Top 10 Scottish Campsites

| January 1, 2014

Camping is cool these days in Scotland. We are firm fans of camping and we’ve written two editions of Cool Camping Scotland. We’ve got a lot of Scotland entries too in the Cool Camping Britain guide.

Here are our Top 10 Scottish Campsites:

Oban Camping and Caravan Park

1. Oban Camping and Caravan Park

Set on a bluff overlooking the Atlantic and a sprinkling of the Hebrides this is an inspiring spot for getting in and about nature. The main grassy camping and caravan area offers ocean views, they supply free BBQ blocks and both dogs and kids are welcome, with a playpark and chicken run to keep the wee ones happy. Oban, ‘Scotland’s Seafood Capital’, is close by, with ferries scooting off to the wildlife oasis of Mull and a flurry of other islands. www.obancaravanpark.com

2. Caolasnacon Caravan and Camping ParkCaolasnacon Caravan and Camping Park

If walking or climbing is the way you want to celebrate the Year of Natural Scotland then Caolasnacon is the campsite and caravan park for you. It sits tucked between the epic peaks, scree slopes and crags of Glencoe to the south and the Nevis Range across Loch Leven to the north. You can just pitch by the loch and take in the views or pop your canoe or fishing rod into the waters. Campfires are fine too, which helps keep the midges away! www.kinlochlevencaravans.com

3. Mill Pond

If the Year of Natural Scotland to you means really getting away from it all then you might want to escape campervans and caravans. You will at Mill Pond as they cannot squeeze up the wee road to get there! Presiding over the gentle hills that mark the border between Scotland and England this relaxed retreat sits by the eponymous pond and is ideal for parties wanting exclusive use as they will sometimes allow more than the normal limit of five tents. Cooking up a couple of the farm’s eggs for breakfast is the ideal start to a day exploring the natural charms of the Borders. www.newmainsfarm.co.uk

Lazy Duck4. Lazy Duck

For quirky cool the Lazy Duck is a bijou four-pitch site on the edge of Speyside whisky country. The moniker emanates from the resident Aylesbury ducks who are so lazy they cannot be bothered to hatch their eggs, so the owners shipped in nanny ducks. Humans tend to relax here with hammocks in the heather, a Tarzan swing for second childhoods, a sauna soothed by essential oils and a ‘bush shower’. www.lazyduck.co.uk

 Loch Tay Highland Lodges5. Loch Tay Highland Lodges

Sitting right on the banks of Perthshire’s largest loch, Loch Tay, this is ideal for an active Year of Natural Scotland break. They organise canoeing and kayaking here, as well as boat hire, mountain bikes, fishing and adrenaline-pumping RIB rides from their own marina. There is also a hiking path that snakes off and links up with the epic trail up Ben Lawers, at 1,214m Perthshire’s highest peak. Accommodation options include belle tents, wooden wigwams, tepees and their striking Mongolian Yurt. www.lochtay-vacations.co.uk

Shieling Holidays6. Shieling Holidays

‘Glamping’ (glamorous camping) is all the rage in camping these days, but few of today’s glampers realise one of the pioneers was on the Isle of Mull. David and Moira Gracie have long offered their 16 ‘unique carpeted cottage tents’, which come with epic views across the Sound of Mull towards Ben Nevis and the isles. They boast cookers, worktops, electric lighting and gas heaters. You can hike mighty Ben More or tackle Dun da Ghaoithe, Mull’s second highest peak, which looms behind the site. Or just idle by the water spotting dolphins and porpoises. www.shielingholidays.co.uk

Comrie Croft7. Comrie Croft

This visionary oasis in Highland Perthshire is all things to all people. They’ve got a big camping space by all the amenities for families, more remote hillside pitches and super snug woodland Swedish kata tents. Run by a co-operative of likeminded, eco aware, individuals this is more than a campsite and they’ve got a superb bike hire operation, a bike skills test loop, tough mountain bike trails, a new café and a well stocked camping store. The Ring of Breadalbane Explorer (www.facebook.com/breadalbaneexplorer) is on hand to ferry you around Highland Perthshire. www.comriecroft.com

Gimmie Shelter8. Gimmie Shelter

The Year of Natural Scotland is not all about heading into the wilds, it is also about nature in urban areas. Gimmie Shelter is a perfect example. Once the couple behind this Fife escape, Chris and Yvonne Barley, were dismissed as hippies, today they are considered visionaries for their low impact, recycle everything approach with an old caravan and a creatively assembled cabin tempting alternatives to tents. There are no showers or hot water and toilets are sawdust composters. Very little is bought in – even the wood-burning stoves are old toolboxes and French wine barrels collect rainwater. www.camping-fife-near-edinburgh.blogspot.co.uk

Harvest Moon Holidays9. Harvest Moon Holidays

This is as good as glamping gets in one of Scotland’s sunniest corners in East Lothian. Just back from an epic sandy beach are a handful of ‘Out of Africa’ style luxury tents. They feature a proper double bed, bunk bed, double sofa bed and a cute cupboard bed that is perfect for the wee ones. There is also a woodburning stove, a proper toilet and a decent shower at a site that could not be much further away from anachronistic images of camping Scouts-style.  www.harvestmoonholidays.com

Roulotte Retreat10. Roulotte Retreat

This bijou site in the shadow of the Eildon Hills in the Borders is surely the most romantic glamping site in Scotland. Conjured up by a chilled out yoga teacher with gypsy connections through her ancestors, Avril Berry, this adults-only oasis consists of a quintet of lovingly crafted French roulette wooden caravans tucked away from each other around a pond. The interiors recall the romance of a sumptuous luxury train carriage, with decor themed around a particular style like Moorish, Indian, Celtic and Art Deco. www.roulotteretreat.com

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