Scotland’s West Coast

Is an incredibly spectacular stretch of coastline and mountains formed by a chain of volcanic mountains colliding around 470 million years ago.

At Zoom Motorhomes, we love exploring these dramatic, exhilarating landscapes. We know that there is truly no better way to start the day than out in the open, as the sun rises across a spectacular loch with the smell of bacon sizzling on the stove!

In this guide, we start your journey off in Glasgow and take you North, taking in Ben Nevis and Loch Lomond on the way. We also have a ready-made tour of Scotland’s West Coast if you fancy leaving the planning to us, following the paths we’ve already researched! 

Do get in touch with us if you have any questions about our Scotland Motorhome Hire Service to find out more about why we love travelling Scotland by motorhome, or for tips and advice for your adventure.

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Visiting Glasgow

Known for its warm welcome, world-class galleries, and iconic music venues, Glasgow is a beloved city by locals and visitors alike. 

If you’re just passing by, don’t miss Glasgow’s medieval cathedral, the 22 fabulous galleries of the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum or a walk along the Clyde, passing the striking Riverside Museum and Glenlee sailing ship. 

Stay longer to really explore the treasures that give this vibrant metropolis its fame. Check out King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut — the music venue that launched the career of Oasis; attend one of the innovative public events hosted at Glasgow Women’s Library; or, if you’re really on the ball, book in advance to see a Celtic and Rangers game at Celtic Park or Ibrox Stadium.

For even more information, read our dedicated guide to Glasgow.

Visit the West Highland Way

Guide to Scotland’s West Coast

The West Highland Way is an absolutely stunning hiking trail stretching 96 miles (154 kilometres) from just outside Glasgow to Fort William in the Scottish Highlands. It takes in Loch Lomond, Glen Coe, and Ben Nevis.

The whole trail takes 7-8 days, but it can be joined just as easily for a short walk over rolling hills as for weekend adventures up rugged mountain peaks. With craggy peaks, ancient castles, and shimmering lochs, the scenery is simply breathtaking.

Wild camping is permitted in Scotland, although make sure to check the regulations on the West Highland Way site. There are also campsites, bothies (basic shelters), bunkhouses, guesthouses, and hotels available at various points along the trail, and much of the route is accessible by motorhome.

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Visiting Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park

Your very first glimpse of the “sleeping waters” of Loch Lomond will be enough to understand why it has such an important role in heritage, music, myth, and folklore. Above the lake rises Ben Lomond, which comes from the Gaelic for “beacon mountain”, perhaps due to the beacons lit at the top in ancient times. 

Loch Lomond has won most contemporary fame for the anonymously authored song “By yon bonnie banks and by yon bonnie braes”. The lyrics illustrate its beauty: “in soft purple hue, the Highland Hills we view….the wee bird sing and the wildflowers spring….On the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond”.

The Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority have a wonderful guide to the culture of the area and to the Gaelic language. They also offer a brand new journey planner app. Loch Lomond is part of the West Highland Way walking trail, but you can also drive and park near the lake, or take the train to Balloch. 

This area contains one of the UK’s largest National Nature Reserves: The Great Trossachs Forest, with mature and restored woodland providing a home for Red Squirrels, Pine Martens, Roe Deer, Badgers, Tawny Owls and Woodpeckers. The most magical time to visit is May, where the entire forest is carpeted in bluebells.

There are many places to stay in the park, including well-equipped campsites, self-catering cottages, and youth hostels. Loch Lomond is vast, and renting one of our Motorhomes is a great way to catch that true Lomond experience of waking up in the open air — perhaps even taking an icy dip before breakfast!

Visiting Oban

For the best fish and chips in Scotland, word is that Oban is the place to go. For that much-longed-for hot meal after days of mountains and lakes, head to this picturesque seaside town. Take a guided tour of Oban Distillery, and discover what gives the local single malt its distinctive flavour of sea salt, honey, and peat smoke.

Oban is also known as the “gateway to the islands”. and is the place to head to many of Scotland’s stunning islands, including Oban, Mull, and Skye. Check out our guide to Scotland’s stunning islands, for Caribbean-style beaches with a chilly North Sea twist!

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Visiting Glen Coe

Further up the West Coast are the majestic peaks of Glen Coe. A hike to Glen Coe will take you through the mythical peat bogs of Rannoch Moor, until the craggy mountains open up to reveal the calm waters of Glencoe Lochan.

Travelling around these stunning areas requires some respect for Scotland’s dramatic weather fluctuations; do not leave without your waterproofs, midge repellent, and strong walking shoes! 

Respect for this weather is what distinguishes Scotland’s travellers from others, and there is nothing like the drama of a storm to transform those first rays of sun breaking through into a magical experience. 

Having said that, you will well appreciate a sturdy roof over your head at times, especially if you dare to dip into the lakes or enjoy braving the elements. Our campervans give you the freedom and flexibility to explore these landscapes in all their tempestuousness and glory — choose your own luxury adventure in our excellent selection of Campervans to hire in Scotland.

Visiting Fort William and Ben Nevis

At 1,345 metres (4413 feet) above sea level, Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the British Isles. Those keen to scale its dramatic peaks can take the “Mountain Path” which takes 7-9 hours for the round trip, or for more experienced climbers, the Carn Mor Dearg Arête is a thrilling route up the exposed ridge of the mountain.

Fort William is the town closest to Ben Nevis, and is known as the “Outdoor Capital of the UK”. Apart from hiking and climbing, Fort William also attracts other outdoor sports enthusiasts, including paragliders and skiers, and the area is also particularly renowned for its mountain bike trails. 

For a less strenuous way to appreciate these dramatic landscapes, you can take the Jacobite Steam Train, or “Harry Potter Train”; fans might recognise many landscapes from the films.

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Visiting Mallaig and the Ardnamurchan Peninsula

Slightly further north than the more popular tourist trail lies the remote and rugged Ardnamurchan Peninsula. The site of one of Britain’s last volcanoes (which last erupted 60 million years ago). It offers white sandy beaches, ancient forests, ruined fortresses, and gentle walking up heather-clad hills.

Mallaig is another important ferry terminal to get to the islands, and is a busy fishing town with a lovely heritage centre. Just north of the town are the “Silver Sands of Morar”, which provide beautiful views across to the islands.

This area is rich in cultural history, and there are many local stories, including legends of the Ardnamuchan Wolf-Woman who is said to visit remote bothies at night, and the more reassuring reports of St Columba’s healing miracles in the area.

Please get in touch with us with any questions you have about the area. A campervan or motorhome can transform your Scotland holiday into a fabulous mix of adventure and home comforts; in fact, all you need to bring is your clothes!