Where to Stay in Loch Lomond in a Campervan?
Loch Lomond is one of the most popular National Parks in the UK. Positioned in the southern Highlands of Scotland, this nature area is crowned by one of the UK’s largest freshwater lakes: Loch Lomond. Surrounding the glistening waters are rolling hills and magnificent Munros, such as the famous Ben Lomond (974 metres).
Thanks to the Land Reform Act of 2003, wild campers are free to pitch almost anywhere in the Scottish National Parks. However, the rules vary slightly for those wanting to visit Loch Lomond in a campervan. This National Park has some additional rulings and bylaws to monitor the number of campers in the park during the high season. To get your head around these regulations, let’s look at where to stay in Loch Lomond in a campervan.
To begin with, there are a few rules that limit wild campers from absolute free roam. From March–September, wild campers must either register for a permit or stay in a designated campsite. These Camping Management Zones allow you to pitch anywhere within these areas as long as you have been granted a permit to access the park.
If you’re visiting Loch Lomond in a campervan, you are more limited in your camping choices than if you’re pitching a tent. You must stick to the roads and find somewhere to park your campervan that is, ideally, flat and paved. Fortunately, there are numerous spots such as this in the National Park.
The Camping Management Zones are mainly located around the loch shores and near key access points. A camping permit costs £4 per vehicle if you want to boondock (wild camp in your vehicle) within the permit zone. You are then allowed to stay for a maximum of 3 nights. Obviously, if you want to visit Loch Lomond in a campervan out of season, you can avoid these permit sectors and simply park wherever you feel comfortable.
Part of the camping and caravanning club, this is one of the most popular places to stay around Loch Lomond in a campervan. The price varies depending on your motorhome and the facilities you require, but the cost begins at £8.60 per night. Unfortunately, it is members only and you must pay £45 for an annual subscription. On the plus side, you benefit from being in a close-knit overlanding community and having spacious grass pitches that overlook the lake shore.
The Cobeland Campsite is another great option for anyone visiting Loch Lomond in a campervan. This campsite isn’t as close to the lake, but it is still situated in the leafy-green landscape of the National Park. Nestled on the banks of the River Forth, this is a great spot for countryside rambles and woodland walks in Queen Elizabeth Forest. Prices start from £18.50 per night for two adults with plenty of shady areas to park your motorhome and relax in the tranquil surroundings.
3 . Luss Campsite
Located on the A82, along the western shore of the loch, this is a campsite that is both easy to access and located in the heart of the National Park. A good selection of hard camping and touring pitches are available from £12.50 per person. You can camp right on the water’s edge with spectacular views over Loch Lomond and the Munros.
4 . Cashel Campsite
This is the twin campground to the Cobeland Campsite, but it benefits from being much closer to the lake. This is a fantastic option for anyone visiting Loch Lomond in a campervan as you are poised between the lake and the rolling highlands. This is the ideal campsite for water sports enthusiasts and avid hikers (particularly if you want to hike the West Highland Way). Prices start from £18.50 per night (two adults).
If you are looking for a more inclusive experience, Lomond Woods might be the place for you. This campground/holiday-park has an excellent range of facilities on offer. There are plenty of serviced, hard-standing pitches on site. However, the pitches are small, and the setting can feel cramped for those who wish to enjoy the wilderness of Scotland. Prices are seasonal and range from £29-34 depending on the time of year and facilities required.
If you want to visit Loch Lomond in a campervan and do it on your own terms, you can always go boondocking. This involves parking outside of a designated campsite and spending the night in your vehicle. In Loch Lomond, there are plenty of good roadside parking spots to go boondocking (just make sure you are abiding by the permit holder rules).
Firkin Point is a stunning location right on the water’s edge with public toilets available. Inveruglas is another great boondocking area next to the Sloy Hydro-Electric Power Station. Here you’ll find two waterside car parks that also have public toilets available. Check out the Inveruglas Pyramid for an elevated view over the loch to watch the sunset.
Over in the Trossachs, you have the Three Lochs Forest Drive – a stretch of road almost as famous as the Scotland 500. This is a 7-mile section of road that, you guessed it, winds its way past the three lochs of Drunkie, Venachar, and Achray. There are stopping points along this route that are popular with travellers who wish to visit Loch Lomond in a campervan.
Don’t forget to follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. Respect the interests of others, take care of the environment, and be responsible for your own actions. That way, you reduce your impact on the National Park and make it possible for other travellers to enjoy visiting Loch Lomond in a campervan.
It’s worth bearing in mind that some of the car parks are subject to hourly parking rates until the evening. Always read the signs before you attempt to camp for the night and make sure you’re up to date on the permit rules so you don’t get caught out!