05/09/2023
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Campsites in Scotland: our pick of the best

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Home to some of the most epic scenery in the UK, nature certainly painted a stunning canvas with Scotland, where vast lochs, rugged mountain ranges and unspoilt coastlines are a sight to behold. With welcoming hospitality and breathtaking sights, Scotland certainly makes for a memorable holiday

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Words by Claire Tupholme

 


Why are Scottish campsites so popular?

The epic Scottish Highlands

(Photo from Unsplash)

If you just want to dip your toes slightly into the country then you’ll find plenty of campsites in the Scottish Borders, or if you’re ready to jump head first into the wilder parts of Scotland then you can take your pick of campsites in the north of Scotland, and campsites in the far flung (but stunningly beautiful) reaches of the Highlands.

Some of the best campsites in Scotland take advantage of the breathtaking scenic views. Whether you’re pitched up beside a loch, or nestled in a valley with snow-capped mountains as your backdrop, you will encounter some of the most beautiful campsites in Scotland. If a seaside campsite in Scotland is more to your taste, you can take your pick of beach campsites – with a long and varied coastline, there are a choice of coastal campsites in Scotland.

A country that’s beautiful in all seasons, you’ll also find some campsites are open all year in Scotland, too. And which campsites in Scotland are dog friendly? With so much open space and a vast number of walking trails to enjoy, the majority of campsites in Scotland are dog friendly.

Not sure where to start, and wondering what are Scotland's most popular camping destinations? Try places on the east coast, such as the ‘home of golf’ St Andrews, or Fort William at the foot of Ben Nevis for outdoor pursuits. There’s also Aviemore in the Cairngorms National Park, or Glencoe for some winter skiing.

Highlights in Scotland

Whatever your interests or passions are, there’s a variety of wonderful places that are sure to persuade you that Scotland is the place for your next holiday.

With castles galore and more than 120 whisky distilleries, you’ve got your history and your hooch covered in Scotland. There are spectacular walks across remote landscapes of mountains, lochs and glens, plus some of the most stunning beaches to ever cast your eye on.

You can make the most of your leisure time here – from discovering dramatic scenery and hill walk challenges, to more sedate activities such as wonderful roads to drive, taking you to amazing views, magical woodlands and tiny white-sand beaches. With history, sculpture, beaches, castles, mountains, lochs, and more walking and cycling routes than you could ever need, Scotland is a country full of places to visit again and again.

Our top five destinations in Scotland:

  1. Edinburgh: Scotland’s capital city has beautiful architecture, quality attractions, plenty of shops, and an abundance of eateries, from al fresco daytime dining to late-night pubs and bars.
  2. Eilean Donan Castle: quite possibly one of the most photographed castles in the world – set on an island at the entrance of Loch Duich. You’ll have seen a photo, so now see the real thing.
  3. The Isle of Skye: a beautiful and enchanting place of unspoilt, natural beauty. For us, a trip to the Fairy Pools, near Glenbrittle, is a must!
  4. Glenfinnan: with the stunning backdrop of Loch Shiel, Glenfinnan is home to a historical monument and also the famous viaduct, spanning 380 metres and rising to 30 metres above the ground.
  5. The Kelpies: at 30 metres tall, the dramatic structure of two horses’ heads is awesome, and, when illuminated, will take your breath away.

The best campsites in Scotland

With such a vast area to explore, you might be wondering if you can wild camp in Scotland. While it is possible to wild camp, there are byelaws and the Scottish Outdoor Access Code to abide by, to protect the environment and landowners. Pitching up on a proper campsite in Scotland will give you access to quality facilities, serviced pitches (if required) and good old Scottish hospitality from your campsite hosts!


Campsites in northern Scotland

Blair Castle Caravan Park

Perthshire

Blair Castle Caravan Park

(Photo courtesy of Blair Castle Caravan Park)

This picturesque campsite is situated in the grounds of Blair Castle & Gardens, a truly unique location and the perfect base for exploring Highland Perthshire. The campsite is set over nine acres steeped in history and charm and is surrounded by the breathtaking scenery of the Cairngorms National Park. The modern reception building houses a shop and games room, and there is WiFi across the whole campsite. There's also a launderette, outdoor drying green and five heated toilet and shower blocks with dishwashing facilities.

The campsite features a small football pitch and play park, perfect for family games and a safe place for children to play. Enjoy discounted entry into Blair Castle, before enjoying a leisurely stroll around the picturesque eighteenth century walled gardens and woodland grove.

Find out more: Blair Castle Caravan Park  

Sands Caravan and Camping

Highland

Sands Caravan and Camping

(Photo courtesy of Sands Caravan and Camping)

Set on the beautiful west coast of the Highlands of Scotland, you can choose a pitch wherever you please at Sands Caravan and Camping. This is holiday location perfection on a 55-acre site. You can choose a sheltered spot among the sand dunes or a raised pitch with stunning views of the Isle of Skye and Outer Hebrides. As well as pitches for motorhomes, caravans and tents, there are also camping pods and caravan holiday homes.

On the campsite there are three heated toilet and shower blocks, electric hook-ups, a motorhome service point, a games room, play area, licensed shop and a café. There’s also fishing available, a dog walking area and a boat-launching slipway.

