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Why is Loch Lomond great for family holidays? Here’s why!

April 5th, 2019

 

Loch Lomond. Image by nick.amoscato on Visualhunt / CC BY

 

Securing the perfect location for a successful family vacation can either make or break the entire escape. Select a too-tame setting, and you’ll hear plenty an exclamation of dismay from the adventurers and sports fans in the family. Add too much bustle, and the older travellers dismally watch as hopes for a leisurely fly past in a flurry. Loch Lomond continually proves to be the ultimate family vacation liberator, ensuring fun activities for tots, teenagers and adults of all abilities. There are numerous mountains, cycle paths, sprinkled islands, and woodland trails for outdoor explorers and nature enthusiasts. Visitors yearning a for a more relaxed holiday can sit back and drink in the captivating vistas, embark on a mellow loch cruise or visit Loch Lomond Shores. There are numerous caravan parks, holiday parks and wild camping sites enclosed by striking views making Loch Lomond the essential  family holiday destination. Make it a particularly memorable journey with a Camperbug motorhome and campervan hire.

 

Here’s a list of exciting activities for the whole family!

 

Hiking and Walking


Loch Lomond is a walker’s paradise, presenting an exciting (sometimes paved) network of national and local trails. The West Highland Way, one of Scotland’s famed national paths is excellent for wild camping, seclusion, horse riding and even cycling. West Highland Way is dog-friendly and if you don’t enjoy the exertion, hop into a water taxi which will drop you off for a briefer stretch of the walk. Queen Elizabeth Forest Park contains many wooded paths curving around Loch Lomond and Loch Katrine. The village of Luss holds various short tracks that are ideal for baby strollers and wheelchairs.

 

Cycling

Numerous mild national cycling paths crisscross the park including The National Cycle Route 7 (NCR 7) which primarily comprises of paved, flat trail, ideal for almost all family members of different cycling abilities. Get more information about the cycle paths and trails at the National Park Gateway Centre.

 

Splash around!


Loch Lomond is watersport heaven! Families can make use of the various motorboats, speedboats, canoe, and kayak rentals available around the loch throughout the balmy summer months. If you’d feel more comfortable in the passenger seat, there are many cruises, ferry and excursions along Loch Lomond.

 

Fishing


Fishing on Loch Lomond is allowed throughout the year as long as you have the required permits. You can secure a weekly fishing permit at multiple locations around the Loch including Balloch Tourist Information Office, the Luss Village Shop, The Ardlui Hotel, and the Boatyard in Balmaha. There are certain restrictions on the type of salmon and the seasons of fishing so ensure you get all information on seasonal regulations when purchasing your permit.

 

It’s raining!


The city of Glasgow and the Riverside Museum of Transport and Travel are an easy 27 miles from the Loch and are great spaces to explore! Stock up on local products and souvenirs and keep the tots entertained.

 

 

 

Four prime campsites for mountain loving campers!

March 21st, 2019

 

Photo by Simon Migaj from Pexels

 

The wind rustles through layers of lush green foliage creating a soft rustling of leaves. The birds of the mountains call out in cheery chirps and elaborate song. The sun struggles to reach the floor of the thick woodland, creating a restful dance of shadows. You’re in a mountain range, or atop a hill, and life sure is good! If you’re as ardent of a fan of the mountains as I am, you’ll love these four great campsites in the UK. To truly savour your holiday, stay away from the phone and consider reserving a motorhome or campervan hire with Camperbug!

 

1. Gordale Scar Campsite, North Yorkshire, England

 

Camping at Gordale Scar Campsite! Image by austin_vanlife on Instagram!

 

Set 5 minutes from Gordale Scar, Gordale Scar Campsite earns rave reviews for its stunning location, comfortable, uncrowded campgrounds and essential facilities. There’s no cheek by jowl camping here, and the site is reportedly serene, even in the hectic holiday seasons. In operation for over 20 years, the campsite allows visitors to select where they’d like to set up a tent. The site is in proximity to attractions like Malham Cove, Malham Tarn, and the Pennine Way walking route. If you’re feeling peckish, drop into a coffee shop or a snug pub at the village of Malham.

 

2. Caolasnacon Caravan & Camping Park, Argyll, Scotland

 

Kyaking at Caolasnacon Caravan & Camping Park! Image by madeleinedavey.photography on Instagram

 

The Caolasnacon Caravan & Camping Park has it all! Set on the borders of Kinlochleven, the site boasts of views over Loch Leven, and peaks in almost every direction. The owners are as relaxed as the campgrounds, allowing visitors to set up camp almost anywhere including right by the loch and campfires are encouraged! The unspoilt scenery and thriving wildlife make this campsite a gem! Walk and climb in Glen Coe, kayak in Loch Leven and more! The striking views and tranquillity successfully tempt many campers who forgo ambitious touring plans in favour of relaxing at the campsite!

