8 Wild Camping Bucket List Locations in Scotland
Good news for anyone seeking to really get back to nature who has been scouring the UK for their next adventure. The Scottish Land Reform Act of 2003 means that unlike the rest of the British Isles, it is legal to wild camp in Scotland (with a few exceptions) – you just need to make sure that the land is unenclosed.
This lack of restrictions means it is the perfect place to enjoy a break in nature in some of the most beautiful landscapes on offer anywhere in the world. The only problem you might have is deciding where to go.
To help you out we have gathered a list of 8 of the very best, must-see places to wild camp in Scotland.
The Best Wild Camping Locations in Scotland
1. Quiraing, Isle of Skye
The weather may not be the best but the views are among the most fabulous in Britain. The plateaux at Quiraing is a renowned trekking circuit and we suggest this is where you make your wild camp and start your adventure. Often compared to the remote scenery in Game of Thrones, the area was formed by a landslip that, unbelievably, is still moving.
This scenic spot has rightfully earned its place on our list of must-visits for any UK wild campers.
2. Rackwick Bay, Orkney
Our next choice feels like a trip to the ends of the earth and is an absolute must for your bucket list.
Rackwick Bay on Orkney’s second largest island is the spot to witness the 450 feet high Old Man of Hoy as it juts proudly out of the sea.
The historic landscape brings alive a world of battles, from viking warriors to the World War II defences which are among the best preserved in modern Britain.
3. Kilmory Bay, Isle of Rum
Kilmory Bay is an absolute feast for the eyes with its moody and atmospheric beaches. This island in the Inner Hebrides has some pretty distinctive views and should be on anyone’s bucket list whether for a visit or a wild camping experience.
Amongst other things, Kilmory Bay is part of the renowned Red Deer project so you will find your adventure is shared with plenty of these beautiful creatures wandering across the island and down onto the beach.
From the northern bay you can see clear across to the Cuillins, a range of awe inspiring mountains on Skye.
The spectacular views and connection to the local wildlife make this a unique wild camping experience.
4. Peanmeanach Beach, Ardnish
In addition to its lovely name , Peanmeanach Beach in Ardnish is truly a place of rare beauty. It’s barren and desolate and breathtaking.
This area is uninhabited so is a real destination of choice for those seeking a peaceful wild camping experience. The bothy (a basic and unused shelter) at Peanmeanach beach is the perfect starting point for a climb up the hill offering breathtaking views of the loch where Bonnie Prince Charlie landed in 1745, ahead of the Jacobite rebellion and from where he left Scotland forever just a year later.
This seriously off-grid option is well-deserving of a place on this list of bucket list locations.
5. Barrisdale, Knoydart
Often considered Britain’s last wilderness, we had to put Barrisdale on the bucket list .
It is only accessible by ferry or a 16 mile hike – so you can take your pick. Either way it is definitely worth a visit.
If a bit of wild cat spotting takes your fancy or you’d prefer walking along to Barrisdale to set up camp, there is so much jaw dropping scenery to experience.
Upon returning to Inverie you can pop in for a pint at Britain’s most remote pub, The Old Forge.
6. Glenfeshie, Cairngorms National Park
No bucket list of wild camping sites in Scotland would be complete without the Cairngorms. This dramatic wild glen is a must for any wild campers hoping to experience what the UK has to offer.
Known as one of the most romantic parts of the Scottish Highlands, it is home to verdant trees, rushing waterfalls and rocky mountain scenery. This National Park is a centre for preservation and so has a great diversity of wildlife, especially deer.
You can wild camp in the shrouded mists of the Glenfeshie valley or among the alpine flowers which grow in abundance on the plateau of Moine Mhor.
7. Inverarnan, Loch Lomond
Loch Lomond is probably one of the most famous areas of Scotland but it is not just the bonny, bonny banks that make this number 7 on our bucket list.
For those looking to wild camp elsewhere in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park you’re advised to read up on the rules (as always) to ensure you’re allowed to camp in certain areas, but don’t worry – it is well worth it.
At the northern, more remote, point of Loch Lomond, Inverarnan is a hugely popular spot with walkers wishing to complete the West Highland Way. Many hikers begin at the iconic waterfall at Inversnaid and make their way along the rugged, eastern shoreline of Loch Lomond where wild goats and birds of prey including kites, merlins, kestrels, golden eagles and most recently a pair of white-tailed eagles (sea eagles) may be spotted.
During your stay in Inverarnan, why not treat yourself to a drink or two in the Drovers Inn, said to be one of Scotland’s most lively pubs.
8. Glen Sannox, Isle of Arran
Our final bucket list destination is Glen Sannox, an ideal camp for those who like to explore and revel in geology. Arran is a bit like a miniature version of Scotland as it offers so much of the Scottish scenery we all love.
As well as the amazing views from the Goat Fell mountains (Arran’s highest mountain peak), there are the bubbling waters at Sannox Burn, threaded with useful, large stepping-stones to aid crossing, and the beautiful sandy bay in the village offering further walks to explore.
There are plenty of wonderful adventures to choose from in Scotland; there really is something for everyone and if wild camping is your thing you could hardly find better options than the less restrictive and wild natural landscapes of Scotland.
Do not forget when wild camping in any part of the British Isles to check local laws, remember to keep your wild campsite clean and move on quickly, and if you respect local people and places you can’t go wrong!