Sunday, 13 April 2008

Island Hopping Scotland - What You Really Need to Know!

Here's a quick checklist of what we learned on our fabulous Scottish Island Hopping Tour:
  1. Island hopping in Scotland in a large motorhome is much easier than you think
  2. “Hebridean Island Hopping” by Martin Coventry, became our bible and is well worth buying either in advance or on the ferry.
  3. Fill up with diesel when you can - there are some extremely long stretches of road with no petrol stations
  4. The islands are incredibly friendly places – expect waves from random car drivers and white van men as you are travelling round – particularly on Islay.
  5. Parking a large motorhome is generally not a problem in Scotland or the islands we visited
  6. Most supermarkets are Co-Ops, the occasional Tesco and a rare M&S
  7. Midges are not such a problem as you might expect in September, and can be minimised with incense and Avon Skin-so-Soft
  8. Wild camping is permitted in Scotland as long as you are considerate and get permission if appropriate. We didn’t do it, because we prefer the security and facilities of campsites, but plenty of motorhomes did.
  9. Mobile phones (02) work in most locations
  10. Expect bad weather, anything better is a bonus. Have a range of clothing, particularly good waterproofs, including over-trousers.
  11. The ferries might seem expensive at first, but compared to Cross Channel ferries, they represent extremely good value for money.
  12. Give the CalMac office your mobile number so they can contact you if there are ferry changes – and these DO happen quite regularly.
  13. Our tour took us two weeks. We never felt rushed, and when we got back, it seemed like we'd been away for at least a month!

You will come back with many photographs and even more wonderful memories, so just get out there and do it!


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