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Wild Camping In Scotland, Facts and Tips

  • Posted: Aug 20, 2013
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Camping wild in Scotland is a great way to experience Scotland’s wild and wonderful countryside, it gives you the freedom to choose exactly where you want to stay away from the crowds. But camping wild does have some responsibility and you have to ensure you do this without any impact on the environment and to the land owners, Following the Scottish Outdoor Access Code will allow you to do this without any serious impact.

Choosing the Ideal Camping Spot

wild camping scotland

Look closely into finding your designated camping area, try and find a place away from any other people and away from Houses, keep the size of your camping group minimal to minimise any noise. If you are planning on staying more than a couple of nights, plan ahead to move your tent so you don’t damage any vegetation, try not to stay in the same place for more than 3 nights. Remember farmers work the land so please try not to camp in any areas that are likely to be worked on, this can cause disruption to the farmers and yourself. Also be aware of the local area and plan for emergencies, where is the local Hospital and village, be constantly aware and this will help minimise any situations.

When Camping Close to Water

It’s always nice to camp next to a river or loch and this also helps keep your supplies of water close by, protecting the water should be a priority, remember a burn could be a supply for a local cottage. Never use the water as a toilet stop and don’t contaminate any water with waste cleaning products, To clean your teeth or wash dishes collect your water in a container and clean them a few meters away from the water source.

Respect Wildlife

River banks and Lochs in Scotland are a vital part of Animal life, be aware that you are not camping next to any nesting birds and be prepared to move if you discover you are disturbing any wildlife. Noise will travel across water also disturbing wildlife, be aware where you pitch your tent you could be over an entrance to a burrow or warren, check the ground carefully before choosing your spot. Don’t leave any scraps of food when you leave, this could attract scavenging birds and animals that could prey on nesting birds and small mammals, leave the area how you found it. If you are near any farm animals please do not disturb them or leave any gates open.

Camp Fires

It’s not advisable to light fires inland, but acceptable to light fires in a tidal beach where your fire is below the normal high water mark. Lighting fires poses a huge risk on peaty soils and close to dry grass and heather. If you need to cook it is advisable to use camping stoves, if you use BBQ’s please use them on top of rocks and dispose of the waste sensibly.

camping in scotland

Toilet Hygiene

When you have the urge to go to the toilet always ensure that you are at least 30 meters away from any water source, bury any human waste in a small hole and cover back up, do not cover with any rocks or foliage. Be responsible and do not go to the toilet in sensitive areas like Machair on the West Coast and farmers crops. If you use toilet paper please take away and dispose of sensibly. Take all sanitary towels and tampons away with you in a closed plastic box and dispose of when you reach a public toilet.

Leave the Camping Area as you Found it

Minimise any potential litter before your arrival, plan carefully what you need to bring with you and what you don’t need, Remove all your litter before leaving camp and anyone else’s litter if you see that. do not bury any litter or hide, this can cause harm to wildlife, if you remove any rocks please replace them where you found them originally. Please bring with you suitable refuge bags to place any rubbish into, if left outside at night ensure the bags are tied up securely and not in any danger to blow away with any wind.

Safety Comes First

When choosing a place to camp always make sure that it is a safe area, Do not camp near any roads or any areas that may have farm vehicles. If you are camping by water ensure that you are not in any areas of high tide or a flooding area, when camping in mountain areas always make sure you are not near any cliffs or steep slopes, find a well sheltered spot away from any possible strong winds. When wild camping alone try and let someone know your plans and where you intend to camp and give them a time when you are expected to return. If you have a dog with you please make sure the dog is controlled at all times, especially near farm animals.

Wild Camping in Scotland can be fun and safe if you follow the simple rules in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code within this link are PDF files you can print out and take with you for reference, read carefully and respect the rules within the code. Scotland is there for all of us to enjoy,  if your camping or staying in a hotel, respect the land and the environment, so Scotland remains a beautiful area for many years to come.

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What Is The Best Way To Holiday In Scotland?

  • Posted: Oct 03, 2011
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Holidays in Scotland are very different for everyone and people take holidays in Scotland in various different ways, but what is the best way to holiday in Scotland, below I will mention some of the different ways you can take your holiday in Scotland.

Book a Cottage

Booking a cottage has its own advantages; you are supplied with everything you need to cater for yourself. Many people enjoy cooking for themselves when on holiday and staying in a cottage will give you all the amenities you need to do this, the cottage holiday will also supply you with the usual house luxuries like TV, bathroom, fully equipped kitchen and nice furniture to keep you relaxed. The cottage holiday could also provide you with an open fire for those cold nights to enjoy burning logs and coal, a lot of people enjoy this and it gives you a nice atmosphere to relax in. Lots of cottages are also located in beautiful settings like Lochs, rivers, forest and glens with stunning views. Cottages will give you the home comforts you need if you like this sort of holiday, and it also gives you the feeling of what it would be like to actually live in Scotland. Ideal for families who would prefer a more peaceful holiday.

