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    Just watch out for the sheep poo! There is room for a couple of campervans.Â. The steep-sided gorge is enveloped by the tallest mountains in Britain and opens up to reveal a hanging valley with alpine meadows. Why this is the best wild camping spot of the Isle of Arran: From 1 March to 30 September, camping inside the Camping Management Zone at Loch Lomond is only possible at official campsites or with a camping permit. In Scotland, the opposite applies. Wild camping in Scotland should only be done in small numbers and you should not spend more than 2 or 3 nights in one place. This is another wild camping spot that runs on a donation in Scotland. We parked in a beautiful spot in the forest which had amazing views of the lake below us. (Kind of near where this photo was taken.) And you can even overnight at the Cairngorm Mountain upper car park too which is right at the Ski Centre.Â, Wonderful spot, but it is exposed to the elements.Â. There is space for over 30 campers here. Wild Camping Spots in Scotland. Wild camping isn’t really intended to be right by the roadside. I’d been wanting to go wild camping in Scotland for a few years, but what with the ‘current … Idyllic Vatersay is the perfect place for those seeking island isolation. This … You can camp high above the lighthouse—walk up from where you park, over the moorland, and look for anywhere flat and dry. There is only one area were wild camping in Scotland is restricted on a wider scale: the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. This was another of my favourite wild camping spots in Scotland, simply because we were parked right next to Braemar Castle which is not only a really cool castle in the daylight, but it’s lit up at night so it looks brilliant! How much equipment you take will ultimately come down to personal preference, experience and … Walking time from vehicle: 20 mins. Set up camp on one of the grassy promontories overlooking enchanting ruins at the east end of Loch Assynt. The North Face is the starting point for a harder route.Â. We didn’t end up staying overnight here, we just stopped for the facilities, but I think it’s a great spot so worth mentioning. It has a fairly flat summit, and all being well, you’ll be able to watch a cracking sunset before getting your head down. Wild camping in Scotland will allow you the opportunity to stay in some extremely beautiful locations. This is the Queen's residence in England and they actually have dedicated parking spots for motorhomes and campervans who wish to overnight. Map ref: 57.0499, -6.3545. Accessed via a walk in through forest from Glen Doll car park and visitor centre, Corrie Fee is one of Scotland's hidden and unspoilt gems - and an excellent spot to camp in peace. You no longer need to be booked into a campsite for all your amenities. We went here but because there was no signal (we need a signal to work) we had to leave, but I thought it was a really cool spot so worth mentioning on this list!Â. You really are spoiled for choice with wild camping spots in Scotland so there’s no need to infringe on someone else’s livelihood. You can get close to the beach, and … There are the Forestry Commission area and the non-forestry Commission area which is right by the lake.Â, If you stay in the Forestry Commission area, you’ll pay a small fee overnight there, but if you can get one of the spaces just outside of that, then you can stay for free.Â, We got one of the free spots which were right on the lake and it was amazing!Â, This is the perfect place to wild camp in Scotland if you plan on doing the Ben Lomond hike the next morning.Â. As the type 1 diabetic half of Dream Big, Travel Far, I'm passionate about encouraging fellow type 1's to travel the world and not let their diabetes hold them back. Overall a brilliant wild camping spot in Loch Lomond.Â. Wild camping laws don’t extend to motorized vehicles, so basically it doesn't mean you can just park up anywhere you wish. After exploring the city you can visit this small area of nature and camp for the night. High sand dunes backing the bay also provide shelter for camping and picnics on this windswept island. Access rights extend to wild camping. Peaceful Vatersay Bay in the east has bright white sands lapped by clear turquoise water, great for swimming on a calm day. As the general rule is in favour of wild camping, the “buts” can be bad news for camper freedom. Outside of the summer months, if you’re brave enough, there are no overnight parking restrictions. It’s actually a GeoPark area and it explains about the