There aren’t many better places in the globe for wild camping than Scotland. A country that is routinely voted the most beautiful country in the world. Do you love visiting incredible scenery? Then we believe you’d love Scotland.
Many people wonder if wild camping is legal in the United Kingdom, and the answer depends on where you are. But you will be delighted to know that wild camping is legal in Scotland. Other parts of the United Kingdom are different, but wild camping is allowed in Scotland.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you should consider before wild camping in Scotland. There are indeed many things to consider.
This article will give you a guide on wild camping in Scotland – and the top places to go wild camping in this majestic country.
Tips for wild camping
Firstly, let’s discuss some important things to consider before you go wild camping in Scotland.
Respect the environment
When you go wild camping in England, most campers are very respectful of the environment. And there is a good reason for this – it’s generally illegal to wild camp in England.
But just because Scotland takes a more tolerant approach to wild camping doesn’t mean that visitors should take less care. Always take the usual precautions when it comes to protecting nature.
The Outdoor Access Code advises that guests should not damage the environment.
Don’t leave a trace
It’s better not to leave a trace if you’re camping in Scotland. Unfortunately, some people will leave the trash where they camp – we all know how annoying this is.
The Outdoor Access Code advises campers to leave zero traces. To preserve the generous wild camping laws in Scotland, we should make sure we abide by this.
Are you allowed to light a fire? Yes, but the Outdoor Access Code advises you to use a stove instead of an open fire.
Furthermore, they advise never to leave the fire unsupervised and don’t light the fire during heat waves and droughts.
We are all human, and we need to go to the toilet. But what does the Outdoor Access Code say in regards to this?
They suggest not to urinate within 30 minutes of open water, rivers, or streams. And when you need to defecate, do it away from open water, streams, and farm animals.
So now we’ve talked about the general guidelines for wild camping in Scotland. Let’s rejoice in the fact that we can go wild camping, and let’s discuss the best places to go!
Check out this great YouTube video for more awesome wild camping tips in Scotland.
Isle of Skye
The Isle of Skye is an island off the coast of Scotland. It remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in Scotland due to its rugged landscapes. I believe it’s one of the best wild camping spots in Scotland, and maybe even the whole of Europe.
Visitors know the Isle of Skye for its rugged beauty, stunning coastline, and fairy pools. People have often seen the island as mysterious, but it has become jam-packed with tourists during the summer.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t secluded spots where we can pitch our tents. The island has many significant areas to go wild camping, here are a few.
Firstly, this isn’t an unknown part of the island. Many visitors will trek along this beautiful part of the island. But you can find spots to pitch your tent and camp – you just have to head off the main pathway.
The great thing about this camping spot is the endless treks and beautiful coastline you will find around the area.
Pro tip: The island can get very windy, which is a spot that’s open to the elements. Make sure you have a durable tent. You don’t want to go flying during your sleep.
If you want a spot to watch the sunset in the afternoon, you should wild camp at Neist Point. You can hike up to the lighthouse and camp around there, and the views will blow you away.
The best advice to find somewhere flat and dry, the former might be difficult outside of summer. There is a car park nearby which is handy if you wish to get there later and depart early before the crowds come.
Cairngorms National Park
There is no doubt that Cairngorms National Park is one of the most incredible wild camping spots. This national park is in between Inverness and Aberdeen, and it’s easily accessible.
The national park is home to some of Scotland’s best hikes. So you best prepare your hiking boots, you’ll need them to appreciate the beauty of this area. And if you’re looking for secluded areas – this is the largest park in the United Kingdom. So you can expect to find an array of incredible wild camping spots.
The national park is home to ⅘ of the tallest mountains in the United Kingdom. So you will see incredible views.
Here are some great spots to go wild camping in Cairngorms National Park.
If you want to camp in some of the most stunning scenery in the whole of the national park, you need to camp in Loch Avon. The views from the hills surrounding the loch are incredible, and you can find many secluded spots to camp.
This spot is a popular part of the national, and so you should be ready to camp near other people. With that said, you will enjoy some of the most rugged beauty in Scotland!
We recommend camping at the summit of Angels Peak. Although it can be windy up there, and freezing outside of the summer, it’s a beautiful wild camping spot.
Visitors will marvel at the incredible views from the summit. You will get some of the best views of the national park. And better still, you will be waking up to it.
If you ask the locals for the best scenery in the area, many of them will say Loch Lomond. This stunning part of Scotland is a wild campers dream. The loch is 720 square miles of unparalleled Scottish beauty.
Loch Lomond is home to one of Britain’s most famous mountains – Ben Nevis. It is the tallest mountain in the United Kingdom, and the views from the top are pretty sensational. We highly recommend climbing Ben Lomond to marvel at the scenery and tick it off your bucket list.
Pro tip: Unfortunately, this part of Scotland works a little differently to the others regarding camping. In 2016 campers trashed parts of the area, which led to the Scottish Government introducing permits to camp in certain areas.
If you’re near the famous loch shores – you will need a license to wild camp.
Here are a few great wild camping spots in Loch Lomond.
An incredible spot to wild camp is at the top of Ben Ime. The views are sensational – and it’s not a massively popular place to camp – it’s a spot for the adventurous souls.
You will wake up to some of the best views in the entire national park.
Wild camping at the top of Ben Nevis? That sounds pretty awesome to us. And it’s entirely possible. The only thing to note is to camp away from the road on the way up.
A great option is to wild camp on the way up to the summit. That will allow you to have an overnight break.
Isle of Rum
The Isle of Rum is a grand wild camping island off the coast of Scotland. And you are allowed to wild camp anywhere on the island. Visitors love the Isle of Rum for the incredible scenery, rugged landscapes, and beautiful greenery.
The Isle of Rum is just off the coast of popular tourist destination the Isle of Skye. It is possible to catch a boat from the Isle of Skye or mainland Scotland and explore this rugged island for one to two days.
Although you can wild camp anywhere on this island, we recommend Kilmory Bay. It’s one of the most picturesque views in Scotland and a great spot to go wild camping.
Glencoe is one of the best wild camping spots. The area is home to some of Scotland’s most incredible scenery, including mountains, rivers, and beautiful moors. Visitors will enjoy the secluded areas which are perfect for wild camping.
Glencoe remains one of Scotland’s most popular tourist destinations, and climbers and mountaineers frequent it throughout the year.
Voted the most famous glen in Scotland, it remains hikers and camping paradise. And the area includes other great spots such as Loch Leven.
Glencoe is easily accessible via the A82 from Glasgow, and it’s the easy accessibility which makes it the perfect gateway to the highlands.
We recommend arriving and looking for quiet spots in the area. Arrive late, leave early, and enjoy one of Scotland’s most iconic glens.