With its countless lochs, rivers, captivating wildlife, and astounding scenery, camping in Loch Lomond is one of the UK’s best escapes into nature. This area boasts the UK’s largest National Nature Reserve and is an ideal base for thrilling adventures, discoveries and surprises – perfect for a memorable Scottish break!
There are several campsites around Loch Lomond to choose from – we recommend some of our top picks in this article. We also look at wild camping in Loch Lomond later on in this article too.
So grab your tent and walking boots – let’s begin your Loch Lomond camping adventure!
Camping in Loch Lomond
Dotted with 22 large lochs, over 50 rivers, and 21 Munros, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park is 1,865 sq km (720 sq miles) of laid-back ambience. Here nature purists can enjoy the scenery whilst hiking iconic mountains like Ben Lomond, or go in search of whooper swans, goldeneyes and red squirrels. In fact, Loch Lomond was formed between 10,000 to 20,000 years ago during the last ice age!
The striking beauty of Loch Lomond means it’s a great place for hiking and cycling, but we also recommend visiting the magnificent Loch Lomond Bird of Prey Centre . There you can have memorable encounters with birds of prey such as eagles!
Camping in Loch Lomond is therefore the perfect holiday for visitors and families looking to enjoy nature, get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, or even tackle a multi-day hiking or cycling trip.
There are many great campsites in Loch Lomond, and a good quality walking in Loch Lomond book – like this one – can help you plan what campsites may be of interest to you if you’re planning a walking and camping holiday.
Wild camping in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park is possible, but there are rules around it depending on the time of the year. We have more information on wild camping in Loch Lomond, and tips to be a responsible camper, later on in this article.
However if you’re looking for some great campsite recommendations, below we share a few of our favourite campsites in Loch Lomond. All of which are within the iconic Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, and therefore ideal for walking, hiking and nature enthusiasts.
Camping in Loch Lomond: Some of the best campsites in Loch Lomond
This ideal spot, beautifully tucked away on the east side of Loch Lomond, will capture the heart of any camper seeking to reconnect with nature and enjoy the tranquil and serene waters.
Cashel Campsite offers visitors the best of Scotland: pristine and diverse landscapes, stunning mountain views, vivid forests and undisturbed lochs.
With the captivating scenery of the surrounding Queen Elizabeth Forest Park nearby, this campsite is perfect for an activity packed break away. With the West Highland Way walk passing by the campsite’s entrance, campers have access to a myriad of footpaths and cycle paths, alongside the towering Ben Lomond.
Set in astounding scenery on the western shore, Luss Campsite is a great base for a family getaway with a million dollar view. This dog friendly site is operational from 1 April to 28 October each year, and is a 15 minute walk to the town of Luss where campers can stock up on provisions.
We recommend campers request a spot close to the Lochside as the roadside can be noisy. The site also has a shop at the reception, and has easy access for the Balloch to Tarbet footpath and cycle route, making this campsite a great base for exploring the stunning surroundings.
Milarrochy Bay Camping and Caravanning Club Site
Set on the east shore of Loch Lomond, this campsite is a great base for campers to enjoy the relaxing walks alongside the water, including the West Highland Way footpath which passes by.
Open from 1 April to 1 November, this campsite is ideal for campers wanting to hike up the majestic Ben Lomond. The area’s highest mountain is located to the north of the campsite near Rowardennan. Children can also be easily entertained with a trip on the water bus, and by discovering Loch Lomond’s many special islands.
Beinglas Farm campsite
If you are looking for a spacious campsite with panoramic views, and with waterfalls and hills in the vicinity, look no further than Beinglas Farm Campsite. We love that this campsite is open almost all year round, and has many different accommodation options.
The amazing on-site restaurant and bar lounge are worth visiting too, and campers can enjoy the beer garden during the warmer days. What a way to bring people together to share their day’s adventures!
Wild camping in Loch Lomond
Loch Lomond’s landscape is idyllic for anyone seeking to discover nature, hike up Ben Lomond, or immerse themselves in nature. With incredible wildlife like red squirrels, black grouse and red deer, it’s little surprise that many people wish to wild camp here.