 

3. Gwern Gof Isaf Farm, Snowdonia, Wales

 

Gwern Gof Isaf Farm and Campsite! Image by aval5_ on Instagram

 

Operated by the Williams family, Gwern Gof Isaf Farm first opened its doors to campers in the year 1906. Today Henry and Kirsty , seventh generation Williams, control the campsite which was once used as a training site by Sir John Hunt during his preparation for Everest in 1952. Enclosed by wild, rugged mountains, the campground rests between the Tryfan and the mountains of Capel Curig. The site attracts many skilled climbers who aim to conquer the 3,000-foot peak of Tryfa. Climbers can savour scenic hikes along Glyder Ridge and Carneddau mountain range or attempt to reach the summit of Mount Snowdon. The campsite is all about roughing it out, and you’ll share your space with stray sheep, ducks, chicken and more!

 

4. Kilbroney Park, Rostrevor, Mourne Mountains, Northern Ireland

 

The Kilbroney Park campsite rests at the foot of the Mourne mountains, enclosed by 97 acres of wild forests and breathtaking backdrops. There are 51 pitches set on grassy land, shaded by trees. Site facilities are simple yet clean. An on-site café dishes yummy light meals. If you’re craving a pint or need to shop, head to the town of Rostrevor and its cosy pubs plus a few shops. Campsite facilities include designated BBQ areas, laundry room, dishwashing space, children’s playground and a tennis court! With views of the Irish Sea, dipping valleys, and Carlingford Lough, you’re spoilt for views!

 

Seaspray!

 

If you’re intent on exploring the Mourne mountains, SeaSpary is the van for you! She seats four and sleeps two with ease and comes fitted with a removable main table, electric heater, plenty of storage room plus more! Speak to the listing owners about hiring SeaSpray and ask about optional extras like awnings, air bed, camping seats, and bedding!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forest therapy in Britain’s healing forests

March 14th, 2019

 

Photo by Gabriela Palai from Pexels

 

Do you acquire a perfect sense of calm when you’re in the heart of dense woodland or enclosed by soaring trees? Spending time among the trees is proven to deliver therapeutic effects in the mind and body. It eliminates worry and stress and helps the body unwind and refuel. Forest therapy stems from the Japanese practice of Shinrin-yoku which translates to ‘forest bathing’. It does not mean a literal bath but instead the immersion of mind and body in the sights, sounds and smells of the encircling environment. Research verifies that a brief 15 minutes spent among trees improves the immunes system, lowers anxiety, adiponectin, blood pressure and cortisol levels, We’ve picked the top six locations to detach from the outside world and savour the natural environment with all senses. Be sure to leave your phone and cameras behind in your campervan or motorhome hire.

 

Hampshire and Norfolk

 

Forest Holidays, Blackwood Forest. Image by chloe_mccormick95 on Instagram

 

Forest Holidays, the holiday branch of the Forestry Commission, provides qualified forest therapy guides and rangers for visitors eager to embark on gentle strolls and appreciate a clear connection with nature. Opening for reservations from early September, guests can reserve cabins in the Blackwood Forest site set in Hampshire or Thorpe Forest in Norfolk. A competent guide will lead you through a three-hour forest bathing walk which ends with a tea ceremony consisting of brew created from local plants.

 

Powys Wales

 

Image by canopyandstars on Instagram

 

Canopy and Stars are glamping specialists who’ve launched a collection of forest sites centred on the practice of Shinrin-yoku. They offer meditation, spiritual healing and reiki sessions by skilled local practitioners. Eco Retreats by Canopy and Stars, supplies a forest teepee set within a secluded valley for prolonged sessions of forest bathing.

 

Cornwall

 

Image by canopyandstars on Instagram

 

Lost Meadow in Cornwall is another venture by Canopy & Stars where visitors stay in a sphere-shaped pod crafted in cedar, balanced in the trees, overlooking a river and 20 secluded acres of forest. The pod sleeps two and provides a wooden staircase where you’ll share your room with songbirds and owls!

 

Lanarkshire

 

The Falls of Corra Linn. Image by itmpa on Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA

 

The Falls of Clyde reserve provides sublime forest bathing settings. The tranquil enclosing environment teems with families of badger, otters, and over a 100 species of bird. Take a peaceful walk along any of the well-marked forest trails and enjoy four impressive waterfalls that flow through the neighbourhood. Nearby, you’ll find the New Lanark World Heritage – an 18th village, resting on the banks of the river Clyde.

 

Devon

 

Horner Wood, Devon. Image by benny.photo on Instagram

 

Horner Wood is considered one of the most extensive and most picturesque oak woods in the UK. The site was once a place for foraging firewood, winter food and creating tools yet today it contains a profusion of ancient oaks that offer ideal conditions for deer, warblers and a host of forest birds.

 

Olive

 

If Devon is your destination, then Olive is your van! She is a 2015 Type 2 Bay VW Campervan and one of the final VW campervans to be made by the Volkswagen group. Powered by a modern water-cooled engine, Olive is a four-seat van.  She’s got two single seats at the front and a bench seat in the rear that folds down to make a double bed. In the pop-up roof is another double bed. She’s lovingly fitted with a fridge, cooker and cooking utensils, mood lighting, and is excellent with storage space!

