It’s fun to travel with friends …
Scotland has some great ‘driving roads’ and attracts people from all over the world who want to drive and experience some fantastic roads with stunning scenery. And often it’s groups that do this – motorcyclists, classic cars, etc. Sometimes it’s just a few friends travelling together in multiple vehicles.
Now ScotlandTime wants you to as well as having some super drives, stop and fully experience everything else Scotland has to offer and the ‘convoy crews’ often do this. But I want here to discuss the special considerations groups of vehicles need to think about. It’s mainly statements of the blindingly obvious.
It can be a problem finding accommodation for large groups outside the main towns. But hotels with a dozen or more rooms do exist. They will vary between high end and cheap and cheerful. You pay your money and takes your choice.
Other options for large groups are
Bed and Breakfasts – but you will need to spread yourself between several.
Self Catering – some splendid places including castles and grand houses. They are often looking for a week’s let but some will do short breaks.
Glamping – increasing numbers of campsites are offering Glamping pods of one form or another. Some are pretty basic but others you get your own space including en suite facilities.
Hostels and Bunkhouses – there has been a revolution in the quality of these with the norm no longer being large dormitories. Most now have small dormitories or family rooms. Some even have double rooms with en suite facilities. With kitchen and lounge facilities, these make great places for a touring group.
Camping – usually easy for large groups and most campsites will, given notice, reserve an area for a group, sometimes away from others (one campsite I’m fond of has an area specially for large groups across a minor road from the main campsite: groups can then do their thing without risking disturbing others).
If you haven’t booked, then you’ll often need to operate on Eat Early or Eat Late if you all want to eat together in restaurants. If you are camping, then of course takeaways are a possibility in many places (ask restaurants if they’d do a take away for you if you are pushed) especially if you’ve the shared tepee or similar. Some campsites have a dining area but do be considerate and don’t monopolise it for too long if others are wanting it.
On main routes, these will be designed for two vehicles – but rarely more. On side routes, passing places might only accommodate one vehicle. Therefore, if there is a group of you, you need to split up so that each sub group can fit into a passing place. And put a full passing place between each sub group. That requires skilful observant considerate driving from everyone in the convoy.
If the convoy catches up with slower traffic, and someone pulls over, please don’t make them wait for everyone to pass them before letting them continue. If they wave you all past, wonderful, but don’t take advantage.
If faster traffic catches up with you, the tail pair, will need to pull over to let them past – and then every pair in turn. It can be a long process if everyone on the convoy isn’t very alert : basically once there is a group of 3, either the first two need to let the third past or the third needs to drop back a full passing place.
Single Carriageway Roads
Overtaking on many of Scotlands single carriageway roads can be tricky. Doubly so if there is a large party of vehicles bunched up. So please leave spaces for people to pull into if they try to overtake and, again, if a queue is building up behind, then find somewhere to pull over and let others past.
It might be a statement of the obvious, but rather than admiring your classic vehicle, others might be a wee bit peeved if you line them all up taking all the parking spaces. Think about double parking, blocking each other in, to allow plenty of space for others to park. People will still be able to admire your vehicles, but they will also admire your consideration.