Wednesday 6 September 2017

Best campsites in Scotland - Perfect for camping beginners

As you can probably guess I love a holiday, but all that travel can sometimes leave your bank balance feeling pretty empty. So, after having far too many trips away in the first half of the year I thought I best find some budget friendly travelling adventures a little closer to home.

View from a tent looking onto a golden sandy beach on the Island of Islay,, The best campsites in Scotland
Beach side camping on Islay 

Cue the camping bug, after our first little trip with pals Calum & Rhona we now can't get enough of the outdoor camping life. With a decent number of trips down and hours spent researching the best spots to visit I wanted to share with you my personal top 5!

Map showing the best campsites in Scotland,, The best campsites in Scotland

Camping for us is definitely not the "bring everything but the kitchen sink" affair and were certainly not into the super strict rules at one of those Caravan Club, members only, pitch your tent in the assigned space or feel the wrath of the management types of places. So, what kind of camping do we like? Well we like camping that's as close as you can get to wild camping but still have those all essential facilities (toilets) and a dry patch of land, maybe we will conquer wild camping one day!

Opening my tent to show the beautiful view of the loch,, The best campsites in Scotland
View from the tent in Oban

What makes our list the best? Well first up, at all but one you can have a campfire, there super laid back, one even had cows taking over the beach and most importantly they have some of the best views Scotland has to offer.

1. Oban 

Camping in Oban beside the loch where stunning views and incredible scenery awaits,, The best campsites in Scotland
Drinking pimms on the banks of the loch in Oban
Incredible red and orange sunset in Oban looking out to the sea,, The best campsites in Scotland

Campsite Name: Oban Caravan & Camping Park 
Cost per night: £16pn
Min nights: 1
Camp Fire: Not here I'm afraid

Why we like it: This little site is located just a couple of miles outside of Oban but still within walking distance, we staggered home from the pubs one night. If the lower camping area is open and you are lucky enough to get the spot we did you can have one epic view from the front of your tent. With plenty of local walks and a Whisky Distillery in the town there is plenty to do here. Check out our trip here  where we stopped off at Oban Live music festival while we were there. 

2. Isle of Islay (Kintra Farm)

Drinking some Punk IPA during a camping trip to the island of Islay in Scotland,, The best campsites in Scotland
Sunset on the beaches of Islay,, The best campsites in Scotland
Wild camping spot on Islay where you camp on the dunes of a huge golden sandy beach,, The best campsites in Scotland

Campsite Name: Kintra Farm Islay 
Cost per night: £16pn
Min nights: 1
Campfire: On the beach

Why we like it: Located on the island of Islay this campsite sits on a huge golden beach, there's no set pitches here, all you do is find a spot in the dunes (grass area) you like and set up your tent. It can get a little windy here at times but the sunsets and views are incredible. If the weathers getting a little too wild you can head to the wee indoor area with showers, washing up area, toilets, fridge and a little chill out area with table and chairs. While your here why not visit some of the many whisky and gin (Botanist Islay Gin) distilleries before having a campfire and watching the sun set on the beach.

3. Glencoe (Red Squirrel Campsite)

Campsite Name: Red Squirrel Campsite
Cost per night: £12 per night per adult
Min nights: 1
Campfire: In the campsite

Why we like it: Located in the heart of the Glencoe Mountains this campsite offers some great woodland style camping. Just rock up, find a spot and get that campfire roaring. With various hill walks and munro close by or white water rafting and canyoning for something a little more exciting you should have plenty to do.

4. Aviemore (Glenmore Campsite)

Aviemore Sunset over the Cairngorm mountains at Loch Morloch,, The best campsites in Scotland
Having a BBQ on loch morloch Aviemore

Campsite Name: Glenmore Campsite 
Cost per night: £16 in winter £26 in summer
Min nights: 2
Campfire: On the beach

Why we like it: Located in the heart of the Cairngorm National Park this campsite is a firm favourite with us, with water sports on your doorstep at Loch Morloch and a cracking beach just steps from the tent this place is perfect for an active camping break. What seals the deal here is the Pine Martyn Bar, a tiny bar just at the entrance to the campsite with live music most nights, always a lively place but fills up pretty quick so make sure you go early to get a seat.

5. Arisaig (The Croft Camping Site)

Local white sandy beach in Arisaig where the cows have taken over,, The best campsites in Scotland
Camping in Arisiag with the cows
White sandy beaches of Scotland,, The best campsites in Scotland
Sunset in Scotland Arisaig,, The best campsites in Scotland

Campsite Name: The Croft Caravan & Camping Site
Cost per night: £8-12
Min nights: 1
Campfire: On the beach

Why we like it: We liked this place so much we named it the best place to camp in Scotland and wrote a post about it here. Located on the west coast of Scotland around 45mins from Fortwilliam the white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters are something out of the Caribbean! And if you manage to get a sunny day where you can swim in the sea without freezing to death you may just think you were somewhere tropical. With 4 or 5 very small campsites located along the beach (some with no name or sign post, you just have to go to the front door of the owner and ask to stay) there is always somewhere to stay even during busy times. While your here you should check out the real life Hogwarts Express and the bridge made famous by the Harry Potter films. Check my review here for more info on camping in Arisag.

Our Tent

We had no idea which tent to buy when we started out so we just copied our pals, which turned out to be a great decision. If you're just starting out with camping and looking for a great lightweight and well-built tent I can't recommend our two person Vango tent enough. You can buy one from Go-Outdoors for around £200 which may seem steep but the quality is well worth it!

Click here for more info or to shop our tent. 

This list was made up of my personal favourite top five and I have by no means visited all of Scotland's campsites so if you know of any other places that should be mentioned here or any cool ones I should be visiting then please let me know in the comments. 

Thanks for reading


  1. This campsites look amazing and they make me excited to visit Scotland

    1. Hey Chiara, glad you like the campsites I picked and definitely recommend stopping by them if your planning a visit to Scotland!


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