Scotland Roadtrip 2019
Last week we had a fantastic week away in our Dethleffs 7877-2 travelling around Scotland ahead of my first World Championship race in Fort William. Setting off on Thursday night we began our week away.
Conditions were perfect as we set off travelling north on the M6. Holly and Astrid were sat in the back and they entertained themselves with books, eye-spy and some games. For the first night we stopped off in Penrith at the Thacka Lea campsite on the outskirts of town.
A perfect campsite for a stop over when heading towards Scotland with clean facilities and a friendly welcome. Just remember it is cash only for payments. At the exit to the site there is also a fuel station which saved a few pounds over the motorway services!
On day 2 we set off for Edinburgh Zoo as Astrid really wanted to see the Pandas! Parking was a little interesting as the car park is on a steep hill. A big old hill start was needed after paying but the Dethleffs was absolutely fine and thankfully I didn’t stall it!!
Edinburgh Zoo is lovely and has some amazing animals on display. Astrid loved it and we all had a fun day.
After leaving Edinburgh Zoo, we set off for Perth Racecourse for our second site visit of this trip. The weather continued to be amazing with blue skies as we made the hour long journey to Perth.
The site situated on Perth horse race course is next to Scone Palace and as a little bonus, campers get 20% discount on admission.
The site was perfect for Astrid to have a little ride on her new bike. We had a nice meal and then a little walk over to see the horse track. Astrid loves animals so the sight of a few horses was very exciting!
A lovely site in a very picturesque part of the world.
Whenever we go away in our Dethleffs, time just flies. We have such an amazing time as a family and this trip was exactly the same. On day 3 we were excited to meet up with Holly’s best friend Clare who was getting married a week later in St Andrews.
We had a few showers through the day but it didn’t dampen our spirits. The palace is spectacular.
After a few hours at the palace and a nice lunch it was time to wish Clare well and for us to travel north to Fort William. The weather really closed in on us and we drove through floods and torrential rain storms.
The Glen Nevis Campsite in Fort William was our base for the next 3 days as I prepared for my first World Championship race of 2019.
The Glen Nevis Campsite is one of favourite places to stay. Lets get this out of the way straight away. There are midges. There can be millions of midges. But. The views are simply incredible. The site has a shop, fast food, restaurant, laundry and immaculate facilities. It really is a great site. For those of you brave enough, hundreds of people use this site as their base for walking up Ben Nevis.
Fort William town is only 2 miles away and there is a Morrisons, petrol stations and a busy high street.
It is a lovely place for a stay.
On Day 4 the rain continued to fall. We decided in the morning we would take a small drive to Glencoe as it is so spectacular. It is only a 30 minute drive away so very accessible from Fort William.
There are car parks for motorhomes and busses on the side of the road as so many tourists want to stop off and soak in the mountains of Glencoe. If you haven’t been then it is well worth a trip.
After our drive to Glencoe we drove to Nevis Range, the venue for my racing later that week. On arrival I met my friend Euan who said we were ok to have a little practice. Very excited about getting on my bike, we parked up and I got ready for some training.
Holly and Astrid jumped on the gondola and took a trip up the mountain to see the amazing views of the highlands.
I was able to practice for just over an hour and it was nice to blow the cobwebs out after a few days of sight seeing!
A quick pack up and we drove back to Glen Nevis campsite for food and a nice explore around the site.
Our final day of exploring and we decided to drive further north to Mallaig – the main shipping port on the north west of Scotland.
The drive there is incredible. For those into Harry Potter films, the train line seen in those films runs parallel with the road with some beautiful viaducts and mountain scenes along the way.
Driving along the coast of Scotland in summer time with blue skies and sunshine is truly one of the most beautiful places in the World. It is truly jaw dropping and I wish our photos did it more justice.
Mallaig is a gorgeous little place with some lovely restaurants. Set in a marina there are boats heading out to sea constantly which makes it a very relaxing place to simply watch people coming and going!
A final drive back to Glen Nevis and a chance to have a good tidy up in the Dethleffs before heading to Nevis Range for round 1 of the 2019 4X ProTour World Series the next day.
At races our Dethleffs becomes our base for the week with all our bikes, toolboxes and spares in the huge garage and the lunge area in the front where we can watch practice films and discuss the plan for our races.
It is the best truck that we could ever wish for and after a great few days with the family, we changed into race mode.
Check out our next blog to see how we got on.
The Boom Boom Tour – Part 3
So it’s time to get onto the good stuff! Our new Dethleffs 7877-2 motorhome. The biggest motorhome in the Trend range. When I say the biggest, I mean it. This thing is huge. It really is a home on wheels. It is spacious, well equipped and ideal for our adventures around Europe and the UK.
To get used to our new motorhome and test everything, we decided to go away immediately for a couple of days to the Forest of Dean. Whitemead campsite was our destination and what a perfect weekend it turned out to be. On arrival we were greeted with a personal welcome without even getting out of the Dethleffs. From our registration they knew our name and we were swiftly checked in with easy directions to our pitch.