 

The New Forest

 

New Forest, England. Image by tobycowellphotography on Instagram

 

Unchanged since the era of William the Conqueror, The New Forest was once the hunting grounds of for royalty. Miles and miles of ancient forest are ready for exploration via foot or cycle, and you’ll find numerous serene glades for meditation and peacefulness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 03 spots for nights of stargazing

February 28th, 2019

 

Image by snowdoniapics on Instagram

 

Believe it or not, an increasing number of wanders and campers elect to shut down technology and turn all concentration to the heavens. Welcome to the captivating world of stargazing! The new pursuit is sweeping the globe by storm and the UK boasts of some of the darkest skies in Europe. You’ll find plenty of designated and unofficial dark sky locations dotting the UK, many of them ranging from Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and National Parks to picnic areas and private backyards! Many such locations are set apart from light pollution and provide unhindered views of the boundless night sky above.

 

If you’re looking for a special location to stargaze, take a look at our list below. Once you’ve secured a site, pack in a pair of binoculars, a map of the night sky and pop into your motorhome or campervan hire, and embark on a memorable journey!

 

Galloway Forest Park

 

Image by jamesmorlandphotography on Instagram

 

Home to some of the darkest skies in the UK, Scotland’s skies are perfect for exploring the twinkling heavens. Galloway Forest Park was the first location to win an official Dark Sky designation in 2009. How good is the sky quality you ask? Pretty great! You’ll see a whopping 7,000 stars and planes with the naked eye alone. On an official scale ranging from 0 – 25, Galloway Forest Park rates an astonishing 21-23.6 reading which is nearly as lightless as a photographer’s dark room! For the least light obstruction and best viewing angles head to Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre. The Scottish Dark Skies observatory provides a research-grade telescope for night sky observations.  Campers will find a host of campgrounds providing numerous dark corners.

 

Glentrool Camping and Caravan Site

 

Resting in the fringes of Galloway Forrest Park, Glentrool Camping and Caravan campsite is a tranquil location for those looking for a soothing setting. In operation for over 30 years, the site provides:

•    14 large hardstanding touring pitches  with electric hook-ups

•    On-site store open from 10:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

•    Laundry facilities

•    Shower and hot water amenities (charge included in pitch fee)

•    Awnings and dogs allowed at no additional cost

 

Northumberland National Park

 

Image by northumberlandnationalpark on Instagram

 

Stretching over 572 miles, Northumberland National Park, and its adjoining forest park is a perhaps the largest region of a protected night sky in Europe. Providing the perfect settings for stargazing and camping, the park even offers stunning views of Andromeda Galaxy and The Milky Way! You’ll see a range of exclusive sites like the numerous meteors, The Northern Lights, The Zodiacal Lights, and more! If you’d like to know more about the stars you’ll see, head over to the Kielder Observatory or the Dark Sky Observatory in Battlestead.

 

Bellingham Camping and Caravanning Club Site

 

Set within Northumberland National Park, Bellingham Club campsite is a relaxing campsite containing 70 pitches with modern amenities. There are many walking and cycling paths set around the campgrounds and historic sites like Hadrian’s Wall and Alnwick Castle is in proximity to the site. Facilities include:

•    Hardstanding pitches with electric hook-up

•    Grass pitch with electric hook-up

•    Flushing toilet and washbasin

•    Motorhome service point

•    Family shower room

•    Battery charging conveniences

•    Dedicated accessible services and more!

 

Snowdonia National Park

 

Image by snowdoniapics on Instagram

 

Think spectacular skies, wild and rugged landscapes and you’ve got the globes 10th best site for night skies – Snowdonia National Park. Numerous dark sky locations dot the park and there are many secluded campsites set by scenic valleys and lakes. The environment and wildlife alone attract a multitude of hikers, walkers and adventures but the region is fast becoming a leading sky gazing site.

 

Cilcennus Farm Caravan Park

Sitting on a working farm in Snowdonia National Park, Cilcennus Farm Caravan Park provides stunning views of the night sky and rests in proximity to the historic town of Llanrwst. On-site facilities include:

 

•    Hot showers

•    Grass pitches and many electric hook-ups

•    Wi-fi

•    Toilet and shower block (including disabled toilet)

•    Kitchen for campers

•    Games room and more!

 

If you’re staying in Snowdonia National Park for a spot of hiking here’s how you can conquer Mount Snowdon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The top 7 sites for thrill-seekers touring Wales

February 21st, 2019

 

Wales is loved for its astounding beauty, sheer cliffs, sun-kissed beaches, thick mountain landscapes and abundance of national parks, yet the home of quirky sports like bog snorkeling and coasteering, remains comparatively untapped by daredevils in search of an adrenaline rush. Here are the top 8 activities that capture Wales’s strong appreciation for daring experiences while rewarding your sense of adventure! Add an exciting variation to regular accommodation with a Camperbug campervan or motorhome hire!

 

Hike along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path

 

Image by dave-pemcoastphotos.com on Visualhunt / CC BY

 

Stretching over 186 miles of glorious coastline, Pembrokeshire Coast Path is Wales first national trail and contains an exciting blend of Neolithic settlements, cliff sides, glacial valleys and inviting beaches.  Adventures can attempt to tackle the whole stretch in one go or explore a particular section of the path in a day.  Determined adventurers need to set aside a minimum of 15 days to cover the Pembrokeshire Coast Path in its entirety. Maneuvering over the sharp climbs and descents is demanding however the spectacular locations and landscapes (including several small towns, 14 harbors, and 58 beaches) are worth every step.

