Loch Ness camping: Where to go and what to see

# Itineraries

There’s nowhere on earth quite like Scotland. With its vibrant culture, long history, stunning landscapes and lively cities and towns, it’s no wonder so many people choose it as a destination for a family road trip. The most popular area of Scotland is the Highlands region, which includes Loch Ness. Have you ever thought about a Loch Ness camping holiday?

Loch Ness camping: Where to go and what to see
Loch Ness camping: Where to go and what to see

An enormous loch, a sea monster and so much to explore

 

Legend has it that a large monster is said to inhabit the loch. Spotted by many people over the centuries, no conclusive evidence has ever been found to prove that such a creature exists, but the legend is certainly alive and well in this region.

Loch Ness is a perfect destination for a family road trip in your Campervan or caravan, and Loch Ness camping is widely available for your adventures around the loch and in its surrounding areas. 

This enormous freshwater loch is surrounded by spectacular scenery and is one of the biggest loch in the United Kingdom, so there are many things to see and do during a Loch Ness camping adventure.


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Why take a road trip around Loch Ness? 

 

There’s something for everyone on a Loch Ness Camping trip. Whether you are into history, culture, the great outdoors, or all of the above, the possibilities are endless. For outdoor lovers, there are hiking, biking, kayaking, canoeing and swimming, if you dare to attempt it in the frigid waters. Plodda Falls is a must-see hidden gem, but there are also Divach Falls and The Falls of Foyers. Dores Beach is a great place to do some beachcombing or picnicking, and Meall Fuar-mhonaidh is a woodsy hiking trail.

History buffs can learn all about the history of the area at the Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition.  They also love exploring the ruins of 16th-century Urquhart Castle and the historic Boleskine Graveyard, which has many interesting old gravestones overlooking the loch.

Loch Ness camping: Where to go and what to see
Loch Ness camping: Where to go and what to see

If you’d like to take a chance at trying to spot Nessie, your best bet is to take a cruise on the loch.  Some tour boats come equipped with sonar to make it easier to spot something big in the water! If you’re travelling with kids, Nessieland is a family favourite with fun attractions, a gift shop and a café.   

Depending on when you embark on your Loch Ness camping adventure, you might end up being around during one of the exciting festivals that take place in the area throughout the year. Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival and Speyfest, which is a traditional Scottish music festival, are just two of the festivals that take place around the loch and they both take place in July.

Loch Ness camping: Where to go and what to see
Loch Ness camping: Where to go and what to see

Loch Ness camping – Campsites and wild camping

 

In Scotland, camping is different than in the rest of the United Kingdom. That’s because wild camping is allowed. This means you can camp almost anywhere you want without a permit or special permission because of the Right to Roam Act. That being said, there are also many campsites around the country and Loch Ness camping, whether it be in a wild meadow or a designated campsite, is widely available. 

Although wild camping is perfectly legal, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some rules that should be followed while doing so. Be choosy where you set up for the night. Avoid setting up too close to homes, businesses, roads, other campers and enclosed fields. Don’t make a lot of noise and pick up after yourself before you leave the site.

Loch Ness camping: Where to go and what to see
Loch Ness camping: Where to go and what to see

Wild camping is one of the best ways to experience the natural side of Loch Ness. It allows freedom of movement and a chance to escape the everyday rat race for a while. Some of the best places to wild camp in the area include Drumnadrochit, Invermoriston, Fort Augustus, Suidhe Viewport and Foyers.

If you prefer to stay in a designated campsite where you’ll have access to comfort amenities, such as bathrooms and electricity, there are plenty of these Loch Ness camping sites around the area too. Beauly Holiday Park, Inver Coille Camping & Glamping, Cannich Woodland Camping and Abriachan Cafe Campsite are a few of the campsites available.

Dos and don’ts of Loch Ness camping

 

  • Be very careful driving on the narrow, windy roads of the Scottish Highlands and be even more careful when pulling over anywhere. 
  • Don’t camp anywhere that has signs saying not to and avoid setting up near homes, buildings, or farms. 
  • Do be careful with fire. If you must start one, never leave it unattended and always make sure it’s completely out when you leave.
  • Make sure your campsite is left the exact same way it was before you arrived. Leave nothing behind!
Loch Ness camping: Where to go and what to see
Loch Ness camping: Where to go and what to see

Loch Ness camping – Great family road trip getaways

 

The immediate area around Loch Ness is an amazing place to explore but, if you have some extra time, stick around the area longer and check out some other amazing places nearby. World-class scenic routes around the Scottish Highlands highlight many towns, villages and attractions. Here are some of our favourite road tripping routes close to Loch Ness.

General Wade’s Military Road – The beautiful south side of Loch Ness

 

Travelling from Inverness to Fort Augustus along the south side of Loch Ness, General Wade’s Military Road is a lightly travelled 30-mile-long stretch with incredible scenery. Around every twist and bend, and there are many, is something new to see! 

