Last updated on July 4, 2023 by Wandering our World
Inverness is the true heart of the Highlands and a must-visit for everyone visiting the area. The vast Scottish landscapes around the city provide for some of the most magnificent campsites in the UK, alongside the many things to see and do here.
Take a sightseeing bus trip to see all of the city’s highlights, or meander through the streets and along the River Ness to find fantastic museums, galleries, and shopping opportunities.
Having spent years going back and forth to the stunning Scottish Highlands and Inverness, we’re now here to help you plan your camping holiday.
Below we share our favourite Inverness campsites, before looking at wild camping in Inverness. We even share some ideas for wild camping spots in Inverness too.
There’s even more – such as a free camping game that’s perfect for kids. That’s right at the bottom of this article!
So read on to begin your Inverness camping adventure!
- The Best Campsites In Inverness
- Wild Camping In Inverness
- Some Ideas For Wild Camping Spots
- Unique Things To Do When Visiting Inverness
- Free Scavenger Hunt Game
The Best Campsites In Inverness For Fun, Views & Adventure!
Inverness is the perfect place to visit if you’re looking to get away from it all and enjoy some peace in the great outdoors while still having one foot in city life.
There are plenty of campsites dotted around the region with a variety of amenities, so you’re sure to find one perfect for you.
However there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to camping in Inverness.
Firstly, the weather can be changeable, so make sure you pack appropriate clothing. Secondly, Inverness is a popular tourist destination, so book your campsite in advance to avoid disappointment.
As we know this area well, here are some of our favourite campsites in Inverness for fun, views and adventure!
1. Fortrose Bay Campsite
If you’re looking for a campsite with incredible views and plenty of wildlife, Fortrose Bay Campsite is perfect. This is a campsite where you can even spot dolphins from your tent. It’s a very special place.
Situated on the Black Isle peninsula in the Highlands, this campsite offers a warm welcome and is within easy driving distance of Inverness and Loch Ness. Whether you’re interested in exploring the local area or just want to relax by the water, Fortrose Bay Campsite is an ideal base.
This campsite has a range of pitches available, including some with electric hook-ups, and there are also options for those who want to camp right on the seafront!
Dogs are welcome at the campsite too, so that you can enjoy your holiday with your furry friend by your side.
The facilities at the campsite include two toilet blocks with showers, razor charge points and hairdryer sockets. There is also an extra shower shack that is suitable for families. The kitchen and laundry area has a washer, dryer and fridge-freezer.
There’s play parks nearby and football pitches for kids, and nearby Rosemarkie has a volleyball and tennis court for free use. The beach at Rosemarkie is also close.
What’s Close By
The Black Isle is the perfect place to get to know all kinds of wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled, and you may see whales, dolphins, porpoises, and sea birds. Why not take boat trips from the nearby villages to get a closer look!
Beside the water, there is a golf course with beautiful views and a quaint lighthouse at Chanonry Point where you can often spot a colony of local bottlenose dolphins.
Other great attractions and activities in the area include the mysterious Munlochy Clootie wishing well, Learnie Red Rocks mountain bike trails, Groam House Museum, and the Black Isle Brewery.
You can also go on dolphin boat trips, beach walks with sand, caves, fossils and rock pools, paintballing, horse riding, and enjoy great restaurants, cafes, and pubs. Inverness is nearby too.
Price: From £20 per night
Address: Wester Greengates, Fortrose IV10 8RX
2. Ardtower Caravan Park
The Ardtower Caravan Park has been recently built and offers a variety of different pitch types and brand new facilities. The park is situated on a hill, providing guests with beautiful views of the bonnie Black Isle and its countryside.
There are 80 pitches, most of which are hardstanding and able to accommodate motorhomes, caravans, and tents. The park also has several super pitches, which come with additional amenities and space for larger motorhomes.
The facilities are excellent, with a modern service block, insulation and underfloor heating. There’s also a great playground, a designated washroom for Blue Badge holders and a covered dishwashing area. Plus, there’s free Wi-Fi available.
Buses run regularly into Inverness, so you’ll never be too far from the action.
What’s Close By
The nearby Culloden Battlefield is a must-see attraction for any traveller. You can explore the visitor centre and learn about the historical battle, and watch Living History presentations that will transport you back in time.