 

Try your hand at Coasteering

 

Image by alexjtpotts on Instagram

 

Coasteering does not require a special sport appropriate suit like snorkeling and scuba diving. You’ll need a helmet, a wetsuit and a life vest. Coasteering is a local sport and involves a blend of cave exploration, cliff jumping and swimming. It’s best to enlist the help of certified instructors with a native company who will usually begin by swimming across water to a cave exploration or cliff from which you’re encouraged to (gleefully) leap off into the water below. Expect lovely costal backdrops, inviting turquoise water and even an exciting wildlife like a bob of seals or a pod of dolphins.

 

The World’s Fastest Zip line

 

Image by zip_world on Instagram

 

The North of Wales is the proud owner of the world’s fastest zipline and the longest zipline in Europe. Operated by Zip World which isset within Snowdonia National Park, the ride hurls you at speeds of 100mph, 1,600 feet over the Penrhyn Quarry. Drink in the views of the enclosing mountains and savor the closest feeling you’ll get to flight!

 

If you decide to stay in Snowdonia National park we’ve got the best guide to tackling Mount Snowdon!

 

Grab your mountain bikes and set off on a scenic adventure

 

Image by mountainbikewales on Instagram

 

Wales is home to a great number of mountain ranges and provides the best backdrop for mountain bikers of all levels. Families and beginners are encouraged to try the Elan Valley which provides a miscellany of trails including the picturesque valley trails. Moderate to mid-level bikers will enjoy Antur Stiniog in Snowdonia which contains 7 exciting downhill bike trails each of which is graded blue to black according to difficulty. There is a mountain bike uplift service and coffee houses, bike rental service, cafés and, showers. Experienced bike riders will enjoy tackling the challenging trails rated blue (intermediate), red (advanced), and black (skilled). Swoop around tricky curves and maneuver past dangerous rock areas.

 

Try your and at white water rafting

 

Image by thenationalwhitewatercentre on Instargam

 

Wales is home to several prime white water rafting spots ranging from tranquil to downright demanding, and even controlled rapids.  The River Wye set in the Wye Valley is great for calm to relatively difficult rapids. The level of difficulty is normally determined by the levels of rainfall so you’re most likely to embark on rapids of moderate difficulty. Tryweryn River presents a dependable adrenaline rush owing to a dam that continuously contols the water flow .Rapids are grouped as class III or class IV. Cardiff International White Water, set at Cardiff Bay is great for visitors who want to practice rafting and numerous water sports like paddle boarding, kayaking on controlled rapids.

 


Bounce around in Underground Cavern

 

Image by zip_world on Instagram

 

Bounce Below, operated by Zip World is an underground trampoline set within the former slate mine Llechwedd Slate Caverns. Grab a helmet and savour the next 75 minutes jumping and bouncing on six nets hung between 20 – 180 feet, sliding along three slides and clambering up numerous ladders and staircases all while colorful lights and loud music set the tone

 

Surf

 

Image by surfsnowdonia on Instagram

 

As far as surfing destinations go, Wales has got it going on whether you’re a still learning to ride the waves or a seasoned surfer. The most popular surf destinations are Whitesands, Oxwich Bay, Llangennith and Freshwater West. First time surfers will benefit from the large controlled waves at Surf Snowdonia’s artificial wave lagoon. A wave machine creates waves of consistent  size that are great practice for suffers in the beginner zone.

 

If you’re heading to Whitesands Bay, we’ve got just the van for you! Meet Iggy! He’s a luxury 6 berth motorhome ideal for couples or families. He comes equipped with  large lounge area,  separate dining and sitting area, a  fully equipped kitchen,  large sitting area and more! Message Iggy’s owners for more information like optional extras and reservations or take a look at more fabulous Pembrokeshire motorhome hire options.

 

Its Iggy!

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s how you can conquer Mount Snowdon

February 14th, 2019

 

Mount Snowdon may well be the third highest peak in the UK; however numerous avid wanderers, hiking enthusiasts and adventurers can’t get enough of the 3,560-foot summit. Mount Snowdon towers over its neighbours and encircled by broad, glacial valleys providing jaw-dropping views in all directions all the way to Anglesey. It’s not hard to see why a climb to the peak makes its way on many bucket lists yet how does one go about conquering the mountain, especially if you’re a beginner? Here’s how!

 

Ditch cramped hotels and restricted itineraries for a liberating holiday with a Camperbug campervan or motorhome hire! Not convinced? Just image a road trip with a stunning van like Nell!

 

Nell!

 

He’s a late Bay classic campervan that seats and sleeps four with ease. He’s got a host of amenities including a twin-burner gas hob, Westfalia style pop-top roof with double bed,stainless steel sink, engine heating for cab plus more! Ask Nell’s owners about reservations, pick up point’s and more or simply scroll through our list of Gwynedd campervan hire for your next journey to Snowdonia National Park!

 

If you’re reasonably fit, summiting Snowdon isn’t going to be hard plus you can make use of the less challenging routes to the top. Overall there are eight recognised paths to the top of Snowdon of which the nine-mile Llanberis Path is said to be the least taxing however don’t envision a relaxed walk to the top. Described as the tourist path, Llanberis Path is a demanding mountain walk. It’s best to pack in plenty of warm clothing and food as the weather conditions tend to be changeable and proceed with caution, especially if you’re making your hike during the wet, foggy winter months. If you’d like to avoid the summer bustle head to Snowdonia National Park mid-week, outside school holidays’ and begin your ascent early in the morning. Pete’s Eats in Llanberis is where both bright-eyed and weary hikers wolf down a full English before and after the hike.