area at a little sign. Always take away your litter and remove any trace of a tent pitch or campfire. Look out for deer wandering the beach, and in late September and early October for rutting stags challenging each other. The Merrick is South Scotland’s highest peak at 843m. Continue past waterfalls, and after another 1½ miles take the right fork. The Leave no trace policy should be followed wherever you wild camp around the world. For wild camping overlooking Sandy Bay, John O’Groats, the best spot sits right on the edge of the world. Before setting off on a wild camp in Scotland (or anywhere else for that matter) take a look at the Outdoor Access Guide. Last Updated on September 11, 2020 Wild Camping and Caravanning . If you literally type the words “Set of film Shell” into Google Maps, this will take you directly to this parking spot. This is a great overnight parking spot that’s suitable for all vehicles. Wild Camping In Scotland Wild camping is often thought of as less luxurious and more rugged. This is a good point to note that this post is focused on wild camping spots in Scotland for campervans & motorhomes. For us wild camping enthusiasts, this includes pitching up a tent anywhere in the open. Before you go wild camping in Scotland, it’s worth familiarising yourself with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.It’s a bit like the Highway Code, but … That means taking your rubbish with you, your belongings, and ensuring you don’t ruin the environment you’re staying at.Â. Walking time from vehicle: 1½ hrs. It’s very level, but there are no facilities. Walking time from vehicle: 2–2½ hrs. I wouldn’t rely on having a good internet connection! Head down the bank towards the island linked to the shore by a sandy beach. This could be in a tent or campervan/motorhome, but for the sake of this post we’ll be writing about free camping in a campervan, because that was our experience. We stayed here one night. A decent path crosses the river Coe and winds up in the Lost Valley itself. There’s some of the best-preserved machair wildflower grassland in mainland Scotland here, with more than 200 species of plant growing behind the dunes. There are toilets here too and there is even a restaurant just a 5-minute walk down the road which serves delicious food! In the town of Braemar you have public toilets, and lots of cute coffee shops, but I recommend you head to “The Wee Bothy” for a morning drink! Wild Guide Scotland: Hidden Places, Great Adventures & the Good Life by Kimberley Grant, Richard Gaston and David Cooper is published by Wild Things Publishing at £16.99. Reached only by a four-mile walk, this remarkable stretch of pink-hued sand, in northwest Sutherland, is bounded by cliffs and the Am Buachaille sea stack. Pitch your tent amid the high rolling sand dunes at one of Britain’s most famous wild beaches. Combining breathtaking scenery with easy access, this picturesque glen in the heart of the Highlands is hard to beat. You can find out more about the laws and how to get your permit on their website right here. All rights reserved. Walking time from vehicle: 5 mins. An obvious path leads up into the higher reaches of Glen Nevis, following the river. If you want a spot with epic views over the Cairngorm National park, then you’ve found it!Â. This beautiful spot sits just around the corner from John O’Groats, and is known as the Duncansby Lighthouse. Readers can receive a 20% discount and free P&P with coupon code ‘GuardianScotland’ at wildthingspublishing.com, Your support powers our independent journalism, Available for everyone, funded by readers. Map ref: 56.6549, -4.9940. This is a great wild camping spot on the Isle of Skye if you want to be close to the Old Man of Storr for an early morning hike. ), and they’re open all night. Kilmory is the heart of the Red Deer Project, one of the longest and most complete studies of a wild animal population in the world. • From Kinloch Castle head north, then turn left along the Kinloch river into Kinloch Glen. If you found it useful, subscribe to our Youtube channel here so you can get more free motorhome and campervan … Is wild camping in Scotland safe? I love a good lighthouse and if you want a wild camping spot with a view of Ireland, England, and the Isle of Man, then this is your spot! • From the car park in Sannox (near KA27 8JD) head west on well-signposted paths, then follow the burn up the glen. You can donate via the donation box and the suggestion is £5. Not only is there lots of space (up to 20 vans) to park your van with an amazing view of the lake, (lots of tent spots here too), but there are on-site motorhome facilities. Guarded on all sides by mountains, it is the perfect place to camp, with a flat high meadow, meandering stream and giant boulders to shelter behind. Some estates, such as Rothiemurchus, offer a halfway point between wild camping and traditional site camping. There are no facilities.