We caught up with TentBox Classic owner, Katherine, to discuss her travels with TentBox. She wanted the freedom to explore our own backyard in the UK and beyond in a really compact, durable and easy way. Take a look at what she had to say about her TentBox experience so far…
Why did you opt for a TentBox?
We love the camping experience but hate setting up tents etc (wet ground sheets, wind, storage space in the car for a big tent/bedding is all very inconvenient) so owning a TentBox which stores on the roof WITH our king size bedding and pillows inside it was a dream! (no space taken up in car either!) After extensive research we decided to invest in TentBox because they looked the BEST on the market – so easy to set up and pack away, very spacious, comfy mattress and amazing amount of windows.
One of the biggest factors in our decision was the quality of the build and how well designed they are – we honestly wouldn’t change a thing. Furthermore, the friendly and very responsive service we received throughout the whole process of looking at, buying and then after sales was 5 star.
What adventures have you been on with TentBox?
We took the TentBox for a ‘test run’ to the Lake District (basically a cheeky weekend away to see how logistically it’d work with the dog, cooking and sleeping). To our surprise, the dog absolutely loved sleeping up in the TentBox with us and we had a very successful first outing. We stayed by the coast in a cosy little bay near Workington and the highlight was opening up one of the windows and watching the sun rise over the sea, with Scotland on the horizon.
Scottish Road Trip
This was our BIG trip of 2020 in the TentBox. We spent about 2 weeks road tripping around Scotland. We are ALWAYS up exploring Scotland so we decided for this longer trip we’d travel around places we haven’t seen yet. First stop was the Isle of Mull and the Isle of Iona – we spent 3 days on Mull which was amazing.
Due to Covid there were no campsites open in Scotland at all (unless you had a self-contained motorhome!) so the ease of the TentBox being on our roof meant that we could stay almost anywhere easily and safely. We spent night one nestled in a little valley next to a beautiful loch, second night in a little harbour and third night by a beach! The beach we stayed at was called Calgary Bay (up in the North of Mull) which actually has a designated wild camping area for tents and wild parking spots for campervans etc – it was brilliant and free!
Definitely recommend TentBoxing around the Isle of Mull and stopping at Calgary Bay. There was never any need to camp in car parks etc due to the abundance of natural beauty spots providing safe and secluded parking – this was particularly important to us because we had our recently rescued dog, Rupert, with us who was, at the time, a very nervous and traumatised dog!
We then spent around a week completing the famous North Coast 500 (NC500) and whilst we really enjoyed this, there are so many other places in Scotland that we’d recommend before this. The NC500 was spectacular and did provide some incredible views but it was really busy (even during the lull in 2020 travel) and there are other parts of Scotland with just as much beauty (Islands: Inner Hebrides, Outer Hebrides, Orkney, West Scotland and Perthshire all come to mind!). Over our week exploring the NC500 we hit up all of the ‘must see spots’ but decided to spend each night in more ‘off the path’ spots which was a great decision – they were quiet, litter free and we were able to support local businesses that don’t benefit from the NC500 tourists.
One spot in particular that we really enjoyed was Latheronwheel Harbour (only just off the NC500 main road). It was a gorgeous beach/harbour to spend a sunny day at with a nice walk and bridge nearby. I don’t remember why we decided to drive down to here but we were so glad we did. We then stayed overnight there after speaking to a fisherman who said it was fine and there was actually a designated wild camping grassy area for tents. After talking to the fisherman for a little while, he gifted us some freshly caught mackerel for our BBQ that evening! We’d watched him all afternoon go out, come back and then clean and gut the fish on his tiny little fishing boat. What an experience – genuine Scottish hospitality!
Some noteworthy places we stopped at during our NC500 trip: Tobermory (Isle of Mull), walking the length of the Isle of Iona to a white sandy beach (about 3 miles), John O’ Groats, Dunnet Head, Sango Sands, Achmelvich beach, Mellon Udrigle beach, bealach na ba road, Corrieshalloch Gorge National Nature Reserve and the Kylesku bridge.
Back in September, I was watching the news on Friday 18th and the weather report said that it was going to be clear on Ben Nevis (this happens for about 14 of the 365 days a year) so we decided that after work that day we’d head up to Ben Nevis and climb it! We couldn’t resist with such a perfect weather report. We threw the TentBox onto the car, packed up a few essentials and the dog and set off on a 6hr drive to the base of Nevis that evening. We woke up for dawn the next morning, after a cracking sleep in the TentBox, right at the start of the walk for Nevis. The weather did not disappoint and we had the perfect day on Ben Nevis and ticked off the highest Munro in Scotland and the highest mountain in the UK.
When we got back to the car/TentBox at the end of the hike, we drove the short distance into Fort William for a chippy and then drove to a secluded spot by a loch and mountains in the Glencoe area to crash in the TentBox after an 8 hour hike!!! It was such a relief knowing that we didn’t have to really travel anywhere to sleep that night – the TentBox was waiting for us in all it’s luxury comfort! It was also such a freeing feeling being able to decide there and then to go on an adventure. I think the whole trip cost about £15 (chippy and snacks).
What are your future plans with your TentBox?
Short term, we plan on continuing to use our TentBox for mountain weekend adventures with our dog, Rupert. We will also be going up to Scotland in February to our family’s lodge but plan to take our TentBox so that we can have an overnight spontaneous adventure somewhere high up in the highlands!
Longer term, we plan to take our TentBox and travel around Europe during the summer and trying to tick off as many bucket list beautiful countries as possible – France, Switzerland, Italy! The Swiss mountains in summer are an absolute dream of mine. I can just imagine waking up to instant mountain views out of the TentBox window!
Any tips and tricks you’d be able to share with the TentBox community?
Park4Night is the best app we’ve ever used. We originally used it in Australia when we campervanned up the east coast to find free and paid camping spots but it works worldwide and it is amazing. It’s free and community lead so there’s lots of options for wild camping and tips on where it’s safe and legal and free to park. It’s been so so useful around Scotland for us over the summer – we managed 10 nights of completely wild camping using the app and we had spectacular views almost every night – lochs, mountains, beaches, harbours!
Also, one of the best things we bought (especially useful during Covid summer) was a portable toilet and pop up shower/toilet/changing tent! It revolutionised the wild camping experience. So good knowing that, once we’d popped the TentBox up in a location, we didn’t have to drive around again looking for toilets etc – we could relax in the TentBox!