Book Hotels

Hotels are an ideal accommodation if you prefer to be waited on and have your meals cooked for you, they are also an ideal choice if you are touring and intend to book various hotels in different locations, there are many beautiful hotels in Scotland that will provide you with everything you need, from home cooking to comfy bars, and restaurants to spend lovely evenings in after touring Scotland’s many attractions. Hotel rooms are often spacious enough and will include en suite bathrooms and a TV in the rooms, it is also a great way to meet new friends and have interesting chats in the hotels bar, they also provide you with information you require from the reception areas. You can find many variations of hotel type accommodations from bed and breakfast, guest houses and luxury 5 star hotels. Hotels are Ideal for couples and solo travellers looking for entertainment and great restaurants.

Camping in Scotland

Camping in Scotland is fantastic especially during the warmer summer months; the fresh air and the great smells of the outdoors are an ideal way to holiday in Scotland. Scotland offers many campsites for the outdoor lovers, with great facilities and scenery that will give you an ideal environment for camping, some campsites can be in remote areas that cater for climbers and outdoor activity holidays, but campsites can also be found that will cater for families close to towns and Scotland’s attractions. Many sites have excellent amenities including toilets, showers and camp shops. There are a variety of campsites in Scotland and many of them will allow you to take your pets on holiday with you, there are even sites that will provide you with an electrical hook up so you can bring with you electrical appliances, but the best thing about camping has got to be the cooking outdoors, food always tastes better for some reason when cooked on a camp stove in a fantastic location, camping holidays are best for the outdoor enthusiast and holiday makers with pets.

Caravans and Campervans

There is something special about driving with your holiday home behind you, this type of holiday is very flexible and gives you the ability to spend your holiday in many different locations, the complete freedom to stop where ever you want and enjoy your own facilities whenever you like can be very appealing to many people, there are many good roads to tour and plenty of sites to stop at with reasonable prices. The only disadvantage is that you are limited to the type of roads you can travel on, some of Scotland’s roads are very narrow single lanes and you have to be careful and choose your route wisely, but plan your route and you are rewarded with the freedom choice of where you want to spend the night. There are many caravan clubs that can give you all the information you need to enjoy your touring holiday to Scotland, Lots of caravan sites in Scotland provide you with great amenities and electrical hook ups to enjoy your holiday and many sites will have restaurants and pubs to socialise in, but the best thing about taking a campervan is the ability to plan your holiday just how you like it. This type of holiday appeals to the adventurous and families.

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The Valley of Glencoe, Scottish Highlands

  • Posted: Apr 30, 2011
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First Glimpse of Glencoe

When you come from Crianlarich, following the A82, direction Fort William, you enter an extraordinarily scenic valley.The first shock is when appears Beinn Dorain, a majestuous mountain with nicely rounded slopes. Then, after climbing the road around the beautiful Loch Tulla, the road goes between Loch Ba to the right, and Loch Nah Achlaise to the left. Find a place to stop and admire this superb loch, with Black Mount in the background, and on a small island in the middle of the loch, probably the most photographed tree in Scotland, a superb Rowan tree, looking like a giant bonsai, alone on the moor. Then it is Rannoch Moor, with its ever changing light, often decorated with rainbows. You can now see on the left the also famous Black Rock Cottage, a nice lonely croft with its white walls and chimneys, and black roofs. In the distance appears next the extraordinary Buachaille Etive Mor (in Gaelic : the Great Shepherd of Etive), at the corner of Glen Etive to the left and the entry to the Glencoe valley. The river Coupall, flowing at the foot of Buachaille Etive Mor, is buoyant with rapid waters in winter. On the right is the Devil’s Staircase, an old military (pedestrian) road that climbs the mountain to provide a shortcut to Kinlochleven.

Now we really enter into Glencoe, the land of Clan Donald of Glencoe. We can admire the soft slopes of Buachaille Etive Beag (the Little Shepherd of Etive) on the left, and then the valley narrows to cross the Glencoe River and its falls at the Pass of Glencoe. This river was called “dark Cona” by Ossian, the legendary poet that was said to be the son of the Giant Fingal, who won an epic battle against the Vikings on the west of the valley.