Â. The wild camping laws in Scotland are pretty unique compared with the rest of the UK. One thing to note however is that this is very exposed, so if the wind is crazy (like it was when we were there), your camper is going to rock a lot!Â. We were completely on our own, and when you park in the forest overnight, the gates are locked, but the Forestry commission guys will give you a code to get out if you need to!Â, Within the Forest Lake drive there is a toilet block to use the loo, and it is possible to have a small fire (where there are already fire pits), we asked permission from the Forestry Commission and they said it was fine.Â. Map ref: 57.2832, -4.9280. Map ref: 56.9236, -7.5353. The progressive Land Reform Act was passed in 2003, and the Scottish Outdoor Access Code was introduced in 2005, which lays out campers’ rights and responsibilities. There is room for plenty of campervans, but just be aware that you are high up and exposed to the elements, so it will get windy!Â. Wild Camping in Scotland. For the adventurous, and those willing to tolerate some unpredictable weather, the rewards are plenty. Map ref: 58.5384, -5.0650. If Munro bagging (climbing mountains) is your thing then Gleann na Muice is the ideal wild camping spot for you. Wild Camping in Scotland. At about 8½ miles, roughly a quarter of the way up the loch, there is a large layby. When I say recycling area I don’t mean a full-on recycling centre, it’s literally just a couple of bins, but it’s a great place to wild camp on the Isle of Skye. These aren’t overly expensive (Around £5 for a night), but it is necessary before you wild camp. Walking time from vehicle: 10 mins. This is one of the best wild camping spots in Loch Lomond because it’s been set up for motorhomes and campervans.Â. This is a wild camping spot on the NC500 that’s located on the way to the West Coast. • Park at the John Muir Trust car park in Blairmore (IV27 4RT). The Outdoor Access Scotland website has loads of great resources giving more specific advice – for camping as well as lots of other activities. Beautiful views, quite level and there was 4G! Looking for the best wild camping spots Scotland has to offer? Where to find wild camping spots in Scotland Scotland is a big place and there are a few ways to find great wild camping spots across the country. If you fancy upgrading for the night, seek out Ruigh Aiteachain, an MBA bothy deep in the glen where Sir Edwin Landseer studied the red deer for his famous painting, Monarch of the Glen. Map ref: 56.7723, -4.9814. Located just 25 minutes from Fort William, the Glenfinnan Viaduct is well worth a visit. It’s level, has fantastic 4G signal and beautiful views. Best Wild Camping Sites In Scotland. Again, you’re exposed to the wind but we got lucky with the wind on the night we stayed.Â, Gairloch is such a cute town in Scotland and it’s really useful for campervans because they have a chemical waste disposal point that you can use for free at the Gairloch Harbour Office.Â, If you need a nice place to stay close to here, then head to the Trout fishing area that’s right next to Loch Tollaidh.Â, Just follow the signs to Loch Tollaidh and there is only one road going off it for the trout fishing and you’ll see the parking area.Â. Here, the dramatic 120m-high Steall Falls pour into the scene, joining a beautiful river with plunge pools, and a famous wire bridge. There is room for over 10 vehicles and if you park next to the toilet near the bins, you’re protected from the wind.Â, A fantastic camping spot that also offers easy access to the beach if you wish to go for a walk, or even a swim!Â. Avoid camping in enclosed fields of crops or with farm animals, or too close to roads or buildings. The southernmost inhabited island in the Outer Hebrides boasts a series of stunning beaches, surrounded by machair grasses that are ablaze with colourful wildflowers in spring and summer. If you have time, I highly recommend you watch it. One of our favourite go to spots is Loch Morlich as it’s such easy reach from Edinburgh. Located less than hour from most of Scotland’s most populous cities, this wild getaway boasts some of the best wild camping anywhere in the country. Glen Feshie in the Cairngorms National Park is a perfect spot for wild camping | © Jan Holm / Alamy Stock Photo 8. Its cities are certainly worth a visit, but if you want to truly experience all that is magical about Scotland there is no better way than to explore its rolling hills, sandy bays, and imposing mountains. These top tips and tricks about the law, permits a camping spots, especially Loch Lomond and thee Trossachs National Park will … If you’re a Harry Potter fan then you’re going to love this wild camping spot in Scotland! Again, from March to September, you’ll need a permit, but we didn’t in October.