West Coast route

Our Scottish West Coast Route: a guide from Perth to some of the best sights in the world


We specialise in wild camping, so no need to pay for campsites when using one of our motorhomes. This route can be cut short at various locations, creating 7, 10, 12 or 14 day circular tours.

 Scottish Tourer, West Coast Motorhome Route

Using our 30 years of experience motorhoming around Scotland, we created our west coast motorhome route which takes in the most scenic areas available traveling by road. 

We supply Garmin Sat Nav, free of charge, which has all our wild camping spots pre-loaded, so when looking for a place to stay just press go and you’ll be directed there. Our GPS also has loaded around 300 water taps to top up with water and places to empty the toilet waste as well as great Pub 

Stops where you can have a meal and stay overnight. The image below shows all the points we have loaded in the GPS.

 GPS markers on Google Maps that are pre-loaded into our GPS for the west coastal route.

From Perth travel north up the A9 towards Inverness.

If you have had a long drive to reach us in Perth then you may only want to drive for 30 Minutes to Pitlochry where there is a nice wild camp spotor a wild camp at Aviemore Ski Centre, just two hours from Perth, which has fantastic views. However, for a campsite there is BlairAtholl, just 45 minutes from us and located next to BlairAtholl Castle, one of the best preserved castles in Scotland.

On the way to Inverness stop in at House Of Bruar, a Scottish Highland food hall. Stock up with the finest food Scotland has to offer, it is a little bit expensive but worth it; home baked bread, a delicatessen, and a huge array of fine foods all providing some fantastic produce. At the Butchers (ask for Gary) we recommend you buy the local rib of beef which has been hung for over 30 days makes for an unbeatable BBQ. If you’re not up on your grilling, don't worry; we can supply cooking instructions. 

 Western route, journey leg 1

If the weather is looking unappealing higher up, then wild camp lower down at Loch Morlich where you can park right on the water’s edge. If you have kids with you, don’t miss a visit to Landmark Kids Adventure Play Park, only a few miles north of Aviemore at Carrbridge.

We don’t recommend visiting Loch Ness as the view is spoilt with the road lined trees so views are very restricted; it’s also very busy due it being a popular stop for  tour bus routes and is filled with tacky shops selling plastic monsters etc. So unless this is a must see on your tick list best to avoid and enjoy parking up for the night, at much more spectacular lochs in peace and quiet. 

When in Aviemore consider a 20-mile trip through the Cairngorm Mountains National Park on the Strathspey Steam train, and spoil yourself with lunch in one of the first class carriages.

Steam train

High level wild camping is also available up at the Ski centre. Here you can enjoy a trip to near the summit of the Cairngorm Mountain on the funicular railway, it is the highest railway in the UK. Not your typical public transport!

Funicular Railway

The Highland Folk Museum at Kingussie, located on the road from Perth towards Inverness, gives visitors a flavour of how Highland people lived and worked from the 1700s up until the 1950s. With over 30 historical buildings, furnished appropriate to their time period they provide a nice insight into local history. The site works as a trip through time; its mile long stretch features a 1700s township one one end (featuring six houses) and a 1930s working croft at the other.

Highland Folk Museum

From Aviemore travel to Inverness and then up to Ullapool.

Don’t miss a visit to the butchers at the Ullapool Harbour, for some delicious local T-Bone steaks and freshly caught scallops. The caravan park Broomfield Holiday Park (inspected and recommended by us) in Ullapool is right on the water’s edge. From here you can watch the Ferries sailing past to and from the Islands, from the comfort of your Motorhome.

From Ullapool head back down towards Inverness on the A835 for ten minutes, and then turn off to the right on the A832 heading for Gairloch. Watch out for Inverewe Gardens which are famous for exotic plants and set amongst the rugged landscape of Wester Ross.

Scottish Tourer West Coast Route leg 2Inverewe Gardens (flowers)

Corrieshalloch Gorge is situated on the Droma River 20 km South of Ullapool in the Scottish Highlands. It’s 1.5 km long, 60 m deep and was formed near the end of the last ice age by erosion caused by meltwater.