Find out more: Sands Caravan and Camping  


Campsites in southern Scotland

Solway View Holidays

Dumfries & Galloway

Solway View Holidays

(Photo courtesy of Solway View Holidays)

Solway View is located within Balmangan Farm where you can enjoy walking the farm/nature trails and adjoining woodland. The farm is beside a secluded bay and a short drive from larger beaches. The region, Dumfries and Galloway, in southwest Scotland, is full of stunning scenery.

The campsite has grass and hardstanding pitches and wigwam camping pods, across three spacious areas. Some pitches have the bonus of a sea view. Every pitch has a picnic bench and fire pit. There are pitches with electric hook-up, too. Pets are welcome and there is an exercise area. Children have a play area and space to have fun. If you love the great outdoors or you simply wish just to relax, everything for your perfect holiday is here.

Find out more: Solway View Holidays  


Campsites near Edinburgh

Tantallon Caravan & Camping Park

East Lothian

Tantallon Caravan & Camping Park

(Photo courtesy of Tantallon Caravan & Camping Park)

Tantallon Caravan and Camping Park occupies an idyllic location, overlooking the Firth of Forth and with views to Bass Rock – home to a large colony of gannets. The campsite is a short walk to the beach and there is a golf course with nine-hole putting green. Also within walking distance is the local swimming pool and there are good transport links to Edinburgh. North Berwick is a charming harbour town that is just 15 minutes’ walk away, with shops, bars and restaurants.

The campsite has a range of pitches, from fully serviced hardstandings to traditional grass pitches. Facilities on the campsite include two toilet blocks, a games room, laundry room and adventure playground for the children.

Find out more: Tantallon Caravan & Camping Park  

Mortonhall Caravan Park

Edinburgh

Mortonhall Caravan Park

(Photo courtesy of Mortonhall Caravan Park)

Set in the city of Edinburgh on 200 acres of a private, leafy country estate, just four miles from Princes Street and the historic World Heritage old town and all that this capital city has to offer. The campsite is an ideal location and very convenient to get into the city on a regular bus route and back until late at night.

The campsite is open all year and offers a variety of pitch types, including fully serviced hardstanding to grass pitches for touring caravans, motorhomes, campervans and RVs, as well as camping. The campsite is very well equipped and has a number of amenity buildings with WCs and shower facilities, easy access and family rooms, as well as water points, chemical points, dishwashing areas, launderette, campers' kitchen and games room. Extra facilities include a bar and restaurant on the campsite, plus a coffee and farm shop at the nearby garden centre.

Find out more: Mortonhall Caravan Park  

Belhaven Bay Caravan & Camping Park

East Lothian

Belhaven Bay Caravan & Camping Park

(Photo courtesy of Belhaven Bay Caravan & Camping Park)

The campsite is situated within the John Muir Country Park on the East Lothian coastline in the small village of West Barns and just a few minutes off the A1. In a sheltered spot, this campsite is a great base for sightseeing, and with public transport from the gates of the campsite, you could take the scenic bus route into Edinburgh.

Belhaven Bay Caravan & Camping Park sits half a mile from the East Links Family Park with its coffee house, miniature railway and a petting zoo the children will love! Facilities on the campsite include heated WCs and showers, a launderette and dishwashing. Confectionery and drinks are available on the campsite and a local leisure complex with pool and sauna are nearby.

Find out more: Belhaven Bay Caravan & Camping Park  


Coastal campsites in Scotland

St Andrews Holiday Park

Fife

St Andrews Holiday Park

(Photo courtesy of St Andrews Holiday Park)

With views across azure waters and a sandy bay towards St Andrews and beyond, award-winning St Andrews Holiday Park is one of the most sought-after holiday locations on the east coast of Scotland. St Andrews is famed for being the home of golf and the campsite is positioned within easy reach of all the best courses, including the renowned Old Course.

Outdoor types will enjoy the Fife Coastal Path which passes alongside the campsite, taking in rugged cliffs, long sandy beaches and wildlife reserves. Back on the campsite is The Braes, a bar and restaurant offering a delicious fresh menu with a focus on gourmet burgers. Guests can watch big-screen sports, find a quiet spot in the snug or relax with a drink on the sun terrace taking in the sea views. There’s also a Papa John’s Pizza takeaway with the option of delivery direct to your pitch.

Find out more: St Andrews Holiday Park  

Elie Holiday Park

Fife

Elie Holiday Park

(Photo courtesy of Elie Holiday Park)

Nestled behind an expanse of dunes and sandy beach, multi-award-winning Elie Holiday Park at Shell Bay is a hidden gem. Voted as the Best Visitor Attraction in Fife and Best Family Holiday Park runner-up, families have been enjoying holidays here for generations, attracted by the unique location, fantastic entertainment, abundance of wildlife and the exciting Robinson Crusoe Adventure Park.

You can walk the coastal path, go rockpooling, spot seals, spy deer bobbing between trees, and, if you’re lucky, you may even see a rare red squirrel! Kids can go wild at the Robinson Crusoe Adventure Park and enjoy the exciting arcades in the Smugglers' Cove Games Room. Couples can explore fishing villages, enjoy a walk around Ruddons Point, catch one of the local festivals, or sample tasty menus at the Kincraig View Restaurant and enjoy barista coffee at The Mirador Café on the campsite.

Find out more: Elie Holiday Park  


 

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