Wild Camping in Scotland

Last Updated on September 11, 2020

Wild Camping and Caravanning

 Wild Camping and Caravanning is legal in Scotland. However, make sure you follow the guidelines in the  Scottish Outdoor Access Code.
‘Wild Caravanning’ is not actually a ‘thing’ but we did find some amazing spots to stay in our fully self-contained caravan when we toured the UK and Europe.
Scotland, a country of remote mountain wilderness areas, glacial glens and lochs, kilts, a totally gorgeous accent, and ‘Mc Family’ clans that have done battle with each other, and with other countries, for centuries. (Glen is a Valley / Loch is a Lake)
Camping in Scotland is fabulous. Many world-class camping parks dotted all over the countryside and the only country in the United Kingdom that allows for the freedom of wild camping (Dartmoor is the only legal wild camping area in England).

‘As part of Scotland’s access legislation, the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003, you are allowed to camp on most unenclosed land’.

The urge to escape to your own little piece of tranquility can be realized, away from the regular rules and restrictions that can come with commercial camp-grounds. Not that we do not enjoy the facilities and security of campgrounds, we found a good number of sites that we can recommend as Our Favourite UK Campsites

Responsible behavior, and following some simple rules, will make sure the right to wild camp endures for future generations, hopefully.

The Basic Rules of Wild Camping are:

  • Avoid overcrowding move to another place if an area is busy.
  • Carry a trowel to bury toilet waste, urinate well away from watercourses.
  • Use a stove or leave no trace of a campfire. Never cut down or damage trees.
  • Take away your rubbish. Pick up other litter if you see any.
  • If in doubt, always ask the landowner.

Caravans and mobile homes are allowed to use lay-bys to stay overnight unless signposted otherwise. Do follow the same rules as for wild camping, though.

We ‘wild caravanned’ in many stunning locations in Scotland. Sometimes simply because the views were too much to pass by and other times because we found no campgrounds open at the time.

An overnight stay during really high winds and pelting rain in Glen Coe was definitely one of the highlights for us! A dozen or more waterfalls pouring down relentlessly on the mountainsides, mist, and isolation. Yep, a great night.

Wild Camping Scotland
Glen Coe. Blowing an absolute hooly all night. Awesome!
Dunnet Head Scotland Wild Camping
Dunnet Head, on the north coast of Scotland. The most northerly point of the mainland of Great Britain. Another stormy night, developing into a stunning morning with views across the top of Scotland.
Wild Camping Eileen Donan Scotland
Morning vistas do not come much better than at this spot above Loch Duich. The morning coffee was just so much better on this occasion!

We also had a great stay above the Falkirk Wheel where we saw it lit up at night and were able to watch the canal boats being lifted.

See the Visit Scotland website for guides, apps, and loads of helpful information.

During our travels in the U.K, we went to the far north, south, east, and westerly points.

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