4 Tips for Exploring Scottish National Parks
Some people enjoy a city break, others prefer a holiday at the beach or in a luxury hotel resort. However, some people like to spend their holidays in more remote locations, immersing themselves in nature for a relaxing, mentally refreshing experience.
Scotland is the perfect destination if you’re looking for the latter. The country is home to some truly fantastic national parks that offer incredible opportunities for adventure and exploration. We’ve listed four tips for exploring Scotland’s national parks. Check them out below.
Plan Your Trip
Before heading to Scotland and setting off into the great outdoors, you are going to have to plan your trip in detail. Scotland might be a relatively small country, but it is home to vast wilderness landscapes, and you could easily find yourself completely lost.
First things first, what national park are you going to visit? Scotland has two officially recognised national parks: the Trossachs and the Cairngorms. Each of these destinations offers slightly different experiences, so take the time to do some research before you make your final decision.
The Trossachs, full name Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, is one of the most famous regions in Scotland. Home to the iconic Loch Lomond, the park stretches across 720 square miles, making it the fourth-largest national park in the UK.
Loch Lomond is a must for any visitor to the Trossachs. You can explore the loch’s beautiful shores and even take a boat out to investigate its numerous islands. However, the park is also home to countless other lochs, including Loch Tay and Loch Long, as well as several Munros, such as Ben Lomond, Ben Lui and Ben More.
While the Trossachs is on the border of the lowlands, the Cairngorms National Park is further north, directly in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. If you’re looking for a more remote experience, this is the place for you. The scenery is nothing short of incredible, with huge mountain ranges and hidden valleys just beginning to be explored.
Hire a Motorhome
Rural areas of Scotland are famously remote, and this is particularly evident in the country’s national parks. You’ll find accessing public transport tough, which means your exploration opportunities will be limited if you have to rush to catch a bus.
Look into luxury motorhome hire Scotland. A motorhome will give you the freedom you need to travel through the Scottish wilderness at your own pace. You won’t have to worry about making it back to a hotel or B&B, as your motorhome will be both your transport and your accommodation!
Don’t assume that this means having to sacrifice comfort. Modern motorhomes are incredibly luxurious, with all the modern trappings and conveniences you could possibly need. They are the perfect option for a holiday in one of Scotland’s national parks.
The Scottish weather is notoriously unpredictable. It’s not unusual to see rain, wind, snow and hail all in one day. If you’re in a town or city, this doesn’t pose much of a problem, as you can always retreat indoors to wait out the weather.
However, if you’re out exploring the countryside, you will need to take the weather into consideration. A sudden downpour can be unpleasant anywhere, but in a remote area, it can be dangerous.
Make sure you have plenty of warm, waterproof clothes, even if you’re travelling in the summer months. Bring spares of everything, the last thing you want is to ramble through the hills in wet socks and shoes.
You’re also going to need a map, as you can’t rely on phone signal in the Scottish wilderness. Bring a whistle too, as these can prove vital should an emergency occur and can ensure you get the help you need.
Watch Out for the Wildlife
One of the best things about exploring Scotland’s national parks is the chance to spot some of the native wildlife. Scotland is home to some incredible animals, many of which call these parks their home.
Look to the skies and you could spot one of Scotland’s birds of prey, such as the Golden Eagle, the White-Tailed Eagle or the Osprey.
If you’re by a body of water, you might catch a glimpse of an otter, or even a whale or orca in one of Scotland’s sea lochs.
Beavers were reintroduced to Scotland in 2009, and the animal has since flourished with the population booming. Beavers can be found in the Trossachs, so visit this park for the chance to spot one of these wonderful creatures.
Use this guide to prepare for a visit to one of Scotland’s national parks and have a holiday you will never forget!