Last updated on July 4, 2023 by Wandering our World
Pitlochry is a small town that packs a big punch. With its Victorian heritage, stunning river and mountainside surroundings, and its central position in the heart of Scotland with views of Ben Vrackie and Schiehallion, this place is a camping paradise.
In fact this town’s history as a tourist resort dates back as far as the 19th century, and to this day picturesque Pitlochry continues to attract visitors thanks to the array of outdoor activities you can do here. With that being the case, it’s little surprise that camping in Pitlochry is becoming more and more popular each year.
Having spent years going back and forth to the stunning Scottish Highlands, we’re now here to help you plan your own camping holiday in Pitlochry.
Below we share our favourite Pitlochry campsites and what makes them unique, before then looking at the rules around wild camping in Pitlochry. We even share some of our favourite walks in the area, and have a free camping game perfect for kids (and fun adults!) at the end of this article too.
So read on to begin your very own Pitlochry camping adventure!
- The Best Pitlochry Campsites
- Wild Camping In Pitlochry
- Some Ideas For Wild Camping Spots
- The Best Time To Go Camping In Pitlochry
- Some of our Favourite Walks In Pitlochry
- Free Camping Game
The Best Campsites in Pitlochry for Fun, Views & Adventure!
1. Milton of Fonab Caravan Park
This campsite sits just half a mile from Pitlochry so you can expect knockout forest and mountain views, whilst still being within easy walking distance of the town itself. It’s the best of both worlds!
Pitlochry is the gateway for plenty of walks, so you’ll have many trails right on your doorstep if camping here. And as this campsite sits on the banks of the River Tummel, there’s the possibility to kayak and paddle board as soon as you wake up.
Unfortunately they don’t accept tents, but if you’re in a motorhome or caravan there’s 170 pitches available on level ground with optional hookups. The shared facilities like toilets and showers are modern and well maintained, whilst there’s also a laundry, washing up area, a small shop, and even free WiFi.
On top of that there’s plenty of open space for children to play, and even a dog walking area in case you bring your four-legged friend along.
What’s Close By
This is the closest camping site to Pitlochry, so it’s just a quick walk into town. From there you’ll have access to restaurants, shops for stocking up, pubs for a pint after a day of exploring, and a place to grab Fish & Chips!
Both Blair Athol Distillery and Edradour Distillery are within walking distance if you decide to stay at this Pitlochry camping option. So you can enjoy a dram and still wander back to your motorhome to sleep it off!
The Pitlochry Fish Ladder – where you can see salmon jumping as they scramble to swim upstream during breeding season – is also just a short walk away too.
Outside of town there’s some fantastic fishing on Loch Tummel (you’ll have to apply for a permit), as well as watersport opportunities.
And if you’re feeling adventurous, then the mountain, Ben Vrackie, is a fantastic hike. The trailhead starts in Pitlochry and the 841m summit will bring sweeping views of the landscape.
Price: From £26 per night
Address: Pitlochry, Perthshire, PH16 5NA
2. Blair Castle Caravan Park
Blair Castle Caravan Park is a fabulous holiday park located by the village of Blair Atholl just a short ride away from Pitlochry. The village’s services, such as local restaurants and grocery stores, are also within walking distance which is a big bonus!
The campsite is located at the gateway to the stunning Cairngorms National Park so you’re in a beautiful setting for wildlife spotting, including the opportunity to see elusive red squirrels! With the Cairngorms on your doorstep you’ll get stunning mountain views if staying here, as well as plenty of walks to enjoy.
This campsite offers over 200 hard standing and grass pitches and welcomes motorhomes, touring caravans and tents! There’s also some holiday homes available to rent too, if you’re looking for a more glamorous camping adventure.
While the beautiful setting is a big plus point, the facilities are very good too. Not only are there well maintained shower and toilet facilities, but there’s also self-serve laundry, paid WiFi, picnic areas, a pool table, table tennis, and table football. So loads to keep the whole family entertained. And talking about the whole family, pets are allowed here too!
What’s Close By
There’s many walking and cycling trails nearby to try out. But one definite must-visit if camping here is the charming Blair Castle & Gardens – and as it’s part of the same estate as the campsite is, you will get a discount on your entrance if camping here.
The castle’s architecture dates back to the 18th century and you’ll find peacocks roaming freely in the gardens which just makes the whole place more idyllic.
Atholl Country Life Museum is right beside the campsite too, and there you can learn about all aspects of traditional rural life in the area. The museum consists of three small galleries and a reconstructed post office to give an insight into the Blair Atholl community of past.
And for golf-enthusiasts, there is a nine-hole golf course at Blair Atholl Golf! The uniquely beautiful scenery here may just make this one of the most beautiful places to tee off in the UK.
Lastly, if you’re a fan of beer (and who isn’t!) then Wasted Degrees Brewing in Blair Atholl is definitely worth visiting. They produce some fantastic craft beer that’s perfect to enjoy after a day exploring the area.