Â. The ground is level, it’s shielded from the wind and there is space for around 8 campers. There are some pretty good facilities here for campervans, including chemical waste disposal, and access to hot showers which are £1 for 10 minutes.Â, Overnighting here used to be free, but now it runs on a donation system, so you can donate £10 to stay overnight, and if you’re just using the facilities, then a donation of £3 is suggested.Â. The parking is just across the road from the beach, so it’s in a perfect position for morning and evening strolls.Â. For example: wild camping is illegal in England and Wales, but there are some places where it’s tolerated and one special spot in Dartmoor where it’s allowed (check out our guide to Wild Camping in England for more on that). Given wild camping is allowed North of the border, it makes sense to return to Scotland for the last location. Another popular wild camping spot on the Isle of Skye is Neist Point. Photo: Getty Images. This is probably one of my favourite wild camping spots in ALL of Scotland. The Quiraing was formed by an ancient landslip that is still moving, and includes a jagged 37m-high pinnacle known as The Needle, a flat expanse of short grass called The Table, and a pyramidal rocky peak that resembles a medieval keep, and is known as The Prison. • From Cannich on the A381 take the road signposted Glen Affric past IV4 7NB. It’s only a 7-minute drive from the Glenfinnan Viaduct.Â, Located just off the A830, across a small bridge, there is parking here for around 3 vans, and there is tent camping too.Â, There is also a fire pit, so a great place to park up, have a fire and star gaze since it’s super clear at night here!Â. For example: wild camping … This is your chance to go to sleep somewhere beautiful and wake up with the sunset looking stunning. It is said that in exchange for help building the castle the MacLeods pledged Eimhir to the Clootie (devil), and so in hiding from him she dived into the loch and began living underwater. When the fancy for wild camping takes us, it’s more often than that not the Cairngorms that we head to first. haha), but the views here are incredible.Â, This is actually outside of Fort William, and closer towards the Loch Ness direction, so a great stop-off point if you’re going between the two.Â, What’s great about this spot is that there is room for parking for around 4-5 campers, and there is a “beach” area by the lake that you can pop up your camping chairs, just fire at the fire pit and enjoy the views.Â, Definitely a memorable moment on our Scotland road trip. Wild Camping in Scotland is great fun, but where do you start? This was a stunning place for a view of the sea and a perfect sunset. This is free parking for the start of the Ben Nevis hike, and there is a small pub beside it. Scotland is frequently voted the most beautiful country in the world — regularly beating the likes of Canada, Iceland, and New Zealand! There is also a donation box to leave a donation for staying here. It’s still allowed, but there are definitely fewer options than before. Scotland is bursting with beautiful wild camping spots and in this post we are going to take you through all of our favourite wild camping spots in Scotland.Â, Wild camping is basically staying in a tent, campervan or motorhome NOT in a registered campsite.Â. However in one of our 5* motorhomes you can not only have all your luxuries inside you are able to engulf yourself in the heart of the Scottish Countryside. Freedom to roam was ensconced in the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003, meaning that the general public has the right to access public land for leisure or exercise purposes. I have no idea if there is a fee, but there wasn’t one advertised when we visited. For wild camping, you follow these same basic rules. So, let me tell you about three of my favourite wild camping spots from my most recent visit to Scotland. Last modified on Wed 14 Feb 2018 17.09 GMT. Built by the MacLeods, Ardvreck castle dates back to the 16th century and local legend has it that the loch itself is home to the elusive “Mermaid of Assynt”, the MacLeods’ lost daughter Eimhir. Unlike the rest of the UK, wild camping is legal in Scotland, for the most part. There are foot and bike trails leading to Scots pinewoods, with tumbling waterfalls and mountain views. We never had any issues in our 6 weeks in Scotland and we didn’t feel unsafe at once. If Arran is “Scotland in miniature”, you can sample it all in Glen Sannox. Just be aware the road to this spot is very potholed, so drive slowly!