Inverness is only a short walk away, with plenty of attractions to keep you busy such as the Cathedral, the market, and the Botanic Gardens.
Outdoor enthusiasts will love the area, as there’s plenty of opportunities for activities such as gorge scrambling, canoeing, climbing, archery and abseiling.
Loch Ness and Nessieland are also not far away if you fancy hunting for the infamous Loch Ness Monster!
Price: From £16 per night
Address: Culloden Rd, Westhill, Inverness IV2 5AA
3. Culloden Moor Caravan and Motorhome Club Campsite
Nestled near the edge of the Culloden Forest and overlooking Loch Ness, this dog-friendly site offers easy access to some of the most picturesque areas in the country.
Historic landmarks like Culloden Battlefield and the world-famous Loch Ness are only a short drive away, making this the perfect base for exploring everything the Highlands offers. With electric hardstanding and grass pitches available, as well as tent camping options, there’s something to suit every type of camper.
The campsite features disabled access, a baby changing area, a disabled shower room and a dishwashing area.
There is also a dog walk from the site and a playground adjacent to the camping area.
What’s Close By
The Culloden Caravan Site is a great place to start your exploration of Scotland’s history. It’s located less than two miles from the famous Culloden Battlefield, where Bonnie Prince Charlie was defeated, and Scottish history was changed forever.
Inverness is also nearby, offering shopping, foodie options, and touring locations. There’s a castle, cathedral, shops, and the Caledonian Canal in Inverness.
Loch Ness, the Black Isle, and the Moray Coast are worth visiting. The nearby whisky trails in the Spey Valley are perfect for those interested in learning about Scotland’s famous whisky, while Glen Affric is a beautiful place with plenty of walks and wildlife.
Address: Newlands, Culloden Moor, Inverness IV2 5LA
4. Camping Pod Heaven
Camping Pod Heaven is a great place to stay if you’re looking for a quiet and peaceful camping experience.
This glamping site is nestled in idyllic forest in the village of Abriachan, which is close to Inverness and offers excellent links to Loch Ness. Guests can enjoy the beauty of the Scottish landscape while having easy access to the amenities of the city.
The pods are insulated and come with electricity, making them a comfortable and convenient camping options. The site also has bedding and kettles for hire if you forget any gear. Pets are unfortunately not allowed.
This Inverness campsite has a range of facilities available for guests to use, including shared bathrooms and toilets, and accessible shower and toilet facilities. Wi-Fi is also provided at no additional cost.
There is also a covered seating and eating area and a fire pit where guests can relax and enjoy roasting marshmallows.
In addition, disposal BBQs are allowed on the site as long as they are supported off the ground. Guests can also purchase wood and charcoal for the communal BBQ and fire pit from the campsite office or bring their own.
Finally, this campsite also has a small shop where guests can purchase essentials and hot drinks!
What’s Close By
The nearby area is excellent for cycling, hiking and canoeing.
If you’re looking for a more aquatic adventure, you can take dolphin cruises from Inverness or Cromarty and if you want to take a break from all the water-related activities, head over to Glen Affric National Nature Reserve, a short drive away.
This Inverness campsite is also a good base if you’re planning on driving all around Loch Ness – some of the most amazing views of the loch can be seen from Dores and Fort Augustus. The site has a garden too, perfect for taking a stroll or just unwinding surrounded by nature.
If you’re interested in learning more about the local culture, Eden Court Theatre and Inverness Castle are both within 25 minute’s drive from the site. And for a taste of Scotland’s history, Culloden Battlefield is 18 miles away.
Price: From £16 per night
Address: Camping Pod Heaven, Angel share, Abriachan, Inverness IV3 8LB
5. Bunchrew Caravan Park
Bunchrew Caravan Park is in a beautiful location by the Beauly Firth, with a shingle beach, lovely walks, and an astounding sea view.
It is a dog and family-friendly park, with Inverness only three miles away. There is plenty to do in the area, including visiting Nessie at nearby Loch Ness!
The park is surrounded by 20 acres of tranquil parkland with views of the firth and mountains. There’s a variety of wildlife to be found, including sea birds. There are also several pitches available for camping, as well as static holiday caravans and chalets. Electric hookups are also available.
The campsite has free hot showers, toilets, and a washing up area. There are also long, and short dog walks nearby for guests to enjoy with their pet.
