Blair Atholl

17th July 2020 to 24th July 2020

Our go-to place – Blair Atholl – is something we return to often, in our motorhome or their many options self catering

Camp sites are just starting to reopen for self-catering use i.e motorhomes and caravans. Social distancing is, of course, mandatory but is manageable in a motorhome if you are sensible. Whilst pubs and restaurants are also starting to open their doors, we have decided not to use them at the moment, and prefer to cater for ourselves in the motorhome this trip.

We have been coming to Blair Atholl now for more than 20 years. Usually two or more times each year – we love it here. We found Blair Castle Caravan Site whilst touring Scotland in a borrowed motorhome when the kids were tiny. Instead of the 2 nights we had planned there, we stayed a week, cancelling the other bookings. There was an instant attraction to the place and one that has only matured and increased over time.

The site has modernised during this period: a new site office and shop; Internet access, Segway and bike hire; and recently some lodges that are open all year even when the camp site is closed. Despite all these changes the site hasn’t lost its charm or its character and has resisted the temptation to squeeze more pitches into the grounds. It remains a lovely open site with huge areas of grass and play areas at its centre.

We know the local area very well, and use the site as the base for a lot of walking in the local hills. I’ll compose a Relive flyby from the routes we took during the week, but the Garmin site is currently down at the moment as it is being held to ransom by hackers.

Here are a few photos in the mean time.

Garmin is starting to recover from their ransom induced outage. Here is a Relive of some of the routes we walked. In total we managed 37.3 miles of planned walks in 5 days.

This was the first time we have been totally reliant on this motorhome without supplementing it with the use of shower blocks, toilets and restaurants. I wasn’t really expecting any issues as such, but thought it may be more restrictive than we are normally used to. Obsolutely not – no problems at all. In fact, under the current Covid circumstances, it felt even more comfortable and appropriate – even natural, than I was expecting.

The week flew by – as it always does when we visit Blair Atholl. We managed a reasonable walk everyday other than one due to heavy rain across most of Scotland that day. It doesn’t seem to matter that we have walked some these tracks tens of times, its always different. Red squirrels, red deer and bussards seems to be the more adundant of the local wildlife, along with the Highland cows or course. There are polecats up here too although I haven’t yet spotted one. During our last visit in January 2020 (using a lodge because the caravan site is closed in January) I set up a trial camera and caught some great footage of the Reds.

Round trip distance 685 miles according to google maps.

Niggles

Non this trip, apart from a window catch needing a bit of glue which is trivial especially since my wife can be a little heavy-handed.

The seal for the window above the cab was replaced under warranty in June and has stopped the wind noise at speed or during windy weather when we are driving.

The surrounds for the rear light clusters have now gone from pitted to fully rusty and leaving rust streaks on the bodywork. It has been acknolgedged by Don Amott as a warranty problem particular to this version of Bailey motorhome, but because of Covid they are still without a suitable replacements. It’s now been 4 months since the acknowledgement was conformed as a warraany issue.

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