Hello again everyone from bonnie Scotland.
I hope you enjoyed my last post about visiting Loch Lomond and the Trossachs.
Today I’m taking you on a journey to Arisaig, north west Scotland, a little further north than my journey to Ardnamurchan. It’s winter here just now in Scotland, so it seems strange taking you to the summer months … online time travel is wonderful thing!
The plan was to camp at a quiet campsite with lovely walks, views and a beach nearby. So I had a look at the Cool Camping website and also the Cool Camping Scotland book and found Camusdarach campsite. The beach looked so tropical and it was in Scotland!
We’ve visited Camusdarach campsite five times over the years. When we find somewhere we really like it’s difficult to try somewhere else. It’s that security of what you know and like. I’ll be sharing photos from all of our visits to this wonderful paradise.
The campsite had one tent pitching area, but if you wanted to hook up to electricity there were two other areas you could choose from. We’ve pitched in all areas and liked them all. Our stays have been two nights, three nights, four nights, then seven nights. As you can see, each year we extended our stay. The campsite is always developing so things can change over the years, except the wonderful beaches and views!
Our last visit in July 2013 was for the full week. We’d upgraded our tent (again) to a seven person Vango Maritsa! It was huge and had lots of living space which you really need if the weather isn’t great.
We sat in our tent one day through a thunder storm! It was interesting to say the least. The noise of the rain battering the tent canvas was so loud we couldn’t hear each other speak. It lasted for about an hour.
We survived to tell the tale and then the sun was splitting the sky again. That’s camping in Scotland for you!
Walk to the beach
Camusdarach beach was only a five minute walk from the campsite, and we bumped into a few bunny rabbits along the way!
The white sandy beaches looked so tranquil with views over to the Small Isles of Eigg, Rum, Muck and Canna and also the Isle of Skye. It was a huge giant playground for all ages!
There were other lovely campsites on the coast located right on the beach. They were beautiful too, but I liked that we could walk to the beach and walk back with most of the sand already fallen off us, meaning we weren’t sleeping in it.
We found the most beautiful seashells, climbed over the amazing rock formations and found other secluded beaches.
My children seemed to love hanging around the beach. It was great therapy getting away from it all and taking in the natural beauty around us. We played with the ball, paddled in the sea and tried some kite flying too. Oh and a bit of geocaching was fun too.
At night there was the most spectacular sunsets! One night we all stayed on the beach until 11pm and enjoyed toasted marshmallows and hot chocolate. Yummy!
It was still quite light at that time in the summer. When we were walking back to the tent the nightlife came alive and we got a fright with quite a few large frogs jumping across our feet! I remember my children really loving that night.
Whilst we were in the area we also visited the following places:
The Glenfinnan Monument sits at the head of Loch Shiel with a lone kilted highlander at the top. It was built in 1815 and is a tribute to the Jacobite clansmen who fought and died in the cause of Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie).
There’s a visitor centre, cafe and you can climb up to the top of the monument. If you’re a member of the National Trust for Scotland this is free, if not, you need to pay for this.
The impressive Glenfinnan viaduct is also famously known for the filming location of some of the Harry Potter movies.
There’s a short but strenuous uphill walk beside the visitor centre. It’s so worth the climb as when you reach the top you’re rewarded with the magnificent views across to the viaduct and the monument. We’ve walked up here a few times and the last time we were there we also bagged a geocache!
On one of our visits we ventured into Fort William for the day to the Nevis Range. There are lots of outdoor activities you can do here such as the high wire adventure, family cycling, mountain biking, skiing, forest walks and more.
We went up on the gondoloa. It’s expensive, but such a great experience. There’s a cafe at the top and you can walk around the mountain. This is also where the world cup downhill mountain biking takes place.
The high wire adventure was challenging but fun!
It was a great wee day out and the kids loved it.
Have you heard of the white sands of Morar? We stopped off here on the way to Mallaig one day.
As I was walking along the beach a gentleman looked at me in a confused manner and said “I think I’ve taken a wrong turn somewhere and ended up in Greece…”
I laughed out loud, and then felt quite proud of our beautiful Scotland!
Mallaig is a small fishing village only about 10 minutes drive from Camusdarach campsite. You can stock up on groceries here, browse around the local shops or go for something nice to eat. Plenty of fresh fish!
The Jacobite steam train (featured in the Harry Potter movies) is sometimes sitting in the train station, arriving from Fort William.
The village has an indoor swimming pool if you fancy something to do on a rainy day.
Mallaig is also the place to go if you want to sail across the sea to the Isle of Skye or any of the Small Isles. It’s on my list of things to do, explore the Small Isles!
One year we sailed over to Skye as an alternative long route home. It was a quick drive through the island to Portree. I really want to go back and explore the island on foot.
After Portree, we crossed the Skye bridge with a quick stop at the impressive 13th century castle Eilean Donan.
I hope you liked my photos and visit these places one day. This is just a snapshot of our adventures in this area, there’s so much more to see and explore!
Thanks for reading.
Love, Dawn-Marie x