Visiting the west coast in August - midge mayhem?

Discussion in 'Scotland/Alba' started by BoatieBird, Feb 25, 2016.

  1. BoatieBird

    BoatieBird Well-Known Member

    We're planning on taking the caravan on a 2 week Scottish holiday in August this year.

    Still very much at the planning stages, but would like our ultimate destination to be somewhere around Kinlochewe or a bit further north, possibly around Ullapool.

    Is this a crazy idea? Will we be eaten alive?
    Would we be better off sticking to the east coast?
    quimcunx likes this.
  2. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

    The West Coast in August is beautiful. But yes, if there's no wind there'll be midges.

    Are you a Jessie or something?
  3. BoatieBird

    BoatieBird Well-Known Member

    Apparently so :oops:
  4. maomao

    maomao 四月她爹

    Take up smoking for the duration of your holiday. Midges hate cigarettes.
    geminisnake likes this.
  5. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

    Go to Mellon Udrigle.

    From my visit last year:


  6. BoatieBird

    BoatieBird Well-Known Member

    So by the sea might be better for midge-dispersing sea breezes?
    Lepton and danny la rouge like this.
  7. BoatieBird

    BoatieBird Well-Known Member

    danny la rouge likes this.
  8. JimW

    JimW 支那暗杀团

    Achiltibuie north of Ullapool with a view to the Summer Isles is lovely, went there several times as a kid.
    danny la rouge likes this.
  9. 2hats


    Camp on a western facing beach with an onshore breeze. Light a fire and take up smoking (as previously noted). Additionally, drown yourself in Avon Skin So Soft. :D
    Saffy and pogofish like this.
  10. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

    Yes, and you could always go to the tiny Loch Ewe distillery at nearby Aultbea, where they make whisky in the fashion of the old illegal distillers at 50 proof. They show you how to make it and give you (several generous) samples. You won't feel anything, never mind midges.

    It's in a manky old shed and is endearingly amateur.
  11. BoatieBird

    BoatieBird Well-Known Member

    We've decided on an itinerary:

    Alnwick (visiting friends)
    Alloa (visiting family)
    Loch Lomond
    Lake District

    The Skin So Soft is on order 2hats :D
    Geoffrey, danny la rouge and pogofish like this.
  12. pogofish

    pogofish Testicle Hairstyle

    Ignre the suggestions for Skin So Soft - Its a complete myth, with no repellant properties whatsoever - apart from the brief rush of solvent evaproation on initial application (which you get with most cosmetics), unless you buy the added repellant version which is at best so-so.

    Boots yellow or silver tin/bottle repellant is one of the best all-rounders we ever tested, with the fewest secondary issues (eg Jungle Formula - good but a fucker for irritation/damage to stuff) and often on offer/bogoff.

    Otherwise, sea breeze, don't wash and smoke/drink yourself stupid. Midgies hate that! ;)
    geminisnake likes this.
  13. BoatieBird

    BoatieBird Well-Known Member

    Mosquito repellent effectiveness: A placebo controlled trial comparing 95% DEET, Avon Skin So Soft, and a “special mixture” | BC Medical Journal

    Greebo likes this.
  14. StoneRoad

    StoneRoad heckling from the back!

    Kielder midgies are probably as bad - you either suffer or become immune (according to mate who worked at Kielder for some years)
    personally - I take Vit B1 & a multi-vit majoring in the B complex and use a sunscreen with added anti-insect stuff. If you avoid the first bite then you should stay clean. Somehow the first bite attracts the bliddy things in their hordes. After getting bitten, anti-histamine tablets and a topical cream will help sooth !
    pogofish and Greebo like this.
  15. kebabking

    kebabking Unfettered ambition

    if you do go to Alnwick, and decide to visit the Castle, its gardens, or both, then psych yourself up for being rinsed the whole day through.

    £35 to visit the castle for 2 adults, a 12yo, a 5yo and a 1yo. and thats with £5 off because we got the tickets in the TIO in town. then you pay £3 fo parking... the gift shop is full of Harry Potter stuff - wands for £25-£40, a Gryfindor jumper for £80, and a peice of plastic in a plastic display case that has 'the Philosphers Stone' writen on it. for a very reasonable £120...

