2 week backpacking through Scotland

Travel Forums Europe 2 week backpacking through Scotland

Last Post This thread is marked as being about Scotland
1. Posted by tk421 (Inactive 4 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hello fellow travellers.

This summer my buddy and i are going to Scotland for two weeks.
We only got the plane tickets not much more, because we are planning on staying in our tent.. But something has been bothering me..
How is the camping policy in Scotland..
Is it possible to just settle down for the night in our tent or are there specific rules on this.. Im talking about out in the highlands etc. not near cities or regular camping sites.
It would be nice to know before we leave becuase we aren't bringing a lot of cash :-/ ain't got none..

Anyway, has anyone in here thried such a trip to scotland?

Any good advice..

Any help is appreciated, thank you.


2. Posted by shez (Budding Member 11 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hi Thomas.
I have spent many a happy holday camping, walking and caravannig in Scotland, their are plenty of campsites where you would get running water, toilets, and the usual facilitis, and they are in fact quite cheap.
You can camp away from main roads, but get local information before you do so, Your perfectly free to walk all over Scotland, but some of the land your walking on is owned by private individuals who do not like people camping without permision...
If you do get permission and its not difficult clean up your camp site and get rid of all rubbish before you strike your tent and move on. that way it makes it easier for other campers to stay in the same places.. its also such a beautifull place that rubbish and mess stands out like a sore thumb.
Be very carefull where you camp not in valleys or gullys, the rain and the wind can be very strong indeed, and you might find your camp site is a bog or you have a stream under your tent.
Most places have walkers and indeed campers maps that you can use to pick your spots.... Have a lovely time, but make sure you take plenty of warm clothes, good boots, emergency equipment like space blankets and a phone, a huge number of people get stuck up mountains or on moors every year and need rescuiing.. so take a compass and if you need help you can tell people where you are.

3. Posted by tk421 (Inactive 4 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hello Shez,

Thank you for the great advice.
of course we intend to clean up after our selves, it is very sad to see a beautiful countryside spoiled by ignorant tourists who think that somebody is going to come clean up their mess after them.

We are going to bring emergency equipment, a compass and blankets and other stuff.

Do you knwo if there is some place on the net where i can find some testet rutes with a lot of things to see and camping places.
I have found some rutes on www.wildernessscotland.com but it's with a guide and we were hoping to do this solo.

What parts of Scotland would you recommend that we go see?

You mention something called campermaps and walkers. Are they like large stationary signs put up around the roads or how does that work?

Again, thanks for your help.

I'm quite new at travelling outside of scandinavia, where we in Sweden mostly just camp where we want to.. hehe.

Best regards


4. Posted by shez (Budding Member 11 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

You should have little trouble finding camping sites.. as long as you take care not to go over fences.. Not that their are many fences in Scotland... You can walk almost everywhere in Scotland our laws like yours allow walkers to walk preety much where they want to.
I am glad to hear you do clean up after yourself, its a real problem in most of the country that campers do not clean up after themselves, that gives land owners a reason for complaining.
Dont camp where their are cattle or sheep unless you want a very curiouse animal visiting you The sheep seem particually happy to put a nose into your tent.
Highland cattle can be skittish they are lovely animals huge horns and a fur coat that makes them look like the abominable orange snowman they dont like company in their fields.
However most of Scotland is empty of people and farm animals apart from deer.. You will see plenty of wildlife. anything from a golden eagle to a fox
Make sure you have plenty of food, and carry water purification tablets. The streams and rivers are wonderfully clean and clear, but as in any wild area, you never know what might have died in the water upstream.
villages are fairly far apart in Scotland, it is a wilderness area, so carry enough to eat and everything you need.
Food in Pubs is cheap in the highland region, and plentifull. You will find it very filling... fuel for the weather which can be cold.
You will find even in high summer their is ice and snow on the mountains so be prepared.
If you want interesting walking, the Cairngormes are beautifull and the coastal paths and mountains on the west coast and the Island of Sky are among my favourite places to Walk... Glen Coe is a walkers dream.. wonderfull scenery, dramatic, interesting and there is a village. pubs and even a fish and chip shop,
You sound like your experienced campers I think you will find that you can camp preety much where you want.. its only when people dont know what they are doing that they get into trouble.

You will enjoy Scotland the contrasts of scenery make it a walkers delight. the wildlife, the streams and waterfalls, the lochs and villages are all lovely and often dramatic, and you dont ever get bored because the scenery is constantly changing. moorland, verdant valleys, mountains, Saphire blue seas, golden rivers, ( Peat in the water makes the rivers and streams in some places look gold) Salmon, and trout streams and rivers. though you would need a licence to fish. Local villages have caleys... dancing, food and of course drink, their are whisky distelarrys you can visit and you can sample the whiskys.. Their are lots of maps available localy or from tourist information centres. and if you pick an area and look on line, you will find tourist information centres that give you walking and camping information just say where you want to go and they will help. They realy do their best for visitors.

do sample the local food its good, its very filling and its cheap.

5. Posted by Jmissiaen (Budding Member 6 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!


I also will be going to scotland for two weeks this summer. We are planning on camping in the highlands for a 3 or 4 nights. We dont have much space so we arent even bringing a tent...just a lightweight plastic tarp...but I love sleeping under the stars anyway. The thing I was really wondering about is facilities such as toilets and fresh water? If we dont get to a camp site and just bed down in an open area for the night I dont know where we'll get water...and I was just planning on taking a dump in a hole if I have to.
I dont know if this helps you...or if you can help me but hey, I thought I would post something anyway.


P.S. I am going over there July 20th to August 8th or so...

6. Posted by shez (Budding Member 11 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

I hope you like sleeping under a waterfall :) It can realy rain in Scotland, take a realy good quality sleeping bag a waterproof one if you can it can get very cold and damp at night even in summer

If your digging a hole for a toilet make sure its deep enough, take a trowel with you it makes it easier, and use the sort of toilet paper that breaks down quickly. cover the site up well, animals can dig down to fecal matter if its to near the surface.
Water is not a problem Scotland has so many rivers, streams, waterfalls and rivlets not finding water would be a miracle, but you do need to take some steralizing tablets with you or be prepared to boil the water for ten minuites, its not that the water isnt good, it is its crystal clear and lovely to drink, but you never know when an animal has died upstream so its better to be safe than sorry.
Camp sites are not a problem and are usualy very well provided for, the best camp sites are the Caravan and camping club sites, which have heated toilets, and showers and they are always spotless, laundry facilites, often they a shop and sometimes a TV room, most have electric points. the forestry commision have more basic sites. but they to are quite good.
Look up camping and Caravan and camping club on the web and the forestry commision they should give you some information.