Price: From £21 per night
Address: Blair Atholl, Pitlochry, PH18 5SR
3. Grandtully Station Campsite
Grandtully Station Campsite sits right beside the River Tay, and only two minutes from the Grandtully Rapids – an exciting stretch of river perfect for experienced kayakers.
But even if you’re looking for more relaxation than adventure, you can still consider this a great option. The campsite is peaceful, rural, small and set in gorgeous surroundings. You’ll be waking up to the sounds of nature, and falling asleep under a blanket of stars.
Although rural, if staying here you’ll still be only a few minutes walk from the village of Grandtully where you can find shops, pubs and more.
Tents, motorhomes and caravans can be accommodated at this campsite – which is open all-year round – and on top of hot showers and toilets you’ll also get free WiFi, optional hook ups, and a dishwashing area. They’re also pet friendly.
What’s Close By
Grandtully may be small, but just a few steps from the campsite you’ll find ‘The Inn on the Tay’ – a fantastic pub where you can enjoy your meal and drink with views of the river rushing by.
Why not take a visit to Iain Burnett, The Highland Chocolatier as well. This chocolatier is based in the Grandtully village too, and you can enjoy guided tasting tours which allow you to glance into the manufacture of chocolate.
After indulging in a few bars, you may be in the mood to work it all off. And there’s some brilliant walks around Grandtully. Including ones that take you to nearby Aberfeldy, and another that will take you to Pitlochry.
Of course the River Tay has watersport opportunities, while at nearby Loch Tay you can fish and go wild swimming.
Price: From £13 per night
Address: Lageonan Rd, Grandtully, Pitlochry PH9 0PL
4. Glengoulandie Camping and Caravanning
Glengoulandie Camping and Caravanning is located around eight miles north west of the pretty town of Aberfeldy and 17 miles west of Pitlochry. While that makes it a little further away from Pitlochry than some may want, we’ve included it because this campsite is a fantastic base for outdoor enthusiasts. It’s situated near Tay Forest Park, the Cairngorms, Loch Lomond, and the Trossachs National Park!
With all of that surrounding this campsite, you won’t be surprised to learn there are several fantastic walks in this area. Some of those lead directly to the picturesque Schiehallion, as well as several other Munros – mountains in Scotland over 3000 feet high.
Along with the incredible views of the heather-clad mountains, this campsite is peaceful and serene, offering just 15 touring pitches, 23 static caravans, and two shepherd huts for rent.
Glengoulandie Camping and Caravanning has good toilet and showers facilities, as well as one that has been adapted for baby changing. There is also a laundry, dish wash area, a small shop, and a dog walking area!
What’s Close By
There’s lots of walks around, as you’d expect in this part of Scotland. But one worth trying out is summiting the nearby Ben Lawers, which is the highest mountain in the southern part of the Scottish Highlands. You’ll get a great leg workout, but also some knockout panoramic views as well.
Rannoch railway station on the breathtaking Rannoch Moor is a beautiful short drive away from Glengoulandie Camping and Caravanning. There is a tearoom and visitor centre in the station, but the main reason people visit is its associations to Harry Potter – it’s where Death Eaters board the train in the movies. If you want to explore the area of Rannoch Moor even more, head towards the picturesque Loch Laidon with it’s excellent walking trails.
Lastly for any Outlander fans, a short trip away is Kinloch Rannoch which was the setting for the site of Craigh na Dun. There’s no standing stones to see there as they created those for the show, but Kinloch Rannoch itself is worth visiting as the village is set in a gorgeous location by the loch.
Price: From £12 per night
Address: Glengoulandie Foss By, Pitlochry, PH16 5NL
5. Aberfeldy Caravan Park
Drive 15 miles out of Pitlochry and you’ll find this campsite and caravan park which is located in beautiful surroundings on the banks of the River Tay, yet still within walking distance from the charming town of Aberfeldy.
That proximity to the town with its shops, cafes and bars, makes this a great camping option for new campers who want one foot in nature, but another in civilization.
As for facilities, this place has over 120 grass pitches for caravan and motorhomes, as well as 31 grass pitches for tents, some of which have electric hook-ups. Some of those pitches even have riverside views too!
The campsite offers first-class amenities with toilets, hot showers, a laundry with a tumble dryer, dishwashing facilities, 24 hour security, and plenty of space for BBQs and picnics.
What’s Close By
There are loads of activities to explore in this area! The campsite’s location on the banks of the River Tay means it’s right beside some stunning walks, like the Birks of Aberfeldy.
For the adventurous, Highland Safaris is worth checking out as they do Helicopter safaris where you can admire Scotland’s natural wilderness from above. But if riding around in a helicopter sounds too anxiety provoking, then why not go off-road trekking with them for the possibility to encounter Scottish wildlife like red squirrel or deer.
And as this campsite is beside the River Tay, and close to Loch Tay, you can try out water sports like kayaking, canoeing and paddleboarding.
If you’re more into a tipple than a paddle, then Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery is located close by and is known for its single malt whisky which has hints of fruit and honey.
