Yep, we certainly did and I can justify every single reason why too.
We have received the odd few comments asking where we stayed in Fort William on Friday night, to which numerous people have said ‘You went to Fort William and the only place you could find to stay was the carpark by Lidl? That’s not pretty!’
No, no it isn’t particularly pretty however, if you remember we drove up through ‘The Beast from the East’ which even though we were safe at all times, made it quite a long and slow slog with us arriving at around 7:30pm.
What’s the first thing you want to do after a long drive?
The carpark next to Lidl provided us with these amenities. It had free overnight parking, it was opposite the Nevis centre which came in handy for facilities and we could get cracking on food straight away.
Vanlife is great, so long as you stay safe and for us, part of staying safe in winter is not pushing it to the limits by leaving yourself exposed in violent weather conditions. Staying here meant we were a 5-minute walk to Fort William town centre and close to the main roads if we did require any help or got ourselves into an emergency. I know – this is unlikely but not worth the risk.
A lot of people seem to recommend driving a bit further up into Glen Nevis and camping there. Glen Nevis is absolutely stunning, its peaceful and remote, everything a camper wants. However! There are signs plastered everywhere stating ‘No camping’ and ‘No Overnight’ parking.
We totally get it; the Scottish are really fair with their camping laws and allow us the ‘Right to Roam’. Read more about ‘Right to Roam’ here.
So, when they kindly ask you not to camp somewhere, they really mean it. They’re trying to preserve an area of natural beauty and wildlife so please, if you do need somewhere to stay in Scotland, don’t camp where you’re specifically asked not to.
I wrote an article a few months back which I call the ‘Vanlifers Oath’ please take a read of it and let me know what you think and if they’re the kind of rules you like to stick to also?
Now I’ve explained my reasoning’s behind our Lidl decision, tell me – Would you make the same one?