Let me start this post by explaining one small, but quite important, fact:
I am a planner. A big one. In all things.
I like knowing where I’m going, when I’ll get there, how long we might stay, what cool things there are to do nearby, what route to take…. you get the idea.
So imagine my terror, dear reader, when my husband announces we’re going wild camping. I’ll say that again…. we’re going WILD CAMPING!!! As in there is no plan on where we stop & stay for the night. No campsites, no security, no guarantees. And we were going to do this for the first time in Scotland.
I had visions of a large, wild haired, ginger man with a huge beard dressed in a kilt, holding a pitchfork, shouting at us in the middle of the night and shooing us off his land. Or out of the country. Could he do that? I didn’t know. And I wasn’t entirely sure I ever wanted to find out.
I should explain. We live in Southern England, and the local councils of Southern England do NOT like van dwellers, even casual holidaymakers. There are very few places to legally stop for a night which aren’t a campsite. Most carparks and rest areas have restrictions and height barriers. It’s difficult and I have heard local campers say it’s pretty stressful. I’m not a natural law breaker and I would rather pay for a good nights sleep on a campsite than keep waking up in terror every few minutes thinking I hear someone coming to evict us and move us on.
“So where will we stay?” I asked my husband, trying to cover my fear by sipping some tea.
“Here and there,” he replies breezily. “Wherever we end up.”
“Oh.” More tea. 14 years together and he seems utterly oblivious to my mounting panic. “What if we can’t find anywhere. Where will we sleep?”
“I’ve seen pictures on Instagram. Loads of people do it. It’ll be fun. A proper adventure. We’ll stop by a loch and watch the stars.”
Little buggar. He knew that would hook me. I love star gazing. I also love water. The idea of waking up on a misty morning and enjoying the stillness as the world comes alive was so appealing.
My biggest worry was, we are not discrete. We are not a little van which can fit inside a normal car park space. We are a 21ft (6.5m) motorhome, with a top cab, pulling two massive motorbike on a trailer. We don’t fit into little spaces and tiny side roads and we can’t pull up somewhere and try not to be noticed. I can only imagine some poor old dear watching us pull up outside her house. She’d be phoning the police within seconds thinking she was about to be raided!
To cut a long story (a little) shorter, we set off for Scotland. On one hand, I’m ridiculously excited. I’ve only been to SCotland once before and only just over the border, but I definitely wanted to see more. Jade had filled my inbox with images of fairie glens we ‘absolutely must’ visit, and I had a long, (long) list of incredible castles, waterfalls and lochs. The only thing I didn’t have was a postcode of a specific destination. We were winging it.