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North Coast Route 500 - The Bongo Diaries

Posted on by Jo Page

Connie and Charlotte, two very happy Highland Campervan customers have kindly shared their experience of their fab trip around the North Coast 500 route, that they have recently completed in their Bongo Campervan that was purchased from us last year.

Have a good read of their experience of the route and I am sure the great photos will also get you inspired!

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We love our campervan that we bought from Highland Campervans and would highly recommend it.  The Bongo is a great size for our single track roads and very easy to drive in general.  Being that bit higher up gives a great view too.  Myself and Charlotte, who is 8 now, have camped in tents since she was 4 months old and love the outdoors, the campervan gives us greater freedom to do longer tours such as this as there is no wet tent to pack away if it has rained, we're cosy and secure even when it is windy and it is great to just drive onto a pitch (or wild camp) and have a cuppa in hand in no time at all instead of putting a tent up first.


We decided to take in the new North Coast 500 route and here is a little about our journey and how our van managed the 500 miles and route with ease.

We headed to Fortrose from Wick and stayed at the Rosemarkie campsite there, near Chanonry Point which is an ideal place to see dolphins.  This is a Camping and Caravanning club site and I understand that if you hire a van from Highland Campervans you also get the membership rates at any of these sites. Whilst we were there we also did a wildlife boat trip with Ecoventures at Cromarty, sadly we didn’t see dolphins but highly recommend the trip anyway.


 The second photo is at Gairloch where the sea was actually warm enough to go in. Our journey then took us to Ullapool and we watched a rowing competition that was going on. The next picture is the obligatory one from the viewpoint at Kylesku! Such a well known site of the North Coast 500 route.


Durness was next, right up on the North West coastline, the beaches there are amazing, the picture is from our walk up to Faraid  Head at Balnakiel. There are a few lovely craft shops in the craft village there.  We stayed at Sango Sands campsite which is reasonably priced with great facilities, a short walk to the beach and even shorter walk to the Oasis restaurant and bar which serves great food and a friendly atmosphere. It was in Durness that I learnt to fold the seats down and make the bed up before going to the bar - it was interesting trying to do that the first night there after a few ciders!!

The last photos are from Strathy beach where we wild camped on our way home.  There is a wee bothy there with a toilet and running hot water, it is funded by the community and is really handy -  it is beside a large cemetery, but at least the neighbours were quiet!


If you are thinking of taking a scenic route around the Highlands, the North Coast 500 route gives you everything from Mountains, Lochs and Glens as well as rivers, sea and glorious sandy beaches. The route is easily navigated by campervan and although the route gives you basic guidance for the 500 miles, you are able to take the smaller roads off course to explore further if you have the time.

We are lucky enough to own our beloved Bongo but if you don’t have a van you can hire them through Highland Campervans from a long weekend to a week or more.

You don’t know what you are missing, come and see for yourself!

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Thank you so much Connie and Charlotte for lettin gus share your fantastic adventure, all credit to Connie for the photographs.

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Just to say we appreciated all of your work last Friday when our van was serviced. Everyone was helpful, patient and willing to share knowledge and experience with us.
Catherine Leaney

Highland Campers Ltd t/a Highland Campervans
Kerrowaird Farm Steading, Dalcross, Inverness IV2 7JQ Scotland

T: +44 (0)1667 493976


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