 

Image by jondavidmoore on Instagram

 

Hiking attire

 

Mount Snowdon is renowned for its unpredictable the weather and exacting hiking paths, so it’s best to pack in suitable layers including a waterproof jacket and trouser plus a layer of insulating material.

 

Show me the path!

 

Llanberis Path
Difficulty – Easy
Distance – 9 miles return

 

Starting at Llanberis and proceeding alongside the Snowdon Mountain Railway, the Llanberis Path is the easiest route to the peak of Snowdon and sadly, not the most scenic. This path is excellent for new hikers who, after a gruelling climb, may prefer to descend the summit in the train.

 

Miners Track

 

Difficulty – Easy-Moderate
Distance – 8 miles return

 

Miners Track begins at the car park at Pen Y Pass another route to the summit – Pyg Track. Despite being longer than Pyg Track, Miners Track is an easy climb and gives way to striking views along the way including that of the glittering Llyn Llydaw Lake. The final section of the rise is strenuous; however, those of reasonable fitness can easily navigate the path.

 

Pyg Track
Difficulty – Easy-Moderate
Distance – 7 miles return

 

As mentioned before, Pyg Track and Miners Track initially follow the path, bypassing Llyn Llydaw. On your hike, you’ll follow the route up Crib Goch and conclude your climb on the same uphill stretch to the peak. Many hikers chose to hike up Snowdon along the more rough Pyg Track and descend using the less taxing Miners’ Track.

 

Image by alex.davies on Instagram

 

Snowdon Ranger Track

 

Difficulty – Easy
Distance – 8 miles return

 

Favoured for its ease and stunning vistas, Snowdon Ranger Track gets its name after the Snowdon Ranger, John Morton, who guided Victorian hikers to the peak. Many hikers opt for this path over the more severe Llanberis path.

 

Beddgelert Path / Rhyd Ddu Path

 

Difficulty – Easy-Moderate
Distanced – 7.5 miles return

 

This route is for those who prize quiet and seclusion. The path cuts across the opposite side of the mountain, away from the Pyg and Miners’ Track route. While Rhyd Ddu Path may not offer the same views as the north portion of the mountain, however, you’ll drink in fantastic sights over Moel Hebog plus the Hills of Nantlle. The gradual climb of the path is best for first-time hikers and blending in the Snowdon Ranger Track makes it a great horseshoe hike!

 

The Watkin Path

 

Difficulty – Difficult
Distance – 8 miles return

 

Watkin path is closest to sea level and contains the most elevation of all Snowdon hike routes. For the challenging climbing, your award is tranquillity, striking views plus a thundering waterfall along the way. The road gets its name from Sir Edward Watkin who constructed his summer house at the beginning of the path and cleared a pathway during the 19th- century. Watch out for sheer drops and keep in mind that the highest portion of The Watkin Path follows screes which may test the seasoned hikers.

 

Image by scramblesandstrides on Instagram

 

Crib Goch

 

Difficulty – Extremely Difficult
Distanced – 4 miles one way

 

The Crib Goch path follows a sharp mountain ridge with sheer drops on both sides. Hikers are deterred against attempting to cross the trail during unfavourable weather, owing to high exposure. We dissuade novice hikers and those afraid of heights from using the Crib Goch trail. Despite the strenuous climb, this pathway provides the most gratifying views across the range.

 

The Snowdon Horseshoe

 

Difficulty – Extremely Difficult
Distanced – 4 miles one way

 

The Snowdon Horseshoe is one of the most testing mountain hiking trails in the UK. If the climb up Crib Goch hasn’t left you completely exhausted, descend along the path through Y Lliwedd which is similarly exposed unprotected and tricky. Leave 7 – 10 hours to complete the entire route, and at the end, you’ll feel a sense of real triumph!

 

If you enjoyed this article, take a look at our guide to the best views in Snowdonia National Park.

 

 

 

 

Visiting the top 05 islands in Ireland

February 7th, 2019

 

The word island generally summons images of tropical climates and refreshing breezes dancing through the palm trees. Ireland’s isles may not be the quintessential island, but their rugged charm and varying terrain entice a ranger of wanders. Enjoy a pint by the sea or leave the bustle behind in favour of tourist-free heaven! Here are our top picks. To get the most out of your trip, ditch the traditional hotel stay for a campervan or motorhome hire. Don’t be held back by check-out times, hotel room views or itineraries!

 

Aran Islands

 

Aran Islands. Image by yourwayireland on Instagram

 

Set off the west coast of Ireland, at the mouth of Galway Bay and Doolin, Aran Islands is an archipelago of three rock-strewn islands. The isles are best known for its prehistoric relics like Dun Aonghasa (a World Heritage Site), stunning natural beauty and a 14th-century castle. The locals speak a blend of Irish and English, and there is a camping and glamping site on Inis Mór –the largest of the three islands. If you’d like to relish the tranquil lifestyle, local traditions, stunning vistas and thriving wildlife hop on a ferry that departs from Rossaveal and Doolin.

