Family celebrates Highland campsite's golden anniversary
A popular campsite in a stunning location in the Scottish Highlands is celebrating 50 years under the operation of the same family.
Situated on the beautiful west coast, Sands Caravan & Camping, boasts unsurpassed views of the Isle of Skye and Outer Hebrides and offers camping, touring and wigwam cabins among the sand dunes.
Bill Cameron, his sister Fiona, and their parents took over the campsite on 16 May 1969 and the family has run it ever since. The business is now operated by Mr Cameron’s son James and his family.
Mr Cameron Snr told the Press and Journal newspaper how they had “a desperate shortage of facilities” in the early days, and even used sheep to keep the grass short!
In the 1970s a storm destroyed the old touring caravans and newer, modern static caravans were put in place.
He said 1970 to 1977 were the “boom years” for the business with the site completely full for four weeks of the year and cars would queue along the road waiting to get into the site.
In later years, water and electricity supplies were added to the pitches, as well as paths to the beach and a slipway being built. A children’s play area was also put in place, toilet blocks have been upgraded and the acclaimed Barn Café opened.
“Lifelong friendships were made, and many happy memories for us and also our customers,” said Mr Cameron.
The 55-acre site has pitches for tents and tourers and for campers it’s pretty informal – basically you can put your tent up wherever you like. That means you can choose a sheltered spot in among the dunes or pitch on more open ground with views across the water to Skye. Either way, the wonderful beach is just a couple of minutes’ walk away.
Facilities on the site include three heated toilet/shower blocks, a games and TV room, a laundry and an indoor cooking and eating area. The Barn Café is open all day and serves a wide range of tasty snacks and meals, including takeaway pizzas and there’s a great shop on the site as well. You can hire kayaks or bikes from the site shop
There are also five holiday caravan homes, as well as 12 heated wigwam cabins if glamping is more your thing.
The site is on the outskirts of the fishing village of Gairloch and the surrounding area offers plenty of stunning walks and views. You might even spot whales and dolphins in the harbour. Take a boat trip out on Gairloch Harbour, for a close-up view of the local wildlife.
A few miles further north is the village of Poolewe and Loch Ewe, which was a significant naval port during World War II and has a fascinating history. The National Trust’s Inverewe Gardens are also spectacular.