How to find campsites that allow for long-term stays in rural Scotland?

Scotland, with its breathtaking landscapes, wild lochs, and friendly towns, is the ideal destination for a long-term camping trip. Whether you are looking for a tranquil spot by the water, a family-friendly park, or a rustic glamping site, Scotland has got you covered. But, how do you find the perfect campsite for a lengthy stay? This article will guide you through the best approaches to locate your home away from home in the Scottish wilderness.

1. Consider Wild Camping

Wild camping, an experience that embodies the essence of the Scottish outdoors, offers the freedom to pitch your tent in a vast array of locations. From the idyllic shores of a secluded loch to the remote wilderness of a national park, wild camping provides an unbeatable sense of adventure.

In Scotland, the freedom to roam is a right protected by law. The Land Reform (Scotland) Act, passed in 2003, permits camping on most unenclosed land. However, it's essential to follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, which promotes respect for the countryside and minimizes disturbances to local wildlife and farms.

Wild camping is an excellent option for long-term stays, as it affords a degree of flexibility not found in traditional campsites. You can change your location whenever you wish, following the trail of the wild and the whims of the Scottish weather.

However, remember to plan your camping trip properly. Even if you are allowed to camp wild, it's necessary to ensure you have access to resources like water, food, and fuel. Moreover, don't forget to check if there are any local restrictions, which can occasionally apply in some areas.

2. Explore Caravan and Motorhome Parks

If you're traveling by caravan or motorhome, a wide variety of parks across Scotland cater to your needs. These sites are typically equipped with amenities like electric hook-up points, laundry facilities, and sometimes even Wi-Fi. The added comforts make this a great choice for long-term stays.

From the enchanting Isle of Skye to the highland havens of Inverness or Fort William, Scotland's caravan and motorhome parks are often set amidst stunning landscapes. You'll enjoy the convenience of a well-maintained site while still soaking in the wild beauty of your surroundings.

When you look for a caravan or motorhome park, consider its location in relation to the attractions that interest you. Do you want to explore the captivating castles of Aberdeenshire, the bustling cities, or the serene lochs of the Highlands? Your choice of park can serve as an excellent base for your Scottish adventures.

Remember that during peak seasons, these parks can get quite busy. It's advisable to book your spot well in advance to secure your stay.

3. Check out Eco-friendly Camping Options

If you're keen on minimizing your environmental impact during your trip, consider eco-friendly camping options. Several campsites in Scotland pride themselves on their green credentials, with features like renewable energy sources, recycling facilities, and a commitment to preserving the local fauna and flora.

These eco-campsites can be found in various locations throughout Scotland, from the dramatic coastlines of the North to the rolling hills of the South. By choosing these sites, you're not just ensuring a wonderful stay, but you're also playing a part in protecting the natural beauty of Scotland for future generations.

Remember, an eco-friendly campsite is not just about what it offers but also about how you use it. Be mindful of your energy consumption, waste production, and interaction with nature during your stay.

4. Consider Glamping

Do you want to camp but are not too keen on sacrificing your creature comforts? Glamping might just be the thing for you. Glamping, or glamorous camping, offers the perfect balance between outdoor living and luxury.

Scotland offers an array of glamping choices, from charming shepherd's huts and cozy yurts to unique eco-pods and treehouses. These accommodations often come with comfortable beds, heating, and sometimes even private bathrooms and hot tubs.

Glamping is a wonderful option for a long-term stay, especially if you're planning a romantic getaway or a relaxing retreat in the Scottish wilderness.

5. Use Online Resources and Apps

Today, finding the perfect campsite is easier than ever thanks to an array of online resources and apps. Websites like Pitchup, Cool Camping, and the Scottish Camping Guide provide detailed information about various campsites, including facilities, prices, and user reviews.

In addition, apps like Park4Night, Campercontact, and Searchforsites can make the search for your ideal campsite even easier. With these tools, you can filter campsites by location, facilities, price, and more.

So, before you pack your tent or caravan and embark on your Scottish adventure, take some time to research and book your campsite ahead. A well-planned trip will ensure a smoother and more enjoyable experience in the wilds of Scotland.

6. Look for Pet-Friendly Campsites

If you're planning to bring your four-legged friend along on your camping trip, it's crucial to find a campsite that welcomes pets. Luckily, Scotland is a pet-friendly destination, providing several options for campers traveling with dogs.

These campsites will usually have specific areas designated for dog walking, and some even provide amenities such as dog showers. Whether you choose a site by the picturesque Loch Lomond or near the bustling town of Fort William, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Some campsites may even provide pet-sitting services, which could be useful if you're planning on taking a day trip to a national park or other locations where pets might not be allowed. However, these services can vary from site to site, so it's best to check their availability when booking.

Make sure to be a responsible pet owner during your stay. Keep your pet on a leash, especially in areas populated by wildlife. Don't forget to clean up after them and dispose of their waste in designated areas. A well-behaved pet makes for a happier camping experience for all!

7. Choose Year-Round Campsites

Some campsites in Scotland operate all year round, offering unique experiences in different seasons. These year-round campsites can provide a distinct charm, whether under the summer sun or the winter snow.

You can enjoy a refreshing swim in a nearby loch in the summer or embark on a thrilling winter camping adventure. Imagine waking up to the sight of a snow-covered landscape, with the crisp winter air filling your lungs – that's a Scottish winter camping experience.

These campsites often offer essential facilities such as hot showers and potable water. Some even have amenities like hot tubs, perfect for a soothing soak after a day of exploring.

However, camping in the colder months requires extra preparation. Ensure your camping gear is suitable for the conditions, with insulated sleeping bags and suitable clothing. Remember to stay safe and inform someone about your camping plans, especially if you're venturing into remote areas.


Scotland is a camper's paradise with its diverse landscapes, friendly locals, and a wide range of campsites to suit all preferences. Whether you prefer the thrill of wild camping, the comfort of caravan parks, the conscientious choice of eco-friendly campsites, the luxury of glamping, or the convenience of online booking, Scotland has it all.

Ensure you respect the Scottish countryside and its wildlife during your stay. Plan your trip well, checking local regulations, booking in advance, and packing necessary resources. Regardless of where you decide to pitch your tent or park your caravan, a camping trip in Scotland promises unforgettable experiences and memories.

Take advantage of Scotland's 'right to roam' and immerse yourself in the country's natural beauty. Remember, the perfect campsite is waiting for you amidst Scotland's wilds. Happy camping!