 

Smashing Smarty!

 

If you’re looking for a great van to hire for your journey to Aran Islands, stunning Smarty might do the trick! He’s a large A-Class motorhome that will comfortably transport five passengers.  Contact his owners for reservations and more information!

 

The Skelligs

 

Fresh catch at The Skelligs. Image by mrpetemadden on Instagram

 

Rising out of the Atlantic, the Skelligs islands are two inhabitable islands set approximately eight miles at sea in southwestern County Kerry. The islands are named Skellig Michael and the Little Skellig. There is an impeccably restored Christian monastery located on Great Skellig, containing terraced gardens and beehive huts. During the appropriate season, you’ll have the opportunity to see puffins, razorbills, Arctic Tern, Black Guillemot, seals, dolphins, and perhaps even a basking shark! You can reach the island via boat which leaves Bunavalla Pier or drive to Port Magee and take a quick boat ride.

 

Blasket Islands

 

Image by atrickodonnellphotography on the thewildatlanticway, Instagram

 

Set at the tip of Dingle Peninsula, the Blasket Islands are of 6 isles, and once houses over 160 locals. The government evacuated the final 22 citizens in 1953 due to severe living conditions. Today the island resembles a ghost town and contains over 1,100 acres of lush mountain landscape which protect a flourishing community of flora and fauna. Take a ferry to Great Blasket, the largest of the six Blasket islands from Dunquin Harbor and delight in a day of whale watching, walks by the beach, hikes and more!

 

Garnish Island

 

Garinish Island. Image by the thewildatlanticway on Instagram

 

Located in the protective harbour of Glengarriff in Southwest Ireland, Garnish Island packs in quite a punch for a relatively small island. Formerly privately owned by John Annan, the island is best known for the strikingly modelled gardens. The owner at the time, John Annan Bryce worked closely with the garden designer and architect Harold Peto to bring his visions of trimmed Edwardian gardens to life! The island was donated to the Irish public in 1953 by Bryce’s son. Ferry services to the island leave from Glengarriff from March to October. The ferry service includes a trip to seal island were an enthusiastic tame seal colony will welcome you!

 

Achill Island

 

Achill Island. Image by ClarkHodissay on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-ND

 

If you’re heading toward Westport and Mayo, you must include Achill Island to your trip. The isle is the largest off the coast of Ireland and is perhaps the easiest to visit owing to the Michael Davitt Bridge connecting isle and mainland. Human settlements on the island trace as far back as the Neolithic Age and one can bite into the isles incredible history with a visit to the regions abandoned villages, crumbling forts, megalithic tombs and majestic churches. , Presently the population on the island is approximately 2,700 people, and the isle is well-known for fresh offerings of Atlantic seafood while the pubs and bars offer the customary Irish welcome. Achill Island is known for five stunning Blue Flag beaches, towering mountains, stunning vistas, and the spectacular offering of outdoor activities including windsurfing, kitesurfing, swimming, canoeing and kayaking.

 

Stay tuned for more great isles in Ireland or take a read of best locations in Cairngorms National Park to go tent camping!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best locations in Cairngorms National Park to go tent camping

February 1st, 2019

 

Scotland is the only section of the United Kingdom that embraces wild camping away from authorised campsites. With the exclusion of modern conveniences like hot showers and toilets, campers can savour life on the open land and drink in Scotland’s’ breathtaking beauty. Tent camping is a great way to appreciate the majestic outdoors while accessing basic facilities and the Cairngorms presents the views and the setting for a memorable camping trip. You’ll wake up in UK’s most northernmost and largest national park to relaxing birdsong and the soothing trickling trickle of rivers and loches. The wind sweeps across parks vast marshlands, whips through the dense Caledonian pine forests and dances atop the highest peaks of Scotland’s six highest mountains which dot the park. Crumbling and well-preserved castles including Blair Castle and Braemar Castle dot the region and a wealth of wildlife including inquisitive otters, majestic eagles, and wildcats call the park home.

 

The best time to head out for a tent camping expedition is from late spring to the end of October when most campsites are open; however there are a few sites that operate around the year. Several campgrounds offer caravan sites plus rural and wigwam pods. Be equipped to deal with swarms of midges which are tiny insects that drink blood, leaving behind an uncomfortable rash.

 

Rothiemurchus Estate

 

Rothiemurchus. Image by gingercatpictures on Instagram

 

The Rothiemurchus estate has been with the Grants of Rothiemurchus family for over 18 generations and is fondly christened “one of the glories of Wild Scotland” by David Attenborough. The family welcomes visitors all year round to camp within one of the largest, oldest woodlands in Europe. You’ll have to choose between three prime camping spots set on edges of old Caledonian forests. Sheltered campsites rest near a stream, an island enclosed by a split stream and amid native pines. A well-heated building contains amenities like toilets, dishwashers and launderettes. Wildlife flourishes on the island, and you can choose a host of outdoor activities at the Rothiemurchus Centre, set 2 miles away from the camping areas.

 

Atholl Estate

 

Atholl Estates. Image by costontrevor on Instagram.

