Hiring a motorhome for your holiday means you can dance to your own tune: do what you want when you want and, within reason, where you want. It’s the “where” we’ll consider today, because you’re not going to have a relaxing motorhome escape if you reach your campsite too tired to enjoy the view.
You won’t unwind if the campsite is full of screaming children or groups of drunken stag-party revellers, either.
Properly relaxing motorhome escapes need easy-to-drive roads, campsites within a gentle day’s drive and peaceful pitches where you won’t be woken before you’re ready or kept awake late into the night. Scotland is a wonderful place for peace, whether you want to watch wildlife, walk along a beach, climb hills, go mountain-biking, play golf – or just sit and read a book.
So here are a few suggestions of campsites within easy reach of Edinburgh, each with something to offer for people in search of a truly relaxing motorhome holiday.
Motorhome jaunts to The Borders
If you’re looking for something very peaceful and secluded, Mosspaul Camping, near Hawick in the Borders, is perfect. An adults-only site, it has just 9 plots and lets out a maximum of 4 at one time. That means everyone gets a choice of pitch, each with its own patch of garden and electric hook-up, and you can get right away from your neighbours. There’s a bus route nearby, so you can leave your motorhome parked up if you want to go sight-seeing, or walking in the Teviot Hills. Access is only 100 yards from the A7 tourist route.
Jedburgh Camping and Caravanning Club site is somewhat larger: it has 50 pitches, including tents in a separate area, and is open to Club members only. You can walk into Jedburgh town along the river; it’s a pretty and historic town, well worth a visit.
Hardier walkers can follow St Cuthbert’s Way and the Borders Abbey Way or visit the Keilder Water and Forest Park, which also has facilities for cycling, sailing, canoeing and star-gazing. There’s also a falconry centre nearby. The annual Common Ridings provide a unique display of horsemanship with a long history, if you’re lucky enough to be there at the right time.
Melrose Gibson Park Caravan Club site is sited on the edge of the small historic town of Melrose. It has 59 hard-standing pitches for camping cars and caravans, 10 of them fully-serviced. The heart of Robert the Bruce was buried in the ruined Melrose Abbey, whose peaceful gardens are deservedly famous.
From the site you can access some 1500 miles of footpaths up into the hills or along the Tweed, depending how energetic you’re feeling. There are also cycling routes and excellent fishing in the Tweed (with a permit).
Camping Along The East Coast
If you want to stay within reach of Edinburgh, the sea, walking, riding and castles, Drum Mohr Caravan Park could well be what you’re looking for. It’s only 20 minutes drive from the city, has views over the Firth of Forth, is sited on the John Muir Way path and is close to Tantallon Castle.
The site is in what used to be the walled garden of a monastery, and has been planted with 1500 trees and shrubs to give campers privacy and shelter. It’s a large park, with pitches for 108 motorhomes and a children’s play area, so it’s ideal if you like company to help you unwind.
A little further round the coast, at North Berwick, are two small sites, separate but owned by the same family. Station Park has 15 pitches and East Fortune CL (Certified Location) has just 5, so advance booking is highly recommended during peak season for both these popular sites.
There are no toilet blocks of showers on either site, but you can buy fresh eggs from the farm and there are fine views and excellent dog-walking. It’s a back-to-nature style of camping that many people enjoy. There’s plenty to do in the area, if you’re so inclined: boat trips out to the Bass Rock, the National Museum of Flight, the Scottish Sea Bird Centre, beaches, golf courses and much more.
For Da Vinci Code fans, a site next to Rosslyn Chapel might be just the ticket. Slatebarns Caravan Park, in Roslin Glen, has 30 pitches and is a short walk from the village. Horse riding, swimming, hill-walking, fishing, golf and skiing (on an artificial slope) are all available locally, and the village pub is dog and horse-friendly. The site is 5 minutes from the Edinburgh City by-pass, just past IKEA.
Relaxing Motorhome Journeys West of Edinburgh
Mosshall Farm Caravan Park is, as its name suggests, based on a working farm. It’s within easy reach of Bathgate and the M8, roughly half-way between Edinburgh and Glasgow. There are only 35 pitches, and the owners describe the site as more suited to adults and older children than to younger children, so it is peaceful. You can buy eggs and potatoes from the farm, admire the rare breed livestock, walk the Bathgate Hills, take a train into the city or visit the historic mill town of New Lanark or the unique Falkirk Wheel canal-boat lift.
It’s only an hour’s drive from Mosshall to Loch Lomond, on good roads through lovely scenery. Luss Camping and Caravanning Club site (members only) lies on the bonnie, bonnie banks of Scotland’s second-most-famous loch and provides great opportunities for fishing, photography, canyoning, cycling, wild swimming and walking. You can launch your own boat, provided it has no motor and you can carry it to the water’s edge. Or you could just sit and admire the glorious view.
There’s a bus stop nearby for day-trips to Glasgow, you can take a boat-trip across the loch to Inchcailloch, which is a nature reserve, or visit the Loch Lomond Sea Life Centre or the Birds of Prey Centre, both at Loch Lomond Shores, where you can also indulge in some serious retail therapy. In other words, it would be hard to get bored here!
Scotland really does offer something for everyone, from city lights to working farms and wilderness. In the height of summer it’s sensible to pre-book if you want to stay at one of the smaller sites, but you’re sure to find somewhere to suit your style of R&R.
However you like to unwind, there are plenty of opportunities for relaxing motorhome escapes within an easy 1-2 hours’ drive of Edinburgh. What are you waiting for?!?