10 of the best coastal camping sites in Scotland

Scotland has some fantastic beaches waiting to be discovered. Picture: Pixabay.com
Scotland has some fantastic beaches waiting to be discovered. Picture: Pixabay.com
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WITH so many beautiful stretches of coastline to choose from, it can be hard to decide where to go for your Scottish beach holiday.

To help you out, we have asked Pitchup.com – the outdoor accommodation specialists – for assistance, and they have given us their list of the best coastal camping sites in Scotland. From traditional tent pitches to full-on glamping, we are sure you will find your ideal camping getaway.

Ace Hideaways, Forres, Highlands and Islands

Those who love wildlife will be right at home in this forest camping site, which is located in the forests of the Findhorn Valley. There are both camping and glamping opportunities at this site, with a hip bell tent, a shepherd’s hut, or your own tent to choose from.

There are a variety of activities available on site, including white water rafting, paintball, canoeing, frisbee and golf.

Nairn Beach is just over eight miles from the site, and is an ideal place for a stroll. If you are lucky, you may spot a pod of dolphins, or some friendly seals.

Other places of interest include the local town of Forres and Brodie Castle.

Eco Camping Cabin, Isle of Mull

Live the Scandinavian lifestyle at this camping site, as you can rent a charming log cabin, which comes with its own sauna and plunge pool. Beyond the site, there are only trees and fields, and sometimes the sky is lit up by the Northern Lights.

There is no electricity at this site, nor is there running water, so it’s the ideal place to leave the modern world behind. That doesn’t mean you will be bored though: guests can have fun with horse-riding, fishing, cycling, climbing, sailing and birdwatching during their stay.

There is also a restaurant and a swimming pool nearby if you have a craving for modernity.


Auchenlarie Holiday Park, Gatehouse of Fleet, Dumfries and Galloway

This caravan site is very family-friendly, and has been awarded five stars from the tourist board for its quality accommodation. It is only one mile from the beach, and has a heated indoor pool, amusement arcade, leisure centre and kids club to keep the family occupied.

Nearby Wigtown and Luce Bay are great places to visit, especially for a walk along the coast.

Galloway Forest Park, the biggest forest park in Britain, is also close by, covering an impressive 300 square miles. In the park, you can follow the forest trails, cycle by the loch, or visit one of the wildlife centres. There are also opportunities for horse-riding and mountain biking.

History buffs won’t want to miss the castles of Cardoness, Carsluith, and Threave, or the abbey of Dundrennan.

Glenwhan Gardens, Stranraer, Dumfries and Galloway

Springtime is the best time to stay at Glenwhan Gardens, in their romantic shepherd’s hut. There are spring flowers everywhere, and the view across the lake and towards the sea is sublime.

Take a stroll along the Moorland Walk at this time of year, and you may spot some bluebells, or some interesting bird life.

Galloway Forest Park is just 20 miles away, where stargazing is a popular activity. Luce Bay is even closer, at only one mile from the site, and the nearby Dunskey Castle is also worth a visit.

West Loch Shore, Tarbert

On the shores of West Loch Tarbert is this delightful camping site, located just two miles from Tarbert on the Kintyre Peninsula. The village sits between Loch Fyne and West Loch Tarbert, and is also close to ferry services for Isla and Jura.

Water-sports are popular activities here, as are sailing, canoeing and fising.

Walkers and cyclists can join the 100 mile long-distance route called the Kintyre Way, which starts near the village.

Canna Campsite, Isle of Canna, Highlands and Islands

There are no cars on the island of Canna, so if traffic always gets you down, this is the place to be. The views are spectacular, as is the wildlife. You may see golden eagles circling above, puffins and razorbills on the cliffs, or dolphins and whales in the ocean.

The lack of light pollution means that sunsets and stargazing are incredible, and they are best enjoyed while cooking outdoors, using the site’s barbecues and fire pits.

You can stay in a tent, a wooden pod or a caravan, and there are plenty of washing facilities for all guests.

For a link to the modern world, pop into the site’s café and take advantage of the free wifi.

Archaeological sites are everywhere on Canna, including the famous Celtic Cross and the Viking’s Grave.

Silver Sands Holiday Park

This holiday park is right at the seaside, on the coast of the Moray Firth. There are miles of sandy beach right on your doorstep, or tent flap, as well as a picturesque lighthouse.

The kids club, evening entertainment, bar, indoor pool, fitness centre, and sauna are sure to keep the whole family busy and happy.

One of Scotland’s finest 18-hole golf courses, the Moray Golf Club, is only a few miles from the site. Lossiemouth is also worth a day-trip, due to its fisheries museum, shops and restaurants.

Balvenie Castle, one of Scotland’s oldest, and Inverness Castle are close by, as is the historic city of Aberdeen.

Sandyhills Bay Holiday Park, Dalbeattie, Dumfries and Galloway

This holiday park is tucked away in a secluded corner of Dumfries and Galloway, and is the perfect base from which to enjoy woodland walks in Dalbeattie Forest. Keep an eye out for birds and animals on your walks, or visit the RSPB reserve at Mersehead to make the most of the wildlife.

The yachting village of Kippford is nearby, as are the famous 7stanes mountain bike trails.

The site itself is equipped with a food shop, free wifi and a play area, and you only need to take a short walk to reach an 18-hole golf course, a riding centre and an indoor pool.

Burrowhead Holiday Village, Newton Stewart, Dumfries and Galloway

Perched on the top of a cliff, this spacious camping site has a fantastic view of the Solway Firth and the Lake District. It is also close to Scotland’s southernmost golf course.

There are pools, jacuzzi, a sauna, a café, a bar, free wifi, a kids club and a TV room on site, giving you plenty to be getting on with.

Angling and fishing are popular pursuits, as are birdwatching and stargazing. Guests also enjoy visiting Bladnoch Distillery, Galloway Forest Park, Wigtown and the Cream o’ Galloway amusement park.

You may not know that the nearby village of Burrowhead was where parts of The Wicker Man was filmed.

Runach Arainn, Isle of Arran, Ayrshire

The name of this camping site means “Secret Arran” in Gaelic, due to its peaceful atmosphere and its privacy. Guests stay in yurts equipped with heating stoves. Also, there are beaches less than fifteen minutes from the site.

Goat Fell mountain is a great challenge for climbers, and wildlife watchers will enjoy looking out for golden eagles, red squirrels and otters.

The historic Brodick Castle is just 35 minutes from the site, and the Arran Brewery is also accessible.