Â. We stayed at one not far from the “Loch Tulla Viewpoint” which was very beautiful.Â. This was one of our first wild camping spots on our Scottish road trip and it was one of the windiest! This awesome campsite is completely free but runs on donations. There are very nice toilets here (do NOT dispose of your chemical waste! Running down the glen is the pretty Sannox Burn, edged by heather and bracken. Loch Brora After a 20 minute drive around the Loch on a single track road, we decided to pull into one of the passing spots – there was a number of them in a relatively short distance so we deemed this as a safe enough place to leave the car and explore on foot. Applecross is a wild and rugged area on the NC500, but it’s clamping down on wild camping in certain areas. Walk ½ mile along the tarmac road ending at Achlean farm, pick up the main path through a gate and over a stream, and walk into the glen. There isn’t room for too many campers, maybe 2 big or 3 small, but we enjoyed our stay here.Â, The ground was level, there was a fire pit, and you’ve got amazing views since you’re parked right next to the water.Â, But we got lucky with the wind, it was a calm night, but when it’s not, this will definitely be a very windy place to stay!Â. Map ref: 58.1664, -4.9944. Wild camping (also known as free camping) basically means setting up camp away from an organized campsite. You can donate via the honesty box OR via Paypal online here. Read more. The old tree stumps make hobbit-like seats for sitting around the campfire. If you do need somewhere really CLOSE to Glasgow then I think it’s worth mentioning the Pollock Park. To really get away from it all, canoe over to one of the islets and camp there. You should always try to minimise your impact on the environment, avoid disturbing wildlife, be considerate of the land owner and leave no trace at the end of your stay. It gets quite busy, so I would suggest visiting in the evening as the walkers start to die down.Â, You can take one of the many walking routes in the area then park up for the night. So this whole strip of road has quite a few great wild camping spots and as you drive down it you’ll see them. Wild camping in Scotland was one of the highlights of our entire trip. ‘Wild Caravanning’ is not actually a ‘thing’ but we did find some amazing spots to stay in our fully self-contained caravan when … From the gate opposite, follow the well-marked track across moorland, turning left at the end of the second loch, towards the bay. It’s a good spot off point along a very beautiful road to drive on the NC500. The Lost Valley is the left of two valleys between the Three Sisters, the prong-like ridges jutting out into the glen. Map ref: 55.6603, -5.1651. • From Fort William take the road that winds up the glen (PH33 6SY) to the Upper Falls car park at the end. So this could mean staying in a field, parking up by a lake, in a beach carpark, or in a large parking layby. Wild Camping Spots for Scotlands North Coast 500 July 2, 2019 Scotland’s North Coast 500, also known as the route 66 of UK – something we’re … Scotland is rugged, wild, and beautiful. Yes! It’s the perfect country for a spot of wild campervanning and we think Open Road Scotland is perfectly placed to take advantage of … © 2021 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. Dumfries & Galloway is often overlooked in favour of the Lake District, but it is much quieter. This loch was used in the filming of Harry Potter and there’s a pretty cool wild camping spot here. Has quite a few great wild camping spot in Scotland here ( do not of. Motorhome parking apps and how to get your permit on their website right.. Many spectacular plateaux that make up this magnificent landscape camp high above lighthouse—walk... Of two valleys between the three Lochs forest drive is a cafe at the so! Merrick is South Scotland ’ s no need to worry about other people road which serves food..., or too close to Glasgow then i think this may have been one of Britain s! This includes pitching up a tent pitch or campfire or too close to the,! 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