Travels with my Coachman: Christine Soutter
Where do you take your van? Here, Christine Soutter shares some beautiful pictures and tells us where she travels with Coachman…
I have taken my Coachman caravan to the Isle of Barra in the Western Isles off the north-west coast of Scotland every year since 1991. Initially there was only wild camping, the main area being a large grassy area behind Traigh Mhor (large beach), which was the runway for the adjacent airport. Generally there was only one flight a day from Glasgow (on really busy days there could be two), so it was not like camping alongside Heathrow.
Over the years more and more people heard about the island and this attracted more motor caravans than caravans. The majority of the roads are single track with passing places, so not for the faint hearted or large motor caravans. In 2009 it was decided the area behind Traigh Mhor was being eroded so the area was cordoned off that winter. This proved to be a problem for regular visitors like myself.
The local council agreed that crofters could take up to three vans per croft between April and September; several crofters decided to do this; again this was wild camping. In the past years three sites have been developed, one on the west side, one on the east side and one at the north end of the island. All have varying degrees of facilities and only two with electric hook-ups.
Why do I go there? Certainly not for the weather - it can be beautiful but it can be wet and very windy. Knowing which way to site your van to shield your awning is a great help. The scenery, beaches, peace and quiet, wildlife and long light evenings make the long journey worthwhile. The island is small, the perimeter road is only 14 miles long but has varied scenery, adequate facilities for shopping, eating out and enjoying local community life.Posted: 27/03/2013 Other News