9 months ago

Scottish Caravans & Motorhomes

Every issue features live-in road tests of all the latest models and reviews of parks throughout Scotland and the North of England by respected industry insiders – plus the latest news and what’s on guides. Whether deciding on which caravan or motorhome to buy, looking for the ideal park to visit or browsing for new gear to enhance the touring experience, Scottish Caravans & Motorhomes is the perfect companion for travels throughout Scotland and the North of England.

Parkreview Loch Ness

Parkreview Loch Ness Shores SC&M’s Bob Mather spends a very pleasant couple of days at a well-appointed site in one of Scotland’s most iconic locations On the last day in August, I hitched up our test van and headed up the A9 to Inverness, then took the road down the south side of Loch Ness. To reach the aptly named Loch Ness Shores, you travel some 17 miles down this picturesque road – part of which is one-track with passing places – to the village of Foyers and follow the signs for the site. You’re asked not to approach until 2pm to give departing visitors chance to leave without congestion. On arrivalIwas warmly welcomed by Donald and Lyn Forbes, owners of the site. Loch Ness Shores is one of the many franchised sites operated by the Camping and Caravanning Club, and has a well-deserved five-star rating from Visit Scotland. Before pitching up I had a good catch-up with Donald and Lyn over an excellent coffee and sandwich in the tea-room, which is incorporated into the reception area. I first visited this site four years ago, about three months after it first opened. This time Donald gave me an update on what had changed since those early days.Iwas then shown to an excellent hard standing pitch which had a bird’s-eye view of the loch. After setting up and a small snack, I had time to wander around the park and take a few photographs. The park has certainly settled down since my last visit, and the grass areas are very well cut and maintained. One noticeable addition is the addition of a ‘Wigaloo’ in the Clockwise from above: Small boats and kayaks are available to hire; Donald and Lyn Forbes run the site, seen here with their chef at the Airstream Food Bar; there are 56 hard standing and 44 grass pitches to choose from, as well as wigwams for those not bringing their own accommodation Below: Loch Ness Shores has continued to develop since it opened four years ago, with many excellent facilities incorporated within its unique and picturesque setting camping area of the park. This looks like a standard glamping wigwam, but contains a gents’ toilet at one end and a ladies’ toilet at the other, an addition which I’m sure is welcome. In the evening I dined in the local hotel, on the hill behind the site, with panoramic views up and down the loch. I took my coffee out into the hotel garden and sat and enjoyed the view. On the Friday morning I met up with Donald and he gave me the full run-down on the site. It has two major structures, one containing the reception, shop and café. The other, an amenity block, has excellent eco-friendly systems to heat and light the topnotch facilities, with under-floor heating and home-from-home shower rooms, laundry and dishwashing areas. Take your pitch The site has 100 pitches in total, of which 56 are hard standing and 44 grass, plus around 20 grass tent pitches and eight ‘wigwams’, heated timber structures with microwave and barbecue area. Wifi is available in the reception and café areas only. This is one of the few places around Loch Ness where shoreline access makes it possible to 42 Scottish Caravans & Motorhomes winter 2017

pictures RobeRt MatheR launch small boats. These are available to hire, along with canoes and kayaks, and fishing permits can be obtained. Activities include archery, den building and wildlife walks, and electric bikes are also for hire. The site is open all year, with entertainment at Christmas and New Year. Loch Ness Shores Monument Park, Lower Foyers, Inverness IV26YH Telephone 01456 486333 Website Visitors are asked not to approach the site until 2pm. Avoid using satnav for driving directions Above: With direct access to the loch, the site certainly lives up to its name Left: The eco-designed amenity block provides excellent facilities On the Friday afternoon I drove round the bottom of the loch to Fort Augustus, the entry to the Caledonian Canal. I spent some time at the locks, which transfer boats from the loch onto the canal – a sight worth seeing. From here you can explore local attractions like the magnificent Urquhart Castle and the charming towns of Cannich and Drumnadrochit. Meals on wheels I returned to the site in the early evening to sample the food on offer at its other focal point, the Airstream Food Bar, which serves breakfasts from 8–11am and dinners from 5–8pm. It was very busy when I went around 7pm, and after sampling an excellent lamb dinner, I had to award it my five-star rating! I walked along many of the trails beside the loch, a wonderful experience with the sun going down behind the mountains. I slept soundly that night, and after taking a few more photographs in the morning, and enjoying a bacon and egg roll from the Airstream Food Bar, I hitched up again and went and said my farewells to Donald and Lynn and their team, thanking them for another wonderful stay. winteR 2017 Scottish Caravans & Motorhomes 43

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