When I started planning our roadtrip around Scotland I loved the idea of camping. However I soon realised that camping in Scotland at the beginning of March wasn’t a good idea unless we splashed out some money on the proper kit for the chilly weather. Deciding against this option and after reading a blog by Monica of The Travel Hack about unique stays in the UK I decided to hunt some down in Scotland. Unfortunately most of the really unique places I found were either in the wrong place, already booked or had a minimum stay of more than one night. This option didn’t work for us either…
As I had been looking around for unique places I had found a company called Wigwam holidays, people all over the UK could put these wigwams in a suitable location and open them up to the public. I instantly loved the idea and from there I searched for more options similar.
We stayed in two of these over our nine day roadtrip, one up in Wick and one on the Isle Of Skye. The wigwam its self is the same no matter where you stay however the site, facilities (outside the wigwam) and the decoration are very different for each.
Our wigwam site in Wick was located in someone’s garden, with two wigwams and one chalet cabin at the site. There was also a small kitchenette with a shower and toilet for our use. This site was very much a family run thing and miles away from anything. I loved how quiet and peaceful it was. Jenny the lady who owns the place was adorable – she came and chatted with us for ages, gave us firewood, kindling and matches for a little fire and provided fresh eggs. She told us all about her farm and how she came to have the wigwams here; it was just so nice chatting to her and feeling like you knew the person you were staying with. The wigwams here didn’t have a kettle or anything inside (except the standard heater, light and beds) however the kitchenette provided was more than enough to cook in. When we stayed there were no other guests around however with it being so close to Thurso and Wick it is a great location for exploring that area.
The wigwam site here was teamed with a bunkhouse and bothys, making it a lovely little place to stay if you want something a little social. Theresa gave us the loveliest welcome and we could not stop chatting with her. Again we heard all about the history of the place and about the work they are doing to get it all ready for the up and coming season. There were two other wigwams here and the night we stayed there were a couple of other guests. There were so many small touches with this site; solar lights at night, blankets, chairs, a social living room, lamps, glasses and china for tea in the wigwam. There was also a fully stocked kitchen shared between the wigwams and bunkhouse – she had some nice systems set up with an honesty shelf for food and beer, if you took something you paid £1 or replaced it to enable them to keep the shelf going. Despite all of this there was a kettle, fridge and microwave in our wigwam too. The site was a little hard to find but I would love to get back in the summer and see what they have done too it and how much of a buzz it has gained.
Following the theme of wigwams I looked at other places for our stay and found some cute microhuts in Kinlochleven just south of Fort William. They were similar to the wigwams but much more upscale with a fridge, kettle, microwave, fan heather, fixed beds and a TV inside. I was so shocked at finding a tv inside the hut! The downside to these huts if you are a couple is the beds are two fixed singles, which are rather small for sharing. The huts were smaller in size to the wigwams but certainly felt much more luxurious. They had a toilet and shower block for us to use and then there was also access to the hostel kitchen if we wished to cook something using more than a microwave. It was pretty busy when we stayed there – I think this was because there is easy access to the Glen Coe mountain range from here. They also had free wifi.
This one really felt like camping – we were provided with a little wooden hut with a lamp, heater and sleeping mats. It was small but very cute and cosy. We went during a very quiet early season period so Matt the owner was still doing some parts up. Due to this we had the disabled toilet and shower to use and didn’t explore a lot of the other facilities but did notice there were some laundry machines, sinks and a fridge – I’m unsure if they had any more cooking facilities. However there was a café onsite for food. This was also a caravan site and had several caravans staying while we were there. Matt gave us a lovely welcome and even showed us a map of Glen Affric the local area and pointed out his favourite bits to do. Even know this one was the least luxurious I really enjoyed my camping pod experience as it felt the nearest to actually camping!
When looking at places to stay in Scotland during March I found a lot of the hostels were closed until April 1st or Easter weekend, the above places were open all year around or from the beginning of March. Each place cost between £30 and £35 for two people sharing – which certainly kept our budget down for accommodation. With the cooking facilities you could also bring down food costs with these types of accommodation. If you like the idea of camping but aren’t keen on waking up freezing or to touching the inside of a wet tent then these glamping options in Scotland are perfect for you!