A Guide to Camping in the Highlands

Highlands Camping

A staycation in Scotland is a great way to get to know this fine country. A camping holiday in Scotland is an even better way to reach out and touch the nature and tapestry that make Scotland and a trip to the Highlands one of the most popular destinations in the world! Whether it be wild camping in the untamed wilderness or using the tremendous facilities in campsites in the Highlands, camping will help you discover remote parts of Scotland’s landscape and get you up close and personal with its nature. 

Wild Camping in the Highlands

If you are planning a wee wild camping trip in the Highlands, you must follow the Scottish Outdoor Camping Code to protect the local environment. The slogan of the code is ‘leave no trace’, and that should be your motto whenever stepping out into Scotland’s glorious landscape.

Here are some of the important points to follow when camping:

  • Leave the area as you found it -take away all of your rubbish. Leave no trace.
  • Avoid digging or removing vegetation and boulders; choose a flat, dry area to pitch your tent.
  • Avoid busy camping spots. If there are a lot of campers, consider moving to a different camping area.
  • You are allowed to camp on most unenclosed land in Scotland, however, some areas like parts of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park only permit camping within campsites or with a camping permit. If in doubt, ask the landowner. Their advice just might help you find a better camping spot.
  • Wherever possible, use a stove rather than an open fire if you need to cook. Never light an open fire during dry periods or in sensitive places like forests or peaty ground and make sure to always keep it small and under control.
  • Wild camping access rules do not apply to motorised vehicles. Learn more about parking in the outdoors and read our guidelines for camping and caravanning.
  • Take care with toilet hygiene. Use public toilets where possible.

Using Campsites in the Highlands

There are some genuinely fantastic camping parks in some glorious locations in the Highlands, from crofts that overlook stunning Lochs to ancient woodlands. Pitching your camp at a genuine campsite means that our spectacular natural environment and its ecosystems can be protected for future generations. These campsites do tend to have extra facilities too, which can make the difference between a great holiday and a grim getaway! They’ll have the basics, such as toilets and showers, but can also offer things like laundry, games rooms, restaurants, shops and more elaborate modern conveniences.

Official campsites can offer the ability to drive and park on the campsite itself which will allow you to pack as much as you want for your Highland camping staycation.  You can add all kind of extras for your Highland camping trip if your vehicle is on hand and you don’t need to carry it all up a hill. Luxury items like barbecues, crockery and maybe even a cooler for the beers? The possibilities are endless!

No matter what kind of camping you opt for, don’t forget a midge net or some sort of repellent for your camping holiday in Scotland. The midges can be a force to be reckoned with in Scotland summertime, especially near water. But the most important thing to always remember when camping in Scotland is to LEAVE. NO. TRACE. 😊

Where Can I Camp in the Highlands?

If you’re looking for a great campsite or a tip on the best places to wild camp in Scotland, check out Visit Scotland’s guide the Best Campsites in Scotland and Best Caravan Sites in Scotland for hints on where you should go for your Highland staycation.

If you’re after any advice, need transportation, or want to book a tour in Highlands, contact IT Tours. They have the expert staff that can show you the best attractions in Scotland, as well as the hidden gems of the Highlands. Visit the IT Tours website or drop in and speak to someone at 55 Church Street, Inverness.

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