Excited to see what everything did, we parked up and wound the awning out. Just like the Dethleffs itself the Thule awning is huge. 6m long by 3m projection and the canopy is a nice subtle light grey design. It is in keeping with the vehicle unlike some awnings that you see!!!
Next it was straight up with the satellite dish to see if we were in time for Astrid to watch In the Night Garden on CBeebies! Thankfully we were so as she had some pre packed dinner, we closed the blinds, lifted the rooflights and connected the electric.
Everything in the Dethleffs Trend is quality. Even though the price point is lower than other vehicles in the Dethleffs range, it is still superior to other motorhomes that I have owned.
Next it was bed time, so after Astrid chose the queen size bed over the garage for her sleep, it was time to settle in for the night and plan our Saturday.
Saturday rolled around and after a shower in the immaculate facilities on site, we got the mountain bikes out and went for an explore. The site is situated at the heart of the Forest of Dean cycle network and with trails built for families all the way up to the toughest Downhill tracks there really is something for everyone and every skill level. For today’s ride, Astrid was with me, so it was the family trail for us. The garage on the Dethleffs is huge. Seriously huge. The best features are there is a plug socket in there and light so when you are getting your bikes or other sports equipment out you can always see!
We took our bikes out and prepared a bag for our ride. A nice steady couple of hours riding around the stunning Forest.
Then it was back to the truck for our lunch. As you can imagine in a motorhome of this size, there is ample space for food prep and cooking. With my World Championships looming we are really monitoring my food, but it was easy in the Dethleffs and felt just like being in the kitchen at home. A 3 burner hob, oven and grill as you would expect, but lots of storage and work surface space help to keep the kitchen area free of clutter.
In the afternoon it was a short walk (about 5 minutes) to the Forest of Dean steam railway. Living in Kidderminster, we have the Severn Valley steam railway on our doorstep so we know Astrid loves it! There are about 10 trains per day going back and forth on the 10 mile line. Great fun and always nice to step back in time for an afternoon!
Then it was back to base before getting changed and heading to the restaurant for a meal. The food was absolutely fantastic. In fact, if this site was closer to home I would simply go for a meal without staying the night. As far as campsites go this food was top notch. Then it was party time! Astrid normally heads to bed at 19.00 but as it was our first weekend away she had a treat! The kids disco, or as Astrid called it ‘Diksco’ was a real hit. Pop music and a great dj had Astrid throwing her best shapes for an hour or so. As you can see from the image, she loves dancing and when there is a dance floor and music there is no stopping her!
Then it was time for daddy to carry her home as she was spent!
Sunday morning was spent in the playground on site as we wound down our first weekend away in the Dethleffs. Life couldn’t have been any better. A perfect motorhome on a great campsite. I’ve got a feeling this year is going to be full of great times away in the Dethleffs. Our friend of the family.
The Boom Boom Tour – Part 2
Hello again! I’m back to fill you in with part 2 of my story and how we arrived here. If you remember from part 1, we paused at the end of 1996. I had just won my 2nd BMX World Championship title and life was good.
It was at this time that BMX riders were doing really well in the new sports of Downhill and Dual Slalom Mountain bike racing. Mountain Biking historically was all about Cross Country racing. An endurance event that remains to this day. However the new sports of Downhill and Slalom demanded bike handling skills, nerves of steel and an ability to make quick decisions and cope with in race pressures. Everything that BMX riders have in abundance. So, after winning the World Championships in Brighton, I was approached by Kona Mountain Bikes to ride for them in 1997. At this point I had never ridden a Mountain Bike before but here they were and they were offering me £6,000 for the year plus expenses. At that time I lived at home with my parents so had very few outgoings. £6K plus all my travel, hotels and car hires was easily enough to survive a year and so after much deliberation I decided to change sports and start a new journey in a new sport.
It was a decision that I have never regretted and to this day I still have the chance to occasionally race BMX and train at the tracks.
So, I’ll fast forward my Mountain Bike career to give you a quick highlights review. I have been National Champion 8 times, National Series Champion 10 times, European Series Champion twice and ranked in the top 5 in the World for the last 6 years. I was inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame in 2015 and we are focused on trying to be the first male rider to win both BMX and Mountain Bike World Championship titles. It is a career that I am extremely proud of.
I am actually writing this blog as I am travelling to Italy for the 2018 Mountain Bike World Championships in my new Dethleffs 7877-2! We will update you through the next week how it goes.
So how did Dethleffs and myself bump into each other. Well, our races take place at ski resorts during the summer throughout Europe or in remote Forestry Commission areas in the UK. Hotels are normally a fair drive away and are sometimes closed for the summer season. So most pro Mountain Bike riders have a motorhome for their travels and to give a great base on site.
After talking to Dethleffs at the NEC Caravan and Camping show in October 2017, we all agreed that there were huge benefits to both of us to form a partnership for 2018/19.