Corrieshalloch Gorge

Wild camping is available right on the sand dunes near Cove at Loch Ewe, which is pictured below. During World War II, the loch became a naval port of high strategic importance to the Allies, and was used as one of the assembly areas for many of the Atlantic convoys heading for America and Africa, together with those destined for Arctic Russia, known as the Arctic Run.

Scottish Tourer wild camp spot

During World war two, Gruinard Island was the site of a biological warfare testing by British military scientists. To reduce contamination the government required a very remote and uninhabited Island, after a survey it was decided Gruinard Island would be ideal, so it was requisitioned from the local land owner.

Guirnard Island

 

Head down the Coast road to Loch Maree.

Way better than Loch Ness or Loch Lomond, this site has an abundance of peaceful wild camping spots right on the water edge, each  with stunning views of the mountains. Overnight next to the loch is available here 
http://tinyurl.com/3xva3gh.

 MountainsCamper van near the water

Take a look at this West Coast Route Map with some additional places to stop.

West Coast Route Map with suggested places to stop

Continue on down this road then take the Torridon Mountain pass A896.

This is a single track road with passing places but is very quiet. While here, you can soak up the spectacular views of the high mountains, such as Beinn Eighe.

Stop in at Nanny, in Shieldaig who have been providing delicious platters of seafood since 2008. With a mouth-watering variety of dishes, light bites, specials they also offer a range of breakfasts, home baking and cakes.

Image of Beinn Eighe

Turn right along the unmarked single track road for Applecross.

Take care the first three miles, as the road is steep with lots of blind corners.The road opens up with stunning views of the Western isles and has been voted the second best drive in the world after Route 66 (you’ll see why when you get there!).

The main attraction of Applecross is its remoteness; It was only in 1822 that a road was built from Kishorn over the pass of the cattle to Applecross village. Up until the 1950s the road was a gravel track, and during the winter was blocked for many weeks at a time.

On reaching the top of the pass it's worthwhile stopping in one of the car parks to enjoy some of the amazing views. This is also a popular start to explore the surrounding mountains as it has the benefit of being 2000 ft high to start with. Please be aware it is very high up here and so don’t stray far from the car park otherwise you could land in trouble when low clouds blow in from the sea.

Wild camping is available in a magnificent spot right on the Beach at Applecross bay (see the photo below). With views of the Isle of Raasay and the Black Cuillin mountain ridge of Skye, you might even come close to the local wild deer who come down from the mountains every night to eat the seaweed on the shore.

Scottish Tourer at Applecross with deerScottish tourer at applecross

A mile away is the Applecross Inn, where you can enjoy some of Scotland’s finest seafood including Squat lobster, a unique dish to the west coast.

Next head to A896 Kishorn.

This will mean a drive over the Applecross pass, which is 2500 ft high straight down to sea level. At first sight this appears to be more of a rollercoaster ride than a road for a large motorhome; however, don’t be daunted as we have motorhomes pass here every day during the summer months.

Scottish Tourer at Applecross Pass with mountains

The Kishorn seafood bar is voted in the world's top 100 seafood restaurants and is only open during the day. Great for breakfast, lunch or an afternoon snack, all of its food is freshly caught that morning. During the summer they are open to 9 pm weekdays and 5 pm on a Sunday.

Kishorn Seafood bar and the west coast motorohome route

Follow the road past Lochcarron and take the A890.

We first recommend turning left to visit one of Scotland's best castles “Eilean Donan”, before heading back towards the Isle Of Skye.

Image of Eilean Donan Castle

Head for Kyle Of lochalsh and over the Bridge to Isle Of Skye.

When you reach the Sligachan Hotel, bear left on the A863 for 800 yards to find a nice wild camp spot (right beneath the Cuillin Ridge) which is within walking distance to a climbers pub, a steak pie and chips sort of establishment. There is also a small campsite nearby opposite the Sligachan Hotel. 

Glen Brittle Road to The Black Cuillin Mountains on Skye

At the foot of the Black Cuillins Mountains at Glen brittle are the famous Fairy Pools, crystal clear blue pools of mountain water in the Brittle River. If you’re feeling brave, go for a swim in the cold water, otherwise it makes a great photo stop.