In addition, the campsite has a well-stocked shop that sells newspapers, bread, milk, and more. Bicycle hire is available on-site too, and guests can enjoy complimentary WiFi.
A catering van in the park serves breakfast and evening meals during high season. Guests can also find the Clachnaharry Inn, just a five-minute drive away, which offers great food and local ales!
What’s Close By
Inverness is an excellent hub from which to explore the surrounding area. There’s the great Victoria market with lots of fun Victorian-era shops and a fantastic museum and gallery. You can also taste some local food in Inverness’ pubs and cafes.
A trip to the Kyle of Lochalsh takes you to the stunning Isle of Skye, where you can explore the fairy pools and other natural wonders.
Of course, you can’t visit Inverness without taking a ride on Loch Ness and watching out for Nessie! After that, you can join in part of the North Coast 500 for an unforgettable road trip.
Price: From £16 per night
Address: Bunchrew, Inverness IV3 8TD
Wild Camping In Inverness: Everything You Need To Know!
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.
Thankfully wild camping is permitted and legal in Inverness 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 Inverness, do not light fires as wild fires are a danger. Instead it may be worth looking at using a stove or storm cooker – but check local laws first to see if they’re allowed. 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.
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 when wild camping in Inverness:
Where You Must 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.
Now you know you’re legally allowed to wild camp in Inverness, and where to avoid, here’s some of our favourite wild camping spots!
Some Ideas For Wild Camping Spots In Inverness & The Surrounding Area
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 Inverness and the surrounding region. 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.
1. Loch Tarff
If you take the B862 road towards Fort Augustus you will come across this pretty loch set about one mile off the southern shore of Loch Ness.
The views are spectacular, particularly at sunrise, and there’s also a large lay-by to park in beside the loch.
2. Shores of Loch Ness at Inverfarigaig
There’s many secluded areas along the shores of Loch Ness to camp for the night, but not many places to safely park!
However, at this little lochside hamlet you can park at the ‘Hiking Car Park’ on Farigaig Road and walk down to the shore. Just make sure you set up your tent far from homes, and far enough away from the water.
3. Kessock Bridge Viewpoint
This viewpoint on the Black Isle looks down on the Kessock Bridge that crosses the water to Inverness.
While we don’t recommend camping at the viewpoint itself as it’s a place several people like to walk, if you park at Ord Hill Carpark nearby you can take one of the many short and longer trails and find a spot perfect for you.
There are great views to be had, just make sure you have a midge proof tent.
4. Reelig Glen
For something very special, why not camp under some of the tallest trees in the UK!
The ancient forest at Reelig Glen in Beauly, just a few miles outside of Inverness, is home to trees that are over 200 feet tall! They’re majestic and magical. It’s a very special place to camp.
Unique Things To Do When Visiting Inverness
Inverness has a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy, from historic buildings and museums to outdoor pursuits and shopping.
Some of the top things we enjoy in Inverness include:
1. Visit Inverness Castle
The red sandstone Inverness Castle sits atop a cliff overlooking the River Ness. It’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city and has been used as a filming location for several movies and TV shows.
Visitors can take a guided tour of the castle grounds and learn about its history or simply enjoy the views from the castle walls.
2. Explore the Old Town
Inverness’ Old Town is a great place to wander and explore. It’s full of narrow streets, traditional buildings, and plenty of shops and cafes.
Highlights include the Cathedral, the Sheriff’s Court, and the Victorian Market.
3. Visit Nessieland
Nessieland is a Loch Ness Monster-themed attraction located just outside of Inverness.
Visitors can take a boat tour of Loch Ness, learn about the legend of Nessie, and even try to catch a glimpse of the elusive creature.
4. Go Shopping
Inverness is home to several high street stores as well as independent boutiques. The Victorian Market is a great place to pick up locally made souvenirs, while the Eastgate Shopping Centre offers a more comprehensive shopping experience.
Inverness Camping: Free Scavenger Hunt Game
If you’re looking to keep the little ones entertained while camping in Inverness – or you fancy having a go for yourself – then we’ve created a printable scavenger hunt game!
Save the image and print it out, then tick off what you find and achieve during your camping holiday.
The game encourages players to get out and discover wildlife and nature, as well as make new friends and do fun camping activities. Enjoy!