IF you want to escape the urban jungle and leave modern stresses behind, we think that camping in Scotland’s ancient forests is the perfect choice.
Scotland is blessed with miles and miles of beautiful woodland, as well as fantastic forest campsites in extraordinary locations. Whether your after a peaceful retreat or an action-packed outdoor adventure, Scotland’s forests will provide just what you need.
Cashel Campsite, Loch Lomond
This campsite is located on the east side of the famous Loch Lomond, and offers stunning views across the water, with mountains on either side.
Cashel is an open campsite deep within the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, which also has direct access to Loch Lomond itself. You can launch your own boats from the site, or hire boats nearby. Taking a boat out onto the water will allow you to explore the many small islands scattered across the loch.
Avid walkers will be delighted to know that the West Highland Way passes by the campsite’s entrance, and that the 974 metre tall peak of Ben Lomond is less than two hours from the site.
As the campsite is situated within the Trossachs, there are a whole host of outdoor activities to enjoy. These include cliff jumping, archery, kayaking, orienteering, and clay pigeon shooting.
READ MORE: 5 of the best woodland walks in Edinburgh
Cobleland Campsitee, The Trossachs
Cobleland can be found on the banks of the River Forth, just 13 miles from Ben Lomond. One one side, you have the Forth, and on the other, you have the majestic Loch Ard Forest.
The camp’s 126 pitches are well-tended, and are sheltered by sturdy oak trees. You can explore the countryside right from the moment you open your tent-flap. The location of the campsite is also ideal, as it is within the Trossachs National Park, well known for its many outdoor activities and natural beauty.
Close by, you can climb Ben Venue, and see a panorama which takes in four lochs. From Aberfoyle, you can also walk along the Highland Boundary Fault Trail, from which you can spot some lovely waterfalls.
Loch Lomond Shores is also nearby, if you have a hankering for some shopping. Furthermore, Dumbarton Castle is within easy reach for any history buffs.
Glenmore Campsite, Aviemore
When you arrive at Glenmore, you will feel as though you are in a fairy tale. As well as being situated in an ancient pine forest, the site has direct access to the beaches of Loch Morlich.
The campsite is within the Cairngorms National Park, which covers an impressive 4,528 km2, and includes a diverse range of landscapes. You can find mountains, lochs and heathlands, as well as acres of forest. From the edge of Loch Morlich, just a short walk away from the site, you can see some gorgeous views, and, if you are lucky, perhaps some otters or an osprey.
In the National Park, there are more than 280 km of footpaths and trails to follow, and, in the winter, you can enjoy some skiing and snowboarding.
Also make sure to check out the Strathspey Steam Railway, the Cairngorm Mountain Railway, and the Cairngorm Mountain Centre, if you want to find out more about the area.
Sallochy Campsite, Loch Lomond
This semi-formal campsite only allows tents to be pitched, so this is a great choice for those who prefer a more wild camping holiday. The 200 year old oakwoods are a tranquil and secluded location, and are inhabited by wildlife such as roe deer and jays. It is also close to the east side of Loch Lomond, so a picnic by the loch’s shores are not out of the question. Rowardennan is nearby, as is the West Highland Way, one of the most popular walking routes in Scotland.
The Ben Lomond summit is also very close by, set in the Ben Lomond National Memorial Park.
If you want to discover more about the area, drop in to the Balmaha Visitor Centre. Go Ape is another great attraction, where you can experience the forest from the canopy rather than from the ground.
READ MORE: 6 Munro walks with good pubs at the end
Kilvrecht Campsite, Loch Rannoch
The modern world is a million miles away from Kilvrecht Campsite. Carie is right next to the site – with woods full of red squirrels, red deer, badgers and pine martens. Make sure to visit Loch Rannoch for some incredible views, and Allt na Bogair for its quirky bridge.
The Queen’s View Visitor Centre is another good place to visit, as it overlooks the waters of Loch Tummel, as well as a charming shop and café.
For a historical adventure, take a walk through the woods of Allean and discover an ancient hill fort, which has even more spectacular views of the surrounding landscape.
A local group, Rannoch and Tummel, organise regular walks for visitors, during which you can find out all about the local flora and fauna. 200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland