An active family holiday in Scotland: Day 1

With the pandemic still dragging on, our Summer holiday plans were never looking likely to go beyond our own shores. Not that we minded at all – we actually love exploring the UK! And having upgraded our modest campervan to a slightly more spacious (but equally modest) motorhome the previous year, it made sense to go and have an explore!

Now I know many people reading won’t regard campervanning or motorhoming as luxury travel, particularly in our vehicle which is over 10 years old, but I think this all comes down to the traveller’s mindset. After all, the ability to be able to set off when you want, go wherever you want and stop wherever you want, without any advance planning or booking, is – in itself – a luxury of sorts.

By taking the motorhome, we were also able to bring our much-loved Springer Spaniel, George, with us, at least for some of the holiday, as well as load up with all kinds of equipment from sailing gear for us all to four mountain bikes that fit nicely into the vehicle’s garage.

So, we packed up, headed for Scotland and joined some friends for a night who we knew were holidaying at Mossyard, just beyond Gatehouse of Fleet in Dumfries and Galloway. Mossyard consists of a beach, camping and caravan site, and some luxury holiday cottages. There wasn’t space on the site for us at such short notice but we were easily able to park up for the night at a site just around the corner, and right on the beach.

The bay here is beautiful, and many pass by this bit of the coastline without realising it, as it isn’t easily visible from the A75. But it’s definitely worth a stop and, tide permitting, it’s a great place for a leisurely walk – and kids love to play in the pools, gather shells and so on and so forth.

Even during the pandemic, when supposedly the world and his wife were meant to be heading to Scotland in the peak of the Summer holidays, it never felt crowded. In fact, it was positively quiet!

After a kick-about with the kids, a meal and a couple of drinks, we had another walk on the beach at dusk, heading out to the Mossyard Millennium Labyrinth – a unicursal labyrinth that sits atop a small hill, separated from the mainland at high tide, and restored during lockdown in 2020. Visitors are invited to walk the labyrinth as they would have done since ancient times. It follows the classical design, the earliest known example of which is carved into rock on Sardinia and thought to date from around 2,500 BC, although the design is believed to be much older.

Examples are found all over the world and one similar to this one was built by a lighthouse keeper on St. Agnes in the Isles of Scilly in 1729 and is still being walked by visitors to this day. As we strolled along it as dusk fell, we admired the surrounding view and retired to our beach view accommodation for a good night’s sleep…

An active family holiday in Scotland:

You can read the full trip by clicking on any of the links below:

Day 1: Mossyard
Day 2: Mossyard – Kirroughtree – Glentrool
Day 3: Glentrool
Day 4: Glentrool – Largs
Day 5: Largs – Scalpsie Bay – Tarbert
Day 6: Tarbert – Ardishaig – Otter Ferry
Day 7: Otter Ferry – Ardmarnoch Bay – Portavadie
Day 8: Otter Ferry – Ardmarnoch Bay – Portavadie
Day 9: Portavadie – Largs
Day 10: Largs – Glasgow

Comments (6)

  1. Karen Morris says:

    I still can’t make up my mind about a motorhome trip. I watched Paul Merton’s travels in a motor home. A real sense of freedom came across but they looked cramped in their bed and they had some close scrapes on narrow country lanes. The jury’s still out on motorhoming for me.

    • Paul Johnson says:

      Well, it’s not for everyone, that’s for sure. It’s all about compromises, really. We find the lifestyle gives a real senses of adventure and allows us to be spontaneous, it also allows us to spend some really good quality family together, we don’t have to continually pack and unpack, and so on. Our beds are not cramped at all (I’m 6 foot tall, as are the kids now) but sure, it’s not like having a luxury hotel suite if that’s the comparison. Given that we’re spending most of the days outside, the limitations of the living space aren’t too problematic for us.

  2. Brad says:

    What’s been good about the pandemic is that it’s made us think again about our holiday time. A lot of us got lazy, as soon as we had a week off we’d be booking a long-haul flight to the ends of the earth. Great to see people getting so much pleasure without having to go too far.

    • Paul Johnson says:

      Yes, you’re right, Brad. We are all too often guilty for not visiting places of interest within our own country, or indeed on our doorstep. I live in a very scenic part of the UK (the Lake District) and, although I know it well and have spent a lot of time here, there’s always so much more to explore. The pandemic has forced many people’s hands so that they have taken staycations and it will be interesting to see how much this trend will endure, even once we come out the other side.

  3. Gary Childerly says:

    It can’t be that modest if you’ve got room for 4 mountain bikes in “the garage” …

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