Last updated on July 3, 2023 by Wandering our World
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: A Quick Overview
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. (Recommended: Hiking and Walking in Loch Lomond).
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
1. Cashel Campsite
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. Especially the pitches that sit directly on the water’s edge.
Cashel Campsite offers visitors the best of Scotland: pristine and diverse landscapes, stunning mountain views, vivid forests and undisturbed lochs. The facilities (toilets, showers, washrooms) are modern and clean, plus there’s a restaurant and small shop on-site.
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 also passing by the campsite’s entrance, campers have access to a myriad of footpaths and cycle paths, alongside the towering Ben Lomond. As an added bonus you can take your furry friend along for those hikes too, as this campsite is dog friendly!
2. Luss Campsite
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 for most of the 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. Not only for the waterside views, but also because the roadside can be noisy.
This campsite also has a shop at the reception, a children’s play area, and has pitches with electricity hook ups (even some of the tent pitches!).
It also has easy access for the Balloch to Tarbet footpath and cycle route. All of which makes this campsite a great base for exploring the stunning surroundings.
3. 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 for most months of the year, 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.
As for facilities, this campsite is clean, modern, has many electric hook ups as well as a small shop and free WiFi. It really is one of the best Loch Lomond campsites out there.
4. Beinglas Farm Campsite
If you are looking for a spacious campsite with panoramic views, and with waterfalls and hills very close by, then look no further than Beinglas Farm Campsite.
We love that this campsite has many different accommodation options, but also has a bar and restaurant (complete with beer garden) on site! Perfect for relaxing in and making new friends after a long day walking the hills.
With fantastic views from every pitch and good facilities, this is a great base for any Loch Lomond camping adventure. Even more so as Beinglas Farm is on the main bus route, so you can easily and cheaply explore the area.
Wild Camping In Loch Lomond
DISCLAIMER: Below we give general advice, but we always recommend staying in an official campsite. If you choose to go wild camping/dispersed camping, then make sure you do so with someone who already knows the area where you’re planning on camping for your own safety.
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 fun 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. Instead of building campfires, you could use a storm cooker – but check local laws first. Then there is much less wildfire risk and you can cook knowing that the fire is contained. We believe the best ones on the market are Trangia storm cookers.
- 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.
Some Ideas For Wild Camping Spots In Loch Lomond
DISCLAIMER: The below wild camping spots have been collected from anecdotal accounts, so proceed with caution. You should always be wary of any potential dangers in a region (quarries, bogs, dangerous paths and so on) and should wild camp with someone who knows that specific area well.
Of course one of the best parts about wild camping is finding your own special spot to pitch your tent for the night.
However, if you’re looking for inspiration, then below are a few potential wild camping spots in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. Just make sure your tent is midge proof as these little biting flies can be a real menace.
As always, if you are unfamiliar with an area – or it’s your first time visiting – then be careful as peat bogs and other dangers exist.
When wild camping, we always recommend using known paths and sticking to them. We also recommend taking a camping friend who knows the area you plan on camping in very well. That’s the best way to stay safe.
Rowchoish sits on the northeast shoreline of Loch Lomond and is only accessible by using the West Highland Way path.
There’s a bothy here – a basic hut where you can stay overnight for free – but it tends to get busy with walkers. Rather, about 1-1.5 miles south of the bothy are some great wild camping spots – very peaceful and superb for stargazing.
2. Loch Drunkie
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 lush surroundings and peaceful landscape.
3. Lochan Maoil Dhuinne, Rowardennan
Slow down to a more serene pace of life by wild camping at Lochan Maoil Dhuinne. This gem – 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. You will likely need a permit to camp here – as explained in the section above.
3. Strathcashell Point
Sitting on the shoreline of Loch Lomond just off the West Highland Way footpath is this peaceful spot which has views across Loch Lomond towards the islands.
There’s a little stoney beach here so it’s possible to dip your toes, or enjoy a morning swim in one of Scotland’s most iconic locations.
4. 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.
You can see walking trails for the river here.
Camping In Loch Lomond: The Weather & 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.