Wild camping in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park is a breathtaking experience and campers are permitted to pitch their tent anywhere in the months of October to February without any permit. However, since 1st March 2017, seasonal bye-laws around wild camping have been applied for the months of March though to September in an attempt to decrease the environmental impact on the park and preserve its pristine landscape.
The camping byelaws restrict wild camping in certain areas of the park. Thankfully, these “Camping Management Zones” equate to just 4% of the national park, and you can still camp there if you get a permit. You can see where those zones are by using this map, and the e-mail to apply for a permit can be found here – it will cost £3 a night per tent.
If you want to camp outside of the Camping Management Zones, then no permit is required, and you can wild camp thanks to Scotland‘s Right to Roam Act. However authorities ask campers to “tread lightly” and to respect a few guidelines:
- You should camp away from enclosed fields, and pitch your tent away from buildings, roads, and historic structures.
- Campers should be vigilant to avoid disturbing wildlife such as deer, capercaillie, and grouse.
- When wild camping in Loch Lomond its best not to light fires as wild fires are a danger. It is recommended to use a stove or storm cooker. The Swedish brand Trangia make great camping storm cookers that are safe and virtually indestructible.
- Take any rubbish with you, and leave your camping spot exactly the way you found it.
- If you’re wild camping, then go to the toilet at least 30-50 meters away from water sources, such as rivers. Make sure to use a trowel (like this folding one) to bury any human waste at least six inches under ground. Take any tissue paper with you – use a ziplock bag to store it and dispose of it in the nearest bin.
The Right to Roam Act also gives access to most of Scotland’s land and inland water, as long as it does not encroach on someone’s privacy and private land.
Here is a list of what the Right to Roam Act doesn’t give you access to, and therefore what you should avoid:
- Walking in and going through buildings. An exception would be bothies – small mountain and rural huts that can be used by walkers and hikers – see a list of bothies and where they are by clicking here.
- Land clearly attached to a building (private garden, backyard).
- Sports fields.
- Schools and school land.
- Building sites.
- Working quarries (disused quarries are fine, but be extremely cautious and stick to known and safe paths).
Some of the best wild camping spots in Loch Lomond
We love Loch Drunkie, not only for its quirky name but also for the unforgettable scenery at this exceptionally pretty loch. At 127m above sea level, this wild camping spot has breathtaking views of the verdant surroundings and peaceful landscape.
Lochan Maoil Dhuinne, Rowardennan
Slow down to a more serene pace of life by wild camping at Lochan Maoil Dhuinne. This treasure – tucked away from the busy hotspots in the area – is great for listening to the sounds of birds chirping from the comfort of your tent.
River Dochart, Crianlarich
Delve into the beauty of a serene wild camping experience at River Dochart. The river lies close to the ancient graves of nine clan chiefs from the 1700s, whilst water sport enthusiasts can test their skills with the river’s rapid waters. But here you can also camp and enjoy the peaceful starry nights.
Camping in Loch Lomond: The weather and best months to visit
Scotland is considered the land of extremes when it comes to the weather due to its unpredictability! Temperatures on the same day can vary from chilly and blustery to warm and damp – so we encourage campers to be well prepared for the weather when visiting this majestic area.
We would consider spring and summer the best times to visit Loch Lomond & the Trossachs as the weather is warm, and there’s long daylight hours. The views during these seasons are stunning, with a diversified colour palette of flowers. It’s also a great time for wildlife spotting and hiking the majestic mountains.
You can also experience the traditional Highland Games during August – perfect for travelers wanting to know more about the area and culture.
Autumn is a pleasant time to visit Loch Lomond for the crisp air and autumnal red and yellow hues. There’s great opportunities to spot red squirrels during Autumn too.
Winter can be very cold and there can be snow, alongside shorter daylight hours. But it is a nice time to warm up by a pub fire with a glass of mulled wine.