Flashback to 2019, and I couldn’t imagine my husband and I choosing a ‘staycation’ in Scotland over a foreign holiday. One pandemic, two (or is it three?) lockdowns and one dog later – and now campervan life has well and truly won us over.
We’ve been on two holidays now with a Staycation Scotland campervan…and we are already plotting our third.
As the proud parents / pawrents to an adventurous springer spaniel called Enola, we were drawn to the idea of exploring Scotland in a dog-friendly campervan and taking her to every beach, loch, hill and pub that we could.
Our last trip was in the wonderful ‘Daphne’ and we took her across to Mull – our favourite Scottish island.
We picked Daphne up early afternoon from the lovely and ever helpful Jules, and set off to Oban to catch our 6pm ferry to Craignure. Oban is a great first stop – easy to get to, a couple of decent campsites nearby, plenty of cosy pubs and fresh seafood on tap. Not to mention the incredible views across the harbour.
This time it was only a flying visit for us before we hopped on the boat – after a very quick stop at the iconic Green Shack for fresh scallops, quickly devoured while we sheltered from the west coast drizzle.
The ferry to Craignure from Oban is a quick crossing – less than an hour – which is ideal for us travelling with Enola. Dogs are allowed on deck within a special pet-friendly area, which has water bowls laid out and plenty of space and seating.
Once we got to Craignure it was getting dark (there is very little in the way of light pollution on Mull!) so we just headed straight for our first overnight stop – the stunning Calgary Bay.
Calgary Bay is about a 50 minute drive from the ferry terminal and in our opinion is one of Scotland’s best beaches. White sand, turquoise waters and surrounded by rugged cliffs – it really is beautiful and offers incredible walking routes right along the coastline.
While driving in the pitch black was a bit of an expedition – we were treated to the sight of a family of deer on the road down to the beach, who seemed quite content to mosey about in the glow of our headlights for a while before finally letting us creep past.
The payoff of not being able to see your hand in front of your face at night is the INCREDIBLE sunrise of the next morning. It was jaw dropping to wake up to the sun peeking over the coastline and enjoy our morning coffees (thoughtfully provided by Staycation Scotland and Dear Green) outside while Enola ran about exploring.
Given the time of year (late September) we were so lucky with the weather and while it was a bit chilly, the sun shone all day long. Not only that – but we had the bay to ourselves for the first hour or two of daylight.
It is worth noting that although Calgary Bay welcomes campers (vans and tents) it is not an ‘official’ campsite so while there are public toilets that are upkept by the local community, don’t expect any hot showers or laundry facilities here! There is a small honesty box for campers to leave a donation.