Why would anyone want to go camping in Scotland?
– short answer – Why the hell not!
– long answer – This place was the whole reason we first decided to go to Scotland. I got an email one day from VisitScotland.com. It’s title? ’10 Quirky Places to Stay in Scotland’
We went to the site, looked at the places….fell in love with the Coastal Carriages. Next thing I know we have planned an entire vacation for almost 2 weeks, flights, passports, suitcases and what would turn out to be not enough underwear…just to ‘camp’ for 2 nights in Scotland.
By the time we had arrived at Coastal Carriages in Fraserburgh, we had already stayed in B&B’s, posh hotels, beautiful old inns. There were extreme contrasts to every other place we stayed. No indoor bathroom, no electricity, no wi-fi. But you know what else there was not? No waits for the lift, musty smell coming from the old carpets, no crowds, no broken heater, no traffic, no noisy neighbours (barring the peacock in the next farm) We didn’t have to call down to the front desk because someone forgot glasses in our room. If we had no water pressure, we simply had to wait until the cows were finished drinking. And we didn’t even mind! It was amazing!
Our view from the front door was grass, sheep, ocean and cliffs. Our music was the wind and the birds. Within minutes of arrival, Goose had a fire going in the adorable little wood burner. We were greeted by the wonderful owner/hostess Carole with a basket of local goodies, which included whiskey, jam & porridge. We drove into the little village to get what little else we needed. As we took our tour, she showed us the bush shower and the short little jaunt to the bathroom. My immediate thoughts upon seeing the bedpan was ‘Eww….a bedpan! I won’t mind the walk to the loo, thank you’. That changed quickly to, ‘Oooh..a bedpan! How practical’ when our apres-dinner walk was cut short by the resident bat. When the sun went down, there was nothing but our little lantern and the sound of the wind outside. The fact that our little ‘cottage’ was built out of an old train carriage (solid iron) meant we were not affected by the wind or cold. Not even a wee draft.
We heated water over the stove to put in water bottles for bed-warmers. And when we climbed into that built-in carriage bed, it was like slipping into a warm hug. Warm, snug & cozy.
The next morning we put to use the binoculars after our breakfast of Scottish parritch and gluten-free toast & jam. We watched two huge cargo ships haul a massive oil rig from one end of the horizon to the other. By the time the sun went down 18hrs later, we could only see their lights. It was like watching a poltergeist move a tiny car across a room with time-lapsed photography.
We decided to find our way to those cliffs. After a short windy trip, we found a beach with caves. While exploring the caves, we found a rock wall with my Father’s name carved into it. I would love to say that was the highlight of my trip to Scotland. However, there were so many things like that happening throughout the entire vacation, it was more like the highlight of my day at the beach. Our first morning in Scotland started with multiple rainbows.
Our little Cottage area was surrounded by farmland. Sheep, cattle, roosters, chickens, peacocks and an electric fence with this sign on it.
On our second night we braved the bush shower. Heating water over the stove, pulling a rope, filling a bag, raising the bag. It was awesome! The ‘shower room’ was built onto the side of the railway carriage from a large cable spool. What a great idea!
One thing we forgot to pack? Towels. A combination of heat from the wood stove and tea towel tapping to dry off. Worked like a charm.
This was the best, most relaxing place we stayed in all of Scotland. The views, the quiet, the peacefulness. If you go to Scotland, be sure to book a few nights at the Coastal Carriages.
My only tip: bring towels. Leave the world behind.