What’s a first time motorhome trip like? A recent motorhome customer’s adventure in the Hebrides.
We’re so happy to hear how our customers get on with their motorhome adventures, so we were delighted to receive this account from two customers who went on an adventure with Clive last month to the Outer Hebrides …
Clive’s adventures in the Outer Hebrides
As two relative novices to the world of motorhoming, our Swift 664, Clive, proved to be a gallant and tractable teacher. It had been almost 30 years since we’d ventured forth in my parents’ Pilote, so to say the least the technology, space-saving devices and the layout of Clive, was a revelation. And as for a fixed bed, well…
The learning curve was steep, but after a straightforward and trouble free pick up at Kinross, and with Richard’s parting briefing still fresh in our ears, the first night of our Hebridean adventure went well. Embarking on the Oban to Castlebay ferry the next day was straightforward, the CalMac staff are incredibly efficient and their calm directions meant that as ferry crossings go, ours was uneventful and, thankfully, reasonably calm.
We’d said that we would wild camp if we could so we did, finding on our first night on Barra, a strip of sloping tarmac facing the sea and the first deployment of the levelling ramps. Easy once you know how!
Driving on the narrow island roads was also a little hairy to start with, but we quickly had the measure of Clive’s width and length and were soon sailing round, and round again the other way, Barra’s main circular island road.
Setting up to camp at night became routine, whether we were on a site or in the middle of nowhere. Clive’s comfortable accommodation, efficient galley configuration and excellent heating and lighting meant we enjoyed good food, a good book and a good night’s sleep, despite the gales and torrential rain that the Atlantic weather systems threw at us as we made our way, south to north, from beautiful Barra, up through the Uists to Harris and Lewis.
Campsites at Scurrival (Barra), Kilbride (South Uist), Shell Bay (Benbecula), Balranald (North Uist), Seilebost (Harris) and Cnip (Uig, West Lewis) provided us with good, if blustery accommodation. Most were around the £20 mark or less, with electric hook ups and clean, tidy facilities.
As we arrived at Stornoway, we were glad of two nights at Laxdale, a well appointed and friendly holiday park on the edge of the town and thankfully by that time, the first of the autumn’s named storm systems had blown itself out. Our journey across the Minch to Ullapool began with an early start and we left Stornoway just as the sun rose, again shepherded expertly onto, this time, an enormous ferry; those from Barra to Eriskay and from North Uist to Harris were mere tiddlers by comparison!
Our Scottish adventures with Clive continued as we turned north from Ullapool to take in the glorious site of the North West Highland’s fabulous peaks: Suilven, Canisp, Ben Mor Assynt and Stac Pollaidh. Simply stunning. No wonder the area is designated a UNESCO Global Geopark, it’s a paradise for anyone with a yen for interesting rocks!
Scotland never fails to fascinate us: our holidays usually involve walking, wildlife watching and drinking in (sometimes literally) the local culture. This time we were pleased to see otters, a sea eagle, lots of lapwing, murmurations of starlings, twite, hen harriers, ravens by the dozen, a merlin (we think) and the stunning landscape of the Western isles and if it was a bit windy at times, well, that’s all part of the experience. I’d rather have had the protection of Clive than the tent we saw in tatters one morning…
All photos courtesy of Mr and Mrs Pratt.