My team name is Beaumont Racing. It is a family team where everyone has a role towards me reaching my ultimate goals. My mum, June, is the team manager at races, my dad, Mike, is my mechanic and travels to all events with me. My fiancé Holly and my 2 year old daughter Astrid are then at every race as my support crew! It’s a great set up and I love racing with my loved ones trackside.
The Boom Boom Tour – Part 1
Hello! Firstly, thanks for clicking on this. The title may have you wondering why you have clicked on it, but the title will become apparent over the next blog or two!
It’s an exciting time for me and Dethleffs and we hope you enjoy the stories that we will be bringing you over the next 18 months.
My name is Scott Beaumont and I am a Pro Mountain Bike Rider. My best friend, partner and fiancé is Holly and we have a 2 year old daughter called Astrid. My parents are Mike and June and we all make up Beaumont Racing. My self-named Mountain Bike team that travels the World. For 2018/19 Dethleffs have become a partner of my team and I will be blogging on our travels throughout the UK and Europe. They will be exclusively found on the Dethleffs website so keep checking back to see where we are and what we have been up to.
It’s hard to know where to start with this one. There’s a lot of background information that is going to be useful to understand what we are actually doing in our Dethleffs 7877-2 for the next 18 months. Let’s have a go at briefly filling you in with some detail. In fact, let’s do this over two parts.
Part one. 1978 – 1996. ‘We Race’.
The story starts back in 1978 when I was born in Northallerton, a small town in North Yorkshire. Of course, mum was there, but dad. Well dad was in Germany racing motorbikes! As one of the best grass track, Speedway and Long Track motorcycle racers of the 70’s and 80’s weekends were all about racing! So I was born into a race family and by the age of 2 months, there I was in the back of a transit van driving through France on our way to the next race.
Fast forward to my 4th birthday and it was time to start my career. Redditch BMX track was hosting a race and it was time to give racing a go! Now it’s not the perfect story. I finished 2nd in my first ever race, but it did set me on a path that I haven’t looked back on. A shiny gold plastic trophy was all I needed to be hooked on BMX racing.
Obviously at the age of 6 I raced in my first European Championships in Spain. Placing 5th was ok, but it was this taste of international racing and travelling that really set me on a course. I remember camping at the track and riding my bike until the sun had set. All day every day it was playing on my bike with kids from all over Europe. I liked it and wanted more.
At the age of 9 I finally won my first National race. Up until then I had finished on the podium loads of times, but the win had eluded me. That is until
Farnham National in 1987. Strangely I don’t remember a whole lot about it. But that day was the turning point. From then on, I gained so much confidence and I went from strength to strength. Winning national races and then international races, my sights were set on the World Championships.
Now. For all of you who are avid campers, you’re probably wondering, what the hell has any of this got to do with Dethleffs. Well don’t worry, we are coming onto that in a moment!
So here we were. 1995. I was 17 years old and obviously stood in Bogota airport with armed guards all around me. As you do. It was the BMX World Championships and they were being held 4 hours away from Bogota, South America. A 5 rider GB team had been selected to go and the expectation was simple. Medals from everyone. We had armed guards travelling with us. The bags and bikes had armed guards. Our hotel had armed guards. A helicopter crashed outside our hotel. We were advised not to walk outside of the theme park gates where the race was being held. I cut into a bread roll and it was full of ants. And I won the World Championship. It was quite a week.
July 1996 and the next BMX World Championships were being held in Brighton. Quite a different place to Bogota believe me! We were there to defend the Championship that I won a year before. In Brighton I raced in two different classes. They were called Cruiser (24” wheels) and 20” (20” wheels). I can’t tell you why cruiser is called cruiser and not just 24”. I’ll try and find out and update in a later blog! Anyway. Cruiser was on Friday and 20” on Sunday. Things could not have gone any better. I won Cruiser on Friday and set up the chance to hold both cruiser and 20” titles in the same year. But, it didn’t happen. A huge mistake in the semi-final meant that I unfortunately did not make the 20” final. It was a roller coaster of emotions filled with winning and losing that weekend, but one where I learnt a lot about how to do both.
I must also add as a small caveat here; my schooling didn’t never ever suffered throughout my BMX career! Seriously though, racing actually helped me through school. The rule was simple. If your homework isn’t done, we aren’t going racing. Homework was done, GCSE’s and A Levels passed and then the Mountain Bike world came knocking, but I’ll go into that in the next blog.
So, what has this got to do with Dethleffs. Well as you will recall. I started racing at 4 years old and between 4 and 18, I believe we only stayed in a hotel for 2 races. Every other race we camped. In a tent, then in a tiny fiat camper van, followed by a converted Toyota Hi Ace and then onto a fiat ducato with awning. Initially it was just me and my mum as Dad was racing at his events. Then it was the three of us. We raced and camped all over the UK and Europe. We won, we lost, we met people and we had adventures. It was ace and gave me the kind of upbringing that Holly and myself will be looking to do with our daughter Astrid.
Dethleffs is ‘a friend of the family’ and our family love the places and opportunities that camping has brought to our lives. This is a relationship that we are thrilled to have secured and we hope that you find our story interesting over the next 18 months.