Highland Council creates continental-style aire near Inverness

The highlands is set to get a touch of continental inspiration
The highlands is set to get a touch of continental inspiration

Thursday, 15, Oct 2020 11:46

By Emma Dodd

The Highland Council has announced plans to open a continental-style 'aire' near Inverness in response to demand for low-cost parking spaces for caravans, campervans and motorhomes in the region.

Some 30 spaces will be available at the northbound car park and toilet area off the A9 at North Kessock in what the council hopes will be a growing trend in the region.

As many motorhomes are relatively self-contained, it only takes a few additional facilities to host the holidaymakers.

The car park is already widely used as a pit stop on the way to the north Highlands and this season has been among the busiest due to the popularity of staycations during the coronavirus pandemic.

Aires are popular on the continent, allowing owners of leisure vehicles to park up in convenient places overnight and avail themselves of the local amenities.

Now, Maxine Smith, tourism committee chairwoman for the Highland Council, has invited landowners to come forward who might be open to having aires on their property.

She told the Press and Journal: "The aire idea is something we'd like to develop Highland-wide, working with landowners, farmers , even people with big gardens.

"It seems to provide the required facilities that campervans and caravans need. The Kessock aire is on a piece of land beside the present car park that the council owns. It makes complete sense to target holidaymakers travelling north."

The idea of creating aires has long been spoken about in caravanning circles, but this year's additional demand for pitches has brought it much more to the fore.

A group known as the Campaign for Real Aires UK (CAMPRA) is hoping the virus will mean more local councils are open to the idea.

Black Isle councillor Gordon Adam has been trying to get the North Kessock aire off the ground for a number of years and hopes it will now be up and running by summer 2021.

It's hoped that this aire and any others that come into fruition help to boost local businesses and provide much-needed tourism to the area.

Comments - What do you think?
Related stories

Caravan parks are already getting booked up for summer 2021

2021 holidays are already taking shape

The holiday market is looking very different to how it did just a year ago and families are beginning to realise it might not return to normal any time soon.

Coronavirus and your half-term caravan staycation

How to holidy during half term in October

As the October half-term holidays draw closer and coronavirus restrictions become more convoluted, it can be confusing to work out what's allowed and what's not.

For Sale

Burstner Nexxo t720 - 2012 - £44995

Burnster Nexxo t720

Low Low profile chasis motorhome

Rapido A-Class 999M - 2009 - £54995

Rapido A class 999M

This flagship Rapido model is based on the Mercedes Sprinter chassis (very rare) with the fantastic Mercedes 3.

Monaco Knight 38 PDQ - 2006 - £79995

x

THE most practical RV layout ever on the market with four slide out rooms, full cream leather interior and light oak cabinetry creates even greater feeling of space.

Niesmann+Bischoff Arto 69 PL (auto) - 2011 - £61995

Niesmann + Bischoff Arto 69 PL

One of the best build qualities in the industry including aluminium sandwich construction, deep double floor and front electric thermo windscreen blind make this motorhome fully winterised.

Benimar Tessoro Part 1: The 483 Full Test

The Tessoro 483 is built on a 170BHP Ford

At CaravanTimes we recently had a Benimar Tessoro 483 on test for a couple of weeks. We have done just over 2000 miles in the Tessoro and tested in various ways - as you will find out in our inspiration features coming up. But before we give you some ideas of where and why you should use a motorhome like the Tessoro we wanted to bring some information on the Tessoro range and the very interesting 483.

Bristanbul Video Documentary Part 1

Part one of the documentary is here

So as most of our readers will know, the CaravanTimes team were lucky enough to be part of Bailey of Bristols, Bristol to the Bosphoros trip. Travelling 21 countries in 21 days the team did a fantastic job to take the 2 caravans and motorhome cross-continental.

In pictures: testing the new Auto-Trail V-Line Sport 635 to the extreme

Caravan Times' Favourite Adventure Couple, Simon & Faye, CHeck out the new Autotrail V-line

This weekend however, we decided to test out how sporty the Auto-Trail V-Line Sport 635 really is.

PLANS VETOED: Essex caravan park plans vetoed again

Possible site location at Port Flair

Plans for a 70 pitch caravan park in Essex have been rejected by the local council for a second time.