Three Sisters of Glencoe

We then discover the Three Sisters, shoulders of the Bidean Nam Bian massif. Between two of the Sisters lies the Hidden Valley of Allt Coire Gabhail where the McDonalds used to hide their cattle, as well as those that they occasionally stole from the Campbell’s. On the right, the valley is barred by the Aoanch Eagach ridge, a string of sharp mountains. In these mountains, the Clan Donald warriors could hide easily, to prepare traps for the possible invaders coming from Dalness in Glen Etive, or from the east. Then the valley widens to make place for the calm and beautiful Loch Achtriochtan, with the big Sgor nam Fiannaidh (the mountain of Fingal) to the north, and the pass to Glen Creran to the south-west. Having passed Signal Rock, a small hill where the head of the MacDonald’s would address his clan, and where it is said that the signal was sent to the infamous Campbell’s to start the Massacre of Glencoe.

We now arrive to the place called Invercoe, where there was the old Clan Donald villages: Achnacon to the south-west, Carnoch along the river, Invercoe at the mouth of the river, and Laroch and Breklet on the shores of Loch Leven. Now to end the article, a little legend: “Along Bidean nam Bian and Aonach Eagach, on every mountain in Scotland, three thousand of the Feinn are sleeping. Their breathing is the wind, and one day they will arise at the call of Fingal’s horn” (supposedly written by Ossian, in Ossian’s cave above Loch Achtriachtan).

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Mountains In Scotland

  • Posted: Oct 27, 2010
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Mountains of Scotland

Buachaille Etive Mor, The Great Herdsman of EtiveThe mountains of Scotland are usually the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of the Highlands and Scotland is the most mountainous country in the United Kingdom. The mountains across the Highlands vary in looks from gentle sweeping slopes and plateaus to craggy and dangerous rock faces that challenge some of the world’s best rock climbers, the Mountains even offer great skiing during the winter months.

Some of the most well-known mountain ranges are The Cairngorms, Grampians, Cuillins, and the magnificent mountains around Glencoe, that is home to Buachaille Etive Mòr with its triangular shape best typifies what a mountain should look like. it is located south of Glencoe on the A82 close to the junction of Glen Etive.

Ben Nevis

Ben Nevis is Scotland’s highest mountain and is located close to Fort William, it is also the highest mountain in the UK at 4,409 ft. In fact 10 of the United Kingdom’s highest mountains are all in Scotland. Ben Nevis can be climbed all year round, but special care should be taken during the winter. The mountain can be easily accessed from Fort William heading down the road to Glen Nevis, There are many places to stay in Fort William and you will find many walkers or climbers who know Ben Nevis well, If you are unsure and not experienced in walking mountains, try to get a guide or walk with someone who has done Ben Nevis before. Many people make the mistake of heading to the foot of the mountain on a nice sunny day in Fort William, and get caught out at the top of the mountain with weather they did not expect. It is much higher than it looks, so do not underestimate Ben Nevis.


Scotlands Highest Mountains

  1. Ben Nevis 4409 ft
  2. Ben Macdui 4295 ft
  3. Braeriach 4252 ft
  4. Cairn Toul 4236 ft
  5. Sgor an Lochain Uaine 4127 ft
  6. Cairn Gorm 4081 ft
  7. Aonach Beag 4049 ft
  8. Aonach Mor 4006 ft
  9. Carn Mor Dearg 4003 ft
  10. Ben Lawers 3983 ft

Mountains in Scotland that are over 3000 feet are known as Munros, these where named after Hugh Munro who collated a list of mountains over the height of 3000 ft and named it Munro’s tables.

Cuillin Mountains

Loch Coruisk, Cuillin mountainsThe Isle of Skye is host to one of Scotland’s most spectacular range of mountains named the Cuillins the highest point of the Cuillin mountains is Sgurr Alasdair standing at 3255 feet, these mountains are very rugged and fantastic to look at, anyone seeing these mountains for the first time would be excused for thinking they where standing somewhere else but the British Isles, they make one of the most fantastic vistas anywhere in Europe.

Cairngorm Mountains

The Cairngorm mountains are well known for the winter skiing available during Scotland’s winter, the Cairngorms sit proudly in the Cairngorm National Park overlooking Aviemore, the mountains are a large plateau and have the largest volume of snow of all the mountains in Scotland, in fact the Cairngorms are home to five of the highest six mountains in Scotland.

cairngorm mountainsI have named only a few mountain ranges available to you in Scotland, and there are many more to visit when you are on holiday in Scotland in the winter or the summer. So don’t forget your camera when you visit Scotland and take some of the most fantastic pictures you will ever own. But also be careful venturing onto the  mountains of Scotland as they can be a very unpredictable place, especially during the winter months when the mountain weather can change without much notice. Always let someone know when you are venturing onto the mountains to walk or take photographs, and let them know a time when you are expected to return. Do not go unprepared and always wear the correct clothing and take necessary tools with you like maps, compass, warm clothing and food.

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