Hiking is a popular activity along this route and there are little beaches and stop-off areas where you can take a break and admire the scenery. The small village of Fort Augustus is where you’ll find most of the cultural and historical attractions including the Caledonian Canal Centre and the Clansman Centre. Make sure to watch out for the deer that are often spotted trying to cross the road!

Loch Ness camping: Where to go and what to see
Loch Ness camping: Where to go and what to see

PaulCamper tip: After you view the exhibits at the Clansman Centre, check to see when the next cultural show is. These shows last about an hour and highlight live demonstrations of how Highlanders dressed and fought with their enemies. It’s worth it to wait around for a show or to come back another time or day when one is happening.

 

Local campsite pick

 

Loch Ness Bay Campsite is another Loch Ness camping site in Borlum. 

  • 25 hard-standing pitches with electric hook-ups and drinking taps
  • Open from the end of March until the beginning of December
  • Free WiFi
  • Dogs are welcome

 

 

General Wade's Military Road Inverness

A82 Road – Steeped in beauty, history and mystery

 

The A82 Road starts in Glasgow and ends in Inverness. Along the way, you’ll pass through many towns and villages including St. George’s Cross, Alexandria, Crianlarich, Glencoe and Fort William. At 167 miles, this scenic drive is one of the best road tripping routes in Scotland.

As you drive through the lovely countryside, you’ll see many natural sites including Loch Lomond, Rannoch Moor, Loch Lubnaig, Ben Nevis and many valleys and rivers. Some of the attractions you’ll find along this route include the Ballachulish Bridge, Commando Memorial, Glen Ogle Viaduct, Glencoe Viewpoint, Glencoe Nature Reserve, the West Highland Museum, Lochaber Geopark, Neptune’s Staircase, Inverlochy Castle, Glencoe Folk Museum and the hiking trails of Sgorr na Ciche.

Loch Ness camping: Where to go and what to see
Loch Ness camping: Where to go and what to see

PaulCamper tip: Go on an 84-mile excursion on the West Coast Railways Jacobite Steam Train which has been called the greatest railway journey in the world. 

 

Local campsite pick

 

Red Squirrel Campsite in Glencoe.

  • Free WiFi
  • Dogs are welcome
  • No electric-hook ups are available
Loch Ness camping: Where to go and what to see
Loch Ness camping: Where to go and what to see

Drumbeg Loop – Mountain views, seaside adventures and epic hikes

 

Although the Drumbeg Loop is only 22 miles long, it’s also said to be one of the most scenic drives in Scotland. The road is narrow, but there are many stop-offs and passing places where you get a better look at the spectacular scenery of the area which includes a loch, some mountains, and the sea. 

There are many beaches along this route, including Achmelvich Bay and Clachtoll Beach. If fishing is something you enjoy doing during your road trips, try your luck at Loch Culag or Kirkaig. Other attractions along this route include the steep hiking trail to the top of Suilven Mountain, Assynt Foundation and Falls of Kirkaig.

Loch Ness camping: Where to go and what to see
Loch Ness camping: Where to go and what to see

PaulCamper tip: Embark on a cruise with Cam-Mac Boat Trips and get better views of the mountains of Sutherland and Westr Ross. You might even spot some local marine life.

 

Local campsite pick

 

Shore Caravan Site in Achmelvich Bay.

  • 20 pitches with electric hook-ups
  • 40 pitches without electric hook-ups
  • Dogs are not allowed at this campsite
  • On-site shop
  • Fish and Chips takeaway
Loch Ness camping: Where to go and what to see
Loch Ness camping: Where to go and what to see

North Coast 500 – An epic coastal journey 

 

The North Coast 500 route, also known as the NC500, is much longer than the other routes mentioned so you might want to put at least four days aside to do this trip. This 516-mile route starts in Inverness and ends in the town of Ullapool and a road trip along the NC500 showcases some of Scotland’s most stunning coastal scenery. 

Along the way, you’ll see white sandy beaches, mountains and quaint fishing villages with little treasures of their own to discover. You’ll also find many attractions including Cape Wrath, Dunrobin Castle, John O’Groats Signpost and Rogie Falls.

Loch Ness camping: Where to go and what to see
Loch Ness camping: Where to go and what to see

PaulCamper tip: Go on a high-flying adventure with Golden Eagle Zip Lines and soar high above one of Scotland’s most scenic beaches at 45 miles per hour. 

 

Local campsite pick

 

Inver Caravan Park in Dunbeath.

  • Open all year round
  • Dogs are welcome and free of charge
  • Free WiFi
  • Motorhome Service Point
  • 10 hard-standing pitches with electric hook-ups for Motorhomes
  • 5 grass pitches with electric hook-ups for Campervans
Loch Ness camping: Where to go and what to see
Loch Ness camping: Where to go and what to see

And that’s it! Are you as excited as we are to get ready for your Loch Ness camping adventure? So get your gear ready, take that holiday that you’ve been waiting for and rent a Campervan with us for your road trip to Loch Ness!

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