Fairy pools on the Isle of Skye

Next, is a visit to the Talisker distillery. Turn left onto the A8009 to reach the only distillery on the Isle of Skye, set on the shores of Loch Harport. This alluring, sweet, full-bodied single malt whisky is so easy to enjoy, and like Skye itself, so hard to leave.

Talisker Distillery

If you are using a campsite, we are happy to recommend Kinloch campsite at Dunvegan (inspected and recommended by us) which is right by the sea. Only a short walk away is the Old School House restaurant where you can enjoy a huge plate of langoustines or an excellent steak.

At the village of Carbost near the Talisker distillery, don’t miss a visit to the The Oyster Shed Farm Shop which supplies Pacific oysters grown in the crystal-clear waters of Loch Harport.

Dunvegan Campsite with view of castle

 A must visit when in the Isle Of Skye is Dunvegan Castle and Gardens, the ancestral home of Clan MacLeod for over 800 years. Dunvegan is the oldest continually inhabited castle in Scotland, which has been built in the most stunning Lochside setting.

Move up the western coast through Uig.

Visit the Skye Museum to learn the history of how the Islanders lived and earned a living in bygone years then continue for around two miles to a fantastic wild camp spot at Duntulm. Sitting next to the Sea overlooking the Western Islands of The Outer Hebrides you can stay overnight with a nice glass of wine and have a BBQ, just sit back and enjoy the most spectacular sunset over the sea. We did, look at our photo below!

Image of the sunset with Scotish Tourer

Then head down the Eastern coast A855.

Stopping off at the Kilt Rock waterfall, stretching your legs for a 40 minute walk and a visit to the Old man of Storr. The “Old Man” is a large pinnacle of rock that protrudes high which is seen for many miles around, it is part of Trotternish ridge and was created by a huge ancient landside.

The old Mann of Storr looking over water

See below another West coast route map with points of interest marked on it.

West Coast Route Map Image 3 with points of interest

Head to Armadale A851.

Take the Ferry to Mallaig on the mainland. During the summer the Ferries run every hour or so and normally there is no need to book. You could also consider visiting Sea Safari in Mallaig who offer one hour whale and dolphin-watching boat trips.  

Scottish Tourer Motorhome on ferry

From Mallaig, head for Fort William A830.

If you’re looking for a campsite then don’t miss the beachside campsites at Arisaig; Sunnyside Croft is one of our favourites. The owners Ian and Julie have brought camping into the 21st century; everything is immaculately clean and modern with under floor heating in the toilets. Each pitch has an elevated position with views over the bay and a local lady cooks authentic thai take-away dishes from her cottage just a few minutes away.

Campsite

Visit the famous Glenfinnan viaduct and see the Jacobite steam train which runs across the Bridge travelling between Fort William and the seaside town of Mallaig.The bridge spans 1,000 feet and 100 ft above the ground level. Please note, the steam train needs to be booked many months in advance to avoid disappointment.

Glenfinnan Viaduct

The Jacobite steam train is known as one of the world’s best train journeys. The 84 mile round trip enjoys a fantastic list of impressive views passing through Fort William close to Britain’s highest Mountain Ben Nevis, Britain’s deepest freshwater loch Loch Morar, and deepest seawater loch Loch Nevis.

Glenfinnan Viaduct with steam train 2

At the head of Loch Shiel, stands the monument to the final Jacobite rising. The lone highlander in his kilts sits atop the 18 metre high stone column. The visitor centre gives full details of the Jacobite rise and fall. Be prepared to be emotionally stirred by this tumultuous chapter in Scotland’s history.

Loch Shiel with monument

Neptune's Staircase is on the Caledonian canal near Fort William. It comprises eight locks, built between 1803 and 1822 by Tomas Telford and is the longest lock staircase in the UK. The original system was hand powered and has been converted to an electric hydraulic system in recent years. It lifts boats 64 feet the eight locks are 180 feet by 40 feet and takes about 90 minutes to pass through.

Neptnes staircase on Scottish tourere west coast route

See below for a West Coast route map of this leg of the journey.

Points of interest on the west coast route part 4

From Fort William take the Glen Nevis road.