 

Blair Castle presents a camping park called the Atholl Estates – the first private castle opened to the public – that grants campers heaps of woodland and miles trails plus low admission fees to explore the palace and its gardens. Campers here can select from numerous outdoor activities and country sports including pony trekking, deer stalking, fishing and shooting.
The tent camp amenities include 100 grass pitches, plus larger pitches by the River Tilt with some providing water and electrical connections. A maximum of 2 dogs are welcome, and the site guarantees your campsite is never more than 50 yards away from the shower facility.

 

It's Campbell!

 

Cheery Campbell can take you to Perthsire with ease. He’s a 1979 and is a right hand drive Devon Moonraker T2 conversion and easily sleeps 4 adults and 1 small child. Message his owners for more details.

 

Lazy Duck Camping

 

Lazy Duck Camping. Image by anomalousdeviation on Instagram

 

Lazy Duck camping takes on select groups and lets visitors genuinely get away from the bustling cities. The campsite can only accommodate four pitches for two-three tents and travellers, and for over 100 years, traders once used the campsite clearing. Open from May till late October, the campground’s on-site facilities include hot and cold washing up spaces. Flush toilet and a two-person sauna.

 

For more travel and camping ideas check out the five best castles in Ireland.

 

 

 

 

 

The five best castles in Ireland

January 25th, 2019

 

Ireland contains a wealth of crumbling medieval castles (an estimated 1,000 defensive forts to be precise) scattered across the length and breadth of the island. These forts were owned by the most powerful families however many were deserted and left to disintegrate with time. Thankfully, a large number of these castles are now fully restored to much of their former glory. Here’s a look at five majestic castles in the country. Check out Camperbugs fabulous daily and annual campervan insurancepolices before your head out on your next campervan or motorhome hire!

 

Bunratty Castle: Co. Clare, Ireland

 

Bunratty castle. Image by Marlis B on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-ND

 

This castle is perhaps the most loved and best-known castle in Ireland. The fort was erected in the 1400s however previous settlements existed on the same site. Restored in 1954, the Bunratty Castle sits in County Clare. Step inside the castle and be blown away by the fantastic antiques tracing back to the 15th and 16th centuries which give visitors a look into the life and times of the influential MacNamara family who constructed the castle. For added fun, book tickets for medieval banquets held daily on the premises.

 

Dunluce Castle: Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland

 

Dunluce Castle. Image by johan wieland on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-ND

 

Set upon a cliff overlooking the ocean below, the medieval Dunluce Castle is abandoned and featured in the famed HBO series Game of Thrones. The dramatic scenery includes sheer drop-offs on every side, and the castle is only reachable via a bridge from the mainland. The fort was constructed by MacQuillan at the beginning of the 1550s however the castle was taken over by the MacDonnells. The castles positioning on top of the cliff proved a wise choice concerning defence however it was also unstable, and a portion of the kitchen fell into the ocean below during a very stormy night during the 1630s.

 

Camperbug recommends:

The campsite
Bush Caravan Park – Think select family owned campsite containing 48 standing pitches, rural settings and proximity to the Giant’s Causeway, Old Bushmills Distillery,  the Dark Hedges, Dunluce Castle, Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge, Barry’s Amusements, Fantasy Island and more!


Bush Caravan Park vibes. Image by mybusyme on Instagram.

 

The Camper
Introducing jolly ole John! He’s a smashing VW Type 2 camper van that will easily sleep and seat 2-3 passengers.  John’s fitted with a 47 litre electric fridge, twin-burner gas hob and grill, fresh water container,  built-in petrol heater plus a fire extinguisher & fire blanket. His owners include a comprehensive inventory and provide optional extras to make your journey as joy! Ask them about pick-up points, reservations and more!

 

John the jolly camper

 

Blarney Castle: Co. Cork, Ireland

 

Blarney Castle. Photo on VisualHunt.com

 

Located near Cork, Blarney Castle is a medieval fortress enclosed by a large garden, right by the River Martin. Dating back to the early 1200s, the stone fortress we see today was erected by the McCarthy family during the 15th century. The most prominent attraction is the Blarney Stone which is said to gift one the gift of the gab when kissed. Kissing the stone however is not an easy feat!

 

Ashford Castle: Co. Mayo, Ireland

 

Ashford Castle. Image by Larry Koester on Flickr.

 

First built in the 1200s, Ashford Castle, and the enclosing castle walls were extended over the centuries as it functioned as a setting for violent battles. Following a truce, the castle eventually became a hunting lodge before being purchased in 1852 by a member of the Guinness family. The family expanded the castle, adding new wings before selling the property in the 1930s. Today the castle is a luxury hotel and features 83 stunning rooms.

 

The Rock of Cashel: Co. Tipperary, Ireland

 

The Rock of Cashel. Image by falco500 on Visual Hunt / CC BY-ND

 

The Rock of Cashel has numerous myths linked to it. One legend states that during the 5th-century Aenghus, King of Munster was persuaded to convert to Christianity by St. Patrick. It was governed by the High Kings of Ulster, who later donated the site to the Catholic Church. Many of the buildings within the castle date as far back as the 12th and 13th centuries. Take a walk through the castle and marvel at the striking medieval architecture which makes this fortress one of the most visited in Ireland.

 

If you liked this blog take a look at our selection of little explored Roman ruins.