    £3 for an ice cream. the day will not endear you to the Percys, infact by about lunchtime you'll have put on a Red and White Saltire and be sreaming 'Neville, York, death to to the House of Treason!' from the battlements and really, really embarrassing your children.

    if you go to Alnwick town, it uses a disk parking system - i think its a quid and you can use it anywhere in Northumberland (Cumbria has a similar system..), sold in most shops and TIO's.
    farmerbarleymow and Greebo like this.
  16. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Starry Wisdom

    take a leaf out of the military's book and wear nbc equipment
  17. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Starry Wisdom

    i thought you'd been in the army and were therefore used to alternative means of entering fortified locations
    existentialist and Greebo like this.
  18. BoatieBird

    BoatieBird Well-Known Member

    kebabking we went to Alnwick last spring and although I would have loved to have seen the castle gardens we decided it was too expensive. There are so many other beautiful places to visit in the area so it's no great loss.
    Greebo and kebabking like this.
  19. pogofish

    pogofish Testicle Hairstyle

    We tested it anually, for years, rigourously along with all the other UK commercial repellants and whatever other compounds were of of current interest, in Argyll in summer over a typical period of eight weeks and Skin So Soft never turned-in an adequate response. Even the cash-in version with added DEET was of no more than average performance.
    Greebo likes this.
  20. pogofish

    pogofish Testicle Hairstyle

    It is indeed - We worked there too and Keilder midge levels were the highest we ever recorded in England and at times they could come very close to the very highest levels we continually recorded in Argyll.

    There is something in the vitamin Bs for boosting natural repellance but the amount you would need to consume to build and maintain a meaningful level is pretty unfeasable. For the likes of Marmite/brewers yeast, it would have been in the order of a couple of kilos, daily! :eek:
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016
    Lepton, kebabking and Greebo like this.
  21. kebabking

    kebabking Unfettered ambition

    i had thought about fiddling with the range card the next time i was playing with some toys at nearby Otterburn, but in truth the prospect of all the paperwork from Historic England filled me with such horror that i just thought i'd humiliate my children instead.
  22. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    Why bother with loch lomond and the lake district? Once you're up in kinlochewe spend more time there instead.
  23. clicker

    clicker nanook rubs it....

    I use avon's sss with success. Maybe the little blighters just slide off me though? It is oily but I love the smell.However it makes other heave within wafting distance.
    BoatieBird likes this.
  24. Geoffrey

    Geoffrey Stop shaking the caravan Geoffrey!!

    Why not bother with Loch Lomond? I live right beside it and it is a beautiful place with lots of nice things to see and do.
  25. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    Loch Lomond is nice enough but it doesn't have much special to offer compared to many places further into the highlands, other than being easily accessible from Glasgow etc (which is also its disadvantage).

    It takes a while to get up to the northwest; I'd encourage people to spend time around there (and ideally go a bit further north) once they've made that effort.
    kebabking likes this.
  26. BoatieBird

    BoatieBird Well-Known Member

    We're spending 6 nights in Kinlochewe, and 2 each in Loch Lomond and the Lake District.
    Kinlochewe to home is 9+ hours, probably even longer than that because we'll be towing a caravan. Too much to do in one go.
    Greebo likes this.
  27. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    If they are staging posts then that is sensible and permitted. It will probably take you longer to do the bit from Loch Lomond to Kinlochewe than you expect. Have you taken your caravan on single track roads before by the way? Are you good at reversing?
  28. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    As others have said your best defence against the midges other than smoking is a breeze. And they like the shade. So whatever you do don't park up in a wooded area next to water (eg Loch Lomond). Find somewhere higher up on open ground and ideally on the brow of a hill. You will find these kinds of locations easier to find the further north you go :thumbs:
    You will be close to the torridon hills which offer some top class walking if you like that kind of thing. I can recommend some walks if you want.
    kebabking likes this.
  29. BoatieBird

    BoatieBird Well-Known Member

    Thank you :D

    We've done many single track roads in Devon, Wales etc. and we (well, he :oops: ) is a dab hand at reversing.
  30. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    As a challenge you can try the ones with a sign saying "unsuitable for caravans".
    kebabking likes this.

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