a beautiful tranquil stopover in Lochmaben

What a welcome to Scotland

Getting the road trip back on track

After a good nights sleep in the camper at Trent Lock, we thought we’d make an earlier start today. All being well we would be camping in Scotland later today! So a quick mug of tea for the road and we thought we’d head off for a cooked breakfast at our planned stopover in the Snake Pass in the Derbyshire section of the Peak District, by the Ladybower Reservoir.

breakfast done, we’re ready to continue driving along the beautiful snake pass
breakfast done, we’re ready to continue driving along the beautiful snake pass

Weather-wise it was a bit cool and misty at this time of the morning, but with a full English breakfast inside us, and the sun slowly breaking through, we were all set to crack on with the rest of our journey up to Scotland.

drinks break with my trusted Trangia stove and Aero Press coffee maker
drinks break with my trusted Trangia stove and Aero Press coffee maker

Today’s journey was much better, way less hold ups or traffic delays. So apart from the odd rest breaks for snacks/drinks and toilets, we made really good progress. One of the things I like about road trips is that the journey is a much more integrated part of the whole experience, rather just being that ‘bit’ of getting to a final destination.

welcome to Scotland – yay, we’ve arrived!
welcome to Scotland – yay, we’ve arrived!

Yay, we’ve arrived!

When we drove past the sign at the Scottish border Welcome to Scotland sign on the M6/M74, I couldn’t help but think of the classic ‘Welcome to Scotland’ scene in the James Bond ‘Skyfall’ movie by the late Albert Finney

When it comes to movies and being Scottish, Scotland can sometimes get a bit of a bad rap sometimes. Remember Ewan McGregor’s monologue in Trainspotting? Mind you the English don’t get off too well in it either! Scotland is most definitely not defined by clichés and stereotypes, and we were really looking forward to exploring a bit more of it on this road trip!

The real Scotland

For our first night as a stopover in Scotland, we decided to head to the small town of Lochmaben near Lockerbie. Sure, we could have pushed on further, but we wanted to ideally arrive in the afternoon of anywhere we were going to stay at. This way it meant we get a bit of time to relax, unwind and explore the area when we arrived. Nothing worse than arriving at night, and then just have to set up and get to bed!

arrived at the perfect golden hour in Lochmaben
arrived at the perfect golden hour in Lochmaben

Lochmaben was great! 🙂 we got to camp right on the edge of a beautiful Loch, what’s not to like! As we had made good time on the journey up, it was an ideal opportunity to try out the new solar system. Even just grabbing a couple of late afternoon hours of sunshine to top up the leisure battery, every little helps as they say!

our first use of the new foldable solar set-up - worked a treat!
our first use of the new foldable solar set-up – worked a treat!

The view over the Loch was stunning 🙂 It’s mirror-like stillness perfectly reflecting a beautiful early evening cloudscape. Superb stopover for our first night in Scotland!

a mirror-like reflection in the loch of a beautiful early evening cloudscape
a mirror-like reflection in the loch of a beautiful early evening cloudscape

A tough act to follow

In the morning we woke to a beautiful sunny day, clear blue skies overhead, perfect. Clearly, the reports of Scotlands bad weather was just fake news! We went for a quick explore of the town before working out where we were going to head for today.

bad Scottish weather is clearly a case of fake news!
bad Scottish weather is clearly a case of fake news!

The view over the Loch first thing in the morning was something quite wonderful to behold. So peaceful and serene. Wherever we were going to end up tonight, had quite a tough act to follow! The only fixed date and location we had to be at in our diary, was over a week away. It was quite literally the one and only thing we had actually booked for the trip! Until then we were free agents with passes to roam!

a beautiful tranquil stopover in Lochmaben
a beautiful tranquil stopover in Lochmaben

Now for those who like a tight, well planned and precise itinerary of where they are going and staying each and every night, this might be setting off alarm bells in your head right now just reading this! I totally get that, but this was a flexible road trip of fun for us. Sure, there were places and things we wanted to see, but we wanted to do things at our pace, and have the opportunity to change our minds if we wanted. After all, this is one of the great of advantages of having a campervan in the first place, freedom not to be tied down!

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