Whether it’s a day away, a weekend or a week touring around in our campervan, my husband Ivan and I have a wildlife competition: one point is given for common birds of prey and moorland birds, deer, pheasants, grey squirrels and hares; two points for more unusual birds of prey such as sea eagles and osprey or dolphins, porpoise, red squirrels, and lesser seen moorland birds like Capercaille. Our usual campervan holiday takes in the amazing beaches and mountains of the west and north of Scotland to places such as Glencoe, Port Appin, Arisaig, Applecross, Skye and Lochinver where sea life and birds of prey are regularly spotted. However, with the youngest son at university in Aberdeen, we decided to venture east this week to the cliff topped Aberdeenshire coast and to our surprise the wildlife competitions points went off the scale – a pod of over fifty dolphins followed by a herd of well over hundred deer, a black grouse, a red squirrel and three golden eagles – all in the space of a couple of hours! There is something indescribably enchanting and heart-warming about spotting creatures in their own habitat in the wilderness, and yesterday was one of those magical blue-skied days in the wilds of Scotland that makes us remember quite how special Scotland is.
For your own 4 night tour to the East of Scotland taking in Aberdeenshire, Speyside and Perthshire, try this tour below
East Coast 4 night Campervan Tour taking in Whisky, Wildlife, Castles and Hiking
From Four Seasons Campers by A82 by Loch Lomond, head east towards Stirling before taking the A9 north through Perth to Dunkeld for your first nights stop. If you’ve time, tour around the Trossachs on route and take in the beautiful Loch Katrine and Loch Venachar. The Sir Walter Scott steam boat offers cruises across Loch Katrine and Osprey are often spotted from the boat.
Things to do
- Cruise around Loch Katrine
- Visit Stirling Castle
- Visit Dunblane Cathedral
- Walk along the banks of River Tay at Dunkeld and watch the fishermen catching salmon
- Visit the nature centre at The Loch of the Lowes for an array of wild birds
- Lots of nice pubs in Dunkeld and often folk music events on either in the pubs or the Birnam Arts Centre
Campsite: Invermill Farm Caravan Park, Dunkeld
Wild camping: Beside Loch of the Lowes
Drive east through Blairgowrie and across the A90 to Montrose and follow the Aberdeenshire Coastal Trail north to Stonehaven.
- Before you leave Dunkeld, visit the waterfalls and walk around the beautiful Hermitage Glen https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/perthshire/hermitage.shtml
- Visit St.Cyrus National Nature Reserve
- Stonehaven open air swimming pool
- Visit Dunnotar Castle and work your way around the Aberdeenshire Castle Trail starting at Dunnotar Castle in Stonehaven https://www.visitscotland.com/see-do/attractions/castles/scotland-castle-trail/
- Dinner at The Creel Inn at Catterline or The Bay Stonehaven for fish and chips
Campsite: Stonehaven Caravan Park
Wild camping: Catterline Harbour south of Stonehaven
Drive north to Aberdeen and stop at Torry Battery just south of the harbour where the local dolphins will put on a spectacular display then head north west towards Castle Fraser and on to the A96 towards Findhorn and the Moray Coast before heading south on the A941 then A95 to Granton-on-Spey and Boat of Garten.
Things to do
- Dolphin spot at Torry Battery by Aberdeen and walk along coastal trail
- Buy Aberdeen Butteries (cross between a scone and a croissant – very salty)
- Lunch at Sand Dollar Café on the seafront at Aberdeen
- Visit Fraser Castle
- Walk along the Morray coastline at the beautiful stony beach at Findhorn
- Visit Gordon and Macphail – whisky bottlers in Elgin
- Visit a Speyside whisky distillery – there are loads to pick from!
- Enjoy the steam train from Granton-on-Spey to Aviemore
Campsite: Granton-on-Spey Caravan Park
Wild Camping : Beside Loch Garten
Head south towards Royal Deeside to Ballater and Crathes and enjoy the grandeur and order of the well-kept villages along the River Dee. Continue west to Braemar and then head south down the A93. Make sure you have your eyes peeled for wildlife across the Spittal of Glenshee. We spotted herds of deer, black grouse, red squirrels and golden eagles in the space of ten minutes here. Before you arrive at Bridge of Cally, head east through Kirkmichael and across to Pitlochry then north west towards Loch Tummel.
Things to do:
- Visit Osprey Centre at Boat of Garten
- Visit Crathie Castle, Balmoral Castle and Braemar Castle
- Walk at Linn of Dee near Mar Lodge west of Braemar
- Walk along the River Dee near Ballater and watch the salmon fishermen
- Queens View, Loch Tummel
- Dinner at The Inn at Loch Tummel