut it!

Second site was Sands Caravan and Camping site Gairloch - £20/night without EHU - forgot how long it takes to get here from Tyndrum - 6 hours! This site was already busy by the time we arrived late afternoon but there's plenty of space here if you don't need EHU. Again signs limiting number of people in toilet bocks and masks to be worn but no way of knowing how many folk in there before you enter! Generally people did respect this and you'll always get those who think it doesn't apply to them so ignore. Oddly showers never seemed busy? Either smelly folk on site or have their own on board lol! Or swim in sea. We did have a laugh watching some show off kno6 get his Porsche stuck in sand and have to get owner on his tractor to tow him out. Poor chap must have been embarrassing with around 30 folk watching :bananadance2. 2 decent nights spent here.

Third booked site - Port a Bhaigh, Altandhu - £22/night without EHU. Only couple of hours to get here so did Stac Polliadh first. Arrived about 2.30 and site was pretty full but managed to find a spot away from the front. Those that know this site know the facilities are good but for those needing Wi-Fi you get it near the toilets so you know what I'm going to say................... slowly but surely every camper/motorhome on the road pulled in up until around 8 pm. The site was absolutely heaving with any tiny space taken by a tent. Vans were even being parked on the car park for the night; talk about cramming them in. What happened next left me dumb founded! We were doing some cooking outside at the rear when I heard a door slam shut and the chap next to us in a VW start shouting. Some old guy in his Hymer motorhome had got out and shut the other chaps door and was trying to manoeuvre his big white between us! We both explained the 7m fire safety rule and told him to respect this. Now the toilets - signs saying only 3 in toilets at any one time and keep distance - that's all well and good but again you have to enter and see how many are in to start with! Then it seems Wi-Fi prevails over social distancing as everyman and his dog were outside the entrance (some sitting on deck chairs) trying to get Wi-Fi signal leaving only a small gap of at time less than 1.0m to pass through. Some were even inside in the lobby!!!!! Again no policing and it seemed they wanted to get as many in the site as they could - I'd love to see their planning permission and insurance to see how many pitches they are allowed! Oddly again showers never seemed busy unless we were simply early at 7.00am?

After this we decided the coast was simply to busy so headed in land across to the east away from NC500 and ended up on nice site near the golf course in Dornoch for 2 nights - plenty of space and £20/night for no EHU. Facilities fine and never busy and had a nice tour around the Black Isle. Then off into Cairngorms to a nice site in Grantown-on-Spey for the night - posh site, not that busy and hardly saw anyone in facilities; wardens do police this site and ensure everyone is ok. Nice treat - mobile fish & chip bar goes every Tuesday.

We'd visited Edinburgh once before but only for a short time so over evening meal toyed with idea of finding site on outskirts and spending the next day in the city before traveling home. So we set off early with brief stops to look around the wonderful royal cairns on Balmoral estate and a walk round Braemar (their site was full all week). After that I simply drove stopping at Queensferry services on M90 to search sites. I use a fantastic app called Archies Campings which searches area giving details of all sites around including type, number of pitches, website, contact number and driving directions. First site I found was a Caravan & Motorhome site near Cramond (only 15 mins drive away) - spaces ok for 2 nights £56 for members or £80 non!!!! We made decision to join there and then as we'd recover this joining fee after 2 more nights on club site and after all this is in Edinburgh so expected costs to be higher. V Posh site and they used wrist band system which just about worked. Pot with sterilising solution out side in which 3 blue and 2 red bands. Non in pot not entry. Blue was toilet and basins only and red was showers as well - didn't really work but was never busy......found no red bands in pot but no-one on shower block lol. There's local bus service just up road to get into city or from 9.30 am there's minibus into city every half-hour till 12.00 and return every half hour from 4.30pm - return £6 - was excellent and all v safe.

Well that's it - basically we couldn't believe how busy the middle & north west was and nothing like we expected and they way in which people behaved relating to social distancing etc was somewhat bizarre! Note we called all sites and never simply turned up like we used to.

One last thing - we never holiday abroad and love Scotland for it's scenery, remoteness and friendly people. Never once did we see anything other than welcoming behaviour from local people. On one site in north west my wife was washing up and a rather well spoken chap with English accent started to chat to her saying his first time there and how nice it was. She simply agreed but said how busy it was. He asked where we were from so she said Norfolk and he said he now lived in Aberdeen and went on to say well of course it's the 'staycation' so everyone from the south was up there. His next comment stumped my wife - he said 'of course we'd normally be abroad on holiday now so would avoid all this'!
Tyndrum By The Way site.

Are the walkers allowed to come in and use the facilities? Most sites I have been in that are easily access by non residents, have a key or code to enter the facilities.
 
We went to Folly Farm campsite last week. Pitches are serviced and huge. When we left every pitch was full. Only thing is you can hear the lions being fed at night... Grandson loved it..
 
Tyndrum By The Way site.

Are the walkers allowed to come in and use the facilities? Most sites I have been in that are easily access by non residents, have a key or code to enter the facilities.
No they can't as it is key coded. Having said that it is a recognised stop off point for walkers doing the West Highland Way on their way to the next stop which I think is Kingshouse Hotel so many appear late in the day and normally are gone by the time you want a shower then site goes quiet.
 
Wonder what it'll be like this year........we're off to Edinburgh end of Sept for couple of nights and taking bikes. Then on to Grantown on Spey for couple of nights then not sure. We've both worked right through since March last year with only the weeks break in Sept. My wife is a community nurse working 4 days a week but she's then vaccinating normally the other 3!!! I think at over 60 she does need a proper quiet break..................
 
Wonder what it'll be like this year........we're off to Edinburgh end of Sept for couple of nights and taking bikes. Then on to Grantown on Spey for couple of nights then not sure. We've both worked right through since March last year with only the weeks break in Sept. My wife is a community nurse working 4 days a week but she's then vaccinating normally the other 3!!! I think at over 60 she does need a proper quiet break..................
Just back from Braemar campsite, it was full but not busy if that makes sense. No queues for facilities and plenty of space on the site to move around and all in all very peaceful. The village itself is only a 5-10 minute walk away with many places to eat.
 

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