From scenic driving routes to picturesque remote stretches, Scotland is no doubt famous for its magnificent scenery. This makes for many camping spots — perfect for the adventurous campers that are ready to brave the unpredictability of Scotland’s weather. In this list are ten of the best wild camping sites in Scotland, so read on to find out!
Sandwood Bay, Sutherland
As one of Britain’s most famous and beautiful wild beaches, Sandwood Bay is a great spot for campers to pitch up their tents. Though it is remote with no road access, you can reach it with a mere four-mile stroll, where you’ll be awestruck by the incredible stretch of pink-hued sand bounded by rocky cliffs and a giant sea stack. The beach is also a popular surfing spot, but fear not, Sandwood Bay is big enough to absorb the visitors. Here is where you can get to view some of the most well-preserved machair wildflower grasslands, where there are over 200 plant species sprouting behind the sand dunes.
Loch Beinn a’ Mheadhoin, Glen Affric
Set among Scot pines and rugged mountains, this lovely freshwater loch is nestled to the east of Scotland, and is a beautiful scenic spot for a picnic date, or just for a relaxing me-time to enjoy some peace and quiet. The multiple small islands and promontories around allow for a fun swimming time and water dip, while the various little beaches make for the perfect camping spot. There are also a variety of graded walks available for you to enjoy the surrounding woods and paths. For a truly secluded time away from the buzz, visit Loch Beinn a’ Mheadhoin.
Kilmory Bay, Isle of Rùm
Kilmory Bay is a stunning bay located at the northern coast of Rùm, where its magnificent sandy beach outlooks across the blue waters and unmatched skyline of the Cuillins on Skye. The walkway may be long, but it is straightforward. The best part is — you may get to spot some red deer wandering around the beach, mostly during the period of late September to early October.
The Lost Valley, Glencoe
Also known as Coire Gabhail in Scottish Gaelic, The Lost Valley is an outwardly glen that is hidden away behind various towering mountain peaks. This hidden valley is surrounded by the impressive Three Sisters of Glencoe, with a meandering stream and massive boulders providing shelter behind. It also has a dark history to speak off, where many members of Clan MacDonald had taken refuge here in 1692 after the Glencoe massacre. While the route to the valley may be rough at times, it is a scenic and unforgettable walk that is certainly manageable for the average hiker.
Glen Nevis, Lochaber
Glen Nevis is a picturesque glen located in the heart of the Highlands, easily accessible from Fort William by foot or other transport modes. The steeper side of the gorge is towered over by the tallest mountains and widens to reveal a spectacular hanging valley. Here lies the impressive Steall Falls, which is the second-highest waterfall in the UK that joins a lovely river with plunge pools. With its breath-taking views and easy access, Glen Nevis is a wonderful place to set camp!
Vatersay, Outer Hebrides
Vatersay is the perfect idyllic location for those looking to wind down on an isolated island. The Southernmost inhabited island boasts of various magnificent beaches, surrounded by machair greenery dotted with vibrant wildflowers in the summer and spring seasons. The clean white sands contrast amazingly against the turquoise waters, which look especially inviting for a quick swim. The tall sand dunes sheltering the bay definitely make for a perfect camping and picnic spot, so be sure to check this place out!
Glen Sannox, Isle of Arran
This lovely glen curves up from Sannox village into the heart of the Goat Fell mountain range, where a short circular walk around the foot of this dramatic glen allows the option for you to explore the rugged mountain environments further. At its northern end, you can check out several pools and waterfalls that tumble through the area while basking in the sounds of nature. The walk is slightly inclined but mostly an easy one and provides for a great way to experience the mountains up close without much strenuous effort.
As one of the most successful rewilding projects in Scotland, the careful management of deer at Glenfeshie has resulted in a spread of young trees and a vastly increased extent of wildlife. Bike and foot trails allow visitors to explore the Scots pinewoods further up, where there are bustling waterfalls and mountain views to take in. If you’re feeling fancy enough to upgrade your lodging, check out Ruigh Aiteachain located deep in the glen where Sir Edwin Landseer had studied the red deer to create his famous painting, Monarch of the Glen.
Loch Assynt, Sutherland
Loch Assynt is a freshwater loch in Sutherland overlooking charming ruins, where you can set up camp on one of its grassy promontories and take in the scenic quiet of the area. Situated in a spectacular setting between the heights of Canisp, Quinag, and Beinn Uidhe, it is also an excellent fishing spot for trout and salmon.
Quiraing, Isle of Skye
Situated in the north of Skye, the Quiraing is an essential walk for any photographer unwilling to miss out on one of the most spectacular landscapes in the country. The Quiraing was formed by a massive landslip, which created its high cliffs, hidden plateaus, and pinnacles of rock. Just imagine waking up in your tent, only to be met with the most spectacular views of the sunrise! Don’t forget to whip out your camera and snap away, as the views on a clear day are too remarkable to not be captured.
Scotland certainly has many remote yet scenic wild places that will feed the senses of all adventurous campers, so be sure to check out these ten places as you’re planning for your next camp holiday!
Hi, I am Amy I have two loves in my life camping and writing. When I am not writing for The Expert Camper, I am usually camping. Lake District is one of my favourite spots, but really anywhere in the UK under canvas I am happy.