Price: From £10 per night
Address: Dunkeld St, Aberfeldy PH15 2AQ
Wild Camping In Pitlochry: 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 Pitlochry thanks to Scotland’s Right to Roam Act. However authorities ask campers to “tread lightly” and to respect a few guidelines when wild camping. Those guidelines are:
- You should camp away from enclosed fields, and pitch your tent away from buildings, roads, paths, and historic structures.
- Campers should be vigilant to avoid disturbing wildlife such as deer, eagles, and grouse.
- When wild camping in Pitlochry, do not light fires as you could damage the environment. 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 you access to most of Scotland’s land and inland water, as long as it does not encroach on someone’s privacy or 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 Pitlochry:
Where You Must Avoid:
- Walking in and going through buildings. An exception would be bothies – small 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 Pitlochry
Of course one of the best parts about wild camping in Pitlochry is finding your own special spot to pitch your tent for the night. That’s part of the fun of wild camping!
However, if you’re looking for a little inspiration, then below are some ideas for wild camping spots in Pitlochry that have been collected from anecdotal accounts. Just make sure your tent is midge proof as these little biting flies can be a real pain!
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 a’Choire
On the way up Ben Vrackie – a challenging 841 m high mountain – which sits behind Pitlochry, you’ll come across this lovely little loch.
It’s a great spot to wild camp near, and alongside access to a water supply (boil it over a stove before drinking) you’ll also get some exceptional stargazing opportunities by staying there. It’s a very nice wild swimming spot too.
2. Craigower Hill
A three-mile hike from Pitlochry through Tay Forest Park will take you up to the 407m summit of Craigower Hill – where you’ll get stunning views across to Rannoch Moor.
This hike isn’t that challenging, and is a lovely place to camp. Just make sure you choose to camp in a place that won’t be in any other hiker’s or walker’s way, and only put your tent up at dusk and take it down at dawn, so not to ruin the views of any fellow hikers and wild campers.
The Best Time To Go Camping In Pitlochry
We think the best time to visit Pitlochry for a camping holiday is April and May as there tends to be fewer midges than later in the year. Plus the temperatures are starting to warm up a little, and the campsites aren’t yet packed.
If you’re looking for the warmest time to visit Pitlochry, the hottest months are June, July, and August. In July the highs can even hit around 20C with temperatures rarely dropping below 10C at night.
If you feel experienced enough, the winter scenery in Scotland is also considered spectacular with snow covered landscapes along with gorgeous sunrises and sunsets. Some Pitlochry camping options are even open all-year round.
However, it’s suggested to not camp and hike alone in winter, as it’s much easier to get into trouble by yourself. Should you get in trouble, and are able to use your mobile phone, contact Scottish Mountain Rescue on 01479861370, or in an emergency, via 999.
Pitlochry offers some exciting annual events that you may want to combine with your camping holiday too.
For example, Blair Castle Horse Trials and Country Fair is held in August each year and is Scotland’s leading equestrian event.
Also, a superb way to finish summer is to watch the Pitlochry Highland Games which tends to be in September. The event consists of traditional competitions, pipe bands, Highland dancing, and lots more.
Some of our Favourite Walks in Pitlochry
1. Ben Vrackie
Ben Vrackie (2,759 ft / 841 m) is an extremely popular walk for those visiting Pitlochry, and the summit itself offers fantastic views across the whole of Perthshire and to the Cairngorms.
In particular, this hike is fantastic for birdwatching and wildlife spotting.
The path is well-made despite the steep ascents at times, and there are also two optional extensions for those wanting to make the walk longer.
2) Clunie Path
The Clunie walk starts from the centre of Pitlochry and then climbs up into woodland above the River Tummel.
The walk has some spectacular views across the town to the hills, and it’s also a great opportunity to spot red squirrels and deer.
The path then travels through the Port-na-Craig suspension bridge across the river, and you can spot some nearby villages from there as well as Loch Faskally.
This 7 mile hike takes around 3-4 hours and consists of an elevation of 450m.
3) Craig Fonvuick
The Killiecrankie Path takes you 820ft / 250m up Craig Fonvuick. The path is especially gorgeous as it passes through Tulach Hill Special Area of Conservation, which has plenty of wildlife.
On the way to the summit of Craig Fonvuick it’s possible to see some old ruined homesteads as well as spectacular views down towards the idyllic village of Killiecrankie.
The route takes about 2 hours to walk and is 2 ½ miles.
4) Edradour Path
Edradour is a woodland walk starting from Pitlochry town centre which leads to the lovely Black Spout Waterfall, and then on to Edradour Distillery.
You’ll get fantastic views from the higher section of the walk down towards the River Tummel and out across to the surrounding hills.
The path takes 1 ½ hours to walk and is 3 miles long but it can get a little overgrown in places during summer.
Camping in Pitlochry: Scavenger Hunt Game!
Running out of ideas to keep the little ones entertained while camping in Pitlochry – or you fancy having some fun for yourself? This printable scavenger hunt game will help keep them busy!
Save the image and print it out, then tick off what you come across 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!