 

 

 

 

Take in the best views at Snowdonia National Park

January 8th, 2019

 

Image by eilir30 on Instagram

 
As the largest national park in Wales, Snowdonia National Park contains a plethora of stunning views, coastlines, wetland, beaches and some of the highest peaks in Wales. If you’ve been tempted to visit, we’ll provide all the reasons why your next motorhome or campervan holiday should pass among the jagged summits, wild landscapes, and stunning vistas of Snowdonia National Park

The history, the locals and noteworthy attraction

 

Swallow Falls. Image by itmpa on Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA

 

65% of the local community takes pride in speaking the native Welsh language, one of the oldest spoken languages in Europe. The music, poetry and culture of the region are ancient, dating back as the Bronze Age. The park extends over a whopping 1351.85 km over northwest Wales, and 20 per cent is lawfully protected owing to its abundant wildlife. A further 918 km of land is preserved for conservation.

 

The towering peaks of Snowdonia are some of the oldest rocks on the planet, and mountain ranges cover a staggering 52% of the land. The park contains over 90 peaks exceeding a 2,000-foot elevation, 1,700 miles of public and brindle paths and features Mt Snowdon (3,560 ft.) – the highest mountain in England and Wales! Other noteworthy attractions include the peak of Cader Idris (2,929 ft.), Swallow Falls, the highest continuous waterfall in Wales and the undulating Fairy Glen gorge. The park is also home to Morfa Dyffryn, the best nude beach in the UK!

 

The Castles

 

Dolwyddelan Castle.Image by drongodrone on Instagram

 

Snowdonia contains a variety of magnificent castles of all sizes, shapes and grandeur. Some remain crumbling ruins, while others retain their former glory. You may even find a palace converted to a B&B! Take a look at the following list of castles and why they’re worth a visit:

 

Harlech Castle – Constructed at a low cost of £8,190, Harlech Castle was erected by the English king, Edward I as a means of protection during his invasion of Wales between 1282 and 1289.

 

Conwy Castle – This medieval fortification rests just outside the park.

 

Castell y Bere – Construction on this Welsh Castle began in 1221, probably by Prince Llywelyn ab Iorwerth. Back when cattle were as valued as currency, this castle guarded the prince’s cattle range and secured Gwynedd. The English seized the palace in 1283 and abandoned it during an uprising in 1294.

 

Dolwyddelan Castle – Constructed by Llywelyn Fawr (Llywelyn the Great), the castle ruins sit prettily against the wild backdrop, offering some of the most beautiful views around!

 

The towns and villages worth your while

 

Aberdyfi/ Aberdovey and the Dyfi river. Image by pedrik on Visual Hunt / CC BY

 

Snowdonia contains a 26,000 strong population which lies congregated by the coast between the town of Barmouth and the seaside resort of Harlech. The region is primarily uninhabited with a smattering of populated centres. If you intend to leave your van and embark on a camping expedition, you’ll need to know where to secure supplies and stock up on groceries.

 

Aberdovey – This bustling harbour resort rests where the Dyfi River meets Cardigan Bay. Offering a plethora of watersports, Aberdovey even owns a championship golf course. There are many camping and caravanning spots.

 

Bala – The historic market town of Bala is proudly Welsh and offers a promising, wild landscape varying from towering mountains and dense forests to deep valleys and thundering waterfalls.

 

Beddgelert – Said to be one of Snowdonia’s most charming villages, the village of Beddgelert is home to a wealth of history, legend and culture. Despite its wild settings, the community contains numerous campsites, traditional pubs, arts and crafts stores and several fabulous eateries!

 

If you’re exploring Snowdonia, then you must travel in Enlli! This 1974 VW Transporter T2 comes fitted with modern interior with hob, sink and fridge, and comfortably sleeps and sits four passengers. There’s plenty of storage space, and an onboard heater will keep everyone warm during the chilly months! Ask Enlli’s owners about optional extras like chairs, beddings and towels! Get more Gwynedd Campervan hire options with Camperbug!

 

Isn't Enlli lovely?

 

A mountain path or two!

 

Up the Rhyd Ddu Trail. Image by mazzywalshie on Instagram.

 

If you’re up for a hard mountain walk, you can take one of nine mapped paths up the peaks of Snowdown and Cader Idris. Here are the best trails:

 

Llanberis Path – By far the most popular tourist path, Llanberis Path is the lengthiest and most steady providing jaw-dropping views of Llanberis, Cwm Brwynog and Anglesey.

 

Rhyd Ddu Trail -  Considered the most tranquil pathway, the Rhyd Ddu trail promises the most arresting mountain vistas. It’s perhaps one of the more natural paths and not frequently used.

 

Miners Track – If you’re keen to avoid a hike up to the summit of Snowdon yet would like a comfortable walk on the mount Miners Track offers a safe trail for the less experienced.

 

PYG Track - Reputed as the most challenging path to the Snowdon summit, we dissuade inexperienced walkers from attempting to master this trail. No one is certain how the trail earned its name.

 

Other notable trails include Mawddach Trail which is loved by cyclists and walkers alike for its ease.

 

How to get there

 

Aside from the M4 in South Wales, there are no motorways in Wales however there are many excellent quality roads that pass through Snowdonia National Park. If you’re keen on hitting the coasts, use the A496 or the A493.