Follow the road past the waterfall right to the top. (Note that Lewis or Bessacarr Models cannot pass due to height restrictions.) Here you can park overnight at the bottom of Ben Nevis in complete peace and tranquillity in the heart of the highest Mountains in the UK, standing at 1,344 metres above sea level.

Scottish Tourer Motorhome Hire

Ben Nevis

The Commando Memorial is dedicated to the men of the very first British Commandos and was raised during WWII. It is an A-listed monument, which is situated a mile from Spean Bridge and overlooks across the glens where the training depot was opened at Achnacarry in 1942. It has become a famous war monument and tourist attraction, with stunning views to Ben Nevis.

The Commando Memorial on west coast route with scottish tourer

From Fort William, follow the coast road A82 down towards Oban.

On the way, bear left into Glencoe A82 and turn around at King's house to head back towards Oban A828. This is a stunning drive through Scotland's highest mountain range. Overnight parking is available at Glencoe Ski Centre for £12.00 per night.

Glencoe with Scottish tourers west coast route

On the way to Oban take the A85.

Next, visit the Cruachan power station. This is an amazing feat of engineering with the inside of the mountain hollowed out to house the power station so as not to spoil the local scenery. 

If you take a tour, it will take you along the one kilometre roadway inside the mountain to where the power station sits. Once inside the mountain, on the walk way you will notice tropical plants which are well suited to the humid conditions inside the mountain. There is also a viewing gallery inside the massive generating hall showing the four generators producing the electricity from the water which is stored in the loch above the mountain.  

Cruachan Power Station

When in Oban there are many burger style vans along the promenade selling fresh seafood which is cooked in front of you. If you want to spoil yourselves, head to the Temple Restaurant which has magnificent views and food to match.

Known locally as The Green Shack, the Oban Seafood Hut is a firm favourite with locals and visitors alike with a delicious array of lobster, scallops, crab and other seafood delicacies. 

West coast route map with points of interest

 Temple Restaurant in Oban Scottish Tourer West Coast Route Map part 5

From Oban, head down the A816 towards Lochgilphead then take the A83 along the Banks of Loch Fyne towards Inveraray.

The George Hotel is an excellent restaurant that only uses local produce. There is also the Famous Loch Fyne Oyster bar where you can dine and park overnight next to the loch.

From here take the A82.

Travel through the Arrochar Alps and down the famous “Rest and be Thankful Road” towards Crainlarich. From here take the A85 towards Lochearnhead (wild camping is available at various spots along the loch) and then take the A84 towards Stirling.

the rest and be thankful mountain pass

Inveraray is on the water's edge of Loch Fyne and is a small quaint town with lots of history. Inveraray Castle is the ancestral home of the Duke of Argyll, Chief of the Clan Campbell and the iconic, must-see visitor attraction on the West Coast of Scotland.

Inveraray map of town and castle

On the way to Stirling, stop for the day at Blair Drummond Safari park where you can drive through the various enclosures and get close to animals ranging from lions and tigers to elephants and bears. It also has a children’s adventure park with water slides and sea lion / seal shows; a great day out for everyone.

Blairdrummond safari park

Further points of interest in the area.

west coast route map

Stirling Castle is a must visit along with the Wallace monument (as seen in the Braveheart film). The Witches Craig campsite (inspected and recommended by us) is close to the Wallace monument and is an ideal last night stop to clean the motorhome and empty the toilet before the 45 minute journey back to Perth.

Stirling castle 

Tips and Advice

When wild camping:

  • Only take pictures, and only leave footprints
  • If there is any litter please pick it up even if it’s not yours
  • Use common sense, never park in front of someone’s house blocking their view 
  • Don’t park in farmers gates or field entrances
  • Please use the local village shops rather than the big supermarkets; the produce is normally sourced locally and is of much higher quality and tastes delicious.

Take a look around our website for more routes and blogs on everything from the best spots near the city centre for Edinburgh campervan parking, to the must-see places and areas to visit in the country.

Warning this route and wording is copyright by Scottish Tourer and only available for use by customers of Scottish Tourer, Any other Motorhome Hire Company using any material copied from this route will result in copyright infringement and we will prosecute.