My name is Samuel Quinn. I am an amateur photographer that goes by the name – PictureSQue (Photography by Samuel Quinn). I really enjoy landscape photography and am starting to enter the world of portraiture photography as well.

I recently had an opportunity to try out campervanning. I was made aware of a new company called CheekyCoo Campervans. I followed the online booking process which was very straightforward. Once confirmation of booking was received for three nights in April I started planning my journey.

I decided to take my 7 year old son with me – Samuel Jnr. This was very exciting for both of us. We had a look at a map and decided to start planning for the Isle of Skye as both me and my Son love the countryside and it also gave me a fantastic opportunity to carry out some landscape photography.

On the day of check-in we drove to meet the company owner in Hamilton. The pick-up location was easy to find considering I have never been in Hamilton before. On arrival, we were greeted by a very friendly and chatty man – Rusty, the owner of Cheeky Coo Campervans.

Rusty provided a very informative handover of how to operate the vehicle. Also all extras were provided including bedding, towels and even a welcome pack which included lots of nice goodies that my Son looked forward to, and for me – the beers.

Iain took us for a wee test ride to ensure I was frequented with the controls then it was time to set off.

Sat Nav set for Isle of Skye. Then the journey commenced. The van itself – Maggie Moo, is a new Volkswagen campervan with all the mod cons. Including – electric pop up roof, Wifi, central heating, gas cooker, air conditioning, fridge freezer ect. Maggie Moo felt very luxurious and was incredibly easy to control. So much so I am now considering going automatic with my next vehicle purchase.

A few hours later we arrived at our first stop on our journey – Glen Coe. What a stunning place. My first time there and certainly won’t be my last. The sheer awe of the landscape is very inspiring from a photography perspective. My Son was also amazed – we do not have landscapes like this in Ayrshire.

A wee scurry up a mountainside for a quick photographic opportunity to capture a landscape image and then jump into the van to cook a suitably Scottish lunch – rolls in square sausage and a glass of Irn – Bru. The moment made me feel incredibly patriotic, standing with my Son, munching a roll in square sausage while admiring Glen Coe. I started to think about times gone past in that Glen – men in kilts throwing rocks from the top of the hills at a passing English army. …..I think the Irn – Bru had went to my head!…time to move on.

Glencoe with young Samuel Standing on the horizon

Loch nan Eilean

So it was off again to our next stop en-route to Isle of Skye – Eilean Donan Castle. I started to appreciate the vastness of Scotland en-route and why Scotland has now been voted the most beautiful country in the world. The rolling mountains, winding glens and lengthy lochs never seemed to stop. I kept thinking to myself the scenery would start flattening out at the next corner only for me to be surprised again. Jeez its good to be Scottish I kept thinking.

My Son was sitting in front with me very happy. The length of the journey was not an issue for my young Son as he was so excited to be in such a luxurious van on an adventure as he called it.

We stopped at the majestic Eilean Donan Castle which was wonderful looking in the late evening light while being lit up by golden floodlights. Another impromptu photographic opportunity was taken. Then time to use Maggie Moos cooking facilities again. Having everything you needed on hand was a fantastic experience. I started to realise why camper vanning was becoming a more and more popular holiday.

We arrived one hour after leaving the castle at first location – Loch Nan Eilean, Isle of Skye. The Sat Nav onboard worked a treat taking me right to where I wanted to be to wild camp.

Setting up the beds was an effortless experience. We had an electric roof. I pressed the pop up roof button and voila – 45 seconds later we had space upstairs to sleep two additional persons. My Son excitedly climbed up into the space above which was lit by LED lights and even had its own charging ports. I folded out the downstairs bed which was very comfortable. We both slept very well on our first night. The wind outside was not an issue as the van is so well insulated. Heating put at the lowest setting was more than enough to combat the fresh evening Scottish Spring air. Alarm set for 5.50am….ouch! I don’t like getting up early though I had to take the opportunity to get up early and photograph the distant mountains with the Loch in the foreground and hopefully some nice Sunrise colours. So it was lights out.

Several hours later I woke to the sound of Highland Cathedral – My alarm. Oh so cheesy but incredibly apt! With a refreshed head due to the good sleep I opened the Van side door to see what lovely colours the 6.20am Sunrise was delivering…….Nope – grey and overcast! Que sera. However, all is never lost in photography. I walked 20 meters to the Loch edge to exactly the location I had planned weeks before. Even though the weather was not playing ball the scene was still wonderful. So much so I actually think the moody weather that morning made for a potentially more interesting final image. While I was photographing this scene it dawned on me (excuse the pun) just how perfect a campervan is for a photographer. You can drive to your destination and literally most of the time roll out of the van and set up to shoot. If like me you don’t like early mornings then this makes it much easier. Why did I not do this earlier I thought to myself.

After breakfast, it was time to set off. One of the great things for kids about Cheeky Coo campervans is that there are competitions that can be entered. A photography competition is one of them where photos of a Highland Cow can win a prize. So off we went to explore. I had a good source of information that there were a herd of Heilan Coo’s roaming free on the road to Elgol on the Island. WOW! What a drive. I think this was the most scenic drive I had ever been on. We passed still lochs with 6ft grass and amazing reflections, wee ruined cottages, thatched roof cottages, amazing bays with dominant mountains and then – 8 miles on, we found them. There they were. Standing still in the middle of the road with no intentions of moving. I had found the herd of Coo’s. They stood there quite happily blocking the road. About 10 of them. Amazing beasts. I was told beforehand that they are incredibly docile animals especially if there are no young around which was the case here. It gave me and my Son a great opportunity to get out and photograph them. My Son was very excited to see them and all of a sudden appeared to have turned into a pro shooter – directing me and trying to direct the coo’s which were not for flinching at all. We captured some great snaps then.

Sadly we had to leave the Coo’s behind so on we drove to Elgol which is an incredible wee village. The Cullins over the water, smashing coastline rock formations and surrounding islands. Another brilliant photography location, even in the now bright mid-day Sunlight.

Next stop was Neist Point on the northern tip of Skye. I never realised just how large an Island Skye is. Having the use of the van made exploring the vast area a breeze. Driving up to Neist Point in time for Sunset with a stunning view towards the Outer Hebrides. We then drove down to Storr Car Park – another 40 miles in the other direction. Arriving at the car park then setting our alarm for 4.30am.

The plan being to climb up behind Storr before Sunrise. My Son Samuel was up for it so that’s exactly what we did. Setting off in the dark with our headlamps on for 4.50am, we arrived at the top for 20 mins before Sunrise and WOW what another amazing view. A memory for a lifetime. Some great photos were taken then some exploring of the amazing rock formations.

Meggie Moo among sister highland coos

Photos from above The Storr and young Samuel exploring The Storr rock

Portree, Isle of Skye

Sligachan, Isle of Skye

We then returned to the Van for a lazy day – visiting Portree for a Chippy. We were quite tried the rest of the day so took it easy. We had time to relax in the Van and really enjoy the comfort of it.

We spent the rest of our time visiting Slighachan, Torrin and Plockton before having to prepare ourselves for returning the van. We drove back home feeling that we truly had an adventure and created lifelong memories exploring in Maggie Moo.

My Son said he was sad to say good bye to Maggie Moo and that said it all.

We both had a great time. If you are considering campervanning I would strongly consider booking with Cheeky Coo.

What a fantastic experience from start to finish and there was no way we could have fitted in as much as we had if we had visited the island in a conventional way.

Samuel QuinnPicutreSQue photography

Find out more on PicutreSQue photography Facebook Page

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